R.L.H., In Interest of, 96CA1629

Docket NºNo. 96CA1629
Citation942 P.2d 1386
Case DateJuly 24, 1997
CourtCourt of Appeals of Colorado

Page 1386

942 P.2d 1386
97 CJ C.A.R. 1209
The People of the State of Colorado, Upon the Petition of
the Arapahoe County District Attorney, Family Support
Division as Delegate Child Support Enforcement Unit on
behalf of the minor child, Petitioner-Appellant.
In the Interest of R.L.H, a Child,
and Concerning R.W.J., Respondent-Appellee.
No. 96CA1629.
Colorado Court of Appeals,
Div. II.
July 24, 1997.

Page 1387

James J. Peters, District Attorney, Lisa Z. Koch, Deputy District Attorney, Englewood, for Petitioner-Appellant.

No Appearance for Respondent-Appellee.

Opinion by Judge DAVIDSON.

The issue presented in this case is whether, in proceedings brought under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, § 14-5-101, et seq., C.R.S. (1996 Cum.Supp.) (UIFSA), the trial court has subject matter jurisdiction to enter orders concerning parenting time. We conclude that it does not and, therefore, reverse.

This case was originally initiated in the state of Nevada under the Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act (URESA, amended in 1968 by the Revised Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement Support Act (RURESA)), to obtain support payable to L.L.H. (mother) on behalf of the minor child, R.L.H. In 1993, the General Assembly adopted UIFSA, which, effective January 1, 1995, superseded RURESA. Pursuant to UIFSA, a petition was filed in Colorado, as the responding state, to determine parentage, child support, and arrearages.

At the hearing to establish support, after an initial dispute concerning parentage, the parties stipulated that respondent, R.W.J., was the father of the child for whom support was sought and an amount of support was ordered.

During the proceedings, however, father requested an order concerning parenting time. Over the People's objection that the issue was beyond the permissible scope of a UIFSA proceeding, the trial court concluded that it had jurisdiction to grant the request. In so concluding, the trial court reasoned that, because a parentage determination pursuant to UIFSA requires "application" of the Uniform Parentage Act (UPA), § 19-4-101, et seq., C.R.S. (1996 Cum.Supp.), a provision of the UPA, § 19-4- 111(4), C.R.S. (1996 Cum.Supp.), allowed it to enter temporary orders for parenting time. Accordingly, the court granted father regular weekly telephone visitations with the child as well as reasonable and liberal visitation and shared transportation costs.

On appeal, the People argue that, contrary to the trial court's construction of the statute, the reference to the UPA in the Colorado UIFSA simply establishes a method to determine parentage. Thus, the People assert, the trial court erred in concluding that it had jurisdiction to enter orders granting father parenting time. We agree and hold that, as the responding tribunal in a proceeding brought pursuant to UIFSA, the trial court's subject matter jurisdiction does not extend to the determination of parenting time.

Page 1388

The Colorado UIFSA provision relied upon by the trial court, § 14-5-701(b), C.R.S. (1996 Cum.Supp.), provides, in pertinent part:

In a proceeding to determine parentage, a responding tribunal of this state shall apply the 'Uniform Parentage Act' and the rules of this state on choice of law. (emphasis added)

This provision is identical to the equivalent section of the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (Uniform Act), 9 Uniform Laws Annot. § 701(b) (1997 Supp.).

In construing a statute, a court is to give effect to the intent of the General Assembly. In determining this intent the history of the statute is often helpful. People in Interest of L.B., 29 Colo.App. 101, 482 P.2d 1010 (1970), aff'd, 179 Colo. 11, 498 P.2d 1157 (1972). To discern legislative intent, it is fundamental that the whole of the act must be read and considered in context. Humana, Inc. v. Board of Adjustment, 189 Colo. 79, 537 P.2d 741 (1975). And, statutes concerning the same subject matter should be read together in determining legislative intent. People in Interest of M.E.W.F., 42 Colo.App. 495, 600 P.2d 108 (1979).

Furthermore, because the statute here has been adopted from a uniform law, it should be construed to bring uniformity to the law in the various states. See § 14-5-901, C.R.S. (1996 Cum.Supp.) ("This article shall be applied and construed to effectuate its general purpose to make uniform the law...

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    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • January 21, 2003
    ...some benefit to a consistent interpretation of the same statutory language from one jurisdiction to the next. See In Interest of R.L.H., 942 P.2d 1386 (Colo.App.1997) (holding that Colorado statute, which was adopted from a uniform law, should be construed in conformity with other state's b......
  • Laurienti v. Bicha, Civil Action No. 14-cv-02592-NYW
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. United States District Court of Colorado
    • February 9, 2016
    ...enforcement of child support." In re Marriage of Zinke, 967 P.2d 210, 212 (Colo. App. 1998) (citing People in Interest of R.L.H., 942 P.2d 1386 (Colo. App. 1997)). Colorado and Georgia have each codified the UIFSA. See Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 14-5-101, et seq.; Ga. Code Ann. §§ 19-11-100 et seq......
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    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals of Colorado
    • October 29, 2020
    ...law, it should be construed to bring uniformity to the law in the various states that adopt it. See 477 P.3d 797 In Interest of R.L.H. , 942 P.2d 1386, 1388 (Colo. App. 1997). Indeed, in the UCCJEA, our legislature has explicitly directed courts to consider "the need to promote uniformity o......
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    • Colorado Court of Appeals of Colorado
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