Parental Responsibilities of W.F.L., 2018 COA 164

This decision concerns a Colorado court’s jurisdiction pursuant to the UCCJEA to enforce a parenting time order issued by another state.

A Georgia court entered a final parenting time order in 2011 and a modified parenting plan in 2012. Mother and child relocated in 2014 to Colorado. In 2016, father filed a verified motion under Colorado Revised Statute 14-10-129.5, alleging that mother would not allow the parenting time or contact provided by the Georgia order. The district court entered an order registering the Georgia orders in Colorado, but found that it lacked jurisdiction to grant father the enforcement remedies he sought.

A division of the Court of Appeals holds that the district court erred in finding that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction to enforce the Georgia order. The Division relies on Colorado Revised Statutes 14-13-305(1) and 14-13-306(1), which provide for the registration of a parental responsibilities order of another state “with or without a simultaneous request for enforcement” and allow the court to enforce the registered order using any relief normally available under Colorado law. Rejecting mother’s argument that the court was prevented from registering the order and simultaneously beginning enforcement proceedings, the Division notes that the UCCJEA specifically contemplates “a simultaneous request for enforcement.” While the district court understood its jurisdiction to be limited to considering events that occurred after the registration of the parenting time order, the division holds that “looking back to determine whether a parent failed to comply with parenting time and then imposing appropriate sanctions to redress the violation is precisely the remedy that section 14-10-129.5 provides for an aggrieved parent.”

November 15, 2018

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