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Family Law — ICARA

U.S. Supreme Court


Family Law — ICARA

The return of a child to a foreign country pursuant to a Convention return order does not render an appeal of that order moot.

Manipulating constitutional doctrine and holding these cases moot is not necessary to achieve the ends of the Convention and ICARA, and may undermine the treaty’s goals and harm the children meant to be protected. If these cases were to become moot upon return, courts would be more likely to grant stays as a matter of course, to prevent the loss of any right to appeal. Such routine stays would conflict with the Convention’s mandate of prompt return. Courts should instead apply traditional factors in considering whether to stay a return order, see, e.g., Nken v. Holder, 556 U. S. 418, thus ensuring that each case will receive the individualized treatment necessary for appropriate consideration of the child’s best interests. Finally, at both the district and appellate court level, courts should take steps to decide these cases as expeditiously as possible.

Vacated and remanded.

11-1347 Chafin v. Chafin

Roberts, C.J.; Ginsburg, J., concurring.

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