The case was original commenced in Tennessee, where Shelley Mook lived with her daughter and where her ex-husband Tyler Mook resided as well. In this proceeding, the court awarded custody to Shelley’s mother, the grandmother of the child, instead of the father. The reason the grandmother was awarded custody was more likely than not due to the fact that the main suspect in the disappearance of Ms. Mook was Tyler, though he has never been charged.
According to Mr. Mook’s attorney, the reason he requested the change to the Pennsylvania family courts was because everyone involved in the case now lives outside of Tennessee, so the case should no longer stay in that state. Though his request was granted by a PA family law judge, Ms. Mook’s mother believes he requested the move in bad faith and is simply looking for a judge who will rule in his favor.
Her lawyer, Attorney Jonathan Brown stated, “I feel like Tennessee is still an appropriate forum. Obviously, Shelley is still missing. She hasn’t been declared dead, so I feel like Tennessee still has the context with the case there.”
Regardless of what Ms. Mook’s family feels, the Pennsylvania judge agreed with Mr. Mook. The judge who decided to grant the change in venue stated that, “The judge shopping charge may well be true, but it is irrelevant to the jurisdictional issue.” Because the judge granted the change in jurisdiction, it will now be up to the Pennsylvania family law courts to determine the jurisdiction of the child.
If you are facing a family law situation or are in the middle of a family law case in Pennsylvania, or if you would like information about potentially transferring a case to Pennsylvania, contact our PA Family Lawyers at Lisa Marie Vari & Associates. Our team of lawyers has helped hundreds of clients and we will be able to provide you with the guidance and legal representation you need throughout your case.