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February 12, 2019 Feature

Proceedings Under the Hague Child Abduction Convention: 2017–2018

Robert G. Spector


Most U.S. international family law litigation involves the Child Abduction Convention (CAC)1 and its implementing legislation, the International Child Abduction Remedies Act2 (ICARA). It is probably the most litigated treaty in history.3 Because of the large volume of cases, the Family Law Quarterly has decided to split these cases off from their traditional place in the annual Review of the Year in Family Law (also known as the “Law in 50” issue) into their own article.

U.S. federal and state courts have concurrent jurisdiction to decide a request for return of a child under the CAC. The CAC operates to promptly return children to their habitual residence. To obtain an order returning the child, a petitioner must prove that the child was wrongfully removed from or retained outside of the child’s “habitual residence” and that the petitioner had “a right of custody,” which he or she was “actually exercising” (or would have exercised but for the abduction), under the law of the habitual residence.4

I. Applicability of the CAC

The CAC only applies to countries that have ratified or acceded to it, and between countries that have accepted the other as a treaty partner. It cannot be made applicable to a case by the parties’ stipulation. The CAC ceases to apply when the child in question turns sixteen.5 A retention occurs at a particular time, and if that time was before the United States recognized Thailand’s accession to the CAC, then the CAC is not applicable.6

A proceeding to return a child can rarely be decided on the pleadings because most of the determinations required for a return order are factual.7

II. Habitual Residence of the Child

A. Intent Cases

The CAC does not define the term “habitual residence”; therefore, courts have made this fact-based determination in a number of cases, leading to a split among the circuits as to its definition. The majority view, pioneered by the Ninth Circuit, looks to the parents’ shared intent in determining their child’s habitual residence. For example, a Cuban mother seeking political asylum in the United States must send her son back to his father in Canada because both parents were political refugees who abandoned Cuba with an intent to settle in Canada.8 In Peralta v. Garay,9 the parents and the child left El Salvador intending to illegally enter the United States. The parents were deported, but the child remained with an aunt.10 The parents’ actions clearly indicated they abandoned their habitual residence in El Salvador, which meant the child had a habitual residence in the United States, and therefore the parents’ action to return the child had to be rejected.11

In Sundberg v. Bailey,12 the court determined that most of the evidence indicated that the child’s stay in the United States was not intended to be permanent. The mother did obtain employment and enrolled the child in preschool upon arriving in the United States.13 However, before leaving Sweden, she enrolled the child in a Swedish preschool; signed a tenancy agreement with the father, which allowed her to seek a housing allowance from the Swedish government; maintained a Swedish bank account; and continued to receive a child benefit from the Swedish government, and the child remained enrolled in the Swedish health system.14 To the same effect is Kim v. Ferdinand,15 where the court found that the shared intent of both parents was not to relocate the children from Bangkok, Thailand, to New Orleans, Louisiana. Instead, the father initially communicated to the mother that the New Orleans trip was a vacation to see the children’s grandparents—consistent with past summer visits.16 Before this trip, both children resided in Thailand for six years.17 Both children went to school in Thailand and lived with their parents there.18 The court concluded that the parents never agreed on relocating—or changing—the children’s habitual residence from Thailand to the United States.19

In determining whether the parties agreed to change the child’s habitual residence, the court must often sort through conflicting testimony.20 In Velarde v. Gurgan,21 the court concluded based on conflicting testimony that the parents mutually agreed to move to Mexico either permanently or at least for an indefinite duration, and that they made “a joint decision to raise the child in the new country” and therefore changed the child’s habitual residence to Mexico. If the court is not able to determine whose testimony concerning the parties’ intent is more credible, it must resort to other facts to determine the parents’ probable intent.22

It is entirely possible that the parties in Asumadu v. Baffoe intended one child to live in Canada and the other to live in the United States.23 This resulted in one child being returned to Canada and the other child staying in Arizona.24

