Chapter 3127: UNIFORM CHILD CUSTODY JURISDICTION AND ENFORCEMENT ACT

3127.01 Definitions.

(A) As used in the Revised Code, "uniform child custody jurisdiction and enforcement act" means the act addressing interstate recognition and enforcement of child custody orders adopted in 1997 by the national conference of commissioners on uniform state laws or any law substantially similar to the act adopted by another state.

(B) As used in sections 3127.01 to 3127.53 of the Revised Code:

(1) "Abandoned" means the parents of a child have failed to visit or maintain contact with the child for more than ninety days, regardless of whether the parents resume contact with the child after that ninety-day period.

(2) "Child" means an individual who has not attained eighteen years of age.

(3) "Child custody determination" means a judgment, decree, or other order of a court that provides for legal custody, physical custody, parenting time, or visitation with respect to a child. "Child custody determination" includes an order that allocates parental rights and responsibilities. "Child custody determination" includes permanent, temporary, initial, and modification orders. "Child custody determination" does not include an order or the portion of an order relating to child support or other monetary obligations of an individual.

(4) "Child custody proceeding" means a proceeding in which legal custody, physical custody, parenting time, or visitation with respect to a child is an issue. "Child custody proceeding" may include a proceeding for divorce, separation, neglect, abuse, dependency, guardianship, parentage, termination of parental rights, or protection from domestic violence. "Child custody proceeding" does not include a proceeding regarding juvenile delinquency, contractual emancipation, or enforcement pursuant to sections 3127.31 to 3127.47 of the Revised Code.

(5) "Commencement" means the filing of the first pleading in a proceeding.

(6) "Court" means an entity authorized under the law of a state to establish, enforce, or modify a child custody determination.

(7) "Home state" means the state in which a child lived with a parent or a person acting as a parent for at least six consecutive months immediately preceding the commencement of a child custody proceeding and, if a child is less than six months old, the state in which the child lived from birth with any of them. A period of temporary absence of any of them is counted as part of the six-month or other period.

(8) "Initial determination" means the first child custody determination concerning a particular child.

(9) "Issuing court" means the court that makes a child custody determination for which enforcement is sought under sections 3127.01 to 3127.53 of the Revised Code.

(10) "Issuing state" means the state in which a child custody determination is made.

(11) "Modification" means a child custody determination that changes, replaces, supersedes, or is otherwise made after a determination concerning the same child, whether or not it is made by the court that made the previous determination.

(12) "Person" means an individual; corporation; business trust; estate; trust; partnership; limited liability company; association; joint venture; government; governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality; public corporation; or any other legal or commercial entity.

(13) "Person acting as a parent" means a person, other than the child's parent, who meets both of the following criteria:

(a) The person has physical custody of the child or has had physical custody for a period of six consecutive months, including any temporary absence from the child, within one year immediately before the commencement of a child custody proceeding; and

(b) The person has been awarded legal custody by a court or claims a right to legal custody under the law of this state.

(14) "Physical custody" means the physical care and supervision of a child.

(15) "State" means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

(16) "Tribe" means an Indian tribe or Alaskan Native village that is recognized by federal or state law.

(17) "Warrant" means an order issued by a court authorizing law enforcement officers to take physical custody of a child.

Cite as R.C. § 3127.01

Effective Date: 04-11-2005

3127.02 Application of chapter.

Sections 3127.01 to 3127.53 of the Revised Code do not govern adoption proceedings or proceedings pertaining to the authorization of emergency medical care for a child.

Cite as R.C. § 3127.02

Effective Date: 04-11-2005

3127.03 Custody proceeding pertaining to Indian child.

(A) A child custody proceeding that pertains to an Indian child as defined in the Indian Child Welfare Act, 25 U.S.C. 1901 et seq., is not subject to sections 3127.01 to 3127.53 of the Revised Code to the extent that the proceeding is governed by the Indian Child Welfare Act.

(B) A court of this state shall treat a tribe as if it were a state of the United States for the purpose of applying sections 3127.01 to 3127.53 of the Revised Code.

(C) A child custody determination made by a tribe under factual circumstances in substantial conformity with the jurisdictional standards of sections 3127.01 to 3127.53 of the Revised Code shall be recognized and enforced under sections 3127.31 to 3127.47 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 3127.03

Effective Date: 04-11-2005

3127.04 Foreign country treated as state - enforcement of foreign custody determinations.

(A) A court of this state shall treat a foreign country as if it were a state of the United States for the purpose of applying sections 3127.01 to 3127.24 of the Revised Code.

(B) Except as otherwise provided in division (C) of this section, a child custody determination made in a foreign country under factual circumstances in substantial conformity with the jurisdictional standards of sections 3127.01 to 3127.53 of the Revised Code shall be recognized and enforced under sections 3127.31 to 3127.47 of the Revised Code.

(C) A court of this state need not apply sections 3127.01 to 3127.53 of the Revised Code if the law governing child custody determinations of a foreign country violates fundamental principles of human rights.

