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Friday, September 16, 2016

Adamis v Lampropoulou, --- Fed.Appx. ----, 2016 WL 4470959 (Mem) (2d Cir.,2016)[Greece] [Consent][Petition denied]

In Adamis v Lampropoulou, --- Fed.Appx. ----, 2016 WL 4470959 (Mem) (2d Cir.,2016) the Second Circuit affirmed a judgment which denied Nikolaos Adamis petition for return of his son, D.A., to Greece following his removal to the United States by D.A.’s mother, appellee Fotini Lampropoulou. The district court found that Adamis had consented to the removal of D.A. from Greece, which meant that the move was not “wrongful” under the Hague Convention. The Second Circuit observed that “In cases arising under the [Hague] Convention, a district court’s factual determinations are reviewed for clear error. However, the district court’s application of the Convention to the facts it has found, like the interpretation of the Convention, is subject to de novo review.” See Gitter v. Gitter, 396 F.3d 124, 129 (2d Cir. 2005) When a finding is based on a credibility determination, “particularly strong deference should be granted to the finding in light of the factfinder’s unique ability to assess the witness.” Ortega v. Duncan, 333 F.3d 102, 107 (2d Cir. 2003). It held that the district court’s finding that Adamis consented to D.A.’s removal was not clearly erroneous. The district court relied on the testimony of Lampropoulou, D.A., and D.A.’s stepsister, Toula. Their statements were corroborated by a recorded conversation that occurred approximately ten days before Lampropoulou moved with D.A. to the United States. The conversation confirmed that Lampropoulou could live in the United States with D.A., and could “come and go” to Greece with D.A. Crediting Lampropoulou’s testimony, the district court found that there were no further conversations between the couple about the move until after Lampropoulou had already arrived in the United States, and that Adamis’s explanation for the recording – that he had consented only to a short trip to New York – was not credible. The Court deferred to those credibility findings which, particularly in conjunction with the recorded conversations, were not clearly erroneous.

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