Anetta and Cezari were both from Poland. They both came to the United States and were married in Brooklyn, New York in 2003. After they were married, they went back to live in Poland. They had two sons, K.G. who was born in 2004, and M.G. who was born in 2008. There were claims their relationship involved spousal abuse.
Anetta Moves to New York
Anetta took her children and immigrated to New York in April 2011. Her mother had been living in Brooklyn and she moved in with her. In 2012, Anetta brought a divorce proceeding in Brooklyn, New York against Cezari.
Family Court Proceedings
Both Anetta and Cezari brought a legal action in the Family Court of Kings County (Brooklyn). Anetta was granted both legal and physical custody of the parties’ children by the Family Court. Cezari was given visitation with the children, but the visitation had to take place within the United States.
U.S. District Court Proceeding
Cezari brought a proceeding in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York (a federal court). He took this action under the Hague Convention, an international child abduction remedies act. He asked the District Court to have the children returned to Poland with him. Judge Frederic Block sitting in the Eastern District of New York found the children’s removal from Poland may have violated Cezari’s custody rights under Polish Law. However, he also found the children had “settled” in the United States. Pursuant to Article 12 of the Geneva Convention this made the United States their home. He found they attended school and church in the United States. He also found they were old enough to form relationships and attachments in their new home. The judge did find there were some questionable issues concerning Anetta’s financial stability and also issues about the children’s appropriate immigration status. However, after reviewing all of the factors Judge Block found the children had “become so settled in their new environment that repatriation [is] not in [their] best interests.”