Cite as R.C. § 3127.04

Effective Date: 04-11-2005

3127.05 Custody determinations under chapter as binding.

A child custody determination made by a court of this state with jurisdiction under sections 3127.01 to 3127.53 of the Revised Code binds all persons who have been served in accordance with the laws of this state, notified in accordance with section 3127.07 of the Revised Code, or who have submitted to the jurisdiction of the court, and who have been given an opportunity to be heard. As to those persons, the determination is conclusive as to all decided issues of law and fact except to the extent the determination is modified.

Cite as R.C. § 3127.05

Effective Date: 04-11-2005

3127.06 Calendar priorities.

Upon the request of a party to a child custody proceeding that raises a question of existence or exercise of jurisdiction under sections 3127.01 to 3127.53 of the Revised Code, the question shall be given calendar priority and handled expeditiously.

Cite as R.C. § 3127.06

Effective Date: 04-11-2005

3127.07 Notice and proof of service for personal jurisdiction outside Ohio.

(A) Notice required for the exercise of jurisdiction over a person outside this state may be given in a manner prescribed by the Rules of Civil Procedure, or the Rules of Juvenile Procedure, as appropriate, for service of process or by the law of the state in which the service is made. Notice shall be given in a manner reasonably calculated to give actual notice but may be by publication if other means are not effective.

(B) Proof of service may be made in the manner prescribed by the Rules of Civil Procedure, or the Rules of Juvenile Procedure, as appropriate, or by the law of the state in which the service is made.

(C) Notice is not required if the person submits to the jurisdiction of the court.

Cite as R.C. § 3127.07

Effective Date: 04-11-2005

3127.08 Immunity to personal jurisdiction regarding unrelated matter.

(A) A party to a child custody proceeding, including a modification proceeding, or a petitioner or respondent in a proceeding to enforce or register a child custody determination, is not subject to personal jurisdiction in this state for another proceeding or purpose solely by reason of having participated, or of having been physically present for the purpose of participating, in the child custody proceeding.

(B) A person who is subject to personal jurisdiction in this state on a basis other than physical presence is not immune from service of process in this state. A party present in this state who is subject to the jurisdiction of another state is not immune from service of process allowable under the laws of that state.

(C) The immunity granted by division (A) of this section does not extend to civil litigation based on acts unrelated to the participation in a proceeding under sections 3127.01 to 3127.53 of the Revised Code that are committed by an individual while present in this state.

Cite as R.C. § 3127.08

Effective Date: 04-11-2005

3127.09 Communication with non-Ohio court - opportunity to participate.

(A) A court of this state may communicate with a court in another state concerning a proceeding arising under sections 3127.01 to 3127.53 of the Revised Code.

(B) The court may give the parties the opportunity to participate in the communication. If the parties are not able to participate in the communication, they shall be given the opportunity to present facts and legal arguments before a decision concerning jurisdiction is made.

(C) Communication between courts concerning scheduling, calendars, court records, and similar matters may occur without informing the parties. A record need not be made of the communication.

(D) Except as otherwise provided in division (C) of this section, a record shall be made of a communication under this section. The parties shall be informed promptly of the communication and granted access to the record.

(E) For the purposes of this section, "record" means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in perceivable form.

Cite as R.C. § 3127.09

Effective Date: 04-11-2005

3127.10 Testimony of out-of state witnesses.

(A) In addition to other procedures available to a party, a party to a child custody proceeding may offer testimony of witnesses who are located in another state, including testimony of the parties and the child, by deposition or other means allowable in this state for testimony taken in another state. The court on its own motion may order that the testimony of a person be taken in another state and may prescribe the manner in which and the terms upon which the testimony is taken.

(B) A court of this state may permit an individual residing in another state to be deposed or to testify by telephone, audiovisual means, or other electronic means before a designated court or at another location in that state. A court of this state shall cooperate with courts of other states in designating an appropriate location for the deposition or testimony.

(C) Documentary evidence transmitted from another state to a court of this state by technological means that do not produce an original writing may not be excluded from evidence on an objection based on the means of transmission.

Cite as R.C. § 3127.10

Effective Date: 04-11-2005

3127.11 Requests to or from non-Ohio court - expenses - forwarding of copies.

(A) A court of this state may request the appropriate court of another state to do any of the following:

(1) Hold an evidentiary hearing;

(2) Order a person to produce or give evidence pursuant to procedures of that state;

(3) Order that an evaluation be made concerning the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities for the care of a child involved in a pending proceeding with respect to the designation of a parent as the residential parent and legal custodian of the child and with respect to the custody of the child in any other person;

(4) Forward to the court of this state a certified copy of the transcript of the record of the hearing, the evidence otherwise presented, and any evaluation prepared in compliance with the request;

(5) Order a party to a child custody proceeding or any person having physical custody of the child to appear in the proceeding with or without the child.

(B) Upon request of a court of another state, a court of this state may hold a hearing or enter an order described in division (A) of this section.

(C) The court may assess travel and other necessary and reasonable expenses incurred under divisions (A) and (B) of this section against the parties according to the law of this state.

(D) Upon appropriate request by a court or law enforcement official of another state, a court of this state shall forward a certified copy of the pleadings, orders, decrees, records of hearings, evaluations, and other pertinent records with respect to a child custody proceeding to the court or law enforcement official of the other state.

