Emergency Jurisdiction – An Important Tool

If another state or country has made a determination about child custody, the California courts do not have jurisdiction over the case, unless the child is in the state of California AND there is a risk to the child’s health and well-being. In that case, under California Family Code Section 3424, a lawyer or party may move the court to make Emergency Jurisdiction orders to protect the child.

Family Code 3424 reads in part:

3424. (a) A court of this state has temporary emergency
jurisdiction if the child is present in this state and the child has
been abandoned or it is necessary in an emergency to protect the child because the child, or a sibling or parent of the child, is
subjected to, or threatened with, mistreatment or abuse.

We have successfully used this section to have a court make orders that were in the best interest of the child, even though there was a foreign child custody order in place.

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