United States District Court, D. Maryland
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER RE: COMITY
J. Garbis United States District Judge.
Court has before it Petitioner's Motion in Limine With
Incorporated Memorandum of Law Requesting Order According
Comity to Mexico Hague Convention Proceedings [ECF No. 26]
and the materials submitted relating thereto. The Court finds
that a hearing is unnecessary.
Enedina Alvarez (the "Petitioner" or
"Mother"), filed her Verified Petition for Return
of the Children to Mexico and Issuance of Show Cause Order
[ECF No. 1] ("Petition for Return") on April 12, 2017
together with a Request for Expedited Consideration of
Petition for Return of Children to Mexico and Issuance of
Show Cause Order [ECF No. 2]. On April 13, 2017, the Court
issued an Order Requiring Respondent to Appear [ECF No. 6],
which ordered Respondent, Jose Carmen Magana Alvarez (the
“Respondent” or “Father”) to appear
for an initial hearing on April 27, 2017, and inter
alia, to confirm that the children are physically
located within the jurisdiction of the Court and to bring the
children's passports and other travel documents for
placement in the custody of the Court.
April 20, 2017, this Court held a telephone conference with
counsel for the parties. At that time, an evidentiary hearing
was scheduled to be held on May 30, 2017, and the Court
referred the case to a Magistrate Judge for confidential
mediation proceedings. Initial Scheduling Order, ECF
No. 13. The Mother filed an Amended Verified Petition for
Return of the Children to Mexico [ECF No. 11] on April 20,
2017, which added a request that this Court recognize and
accord comity to the Mexico trial court's decision and
the Mexico appellate court's decision.
April 26, 2017, the Court issued an Agreed Scheduling Order
[ECF No. 16] based upon the parties' Consent Scheduling
Order [ECF No. 15]. It stated, in part:
1. Petitioner, Enedina Alvarez (the
“Petitioner”), and Respondent, Jose Carmen Magana
Alvarez (the “Respondent”) are prohibited from
removing the minor children, M.K.A., born in 2013, and
A.S.A., born in 2015 (collectively the “minor
children”), or causing the minor children, to be
removed from this Court's jurisdiction pending final
disposition of the Petitioner's Amended Verified Petition
for Return of Children to Mexico (Doc. No. 11)
(“Petition for Return”).
2. Respondent promptly shall deliver the minor children's
passports and travel documents to the Clerk of the Court to
be held subject to further Order.
3. Petitioner and Respondent shall appear before this Court
on the 30th day of May, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. in Courtroom 5C of
the United States District Court for the District of
Maryland, 101 W. Lombard Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21201,
for an evidentiary hearing on the merits of the Petition for
Scheduling Order 1-2, ECF No. 16. As a result of the
parties' agreement, the Initial Hearing scheduled for
April 27, 2017 was cancelled.
her Petition for Return, the Mother included a copy of a
Custody Agreement [ECF No. 1-1] dated January 6, 2016 and a
copy of the Mexico Appellate Court Decision [ECF No. 1-2]
issued September 7, 2016. The Father filed his Answer [ECF No.
21] on May 10, 2017, denying that the Mother had legal
custody over the children and denying that the children had
been wrongfully removed from Mexico. Answer ¶¶
35-39, ECF No. 21. In his Answer, the Father did not
specifically respond to each of the Mother's allegations
nor did he include any response regarding the Mexico
Appellate Court Decision.
current Motion in Limine, the Mother requests this Court to
accord comity to the Mexico Hague Convention Proceedings.
primary purpose of the Hague Convention is to preserve the
status quo and to deter parents from crossing international
boundaries in search of a more sympathetic court.”
Miller v. Miller,240 F.3d 392, 398 (4th Cir. 2001)
(citation omitted). The Hague Convention does not address the
underlying custody issues but rather the jurisdiction under
which the custody issues will be decided. Id.;
see also Holder v. Holder,392 F.3d 1009, 1013 (9th
Cir. 2004) “The Convention's focus is thus ...