Cite as R.C. § 3127.11

Effective Date: 04-11-2005

3127.15 Jurisdictional basis for initial custody determination.

(A) Except as otherwise provided in section 3127.18 of the Revised Code, a court of this state has jurisdiction to make an initial determination in a child custody proceeding only if one of the following applies:

(1) This state is the home state of the child on the date of the commencement of the proceeding, or was the home state of the child within six months before the commencement of the proceeding and the child is absent from this state but a parent or person acting as a parent continues to live in this state.

(2) A court of another state does not have jurisdiction under division (A)(1) of this section or a court of the home state of the child has declined to exercise jurisdiction on the basis that this state is the more appropriate forum under section 3127.21 or 3127.22 of the Revised Code, or a similar statute of the other state, and both of the following are the case:

(a) The child and the child's parents, or the child and at least one parent or a person acting as a parent, have a significant connection with this state other than mere physical presence.

(b) Substantial evidence is available in this state concerning the child's care, protection, training, and personal relationships.

(3) All courts having jurisdiction under division (A)(1) or (2) of this section have declined to exercise jurisdiction on the ground that a court of this state is the more appropriate forum to determine the custody of the child under section 3127.21 or 3127.22 of the Revised Code or a similar statute enacted by another state.

(4) No court of any other state would have jurisdiction under the criteria specified in division (A)(1), (2), or (3) of this section.

(B) Division (A) of this section is the exclusive jurisdictional basis for making a child custody determination by a court of this state.

(C) Physical presence of, or personal jurisdiction over, a party or a child is not necessary or sufficient to make a child custody determination.

Cite as R.C. § 3127.15

Effective Date: 04-11-2005

3127.16 Exclusive continuing jurisdiction over determination - termination.

Except as otherwise provided in section 3127.18 of the Revised Code, a court of this state that has made a child custody determination consistent with section 3127.15 or 3127.17 of the Revised Code has exclusive, continuing jurisdiction over the determination until the court or a court of another state determines that the child, the child's parents, and any person acting as a parent do not presently reside in this state.

Cite as R.C. § 3127.16

Effective Date: 04-11-2005

3127.17 Modification of custody determination of non-Ohio court.

Except as otherwise provided in section 3127.18 of the Revised Code, a court of this state may not modify a child custody determination made by a court of another state unless the court of this state has jurisdiction to make an initial determination under division (A)(1) or (2) of section 3127.15 of the Revised Code and one of the following applies:

(A) The court of the other state determines that it no longer has exclusive, continuing jurisdiction under section 3127.16 of the Revised Code or a similar statute of the other state or that a court of this state would be a more convenient forum under section 3127.21 of the Revised Code or a similar statute of the other state.

(B) The court of this state or a court of the other state determines that the child, the child's parents, and any person acting as a parent do not presently reside in the other state.

Cite as R.C. § 3127.17

Effective Date: 04-11-2005

3127.18 Temporary emergency jurisdiction - no previous custody determination.

(A) A court of this state has temporary emergency jurisdiction if a child is present in this state and either of the following applies:

(1) The child has been abandoned.

(2) 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.

(B) If there is no previous child custody determination that is entitled to be enforced under this chapter and a child custody proceeding has not been commenced in a court of a state having jurisdiction under sections 3127.15 to 3127.17 of the Revised Code or a similar statute of another state, a child custody determination made under this section remains in effect until an order is obtained from a court of a state having jurisdiction under sections 3127.15 to 3127.17 of the Revised Code or a similar statute of another state. If a child custody proceeding has not been or is not commenced in a court of a state having jurisdiction under sections 3127.15 to 3127.17 of the Revised Code or a similar statute of another state, a child custody determination made under this section becomes a final determination, if it so provides and this state becomes the home state of the child.

(C) If there is a previous child custody determination that is entitled to be enforced under this chapter, or a child custody proceeding has been commenced in a court of a state having jurisdiction under sections 3127.15 to 3127.17 of the Revised Code or a similar statute of another state, any order issued by a court of this state under this section must specify in the order a period that the court considers adequate to allow the person seeking an order to obtain an order from the state having jurisdiction under sections 3127.15 to 3127.17 of the Revised Code or a similar statute of another state. The order issued in this state remains in effect until an order is obtained from the other state within the period specified or until the period expires.

(D) A court of this state that has been asked to make a child custody determination under this section, upon being informed that a child custody proceeding has been commenced in or a child custody determination has been made by a court of a state having jurisdiction under sections 3127.15 to 3127.17 of the Revised Code or a similar statute of another state, shall immediately communicate with the other court. A court of this state that is exercising jurisdiction pursuant to sections 3127.15 to 3127.17 of the Revised Code, upon being informed that a child custody proceeding has been commenced in or a child custody determination has been made by a court of another state under a statute similar to this section, shall immediately communicate with the court of that state to resolve the emergency, protect the safety of the parties and the child, and determine a period for the duration of the temporary order.

Cite as R.C. § 3127.18

Effective Date: 04-11-2005

3127.19 Notice and opportunity to be heard.

(A) Before a child custody determination is made under this chapter, notice and an opportunity to be heard in accordance with the standards set forth in section 3127.07 of the Revised Code shall be given to all persons entitled to notice under the law of this state as in child custody proceedings between residents of this state, any parent whose parental rights have not been previously terminated, and any person having physical custody of the child.

