Doreen MacLellan v. Kirk Ruddy
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION RE APPLICANT'S MOTION TO MODIFY CUSTODY
The applicant, Doreen Maclellan (formerly Ruddy) has petitioned this court seeking joint legal custody of the parties' three minor children.
The respondent, Kirk Ruddy, is the father of the children and presently resides with them in Connecticut.
Through the testimony of the parties, the court, Novack, Judge Trial Referee of the Superior Court of Connecticut, was advised of the following information.
On February 7, 2012, the parties were heard on the issues of custody and visitation before the Superior Court of California, County of Alameda, the Honorable Alice Villardi presiding (Case # VF08365078).
On February 9, 2012, findings and orders were entered on the issues presented. Legal and physical custody were awarded to the defendant, father, and a visitation schedule was provided for the plaintiff mother, including visitation in the State of Connecticut. The Court also ordered the mother to undergo a psychological evaluation. The case was continued to May 18, 2012 for review of the report.
On May 17, 2012, at the time the review hearing was held, it was disclosed that the mother never submitted herself to the examination ordered. She was informed by the Court that without the results of an evaluation being produced it declined to change the orders entered in February 2012.
Based on the information presented, this court concludes that Connecticut does not have subject matter jurisdiction over the current application involving the modification of the orders issued by the Superior Court of California.
In February 2012, the California Superior Court had jurisdiction to make child custody orders under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. That Court has continued to conduct several hearings since February, the most recent on May 17, 2012.
The California Court continues to have jurisdiction over the matter unless it declines jurisdiction in accordance with the provision of the Uniform Act.
It is this Judge's opinion, the California Court should be given the opportunity to complete this hearing pending in that jurisdiction.
The applicant has indicated she is willing to undergo the ordered psychological examination in California.
As to future requests for modification of the existing orders, it will be the California Court's decision whether or not to decline jurisdiction.
It is recommended that when the applicant completes her psychological examination, she notify the California Court so that the hearing there can be resumed.
A copy of this memorandum is being sent to Judge Villardi.
The Application for Custody Modification is denied without prejudice, subject to being reclaimed in the event the California Court declines jurisdiction.
NOVACK, JUDGE TRIAL REFEREE
Novack, Stanley, J.T.R.