Riigikohus – Tsiviilkolleegium, 28 September 2010, Case No 3-2-1-66-10

INCADAT legal file Hague parental abduction

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The proceedings related to a child born in London in May 2009. The parents had met 10 months previously and had planned to live in Estonia upon the birth of their child. However, prior to the birth the mother was, for medical reasons, not permitted to fly to Estonia from the UK where she had been living for 10 years.
On 3 November 2009 mother and child moved to Estonia and began living in the flat which had been renovated for the family. On 15 December 2009 the mother took the child to London. The father immediately petitioned for the return of the child and for an order that the child’s residence be with him.
The father’s substantive application was brought before the Harju County Court in Estonia. A representative was appointed for the child and an opinion was sought from the local administrative authority, the Parish of Viimsi. On 22 January 2010 the court ruled that the child’s main country of residence was the UK, because that was where she had spent 6 of the 7 _ months of her life.
The father appealed to the Tallinn Circuit Court. The mother, the child’s representative, the Parish Government of Viimsi and the District Government of Mustarn??e all argued that the appeal be dismissed. On 8 March 2010 the appeal was dismissed.
The father petitioned the Supreme Court for an order that the rulings of the lower courts be annulled and that the assessment of habitual residence be remitted for reconsideration.