International Child Abduction Case Reunites Father and Daughter

On August 31, 2018, PSD resolved an international child abduction case in favor of its client, a father in Brazil. In so doing, PSD reunited its client, Carlos Ferrari, with his young daughter. About a year earlier, the 5-year old girl’s mother had taken her from Brazil to Massachusetts. At the time, Carlos understood the trip would be a thirty-day visit. Once in the U.S., the mother texted Carlos that she would not return their daughter to Brazil. Instead, the mother stated she would remain in the U.S. with her new husband.

PSD Brings International Child Abduction Case

Led by partners Peter Duffy and Phil Rakhunov, the PSD team filed an international child abduction case in federal court.  Invoking the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, the petition sought a return of Carlos’s daughter to Brazil. After an initial hearing, PSD promptly obtained a resolution to send the parties’ daughter back to Brazil under a Consent Order with a parenting plan. Subsequently, Carlos expressed that he was “eternally grateful” to PSD for being reunited with his daughter after more than a year apart. PSD filed the case in federal court in the District of Massachusetts, styled as Ferrari v. Ottone, 18-cv-10599-ADB (D. Mass.).

As a background matter, the Hague Convention constitutes a multilateral treaty developed through the Hague Conference on Private International Law. The treaty provides an expeditious method to return a child who has been removed or retained internationally by a parent from one member country to another. Participating nations reached the treaty in 1980 and it went into force in 1983. The treaty can facilitate the prompt return of children who have been removed or retained from their country of habitual residence.