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Author Topic: Update: Endless Amparos and a new legal team  (Read 5179 times)

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Offline SageDad

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Update: Endless Amparos and a new legal team
« on: February 21, 2011, 03:47:12 AM »
I found out about a month ago that my wife filed a new Amparo in my son's case.  This is Amparo number five and is the eighth trial to be heard in Mexico.  The new Hague case has yet to even start (it will be trial number 9 now...)

The Mexican Amparo is a legal complaint, or appeal, that a constitutional right has been violated.  All cases heard by federal courts are amparos or judicial reviews of Amparo decisions by lower federal courts.  It is, in many ways, very similar to a writ of habeas corpus and involves having a trial to evaluate the complaint and notifying all the parties involved of the trial.  This process of notification alone can easily take 3 months and, in some cases, can takes years if some party can't be notified.  Just notifying the Mexican Central Authority often takes 1-2 months.

For a number of reasons, not the least of which the fact that my son is still in Mexico, I decided to drop the attorney I've had there for the past two and half years and hire a new law firm to represent me going forward.  The new firm is located in the same State my son is in and only about an hour away from the city he's in and much better versed in their State law (Mexico has a State and Federal law system very similar to the US.) -- including knowing about a new State law that makes it a crime to frivolously obstruct judicial proceedings.  

The primary lawyer I'm working with is a former criminal judge, prosecutor and law professor with 34 years of experience in Mexican law and married to another respected attorney with whom she has a son who is also an attorney (all of whom work for this law firm.)  I'm very impressed with her so far.  She has a lot of good ideas and I'm hopeful that her involvement will help move things forward down there.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2011, 04:00:11 AM by SageDad »
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Offline sue

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Re: Update: Endless Amparos and a new legal team
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2011, 08:59:13 AM »
I hope she turns things around for you.  This is all so depressing, I don't know how you get through each day.  I do not understand how a woman, or father can be so evil and do such harm to a child.  It makes no sense and anyone who would do such a thing has no business raising a child.

Offline Trevor Richardson

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Re: Update: Endless Amparos and a new legal team
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2011, 11:02:41 PM »
I too am in the middle of an appeal in Mexico, only after filing an amparo and winning.  Remember that amparo's can be used as tool if things are going against you in Mexico. 

I just hired a new attorney in Mexico and I am waiting for an update to my Hague case status.  Have you won all the amparos that were filed against you?
Trevor A. Richardson

Offline SageDad

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Re: Update: Endless Amparos and a new legal team
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2011, 11:35:05 PM »
  Have you won all the amparos that were filed against you?

All the ones that weren't dismissed as irrelevant except one, yes.  The one that was "lost" was one I didn't object to and was, in part, against having my son put into an orphanage during the first court proceedings to prevent further abductions (the rest was meaningless nonsense that didn't need to be responded to.)  Another Amparo that was decided in my favor was subsequently overturned on appeal and vacated the order to return my son on the grounds that he was not adequately represented and needed to have his own representation to have his opinion heard.

I'll file an Amparo if I need to, I just haven't had much reason to and, even where I might have, didn't consider it worth wasting a minimum of 3 months or paying for it.

In general I like the Amparo as a legal mechanism though.  It's abuse during Hague cases is what bothers me and, even there, that's more the fault of the Mexican Congress for not legislating concise and well-defined procedures for handling Convention cases when they signed the treaty, and the general incompetence of the average Mexican attorney and State level court than it is that of the legal mechanism itself.

...btw, Welcome to BSH :)

I've been reading about you and your son Andrew in Mexico from time to time for quite a while now.
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Offline Trevor Richardson

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Re: Update: Endless Amparos and a new legal team
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2011, 01:05:58 AM »
Thanks for the welcome.

I regret that I didnt involve myself with this group earlier.  I guess I was a little bitter at Goldman for getting his son back and receiving all the attention while the rest of us suffered.  Not his fault, but it didnt help my moral.

I look forward to helping in anyway I can.  I am writing and protesting at every opportunity available.  I hope to eventually combine all the voices together and then we can make some progress in correcting this wrong that is called the Hague Convention.

