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Brazil: 2013 State Department Report

The Office of Children's Issues of the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs has recently released the annual report on Hague Convention compliance. The report details various issues of non-compliance with member countries. It places countries under two categories; "Not Compliant" and "Demonstrating Patterns of Noncompliance," with the former category signaling more serious compliance problems. This year Brazil has been classified as "Demonstrating Patterns of Noncompliance." The text of the 2013 report follows, as well as case summaries from the report. 

Patterns of Noncompliance:
Brazil

Brazil demonstrated patterns of non-compliance with the Convention in the areas of judicial and law enforcement performance. While the U.S. Central Authority has a close working relationship with the Brazilian Central Authority (BCA) and the Office of the Attorney General, significant delays for relief under the Convention in Brazilian federal courts remain a serious issue, as do delays in locating children by Brazilian law enforcement. The judicial process is drawn out in Brazil; appeals add months, and sometimes years, to Convention cases. There are six active cases that have been pending a final resolution in the Brazilian courts for more than 18 months. There were also delays and difficulties by Brazilian law enforcement in locating children in 2012. In one case, the left-behind parent was notified that law enforcement located their child; however, law enforcement later admitted that the child's location was still unknown. In another case, a petition was filed with the BCA in January 2012, yet law enforcement never attempted to locate the child.

Unresolved Return Applications, Case Summaries:

1.  A federal court ordered the child returned under the Convention in June 2007. The taking parent appealed and simultaneously obtained temporary custody from a different federal court. An appellate court vacated the return order in September 2008. The case is presently with the Superior Tribunal de Justicia (STJ), the highest Brazilian court for federal cases. In January 2012, the Brazilian Central Authority (BCA) suggested holding a mediation hearing at the STJ level, but the left-behind parent declined the offer. The U.S. Central Authority and U.S. Embassy Brasilia have regularly requested updates from the BCA on court proceedings.

2.  The Office of the Attorney General filed the Convention case in a federal court in August 2010. During a September 2011 mediation hearing, the court ordered a psychological evaluation of the child and granted the taking parent's (TP) motion to hear testimony from character witnesses for both the TP and left-behind parent. As of the close of the reporting period, the evaluation has not been scheduled, and the date for the next hearing has not yet been set. The U.S. Central Authority and U.S. Embassy Brasilia have regularly requested updates from the Brazilian Central Authority on court proceedings

3.  In January 2012, the first-level court ordered the return of the child to the United States. In February 2012, the left-behind parent (LBP) expressed interest in entering into mediation with the taking parent (TP). In April 2012, the LBP submitted a proposal for a possible voluntary agreement with the TP, which the U.S. Central Authority (USCA) forwarded to the Brazilian Central Authority (BCA). The LBP and TP continue to negotiate a proposed mediation agreement. The USCA and U.S. Embassy Brasilia have regularly requested updates from the BCA on court proceedings.

4.  In April 2010, a federal court ordered the child returned, the taking parent (TP) appealed, and the Superior Court of Justice suspended the lower court's ruling. In May 2011, the Office of the Attorney General appealed the suspension order. In November 2011, the Brazilian Central Authority (BCA) indicated that the appeal was before Brazil's Regional Federal Tribunal - First Region (TRF1). The BCA cautioned the U.S. Central Authority (USCA) that because the TRF1 was overwhelmed with cases, the Convention case would experience major delays. In June 2012, the TRF1 suggested that both parties review a proposed mediation agreement drafted by the judge, but the left-behind parent (LBP) rejected the proposal. In July 2012, the USCA forwarded the LBP's response rejecting the mediation proposal to the BCA. In September 2012, the BCA indicated that the LBP's response was pending review by the TRF1. The USCA and U.S. Embassy Brasilia have regularly requested updates from the BCA on the court proceedings

5.  In September 2010, the federal court ordered the return of the child. The taking parent appealed the decision before the Regional Federal Tribunal - Fourth Region, and in December 2011, that court upheld the decision of the first instance court for the return of the child to the United States. In March 2012, the Brazilian Central Authority (BCA) indicated that the TP filed an appeal before the Superior Tribunal de Justicia. The U.S. Central Authority and U.S. Embassy Brasilia have regularly requested updates from the BCA on court proceedings.

6.  In October 2011, the left-behind parent informed the U.S. Central Authority (USCA) that a state court in Rio de Janeiro awarded the taking parent (TP) temporary custody of the child. The USCA informed the Brazilian Central Authority (BCA) of a possible conflict under Article 16 of the Convention. The BCA and Office of the Attorney General (OAG) addressed the issue with the state-level court, which declined to suspend custody action in the case. In December 2011, the BCA indicated that a federal court ordered the return of the child to the United States. In January 2012, the TP filed an appeal of the return order. In October 2012, the BCA stated that the appeals court denied the return of the child and that the OAG would file an appeal. The USCA and U.S. Embassy Brasilia have regularly requested updates from the BCA on the court proceedings.

More Information on Brazil Family Law:
The Office of Children's Issues of the U.S. State Department  continue

During the reporting period, the United States experienced continued problems   continue

The Office of Children’s Issues of the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs has recently released the annual report on Hague Convention compliance  continue

The Office of Children's Issues of the U.S. State Department  continue

From the State Department's annual report on International Child Abduction  continue

Francois Larivee is fighting for the return of his  continue

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