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.

Effective Date: 04-11-2005