Registering a Foreign Custody Adjudication
November 20, 2018 § Leave a comment
You can register a judgment or order for custody (hereinafter referred to as a “judgment”) rendered by another state in Mississippi by following MCA §93-27-305. Here are the highlights:
- You can register the judgment with or without a simultaneous action for enforcement (93-27-305(1)).
- A pleading, petition, motion, or even a letter requesting registration is filed with the chancery clerk of any county in the state (93-27-305(1) and (1)(a)).
- Two copies, including one certified copy, of the judgment, accompanied by an affidavit that to the best of the affiant’s knowledge and belief the judgment has not been modified, must also be filed (93-27-305(1)(b)).
- The name and address of the person seeking registration, as well as that of any parent or person in loco parentis who was awarded custody in the judgment must be stated in the petition (93-27-305(c)); however, the confidentiality protections of 93-27-209 are available to persons who qualify.
- Notice is served on the person(s) named in 1(c) to provide them an opportunity to contest the registration (93-27-305(2)(b)).
- The notice must state that the judgment: (1) will be enforceable on the date of registration the same as a Mississippi domestic judgment (93-27-305(3)(a)); (2) a hearing to contest registration must be requested within twenty days of the date of service of the notice (93-27-305(3)(b)); and (3) failure to contest registration will result in confirmation of the judgment’s custody determination, and further contest will be barred (97-27-305(3)(c)).
- A person wishing to contest registration must request a hearing within twenty days of service of notice (93-27-305(4)).
- At a hearing to contest registration, the court shall confirm registration unless the contestant establishes that either: (1) the issuing court did not have jurisdiction under the UCCJEA (93-27-305(4)(a)); or the custody determination sought to be registered has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court having jurisdiction per the UCCJEA (93-27-305(4)(b); or (3) the contestant was entitled to notice per 93-27-108 in the originating court, but was not afforded that notice (93-27-305(4)(c)).
- If a timely request for hearing is not filed, the court orders that the registration is confirmed as a matter of law, and all persons who were served with notice are notified of the confirmation (93-27-305(5)).
- An order of confirmation precludes further contest of any matter that could have been contested at the time of confirmation of registration (93-27-305(6)).
In Edwards v. Zyla, 207 So. 3d 1232 (Miss. 2016), the MSSC held that chancery court, not county court, was the proper forum for registration of a foreign custody determination.