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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Rowe v Vargason, 2011 WL 6151523 (D.Minn.) [Australia] [Federal and State Judicial Remedies]

In Rowe v Vargason, 2011 WL 6151523 (D.Minn.) the Respondent moved for a stay pending appeal. The district court noted that it may stay enforcement of a judgment while an appeal is pending pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 62(c) if the following factors support such a stay: "(1) whether the stay applicant has made a strong showing that [s]he is likely to succeed on the merits; (2) whether the applicant will be irreparably injured absent a stay; (3) whether issuance of the stay will substantially injure the other parties interested in the proceeding; and (4) where the public interest lies." Hilton v. Braunskill, 481 U.S. 770, 776 (1987). The party seeking such a stay has a difficult burden. Haimdas v.. Haimdas, 720 F.Supp.2d 183,210 (E.D.N.Y.2010) (citing United States v. Private Sanitation Indus. Ass'n, 44 F.3d 1082, 1084 (2d Cir.1994)). The most important factor is the likelihood of success on the merits. Brady v. National Football League, 640 F.3d 785, 789 (8th Cir.2011). The Court found that the proper standard is a strong showing of success on the merits or substantial case on the merits, as set forth in the Hilton decision. The court analyzed the factors and denied the motion.
It found, inter alia, that the Respondent had not made a substantial case on the merits and rejected her argument that a conflict of law exists as to whether evidence of abuse of the mother is sufficient to establish the Article 13(b) defense. The Court disagreed that a conflict of law exists in the circuit courts of appeal as to the relevance of evidence concerning abuse of the mother in determining whether a grave risk of harm exists as to the child. The cases cited by Respondent on this issue applied the same standard as the Eighth Circuit. See Walsh v. Walsh, 221 F.3d 204 (1st Cir.2000); In re Adan, 437 F.3d 381 (3d Cir.2006); Simcox v. Simcox, 511 F.3d 594, 608-09 (6th Cir.2007); Van de Sande v. Van de Sande, 431 F.3d 567, 570 (7th Cir.2005); Baran v. Beaty, 526 F.3d 1340, 1346 (11th Cir.2005). The applicable standard in the Eighth Circuit, and in the cases cited above, is whether Respondent demonstrated, by clear and convincing evidence, that there exists a grave risk that the child would be exposed to harm if returned to Australia. Accordingly, the argument that a conflict of law existed had no merit.

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