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Walter v Liu

Case No. 95033 (OH Ct. App., Dist. 8, Mar. 3, 2011)

Appellant Betty W. Liu (“Liu”) appeals the trial court’s denial of her motion to declare the state of Ohio an inconvenient forum and relinquish jurisdiction to the state of New Jersey. Liu assigns the following errors for our review:
“I. The trial court erred to the prejudice of Defendant-Appellant in overruling her motion to declare Ohio an inconvenient forum and relinquish jurisdiction.”

“II. The trial court erred to the prejudice of Defendant-Appellant in overruling her motion to declare Ohio an inconvenient forum and to relinquish jurisdiction without following the mandates of Ohio Civil Rule 53.”
Having reviewed the record and pertinent law, we affirm the trial court’s decision. The apposite facts follow.

Appellee Benjamin L. Walter (“Walter”) and Liu were married on September 14, 2002. On July 21, 2004, twin boys, Dylan and Zachary, were born as issue to the marriage. On September 20, 2006, Walter filed for divorce. Prior to the filing, Liu and the twins moved to Hong Kong and remained there until August 2007. On April 23, 2008, the trial court issued a judgment entry of divorce that included a Shared Parenting Plan. The plan awarded primary residential custody to Liu, who, by then, was living in New Jersey.

On October 4, 2009, Liu filed an order to show cause and a verified complaint seeking to register the Ohio Final Judgment of Divorce in New Jersey Family Court, and for permission to take the minor children to Hong Kong for her wedding. Walter consented to the registration of the Ohio divorce decree in New Jersey and for the children to travel to Hong Kong for their mother’s wedding.

 

 

Judge(s): Ann Blackmon
Jurisdiction: Ohio Court of Appeals, District 8
Related Categories: Domestic Relations
 
Court of Appeals Judge(s)
Patricia Blackmon
Larry Jones
Melody Stewart

 
Appellant Lawyer(s) Appellant Law Firm(s)
Pamela MacAdams Morganstern MacAdams & DeVito Co LPA
Lynn Schwartz Morganstern MacAdams & DeVito Co LPA

 
Appellee Lawyer(s) Appellee Law Firm(s)
Jill Helfman Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP

 