You are doing a great job and this is a great forum.  I hope other parents will get involved and use the BSH main forum to voice their concerns and ideas, especially as they relate to Mexico.
Trevor A. Richardson

Offline LukieD

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Re: Update: Endless Amparos and a new legal team
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2011, 09:42:01 AM »
Thanks for the welcome.

I regret that I didnt involve myself with this group earlier.

Trevor, welcome to BSH. I wonder if you, Carlos and perhaps a few other LBP with children in Mexico (Didier Combe comes to mind) might consider forming some sort of group to advocate for your cause apart from but in conjunction with BSHF activities. There is strength in numbers and the BacHOME group's efforts to pressure Japan appear to be bearing fruit. When it comes to requesting meetings with government officials, the State Dept etc, it is a lot harder for them to ignore you when you present a united front. We have already established long ago that the State Dept would prefer that you parents not even know the others exist and the reasons for that attitude are quite clear, namely that they fear the power you would all have advocating for your children as a group. Something to think about.

Offline dmdaven2

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Re: Update: Endless Amparos and a new legal team
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2011, 09:35:50 PM »
Good stuff Carlos...hope all goes smoothly this time around
Devon Davenport - Father of Nadia Lynn ;)

Offline forthelost

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Re: Update: Endless Amparos and a new legal team
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2011, 10:33:59 PM »
The idea of a group for LBPs of kids who've been taken to Mexico is an excellent one. I have no idea how creating one would be done, though. More kids are taken to Mexico than any other country, and they just don't get returned unless the parent isn't Mexican, and even then it's not often.

Offline Trevor Richardson

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Re: Update: Endless Amparos and a new legal team
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2011, 08:30:38 AM »
Welll at least this forum is a start.  Facebook might also be a way to group people together. 
Trevor A. Richardson

Offline OnceUponATime

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Re: Update: Endless Amparos and a new legal team
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2011, 06:47:18 PM »
I respectfully disagree that the Mexico court system is similar to ours. It's nothing like our system in the United States. Mexico's system is based on Common Law and that is a big part of the problem...their laws are 300-years old and rely on people actually telling the truth in order to make it work right. I am a left behind parent...my ordeal started in November 2008. My daughter was abducted by her mother and is residing in Mexico. Unfortunately I am well aware of the challenges of trying to resolve situations down there.

The Hague Convention is a dismal failure in Mexico...yet the US State Department keeps pushing it like it's the best thing since sliced bread - even though they actually publish statistics to show what a dismal failure it really is. Good luck getting their cooperation or the cooperation from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children if you decide to think for your self and find another way to bring your child home. They both drink from the same Kool Aid. Their refusal to get involved and help it's own citizens helped fuel my incarceration in a Mexican prison for something I did not do. You read that right...I spent time in a Mexican prison for something I did not do. I know, big shock.

Last summer, when we had everything in place to peacefully end this 2+ year nightmare. My daughter's mother lost all her Amparo's...the judges were quickly growing tired of her act. She is on court record admitting to the abduction...she even lost a very important Amparo in the Supreme Court...they refused to even preside over it citing the grounds were completely pointless and to give me my daughter effective immediately. Rather than comply, I was ambushed by my daughter's mother. The Mexican police did nothing to investigate a situation that would have taken 2-minutes to figure out she was lying yet again. After a 6-hour joy ride handcuffed to the back of a police pick up truck, it would be 30-hours more before I even talked to another human being. Over the last 9-months we have completely obliterated the character of my daughter's mother and all who helped her try and pull off her completely ridiculous story. That's not hard to do when they all cannot get their stories straight to the judge presiding over the case. The case was eventually dropped. However the fight for my daughter continues...

We came to find out the US Consulate was actually coaching my daughter's mother how to keep my daughter away from me! They have a 6-inch file on my case and knew who they were dealing with. It was not until I was in the Mexican prison when they finally realized how dangerous she is...as if all the facts presented to them regarding the abduction of my daughter were not enough. Yet the advice they gave to her when they wanted to do a welfare and whereabouts check on my daughter indirectly led to the series of events which in turn led to my stay in a Mexican prison. When this situation first unfolded in 2008, our local district attorney refused to get involved. She was a well known feminist who literally told me that any child under the age of 5 is better off with their mother no matter what the circumstances are...and so it goes. This is the lunacy I expected in Mexico not the United States..yet the reverse is happening with my case. Can you imagine the red tape I would have on my hands if I did file a Hague petition???

