Final Examination, Spring 2007
|1.||Carefully analyze the facts and grasp the issues in each question before beginning to write. Spend time reading the question slowly and carefully.|
|2.||State the issues and answers to each question concisely. Lengthy answers are not necessary.|
|3.||Do not repeat questions in your answers. Write neatly and legibly on only one side of each page.|
|4.||Number your answers to correspond with the question, e.g., "II-A."|
|5.||If you feel it necessary to assume additional facts in any of the questions, give the facts that must be added and state why.|
|6.||Do not write in the margin of the book.|
|7.||All major questions are equally weighted unless otherwise indicated. Subparts are approximately equal but may be weighted slightly differently according to the number of issues involved in that subpart.|
|8.||Write your personal identification number and the name and section number of the course on which you are being examined on the cover of each examination book.|
|9.||If you use more than one book, indicate "Book One," "Book Two" and so forth on the cover of each book and write your PIN and the name and section number of the course on the cover of each examination book.|
|10.||A GOOD ANSWER IS NOT NECESSARILY A LONG ANSWER.|
Assume Ann Nicci Smithers had sex in California both with a photographer named Lenny Burkhalter and with her lawyer, Harold K. Strum. A pregnancy resulted.
Several months later, but before birth of the child, Lenny filed a paternity suit against Ann in the Superior Court in and for the County of Los Angeles seeking to establish his paternity and seeking custody of the unborn child.
Ann and Harold subsequently moved to the Bahamas, where she gave birth to the child, Danielle. Harold signed the birth certificate, which under Bahamian law makes him presumptively the father. Ann then promptly died.
Harold filed for custody in the Bahamas, and Lenny intervened in the Bahamian action. Assume the Supreme Court of the Bahamas (a trial court of general jurisdiction) awarded custody to Harold. Assume Bahamian law gives priority to the person who signed the birth certificate over the actual, natural father.
Assume further that the Superior Court in and for the County of Los Angeles now decides the case filed there and determines Lenny to be the father, awarding custody to him.
Assume Harold files suit for defamation against a Fox News commentator in the United States District Court at West Palm Beach, Florida. Harold comes to Florida to appear in these proceedings, bringing Danielle with him.
While Harold and Danielle are temporarily in Florida, Lenny files suit against Harold in the Family Division of the Circuit Court in and for Palm Beach County, Florida, seeking registration of the California judgment and an ex parte order directing the sheriff or any Florida law enforcement officer to seize the child and turn her over to Lenny.
Harold counterclaims, invoking the Bahamian custody decree and asking that it be enforced in Florida.
You are law clerk to the chief judge of the Family Division of the Circuit Court in and for Palm Beach County. Your judge asks you to prepare a memorandum discussing the case and recommending a decision.
In making your decision, your research reveals the following (in addition to what you already learned back in law school):
California Family Code § 4905 provides:
|In a proceeding to establish, enforce, or modify a support order or to determine parentage, a tribunal of this state may exercise personal jurisdiction over a nonresident individual or the individual's guardian or conservator if any of the following apply:|
|(1)||The individual is personally served with notice within this state.|
|(2)||The individual submits to the jurisdiction of this state by consent, by entering a general appearance, or by filing a responsive document having the effect of waiving any contest to personal jurisdiction.”|
|(3)||The individual resided with the child in this state.|
|(4)||The individual resided in this state and provided prenatal expenses or support for the child.|
|(5)||The child resides in this state as a result of the acts or directives of the individual.|
|(6)||The individual engaged in sexual intercourse in this state and the child may have been conceived by that act of intercourse.|
|(7)||The individual has filed a declaration of paternity pursuant to Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 7570) of Part 2 of Division 12.|
|(8)||There is any other basis consistent with the constitutions of this state and the United States for the exercise of personal jurisdiction.|
In the case of Gadbois v. Superior Court, 126 Cal. App. 3d 653; 179 Cal. Rptr. 19 (1981), the California Court of Appeals implicitly held that custody may be determined in a paternity action.
Please prepare your memorandum for your judge, discussing all issues fully.
Please answer the following:
|II-C.||Explain “mutuality of estoppel.”|
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