Saturday, October 27, 2007

Paternity: Indiana law on where to file a case

Two rules determine where to file a paternity case in Indiana. We call the first rule jurisdiction. Jurisdiction determines if a court has the power to hear a particular case (subject matter jurisdiction) and the law gives to juvenile courts of each county jurisdiction over paternity cases.

Venue determines what county. Indiana Code 31-14-3-2 sets out the law for determining what specific county.

Venue lies in the county in which the child, the mother, or the alleged father resides.
All three may live in the same county or all three may live in three different counties. If the three live in different counties, then the question of what county depends on who gets to what courthouse first.

Next time, the subject will be who can file.

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