2 Japanese judges to join Hague Convention network


June 29, 2015

Source: The Japan News

The Supreme Court has decided to register two Japanese judges as members of the Hague Convention Attorney Network, which comprises judges from 65 signatories to the Hague Convention (see below), to help determine whether children of broken international marriages should be returned to their countries of habitual residence.

japanese child abduction

The measure is expected to give family court judges in Japan better access to information related to such proceedings via the network.

Through e-mails and other communications from their counterparts overseas, family court judges will be able to obtain constant, up-to-date information about legal and other systems to protect children and their mothers in other nations.

Lawyers specializing in such cases of parental child abduction have expressed high hopes. “Having detailed knowledge of the situation in the countries where children will be returned could make it easier to reach decisions,” one said.

The Supreme Court said 97 judges, drawn from 65 of the total 93 countries joining the convention, were registered in the network as of March.

Family laws differ among the signatory countries, and in the United States, they can even vary among states. Network members can exchange information about various legal systems and share their views on rulings in specific trials.

When the convention went into effect in Japan in April last year, the idea of registering Japanese court judges in the network was considered.

But some legal experts reportedly voiced concerns, saying that providing details of domestic trials to judges in other countries could hurt the independence of the judiciary.

Court judges experienced in handling such cases sought to enroll in the network. “I want to hear about the latest cases in other signatory countries so I can use them as reference,” one explained.

Consequently, the Supreme Court decided to register two judges who belong to its Family Bureau of the General Secretariat, rather than judges working in courts.

Law and money

The two member judges are expected to liaise over the phone and e-mail after collecting questions from family courts and other related entities.

For example, in cases of suspected domestic violence, Japanese court judges will be able to inquire in advance whether mothers and their children are eligible to receive assistance from administrative authorities if they repatriate.

If the conditions for returning the children are decided through legal mediation, Japanese court judges will be able to verify whether the terms decided in Japan are also legally binding in the other country.

The sources said the network members occasionally hold gatherings and exchange opinions.

“Participation in the network means that judgments based on the convention [in Japan] will be more aligned with international standards,” said Toshiteru Shibaike, a lawyer and expert on the convention. “In the future, court judges will hopefully make more flexible judgments that emphasize the welfare of children while using the perspectives of their peers abroad as reference.”

■ The Hague Convention

Formally called the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, it went into effect in April 2014 in Japan. As of April this year, 93 countries were signatories. If children are taken to Japan, family courts make decisions over whether to accept requests to return the children filed by parents in other countries. As of the end of March, Japanese family courts had received a total of 16 such requests, nine of which were granted.

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Parental Kidnapping – Dad walks 400 miles for vital cause – “He raises awareness about parental alienation”


December 14 , 2014

Source: theacorn.com

Parental Kidnapping

ON A MISSION—Patrick Glynn of Old Agoura completed a 400-mile “Walk for Lost Kids” that started Oct. 15 in Boston and ended returned Nov. 14 at the U.S. Capitol.

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The divorced father is raising awareness about the issue of parental alienation. With him is Sherry Palmer of Fix Family Courts, who arranged a rally in an effort to change how child custody decisions are handled in family court. Some parents call it legalized child abduction. Others call it kidnapping or emotional child abuse.

Parental alienation by any name wreaks devastating consequences on children throughout the nation, who, through family court decrees and psychological manipulation by one parent against the other, find themselves emotionally unmoored, distrustful and eventually broken as adults.

Divorce creates enough drama for children, but when one parent pits their vulnerable child against the other parent, the consequences can be devastating.

Patrick Glynn should know. The resident of Old Agoura went through a harrowing divorce, but he never dreamed that he, a devoted caregiver of his two daughters since they were born, would be seen as the enemy by his wife and the court system.

Abducted_Children_USA

To raise awareness of the impact of parental alienation on mothers and fathers throughout the nation, Glynn spent a month on a walk, speaking about the phenomenon that, at times, can be a form of brainwashing.

Called the Walk for Lost Kids, he trekked 400 miles from Boston to the U.S. Capitol from Oct. 15 to Nov. 14 to raise awareness and possibly enact some common sense laws to protect the rights of both parents.

