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Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Recent Hague Convention District Court Cases - Galaviz v Reyes, 2022 WL 620702 (W.D. Texas, 2022)

[Mexico][Article 20 defense established] [Grave risk of harm established][Petition denied]

[Under Article 20 the court need not order the return of a child if doing so would violate fundamental principles relating to the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights deems the right to an education a human right. Petitioner’s inability to be present with the children, as required so that they could attend school, effectively denied the two special needs children the fundamental right to an education. The denial of an education to in their most formative years utterly shocked the conscience of the court. Respondent established an affirmative defense to removal pursuant to Article 20.] [ Respondent established that prior to the retention, and while in the care of Petitioner, the children suffered serious abuse and neglect. Respondent put forth evidence demonstrating that while in the care of Petitioner: (1) the children’s physical and cognitive abilities declined; (2) the children did not attend school although they suffered severe special needs; (3) G.A.R.G. received no treatment for her special needs; (4) the children remained completely non-verbal; (5) the children’s healthcare needs were being neglected as the children were missing vaccines, and had unaddressed auditory, visual, and dental issues; (6) the children’s hygiene was being neglected; (6) the children’s ability to use the toilet regressed and the children reverted to using diapers; (7) the children had been physically abused; and (8) there was a strong suggestion the children experienced sexual abuse. The incidents of abuse and neglect collectively and the strong suggestion of sexual abuse constitute a grave risk of physical and psychological harm and an intolerable situation should the children return to Juarez.]