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Initially the Justice Department declared that it would appeal the ruling but the appeal has subsequently been withdrawn