ABDUCTION/WASTED COSTS ORDER: B v A (Wasted Costs Order)  EWHC 3127 (Fam)
(Family Division, Charles J, 10 December 2012)
The father asserted that the mother had abducted their child from the USA and took her to Pakistan. In the USA courts the mother was indicted by a grand jury for felony parental abduction. The mother continued to live in Pakistan but when the father heard that the mother may be visiting the UK he immediately obtained a without notice location order form the English High Court. The mother in fact did not visit when the father believed she would but did so 6 months later without the child. The first she knew of the proceedings was when her passport was seized upon arrival.
The mother claimed the father had only brought proceedings as a means of harassing her while the father asserted he did so as a means to assisting her extradition to the USA. When he learned that the US authorities were not in a position to execute an extradition warrant his legal advisers informed the mother they would withdraw proceedings with no order for costs.
The court made a wasted costs order against the father's solicitors for their failures to follow procedure in the without notice application. An order in respect of the father would not be made as he had at least on the papers a good arguable case of child abduction and the mother's grounds of misconduct against the father were not properly constituted.
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