People in Interest of A.B.A., 2019 COA 125

A division of the court of appeals determines that the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to terminate the rights of Iranian parents. The division notes that although the district court could properly exercise temporary emergency jurisdiction pursuant to the UCCJEA, such temporary jurisdiction did not permit the district court to enter a permanent custody disposition such as termination of parental rights. The division reasons that the Iranian custody order was made under factual circumstances in substantial conformity with the jurisdictional standards of the UCCJEA (in that the issuing court was the child’s home state, the parents had notice of the proceeding, and the parents had an opportunity to be heard); and the human rights exception to the UCCJEA did not apply.

The division also determines that the district court erred in permitting the department to serve the father via publication because the evidence failed to establish that the department made efforts to locate the father and the department’s affidavit in support of publication stated that the father resided in Iran but the district court authorized publication in a Colorado newspaper.

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