The state Supreme Court will hear oral arguments today in a Hillsborough child custody case with international implications.
After the breakup of her marriage, Erika MacKinnon wants to return to her homeland,
Unlike North American and European countries,
Jeremy Morley, a New York lawyer specializing in international family law, said he is "very frustrated" by the haphazard response of American courts.
"What the court needs to appreciate in this type of case is that if a child goes to Japan, and the custodial parent wishes to keep her there, it could be the last the other parent will ever see of her," Morley said. "Some courts recognize that, some do not."
While there have been high-profile cases elsewhere involving abductions to
"The precedent in
For that matter, the idea of "abductions" does not fit this case either, said Christina Reger, Erika MacKinnon
"She was only 19 when she came to this country" in 1991, after meeting Ronald MacKinnon when he was stationed on
"She has absolutely no family here, no support group, limited financial prospects," Reger said.
In contrast, Erika MacKinnon
Moreover, since the girl was born, Erika MacKinnon has taken her to
"The court should reconsider reopening the case to take testimony on that point," Morley said, and possibly require a bond be posted to pay for the trips.