The Virginia Supreme Court has reaffirmed Vermont’s decision to grant Janet Jenkins visitation rights.
The Virginia Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeals prior ruling that the state must honor the Vermont Supreme Court’s order that gave Janet Jenkins the right to see her daughter.
Janet Jenkins (formerly Miller-Jenkins) and Lisa Miller (formerly Miller-Jenkins) were joined in a civil union in Vermont and later had a child. When the couple split up, Miller moved with their child to Virginia, where she asked a Vermont court to dissolve the union and sort custody of the child. The Vermont court granted Jenkins visitation. Miller then took her case to a Virginia court. Again, the court ruled in Jenkins’ favor.
When Miller took her case to Virginia’s Supreme Court, she invoked Virginia’s antigay marriage law to have herself declared the child’s sole legal parent. We represented Jenkins and defended her relationship with her daughter, and won.
Lambda Legal, along with Arent Fox LLP and ACLU-VA, used the federal Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act to prove that the Vermont court alone has jurisdiction in the matter, preventing court intervention in another state. “I’m relieved that this tug of war with my daughter is over,” said Jenkins. “This has been a very long four years. My daughter and I need some time to be together – she needs her other mom.”
The case is Miller-Jenkins v. Miller-Jenkins.