International Abduction of Children
On February 19, 2013, the United States Supreme Court issued a significant decision which affects children who have been returned to their country of Habitual Residence pursuant to the Hague Convention on the International Abduction of Children ( The Hague). The case is Chafin v Chafin, and the Case No is 11-1347. In Chafin, Father was living in Alabama with the minor child. The Mother then filed an action for the return of the child pursuant to the Hague Convention.
After a trial on the matter, the District Court concluded that Scotland was the child’s country of habitual residence and ordered the Father to return the minor child to the child’s country of habitual residence (Scotland). Father then filed an appeal of the District Court’s decision ordering the return of the child. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal finding that because the child had been returned an appeal of the decision order the return of the child was moot. Father, then appealed the dismissal of his appeal to the United States Supreme Court. In reversing the decision of the 11th Circuit court of Appeals, the United States Supreme Court held that although a child had been returned to the child’s country of habitual residence that the return of the child did not render an appeal of the return order as moot.