Articles Posted in International Law

Petitioner Ismail Yaman, a Turkish citizen, and respondent Linda Yaman, a United States citizen, were married in Turkey in August 2000, and respondent became a Turkish citizen in October 2000. Their first child, K.Y., was born in March 2002, in the United States. In January 2003, the family moved to Turkey. The couple’s second child, E.Y., was born in Turkey in August 2003. In early to mid-2004, the respondent became suspicious that petitioner was sexually abusing their older child. In December 2004, the parties separated, and early the next year, petitioner initiated divorce proceedings in the Turkish Family Court. On March 13, 2006, after conducting six hearings in which the court considered evidence from both parties and from the independent experts, the Turkish court rejected respondent’s claim that petitioner had abused the children, and issued an order granting sole legal custody of the children to petitioner and granting respondent visitation. Respondent appealed the order to the Supreme Court of Appeals of Turkey on two occasions, and both times the appellate court affirmed the family court’s order. The family court finalized its order in 2007. Within weeks after the family court’s order became final, and without notice to petitioner, respondent fled Turkey with the children by engaging the services of a self-proclaimed “snatch back” specialist. After years of searching, petitioner, who remained in Turkey, was informed in December 2011 that respondent and the children were living in New Hampshire. Petitioner filed a petition pursuant to Article 2 of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction2 and the International Child Abduction Remedies Act (ICARA) with the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire. Following a three-day evidentiary hearing, the court ruled that the return of the children to Turkey would not pose a grave risk of harm to them because respondent had not established that petitioner abused them. The court also found, however, that the respondent had established that the children were “settled” in New Hampshire within the meaning of Article 12 of the Hague Convention; in light of this finding, the court ruled that it lacked the authority to order the children’s return to Turkey. Alternatively, the court ruled that, given the facts of the case, even if it did have the authority to do so, it would not order the return of the children to Turkey. Petitioner appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, which determined that the district court erred in ruling that it lacked authority to order the return of “settled” children, but affirmed the trial court’s alternative ruling denying return of the children on equitable grounds as a sustainable exercise of discretion. After its review, the New Hampshire Supreme Court held that the circuit court did not err in granting enforcement of the Turkish custody order. View "In the Matter of Ismail Yaman and Linda Yaman" on Justia Law