Mackley v. OpenshawAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court reversed the district court's judgment permitting Husband to rescind his voluntary denial of paternity of a child on the basis of mutual and unilateral mistake of fact and later granting Husband's petition declaring him to be the child's legal father, which ultimately resulted in the dismissal of Plaintiff's paternity petition, holding that the district court erred in allowing rescission of the denial.
During her marriage to Husband, Mother had a sexual relationship with Plaintiff and became pregnant. Before the child's birth, Plaintiff filed a paternity petition in the district court. After the child's birth, genetic testing established that the child was Plaintiff's biological daughter. Husband signed a voluntary denial of paternity renouncing his paternity of the child. Mother moved to dismiss Plaintiff's petition, arguing that he lacked standing under the Utah Uniform Parentage Act to challenge Husband's presumed paternity. Simultaneously, Husband petitioned the district court to declare him to be the child's legal father. The district court allowed rescission of the denial and granted Husband's petition for declaratory judgment. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that where the mistake was not a mistake of fact but, rather, a mistake regarding the legal consequences of signing the declaration and denial, Husband should not have been permitted to rescind the denial.