Articles Posted in U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals

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Mother, a citizen of Colombia who entered the United States illegally, and Father, a naturalized U.S. citizen, married and had a daughter, E.G., born in Massachusetts. When E.G. was two years old Mother and E.G. moved to Columbia, where they lived for two-and-a-half years. E.G. then moved back to the United States to live with Father. When E.G. was five years old, Mother and Father divorced, and Father was granted sole legal and physical custody of E.G. Mother filed a petition pursuant to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, alleging that Father wrongfully retained E.G. in the United States. The district court denied Mother’s petition, concluding that the United States was E.G.’s place of habitual residence, and therefore, E.G.’s retention was not wrongful under the Hague Convention. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that E.G.’s habitual residence was the United States, and therefore, Father did not wrongfully retain her under the Hague Convention. View "Sanchez-Londono v. Gonzalez" on Justia Law

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Mother and Father had two daughters that were born in the United States. When the girls were four months and just over one year old, the family moved to Singapore after Father’s employer temporarily relocated him. The family lived in Singapore for approximately one year and a half, after which time Mother traveled with the girls to the United States and refused to return to Singapore. Father petitioned the federal district court for the return of the children pursuant to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. The district court granted the petition, determining that the children’s place of habitual residence was Singapore, and therefore, Mother’s retention of the children in the United States was wrongful. The First Circuit vacated the judgment of the district court and remanded, holding that the district court erred in its habitual-residence analysis by failing to determine whether the parties intended to abandon their habitual residence in the United States or whether they intended to retain it while living abroad for a temporary period of fixed duration. View "Neergaard v. Neergaard-Colon" on Justia Law

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David Efron and his former wife, Madeleine Candelario-Del-Moral, were engaged in long-running litigation related to their high-stakes divorce. In 2006, a Puerto Rico court in which the divorce proceedings were pending issued an order attaching the funds held in Efron’s UBS Financial Services Inc. accounts. The court subsequently made a ruling that may or may not have vacated the attachment. UBS treated the attachment as void and dispersed the bulk of the funds. Candelario sued UBS in federal district court for negligently releasing the attached funds. Ultimately, at the district court’s suggestion, UBS and Candelario opted to undertake mediation. Thereafter, Efron moved to intervene as of right in the Candelario-UBS litigation. The district court denied the motion. The First Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of the motion and denied Candelario’s motion for appellate sanctions, holding (1) the Court had jurisdiction to hear and determine Efron’s interlocutory appeal; (2) the district court did not abuse its discretion in deeming Efron’s motion to intervene untimely and in refusing to grant it; and (3) although Efron’s case for intervention was weak, it was not frivolous. View "Candelario-Del-Moral v. Efron" on Justia Law

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Petitioner, a citizen of Argentina, and Respondent, a United States citizen from Puerto Rico, had a child together in 2008. The child (“LAD”) was a citizen of both the United States and Argentina. In 2011, the family traveled to the United States, first stopping in Florida and then moving on to Puerto Rico. It was there that Respondent announced that she and LAD would not be returning to Argentina. After Petitioner returned to Argentina, Respondent filed for legal custody of LAD in Puerto Rico state court. Petitioner subsequently filed the instant action with the federal district court in Puerto Rico, alleging that Respondent’s actions amounted to a wrongful retention of his son. The district court denied the petition. The First Circuit Court of Appeals reversed and remanded, holding (1) because Petitioner had custody rights over LAD and was exercising those rights at the time of the retention, Petitioner established wrongful retention by a preponderance of the evidence; and (2) Respondent did not introduce sufficient evidence to establish Petitioner’s consent or acquiescence to this retention. View "Darin v. Olivero-Huffman" on Justia Law

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This matter began in a New Hampshire family court (“Family Court”) in 2006 and involved Plaintiff’s support obligations to his former wife and son. Due to Plaintiff’s financial evasiveness, the Family Court appointed a commissioner (“Commissioner”) to investigate and report Plaintiff’s gross income from 2006 forward. The Commissioner found Plaintiff’s income was higher than what Plaintiff had previously represented to the court. Consequently, the Family Court held Plaintiff in contempt for failure to pay past-due child support obligations and entered judgment in favor of Plaintiff’s ex-wife. The New Hampshire Supreme Court (NHSC) denied Plaintiff’s discretionary appeal. Plaintiff subsequently filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court seeking to enjoin the orders of the Family Court on constitutional grounds and to reverse the NHSC’s denial of his discretionary appeal. Plaintiff also asserted various claims against the Commissioner. The district court’s dismissed all of Plaintiff’s claims. The First Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed, holding (1) N.H. Sup. Ct. R. 3, which classifies appeals from child support orders as discretionary, does not violate the due process and equal protection clauses of the U.S. Constitution; and (2) the Commissioner was immune to suit for his acts as Commissioner in the matter. View "D'Angelo v. N.H. Supreme Court" on Justia Law

