Selected State Statutes: Maryland

Statutes: Maryland

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§ 9.5-208. Jurisdiction declined by reason of conduct

When court may decline jurisdiction

(a) Except as otherwise provided in § 9.5-204 of this subtitle or by other law of this State, if a court of this State has jurisdiction under this title because a person seeking to invoke its jurisdiction has engaged in unjustifiable conduct, the court shall decline to exercise its jurisdiction unless:

(1) the parents and all persons acting as parents have acquiesced in the exercise of jurisdiction;
(2) a court of the state otherwise having jurisdiction under §§ 9.5-201 through 9.5-203 of this subtitle determines that this State is a more appropriate forum under § 9.5-207 of this subtitle; or
(3) no court of any other state would have jurisdiction under the criteria specified in §§ 9.5-201 through 9.5-203 of this subtitle.

Remedy to ensure safety of child

(b) If a court of this State declines to exercise its jurisdiction under subsection (a) of this section, it may fashion an appropriate remedy to ensure the safety of the child and prevent a repetition of the unjustifiable conduct, including staying the proceeding until a child custody proceeding is commenced in a court having jurisdiction under §§ 9.5-201 through 9.5-203 of this subtitle.

Assessments of expenses and fees

(c)(1) If a court dismisses a petition or stays a proceeding because it declines to exercise its jurisdiction under subsection (a) of this section, the court shall assess against the party seeking to invoke the court's jurisdiction necessary and reasonable expenses, including costs, communication expenses, attorney's fees, investigative fees, expenses for witnesses, travel expenses, and child care during the course of the proceedings, unless the party from whom fees are sought establishes that the assessment would be clearly inappropriate.

(2) The court may not assess fees, costs, or expenses against this State unless authorized by law other than this title.