The application related to three children born to married, Israeli parents. The eldest child was born in Israel in 1996, the two younger children in the United States of America in 2002 and 2004 following the parents move there in 2001.The parents divorced in the United States in January 2005. A written parenting plan provided that if either parent left Missouri to return to Israel, then the other would return too.
The father returned to Israel in September 2005. The mother took the children there for a vacation in the summer of 2006. The father issued legal proceedings and he only agreed to the children returning to the United States when the mother signed a judicially approved consent agreement that she and the children would relocate to Israel by 1 August 2009.
The agreement provided that failure to do so could be regarded as kidnapping under the Hague Convention. In late 2006, when the mother did not comply with a contact provision of the agreement, the father issued contempt proceedings in Israel. This was successful and upheld on appeal.
In October 2007 the father filed a return petition. Following litigation over internal jurisdiction as between the competence of the state and federal courts, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri: Barzilay v. Barzilay, 609 F. Supp. 2d 867, (E.D. Mo., 2009) dismissed the application. The father appealed.