Oakland, CA asked in Child Custody, Domestic Violence and Family Law for Utah

Q: Can you petition for an ex parte child protective order in UT, for an (unrelated) child who recently moved out of UT?

Child was in utah for years before leaving with mother to flee domestic violence. no custody orders on child have ever been filed. Petitioner was the perpetrator of domestic violence, and is not at all related to child and has never lived with child. Does Utah allow for people to petition for a child protective order when said child doesn't even live in the state? UCCJEA states that emergency custody orders are unenforceable in sister states... so... a Utah order can or cannot be enforced in CA?... since it is a child 'protective order', afterall......

1 Lawyer Answer
Mike Branum
Mike Branum
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Saint George, UT
  • Licensed in Utah

A: UCCJEA questions are never simple and this forum allows for very few details so remember that this answer is NOT legal advice. That being said, you can FILE for a lot of things; whether or not the Order is enforceable is another matter. It is incredibly difficult to get orders of this nature enforced across state lines.

How someone was a perpetrator of domestic violence on a person who fled with a child but the perpetrator never lived with the child is incredibly confusing and leads to questions about whether the parent should be trusted raising a child BUT if the person who filed for the protective order is not related to the child and has not had a "parent-like" relationship with the child, the Order would likely get dismissed in fairly short order once those facts were brought to light.

If the fleeing parent has been served with paperwork, they should probably file a response denying that the State of Utah has jurisdiction. If the child has left the state and neither parent lives in the state, the Utah courts cannot exercise jurisdiction over the children under UCCJEA.

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