Press Releases
October 07, 2016

McKelvey Castañeda argues rare International Parental Child Abduction case to U.S. Court of Appeals

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC


LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Attorney Rebecca McKelvey Castañeda of Stites & Harbison, PLLC, argued a rare international parental child abduction case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on September 27, 2016 in the case of Pliego v. Hayes II. This is the first such case appealed to and heard by the Sixth Circuit from a Kentucky federal court.

The case has already been decided by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, and this appeal rises out of the second abduction of the child from the father in Turkey. The father argued there has been a second violation of international law, and the mother claimed she has a defense to the presumption of returning the child to the child's habitual residence of Turkey.

On the mother’s appeal, Castañeda, arguing on behalf of the father, asked the appellate court to affirm the District Court’s decision. The Court of Appeals is now reviewing this case, following oral arguments last week. The U.S. Supreme Court has decided three international parental child abduction cases since the U.S. became a treaty partner of this particular convention in 1988. Pliego v. Hayes II was the first case out of the state of Kentucky on this matter, to be briefed and argued to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. The Sixth Circuit is made up of Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, and Michigan.

Castañeda, a Member (Partner) of Stites & Harbison, is based in the Nashville, Tenn. office. She works exclusively in the firm’s Family Law Practice Group with an emphasis in international family law, especially parental child abductions from country to country. She has significant experience with cases brought under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction and the International Child Abduction Remedies Act.

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