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Grahm v. Superior Court

California Court of Appeal
34 Cal. Rptr. 3d 270 (2005)


Facts

Robert Grahm (father) (plaintiff) and his wife (mother) (defendant) were parents to twin girls born in California in October 2001. In October 2003, pursuant to the couple’s divorce, a California court entered an order awarding physical custody to the mother, visitation rights to the father, and joint legal custody. One month before the custody/visitation order was issued, the mother and twins moved to New York, with the father’s consent. In early 2004, the mother sought to modify the custody arrangement in a New York court. The court dismissed her motion for lack of jurisdiction, and an appellate court affirmed. In the meanwhile, the father was filing motions regarding visitation and custody in a California court. Ultimately, he moved for sole legal and primary physical custody. In March 2005, a California family court (defendant) issued an order declining to exercise jurisdiction, applying Family Code § 3422, on the grounds that the mother and twins’ move to New York left them without a significant connection to California. The court also reasoned that evidence in the matter was in New York. The father petitioned the California Court of Appeal for a writ of mandate forcing the family court to vacate its order.

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Holding and Reasoning (Hastings, J.)

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Concurrence (Epstein, J.)

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