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Miller-Jenkins v. Miller-Jenkins

Court of Appeals of Virginia
637 S.E.2d 330 (2006)


Facts

Lisa Miller-Jenkins (plaintiff) and Janet Miller-Jenkins (defendant) lived together as a couple in Virginia. In December 2000, they traveled to Vermont where they entered into a civil union. They returned to Virginia. In April 2002, Lisa gave birth to a child, IMJ, conceived through artificial insemination. In August 2002, Lisa and Janet moved with IMJ to Vermont. A year later, they decided to separate. In September 2003, Lisa and IMJ moved back to Virginia while Janet remained in Vermont. In November 2003, Lisa filed a petition in a Vermont family court to dissolve the couple’s civil union, to award her custody of IMJ, and to award Janet rights of contact with IMJ. The complaint referred to IMJ as the “biological or adoptive” child of the “civil union.” In June 2004, the Vermont court issued a temporary order awarding Lisa physical and legal custody of IMJ and awarding Janet certain visitation rights. On July 1, 2004, as soon as Virginia’s Marriage Affirmation Act went into effect, Lisa petitioned a Virginia court to determine IMJ’s parentage. On July 19, the Vermont court reaffirmed its jurisdiction and directed that its temporary custody order be followed. On September 9, the Virginia court held that it had jurisdiction to hear Lisa’s petition. On October 15, the Virginia court issued an order declaring Lisa to be IMJ’s sole parent and Janet to have no parental claim or rights of visitation. Janet appealed the Virginia order. [Editor’s note: For additional facts from this case, see Miller-Jenkins v. Miller-Jenkins, 912 A.2d 951 (Vt. 2006)].

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Holding and Reasoning (Willis, Jr., J.)

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