Issue: Whether a district court considering a petition under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction for the return of an abducted child may equitably toll the running of the one-year filing period when the abducting parent has concealed the whereabouts of the child from the left-behind parent.They just had the oral argument:
But several Justices – including Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Samuel A. Alito, and Stephen Breyer – expressed concerns that, because Regan’s rule would require near-automatic return, it would preclude courts from considering the best interests of children who had spent enough time in their new location to form attachments there, effectively punishing the children for the sins of the abducting parent.ConcernS? What concerns? So kidnappers should be able to get away with it because they hide for a year and end up in a friendly jurisdiction?
I occasionally here of fathers rights groups and even mothers who hope to get a parental rights case to the US Supreme Court so that they can declare a constitution right to force family courts to let all fit parents have joint custody.
Forget it. Look how confused these justices are in the transcript:
JUSTICE BREYER: Well, what is the answer? I'd like a straight answer in your opinion, because Justice Kagan's case, the mother kidnaps the child. They live in a grain elevator, a nicely refurbished grain elevator, in Peoria for a year. And after the year, a month later the father finds both of them, goes to a family judge -- a very tough job by the way -- and the family judge reads this and he says, well, I have to admit the child is settled here now in Iowa. All right. Is settled. ...Family court judges have very easy jobs. It only becomes a "very tough job" if the judge tries to micromanage parents and make crazy decisions like giving a child to a kidnapper on a theory that the child's best interests will be served by cutting him off from a fit parent.
The father says this is the most unfair thing I've ever seen. She hides out for a year. The child could be just as well back in London. Almost as well. Who knows? Maybe better. But now, what can the family court do -- judge do? That's the straight question we've been trying to get your answer to that, and it isn't an answer to say -- you could say, if that's the answer, I don't know.
Our Supreme Court is unfit to hear a parental rights case.