Cases & Deals

Client obtains Fifth Circuit affirmation of Hague Convention victory

Client(s) Client V

On July 22, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed Jones Day's victory in Dallas federal court in an international child abduction case. Jones Day had initiated a lawsuit in April 2013 on behalf of a woman whose four year-old daughter had been abducted from Mexico by the child's father. The mother sought the child's return under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

After a three-day bench trial, the district court found in favor of the mother and ordered the child be returned to her in Mexico. After trial, Jones Day successfully opposed the father's attempts to have the district court and the Fifth Circuit stay the child's return pending appeal. The mother and child were reunited in September 2013.

The father appealed to the Fifth Circuit, which affirmed the trial court's judgment in a unanimous, per curiam opinion. The Court found no error in the district court's determination that the mother had met her burden under the Hague Convention to show that, at the time of the abduction, the child's "habitual residence" was Mexico and the father's actions violated the mother's custody rights. In doing so, the Fifth Circuit noted that the finding was supported by "sufficient and compelling evidence" adduced at trial. The Court also rejected the father's arguments that the district court had considered improper evidence and had placed the burden of proof on him.

No. 13-10987, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 14521 (5th Cir. July 22, 2014) (per curiam) (unpublished opinion)