Girl abducted from Britain can stay in US: Supreme Court

5th March 2014, Comments 0 comments

The US Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled against a man whose young daughter was abducted from Britain to the United States by the girl's mother.

The US high court ruled against the father, Manuel Jose Lozano, who had filed a petition seeking the return of the girl to the United Kingdom for a custody determination.

The court invoked the Hague Convention on the civil aspects of international child abduction in reaching a unanimous finding against Lozano.

The justices noted that the convention states that a parent has up to one year after a child is unlawfully taken out of the country to file a court challenge.

If the time elapsed is longer than a year, the child may still be returned, "unless it is demonstrated that the child is now settled in its new environment," the court said.

Lozano eventually tracked down mother and daughter in New York, but more than one year had elapsed -- too much time to consider relocating the child back to Britain, the US high court said in a ruling read by Justice Clarence Thomas.

Lozano claimed that the mother fled from their London home with the child in July 2009 and that he did not know her whereabouts, which was the reason for his delay in initiating legal action.

The girl's mother, Diana Montoya Alvarez, admitted having fled with the girl, who at the time was three years old, saying she was was motivated by Lozano's abusive behavior toward the child.

US courts did not confirm that any abuse occurred, but said the girl now is happily settled in her new environment.

© 2014 AFP

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