Glynn’s story, unfortunately, is typical. Glynn was not deemed by the court as the primary caregiver to his daughters. Yet, nobody, including his ex-wife, could say he wasn’t there for his children.

“My financial situation forced me to find work 300 miles from my kids so I was forced to move,” Glynn said.

The long distance didn’t stop Glynn from seeing his girls every weekend.

“I drove the 10-hour round trip each weekend religiously,” he said. “Every break, every weekend was with my kids. When my case hit the courts, I learned firsthand how family court had little to do with justice. Simple assumptions, like expecting 50 percent access to my kids, were quickly swept away. My ex, probably egged on by her attorney, tried to declare my custody at 7 percent—an occasional dad. And from day one in court I had to prove myself a worthy father,” he said.

Glynn isn’t just railing against partners who play dirty in divorce court. He is furious at how the court system aids and abets in the agony of divorce and child custody cases.

“I went from being an involved, hands-on dad to the courts relegating me to seeing my two daughters for six weeks a year, all because my wife wanted a divorce,” he said. “Now I pay her support and alimony in return for her keeping my children away from me.”

losing money

Parental alienation is more than just keeping children away from their parents. In the most severe cases, a parent subtly turns children against a parent through psychological manipulation. Although Glynn’s divorce was thorny, he has a relationship with his children although it’s been diminished by the legal battles.

Regardless of whether the alienation is slight or severe, children suffer, he said.

“I’ve experienced the atrocities and injustice firsthand, and that’s why I decided to walk 400 miles,” he said. “On my journey, I heard countless stories of lost kids—all eerily similar. Family law attorneys and courts perpetuate an adversarial situation, pitting two parents against each other to battle over their kids and the profits that result from being ‘awarded’ custody rights.”

Glynn’s efforts are making headway. The Walk for Lost Kids was sponsored by Divorce Corp., a group that hosted a divorce reform conference in November.

But the battle for divorce reform has a long way to go since most of it resides in the hands of state legislators.

At the conference, Glynn and other parents stung by parental alienation tactics learned how other countries handle divorce and child custody cases. Flawed economics of the U.S. child support system, corrupt family courts and even racketeering between judges and attorneys were also discussed at the event.

Tragic tales of loss predominated but a few success stories were shared. Alimony laws have been reformed in Massachusetts, and a reportedly corrupt judge in North Carolina lost his seat to a man dedicated to reform in child custody cases.

According to the National Parents organization`s report, which rates each state’s shared parenting legislation, most earned a C or a D grade.California earned a D and New York an F.

When Glynn ended his 400-mile walk at the steps of the U.S. Capitol, he gave a speech. He talked about the defeat of divorce exacerbated by the humiliation of being driven into poverty by the family court system and “selfish” ex-spouses. But the most pain, he said, comes from having the children you have adored and raised since birth taken away.

“It’s this very humiliation that has allowed so much corruption in family courts to blossom,” he said. “What the courts are doing to remove loving parents from our children’s lives is unconstitutional, illegal but most of all, it’s just plain unethical.”

Glynn is proposing a 50/50 custody solution, where divorce automatically gives each parent 50 percent custody without court intervention. The option to relinquish time would be allowed on an annual basis. The law would eliminate the tendency for one parent to discredit the other in order to “win” the child custody battle.

“In the current system, the likelihood is that one parent will merely eliminate the other,” he said. “This is in the interest of the ‘winning’ parent, the lawyers and the judges but not in the interest of either the children or the ‘losing’ parent.”

In his speech, Glynn asked some pertinent questions. “What kind of people remove a loving parent from a child’s life,” he asked. “What kind of government puts a financial incentive in place to encourage the practice? There is not a single more destructive thing you could do to a child’s life than remove a loving parent.”

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Canada – Police seek public’s help in parental abduction


October 28 , 2014

Source: cbc.com 

Rebekah Isaac and her 2 young children were last seen on the morning of Oct. 27

A Toronto mother and her two children are missing in what police have called a parental abduction, and investigators are asking for the public’s help in locating them.

Rebekah Isaac, 34, was last seen with her seven-year-old son Jonathan and her five-year-old daughter Joylin on Monday morning in the Neilson Road and McLevin Avenue area.

