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Date: 09-06-2002

Case Style: Jeremiah W. Holder v. Carla R. Holder

Case Number: 01-35467

Judge: Richard A. Paez

Court: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Plaintiff's Attorney: Rhea J. Rolfe, Edmonds, Washington, for the petitioner-apellant- cross-appellee.

Defendant's Attorney: A. Chad Allred, Seattle, Washington, for the respondent-appellee- cross-appellant.

Description: Jeremiah W. Holder ("Jeremiah"), a member of the United States Air Force stationed in Germany, appeals the order of the district court staying his petition for return of his children from Washington State to Germany under the Hague Conven-tion on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction ("the Hague Convention"), Oct. 25, 1980, 19 I.L.M. 1501, as implemented by the International Child Abduction Remedies Act ("ICARA"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 11601-11610. Jeremiah had previously commenced divorce and custody proceedings against Carla R. Holder ("Carla"), the children's mother, in California state court. As a result of those pending state court proceedings, the district court stayed the action pending reso-lution of Jeremiah's state court appeal, invoking Colorado River Water Conservation District v. United States, 424 U.S. 800 (1976). Carla cross-appeals the district court's denial of her request for attorney's fees and costs.

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Click the case caption above for the full text of the Court's opinion.

Outcome: We conclude that the district court should have promptly adjudicated Jeremiah’s Hague Convention petition in accordance with the purposes of the treaty and its implementing legislation. The Hague Convention seeks to prevent an abducting parent from gaining any advantage in litigation by providing the left-behind parent with an expeditious avenue for seeking return of the abducted child in addition to those remedies available under the local laws of the country to which the child has been taken. With those purposes in mind, we conclude that Jeremiah’s decision to file for custody in state court in California, but bring his Hague Convention petition in federal court in Washington, does not now mean that he is barred from raising them in federal court by the preclusive effect of the state court judgment or that he has waived his rights under the Hague Convention.

Plaintiff's Experts: Unavailable

Defendant's Experts: Unavailable

Comments: None

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