Thompson v. Thompson
United States Supreme Court
484 U.S. 174 (1988)
The Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (PKPA) extended the Full Faith and Credit Doctrine to child custody orders. It provided that once a state exercised jurisdiction over a custody dispute, no other state may exercise simultaneous jurisdiction. Susan Clay (formerly Susan Thompson) (defendant) initially filed a petition in California seeking dissolution of her marriage with David Thompson (plaintiff) and custody of their son, Matthew. The court initially awarded joint custody. However, when Susan moved to Louisiana, the court awarded her sole custody at least until a court investigator submitted a report on the status of the custody, at which point the court would make a more knowledgeable determination. Three months after the move, Susan filed a petition in Louisiana seeking enforcement of the California court ruling and final judgment of sole custody. The Louisiana court granted the petition and full custody of Matthew to Susan. Two months later, however, the California court completed its custody investigation and awarded sole custody to David. David then brought this suit in the District Court for the Central District of California, seeking an order declaring the Louisiana ruling invalid and the California ruling valid. Susan filed a motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter and personal jurisdiction. The District Court for the Central District of California granted the motion and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed. David appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Marshall, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 166,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 13,800 briefs, keyed to 187 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.