BHGA Prevails in Hague Convention Case

Monday, September 2, 2013

Matthew C. ArnouxAfter a hotly contested six-day trial, Matthew C. Arnoux of Birnbaum, Haddon, Gelfman & Arnoux LLC and attorney Erin Masters recently secured a court order from the Domestic Relations Division of the Cook County Circuit Court requiring the return of a 2½-year-old child to Ontario, Canada.

Arnoux and Masters represented the father, who sought return of the child. The attorneys brought the case under the Hague Convention, the international law addressing international child abduction.

The child’s mother filed for divorce in Cook County. Arnoux and Masters successfully enjoined the divorce proceedings and filed the Hague action on behalf of the father, a Canadian citizen residing in Ontario. The mother is a dual citizen of the United States and Poland.

Judge Renée G. Goldfarb ruled on Aug. 22, 2013, that Canada is the child’s habitual residence, that the child was wrongfully retained in the United States, and that the child must be returned to Toronto for further proceedings in the case.

The 1980 Hague Convention was adopted in the United States in 1988 and was implemented through the International Child Abduction Remedies Act, 42 U.S.C. 11601 et seq.

The case arose after a request to the U.S. Central Authority from the Central Authority of Canada for the child’s return. A redacted transcript of Judge Goldfarb’s 28-page memorandum and order is available in pdf format.