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Click the maroon box above for a formatted PDF of the decision.
betty w. liu, et al. jurisdiction to new jersey. judgment affirmed. jersey as a more convenient forum, and others favored ohio as more { 9} on march 30, 2010, the trial court denied liu's motion to declare circumstances." 25, 2010. the parties have stipulated that the court may denial of her first motion to declare ohio an inconvenient forum. on june the court finds there were reasonable grounds for this appeal. attorney for appellee opportunity to present objections to a magistrate's decision and to have the jersey. on april 13, 2010, liu filed motions for relief from judgment and for 623 w. st. clair avenue benjamin l. walter liu has not pointed to any evidence in the record to demonstrate that the that this issue could be litigated anywhere. ultimately, the trial court overrule the second assigned error. decision or report, thus civil rule 53 did not apply. accordingly, we { 20} civil rule 53 governs magistrates's decisions. it provides that { 22} here, given that the parties stipulated that the matter could be circumstances and that a court of another state is a more { 11} in the first assigned error, liu argues the trial court erred when her motion to declare the state of ohio an inconvenient forum and relinquish defendant-appellant in overruling her motion to declare future foreign travel with the children, specifically, the ability to travel without following the mandates of ohio civil rule 53." no. 95033 internationally with the twins without walter's prior consent or approval. { 2} having reviewed the record and pertinent law, we affirm the county of cuyahoga cleveland, ohio 44114 states with regard to child custody litigation. in re n.r., 7th dist. no. 09 { 19} in the second assigned error, liu argues the trial court violated motions for clarification and for modification of the shared parenting plan. 200 public square, suite 2500 { 21} in the instant case, although liu contends she was denied the required to resolve the pending litigation, these are only two of eight can be litigated anywhere and thus do not require affirmed second motion to declare ohio an inconvenient forum and to relinquish { 17} here, given, the narrow question to be determined, specifically, to interpret the meaning of the shared parenting plan. ohio divorce decree in new jersey and for the children to travel to hong error. divorce. prior to the filing, liu and the twins moved to hong kong and without walter's prior consent or approval, the trial court correctly found connotes more than an error of law or judgment, it implies that the court's blakemore (1983), 5 ohio st.3d 217, 450 n.e.2d 1140. patricia ann blackmon, presiding judge verified complaint seeking to register the ohio final judgment of divorce in domestic relations court to declare ohio an inconvenient forum and to zachary (dob 07/21/2004), have spent a limited amount of new jersey family court, and for permission to take the minor children to civil rule 53 by deciding the issue without a magistrate's decision. "(3) the distance between the court in this state and the court of appeals of ohio the convenience issue. while we agree that the statute requires a trial court journal entry and opinion state; materials presented and the arguments made, without an { 3} appellee benjamin l. walter ("walter") and liu were married on convenient, the trial court acted within its discretion in weighing the factors. standards in addition to those which already exist in the has the power to interpret the agreement, any declaration however, the court does not have the power to set extensive evidence that might only be located in new parties to submit information and shall consider all matter to the magistrate with instructions, or hear the matter." arnold v. future foreign travel with their mother. in denying liu's request, the new pamela j. macadams september 14, 2002. on july 21, 2004, twin boys, dylan and zachary, were "(1) whether domestic violence has occurred and is likely kong for their mother's wedding. whether liu should have the ability to travel internationally with the twins (uccjea), codified in ohio in r.c. 3127.01 through r.c. 3127.53, was [cite as walter v. liu, 2011-ohio-933.] ohio an inconvenient forum and relinquish jurisdiction." eighth appellate district jersey court stated in pertinent part as follows: declare ohio an inconvenient forum. that statute reads, in pertinent part: remained there until august 2007. on april 23, 2008, the trial court issued facts and issues in the pending litigation." court in the state that would assume jurisdiction; be raised upon motion of a party, the court's own motion, "(8) the familiarity of the court of each state with the rule 27 of the rules of appellate procedure. bible, 5th dist. no. 03ca000034, 2004-ohio-4998. forum, a court of this state shall consider whether it is "(b) before determining whether it is an inconvenient new jersey, have adopted the uccjea. 2008-ohio-853, 883 n.e.2d 420, 20-21. over 40 states, including ohio and attitude is unreasonable, arbitrary or unconscionable." blakemore v. "(2) the length of time the child has resided outside this the child; morganstern, macadams & devito co., lpa "i. the trial court erred to the prejudice of { 15} in denying liu's motion, the trial court stated in pertinent part further, liu sought commencement of mediation in new jersey and also relevant factors, including the following: violation of n.j.s.a. 2a:34-67. moreover, while the court new jersey. attorneys for appellant modify the magistrate's decision, hear additional evidence, recommit the chapter to make a child custody determination may convenient forum. the issue of inconvenient forum may judgment: ma 85, 2010-ohio-753. the intent of the uccjea was to ensure that a defendants-appellants pending custody proceeding. rosen v. celebrezze, 117 ohio st.3d 241, "(5) any agreement of the parties as to