(B) This chapter does not govern the enforceability of a child custody determination made without notice or an opportunity to be heard.

(C) The obligation to join a party and the right to intervene as a party in a child custody proceeding under this chapter shall be governed by the law of this state as in child custody proceedings between residents of this state.

Cite as R.C. § 3127.19

Effective Date: 04-11-2005

3127.20 Custody proceeding pending in another state.

(A) Except as otherwise provided in section 3127.18 of the Revised Code, a court of this state may not exercise its jurisdiction under sections 3127.15 to 3127.17 of the Revised Code if, at the time of the commencement of the proceeding, a child custody proceeding concerning the child is pending in a court of another state having jurisdiction substantially in conformity with this chapter, unless the proceeding has been terminated or is stayed by the court of the other state because a court of this state is a more convenient forum under section 3127.21 of the Revised Code or a similar statute of the other state.

(B) Except as otherwise provided in section 3127.18 of the Revised Code, a court of this state, before hearing a child custody proceeding, shall examine the court documents and other information supplied by the parties pursuant to section 3127.23 of the Revised Code. If the court determines that a child custody proceeding is pending in a court in another state having jurisdiction substantially in accordance with this chapter, the court of this state shall stay its proceeding and communicate with the court of the other state. If the court of the state having jurisdiction substantially in accordance with this chapter does not determine that the court of this state is a more appropriate forum, the court of this state shall dismiss the proceeding.

(C) In a proceeding to modify a child custody determination, a court of this state shall determine whether a proceeding to enforce the determination has been commenced in another state. If a proceeding to enforce a child custody determination has been commenced in another state, the court may do any of the following:

(1) Stay the proceeding for modification pending the entry of an order of a court of the other state enforcing, staying, denying, or dismissing the proceeding for enforcement;

(2) Enjoin the parties from continuing with the proceeding for enforcement;

(3) Upon the demonstration of an emergency, proceed with the modification under conditions the court considers appropriate.

Cite as R.C. § 3127.20

Effective Date: 04-11-2005

3127.21 Jurisdiction declined - forum non conveniens.

(A) A court of this state that has jurisdiction under this chapter to make a child custody determination may decline to exercise its jurisdiction at any time if it determines that it is an inconvenient forum under the circumstances and that a court of another state is a more convenient forum. The issue of inconvenient forum may be raised upon motion of a party, the court's own motion, or at the request of another court.

(B) Before determining whether it is an inconvenient forum, a court of this state shall consider whether it is appropriate for a court of another state to exercise jurisdiction. For this purpose, the court shall allow the parties to submit information and shall consider all relevant factors, including the following:

(1) Whether domestic violence has occurred and is likely to continue in the future and which state could best protect the parties and the child;

(2) The length of time the child has resided outside this state;

(3) The distance between the court in this state and the court in the state that would assume jurisdiction;

(4) The relative financial circumstances of the parties;

(5) Any agreement of the parties as to which state should assume jurisdiction;

(6) The nature and location of the evidence required to resolve the pending litigation, including the testimony of the child;

(7) The ability of the court of each state to decide the issue expeditiously and the procedures necessary to present the evidence;

(8) The familiarity of the court of each state with the facts and issues in the pending litigation.

(C) If a court of this state determines that it is an inconvenient forum and that a court of another state is a more appropriate forum, it shall stay the proceedings upon condition that a child custody proceeding be promptly commenced in another designated state and may impose any other condition the court considers just and proper.

(D) A court of this state may decline to exercise its jurisdiction under this chapter if a child custody determination is incidental to an action for divorce or another proceeding while still retaining jurisdiction over the divorce or other proceeding.

Cite as R.C. § 3127.21

Effective Date: 04-11-2005

3127.22 Jurisdiction declined - unjustifiable conduct - remedy - assessment of expenses.

(A) Except as otherwise provided in section 3127.18 of the Revised Code or another law of this state, if a court of this state has jurisdiction under this chapter because a person seeking to invoke its jurisdiction has engaged in unjustifiable conduct, the court shall decline to exercise its jurisdiction unless one of the following applies:

(1) The parents and all persons acting as parents have agreed to the exercise of jurisdiction.

(2) A court of the state otherwise having jurisdiction under sections 3127.15 to 3127.17 of the Revised Code determines that this state is a more appropriate forum under section 3127.21 of the Revised Code or a similar statute of the state.

(3) No court of any other state would have jurisdiction under the criteria specified in sections 3127.15 to 3127.17 of the Revised Code.

(B) If a court of this state declines to exercise its jurisdiction pursuant to division (A) of this section, it may fashion an appropriate remedy to ensure the safety of the child and prevent a repetition of the unjustifiable conduct, including staying the proceeding until a child custody proceeding is commenced in a court having jurisdiction under sections 3127.15 to 3127.17 of the Revised Code or a similar statute of another state.

