Phone: (805) 845-5405 E: info@mysantabarbaralawyer.com

FAMILY CODE SECTION 3441-3457

3441. In this chapter:
(a) “Petitioner” means a person who seeks enforcement of an order
for return of a child under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects
of International Child Abduction or enforcement of a child custody
determination.
(b) “Respondent” means a person against whom a proceeding has been
commenced for enforcement of an order for return of a child under
the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child
Abduction or enforcement of a child custody determination.

3442. Under this chapter, a court of this state may enforce an
order for the return of a child made under the Hague Convention on
the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction as if it were a
child custody determination.

3443. (a) A court of this state shall recognize and enforce a child
custody determination of a court of another state if the latter
court exercised jurisdiction in substantial conformity with this part
or the determination was made under factual circumstances meeting
the jurisdictional standards of this part and the determination has
not been modified in accordance with this part.
(b) A court of this state may utilize any remedy available under
other laws of this state to enforce a child custody determination
made by a court of another state. The remedies provided in this
chapter are cumulative and do not affect the availability of other
remedies to enforce a child custody determination.

3444. (a) A court of this state which does not have jurisdiction to
modify a child custody determination may issue a temporary order
enforcing either:
(1) A visitation schedule made by a court of another state.
(2) The visitation provisions of a child custody determination of
another state that does not provide for a specific visitation
schedule.
(b) If a court of this state makes an order under paragraph (2) of
subdivision (a), it shall specify in the order a period that it
considers adequate to allow the petitioner to obtain an order from a
court having jurisdiction under the criteria specified in Chapter 2
(commencing with Section 3421). The order remains in effect until an
order is obtained from the other court or the period expires.

3445. (a) A child custody determination issued by a court of
another state may be registered in this state, with or without a
simultaneous request for enforcement, by sending all of the following
to the appropriate court in this state:
(1) A letter or other document requesting registration.
(2) Two copies, including one certified copy, of the determination
sought to be registered, and a statement under penalty of perjury
that to the best of the knowledge and belief of the person seeking
registration the order has not been modified.
(3) Except as otherwise provided in Section 3429, the name and
address of the person seeking registration and any parent or person
acting as a parent who has been awarded custody or visitation in the
child custody determination sought to be registered.
(b) On receipt of the documents required by subdivision (a), the
registering court shall do both of the following:
(1) Cause the determination to be filed as a foreign judgment,
together with one copy of any accompanying documents and information,
regardless of their form.
(2) Serve notice upon the persons named pursuant to paragraph (3)
of subdivision (a) and provide them with an opportunity to contest
the registration in accordance with this section.
(c) The notice required by paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) shall
state all of the following:
(1) That a registered determination is enforceable as of the date
of the registration in the same manner as a determination issued by a
court of this state.
(2) That a hearing to contest the validity of the registered
determination must be requested within 20 days after service of the
notice.
(3) That failure to contest the registration will result in
confirmation of the child custody determination and preclude further
contest of that determination with respect to any matter that could
have been asserted.
(d) A person seeking to contest the validity of a registered order
must request a hearing within 20 days after service of the notice.
At that hearing, the court shall confirm the registered order unless
the person contesting registration establishes any of the following:
(1) That the issuing court did not have jurisdiction under Chapter
2 (commencing with Section 3421).
(2) That the child custody determination sought to be registered
has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court having jurisdiction
to do so under Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 3421).
(3) That the person contesting registration was entitled to
notice, but notice was not given in accordance with the standards of
Section 3408, in the proceedings before the court that issued the
order for which registration is sought.
(e) If a timely request for a hearing to contest the validity of
the registration is not made, the registration is confirmed as a
matter of law and the person requesting registration and all persons
served shall be notified of the confirmation.
(f) Confirmation of a registered order, whether by operation of
law or after notice and hearing, precludes further contest of the
order with respect to any matter that could have been asserted at the
time of registration.

3446. (a) A court of this state may grant any relief normally
available under the law of this state to enforce a registered child
custody determination made by a court of another state.
(b) A court of this state shall recognize and enforce, but may not
modify, except in accordance with Chapter 2 (commencing with Section
3421), a registered child custody determination of a court of
another state.

3447. If a proceeding for enforcement under this chapter is
commenced in a court of this state and the court determines that a
proceeding to modify the determination is pending in a court of
another state having jurisdiction to modify the determination under
Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 3421), the enforcing court shall
immediately communicate with the modifying court. The proceeding for
enforcement continues unless the enforcing court, after consultation
with the modifying court, stays or dismisses the proceeding.

3448. (a) A petition under this chapter must be verified. Certified
copies of all orders sought to be enforced and of any order
confirming registration must be attached to the petition. A copy of a
certified copy of an order may be attached instead of the original.
(b) A petition for enforcement of a child custody determination
must state all of the following:
(1) Whether the court that issued the determination identified the
jurisdictional basis it relied upon in exercising jurisdiction and,
if so, what the basis was.
(2) Whether the determination for which enforcement is sought has
been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court whose decision must be
enforced under this part and, if so, identify the court, the case
number, and the nature of the proceeding.
(3) Whether any proceeding has been commenced that could affect
the current proceeding, including proceedings relating to domestic
violence, protective orders, termination of parental rights, and
adoptions and, if so, identify the court, the case number, and the
nature of the proceeding.
(4) The present physical address of the child and the respondent,
if known.
(5) Whether relief in addition to the immediate physical custody
of the child and attorney’s fees is sought, including a request for
assistance from law enforcement officials and, if so, the relief
sought.
(6) If the child custody determination has been registered and
confirmed under Section 3445, the date and place of registration.
(c) Upon the filing of a petition, the court shall issue an order
directing the respondent to appear in person with or without the
child at a hearing and may enter any order necessary to ensure the
safety of the parties and the child. The hearing must be held on the
next judicial day after service of the order unless that date is
impossible. In that event, the court shall hold the hearing on the
first judicial day possible. The court may extend the date of hearing
at the request of the petitioner.
(d) An order issued under subdivision (c) must state the time and
place of the hearing and advise the respondent that, at the hearing,
the court will order that the petitioner may take immediate physical
custody of the child and the payment of fees, costs, and expenses
under Section 3452, and may schedule a hearing to determine whether
further relief is appropriate, unless the respondent appears and
establishes either of the following:
(1) That the child custody determination has not been registered
and confirmed under Section 3445 and all of the following are true:
(A) The issuing court did not have jurisdiction under Chapter 2
(commencing with Section 3421).
(B) The child custody determination for which enforcement is
sought has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court having
jurisdiction to do so under Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 3421).
(C) The respondent was entitled to notice, but notice was not
given in accordance with the standards of Section 3408, in the
proceedings before the court that issued the order for which
enforcement is sought.
(2) That the child custody determination for which enforcement is
sought was registered and confirmed under Section 3445, but has been
vacated, stayed, or modified by a court of a state having
jurisdiction to do so under Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 3421).