B. Acclimatization Cases

The Sixth and Eighth Circuits continue to adhere to the doctrine that a child’s perspective determines his habitual residence. However, the Sixth Circuit recently held that, in cases involving very young children, it would be appropriate to use the shared parental intent standard.25 However, there are some cases involving newborn children where it is impossible to determine acclimatization from the child’s perspective and there is no shared parental intent. The Sixth Circuit, in a major case decided en banc,26 affirmed the district court’s determination that the child’s habitual residence was in Italy and not the United States. The court held that, so long as the district court applies the correct legal standard, the determination of habitual residence is a question of fact subject to clear-error review and noted that on this record, the district court could have decided the question either way.27 The majority pained to note that does not mean that an infant’s place of birth always will be the habitual residence if she remains there up until the abduction because such a standard would create its own problems.28 The dissent took the position that in the case of newborn children, where there is no parental agreement, the child does not have a habitual residence. Because the burden of proof is on the petitioner to show that the child was abducted from its habitual residence, it follows that where the child has no habitual residence, the Convention is inapplicable.

The Sixth Circuit also overturned a district court ruling that held that if a child has been wrongfully taken from the United States, a habitual residence can never be established in the abducted-to country regardless of the time spent there.29 This fact, the court said, cannot outweigh the child’s acclimatization to the new country, at least when the left-behind parent has failed to pursue procedures under the treaty to have the child returned.30

One court noted that in a wrongful retention case, it is necessary to date the point in time when the retention occurred.31 It determined that point to be when the nonabducting parent is clearly on notice that the abducting parent does not intend to return the child from the country to which the child was taken.32 The period prior to the point in time when the retention occurred is when it is to be determined whether the child is acclimatized to the new country.33

III. Rights of Custody and Their Exercise

A. Rights of Custody

A removal or retention is only wrongful if the left-behind parent had a right of custody and was “actually exercising” that right at the time of removal or would have exercised it but for the removal. A right of visitation does not constitute a right of custody, and most federal courts will not enforce such rights.34 While normally the petitioner is the left-behind parent, rights of custody can exist in public bodies and institutions.35

The Mexican doctrine of patria potestas confers a right of custody upon the parents of a child. Such a right is not extinguished by a divorce decree unless the decree specifically so provides.36 In Ireland, an unwed father has a right of custody by living with their child’s mother for at least twelve consecutive months, three of which must occur after the child’s birth.37 His absence for overnight work does not require the time period to begin again.38 A mother’s contention that her child’s father lacks custody rights is belied by the fact she had him sign a “temporary consent” allowing her to bring the child to the United States for what he thought was a short visit.39

When a father, who is a sole custodian, dies and the court appoints the child’s paternal uncle as custodian, the child’s mother does not have a right of custody.40

In an unusual case, an American father argued that the Dominican mother was not a parent, but rather was a surrogate, and therefore had no custody rights.41 The court rejected the father’s argument.42

B. Exercise of a Right to Custody

Normally the question of exercise of custody rights is not an issue in the case. However, one federal district court determined that when a father acquiesced in the removal of the children from his home, did not maintain a physical presence in the children’s lives, did not provide them with physical care, and had not visited the children in America, it could be determined that he did not exercise his custody rights even though he provided financial support to the children.43

IV. Defenses

There are a number of defenses that a respondent may assert in arguing that a child should not be returned to the child’s habitual residence.

A. Child Is Settled in His/Her New Environment

Article 12 of the CAC provides that the authorities need not return a child if more than one year has elapsed between the child’s abduction or retention, and the child is now settled in the child’s new environment.44 The one-year period runs from the date the retention or removal became “wrongful.” The factual findings used in determining the “now settled” defense are reviewed under the clear error standard. A trial court that dismissed a return petition because it was filed more than one year after the abduction, without determining whether the child was well settled, must be reversed and remanded to make that determination.45

In Amdamaskal v. Amdamaskal,46 the court refused to return the children to Israel. The petition was filed more than one year after the abduction and the father’s testimony that the delay was due to his inability to locate the mother was, the court decided, not credible.47 The children are now fluent in English and well-integrated into their school.

