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State ex rel. Ferrara v. Neill

165 S.W.3d 539 (2005)

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State ex rel. Ferrara v. Neill

Missouri Court of Appeals

165 S.W.3d 539 (2005)

Facts

In 1985, Victoria Ferrara (plaintiff) and William E. Taylor married while living in Missouri. In August 1988, the couple had a child together. The family then moved to New Mexico. In 1999, Ferrara and Taylor obtained a divorce decree and Taylor was awarded primary physical custody over the child. In 2002, Taylor moved back to Missouri with the child and registered the divorce decree. In 2004, Taylor petitioned the trial court to modify the child support Ferrara owed and the custody arrangement. In response, Ferrara filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that Missouri had no subject-matter jurisdiction because the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (PKPA) preempted Missouri’s Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA). Taylor argued that, under the UCCJA, Missouri and New Mexico shared jurisdiction to modify the divorce decree and that the PKPA was not applicable. The trial court found that it could exercise jurisdiction over the case and denied Ferrara’s motion to dismiss. Ferrara then filed a writ of prohibition in the Missouri Court of Appeals against Judge Neill (defendant) of the trial court on the ground that the trial court lacked jurisdiction.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Draper, J.)

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