U.S. Supreme Court Rules in Case Argued by NYSBA Member Richard Min
In a unanimous decision issued today, the U.S. Supreme Court vacated a Second Circuit ruling involving a child custody case between an Italian father and an American mother. The father, represented by New York State Bar Association member Richard Min of Green Kaminer Min & Rockmore, was pleased with the high court ruling.
Min represents Isacco Jacky Saada in the case Golan v. Saada. 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.
In Golan v Saada, the legal issue centered around interpretation of the Hague Child Abduction Convention Treaty. In a statement, Min said “After almost four years of litigation, the U.S. Supreme Court today emphasized the need for expeditious resolution of international child abduction cases pursuant to the Hague Abduction Convention stating that, on remand, it ‘trusts that the District Court will move as expeditiously as possible to reach a final decision without further unnecessary delay.’”
The District Court twice ruled for Min’s client, saying that the child should be returned to Italy with adequate protections. In the decision, Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote that the “District Court has ample evidence before it from the prior proceedings and has made extensive factual findings concerning the risks at issue.”
Min went on to say that the Supreme Court noted that the “Convention sets as a primary goal the safety of the child.” The safety of children is protected by addressing the harm caused by child abductions in the first place, which the U.S. Supreme Court, in Abbott v. Abbott previously stated “can have devasting consequences for a child” and by protecting against the harm of return by issuing ameliorative measures.
Earlier this year, Min hoped the child would be able to return to Italy in time for the custody proceedings scheduled for later this month.
Read the full U.S. Supreme Court decision here
The audio recording of the arguments is here