Final Examination, Spring 2002
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., "III-B."
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.
Five years following your graduation from Southern University Law Center, you run for and are elected judge of the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans. Imagine you are now, today, 8 May 2002, a judge of that court.
A case is presented to you, and you learn the following facts:
1. Louise Legrand, born and raised in Point Couteau Parish, Louisiana, married Terrence Tolliver in New Orleans in 1992. Immediately following the marriage, the parties moved to San Antonio, Texas. They bought a home. Terrence took a job at the Bank of San Antonio, where he is now a junior vice president. Louise worked as a dental assistant until she became pregnant. Two children were born of the marriage: Adam, now age 6, and Brenda, now age 4. 2. Louise and Terrence began having marital difficulties. On 15 March 2002, Louise took the children and moved back to Louisiana. On 20 March 2002, she filed suit for divorce in the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans, asking for a divorce in 180 days. She also is asking for temporary and permanent custody of the children. The petition and citation were served on Terrence in Texas on 22 March 2002 under Louisiana's longarm statute. Terrence has not previously appeared in the action and no action has been taken by the court. 3. On 22 March 2002, Terrence filed suit for divorce in the 395th Judicial District Court for the County of Bexar, State of Texas, asking for temporary and permanent custody of the children. The petition, citation and an ex parte order granting Terrence "the temporary managing conservatorship (custody) of the children pendente lite" were served on Louise in Louisiana. Louise has not appeared in the Texas action.
Terrence has retained New Orleans counsel. His attorney today, 8 May 2002, presents you with a copy of the Texas order for temporary custody, duly certified and exemplified under Acts of Congress, 28 U.S. Code § 1738, wherein the clerk attests that the same is a true copy, the judge attests that the clerk is indeed the clerk and that the attestation is in proper form, and the clerk attests that the judge signing the certificate is indeed a judge of the 395th Judicial District Court for the County of Bexar. Terrence's Louisiana attorney asks you to sign an order granting the temporary custody determination full faith and credit pendente lite.
Please answer briefly, succinctly and accurately the following questions and only the following questions:
A. Is the Texas temporary custody order entitled to full faith and credit in Louisiana under 28 U.S. Code § 1738A (the Federal Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act of 1980)? Why or why not? B. Where does jurisdiction lie to determine the custody of the children? Why? C. Where does jurisdiction lie to dissolve the marriage? Why? D. Where does jurisdiction lie to determine alimony and child support? Why?
Carla Wiser and Bubba Smith graduated from college at McNeese State University in Lake Charles in June of 1995. Carla was pregnant with Bubba's child, and little Trover was born a few days after graduation, on 12 June 1995. "Let's have a June wedding," they chimed, and it thus came to pass that the couple were wed on 28 June 1995 in Krotz Springs, Louisiana.
Carla received an offer of employment from the accounting firm Arthur Andersen's office in Houston, Texas, and the couple moved there. The years 1995, 1996, 1997 and 1998 went well, and the couple enjoyed great prosperity - Carla as an accountant made good money working on the Enron accounts, and Bubba worked as a bookkeeper in a hotel. But by the end of the year Bubba noticed that Carla was coming home from work later and later each night, often reeking of alcohol. Unpaid bills began piling up.
Bubba learned that Carla was only rarely reporting to work and her performance was slipping because she would spend each afternoon at a local bar. When both cars were repossessed and the home foreclosed upon, Bubba had had all he could take. He filed for divorce in the Family Court of Harris County, Texas. Carla, by this time unemployed and living in a seedy motel that rents rooms by the month, allowed Bubba to have Trover. The divorce decree was entered on April 27, 1999.
The day the divorce was granted, Bubba moved back to Louisiana, renting an apartment on Coursey Boulevard and taking a job as a night auditor for the Holiday Inn (the person who works late into the night to make sure each guest's bill is ready for morning). Because of the miracle of computerization, Bubba is usually able to get home by 10:30 p.m. He does not have to report to work until 2:00 p.m. the next day. This means Bubba most often is able to drive Trover to school in the morning.
It is now 8 May 2002, and in the last year more events have transpired: At the end of the school day, Trover, now almost age 7, takes the school bus to the home of Millicent Pritchard. The elderly Mrs. Pritchard receives Trover into her apartment each day after school, feeds him a basic meal, sees that he does his homework, and allows him to sleep on the sofa until Trover's father, Bubba, picks him up on the way home from the Holiday Inn at about 10:30 pm.
During this past year, back in Texas, Carla Wiser finally wised up. After having lost her marriage, her family, her house, her cars and her job, she finally got a grip on things and, with help from Alcoholics Anonymous, resolved never to drink again. She has kept that promise. She even got a job at the prestigious accounting firm of Deloitte & Touche, and because of her specialized knowledge in securities regulation is making $135,000 a year. Carla now drives a Mercedes and has bought a more-than-adequate house in the suburb of Clear Lake, Texas.
A. Carla wants custody. Where can she file, and why? Discuss. B. What factors will the court look at to determine if Carla should now have custody? If more information would be helpful to answer this question, state exactly what additional information you would require. Discuss.
You have now graduated from Southern University Law Center with a Juris Doctor degree, passed the Louisiana bar exam on first try, and gone into practice sharing offices with two other Southern graduates here in Baton Rouge.
The Baton Rouge chapter of Parents Without Partners, a national organization of divorced persons, has accepted your offer to attend their annual summer meeting and barbecue, to say a few words on family law and answer any questions from the audience. Anxious to network among potential family law clients, you gladly go.
After you deliver your brilliant talk, the following questions are asked from the audience. Answer them, and discuss each item fully.
A. What is an antenuptial agreement, who can make one, how do you make one, and what can it do? B. What is the difference between a 102 divorce and a 103 divorce?
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