Case: 18-935 Monasky v. Taglieri (2019-DEC-11)

QUESTION PRESENTED Michelle Monasky, a U.S. citizen married to Domenico Taglieri, an Italian citizen, claimed that Taglieri had repeatedly assaulted her before and during her pregnancy. Monasky returned to the United States with their two-month-old daughter, and Taglieri asked an Italian court to terminate Monasky’s parental rights. The Italian court ruled in Taglieri’s favor ex parte (without an appearance by Monasky). Taglieri then asked a federal court to require that Monasky return the baby to Italy. The court granted Taglieri’s petition, finding that Italy was the baby’s habitual residence. Both the Sixth Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court denied Monasky’s motion for a stay pending appeal, so Monasky returned their daughter to Italy. A panel of the Sixth Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision, and then the Sixth Circuit agreed to a rehearing en banc. The International Child Abduction Remedies Act, 22 U.S.C. § 9001 et seq. implements the Hague Convention in the United States, and the law defines wrongful removal as taking a child in violation of custodial rights “under the law of the State in which the child was habitually resident immediately before the removal.” To determine the child’s habitual residence, a court must look “to the place in which the child has become ‘acclimatized,’ or as a back-up inquiry, “shared parental intent.” Because the child, at two months of age, was too young to acclimate to a country, the relevant inquiry is the parents’ shared intent. The district court is in the best position to make such an inquiry, and, finding no clear error in the district court’s finding as to habitual residence, the Sixth Circuit (en banc) affirmed. QUESTIONS: What is the proper standard of review of a district court’s determination of habitual residence under the Hague Convention—de novo, a deferential version of de novo, or for clear error? When an infant is too young to acclimate to her surroundings, is a subjective agreement between the infant‘s parents is necessary to establish her habitual residence under the Hague Convention? --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/scotus/support

QUESTION PRESENTED

Michelle Monasky, a U.S. citizen married to Domenico Taglieri, an Italian citizen, claimed that Taglieri had repeatedly assaulted her before and during her pregnancy. Monasky returned to the United States with their two-month-old daughter, and Taglieri asked an Italian court to terminate Monasky’s parental rights.

The Italian court ruled in Taglieri’s favor ex parte (without an appearance by Monasky). Taglieri then asked a federal court to require that Monasky return the baby to Italy. The court granted Taglieri’s petition, finding that Italy was the baby’s habitual residence. Both the Sixth Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court denied Monasky’s motion for a stay pending appeal, so Monasky returned their daughter to Italy. A panel of the Sixth Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision, and then the Sixth Circuit agreed to a rehearing en banc.

The International Child Abduction Remedies Act, 22 U.S.C. § 9001 et seq. implements the Hague Convention in the United States, and the law defines wrongful removal as taking a child in violation of custodial rights “under the law of the State in which the child was habitually resident immediately before the removal.” To determine the child’s habitual residence, a court must look “to the place in which the child has become ‘acclimatized,’ or as a back-up inquiry, “shared parental intent.” Because the child, at two months of age, was too young to acclimate to a country, the relevant inquiry is the parents’ shared intent. The district court is in the best position to make such an inquiry, and, finding no clear error in the district court’s finding as to habitual residence, the Sixth Circuit (en banc) affirmed.

QUESTIONS:

  1. What is the proper standard of review of a district court’s determination of habitual residence under the Hague Convention—de novo, a deferential version of de novo, or for clear error?
  2. When an infant is too young to acclimate to her surroundings, is a subjective agreement between the infant‘s parents is necessary to establish her habitual residence under the Hague Convention?
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