New York Matrimonial Trial Handbook

The New York Matrimonial Trial Handbook by Joel R. Brandes is available in Bookstores and online in the print edition at the Bookbaby Bookstore, Amazon Barnes & Noble, Goodreads and other online book sellers. It is also available in Kindle ebook editions and epub ebook editions for all ebook readers in our website bookstore. The New York Matrimonial Trial Handbook is divided into five parts: (1) Preliminary Matters Prior to the Commencement of Trial, Conduct of Trial and Rules of Evidence Particularly Applicable in Matrimonial Matters; (2); Establishing Grounds for Divorce, Separation and Annulment and Defenses; (3) Obtaining Maintenance, Child Support, Exclusive Occupancy and Counsel Fees; (4) Property Distribution and Evidence of Value; and (5) Trial of a Custody Case. There are thousands of suggested questions for the examination and cross-examination of witnesses dealing with very aspect of the matrimonial trial. Click on this link for more information about the contents of the book and on this link for the complete table of contents.

The New York Matrimonial Trial Handbook was reviewed by Bernard Dworkin, Esq., in the New York Law Journal on December 21, 2017. His review is reprinted on our website at with the permission of the New York Law Journal.

Joel R. Brandes, is the author of Law and The Family New York, 2d (9 volumes) (Thomson Reuters), and Law and the Family New York Forms (5 volumes) (Thomson Reuters). Law and the Family New York, 2d is a treatise and a procedural guide. Volume 4A of the treatise contains more than 950 pages devoted to an analysis of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction and the International Child Abduction Remedies Act. It contains a complete discussion of the cases construing the Convention which have been decided by the United States Supreme Court, the Circuit Courts of Appeal, the District Courts, and the New York Courts.

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Sunday, January 20, 2019

Leonard v Lentz, --- Fed.Appx. ----, 2019 WL 181185 (Mem) (8th Cir., 2019)[Turkey][Grave risk of harm][Petition denied]

         In Leonard v Lentz, --- Fed.Appx. ----, 2019 WL 181185 (Mem) (8th Cir., 2019) Ozgur Leonard, a dual citizen of Turkey and the United States, claimed that Rachel Lentz, a United States citizen, had wrongfully removed the couple’s three minor children, I.Y.L., E.M.L., and S.M.L, to the United States, and he sought the return of the children to the Republic of Turkey. Lentz denied having taken any wrongful action. As an affirmative defense, she asserted, inter alia, that E.M.L., who had been born with End Stage Renal Disease and needed a kidney transplant, required a much more advanced treatment facility and medical team than Turkey could provide; and that returning the children to Turkey would create a grave risk that they would suffer some physical or psychological harm, or place them in an intolerable situation.

          The district court concluded that Leonard had established a prima facie case for wrongful removal.. The district court further determined, however, that Lentz had established the grave risk exception to removal, finding, as relevant, that the evidence, particularly testimony provided by E.M.L.’s doctors at the University of Iowa Health Care (UIHC), showed that ordering E.M.L. to be returned at that time would pose a grave risk to her physical health, and that E.M.L. would need to remain in close proximity to UIHC for the duration of her post-transplant recovery. Accordingly, the court denied Leonard’s request to return the children to Turkey. Just weeks after E.M.L. received a kidney transplant from Lentz, Leonard asked the court to reconsider its decision and, as relevant, to “order the return of the [c]hildren contingent on a future medical ‘release’ by [E.M.L’s nephrologist] stating [she was] satisfied that E.M.L’s further care [could] be provided in Turkey.” The district court found that the issue of whether E.M.L. could be returned to Turkey post-transplant was not ripe for consideration.

          The Eighth Circuit affirmed the judgement. It rejected Leonards argument that, inter alia, that the district court improperly denied his request to return the children to Turkey because the transplant had already occurred and because there was no evidence before the district court demonstrating that Turkish medical facilities were unable to provide adequate post-transplant care. It agreed that the issue was not ripe for consideration, as the record contained neither evidence that E.M.L. had reached the point in her recovery where her medical team was prepared to release her nor evidence establishing the point at which post-transplant return to Turkey would be safe for E.M.L. See Parrish v. Dayton, 761 F.3d 873, 875 (8th Cir. 2014) (ripeness is reviewed de novo; “[a] claim is not ripe for adjudication if it rests upon contingent future events that may not occur as anticipated, or indeed may not occur at all”).