Cass Civ 1?re 17 Juin 2009, N? de pourvoi 07-16427

INCADAT legal file Hague parental abduction

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The application concerned a child born in New York in 2001. The family had lived in the United States until the father took the child with him to France in February 2006 for the child to undergo surgery. It was planned for them to return to the United States before 30 March 2006.
As the father and child stayed in France after this date, the mother tried to have them return voluntarily and then, on 24 September 2006, filed an application for return with the United States Central Authority. The application was allowed at first instance and the return order was then confirmed by the Court of Appeal of Chamb?ry (cour d’appel de Chamb?ry) on 24 July 2007.
According to the Court of Appeal, if the facts (relating to the parents’ stays in both countries) illustrated some ambiguity as to the choice of the family residence by the parents who were exercising shared parental authority, it was established that it had been arranged that the child would stay in France for 6 weeks in order to complete his/her recovery under the best possible conditions.
The father had unilaterally taken the decision not to send the child back to the United States, contrary to what had been arranged. The Court of Appeal had also noted that it had not been established that the return of the child would expose him/her to a grave risk, in the sense of Article 13. The father lodged an appeal with the Cour de cassation.