TITLE 15
Domestic Relations

CHAPTER 15-14.1
Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act

SECTION 15-14.1-20


§ 15-14.1-20 Jurisdiction declined by reason of conduct.

(a) Except as otherwise provided, 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:

(1) The parents and all persons acting as parents have acquiesced in the exercise of jurisdiction;

(2) A court of the state otherwise having jurisdiction determined that this state is a more appropriate forum; or

(3) No court of any other state would have jurisdiction under the criteria specified in this chapter.

(b) If a court of this state declined to exercise its jurisdiction pursuant to subsection (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.

(c) If a court dismisses a petition or stays a proceeding because it declines to exercise its jurisdiction pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, it shall assess against the party seeking to invoke its jurisdiction necessary and reasonable expenses including costs, communication expenses, attorneys' 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 unless authorized by law other than this chapter.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2003, ch. 307, § 2; P.L. 2003, ch. 322, § 2.)