(C) If a court dismisses a petition or stays a proceeding because it declines to exercise its jurisdiction pursuant to division (A) of this section, it shall assess against the party seeking to invoke its jurisdiction necessary and reasonable expenses including costs, communication expenses, attorney's fees, investigative fees, expenses for witnesses, travel expenses, and child care during the course of the proceedings, unless the party from whom fees are sought establishes that the assessment would be clearly inappropriate. The court may not assess fees, costs, or expenses against this state or a political subdivision of this state unless authorized by law other than this chapter.

(D) As used in this section, "unjustifiable conduct" means conduct by a parent or that parent's surrogate that attempts to create jurisdiction in this state by removing the child from the child's home state, secreting the child, retaining the child, or restraining or otherwise preventing the child from returning to the child's home state in order to prevent the other parent from commencing a child custody proceeding in the child's home state.

Cite as R.C. § 3127.22

Effective Date: 04-11-2005

3127.23 Contents of pleading or affidavit.

(A) Each party in a child custody proceeding, in the party's first pleading or in an affidavit attached to that pleading, shall give information if reasonably ascertainable under oath as to the child's present address or whereabouts, the places where the child has lived within the last five years, and the name and present address of each person with whom the child has lived during that period. In this pleading or affidavit, each party also shall include all of the following information:

(1) Whether the party has participated as a party, a witness, or in any other capacity in any other proceeding concerning the allocation, between the parents of the same child, of parental rights and responsibilities for the care of the child including any designation of parenting time rights and the designation of the residential parent and legal custodian of the child or that otherwise concerned the custody of or visitation with the same child and, if so, the court, case number and the date of the child custody determination, if any;

(2) Whether the party knows of any proceedings that could affect the current proceeding, including proceedings for enforcement of child custody determinations, proceedings relating to domestic violence or protection orders, proceedings to adjudicate the child as an abused, neglected, or dependent child, proceedings seeking termination of parental rights, and adoptions, and, if so, the court, the case number, and the nature of the proceeding;

(3) Whether the party knows of any person who is not a party to the proceeding and has physical custody of the child or claims to be a parent of the child who is designated the residential parent and legal custodian of the child or to have parenting time rights with respect to the child or to be a person other than a parent of the child who has custody or visitation rights with respect to the child and, if so, the names and addresses of those persons.

(B) If the declaration under division (A)(1), (2), or (3) of this section is in the affirmative, the declarant shall give additional information as required by the court. The court may examine the parties under oath as to details of the information furnished and as to other matters pertinent to the court's jurisdiction and the disposition of the case.

(C) Each party has a continuing duty to inform the court of any child custody proceeding concerning the child in this or any other state that could affect the current proceeding.

(D) If a party alleges in an affidavit or a pleading under oath that the health, safety, or liberty of a party or child would be jeopardized by the disclosure of identifying information, the information shall be sealed and may not be disclosed to the other party or the public unless the court orders the disclosure to be made after a hearing in which the court takes into consideration the health, safety, and liberty of the party or child and determines that the disclosure is in the interests of justice.

(E) A public children services agency, acting pursuant to a complaint or an action on a complaint filed under section 2151.27 of the Revised Code, is not subject to the requirements of this section.

(F) As used in this section, "abused child" has the same meaning as in section 2151.031 of the Revised Code, "neglected child" has the same meaning as in section 2151.03 of the Revised Code, and "dependent child" has the same meaning as in section 2151.04 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 3127.23

Effective Date: 04-11-2005

3127.24 Order to appear - costs.

(A) The court may order any party to a child custody proceeding who is in this state to appear personally before the court with or without the child. The court may order any person who is in this state and who has physical custody or control of the child to appear personally with the child.

(B) If a party to a child custody proceeding whose presence is desired by the court is outside this state with or without the child, the court may order that the notice given under section 3127.07 of the Revised Code include a statement directing that party to appear personally with or without the child and informing the party that failure to appear may result in a decision adverse to that party.

(C) The court may enter any orders necessary to ensure the safety of the child and of any person ordered to appear under this section.

(D) If a party to a child custody proceeding who is outside this state is directed to appear under division (B) of this section or desires to appear personally before the court with or without the child, the court may require another party to pay reasonable and necessary travel and other expenses for the appearance of the party and the child .

Cite as R.C. § 3127.24

Effective Date: 04-11-2005

3127.31 Definitions - petitioner and respondent.

As used in sections 3127.31 to 3127.47 of the Revised Code:

(A) "Petitioner" means a person who seeks enforcement of an order for return of a child under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction or enforcement of a child custody determination.

(B) "Respondent" means a person against whom a proceeding has been commenced for enforcement of an order for return of a child under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction or enforcement of a child custody determination.

Cite as R.C. § 3127.31

Effective Date: 04-11-2005

3127.32 Enforcement of order for return of child under Hague convention.

Under this chapter, and subject to sections 2101.022 and 2301.03 of the Revised Code, a juvenile court or other court with appropriate jurisdiction may enforce an order for the return of a child made under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction as if it were a child custody determination.

Cite as R.C. § 3127.32

Effective Date: 04-11-2005

3127.33 Recognition of custody determination of non-Ohio court.

(A) A court of this state shall recognize and enforce a child custody determination of a court of another state if that state exercised jurisdiction in substantial conformity with this chapter or the determination was made under factual circumstances meeting the jurisdictional standards of this chapter and the determination has not been modified in accordance with this chapter.