B. Grave Risk of Harm/Intolerable Situation

1. Defense Not Sustained

Under Article 13(b), a court need not return a child when “there is a grave risk that his or her return would expose the child to physical or psychological harm or otherwise place the child in an intolerable situation.”48 Such a defense cannot be decided on a motion to dismiss but requires an evidentiary hearing.49 A California case indicated that this defense cannot be sustained unless “(1) the [Panama] courts were incapable of or unwilling to adequately protect [the child] . . . and (2) there were no alternative remedies that it could implement to avoid or minimize the risk of harm that would otherwise exist and allow [the child’s] return to [Panama].”50 When faced with conflicting testimony between the petitioner and the respondent, the court can only make its determination based on the credibility of the parties. Given the respondent’s high burden of proof, that determination usually results in granting the petitioner a return order.51

The child’s comfort level in his current environment is not a basis for the refusal to return the child.52 Whatever readjustment period the child may have to undergo in the abducted-from country is not considered a “grave harm” under the CAC. It is an unfortunate consequence that nearly every child wrongfully removed must experience.53

A Honduran mother claimed that she would not get a fair custody hearing in that country because Honduran courts favor fathers in custody cases and this “created an intolerable situation because gender discrimination is incorporated” into that country’s law.54 The argument was rejected because she failed to show how this would harm the child.55 The court found there was no credible evidence that the father harmed the child or threatened to harm the child.56 Similarly, evidence showing that the Arizona school system can better cope with the child’s dyslexia than the Italian school system, along with proof of the father smoking marijuana, was insufficient to constitute a grave threat to the child.57

Although harm to the child is required under 13(b), most courts recognize that sustained spousal abuse can, in some instances, create such a risk. Where the court considered spousal abuse and found it did not create a great risk to the child, the appellate court will affirm unless the factual findings are in clear error and there is an abuse of discretion.58

In Salguero v. Argueta,59 the mother failed to make out a 13(b) defense because she was unable to produce sufficient evidence that El Salvador was a war zone.

2. Defense Sustained

In Davies v. Davies,60 the 13(b) defense was sustained when there was overwhelming evidence of Mr. Davies’s extreme violence and uncontrollable anger, as well as his psychological abuse of Ms. Davies over many years, much of which was witnessed by [the child], and the fact that Mr. Davies frequently screamed and yelled at the child for no legitimate reason. The court found it particularly convincing that Mr. Davies escalated the violence immediately prior to the departure of [the child] and his statement that if the child was returned “that there was no amount of money that he would take to exact his revenge.”61 The court found that there was clear and convincing evidence that the child would suffer grave psychological harm.62

In Neumann v. Neumann,63 the court refused to return the children to Mexico when the petitioner had moved to the United States, and the children voiced fears about being returned to a country where none of their parents lived. This situation created a risk of harm to the children, and the court also used this basis to refuse to return the children.64 In Smith Mac Donald Gonzalez v. Peterson,65 the court refused to return the children to Mexico because the father’s emotional and physical abuse of the mother, witnessed by their sons, presented a grave risk of psychological harm to the boys. However, if the father could show that protections available in Mexico will reduce threats to their safety, the children might be returned.66

3. Conditional Returns

In Wertz v. Wertz,67 the court determined that the mother’s extraordinary use of drugs created an unreasonable risk of harm. Nevertheless, the child is still to be returned if the parties can agree to undertakings that would protect the child that would be enforced by the Canadian courts. Another district court noted that a court only has the power to order the return of the child to a particular jurisdiction.68 It does not have the power to dictate who should exercise custody over the children during their travel back or upon their arrival.69

C. Mature Child’s Objection

In applying this defense, the court must consider whether the child objects to being returned to the country of the child’s habitual residence, and not whether the child has a preference to live in one country. This issue is subject to review under the clear error standard.70 In Neumann v. Neumann, the court refused to return the children to Mexico when the petitioner had moved to the United States, and the children voiced fears about being returned to a country where none of their parents lived.71 This situation also created a risk of harm to the children, and the court also used this basis to refuse to return the children.72

