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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Toufighjou v Tritschler, 2016 WL 3883193 (M.D. Florida, 2016) [Canada] [Defense of Consent Not Established] [Petition granted]

In Toufighjou v Tritschler, 2016 WL 3883193 (M.D. Florida, 2016) Toufighjou (father) and Tritschler (mother) were residents of Canada and had a three year old child, A.R.T. In July of 2015, both Toufighjou and Tritschler signed paperwork for A.R.T. to attend a daycare program in Florida. On August 2, 2015, Toufighjou went on a short vacation to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, which was to end on August 6, 2015. On August 5, 2015, Tritschler informed Toufighjou that she would be going to a friend's home for a few days. Toufighjou soon discovered that Tritschler had crossed the border into the United States and traveled to Florida with the child. Tritschler removed the child from Canada with no warning to Toufighjou, and Toufighjou testified that Tritschler did not take her personal belongings to Florida. Immediately thereafter, Toufighjou contacted the police and hired an attorney. Toufighjou filed a request for return of the child with the Canadian government and took other formal and informal steps to secure his child's return to Canada. Days after arriving in Florida with the child. On June 23, 2016, Toufighjou commenced the proceeding for return. Tritschler did not dispute and the Court found that Toufighjou established a prima facie case. It rejected Tritschler’s defense of consent to or subsequent acquiescence in the removal or retention” of the child. Convention Art. 13(a); 22 U.S.C. § 9003(e)(2)(B). The facts did not establish that Toufighjou consented to his child's removal from Canada to Florida. A.R.T.'s removal was made without warning and while Toufighjou was on a short vacation. Tritschler did not tell Toufighjou that she was going to remove his child, and Toufighjou therefore had no opportunity to consent to his child's removal to Florida. Although Tritschler has come forward with daycare paperwork that Toufighjou signed in April of 2015, that does not carry Tritschler's burden of demonstrating that Toufighjou consented to the August 2015 removal of his child. In addition, the record did not show that Toufighjou acquiesced to his child's removal after that removal was made known to him.

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