(B) A court of this state may use any remedy available under other law of this state to enforce a child custody determination made by a court of another state. The remedies provided in sections 3127.31 to 3127.47 of the Revised Code are cumulative and do not affect the availability of other remedies to enforce a child custody determination.

Cite as R.C. § 3127.33

Effective Date: 04-11-2005

3127.34 Temporary enforcement order by court lacking jurisdiction to modify custody.

(A) A court of this state that does not have jurisdiction to modify a child custody determination may issue a temporary order enforcing either of the following:

(1) A parenting time or visitation schedule made by a court of another state;

(2) The parenting time or visitation provisions of a child custody determination of another state that does not provide for a specific parenting time or visitation schedule.

(B) If a court of this state makes an order under division (A)(2) of this section, it shall specify in the order a period that it considers adequate to allow the petitioner to obtain an order from a court having jurisdiction under the criteria specified in sections 3127.15 to 3127.24 of the Revised Code. The order shall remain in effect until an order is obtained from the other court or until the period expires.

Cite as R.C. § 3127.34

Effective Date: 04-11-2005

3127.35 Registration of child custody determination by non-Ohio court - contest of validity.

(A) Subject to sections 2101.022 and 2301.03 of the Revised Code, the clerk of a juvenile court or other court with appropriate jurisdiction may register a child custody determination issued by a court of another state, with or without a simultaneous request for enforcement, on receipt of all of the following:

(1) A letter or other document requesting that the child custody determination be registered;

(2) Two copies, including one certified copy, of the determination sought to be registered, and a statement under penalty of perjury that, to the best of the knowledge and belief of the person seeking registration, the order has not been modified;

(3) Except as otherwise provided in section 3127.23 of the Revised Code, the name and address of the person seeking registration and any parent who is designated the residential parent and legal custodian of the child or to have parenting time with respect to the child or any person acting as a parent who has been awarded custody or visitation in the child custody determination sought to be registered;

(4) An advance deposit or fee established by the court.

(B) On receipt of the documents and information required by division (A) of this section, the registering court shall do both of the following:

(1) Cause the child custody determination to be filed as a foreign judgment together with one copy of any accompanying documents and information, regardless of their form;

(2) Serve notice of the registration request on the persons named pursuant to division (A)(3) of this section, and provide them with an opportunity to contest the registration in accordance with this section.

(C) The notice required by division (B)(2) of this section shall state all of the following:

(1) That the registered child custody determination is enforceable as of the date of the registration in the same manner as a child custody determination issued by a court of this state;

(2) That a hearing to contest the validity of the registered determination must be requested within thirty days after service of notice;

(3) That failure to contest the registration shall result in confirmation of the child custody determination and preclude further contest of that determination with respect to any matter that could have been asserted.

(D) A person seeking to contest the validity of a registered order shall request a hearing within thirty days after service of the notice. At that hearing, the court shall confirm the registered order unless the person contesting registration establishes one of the following circumstances:

(1) The issuing court did not have jurisdiction under sections 3127.15 to 3127.24 of the Revised Code or a similar statute of another state.

(2) The child custody determination sought to be registered has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court having jurisdiction to do so under sections 3127.15 to 3127.24 of the Revised Code or a similar statute of another state.

(3) The person contesting registration was entitled to notice of the child custody proceeding for which registration is sought, but notice was not given in accordance with the standards of section 3127.07 of the Revised Code or a similar statute of another state.

(E) If a timely request for a hearing to contest the validity of the registration is not made, the registration is confirmed as a matter of law and the person requesting registration and all persons served in accordance with division (B)(2) of this section must be notified of the confirmation.

(F) Confirmation of a registered child custody determination, whether by operation of law or after notice and hearing, precludes further contest of the determination with respect to any matter that could have been asserted at the time of registration.

Cite as R.C. § 3127.35

Effective Date: 04-11-2005

3127.36 Enforcement of registered custody determination by non-Ohio court.

(A) Subject to sections 2101.022 and 2301.03 of the Revised Code, a juvenile court or other court of this state may grant any relief normally available under the law of this state to enforce a registered child custody determination made by a court of another state.

(B) Subject to sections 2101.022 and 2301.03 of the Revised Code, a juvenile court and each other court of this state shall recognize and enforce, but may not modify except in accordance with sections 3127.15 to 3127.24 of the Revised Code, a registered child custody determination of a court of another state.

Cite as R.C. § 3127.36

Effective Date: 04-11-2005

3127.37 Communication with non-Ohio court where modification proceeding pending.

Subject to sections 2101.022 and 2301.03 of the Revised Code, if a proceeding for enforcement under sections 3127.31 to 3127.46 of the Revised Code is commenced in a juvenile court or other court of this state with appropriate jurisdiction and the court determines that a proceeding to modify the determination is pending in a court of another state having jurisdiction to modify the determination under sections 3127.15 to 3127.24 of the Revised Code or a similar statute of another state, the enforcing court shall immediately communicate with the modifying court. The proceeding for enforcement shall continue unless the enforcing court, after consultation with the modifying court, stays or dismisses the proceeding.

