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1980 Hague Convention on International Child Abduction: A Resource for Judges: Recently Decided Cases

Supreme Court Cases

Monasky v. Taglieri, 140 S. Ct. 719 (2020)
Habitual Residence: Standards for Initial Determination and Appellate Review
What test initially determines the habitual residence of a child under the 1980 Hague Convention, and what the appellate standard of review for such an issue should be.

Appellate Court Cases

2020

Rubio v. Castro, No. 19-3740, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 14905 (2d Cir. May 11, 2020)
Parent’s Refusal to Return | Child’s Objection to Return | Grave Risk & Ameliorative Measures
Whether the existence of ameliorative measures available in the habitual residence justifies return of a child despite the finding of a grave risk.

Da Silva v. De Aredes, 953 F.3d 67 (1st Cir. 2020)
Defenses | Settlement and Immigration Status | Grave Risk | Motions for New Trial
Whether a district court committed clear error in denying defenses of grave risk and settlement of the child, and whether denial of a mother’s motion for new trial was an abuse of discretion.

Berenguela-Alvarado v. Castanos, 950 F.3d 1352 (11th Cir. 2020)
Factual Error | Burden of Proof
Appellate review of factual error, and whether a parent petitioning for a child’s return has the burden of disproving the opposing parent’s factually unsupported defense.

Takeshi Ogawa v. Kyong Kang, 946 F.3d 1176 (10th Cir. 2020)
Custody Rights
What is the extent of custody rights defined by parties’ divorce agreement under Japanese law.

2019

Abou-Haidar v. Vazquez, 945 F.3d 1208 (D.C. Cir. 2019)
Wrongful Retention | Habitual Residence
Whether a parent’s unequivocal repudiation of an agreement to remain abroad with a child for a fixed amount of time amounts to a wrongful retention when that parent commences an action for exclusive custody of the child before the end of the fixed period.

Eidem v. Eidem, No. 19-1417, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 36488 (2d Cir. Dec. 10, 2019)
Grave Risk | Quality of Medical Care in Habitual Residence | Interruption of the Course of Counseling | Credibility
Whether a parent’s claim that the medical treatment available in the child’s habitual residence was below the standard of care available elsewhere and that interrupting the children’s therapy would make psychological treatment more difficult constitutes a valid defense of a grave risk.

Watts v. Watts, 935 F.3d 1138 (10th Cir. 2019)
Habitual Residence | Parental Intent | Acclimatization | Time-Limited Relocations
Whether a temporary removal of children to another country for the purpose of providing medical care to one of the children triggers a change in habitual residence.

Saada v. Golan, 930 F.3d 533 (2nd Cir. 2019)
Grave Risk | Court’s Discretion to Return | Undertakings | Habitual Residence
Whether a clear finding of habitual residence in a situation of grave risk requires further consideration when the undertakings put in place to protect the child cannot be enforced.

Grau v. Grau, 780 F. App’x 787 (11th Cir. 2019)
Habitual Residence

Update: Taglieri v. Monasky, 907 F.3d 404 (6th Cir. 2018)
Habitual Residence: Supreme Court Grants Certiorari
Whether a district court’s determination of habitual residence should fall under the clear error or de novo standard of review. The Supreme Court granted certiorari on June 10, 2019, and ruled on the case on February 25, 2020. See Case Commentary: Monasky v. Taglieri, 140 S. Ct. 719 (2020) for discussion of the Supreme Court decision.

Palencia v. Perez, 921 F.4d 1333 (11th Cir. 2019)
Custody Rights | Wrongful Retention
How to define custody rights and how to determine the date of wrongful retention when an abducting parent falsely represents to the other parent the date of the child’s return.

Pfeiffer v. Bachotet, 913 F.3d 1018 (11th Cir. 2019)
Custody Rights | Habitual Residence

2018

Monzon v. De La Roca, 910 F.3d 92 (3d Cir. 2018)
Commencement of Proceedings Defined | Article 12 Defense | Settlement
Whether an action is considered to have commenced with the filing of an administrative request for return, whether an Article 12 “delay” defense requires proof that other defenses exist, and whether the evidence presented sufficiently established that the child was “settled” under Article 12.

Fernandez v. Bailey, 909 F.3d 353 (11th Cir. 2018)
Article 18 Discretion to Return Child | Settlement | Repeated Abductions
Whether return of a settled child is detrimental to the child per se and in which circumstances courts should consider ordering a settled child to his or her habitual residence despite the establishment of an Article 12 defense.

Taglieri v. Monasky, 907 F.3d 404 (6th Cir. 2018)
Habitual Residence | Infants
What standard to apply when determining the habitual residence of an infant who has lived in only one location prior to its wrongful removal.

Moreno v. Zank, 895 F.3d 917 (6th Cir. 2018)
Habitual Residence
Whether abduction acts as a bar to the establishment of a child’s habitual residence in the country to which the child was taken, and whether resort to self-help and failure to pursue an action for return of a child under the Hague Convention may result in a change in the child’s habitual residence.

