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International Family Law

The leading authority on international family law

07 NOV 2012

USA - Supreme Court of the United States to Hear Child Abduction Case

On 5 December 2012, the Supreme Court of the United States will hear oral argument in the Chafin v Chafin matter - only the second Hague Convention child abduction case ever to be heard by the Court.

The issue before the Court is whether an appeal of a trial court's Hague Convention return order is moot upon the child's exit from the United States and return to the requesting State.

More than a year ago, the parties' 5-year-old daughter returned home to Scotland from Alabama as ordered by the trial court in the United States. The return was pursuant to the trial court's return order entered under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. The return order delivered the child home to her habitual residence of Scotland, the requesting State Party. The return order ceded jurisdiction over custody of the child to Scotland - all as provided for and contemplated by the Hague Convention. The mother and child returned to the Scottish court's custody jurisdiction pursuant to a final order of the United States court. The Sheriff court in Airdrie then proceeded with the case under Scots law.

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