The Third Department, reversing Family Court, determined, although Family Court properly dismissed father’s neglect/custody petition on the ground New York did not have jurisdiction over the Michigan custody order, Family Court should have ordered a hearing about the child’s safety pursuant to the court’s temporary emergency jurisdiction. The child was in New York during father’s parenting time at the time father filed the petition:
Under the UCCJEA [Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act], a New York court has jurisdiction to make an initial child custody determination under certain limited circumstances … . Here, the parties agreed that, as Michigan is the home state of the child, none of these statutory factors apply. Nevertheless, Domestic Relations Law § 76-c provides that “New York courts have ‘temporary emergency jurisdiction if the child is present in this state and it is necessary in an emergency to protect the child, a sibling or parent of the child'” … .
The AFC [attorney for the child] and the father contend that the allegations set forth in the petition were sufficient to warrant Family Court to conduct a hearing. We agree. Matter of Chester HH. v Angela GG., 2022 NY Slip Op 05002, Third Dept 8-18-22
Practice Point: Although New York did not have jurisdiction over a Michigan custody order and therefore properly dismissed father’s neglect/custody petition brought in New York when the child was in New York, Family Court should have exercised its temporary emergency jurisdiction and held a hearing on the child’s safety.