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Kelly Rutherford Denied Custody Case in New York, Considering Whether to Appeal California Court’s Decision

Kelly Rutherford
Kelly Rutherford, Children's Justice Campaign founder, speaks during a Capitol Hill briefing to discuss "the silent suffering of American children and their left-behind parents who are victims of international parental child abduction" in the Cannon House Office Building in June 2015.  

A mom's fight for her kids. After losing her bid to fight for full custody of her two young kids in the state of California last week, Gossip Girl star Kelly Rutherford turned to New York State court, where she hoped the case could proceed. In a heartbreaking blow for Rutherford, both states have now denied taking on the ongoing custody case.

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Rutherford's lawyer Wendy Murphy told Us Weekly on Monday, July 27, what the latest means for the actress."California said it could only have jurisdiction if Kelly lived in California, which of course she does not and has not for many years so that was absolutely predictable," Murphy explained. "New York said it had no jurisdiction because California had jurisdiction — which is silly — but it is what it is."

A judge in California ruled last Thursday, July 23, that the actress didn't have the right to fight for full custody of her son Hermes, 8, and daughter Helena, 6, in the state. Meanwhile, a judge in Monaco, where the star's ex-husband Daniel Giersch resides, has granted him full custody over their kids. The couple's custody battle has been ongoing for six years.

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Rutherford's attorney David Glass added to Us that the actress is exploring her legal options, despite the denial in both states. "Kelly is considering whether to appeal the California decision and has some time before the appeal deadline expires," Glass said.

In a separate statement released to Us, Glass added that they were "extremely disappointed" with the court's decision in both states. "Although the court agreed with our analysis of the law, and in fact agreed with our position that citizens can have more rights than residents for jurisdictional purposes, the court ultimately did not agree with us on the facts," her attorney explained.

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"This court set up the current situation whereby my client was forced to live bi-coastally, but now, the court appears to be holding it against her. Likewise, the court created the situation whereby the children would slowly lose their connections to California from what was supposed to be a 'temporary move.' This all happened despite the Judgment’s very specific language that was supposed to preclude the loss of jurisdiction due to the passage of time."

The decision isn't final yet. "The California court has not made any ruling regarding Monaco and its attempt to assert jurisdiction. We are carefully considering all of our options, including the possibility of appeals," Glass explained, calling out Rutherford's ex-husband in the final part of his comments.

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"Perhaps the most galling aspect of this case is that Mr. Giersch’s refusal to apply for a new visa, as was anticipated by the Court in its Judgment back in 2013, is what has caused the delay in the return of the children, and that very delay was the basis for the court’s ruling," Glass told Us. "So, as we argued to the Court, Ms. Rutherford followed the court’s orders to a 'T' and still somehow ended up losing the protection that this Court promised her and the children."

Rutherford filed for divorce from Giersch, a German businessman, in 2008, while she was expecting their daughter. While both kids live regularly with Giersch in Monaco, the court decided in December 2013 that the father was no longer obligated to pay for his children to visit the U.S. to see their mom.

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