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Rehder v. Rehder

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

October 17, 2014

Frank Rehder, Plaintiff,
v.
Tanya Rehder, Defendant.

ORDER

RICHARD A. JONES, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

This matter comes before the court on petitioner Frank Rehder's motion for temporary restraining order, which was filed on October 13, 2014. Dkt. #7. Respondent's opposition to the motion was due on October 16, 2014. See Local Civ. R. 65(b)(5) ("Unless the court orders otherwise, the adverse party must file its response, if any, within forty-eight hours after the motion is filed."); Local Civ. R. 7(b)(2)("[I]f a party fails to file papers in opposition to a motion, such failure may be considered by the court as an admission that the motion has merit.").

On October 17, 2014, the court held an initial hearing on the underlying Petition for the Return of Child (Dkt. #1) brought pursuant to the International Child Abduction Remedies Act ("ICARA"), 22 U.S.C. §§ 9001-9011, which implements the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (the "Convention"). Petitioner's counsel, Respondent's counsel and Respondent were present at this hearing. Petitioner participated by phone.

Despite Respondent's failure to respond to the motion for temporary restraining order within the time prescribed by the Local Rules, the court nevertheless allowed Respondent's counsel to present an oral proffer in response to the motion. For the reasons stated below, the court GRANTS the motion in part.

II. BACKGROUND

Petitioner is the father of ARDR, a four-year-old boy. Dkt. # 5, ¶ 7. Respondent, Tanya Rehder, is ARDR's mother. Id., ¶ 8. Mother and father were married in 2008 in New York City. Id., ¶ 12. ARDR was born in Germany in 2010. Id., ¶ 11. Petitioner resides in Germany and contends that Respondent has wrongfully removed ARDR from his state of habitual residence and is currently residing with him in this District. Petitioner seeks the return of his son to Germany. Dkt. # 1.

Respondent claims that the United States is ARDR's habitual residence and that she and her son merely took a "temporary short trip" to Germany from November 15, 2013 to December 5, 2013. Dkt. # 5, ¶ 15.

There is a Petition for Declaration Concerning Validity of Marriage pending in The Superior Court of Washington, County of Whatcom, Case No. 14-3-00373-1.[1] The Petition was filed by Respondent on May 16, 2014 and seeks, among other things, a custody determination regarding the child, ARDR. Superior Ct., Dkt. # 3. The Superior Court recently entered a restraining order prohibiting a change in the child's residence. Superior Court Dkt. # 4, p. 2.

III. ANALYSIS

A. Removal of the Child from Washington State.

Petitioner requests an order prohibiting removal of the child from the State of Washington. The court has already granted a more restrictive order, prior to the filing of Petitioner's motion. See Dkt. # 6. The order named the respondent only, but as set forth below, both parties are prohibited from removing the child from the Western District of Washington pending resolution of the petition. Should either party violate this order, the court will consider a proper motion for contempt, including a proper request that the offending party be arrested by the United States Marshal. See 22 U.S.C. § 9004(a) (the court "may take or cause to be taken measures under Federal or State law, as appropriate, to protect the well-being of the child involved or to prevent the child's further removal or concealment before the final disposition of the petition.").

B. State Court Proceedings.

Petitioner requests that this court stay the proceedings relating to Respondent's concurrent Petition for Declaration Concerning Validity of Marriage pending in state court and Petitioner further requests that this court vacate the restraining order entered in that action because it prohibits a change in the child's "residence." Petitioner ...


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