Soto v. Contreras, 880 F.3d 706 (5th Cir. 2018)
Domestic Violence | Grave Risk
Whether the district court’s finding of a lack of “objective evidence” to support abuse allegations impermissibly increased mother’s burden to prove a grave risk, and whether the existence of spousal abuse requires a finding of grave risk to a child.

2017

Marks v. Hochhauser 876 F.3d 416 (2nd Cir. 2017)
Wrongful Retention | Single or Continuing Act | Date of Entry into Force
Determining when the 1980 Hague Convention came into force between the U.S. and Thailand and whether wrongful retention is a single act or a continuing act.

Ahmed v. Ahmed, 867 F.3d 682 (6th Cir. 2017)
Habitual Residence | Especially Young Children | Infants
Whether it is appropriate to consider the shared parental intent standard in cases involving very young children who lack sufficient maturity to acclimate to any residence.

Padilla v. Troxell, 850 F.3d 168 (4th Cir. 2017)
Defenses | Consent – Facts Supporting Consent
What factual issues may support sustaining the defense of consent to the child’s wrongful removal.

Madrigal v. Tellez, 848 F.3d 669 (5th Cir. 2017)
Return Orders | Enforcement | Place of Return
Whether an order for return of children to their habitual residence must establish the pre-abduction status quo in all respects.

2016

Hernandez v. Cardoso, 844 F.3d 692 (7th Cir. 2016)
Grave Risk Defense | Intimate Partner Violence in Child’s Presence
Application of a clear error standard to review factual determinations by a district court. Sufficiency of evidence of domestic violence to sustain grave risk defense.

Pliego v. Hayes, 843 F.3d 226 (6th Cir. 2016)
Intolerable Situation | Courts of Habitual Residence
Whether an “intolerable situation” under Article 13(b) includes inability of courts of habitual residence to litigate child custody.

Custodio v. Samillan, 842 F.3d 1084 (8th Cir. 2016)
Child’s Objection to Return | Mootness
Whether a child who turns sixteen during pendency of return proceedings is still subject to jurisdiction under Hague Convention. Clear error standard when reviewing trial court’s determination regarding a child’s objections to return. Whether a child’s objections to return can be based on considerations typical to custody decisions.

Didon v. Castillo, 838 F.3d 313 (3d Cir. 2016)
Habitual Residence | Concurrent Habitual Residences | Stays
Whether a child may have two concurrent habitual residences. Factors involved in determining habitual residence when children spend substantial time in two adjacent countries. Whether lower courts should stay orders of return pending appeal.

Delgado v. Osuna, 837 F.3d 571 (5th Cir. 2016)
Habitual Residence | Parental Intent
Whether previous habitual residence may be deemed abandoned without an agreement as to location of the new habitual residence.

Martinez v. Cahue, 826 F.3d 983 (7th Cir. 2016)
Habitual Residence | Custody Rights
The impact of legal custody on determining the habitual residence of a child.

Alcala v. Hernandez, 826 F.3d 161 (4th Cir. 2016)
Settlement | Immigration Status | Return Despite Existing Defense
Delay and settlement of child. Return orders and immigration status. Impact of immigration status on return. Denial of return despite valid defense.

Berezowsky v. Ojeda (Berezowsky II), 652 F. App’x 249 (5th Cir. 2016)
Re-Return Orders Following Reversal of Lower Court Order on Appeal
Whether circuit court’s order on remand to district court to vacate its order of return and dismiss a case forecloses the issuance of an order of re-return of a child, and whether district court’s refusal to grant request for a re-return order is an abuse of discretion.

Tann v. Bennett, 648 F. App’x 146 (2d Cir. 2016)
Child’s Objection to Return
Sufficiency of evidence to sustain a child’s objection to return.

Hernandez v. Pena, 820 F.3d 782 (5th Cir. 2016)
Delay Defense | Settlement | Immigration Status
Factors used when addressing meaning of the term settled in context of delay defense.

District Court Cases

2020

Leon v. Ruiz, No. MO:19-CV-00293-RCG, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43758 (W.D. Tex. Mar. 13, 2020)
Defenses | General Denial
Whether a parent’s general denial to a petition for return waives that parent’s right to present affirmative defenses when raising them for the first time in an opening statement, and whether the other party is prejudiced by the failure to raise those defenses earlier.

2019

Pope v. Lunday, No. CIV-19-01122-PRW, 2019 WL 711615 (W.D. Okla. 2019)
Habitual Residence
Whether a parental agreement reached while the children are in utero can establish habitual residence in a place where the children have never been.

2017

Cunningham v. Cunningham, 237 F. Supp. 3d 1246 (M.D. Fla. 2017)
Habitual Residence of Infants | Wrongful Retention | Delay – Settlement of Child
Role of parental intent in fixing the habitual residence of an infant. Relevance of foreign law (of country of a child’s habitual residence) to determination of wrongful retention. Whether a child under two can become “settled” in new environment.

Foreign Court Cases

Office of the Children’s Lawyer v. Balev, [2018] 1 S.C.R. 398 (Can.)
Habitual Residence | Unilateral Change of Residence
Whether one parent can unilaterally change a child’s habitual residence when the consent of the other parent is time-limited.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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