Rule 1915.2. Venue.
(a) An action may be brought in any county
(1) (i) which is the home county of the child at the time of commencement of the proceeding, or
(ii) which had been the childs home county within six months before commencement of the proceeding and the child is absent from the county but a parent or person acting as parent continues to live in the county; or
(2) when the court of another county does not have venue under subdivision (1), and the child and the childs parents, or the child and at least one parent or a person acting as a parent, have a significant connection with the county other than mere physical presence and there is available within the county substantial evidence concerning the childs protection, training and personal relationships; or
(3) when all counties in which venue is proper pursuant to subdivisions (1) and (2) have found that the court before which the action is pending is the more appropriate forum to determine the custody of the child; or
(4) when it appears that venue would not be proper in any other county under prerequisites substantially in accordance with paragraph (1), (2) or (3); or
(5) when the child is present in the county and has been abandoned or it is necessary in an emergency to protect the child because the child or a sibling or parent of the child is subjected to or threatened with mistreatment or abuse.
(b) Physical presence of the child or a party, while desirable, is not necessary or sufficient to make a child custody determination except as provided in subdivision (a)(5) above.
(c) The court at any time may transfer an action to the appropriate court of any other county where the action could originally have been brought or could be brought if it determines that it is an inconvenient forum under the circumstances and the court of another county is the more appropriate forum. It shall be the duty of the prothonotary of the court in which the action is pending to forward to the prothonotary of the county to which the action is transferred certified copies of the docket entries, process, pleadings and other papers filed in the action. The costs and fees of the petition for transfer and the removal of the record shall be paid by the petitioner in the first instance to be taxable as costs in the case.
Under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, 23 Pa.C.S.A. § 5401 et seq., the court may decline to exercise its jurisdiction in a particular action despite the action having been brought in a county of proper venue. Section 5426 of the act, relating to simultaneous proceedings in other courts, provides for the mandatory refusal by the court to exercise its jurisdiction in an action. Section 5427 of the act, relating to inconvenient forum, and § 5428 of the act, relating to jurisdiction declined by reason of conduct, provide for the discretionary refusal by the court to exercise its jurisdiction.
Subdivision (a) of Rule 1915.2 incorporates the categories of jurisdiction for initial custody determinations and temporary emergency proceedings in the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act at 23 Pa.C.S.A. § § 5421 and 5424 as the venue provisions for these rules, restating them in rule form without change in substance. Subdivision (a) follows the policy of § 5471 of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, which provides that the provisions of the act allocating jurisdiction and functions between and among courts of different states shall also allocate jurisdiction and functions between and among courts of common pleas of this Commonwealth.
Subdivision (b), relating to the effect of the physical presence of the child or a party within a county, follows § 5421(c) without substantial change.
Subdivision (c) follows the inconvenient forum provisions of 23 Pa.C.S.A. § 5427.
The provisions of this Rule 1915.2 amended March 30, 1994, effective July 1, 1994, 24 Pa.B. 1943; amended November 19, 2008, effective immediately, 38 Pa.B. 6596. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (285551) to (285552).
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