Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Status of Korea’s Accession to the Hague Abduction Convention

As has been recently reported by the U.S. State Department:

·        The Republic of Korea is one of only a handful of East Asian countries that has acceded to the Hague Abduction Convention.

·        The Republic of Korea acceded to the Convention in December 2012, and the Convention went into force for the Republic of Korea on March 1, 2013.

·        The Convention will not enter into force between the Republic of Korea and the United States, however, unless the United States decides to accept the Republic of Korea as a partner.

·        The Department currently is conducting a review of the Republic of Korea’s implementation of the treaty, including its domestic legislation and institutions responsible for executing the country’s responsibilities under the Convention, in order to determine whether the United States should accept the Republic of Korea as a partner under the Convention.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Argentina Not Compliant with Hague Abduction Convention

Argentina has been declared “Not Compliant” with the Hague Abduction Convention in the U.S. State Department’s latest annual report on compliance with the Convention.

In the previous year it was merely listed as a country having “enforcement concerns.”  Indeed the State Department reports that, it “is not aware of any successfully enforced order for return from Argentina to the United States since 2006.”

See the article on our website at:

This finding does not mean that children should not automatically be barred from traveling to Argentina over a parent’s objections but it does require a very careful evaluation of the risk that the taking parent might retain the child in Argentina versus the benefit of such travel for the child.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Compensation for International Child Abduction Victims

Our client, Moses Garcia, eventually succeeded in securing the return of his daughter to Wisconsin from Japan. He did so despite the rulings of Japanese courts that they would not implement the custody orders of the Wisconsin courts, where the child was living prior to her abduction. The child’s belated return, four years after the abduction, was solely a result of an arrest warrant that was issued in the case in Wisconsin and the mother’s mistake in stepping foot in Hawaii to renew her green card. She ultimately pleaded no contest to interfering with child custody, a felony, under an agreement that she would ultimately be convicted of only a misdemeanor if her daughter was returned to Garcia, who had legal custody.

A few weeks after his daughter's return, Dr. Garcia applied on her behalf to the Crime Victim Compensation Program. The Department of Justice denied payment, saying it wasn't intended for situations involving divorce. The DOJ argued that the program was never meant to compensate the kinds of emotional injuries inflicted all too often on children of divorce. But a state administrative law judge has disagreed. She found that the child’s mother had committed the compensable crime of "causing mental harm to a child," and that it was irrelevant that she was neither charged nor convicted of that specific offense. The judge found the girl's four-year stay in Japan completely cut off from her life in Wisconsin, which was not comparable to the emotional injuries suffered by children in more typical divorces.

Initially the Justice Department declared that it would appeal the ruling but the appeal has subsequently been withdrawn