In Smith v. Smith,73 the court returned a fifteen-year-old to England because, although mature, he had not acquired close friendships there and spent much of his free time doing solitary indoor activities, which is what he did in the United Kingdom. There is no evidence that he was having unique experiences here that he could not have in the United Kingdom.74 He had no strong pre-removal desire to come to the United States but testified that he made up his mind to leave with his mother just prior to coming here.75 Importantly, he testified that if he was returned to the United Kingdom, he was not sure whether he would return to the United States when he turned sixteen.76

Another court refused to return a fifteen-year-old to Italy because the child appeared to be unduly influenced by her mother, and to return the child would award the mother for violating an Italian custody order and wrongfully retaining the child.77

D. Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

Article 20 provides that the return of the child may be refused if this would not be permitted by the fundamental principles of the requested State relating to the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.78 As usual, there were no cases discussing this defense.

E. Consent/Acquiescence to the Removal

The mother’s consent that the children should live with their father in the United States on the implicit condition that she would be joining them as soon as she received a visa does not establish her consent that the children should live permanently in the United States.79

In Miller v. Miller,80 the court found that the petitioner had filed the Hague return proceeding to avoid divorce and custody proceedings in Tennessee, and if successful would have placed the respondent in the difficult position of having to pursue custody proceedings in the petitioner’s preferred forum in Canada. Although the court did not expressly hold that this forum shopping disqualified petitioner from succeeding in the proceeding, it did state that, in its opinion, it ought to do so.81

V. Other Issues Under the CAC and ICARA

A. Attorney Fees

A trial court reduced the amount of attorney fees because the lawyer was inexperienced in Hague return proceedings and, although an admitted expert in intellectual property, he should not charge the same fee that he would in those cases.82 Therefore, his hourly fee was reduced from $850 to $400.83 Another federal court held that the fees charged by an attorney experienced in Hague return cases who sat second chair while an associate successfully tried the case must be deducted from the final bill.84

One federal court reduced the asked-for fee by one-third because an award of all fees asked for would be over eighty percent of the respondent’s annual salary before tax, which “would be a substantial burden on anyone let alone a parent who does not have permanent status in her child’s resident country.”85 In Kim v. Ferdinand,86 the court reduced the mother’s attorney fee request by one-third given the comparative economic resources of the parties. In another case, the court cut a father’s request for a $58,600 fee award by three-quarters because the effect of the requested award on her ability to care for the child “is a concern” given that the father will not pay child support.87 And in Crane v. Merriman,88 the court awarded the petitioner $5,583.30 out of the $28,989.44 asked for due to the extreme discrepancy in finances between the petitioner father and the respondent mother. All of the award was for costs incurred by the petitioner and none of it was for attorney fees.89

A mother who abducted her child must pay expenses incurred by the law firms of the attorneys who provided their services to the child’s father for free.90 However, the fact that the attorney provided the services pro bono can be a factor in reducing the amount of the fee.91

A mother’s alleged “good faith” belief that removing her son from the Czech Republic without his father’s consent was lawful is not a defense to his request for a fee award in his successful action for the child’s return.92

If a child is voluntarily returned, there is no authority to provide for attorney fees.93 Attorney fees awarded in a proceeding under the Hague Abduction Convention cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.94

B. Mootness

The voluntary return of the child moots the return proceeding.95 However, the court does not lose jurisdiction to enforce its order when the respondent returned the child to the Dominican Republic but not to the petitioner.96 Nor does a court lose its jurisdiction when the petitioner moves permanently to the country where the respondent abducted the children.97

C. Stays

If the state court will not decide all the issues, then it is appropriate for the federal court to order a stay in the state court proceedings until such time as the federal court can determine the abduction claim.98 However, a state court need not automatically stay its own proceeding when informed of the Hague return proceeding if it is clear that the Abduction Convention does not apply, and in any event, an error became harmless when the federal abduction proceeding was ended by summary judgment in favor of the respondent.99

D. Temporary Restraining Orders

A petitioner seeking a preliminary injunction must establish that he is likely to succeed on the merits, that he is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief, that the balance of equities tips in his favor, and that an injunction is in the public interest.100 Of particular importance is the past history of the respondent in secreting the child.101 Another major consideration is whether there is a risk of the respondent removing the child to a country that is not a party to the Hague Abduction Convention.102