Cite as R.C. § 3127.37

Effective Date: 04-11-2005

3127.38 Petition for enforcement of custody determination - procedure - order.

(A) A petition for enforcement pursuant to sections 3127.31 to 3127.46 of the Revised Code must be verified. All orders sought to be enforced and any order confirming registration must be attached to the petition. The orders attached to the petition shall be the original or a certified copy, whichever a court requires.

(B) A petition for enforcement of a child custody determination shall state all of the following:

(1) Whether the court that issued the child custody determination identified the jurisdictional basis it relied upon in exercising jurisdiction and, if so, what the basis was;

(2) Whether the determination for which enforcement is sought has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court whose decision must be enforced under this chapter and, if so, identify the court, the case number, and the nature of the proceeding;

(3) Whether any proceeding has been commenced that could affect the current proceeding, including proceedings for enforcement of child custody determinations, proceedings relating to domestic violence or protection orders, proceedings to adjudicate the child as an abused, neglected, or dependent child, proceedings seeking termination of parental rights, and adoptions, and, if so, the court, the case number, and the nature of the proceeding;

(4) The present physical address of the child and the respondent, if known;

(5) Whether relief in addition to the immediate physical custody of the child and attorney's fees is sought, including a request for assistance from law enforcement officials and, if so, the relief sought;

(6) If the child custody determination has been registered and confirmed under section 3127.35 of the Revised Code, the date and place of registration.

(C) Upon the filing of a petition, the court shall issue an order directing the respondent to appear in person with or without the child at a hearing and may enter any order necessary to ensure the safety of the parties and the child. If possible, the hearing must be held on the next judicial day after service of the order. If holding the hearing on that date is impossible, the court shall hold the hearing on the first judicial day possible. The court may extend the date of the hearing at the request of the petitioner.

(D) An order issued under division (C) of this section shall state the time and place of the hearing and advise the respondent that at the hearing the court will order that the petitioner may take immediate physical custody of the child and that the respondent pay fees, costs, and expenses under section 3127.42 of the Revised Code and may schedule a hearing to determine whether further relief is appropriate, unless the respondent appears and establishes either of the following:

(1) That the child custody determination has not been registered and confirmed under section 3127.35 of the Revised Code and that one of the following circumstances applies:

(a) The issuing court did not have jurisdiction under sections 3127.15 to 3127.24 of the Revised Code or a similar statute of another state.

(b) The child custody determination for which enforcement is sought has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court having jurisdiction to do so under sections 3127.15 to 3127.24 of the Revised Code or a similar statute of another state.

(c) The respondent was entitled to notice of the child custody proceeding for which enforcement is sought, but notice was not given in accordance with the standards of section 3127.07 of the Revised Code or a similar statute of another state.

(2) That the child custody determination for which enforcement is sought was registered and confirmed under section 3127.35 of the Revised Code but has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court of a state having jurisdiction to do so under sections 3127.15 to 3127.24 of the Revised Code or a similar statute of another state.

Cite as R.C. § 3127.38

Effective Date: 04-11-2005

3127.39 Service of petition and order.

Except as otherwise provided in section 3127.41 of the Revised Code, the petition and order shall be served by any method authorized by the Rules of Civil Procedure upon respondent and any person who has physical custody of the child.

Cite as R.C. § 3127.39

Effective Date: 04-11-2005

3127.40 Order to take immediate physical possession of child - additional relief - privileges.

(A) Unless the court issues a temporary emergency order pursuant to section 3127.18 of the Revised Code, upon a finding that a petitioner is entitled to immediate physical custody of the child, the court shall order that the petitioner may take immediate physical custody of the child unless the respondent establishes either of the following:

(1) That the child custody determination has not been registered and confirmed under section 3127.35 of the Revised Code and that one of the following circumstances applies:

(a) The issuing court did not have jurisdiction under sections 3127.15 to 3127.24 of the Revised Code or a similar statute of another state.

(b) The child custody determination for which enforcement is sought has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court of a state having jurisdiction to do so under sections 3127.15 to 3127.24 of the Revised Code or a similar statute of another state.

(c) The respondent was entitled to notice of the child custody proceeding for which enforcement is sought, but notice was not given in accordance with the standards of section 3127.07 of the Revised Code or a similar statute of another state.

(2) That the child custody determination for which enforcement is sought was registered and confirmed under section 3127.35 of the Revised Code but has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court of a state having jurisdiction to do so under sections 3127.15 to 3127.24 of the Revised Code or a similar statute of another state.

(B) The court shall award the fees, costs, and expenses authorized under section 3127.42 of the Revised Code, and may grant additional relief, including a request for the assistance of law enforcement officials, and shall set a further hearing to determine whether the additional relief is appropriate.

(C) If a party called to testify in a proceeding to enforce a child custody determination refuses to answer on the basis that the testimony may be self-incriminating, the court may draw an adverse inference from the refusal.

(D) A privilege against disclosure of communications between spouses and a defense of immunity based on the relationship of husband and wife or parent and child may not be invoked in a proceeding under this chapter.

Cite as R.C. § 3127.40

Effective Date: 04-11-2005

3127.41 Warrant to take physical custody where imminent danger of harm or removal.

(A) Upon the filing of a petition seeking enforcement of a child custody determination, the petitioner may file a verified application for the issuance of a warrant to take physical custody of the child if the child is imminently likely to suffer serious physical harm or be removed from this state.

