March 5, 2014 - The United States Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of Cravath client, Diana Montoya Alvarez, upholding the Second Circuit's decision to affirm the denial of a petition pursuant to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, which requested that Ms. Montoya Alvarez's daughter be returned to her home country, the United Kingdom, for custody proceedings.
The petition was filed by the father of Ms. Montoya Alvarez’s daughter in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in November 2010, more than 16 months after Ms. Montoya Alvarez and her daughter left the United Kingdom to come to the United States. After an evidentiary hearing in February 2011, the district court denied the petition because the child was “now settled” in the United States, a defense to return available where, as here, the petition is filed more than one year after the child’s removal. In October 2012, the Second Circuit affirmed. On June 24, 2013, the Supreme Court granted the father’s petition for a writ of certiorarion the issue of whether the one-year period in the “now settled” defense can be equitably tolled.
Briefs were filed by the parties and amici, including the Solicitor General, who supported Ms. Montoya Alvarez's position. Oral argument was held on December 11, 2013. Cravath partner Lauren A. Moskowitz argued on behalf of Ms. Montoya Alvarez before the Second Circuit and the Supreme Court.