Petitioner was indicted in Ohio for the crime of non-support of a minor child. The Governor of Ohio issued an extradition warrant to the Governor of California, and petitioner sought his release through a habeas corpus action stating that prior to his arrest he had petitioned for and secured from the Superior Court of San Diego County an order requiring him contribute to the support of his wife and minor child in Ohio. He claimed this procedure as his right under Section 3115.04 of the Ohio statutes which is identical to the California law. Both Ohio and California have adopted the Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act. The pertinent language of that act is contained in Section 6 and reads: “Any obligor . . . who submits to the jurisdiction of the court of such other state and complies with the court’s order of support, shall be relieved of extradition for desertion or nonsupport entered in the courts of this state during the period of such compliance.”
Held: that the alleged fugitive obligor may not initiate proceedings in California, thereby voluntarily submitting to its jurisdiction, and upon compliance with its support order be relieved from extradition under the Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act.
The argument against allowing such proceedings as attempted by the petitioner in the instant case rests upon a construction of other sections in the act entitled “Part III.—Civil Enforcement.” Generally, these sections provide that the wife may institute an action for support against the husband in state A. State A then certifies the petition to state B where the husband is living. A hearing is held in state B and the husband is ordered by the court in state B to pay support. The court reasoned that because this procedure was set out, “the act contemplates two distinct courses of action in the enforcement of support duties: ( 1) extradition and (2) the initiation of civil proceedings in the demanding state, with the opportunity thereafter given to the obligor to submit to the subsequently assumed jurisdiction of the court in the responding state.” In the instant case a civil action of support had not been started by the wife against the petitioner in Ohio. The court interprets “obligor” as used in Section 6 to be the defendant in any support proceeding. Since a civil action had not been begun against the petitioner, he was not a defendant in any support action and could not escape extradition under Section 6. The Act, however, defines “obligor” much more broadly as “any person owing a duty of support.”
Lyman C. Johnson,
Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act—Extradition and Relief Therefrom,
34 Neb. L. Rev. 148
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nlr/vol34/iss1/17