An action was brought by Mohacsi in the United States District Court, before Judge William Kutz, who sits in a Federal Court located in the Eastern District of New York. The petitioner claimed under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction the court should return his four year old son named Nir to Hungary. He argued the mother, Ropa, had wrongfully removed and kept their son Nir in the United States. He claimed this was a violation of his parental rights under Hague Convention.
The Judge’s Decision
Judge William Kutz denied Mohacsi’s application. He found the wrongful removal claim brought by Mohacsi could not be granted because at the time of the removal of the child neither he nor the Hungarian Court adjudicating the paternity claim on this matter had custodial rights to Nir. Mohacsi’s wrongful retention claim was invalid due to the fact Ropa was the sole custodial parent of Nir at the time of the removal. She had the exclusive right to determine where Nir’s habitual residence would be. In this case it was in the United States.
Hungary Was Not The Child’s Habitual Residence
The relationship between Mohacsi and Ropa fell apart even before Nir was born. Evidence was presented they never shared an intent to raise Nir in Hungary. It was therefore never established that Hungary was Nir’s habitual residence. Mohacsi was also unable to show there was no risk of harm to Nir if he was ordered to have him returned to Hungary. Nir now resides in the United States.
Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. is an attorney with more than 40 years of experience. He has represented clients involving international custody cases. He can be reached for a free consultation at 800-344-6431 or e-mailed at Elliot@sdnylaw.com.