Fort Lee soldier’s custody case gets SCOTUS hearing

From the Virginia Law Weekly Blog:
A soldier from Fort Lee will get a U.S. Supreme Court hearing in his custody dispute with his ex-wife, who moved with their five-year-old daughter to her native Scotland
In August, the high court granted a writ and scheduled oral argument for Dec. 5, 2012, in the case of Chafin v. Chafin, No. 11-1347.
Sgt. 1st Class Jeff Chafin is appealing an 11th Circuit decision that said under the Hague Convention, an international treaty governing custody disputes, the federal court had no power or jurisdiction to take further action in the custody contest.
Federal courts of appeals are split on whether the return of a child to the country of “habitual residence” moots an appeal by a parent seeking custody, according to Chafin’s petition for appeal. The 11th Circuit decision stands in contrast to a 2001 decision by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Fawcett v. McRoberts, thatgranted a Scottish mother’s petition for return of her child from the U.S. because the father in that case had wrongfully removed the boy from Scotland under the Hague Convention.
–Deborah Elkins


At 1:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dont want to be too snarky but the Hague simply decides which jurisdiction should make custody decisions and this is not a custody case, its a case to determine the child's Habitual Residence and if/where the child should be returned.

To say it is a custody case, implies the federal courts broader powers in this area than they have. The custody case is in a state court and was dropped upon the Fed District Court's decision that Scotland was the child's habitual residence.



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