R.W. v. People.
2022 CO 51. No. 22SC86. Dependency, Permanency, and Termination Factors—Children in Need of Aid—“Home State” of Child—Removal to Another State.
November 7, 2022
E.W., a minor, lived in Colorado with her parents when she was adjudicated dependent and neglected pursuant to the Children’s Code, CRS § 19-3-102. At the time, Colorado was E.W.’s home state and the juvenile court had initial jurisdiction over the matter under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), CRS § 14-13-201. E.W. was then placed in an out-of-state placement through the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC), CRS § 24-60-1801. Shortly thereafter, both parents separately left Colorado. No other court asserted jurisdiction over E.W. The juvenile court ultimately terminated the parent-child legal relationship as to both parents.
Here, the Supreme Court considered whether a Colorado court loses jurisdiction over a child-custody case simply by virtue of all parties leaving the state. Reading the UCCJEA, ICPC, and Children’s Code together, the Court concluded that it does not and affirmed the division’s decision that the juvenile court had jurisdiction to enter the termination order.