Andrew V. v. Super. Ct.Annotate this Case
Petitioner Andrew V. (Father) filed a petition for writ of mandate / prohibition and a request for an immediate stay of respondent court’s “temporary” move-away order of January 14, 2015. Jessica V. (Mother) opposed the petition and stay request, and already had moved out-of-state with the minor children. Father and Mother were married in 2003 and have two children, a girl, born in December 2002, and a boy, born in November 2005. They permanently separated in 2006 and a judgment of dissolution was finalized in June 2008. The judgment of dissolution provided for Father and Mother to share joint legal and physical custody. In July 2014, Mother filed a request for an order allowing her to move away with the two minor children to the State of Washington due to a job transfer and promotion. Father opposed the move-away request. According to the transcript and minute order, the child custody investigator was not available to testify at the January 14, 2015 hearing. Respondent court recognized that Father’s counsel had a right to cross-examine the child custody investigator, and the court further acknowledged that Father’s counsel was physically unable to represent Father at the hearing because of counsel’s illness. As a result, respondent court continued the hearing on Mother’s move-away request until March 4, 2015. Despite this, respondent court issued a “temporary” move-away order allowing Mother to relocate with the minor children to the State of Washington based upon the written recommendations of the child custody investigator. The Court of Appeal concluded that the superior court erred in construing California law to allow for a "'temporary' move-away first and hearing later." The Father's request for a stay of the temporary move-away order was granted. The children were ordered to return to California; the superior court's order was vacated, and the case remanded for further proceedings.