However, when the allegations in the petition for return are merely conclusory on habitual residence and rights of custody, a court may properly deny a temporary restraining order because it is not clear that the petitioner would prevail on the merits.103

E. Relationship to the UCCJEA

The question of whether a U.S. court should recognize a foreign court’s refusal to return the child is a question of comity. However, a foreign court’s decision on the return question does not decide custody and therefore does not deprive a U.S. court of jurisdiction to decide the custody of the child.104

F. Other Procedural Issues

It is usually never appropriate for a federal court to abstain from deciding an abduction case merely because a proceeding for custody had been previously filed in state court. Abstention is only proper if the state proceeding will decide all the issues in the abduction case.105

A federal court has the authority to allow the left-behind to testify remotely. Normally such a request will be granted.106 Documents relating to the custody proceeding in the foreign country generally should be admitted via certificates or affidavits.107


1. Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, Oct. 25, 1980, T.I.A.S. No. 11,670, 1343 U.N.T.S. 89, [hereinafter Child Abduction Convention or CAC].

2. Originally codified at 42 U.S.C. § 11603 et seq., recodified as 22 U.S.C. §§9001–9011 (2019).

3. Or at least the fact that Westlaw publishes every single lower federal court decision means that we know more about the interpretation of this treaty than any other treaty.

4. CAC,

5. Silverman v. Silverman, No. 15-CV-2108-AJB-BLM, 2016 WL 10894424, at *5 (S.D. Cal. Jan. 14, 2016).

6. Marks v. Hochhauser, 876 F.3d 416 (2d Cir. 2017).

7. Diaz v. Lopez, No. 3:18-CV-260-DPJ-JCG, 2018 WL 3715834 (S.D. Miss. Aug. 3, 2018).

8. Valero v. de Nevi, No. 17-20745-CIV-MORENO, 2017 WL 3917161 (S.D. Fla. Aug. 31, 2017).

9. 284 F. Supp. 3d 858 (S.D. Tex. 2018).

10. Id.

11. Id.

12. 293 F. Supp. 3d 548 (W.D.N.C. 2017).

13. Id.

14. Id.

15. 287 F. Supp. 3d 607 (E.D. La. 2018).

16. Id.

17. Id.

18. Id.

19. Id.

20. See Flores v. Elias-Erata, No. 3:18-cv-160-J-34JBT, 2018 WL 3495865 (M.D. Fla. July 20, 2018).

21. No. SA-17-CA-792-XR, 2017 WL 4570304 (W.D. Tex. Oct. 13, 2017).

22. Alvarez v. Rosas, No. CV-18-01726-PHX-DGC, 2018 WL 3957689 (D. Ariz. Aug. 17, 2018).

23. No. CV-18-01418-PHX-DLR, 2018 WL 3957696 (D. Ariz. Aug. 17, 2018) (appeal filed).

24. Id.

25. Ahmed v. Ahmed, 867 F.3d 682 (6th Cir. 2017).

26. Taglieri v. Monasky, 907 F.3d 404 (6th Cir. 2018) (en banc 10-7).

27. Id.

28. The decision appears to overrule Diagne v. Demartino, No. 2:18-cv-11793, 2018 WL 4385659 (E.D. Mich. Sept. 14, 2018), which held that a child who is born when the parents are disputing which country the child should live in has no habitual residence.

29. Moreno v. Zank, 895 F.3d 917 (6th Cir. 2018), reversing 280 F. Supp. 3d 1019 (W.D. Mich. 2017).

30. Id.

31. Miller v. Miller, No. 1:18-CV-86, 2018 WL 4008779 (E.D. Tenn. Aug. 22, 2018).

32. Id.

33. Id.

34. Done v. Pichardo, No. 1:18-CV-795-RWS, 2018 WL 1930081 (N.D. Ga. Apr. 24, 2018).

35. See London Borough of Southwark v. O’Connor, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113538 (S.D. Fla. July 6, 2018).