Rebekah Isaac parental abduction

Rebekah Isaac, 34, and her two young children Jonathan and Joylin were last seen on the morning of Oct. 27. Police are concerned for their safety. (Toronto Police Services handout)

Rebekah is described as five-feet to five-feet, two-inches tall, 120 pounds, with straight black hair and gold earrings. She was last seen wearing black pants, a red-and-white striped shirt and a light brown three-quarter-length hooded jacket. She was carrying a black and blue knapsack.

Jonathan is described as four-feet, four-inches tall with a slim build and short black hair. He was last seen wearing a pull-over sweater with brown and blue horizontal stripes and blue jeans.

Joylin is between four-feet and four-feet, two-inches tall and 35 to 50 pounds. She has short black hair and was wearing dangling gold earrings.

Police are worried about the family’s safety, and are asking anyone with information that might help to find the trio to contact them.

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Intense Child Custody Disputes are Rarely About the Best Interests of the Child


October 4 , 2014

Source: socialworkhelper 

Child custody disputes are rarely about the best interest of the child, and the stories are all too common. A parent is reported to have abducted their child as part of a long-standing custody and access dispute. Indeed, a quick Google search reveals almost 500,000 hits for the term parental abduction.The term parent alienation yielded over 1 million hits.

PAS_Parental-alienation

For the children, these battles between parents can be scary, particularly when they involve some form of abduction. They are being taken away from a parent who loves them by a parent who also professes the same thing. How can this be? But the abduction is rarely a unique event in the lives of children. They typically have faced years of conflict between parents. The list of what children are exposed too is long:

parental child abduction 300x170 Intense Child Custody Disputes are Rarely About the Best Interests of the Child• Parents yelling at each other;
• Arguments in public at custody exchange places;
• Put downs of the other parent;
• Denial of financial support as a means of getting back at a parent;
• Refusal to allow a child to bring favourite toys or clothes to a visit;
• Efforts to get the child to take sides.

It doesn’t take much imagination to come up with a variety of other ways that parents seek to get back at each other. Too often, courts become part of the toolbox used by an angry parent. Anyone who has worked in this area can tell stories of a parent (too often representing themselves in court) filing petition after petition against the other parent. There are also the tragic cases where a parent kills the child. Here in Alberta, we recently saw the death of 9-year-old Amber Lucius. It is believed that her mother killed her. The media reports a six-year custody battle.

Courts are typically more focused on parents who can manage to get along or at least will honour the orders of the courts. They are not as effective with cases where the parent simply ignores the court orders. While this will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, there is no doubt that the defiant parent will have created much havoc before the court holds that parent to task. Many will never get held accountable as the other parent just gives up – they can’t manage the battle any longer or they are out of money to defend themselves in court.

Child protection systems are often reluctant to get involved. They feels that a competent justice system is in place through family and divorce courts. Yet, these more extreme cases carry on creating damage to the child. A study just published in the journal Development and Psychopathology researchers Raver, Blair and Garrett-Peters showed that children who are exposed to verbal and physical aggression between parents have long term negative effects which include the ability to identify and regulate emotions. In other words, they suffer from a form of emotional abuse. Conflict between parents warring over custody and access can fit this description.

Child protection should get involved in these cases. They can bring another force of control against the non-compliant parent. In more extreme cases that might lead to more intrusive arrangements by child protection where a child is removed to kinship or foster care. These child custody disputes, while under the guise of the best interests of the child, are far from it. Society needs to be willing to protect the child and child protection may need to be one way to do that when other court based interventions fail.

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Parental Abduction – U.S. Woman Enters Plea in International Kidnap Case


September 30 , 2014

Source: abcnews

A woman accused of abducting her infant daughter from South Carolina 20 years ago pleaded not guilty Monday during her first court appearance after being extradited from Australia.

Dorothy lee barnett

Dorothy Lee Barnett, 54, entered the plea before U.S. Magistrate Bristow Marchant. Her attorney requested that her bond hearing be delayed.

Barnett faces a count of parental kidnapping and two counts of falsifying U.S. passport applications. Authorities allege she did not have custody of her then 10-month-old daughter Savanna Catherine Todd when she took her from South Carolina back in 1994.

