Q: what does "Maryland annotated code, courts and judicial proceedings 6-202..." mean in a custody case?
A: That section simply sets forth the appropriate court venue (the county or City of Baltimore) where a suit may be filed for various types of actions. In the case of a custody matter, that Section states, "[T]the following actions may be brought in the indicated county: ... (5) Action relating to custody, guardianship, maintenance, or support of a child -- Where the father, alleged father, or mother of the child resides, or where the child resides...." The circuit court in every jurisdiction in Maryland (every county and the City of Baltimore) has personal and subject matter jurisdiction to hear a custody matter involving a child who is resident in the state, but if it is filed in any jurisdiction not listed in CJ 6-202(5), then the defendant can move to dismiss or transfer venue to a more appropriate venue. Venue refers to the location of the court, and proper venue has to do with convenience to the parties as well as the location with the most significant and appropriate contacts to the issue being decided (e.g., where the child resides is typically the most significant factor). It is common for a complaint to recite in the averments the basis for the court's jurisdiction and proper venue for the action, and it is not just in custody cases where such averments are pleaded. They are in fact stated in nearly every type of action. In some cases, failure to set forth the basis of the court's jurisdiction in the complaint itself is a technical defect in the pleading of the caue of action and may be grounds for the court to order it stricken or be amended.
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