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Wednesday, August 27, 2014
White v. White, 556 Fed. Appx. 10 (2d Cir., 2014) [Fed & State Judicial Remedies] [Petition Denied]
In White v. White, 556 Fed. Appx. 10 (2d Cir., 2014) the father brought an action against his former wife, pursuant to Hague Convention, for the return of his son from New Jersey. The United States District Court, 2013 WL 1340145, adopted the report
and recommendation of the United States Magistrate Judge, 2012 WL 3041660, and
dismissed action as barred by Rooker-Feldman doctrine, res judicata, and
collateral estoppel and for failure to state a claim. The Second Circuit affirmed for substantially the same reasons stated by the district court and by the magistrate judge, whose report and recommendation was adopted by the district court. This action was in essence a protracted custody dispute on appeal from a state court judgment granting custody of Appellant's son to his ex-wife in New Jersey. It rejected the father’s argument that the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction and its implementing statute, the International Child Abduction Remedies Act, required the return of his son to his custody in New York and repayment of monies that Appellant has paid to Appellee since 2005. It pointed out that the Hague Convention"does not establish substantive standards for resolving the merits of any underlying custody dispute." Mota v. Castillo, 692 F.3d 108, 112 (2d Cir.2012) (citing Hague Convention, art. 19). Rather, the Convention's focus is simply upon whether a child should be returned to her country of habitual residence for custody proceedings. The German Court's determination of "habitual residence," therefore, did not bear upon the New York state court custody proceedings. The conduct of such proceedings in New York is entirely consistent with the German Court's order. Thus, procedural bars aside (all of which the district court correctly found applicable), Appellant's complaint failed to state a claim, and amendment would have been futile.