In re Z.H. (Signed Opinion)Annotate this Case
The Supreme Court vacated the final order of the circuit court terminating Mother's rights to her infant son in an abuse and neglect proceeding, holding that the circuit court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over this case pursuant to the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act.
The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) filed an abuse and neglect petition alleging that the child was abused and/or neglected. The petition stated that Mother and the child were residents of Tazewell County, Virginia but that the circuit court had jurisdiction because West Virginia was the home state of the child at the commencement of this proceeding. When DHHR was granted emergency legal custody of the child, Mother returned home to Virginia. The circuit court adjudicated Mother as an abusing parent and subsequently terminated her rights. The Supreme Court vacated the circuit court's judgment, holding that the circuit court did not have subject matter jurisdiction in this proceeding.