36. Soto Pena v. Serrano, No. 1:17-CV-903-RP, 2017 WL 6542758 (W.D. Tex. Dec. 21, 2017).

37. Crossan v. Clohessy, 330 F. Supp. 3d 1098 (W.D. La. 2018).

38. Id.

39. Campomanes Flores v. Elias-Arata, No. 3:18-cv-160-J-34JBT, 2018 WL 889023 (M.D. Fla. Feb. 14, 2018).

40. Frenken v. Hunter, No. 17-cv-03125-HSG, 2018 WL 1536754 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 29, 2018).

41. Duran-Peralta v. Luna, No. 16 Civ. 07939 (JSR), 2017 WL 2558758 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 22, 2017).

42. Id.

43. Leonard v. Lentz, 297 F. Supp. 3d 874 (N.D. Iowa 2017).

44. Art. 12, CAC,

45. Monzon v. De La Roca, No. 16-2277, 731 F. App’x 117 (3d Cir. 2018).

46. No. 17-CV-4961, 2018 WL 3360767 (D. Minn. July 10, 2018).

47. Id.

48. Art. 13(b), CAC,

49. Flores v. Alvarado, No. 3:17-cv-514-RJC-DSC, 2018 WL 1725615 (W.D.N.C. Apr. 6, 2018).

50. De Handzlik v. Handzlik, No. E063896, 2017 WL 6030655, at *8 (Cal. Ct. App. Dec. 6, 2017).

51. Flores, 2018 WL 1725615.

52. I.M. v. J.D., 75 N.Y.S.3d 879 (Sup. Ct., Nassau Co. 2018).

53. Id.

54. Orellana v. Cartagena, No. 3:16-CV-444-CCS, 2017 WL 5586374 (E.D. Tenn. Nov. 20, 2017).

55. Id.

56. Id.

57. Von Meer v. Hoselton, No. CV-18-00542-PHX-JJT, 2018 WL 1281949 (D. Ariz. Mar. 13, 2018).

58. Soto v. Contreras, 880 F.3d 706 (5th Cir. 2018).

59. 256 F. Supp. 3d 630 (E.D.N.C. 2017).

60. 717 F. App’x 43 (2d Cir. 2017).

61. Id.

62. Id.

63. 310 F. Supp. 3d 823 (E.D. Mich. 2018).

64. Id.

65. 44 Fam. L. Rep. (BNA) 1296 (D. Vt. 2018).

66. Id.

67. No. 7:18cv00061, 2018 WL 1575830 (W.D. Va. 2018).

68. Gil-Leyva v. Leslie, 44 Fam. L. Rep. (BNA) 1198 (D. Colo. Apr. 17, 2018).

69. Id.

70. Custudio v. Torres, 842 F.3d 1084 (8th Cir. 2016).

71. 310 F. Supp. 3d 823, n.59 (E.D. Mich. 2018).

72. See also Kovaćić v. Harris, 328 F. Supp. 508 (D. Md. 2018) (fifteen-year-old girl did not have be returned to Croatia because she preferred to stay in the U.S. and her reasons were well thought out and articulate).

73. No. 1:17-CV-489-BLW, 2018 WL 953338 (D. Idaho Feb. 20, 2018), stay denied, 2018 WL 1083444 (D. Idaho Feb. 27, 2018).

74. Id.

75. Id.

76. Id.

77. Von Meer v. Hoselton, No. CV-18-00542-PHX-JJT, 2018 WL 1281949 (D. Ariz. Mar. 13, 2018). See also Saltos v. Severino, No. 18-8704(JLL), 2018 WL 3586274 (D.N.J. July 25, 2018) (seven-year-old girl’s preference not to be returned to Ecuador not followed because she was under the influence of her mother).

78. Art. 20, CAC,

79. In re AAUM, No. 16-cv-6126, 2018 WL 2451199 (E.D.N.Y. May 31, 2018).

80. No. 1:18-CV-86, 2018 WL 4008779 (E.D. Tenn. Aug. 22, 2018).

81. Id.

82. Duran-Peralta v. Luna, No. 16 Civ. 07939 (JSR), 2017 WL 2558758 (S.D.N.Y. 2017).

83. Id.

84. Schaeffer v. Jackson-Schaeffer, No. 1:17-CV-147, 2018 WL 2074178 (E.D. Tenn. May 3, 2018).

85. Moonga v. Moonga, No. 1:17-CV-2136-TWT, 2018 WL 4026020 (N.D. Ga. Aug. 23, 2018).

86. 287 F. Supp. 3d 607 (E.D. La. 2018).

