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Friedrich v. Friedrich

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
78 F.3d 1060 (1996)


Facts

Jeana Friedrich (defendant), an American servicewoman stationed in Germany, married Emanuel Friedrich (plaintiff), a German citizen. The Friedrichs had a son, Thomas. When Thomas was two years old, Jeana and Emanuel separated. Days later, Jeana moved with Thomas to her family’s home in Ohio without informing Emanuel. Emanuel obtained an order from a German court granting custody of Thomas. Emanuel then filed suit against Jeana in federal district court, seeking the Thomas's return pursuant to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (the Convention) and its implementing legislation, the International Child Abduction Remedies Act (the Act), 42 U.S.C. §§ 11601-10. The district court denied Emanuel’s petition, and Emanuel appealed. The court of appeals reversed the judgment of the district court and remanded the matter for a determination of whether, as a matter of German law, Emanuel was exercising custody rights to Thomas at the time of Thomas’s removal and whether Jeana could adequately prove any of the four affirmative defenses provided by the Convention and the Act. After a new hearing, the district court held that Emanuel was exercising custody rights to Thomas pursuant to German law and that Jeana had failed to establish any affirmative defenses. The district court ordered that Thomas return to Germany with Emanuel. Jeana appealed. The district court stayed its order pending the appeal.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Boggs, J.)

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