Saturday, September 3, 2005

Case Law Developments: International Child Abduction – Equitable Estoppel May Not Bar Timely Claim

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in this case reverses the trial court’s denial of Father’s petition for return of his child pursuant to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction and the International Child Abduction Remedies Act. The remedy of return of a child is available only when a removal violates custody rights, not if removal interferes with visitation or rights of access. Since the trial court did not clearly establish the nature of father’s rights, the court of appeals reversed for further proceedings.  The court also held that, while courts have used equitable estoppel to allow claims brought outside the one-year statute of limitations under the Act, equitable estoppel could not be applied against a petitioner whose claim is timely brought.

Katona v. Kovacs, 2005 U.S.App. LEXIS 18881 (4th Cir. August 31, 2005)

Text of opinion on web at http://pacer.ca4.uscourts.gov/opinion.pdf/042040.U.pdf

BGF

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/family_law/2005/09/case_case_law_d.html

Custody (parenting plans), International | Permalink

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