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Sunday, May 22, 2022

Recent Hague Convention District Court Cases - Sanchez v Duarte, 2022 WL 1540581 ( N.D. Texas, 2022)

 Sanchez v Duarte, 2022 WL 1540581 ( N.D. Texas, 2022) 
[Mexico] [Petitioner’s Motion for Costs, Fees, and Expenses denied because it was untimely] [Despite ICARA’s mandatory language regarding awards of court costs and legal fees, federal and local procedural rules still apply in many jurisdictions. Thus, when a party files a motion for costs and attorney’s fees under ICARA so late that it violates such a procedural rule, a district court may properly disallow the award. See, e.g., Pesin v. Rodriguez, 244 F.3d 1250, 1253 (11th Cir. 2001) The Northern District of Texas has indicated a willingness to deny fees and costs under ICARA when the motion seeking them is filed too late to comply with a procedural rule. See Guaragno v. Guaragno, No.7:09-CV-187-0, 2011 WL 108946, at *3 & n.1 (N.D. Tex. Jan. 11, 2011) (O’Connor, J.) (finding the motion timely). In Guaragno, Judge O’Connor explained that in ICARA cases in this district, courts assess the lateness of a motion based on Rule 54(d). Other Hague cases calculate the timeliness of motions for attorney’s fees and costs based on local rules governing attorney’s fees. Because the Northern District of Texas does not have a local rule governing motions for attorney’s fees, the Court based its calculation of timeliness on Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d). Consequently, a petitioner who prevails on the merits in an ICARA case in this District “must apply for an award of attorney’s fees within 14 days after the judgment is entered. The Court issued its Memorandum Opinion and Order granting Petitioner’s Petition for Return of Child on February 15, 2022. Petitioner’s Motion was therefore due by March 1, 2022. See FED. R. CIV. P. 54(d); Guaragno, 2011 WL 108946, at *3. However, Petitioner did not file the Motion until March 29, 2022.. Accordingly, the Motion was filed untimely. See FED. R. CIV. P. 54(d); Guaragno, 2011 WL 108946, at *3.

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