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Mother, an Egyptian citizen, acted in violation of a court order when she, together with her two children, boarded an EgyptAir Airlines Company flight to Cairo, Egypt. The father of the children and Mother's former husband (Father) brought this lawsuit against Mother and EgyptAir. Father claimed EgyptAir was negligent in allowing Mother to board the flight despite "red flags" suggesting she was abducting the children. The district court granted summary judgment for EgyptAir, concluding that the airline did not know of Mother's plan to abduct the children and did not owe Defendant or the children a duty to investigate the red flags. The First Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of Father's claims, holding (1) the district court had jurisdiction over the claims; and (2) the claims, which challenged airline ticketing, check-in, and boarding procedures, were preempted under the Airline Deregulation Act. View "Bower v. El-Nady Bower" on Justia Law

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The Yaman children, ages 10 and 11, have lived with their mother since 2004, having lived with both parents before that. The mother and children have lived in the U.S. since 2010, but the habitual residence of the children was Turkey. The father was given custody of the children by the Turkish courts, but their American mother wrongfully removed the children in 2007 and hid them, preventing their father from locating them. The district court denied the father’s petition for return of his children to Turkey, pursuant to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, Oct. 25, 1980, 51 Fed. Reg. 10,494, concluding that the children were "now settled" in the U.S.; the court rejected claims of sexual abuse by the father. The First Circuit affirmed. The Convention does not allow a federal district court to toll equitably the one-year period that must elapse before a parent can assert the "now settled" defense and the evidence supports the conclusion that the children are "now settled." Their father did not seriously contest that holding. The court noted that its decision has no impact on the Turkish courts’ ruling concerning custody. View "Yaman v. Yaman" on Justia Law

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Father and Mother were the biological parents of Child, a girl born in Puerto Rico in 2009. In 2011, Mother and Child moved to the United Kingdom, where they stayed with Father. In 2012, Mother absconded to Puerto Rico with Child. Father subsequently filed a petition for the return of Child under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Convention) and the International Child Abduction Remedies Act, alleging that Mother wrongfully removed Child from her habitual residence. The U.S. district court granted Mother's motion to dismiss on the ground that Father never presented his affidavit of paternity to Puerto Rico's vital statistics registry. The First Circuit Court of Appeals reversed, holding that the district court erred when it dismissed Father's petition on the grounds that he did not have rights of custody, as (1) Father's marriage to Mother legitimated Child under Puerto Rico law; and (2) as a result, Father had parental responsibility for Child under United Kingdom law, which meant he had rights of custody under the Hague Convention. Remanded for a trial. View "Patrick v. Rivera-Lopez" on Justia Law

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The parties in this case were Plaintiff, Madeleine Candelario del Moral, and Defendant, UBS Financial Services, Inc. of Puerto Rico (UBSPR). The lead issue argued here arose from a Puerto Rico judge's verbal order in a divorce contest between Plaintiff and her ex-husband, David Efron. The order vacated a multi-million dollar attachment Plaintiff obtained against Efron's UBSPR accounts. A courtroom clerk later wrote that vacating order up in a document called "minutes," which never got signed by a judge or properly noticed to Plaintiff and Efron. Claiming that the minutes were facially defective, Plaintiff insisted that UBSPR was negligent in letting Efron withdraw millions from certain accounts. The circuit court agreed and granted Plaintiff's motion as to liability. Acting own his own initiative, the circuit court judge (Judge) granted Plaintiff summary judgment on her damages claim too, even though she had expressly limited her motion to the threshold liability issue. The First Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the summary judgment for Plaintiff because there were genuine issues of material fact precluding summary judgment. Remanded for trial. View "Candelario-Del-Moral v. UBS Fin. Servs., Inc. of P.R." on Justia Law

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In this Hague Convention case concerning claims by a motion of wrongful retention in this country of her fourteen-year-old daughter who was in need of emergency psychiatric care, the district court both denied relief and dismissed the Swiss mother's case. The district court interpreted orders of the relevant Swiss Guardianship Authority and a Swiss court as having stripped the mother of all custody rights so as to deprive the federal court of jurisdiction. The First Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the district court's dismissal of the case, holding that while the language of these orders was imprecise, the orders had a far more limited scope, and the federal court was required under the Convention to hear the case. View "Felder v. Wetzel" on Justia Law