3449. Except as otherwise provided in Section 3451, the petition
and order shall be served, by any method authorized by the law of
this state, upon the respondent and any person who has physical
custody of the child.

3450. (a) Unless the court issues a temporary emergency order
pursuant to Section 3424, upon a finding that a petitioner is
entitled to immediate physical custody of the child, the court shall
order that the petitioner may take immediate physical custody of the
child unless the respondent establishes either of the following:
(1) That the child custody determination has not been registered
and confirmed under Section 3445 and one of the following is true:
(A) The issuing court did not have jurisdiction under Chapter 2
(commencing with Section 3421).
(B) The child custody determination for which enforcement is
sought has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court of a state
having jurisdiction to do so under Chapter 2 (commencing with Section
3421).
(C) The respondent was entitled to notice, but notice was not
given in accordance with the standards of Section 3408, in the
proceedings before the court that issued the order for which
enforcement is sought.
(2) That the child custody determination for which enforcement is
sought was registered and confirmed under Section 3445 but has been
vacated, stayed, or modified by a court of a state having
jurisdiction to do so under Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 3421).
(b) The court shall award the fees, costs, and expenses authorized
under Section 3452 and may grant additional relief, including a
request for the assistance of law enforcement officials, and set a
further hearing to determine whether additional relief is
appropriate.
(c) If a party called to testify refuses to answer on the ground
that the testimony may be self-incriminating, the court may draw an
adverse inference from the refusal.
(d) A privilege against disclosure of communications between
spouses and a defense of immunity based on the relationship of
spouses or parent and child may not be invoked in a proceeding under
this chapter.

3451. (a) Upon the filing of a petition seeking enforcement of a
child custody determination, the petitioner may file a verified
application for the issuance of a warrant to take physical custody of
the child if the child is imminently likely to suffer serious
physical harm or be removed from this state.
(b) If the court, upon the testimony of the petitioner or other
witness, finds that the child is imminently likely to suffer serious
physical harm or be removed from this state, it may issue a warrant
to take physical custody of the child. The petition must be heard on
the next judicial day after the warrant is executed unless that date
is impossible. In that event, the court shall hold the hearing on the
first judicial day possible. The application for the warrant must
include the statements required by subdivision (b) of Section 3448.
(c) A warrant to take physical custody of a child must do all of
the following:
(1) Recite the facts upon which a conclusion of imminent serious
physical harm or removal from the jurisdiction is based.
(2) Direct law enforcement officers to take physical custody of
the child immediately.
(3) Provide for the placement of the child pending final relief.
(d) The respondent must be served with the petition, warrant, and
order immediately after the child is taken into physical custody.
(e) A warrant to take physical custody of a child is enforceable
throughout this state. If the court finds on the basis of the
testimony of the petitioner or other witness that a less intrusive
remedy is not effective, it may authorize law enforcement officers to
enter private property to take physical custody of the child. If
required by exigent circumstances of the case, the court may
authorize law enforcement officers to make a forcible entry at any
hour.
(f) The court may impose conditions upon placement of a child to
ensure the appearance of the child and the child’s custodian.

3452. (a) The court shall award the prevailing party, including a
state, necessary and reasonable expenses incurred by or on behalf of
the party, including costs, communication expenses, attorney’s fees,
investigative fees, expenses for witnesses, travel expenses, and
child care during the course of the proceedings, unless the party
from whom fees or expenses are sought establishes that the award
would be clearly inappropriate.
(b) The court may not assess fees, costs, or expenses against a
state unless authorized by law other than this part.

3453. A court of this state shall accord full faith and credit to
an order issued by another state, and consistent with this part,
enforce a child custody determination by a court of another state
unless the order has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court
having jurisdiction to do so under Chapter 2 (commencing with Section
3421).

3454. An appeal may be taken from a final order in a proceeding
under this chapter in accordance with expedited appellate procedures
in other civil cases. Unless the court enters a temporary emergency
order under Section 3424, the enforcing court may not stay an order
enforcing a child custody determination pending appeal.

3455. (a) In a case arising under this part or involving the Hague
Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, a
district attorney is authorized to proceed pursuant to Chapter 8
(commencing with Section 3130) of Part 2.
(b) A district attorney acting under this section acts on behalf
of the court and may not represent any party.

3456. At the request of a district attorney acting under Section
3455, a law enforcement officer may take any lawful action reasonably
necessary to locate a child or a party and assist the district
attorney with responsibilities under Section 3455.

3457. The court may assess all direct expenses and costs incurred
by a district attorney under Section 3455 or 3456 pursuant to the
provisions of Section 3134.