The child, a girl, was 4 1/4 at the date of the alleged wrongful removal. The parents were married. The family had lived in the United States, but, in October 1994 moved to Australia.
On 19 March 1996 the mother unilaterally took the girl and her half brother back to the United States.
On 22 March the Family Court of Australia at Brisbane awarded the father interim custody of the girl.
On 15 April 1996 the father filed a return petition in the District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi.