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Saturday, December 24, 2016

Sabria v Perez, 2016 WL 7155744 (D. Oregon, 2016)[Mexico][ Habitual Residence] [Petition denied]

          In Sabria v Perez, 2016 WL 7155744 (D. Oregon, 2016) Plaintiff Anita Castro Sarabia (“Castro”) filed a complaint requesting the court order the return of KMRC, her seven-year-old son with defendant Bulmaro Ruiz Perez (“Ruiz”), to Mexico. The district court found that the United States was the child's habitual residence and dismissed the complaint. It found that in 2008, Castro and Ruiz met in Albany, Oregon. They lived together for a few months before separating. Castro gave birth to KMRC in April 2009.  In 2011 Castro had Ruiz’s permission to travel for seven months to Mexico, Castro’s native land. However, she and the child remained there for four years,  until he was retained in the United States in 2015, by Ruiz, after a visit to Oregon. The Court pointed out that a young child may acquire a new habitual residence in one of two ways: (1) through the parents’ shared settled intention to abandon the initial habitual residence; or (2) if “the objective facts point unequivocally to a person’s ordinary or habitual residence being in a particular place.” Mozes, 239 F.3d at 1076. Neither had occurred here. The district court found that Castro made the unilateral decision to change KMRC’s country of habitual residence from the United States to Mexico. Ruiz never consented or acquiesced to that change. Ruiz always firmly wished for KMRC to return to live in the United States. The Court's reading of Mozes, along with practically no evidence of KMRC’s acclimatization in Mexico, led it to conclude that Castro failed to meet her burden of demonstrating Mexico was KMRC’s country of habitual residence.

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