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Family Law

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10 MAR 2016

Re D (Children: Child Abduction: Practice) [2016] EWHC 504 (Fam)

Re D (Children: Child Abduction: Practice) [2016] EWHC 504 (Fam)
(Family Division, Sir James Munby, the President of the Family Division, 10 March 2016)

Abduction – Hague Convention – Permission to withdraw proceedings

The President granted the father permission to withdraw Hague Convention proceedings.

When the marriage between the American father and English mother broke down the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Orange, granted legal and physical custody of the two children to the mother. A domestic violence restraining order was made against the father and an ex parte order was made permitting the mother to remove the children from the USA. Under the law of the State of California a 30-day stay was imposed after the orders were granted. During that period the mother removed the children and brought them to the UK. The father initiated Convention proceedings.

In the USA the father's challenge against the orders was allowed in part and a hearing was scheduled to revisit the issue of custody, contact and permission to relocate. When the Hague Convention hearing came around all parties were in agreement that there was no utility in the proceedings continuing. The father sought permission to withdraw the application.

Permission to withdraw the application was granted. Hague Convention proceedings were, by their very nature, summary. It would, therefore, be rare for the court to determine such proceedings in an 'ultra-summary' manner. In this instance the Hague proceedings had been overtaken by subsequent events in the Californian court. The requirement to hear the voice of the child in these proceedings did not disable the court from summarily dispose of the proceedings in appropriate cases.


Neutral Citation Number: [2016] EWHC 504 (Fam)
Case No: FD15P00438

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
FAMILY DIVISION

Royal Courts of Justice
Strand
London
WC2A 2LL


Date: 10 March 2016


Before:


SIR JAMES MUNBY PRESIDENT OF THE FAMILY DIVISION


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In the Matter of D (Children) (Child Abduction: Practice)


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Mr Richard Harrison QC (instructed by Lyons Davidson) for the applicant father
Mr Edward Bennett (instructed by Dawson Cornwell) for the respondent mother


Hearing date: 20 January 2016


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Approved Judgment


I direct that pursuant to CPR PD 39A para 6.1 no official shorthand note shall be taken of this Judgment and that copies of this version as handed down may be treated as authentic.


.............................


SIR JAMES MUNBY PRESIDENT OF THE FAMILY DIVISION


This judgment was handed down in open court


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