Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re Adoption of C.J.L.

Supreme Court of Montana

February 7, 2017

IN THE MATTER OF THE ADOPTION OF: C.J.L., A minor child.

          Submitted on Briefs: January 11, 2017 Decided: February 7, 2017

         APPEAL FROM: District Court of the Twelfth Judicial District, In and For the County of Hill, Cause No. DA-15-008 Honorable Daniel A. Boucher, Presiding Judge

         COUNSEL OF RECORD:

          For Appellant: Lindsay A. Lorang, Lorang Law, PC, Havre, Montana

          For Appellee: Thea Bauer, Self-Represented, Havre, Montana

          OPINION

          Dirk M. Sandefur Justice

         ¶1 Two would-be adoptive parents (Appellants) petitioned the Montana Twelfth Judicial District Court in Hill County to terminate the parental rights of C.J.L.'s natural mother and adopt C.J.L. The District Court determined it lacked "venue jurisdiction" and dismissed the petition. Appellants timely appealed. We reverse and remand.

         ISSUE

         ¶2 The issue on appeal is: Did the District Court err as a matter of law in dismissing the petition for lack of "venue jurisdiction"?

         BACKGROUND

         ¶3 C.J.L. was born in Havre, Montana, in 2015. Shortly after C.J.L.'s birth, C.J.L.'s mother signed an affidavit relinquishing her parental rights and consenting to C.J.L.'s adoption by Appellants. She also signed a power of attorney granting Appellants the right to make parenting decisions in her stead. In November 2015, Appellants filed a consolidated petition to formally terminate the natural mother's parental rights, gain temporary legal custody of C.J.L. during the proceedings, and ultimately adopt C.J.L. At the time, C.J.L. lived with Appellants in Illinois and C.J.L.'s natural mother lived in Havre. Although the petition was uncontested, the District Court ultimately dismissed the petition for lack of "venue jurisdiction."

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         ¶4 A district court's interpretation and application of a venue statute to pleaded facts is a conclusion of law that we review for correctness. Yeager v. Morris, 2013 MT 44, ¶ 9, 369 Mont. 90, 296 P.3d 1164. A district court's determination that it lacks jurisdiction over a matter is likewise a conclusion of law that we review for ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.