Monday, May 23, 2016
Hopkins v Webb, 2016 WL 2770553 (W.D. Wisconsin) [Northern Ireland] [Federal & State Judicial Remedies] [TRO] [Death of Respondent]
In Hopkins v Webb, 2016 WL 2770553 (W.D. Wisconsin) Petitioner seeking the return of C.H., the minor child of Mr. Hopkins and respondent, Jackie Lynn Webb initiated this case by filing an ex parte motion for entry of a temporary restraining order. After the court determined that an ex parte TRO was warranted. Ms. Webb and C.H. could not be located but counsel appeared for Ms. Webb. Counsel informed the court that Ms. Webb passed away very recently and that C.H. was the subject of a temporary custody order of the Sumner County, Tennessee, court. Pursuant to the order, C.H. was in the temporary legal custody of the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (TDCS). Counsel for Ms. Webb indicated that a member of Ms. Webb’s family intended to seek custody of C.H. and intended to resist Mr. Hopkins’ attempts to return C.H. to Northern Ireland. To preserve Mr. Hopkin’s right to a decision on the merits of his petition, and to ensure that C.H. was available for return to his father’s custody, should that be the ultimate result of these proceedings, the court issued a TRO to C.H.’s current custodian, TDCS, and transferred the case to the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, where C.H. was currently located. See 22 U.S.C. § 9003(b) (“Any person seeking to initiate judicial proceedings under the [Hague] Convention for the return of a child ... may do so by commencing a civil action ... in the place where the child is located at the time the petition is filed.”).