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Author Topic: Subject matter jurisdiction..anyone know any cases or laws pretaining to the following  (Read 2824 times)


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My divorce was finalized in MN in 1998; I moved to PA and my ex to CO.  Our son was in the physical custody of my ex with me having him every summer (all summer) and every winter for one month over Christmas.

My son had been complaining of his mother and step dad drinking a lot and of them drinking and driving with him in the vehicle.  I told him to call and so I could document situations.  He did.  When he came this summer he begged me to file for custody, and I did .... here in PA.

Jurisdiction of course was an issue.  My ex was served with notice of hearing, etc...she nor her attorney responded to PA.  

The hearing went on.  PA took jurisdiction because 1) she never filed our MN custody agreement in CO, 2) it had been almost 6 years since it was modified and MN wouldn't want to hear the case anymore and 3) she nor a rep was there on her behalf.  I was also awarded physical custody of our son at that time.

She has tried to fight it in CO and they threw it out telling her to go to PA to try to be heard since PA took jurisdiction.  Today we had another hearing here, this time counsel rep'd her.  My attorney argued that PA should keep jurisdiction and keep the child at status quo, because it has been 80 days since the PA order went in effect.  Her attorney said, she and her CO attorneys were not aware of the PA laws regarding being served and responding.

The Judge NOW declined to do anything until my attorney writes a letter showing why Subject matter jurisdiction can not be raised after preliminary objections.  Also, he is going to decide on whether he should excuse her from not knowing the law (which is bunk!) and let Mom file Preliminary Proceeding even though 80 days has past.  That's 60 days after the alotted time to respond!  Any advice?  Anyone know any laws or cases that I can point my attorney toward?

My son is so scared to go back to that environment.  He is in school now and doing well for the first time, he is playing football for our high school team, he sees a psychologist for the damage of his life with her has done to him ... none of which I was aware of until he opened up, and he has made many friends.

Thanks for any and all help!


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