from the Circuit Court of Du Page County. No. 14-F-171
Honorable Linda E. Davenport, Judge, Presiding.
JUSTICE delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion.
Justices Schostok and Birkett concurred in the judgment and
1 Petitioner, William B., filed a parentage petition in Du
Page County to establish a parent-child relationship with the
minor, W.J.B., pursuant to the Illinois Parentage Act of 1984
(750 ILCS 45/1 et seq. (West 2012)). Respondent,
Rachel H., filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to section
2-619.1 of the Code of Civil Procedure (735 ILCS 5/2-619.1
(West 2012)), alleging lack of both personal and
subject-matter jurisdiction. The trial court found that it
had jurisdiction over respondent and entered a preliminary
injunction preventing respondent from removing the minor from
the State of Illinois. Respondent filed a petition for leave
to appeal, pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 306(a)(5) (eff.
Feb. 26, 2010), which we granted. The sole issue raised on
appeal is whether the trial court erred in finding that it
had personal jurisdiction over respondent. We affirm.
2 I. BACKGROUND
3 The parties are the natural parents of the minor, who was
born on April 25, 2011. The parties are not married.
Petitioner is a resident of Illinois. On February 28, 2014,
petitioner filed a petition to establish parentage.
4 Respondent filed a motion to dismiss the petition on March
25, 2014, for lack of personal and subject-matter
jurisdiction, alleging the following. Respondent is a
resident of North Carolina, and the minor resided there with
her. Respondent underwent emergency surgery due to massive
internal bleeding, and on October 5, 2013, the minor's
paternal grandparents, who reside in Illinois, took the minor
to Illinois to allow respondent time to rest and recover
after her surgery. They agreed to allow the minor to stay
with them only on a temporary basis while she recovered.
Respondent made arrangements to pick up the minor from the
grandparents in December 2013; however, she agreed to extend
his time there on a temporary basis to allow petitioner to
visit with the minor while he was in Illinois for the
Christmas holiday. Petitioner had been stationed in
California due to his employment in the United States
military. Respondent attempted to make arrangements to pick
up the minor in February 2014, but the grandparents would not
respond to her communications. Respondent finally picked up
the minor on March 15, 2014.
5 On March 28, 2014, petitioner filed an emergency motion for
a temporary injunction and for an order to return the minor
6 On April 1, 2014, the trial court held an evidentiary
hearing on respondent's motion to dismiss and on
petitioner's motion for emergency relief. At the hearing,
respondent testified that she had "significant
surgery" at the end of September 2013. She spoke to
petitioner on the phone about it, and he said that he would
call his mother. The minor still lived with respondent until
his grandmother and aunt flew out to North Carolina in
October 2013 to pick up the minor and bring him to Illinois
while respondent recovered from the surgery. When they
discussed the minor's care, respondent told them that the
minor would go out to visit with them for the time being but
that he would be coming back. "They were helping me so
that I had time to recover from the surgery that I had,
because there would be bleeding for a long period of time,
and that was our agreement, is that [the minor] would go to
visit and he would come back." Respondent further
testified that she wanted to pick up the minor after
Christmas 2013, so that petitioner could visit him in
Illinois while he was on furlough for the Christmas holiday.
However, she did not pick up the minor after the Christmas
holiday, because she was told that the weather was too bad
and "there was too much snow."
7 On cross-examination, respondent testified that the minor
resided with his grandparents from October 5, 2013, through
March 15, 2014. During that time, respondent did not visit
the minor at all. The surgery was performed on an outpatient
basis at the end of September and she was given three days
off from work following the surgery.
8 Respondent stated that she was served with the parentage
petition on March 13, 2014, and drove the following day to
Illinois to pick up the minor. Respondent had a valid
driver's license and an operational vehicle while the
minor was in Illinois. Respondent further testified that,
although her fiancé lived with her after her surgery,
she chose to have the grandparents care for the minor.
9 Following respondent's testimony, petitioner requested
a directed finding. Petitioner argued that, based on
respondent's own testimony, this was more than just a
visit; there was no timetable, and the pickup occurred only
after she had been served on March 13. Respondent argued that
the minor was here because, "by coming out to pick him
up, [the grandparents] offered to watch him after
[respondent's] surgery. There was certainly nothing that
[respondent] has testified to that was a definitive act on
her behalf to bring the child out to Illinois during that
time in question."
10 In granting the directed finding, the trial court noted
that section 201 of the Illinois Uniform Interstate Family
Support Act (the Act) (750 ILCS 22/201 (West 2012)) provides
the bases for jurisdiction over a nonresident when a
parentage action is brought. The court pointed to section
201(a)(5) of the Act (750 ILCS 22/201(a)(5) (West 2012)),
which applies if the child resides in this state as a result
of the acts or directives of the nonresident.
11 In applying section 201(a)(5), the court noted that
respondent testified that, in the summer of 2013, she drove
to Ohio to meet the paternal grandparents part way so that
they could bring the minor to Illinois. "Thereafter,
[respondent] entered into an agreement, allegedly, with the
natural father and the paternal grandparents to have the
child placed here in Illinois. Under her testimony, it was
for a visit, a five and a half plus month visit. When
[respondent] had a couple days off work for the surgery, she
apparently could have come, she had a functioning car, [and]
she did not." The court further stated: "When
[respondent's] position in her testimony was that there
was no reason for [respondent] to [pick up the minor] when
[she] thought [petitioner] was going to be home after
Christmas, that's from October 5th through December 25th.
That means in January and in February, and then for the first
two weeks of March, [respondent] still did not come. She took
no steps to try to retrieve the child, at all, that I heard
testimony of today. So I believe under section [201(a)(5)]