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C.M. v. C.C.

October 2, 1979

C.M., PLAINTIFF,
v.
C.C., DEFENDANT.



Kleiner

KLEINER, J.S.C., (temporarily assigned)

In a prior proceeding between the parties to this litigation it was determined that a known donor of semen, used by an unmarried woman to artificially inseminate herself, was the natural father of the child and was entitled to visitation rights with said child. C.M. v. C.C., 152 N.J. Super 160 (J.D.R. Ct. 1977). The order entered at the time additionally provided that the plaintiff was to provide child support and medical insurance coverage for said child.

Plaintiff has petitioned this court for an order mandatorily requiring defendant to join with plaintiff in executing forms provided by the New Hersey Division of Vital Statistics in order to change the child's birth certificate. Said birth certificate originally designated the father as "unknown." Plaintiff seeks an amendment of this designation to reflect his name without changing the surname of this child.

The novel factual circumstances of this motion raises the question of whether the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court has jurisdiction to hear and to grant the relief if said relief is deemed appropriate.

It must be noted that subsequent to the entry of the original judgment establishing paternity, visitation and support, the parties have appeared before this court on three separate occasions: successfully on two occasions plaintiff filed motions to enforce litigants rights resulting from defendant's refusal to comply with the courts original visitation order, and plaintiff moved to partially modify the prior order of support due to a change in plaintiff's employment.

Prior to the filing of this motion plaintiff consulted the local registrar of vital statistics and was advised that signatures of both parents would be necessary to effectuate the birth certificate modification which plaintiff seeks. The registrar, in requiring signatures of both parents for modification, relied upon the administrative policies in Title 8 of N.J.A.C. and upon N.J.S.A. 26:8-53 which states:

The State department or local registrars may refuse to accept corrections or amendments unless supported by adequate documentary evidence presented at the time the request for correction or amendment is made.

Defendant mother refused to cooperate with plaintiff and on the return day of this motion offered no substantive reason for opposing the birth certificate modification. She, however, contends that this court is without jurisdiction to mandate any change in this registered document.

Plaintiff contends that there are legitimate practical and sociological reasons for this request. Of primary concern to plaintiff is that his child, with whom he how maintains a viable, regular father-son relationship, should be shielded from using in later life a birth certificate which designates his father as "unknown" contrary to the reality of the existent parent-child relationship. Plaintiff further contends that obtaining medical insurance coverage is complicated by the present birth certificate designation and that the certificate itself may be used as prima facie evidence of paternity N.J.S.A. 2A:82-12.

The jurisdictional limitations of the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court are statutorily defined in N.J.S.A. 2A:4-18 and include jurisdiction over disputes

"(a) Involving the domestic relation or the welfare of children,..."

Plaintiff's motion is predicated upon a prior proceeding to establish visitation rights and which as an adjunct, also established paternity. The relief originally granted was within the original jurisdictional limits of this court. N.J.S.A. 2A:4-18(c); N.J.S.A. 9:17-1; R. v. F. 113 N.J. Super. 396 (J.D.R. Ct. 1971).

Unless this court grants the relief sought by plaintiff, he may be limited in seeking the remedial relief requested.

There is no statutory mandate for the correction of a birth certificate subsequent to an adjudication of paternity unless the declared natural father and ...


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