NYSBA Member Richard Min Argues International Custody Case Before U.S. Supreme Court
New York State Bar Association member Richard Min argued before the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday that a child taken by his mother from his home in Italy should be returned to his father in Italy.
Min, a partner at Green Kaminer Min & Rockmore, represents Isacco Jacky Saada in the international child custody case. Saada’s wife, Narkis Aliza Golan, left Italy with their son in 2018 to attend a wedding in New York but did not return to Italy as promised. The wife filed a claim of physical and psychological abuse against her husband, alleging that returning to Italy would put them in danger. Saada filed a criminal kidnapping complaint against his wife in both Italian and American courts.
Min argued before the high court that the purpose of The Hague Convention is to make custody decisions in the child’s country of habitual residence, which was agreed to be Italy. He has litigated 35 similar cases across the country.
“This was a case of clear child abduction under the Hague Child Abduction Convention Treaty. Decisions regarding the best interests of children should be decided by courts in their home country and parents should not be able to unilaterally abduct children with the aim of changing the jurisdiction of custody. We are hoping that this child is returned to Italy in time for the custody proceedings which are scheduled for June,” he said.
The U.S. District Court case centered around Article 13(b) of The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction and whether the court must consider how returning to Italy will affect the health and safety of the child. The District Court found on behalf of the father, but on appeal, the Second Circuit required the lower court to determine what measures would ameliorate the grave risk to the child upon return. After the District Court imposed new measures, it ruled that the child must be returned to Italy and the Second Circuit affirmed that decision.
According to Karen R. King, attorney for Golan, the appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court concerns whether returning to the country of habitual residence places a child at grave risk and whether a District Court is required to consider ameliorative measures that would facilitate the return of the child notwithstanding the grave risk finding.
The audio recording of the arguments is here: https://www.c-span.org/video/?518826-1/golan-v-saada-oral-argument