Barnett was found in Australia last year where she had been living under several aliases. She fought extradition but was finally returned to the United States last week.

Her attorney, Russell W. Mace III, told the judge he needs time to contact Barnett’s family and friends from out of state and out of the country to come vouch for his client. At a bond hearing a judge decides whether a defendant can be released after weighing whether he or she is a flight risk.

Mace told the judge his client had been back since Friday and he only met her for the first time Saturday.

He told reporters later that he has been in contact with Barnett by telephone since she was arrested and jailed in Australia last November. He would not comment further.

Barnett appeared before the judge in a gray-striped prison jumpsuit and there were shackles on her hands as she signed the court papers acknowledging her plea. She did not comment except to tell the judge she understood both the charges and that she would have to remain in jail at least until the bond hearing.

Conviction on the charges carries a maximum penalty of 30 years.

Authorities said that in 1994, Barnett left for a birthday party with her daughter and never returned. The previous year Barnett had filed for divorce from her husband, Benjamin Harris Todd III, a Bowling Green, Kentucky, native and former Charleston stockbroker.

The daughter has since been living a normal life in Australia, authorities said.

Prosecutors have not yet said just how Barnett was found in Australia after almost two decades.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathan Williams, who told the judge the government will oppose bond, would not comment following the hearing.

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Parental Kidnapping – Va. mother faces kidnapping charges


September 29 , 2014

Source: charlestondailymail 

A Virginia woman wanted by police after allegedly kidnapping her three children was arrested in Kanawha County.

Lisa Ann Cantrell

State Police stopped Lisa Ann Cantrell, 50, of Pound, Va., late Saturday on the West Virginia Turnpike in Kanawha County. Cantrell was wanted for kidnapping her three children, a 17-year-old boy, and two girls, aged 12 and 9.

The Wise County (Va.) Sheriff’s Office issued information about a “possible parental child abduction” on their Facebook page over the weekend. The post identified Cantrell and displayed pictures of her and her three children. A description of her vehicle, a green Chevrolet Suburban with Virginia license plates, was also given in the post.

A State Police parkways dispatcher said the vehicle’s information was entered into the National Crime Information Center’s database. A license plate reader in a State Police cruiser picked up the SUV’s tags as it passed at about 10 p.m. Saturday on Interstate 77-64 and the trooper pulled the vehicle over, the dispatcher said.

Virginia deputies posted on Facebook Sunday that the three children were “safe” and that family members were en route to West Virginia to pick them up. Wise deputies were not available for comment Sunday.

Cantrell is being held without bond at South Central Regional Jail and is awaiting extradition to Virginia where she will face kidnapping charges.

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USA Interstate Abductions – Father Seeks Public’s Help In Search For Abducted 3-Year-Old Son


September 23 , 2014

Source: cbslocal.com 

NOTE: ABP World Group USA launches new division to assist American parents in Interstate abduction.

LA: A local father is seeking the public’s help in the search for his 3-year-old son, whose mother is suspected of kidnapping.

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KCAL9’s Crystal Cruz reports it’s been a year-and-a-half since Anthony Tummarello has seen his toddler, Anthony Jr.

The 29-year-old father says his then-girlfriend took their son on a trip to the Midwest in 2013 following a parental dispute, and never came home.

“I’m just super upset and lonely without my son. That’s my first-born blood and I love him to death,” he said. “It’s been terrible. I just think about my son every day. I still work to keep a roof over my head but I wish I had 24 hours in a day’s period to just search for him.”

Detectives with the Big Bear Sheriff’s Department are searching for the child’s mother, Melissa Epperley. Authorities say her family hasn’t been cooperative.

Parental-Child-Abduction US

“I have put up these missing child flyers – close to 1,000 of them – now in the Big Bear and Inland Empire area,” the father said.

Tummarello also says he’s spent $16,000 on legal fees searching for his child, who could now go by the name Drake.

“I spend all my time looking for my son and I just won’t stop,” he vowed.

The District Attorney has issued a $650,000 warrant for Melissa Epperly’s arrest.

She now faces a felony kidnapping charge.

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