Chalmers v. Burrough (Kansas 2021)

2021 Kan. LEXIS 96 (2021), rev’g 472 P.3d 586 (2020)
August 2021

A parent’s failure to comply with the registration procedure for UIFSA doesn’t deprive a district court of general subject matter jurisdiction over support orders. The father filed to register and modify a Florida support order in Kansas but failed to attach a copy of the original order, as required by statute. The court temporarily modified support. The mother filed to dismiss the action based on the father’s failure to comply with the registration procedure, arguing the court was without jurisdiction over the order. The father filed for permission to amend his pleading. The district court granted the mother’s motion to dismiss the case. Because it found it had no jurisdiction, the court didn’t rule on the father’s request to amend his pleading or on the mother’s motion to set aside the temporary order. The appellate court affirmed the decision. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded. The Court found the language of UIFSA, as set out in Kansas statute, doesn’t limit a court’s general jurisdiction or condition jurisdiction on proper registration. A parent’s failure to comply with the registration process doesn’t mean a court is completely without jurisdiction. The Supreme Court remanded with instructions to consider two outstanding motions.