Jan Forsberg had an intimate relationship with William Scott living for seven years with him and his three children from his prior relationship with Rachael Childress. Scott’s relationship with Forsberg deteriorated in 2008. Scott, awarded sole legal and physical custody of his children in a UPA with Childress, moved out of Forsberg‟s home, taking the children with him and refusing Forsberg access.

Forsberg sought to join the dormant UPA action on the ground that she was entitled to custody and visitation as the children’s presumed or de facto mother. The superior court granted Jan’s petition for joinder over the objections of Scott and Childress and ordered the parties to mediate the matter of custody and visitation.

Scott then filed a petition for writ of mandate with the CA 3rd Apellate Court, seeking to overturn the superior court‟s rulings contending that Forsberg does not have standing to intrude into the parental role of Scott and Childress and to “diminish [their] rights to make decisions in the best interests of their children.”

The Appellate Court determined that the Superior Court was in error and vacated the decision. Neither of the children’s parents had at any time sought to change Scott’s status as sole custodian. Non-parent Forsberg had no standing to inject herself into the existing custody situation, declaring herself indispensable party to the custody of the children, the appellate court decided.

The court’s decision can be found <a href=””>here</a>.