(B) If the court, upon the testimony of the petitioner or another witness, finds that the child is imminently likely to suffer serious physical harm or be removed from this state, it may issue a warrant to take physical custody of the child. If possible, the court shall hear the petition on the next judicial day after the warrant is executed. If it is impossible to hold a hearing on that date, the court shall hold the hearing on the first judicial day possible. The application for the warrant shall include the statements required by division (B) of section 3127.38 of the Revised Code.

(C) A warrant to take physical custody of a child shall do all of the following:

(1) Specify the facts upon which a conclusion of imminent serious physical harm or removal from the jurisdiction is based;

(2) Direct law enforcement officers to take physical custody of the child immediately;

(3) Provide for the placement of the child pending final relief.

(D) The respondent shall be served with the petition, warrant, and order immediately after the child is taken into physical custody.

(E) A warrant to take physical custody of a child is enforceable throughout this state. If the court finds on the basis of the testimony of the petitioner or another witness that a less intrusive remedy is not effective, it may authorize law enforcement officers to enter private property to take physical custody of the child. If required by exigent circumstances of the case, the court may authorize law enforcement officers to make a forcible entry at any hour.

(F) The court may impose conditions upon the placement of a child to ensure the appearance of the child and the child's custodian.

Cite as R.C. § 3127.41

Effective Date: 04-11-2005

3127.42 Award of fees, expenses and costs to prevailing party.

(A) A court shall award the prevailing party in an action to enforce a child custody determination, including a state, necessary and reasonable expenses incurred by or on behalf of the party, including costs, communication expenses, attorney's fees, investigative fees, expenses for witnesses, travel expenses, and child care during the course of the proceedings, unless the party from whom fees or expenses are sought establishes that the award would be clearly inappropriate.

(B) The court shall not assess fees, costs, or expenses against a state or a political subdivision of a state unless authorized by law other than this chapter.

Cite as R.C. § 3127.42

Effective Date: 04-11-2005

3127.43 Full faith and credit to orders issued by court of another state.

A court of this state shall accord full faith and credit to an order issued by another state consistent with this chapter that enforces a child custody determination by a court of another state unless the order has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court having jurisdiction to do so under sections 3127.15 to 3127.24 of the Revised Code or a similar statute of another state.

Cite as R.C. § 3127.43

Effective Date: 04-11-2005

3127.44 Appeal from final order.

An appeal may be taken from a final order in a proceeding under sections 3127.31 to 3127.47 of the Revised Code. The supreme court of this state shall, by rule, provide for expedited appellate review of cases appealed under this section. Unless the court enters a temporary emergency order under section 3127.18 of the Revised Code, the enforcing court may not stay an order enforcing a child custody determination pending appeal.

Cite as R.C. § 3127.44

Effective Date: 04-11-2005

3127.45 Actions to locate, obtain return of child, or enforce custody determination.

(A) In a case arising under this chapter or involving the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects in International Child Abduction, the prosecutor may take any lawful action, including resort to a proceeding under sections 3127.31 to 3127.47 of the Revised Code or any other available civil proceeding, to locate a child, obtain the return of a child, or enforce a child custody determination if there is any of the following:

(1) An existing child custody determination;

(2) A request to locate a child, obtain the return of a child, or enforce a child custody determination from a court in a pending child custody proceeding;

(3) A reasonable belief that a criminal statute has been violated;

(4) A reasonable belief that the child has been wrongfully removed or retained in violation of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

(B) A prosecutor acting under this section acts on behalf of the court and may not represent any party.

Cite as R.C. § 3127.45

Effective Date: 04-11-2005

3127.46 Authorized enforcement actions by law enforcement officer.

At the request of a prosecutor or other appropriate public official acting under section 3127.45 of the Revised Code, a law enforcement officer may take any lawful action reasonably necessary to locate a child or a party and assist the prosecutor or appropriate public official with responsibilities under section 3127.45 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 3127.46

Effective Date: 04-11-2005

3127.47 Assessment of enforcement expenses and costs against losing party.

If the respondent is not the prevailing party, the court may assess against the respondent all direct expenses and costs incurred by the prosecutor or other appropriate public official and law enforcement officers under section 3127.45 or 3127.46 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 3127.47

Effective Date: 04-11-2005

3127.51 Construction of chapter to promote uniformity.

In applying and construing sections 3127.01 to 3127.53 of the Revised Code, consideration shall be given to the need to promote uniformity of law with respect to its subject matter among states that enact a uniform child custody jurisdiction and enforcement act.

Cite as R.C. § 3127.51

Effective Date: 04-11-2005

3127.52 Provisions of chapter severable.

If any provision of this chapter or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of this chapter that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this chapter are severable.

Cite as R.C. § 3127.52

Effective Date: 04-11-2005

3127.53 Prospective application of chapter.

A motion or other request for relief made in a parenting or child custody proceeding or to enforce a parenting or child custody determination that was commenced before the effective date of this section is governed by the law in effect at the time the motion or other request was made.

Cite as R.C. § 3127.53

Effective Date: 04-11-2005