which state should before: blackmon, p.j., stewart, j., and jones, j. resolve the pending litigation, including the testimony of to continue in the future and which state could best { 16} liu largely argues that the children's residence is dispositive of determines that it is an inconvenient forum under the court in another state was already exercising jurisdiction over the child in a statement of reasons, january 21, 2010. states in pertinent part as follows: inconvenient forum decided without an evidentiary hearing, there was no need for a magistrate's mediation provision and ordered liu and walter to submit to mediation on defendant-appellant in overruling her motion to declare jersey where the minor children currently reside. reviewed upon an abuse of discretion standard. in the matter of d.h., with this court and have recently litigated several matters plaintiff-appellee the record that the trial court considered all of the factors listed in r.c. case no. d-312555 cuyahoga county court of common pleas to consider the child's home state, as well as the location of any evidence it denied her motion to declare ohio an inconvenient forum and relinquish patricia ann blackmon, p.j.: appropriate for a court of another state to exercise { 8} on january 25, 2010, liu filed a motion in cuyahoga county judgment into execution. it is ordered that a special mandate be sent to said court to carry this taft, stettinius & hollister llp as follows: cuyahoga app. no. 89219, 2007-ohio-4069; see, also, bowen v. britton "(7) the ability of the court of each state to decide the { 13} the uniform child custody jurisdiction and enforcement act plan awarded primary residential custody to liu, who, by then, was living in "the court recognizes that the minor children, dylan and protect the parties and the child; "this matter came before the court upon defendant's jurisdiction to the state of new jersey. liu assigns the following errors for { 12} the trial court's decision whether to exercise jurisdiction is in this state. the current parenting issues are such that civil appeal from the be a modification of the shared parenting plan, which is a "(a) a court of this state that has jurisdiction under this jurisdiction. for this purpose, the court shall allow the drafted to avoid jurisdictional conflicts and competition between different or at the request of another court. ohio an inconvenient forum and to relinquish jurisdiction to the state of new impermissible advisory opinion." present the evidence; 23, 2010, the trial court dismissed, without prejudice, walter's motion for attorney fees. "(6) the nature and location of the evidence required to evidentiary hearing." journal entry, march 30, 2010. lynn b. schwartz { 5} in addition, liu sought a determination of the standards for determined that retaining jurisdiction did not pose an inconvenience. "* * * the court finds that it has the power to enforce and time in the state of ohio, but the parties have a history considerations given equal weight pursuant to the statute. it is clear from additionally, there is a disparity in the parties' financial { 1} appellant betty w. liu ("liu") appeals the trial court's denial of application to set standards and requirements relative to the children's record indicates that pursuant to stipulations by the parties, the matter was melody j. stewart, j., and motion to declare ohio an inconvenient forum and to { 10} on april 27, 2010, liu filed a notice of appeal of the trial court's born as issue to the marriage. on september 20, 2006, walter filed for decline to exercise its jurisdiction at any time if it cleveland, ohio 44113 our review: "ii. the trial court erred to the prejudice of trial court's decision. the apposite facts follow. court make an independent review, we see no violation of civil rule 53. the { 18} while it is true that certain enumerated factors favored new hong kong for her wedding. walter consented to the registration of the ohio an inconvenient forum and to relinquish jurisdiction journal entry, march 30, 2010. trial court's decision to retain jurisdiction over this case is arbitrary, a certified copy of this entry shall constitute the mandate pursuant to vs. 3127.21, but afforded greater weight to its own familiarity with the case. a judgment entry of divorce that included a shared parenting plan. the (1993), 84 ohio app.3d 473, 616 n.e.2d 1217. "the term `abuse of discretion' { 7} the new jersey court found that it had the power to enforce the "(4) the relative financial circumstances of the parties; relinquish jurisdiction to new jersey. on march 1, 2010, walter filed { 6} on january 21, 2010, the new jersey court denied liu's it is ordered that appellee recover from appellants costs herein taxed. issue expeditiously and the procedures necessary to { 14} in the instant case, liu contends that the trial court ignored the clarification and modification of the shared parenting plan. of a future interpretation of the agreement would be an assume jurisdiction; considered without an evidentiary hearing. the trial court's journal entry state court would not exercise jurisdiction over a child custody proceeding if a reach a decision in this matter on the basis of the the issue of the children's future foreign travel. larry a. jones, j., concur jurisdiction to the state of new jersey. "* * * the court shall rule on any objections. the court may adopt, reject, or reconsideration of the trial court's decision. on the same date, liu filed a { 4} on october 4, 2009, liu filed an order to show cause and a relinquish jurisdiction # 293824, that was filed january statutory factors set forth in r.c. 3127.21 when it denied her motion to released and journalized: march 3, 2011 parties' shared parenting plan. setting standards would jill friedman helfman unreasonable, or unconscionable. accordingly, we overrule the first assigned domestic relations division civil rule 53 violation


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