In a divorce case captioned, Armand v. Amisy, the Husband and Wife were married in Haiti in 2008. In 2014 they moved to Massachusetts with their three children. In 2016, they moved to Florida. Husband filed for divorce in Florida in September of 2017. Wife filed an Answer and a Counter-Petition in Florida. Husband then filed a Voluntary Dismissal in Florida and a Motion to Dismiss Wife’s Counter-Petition. Husband alleged that Florida lacked subject matter jurisdiction. Husband argued that he was a Haitian citizen and resided in Somalia, and that his Wife had returned to Massachusetts with their children prior to filing her Counter-Petition in Florida.
Prior to the hearing on Husband’s Motion to Dismiss, Husband filed a divorce decree from Haiti. Husband stated that he initiated a dissolution proceeding in Haiti in 2014, and that a Final Judgment granting his divorce was entered in May of 2017. In May of 2018, Husband filed a Second Motion to Dismiss for want of subject matter jurisdiction based on the fact that the parties were already divorced in Haiti.
In a case captioned, Armand v. Amisy, the Florida Court of Appeal pointed out that Florida trial courts only have jurisdiction as a result of the Florida Constitution or a Florida statute. Parties cannot agree to jurisdiction and objections to subject matter jurisdiction cannot we waived. A court’s lack of subject matter jurisdiction can be raised at any time.