87. Pliego v. Hayes, No. 5:15-CV-00146-TBR, 2017 WL 4322445 (W.D. Ky. 2017).

88. No. CIV-17-849-D, 2018 WL 4291755 (W.D. Okla. 2018).

89. Id.

90. Monterros Salguero v. Fanco Argueta, No. 5:17-CV-125-FL, 2017 WL 4475995 (E.D.N.C. Oct. 6, 2017).

91. Duran-Peralta v. Luna, No. 16 Civ. 07939, 2017 WL 2558758 (S.D.N.Y. 2017).

92. Rath v. Marcoski, 898 F.3d 1306 (11th Cir. 2018). See also Sundberg v. Bailey, No. 1:17-cv-00300-MR-DLH, 2018 WL 1220576 (W.D.N.C. Mar. 8, 2018).

93. Garcia v. Segovia, No. 1:17 cv 239, 2017 WL 6757647 (W.D.N.C. 2017).

94. In re Coe, No. 16-13895-BFK, 2017 WL 5054312 (E.D. Va. 2017).

95. See Garcia, 2017 WL 6757647.

96. Duran-Peralta, 2017 WL 2558758.

97. Neumann v. Neumann, 310 F. Supp. 3d 823, n.59 (E.D. Mich. 2018).

98. Sundberg v. Bailey, No. 1:17-cv-00300-MR-DLH, 2017 WL 5760104 (W.D.N.C. Mar. 8, 2017).

99. Guardianship of J.F., No. PR1701556, 2018 WL 3526641 (Cal. Ct. App. July 23, 2018).

100. Muwakil-Zakuri v. Zakuri, No. 17-CV-2062 (JCH), 2017 WL 6453399 (D. Conn. 2017); Arjouan v. Cabre, No. 1:17-cv-00782-PJK-JHR, 2018 WL 4571663 (D. N.M. 2018).

101. See Smith v. Smith, No. 1:17-CV-489-BLW, 2017 WL 6040068 (D. Idaho Dec. 6, 2017) (TRO is especially appropriate when the abductor has moved several times to prevent service of process); see Calixto v. Lesmes, No. 8:17-cv-2100-T-33JSS, 2017 WL 3877650 (M.D. Fla. Sept. 5, 2017).

102. Rose v. Blake, No. 17-61602-CV-SCOLA, 2017 WL 3491873 (S.D. Fla. Aug. 11, 2017). See also Hernandez v. Ochoa, No. 17-830 JCH/LF, 2017 WL 3575487 (D.N.M. Aug. 17, 2017).

103. Dona v. Castelblanco, No. 3:17-CV-2469-L, 2018 WL 928976 (N.D. Tex. Feb. 16, 2018).

104. Guimaraes v. Brann, No. 01-16-00093-CV, 2018 WL 3543022 (Tex. Ct. App. July 24, 2018).

105. See Bordelais v. Bordelais, No. 17 C 4697, 2017 WL 6988655 (N.D. Ill. 2017) (federal return case is a duplicate of the state case and therefore abstention is proper).

106. Flores v. Alvarado, No. 3:17-cv-514-RJC-DSC, 2018 WL 1697314 (W.D.N.C. Apr. 6, 2018); Vite-Cruz v. Sanchez, No. 3:18-cv-01943-DCC, 2018 WL 4359217 (D.S.C. Sept. 13, 2018).

107. Kovaćić v. Harris, No. RDB-17-0044, 2018 WL 3105772 (D. Md. June 25, 2018).

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Robert G. Spector

Robert G. Spector is the Glenn R. Watson Chair and Centennial Professor of Law Emeritus at the University of Oklahoma College of Law in Norman, Oklahoma, and a member of the Family Law Quarterly Editorial Board.