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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Hernandez v Montes, 2018 WL 405977 (E.D. North Carolina, 2018)[Mexico] [Temporary Restraining order]

In Hernandez v Montes, 2018 WL 405977 (E.D. North Carolina, 2018) the district court granted the Father’s motion for a preliminary restraining order prohibiting the removal of the Child, N.R.A., from the Eastern District of North Carolina pending the preliminary injunction hearing;” and directing the relinquishment of the Child’s travel documents, including his Mexican and American passports, to the United States Marshal.

The court observed that “A plaintiff seeking preliminary injunctive relief must establish that he is likely to succeed on the merits, that he is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief, that the balance of equities tip in his favor, and that an injunction is in the public interest.” Winter v. Natural Res. Def. Council. Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 20 (2008); see The Real Truth About Obama, Inc. v. FEC, 575 F.3d 342, 346 (4th Cir. 2009), vacated on other grounds, 559 U.S. 1089 (2010), reissued in relevant part, 607 F.3d 355, 356 (4th Cir. 2010) (per curiam). After examining these factors, the court found that the requested TRO was authorized and necessary in this case.

First, the court found that allowing the Mother to flee with the Child would result in irreparable harm. See Alcala, 2014 WL 5506739. at *6. Second, the court found that any threatened harm to Mother and Barrios was minimal as compared to the probability of irreparable harm to Father and the Child…Third, the court found that Father had demonstrated that he is likely to succeed on the merits. Father’s evidence showed that (1) the Child’s habitual residence was Mexico immediately before the wrongful retention; (2) Father had “rights of custody” under Mexican law; and (3) Father was exercising his rights of custody and would have continued doing so but for Mother’s wrongful retention of the Child in the United States. Fourth, the public interest supported issuing the TRO. See Salguero v. Argueta, No. 5:17-CV-125-FL, 2017 WL 1067758, at *2 (E.D.N.C. Mar. 21, 2017) (unpublished) ( “Finally, a TRO serves the public interest. Since international abduction [and] wrongful retention of [a] child[ ] is harmful to [his or her] well-being,’ a TRO in this case will serve the public interest by protecting the child’s well-being.”; Alcala v. Hernandez, No. 4:14-CV-4176-RBH, 2014 WL 5506739, at *7 (D.S.C. Oct. 30, 2014) (unpublished). The court declined to require bond. A bond is not mandatory and can be waived. See Hoechst Diafoil Co. v. Nan Ya Plastics Corp., 174 F.3d 411, 421 n.3 (4th Cir. 1999)

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