In re: C.C. v. L.J.
AL Supreme Court 9/30/14: via www.justia.com
The Supreme Court granted certiorari review to address whether a juvenile court may exercise jurisdiction over a termination-of-parental-rights claim when the grounds for the termination did not involve a child alleged “to have committed a delinquent act, to be dependent, or to be in need of supervision.” The Court held that a juvenile court may exercise jurisdiction under 12-15-114 over a termination-of-parental-rights claim when the subject of the termination was not a child alleged “to have committed a delinquent act, to be dependent, or to be in need of supervision.” “[T]he legislature clearly expressed its intent in its 2014 amendments that under the 2008 AJJA the juvenile court have exclusive original jurisdiction over all termination-of-parental-rights proceedings. For this case, the Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the Court of Civil Appeals and remanded this case for that court to consider any arguments that may have been pretermitted by the Court of Civil Appeals’ analysis.
This is important since in 2013, case law stated that in order for the juvenile court to have jurisdiction over termination-of-parental rights claims, the child had to have “committed a delinquent act, to be dependent, or in need of supervision”. Now, the Supreme Court is saying this is not the case, under the 2014 AJJA amendments. This means that all cases that were moved based on the 2013 case law are in the incorrect court. This created a frenzy in 2013, and further creates a frenzy, now! It is important for jurisdictional purposes, and, in some counties, will affect which Judge handles the case.