Chafin v. Chafin
August 13, 2012
Case #: 11-1347
Court Below: Unpublished (11th Cir. 2012).
Full Text Opinion: http://sblog.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Chafin.pdf
Standing: Whether an appeal of a ruling on a petition for Return of Children under the Hague Convention becomes moot when the child at issue returns to his or her own country of habitual residence.
Petitioner and Respondent got married in Germany and had a child. After moving to the United States, they divorced and Respondent was deported to Scotland. Respondent sued for the child to return to Scotland pursuant to the Hague Convention and International Child Abduction Act and the International Child Abduction Remedies Act. Pursuant to the Hague Convention declaration that the trial court should not decide the merits of the case unless it finds that the child is not returned to its "habitual residence," the district court issued an order stating that the child should return to Scotland.
The Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit dismissed the case, concluding that it was moot because the child was back in her homeland and the Supreme Court granted certiorari to resolve a circuit split on the issue of when a Hague Convention appeal becomes moot.