Markle v. DassAnnotate this Case
Donald Markle appealed the grant of a writ of habeas corpus in this child custody case. While residing in Georgia in 2010, Katrina Dass gave birth to the minor child at the center of this controversy; Dass and Markle, the child’s father, were never married, and prior to 2016, Markle did not attempt to legitimate the child. Sometime after the child’s birth, Markle relocated to New Mexico. The child lived in Georgia with Dass from birth until January 2011; he then lived with both Markle and Dass in New Mexico until August 2012. Dass returned to Georgia, and the child lived in Georgia with her from August 2012 until July 2015, spending the summers of 2013 and 2014 in New Mexico with Markle. In July 2015, the child returned to New Mexico, and it is undisputed that between late July 2015 and Dass’s February 16, 2016 filing of her petition for a writ of habeas corpus, the child lived continuously in New Mexico with Markle, and that Dass did not live with them in New Mexico. In 2016, Markle filed a petition seeking to determine paternity, custody, and child support for the minor child in New Mexico, naming Dass as respondent. The New Mexico court entered a temporary order providing, inter alia, that the child not be removed from New Mexico without the written consent of the other party. Dass requested that Markle return the child to Georgia but Markle declined. Dass filed ia “Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus and EmergencyMotion for Return of Child” in Georgia. After a hearing, the superior court entered a writ of habeas corpus, finding that Georgia was the “home state” of the child within the meaning of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (“UCCJEA”), and ordering that the child be returned to Dass. The Georgia Supreme Court disagreed that Georgia was the child's home state, and vacated the grant of habeas relief to Dass. "Nothing precludes Dass from seeking such a ruling from the New Mexico court, and nothing indicates that, were a custody determination to be made by the New Mexico court, it would be unfair to her."