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The Court of Appeals held that the trial court erred by granting the defendant-putative father's motion to set aside a default judgment establishing his paternity of the plaintiff-mother's child on the ground that it lacked subject-matter jurisdictio

Plaintiff filed a paternity action claiming defendant was the father of her child. He was eventually served, but claimed the trial court lacked jurisdiction. The trial court disagreed and ordered a paternity test. When he failed to comply, it entered a default judgment. However, it later granted his motion to set the default aside on the ground that it lacked subject-matter jurisdiction as plaintiff conceded that she and the child "lived in North Carolina most of the time." On appeal, the court agreed with plaintiff that the trial court erred by holding it lacked subject-matter jurisdiction. It noted that in Morrison it held that MCL 722.714(1) does "not 'provide a jurisdiction-stripping consequence for misfiled complaints.'" Further, in Teran, it held that "'the Paternity Act patently grants the circuit court subject-matter to determine the paternity of a child born out of wedlock and to order child support.'" The court next rejected defendant's argument on cross-appeal that "plaintiff's action was effectively a 'child-custody proceeding' under the UCCJEA, and" thus, she could only file the complaint in the child's home state of North Carolina. It noted that "legal custody, physical custody, and parenting time were never issues in the proceeding, so MCL 722.1102(d)" did "not apply to strip the trial court of jurisdiction." The trial court "never issued an order regarding custody or parenting time. Instead, the court only entered orders pertaining to child support and paternity, without determining legal custody, physical custody, or parenting time." Finally, the court rejected his alternative argument on cross-appeal that even if the trial court had subject-matter jurisdiction, it could have granted the motion to set aside the default for numerous alternative reasons, noting "he failed to identify how the case law and court rules applied to the facts of this case." Reversed and remanded. 

Basic responsibilities of an executor

Originally posted on 01/11/2017 The emotional toils of dealing with the death of a loved one can be considerably difficult. Nevertheless, perseverance is paramount; especially if you are appointed to be an executor to one’s...

What you need to compliment your will

Originally posted on 02/08/2017 Making end-of-life plans usually end with a will, but they shouldn't. Some believe that simply having a will is enough. However, this post will briefly explain how having other estate planning...

The benefits of home health care providers

Originally posted on 03/22/2017 As we get older or suffer an injury, we need a little extra help. Home health care providers or caregivers can provide the assistance needed to handle your or your loved one's health and safety...

What to know about bail conditions

Originally posted on 03/06/2017 If you have been arrested and are being held on the suspicion that you have committed a particular crime, chances are that the only thing you are thinking about is getting out of jail as soon as possible and...

College students and estate planning

Originally posted on 12/16/2016 With college semesters starting up in Michigan, it may not be so easy to get college students to think responsibly. This time can be especially tough with the need of moving back to school and getting...

Three reasons to put a power of attorney in place

Originally posted on 11/08/2016 While no one wants to think of the unfortunate possibility of being incapacitated or of a time when we can't handle our own affairs, this circumstance is a real possibility. If something happens and this...

How to approach parents about estate planning

Originally posted on 12/09/2016 Family forms a strong foundation for many people's first and most intimate community. It is important to strengthen these first relationships so even uncommon questions become natural. For those...

PROBATE 44: Petition for Mental Health Treatment

Michigan’s Mental Health Code governs the civil admission and discharge procedures for a person with a mental illness. Specifically, MCL 330.1434 sets forth the procedure and content requirements for a petition for mental health treatment.

Should you get your criminal record expunged?

Originally posted on 04/12/2017 If you have been convicted of a crime, have served your sentence, and have followed all court recommendations, you should be able to put your past behind you and move on with life. Moving forward is critical...

Choosing the right executor for an estate

Originally posted on 05/28/2017 When people are thinking about planning their estate, they often think about trying to minimize the estate tax, keeping their will updated, and keeping items out of probate court; however, there is another...

Understanding how the Miranda warning works

Originally posted on 11/25/2016 Michigan residents who have seen television police shows or movies involving law enforcement have no doubt watched many dramatic scenes with officers quoting something to the effect of, "You have the...

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