The case of the day is In re R.L. (Cal. Ct. App. 2016). R.L., a child, was born in San Diego. The child’s mother, an American citizen, was living in Tijuana at the time of the birth but came to California to deliver the baby. The child tested positive for amphetamine and methamphetamine, and the state took protective custody and filed a petition alleging inadequate care. The father, a Mexican national, lived in Tijuana. The state mailed notice of the proceedings to the father at the mother’s address in Tijuana. It made efforts to locate the father, but the mother could not provide an address and other efforts, including publication of notice of the proceedings in Mexico, yielded no fruit.
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The case of the day is Silver Star Alpine Meadows Development, Ltd. v. Quinlan (Cal. Ct. App. 2016). Lora and Stephen Quinlan had a contract to purchase lots in an undeveloped subdivision in a British Columbia ski resort. They refused to close, believing the seller, Silver Star, had changed the topography of the lots in a way that would disadvantage them. Silver Star sued in a British Columbia court. The court held that Silver Star had performed, that the Quinlans had breached their obligation, and that Silver Star had sought to mitigate its damages. Judgment was for more than $1.1 million (CDN), because in the relevant time period the value of the lots had declined precipitously. Silver Star sought recognition and enforcement of the judgment in California. The Quinlans counterclaimed for fraud and argued, in defense, that the contract had a liquidated damages provision that the British Columbia court should have applied. They claimed that the Canadian court’s mistake meant that it would be contrary to public policy to recognize the judgment.
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The case of the day is County of Los Angeles Child Support Services Department v. Superior Court (Cal. Ct. App. 2015). Fernanda Bischoff lived in Switzerland with her child. She brought an action in the District Court of Zurich alleging that Barry Youngblood, who resided in California, was the child’s father. Youngblood was personally served with documents in the Swiss case, but he claimed that “service was defective because the unsigned Swiss order that he received was not a summons and did not identify the court action, the location of the court, how to contact the court, or the name of the issuing judge.” In any event, he did not appear in the Swiss action, and a judgment entered declaring him to be the child’s father and ordering him to pay child support, based on the testimony of Bischoff. The Los Angeles Child Support Services Department registered the Swiss judgment under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act. Youngblood challenged the registration, asserting that the Swiss court lacked personal jurisdiction and that paternity had not been determined in the Swiss action.
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