Articles Posted in U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

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Dominguez moved to Dutch Sint Maarten in 2007. Dominguez met Didon and moved into his Dutch Sint Maarten apartment in 2009. In 2010, A.D. was born; in 2011, Dominguez’s daughter from a previous relationship, J.D., joined them. Didon and Dominguez successfully petitioned the French consulate to change J.D.’s birth certificate to list Didon as her father. The family resided in Dutch Sint Maarten, Didon worked and the children attended school in French Saint Martin. In 2014, Dominguez took the children to New York for her sister’s wedding, showing Didon round-trip tickets. Dominguez did not return with the children. Didon pursued a custody action. A French court granted him full custody of both children in an ex parte order. Didon’s investigator located them in Pennsylvania. Didon filed a Hague Convention petition. Following an ex parte telephone hearing, the Pennsylvania district court ordered the U.S. Marshals Service to serve Dominguez, and to confiscate the passports of Dominguez, A.D., and J.D. After hearings at which both parties presented evidence, the court granted Didon’s petition. The Third Circuit vacated. The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction allows a parent to petition for the return of a child when that child has been removed or retained from her “habitual residence” country in violation of the parent’s custody rights in that country. The Hague Convention is recognized by French Saint Martin but is not recognized by Dutch Sint Maarten. Rejecting an argument that a child could have two concurrent “habitual residence” countries, the court concluded that the children were habitual residents only of the country in which they “lived”—Dutch Sint Maarten. View "Didon v. Castillo" on Justia Law

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Mammaro filed a civil rights suit, claiming that the temporary removal of her child from her custody by the New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency was a violation of her substantive due process right as a parent. The removal, following a domestic violence incident between Mammaro and her husband, was based on allegations of neglect by Mammaro’s husband and brother-in-law, supplemented by two positive drug tests of Mammaro, and Mammaro’s decision to take the child from supervised housing, The district court held that several individual caseworkers were not entitled to qualified immunity. The Third Circuit reversed, finding there was no clearly established law, so that a reasonable caseworker would have understood that temporarily removing a child in these circumstances would violate substantive due process. View "Mammaro v. N.J. Div. of Child Prot. & Permanency" on Justia Law