I have been absolutely blessed with amazing attorneys in Mexico. That can easily be a battle in and of itself. If anyone is in a similar situation, reach out to me and I will provide you with their contact information. They do not advertise...they work solely on a referral basis. We have won every court battle since this situation started...my battle is more on the home front in the United States rather than in Mexico. I love my country...no question we are the greatest nation on the planet even with our faults. At the same time I have been absolutely disgusted at the lack of cooperation my own government lends to it's own citizens in cases like this...local, state and federal...it's a joke what Mr. Goldman has had to endure and what other parents like myself have to go through. Why is playing this political game with countries who put such a low value on kids lives more important than protecting our own citizens??? Isn't there an option to the Hague Convention??? Why isn't another option to the Hague available???

God Bless the Goldman's, especially David for his persistence with the Hague Convention during his quest to bring Sean home. Mr. Goldman is truly an inspiration to me but I cannot help but wonder how much time he could have saved by going another route. Looking forward to his book release and media tour.

Offline SageDad

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Re: Update: Endless Amparos and a new legal team
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2011, 08:32:02 PM »
When I said that Mexico has a State and Federal law system similar to the US I meant that their government is structured similarly.  Mexico's full name is the United States of Mexico and it is a also a constitutional republic with State and Federal government's and laws arranged in a hierarchy that is very similar to ours.

Mexico actually has a civil law system, it's the US that is based on common law, but it wouldn't be accurate to call Mexico's legal system a purely civil law system either.  Jurisprudence, very similar to US case law exists, and decisions of high courts have strong persuasive value even when formal (and completely binding) jurisprudence does not.

I so wish I was surprised to learn that US Embassy was supporting the abducting mother... I'm not.  My wife claims that the US Embassy also gave her legal advice (after they refused to give me any legal orientation whatsoever or give me the names of attorneys who had handled these cases.)  Consular Officers are often more concerned with pleasing their host country than advocating for American interests abroad.  They, along with the State Dept, frequently do more harm than good.
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Offline OnceUponATime

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Re: Update: Endless Amparos and a new legal team
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2011, 08:11:45 PM »
Thank you for the update. I am telling all of you that if you are not turning over every stone possible...you need to...I am not kidding. You owe it to your kids. I just returned from Mexico from an amazing day in court (civil). We knew going in that this was going to be a bad day for my daughter's mother (the abducting parent). It was a great day because of all the stones we have been over turning these last 2-years. Everything is coming to a head, which is exactly what we want and planned for. May 31st is the next big day...please keep your fingers crossed for us. One thing I have noticed throughout all these threads, is that we all have specific things in common; it does not even matter what country our children were abducted to. Those of you who are relying on the Hague to bring your child back...ask yourself this, "is this the only option you are pursuing?" If it's yes, you are in for a very long road ahead of you. I think the statistics speak for themselves as to why. As LBP's, we have to keep an eye of strategy just as much as tactics...maybe even more so on strategy because it could change. The objective does not change.

Can we all agree that the point of all of this is to be reunited with our kids? If your goal is to bring the parent who abducted your child to justice you are going to be very disappointed. Very rarely do they see justice. Yes, we all know it's a civil rights issue and most can agree that it is a form of child abuse. The flip side is that there is still this stigma that kids under a certain age should be with their mothers - regardless of the circumstance (unless drugs, prostitution or violent crime are involved). That stigma is what we fight against as LBP's...especially being father's. I saw this first hand with the feminist San Diego DA (Jill Lynberg is her name if anyone has had the pleasure)...she flat out told me that my "daughter is better off with her mother because she was 2 1/2 when her abduction took place...the circumstances do not matter". Granted, other law enforcement agencies saw it differently when presented with all the evidence. So, the Hague is just one tactic and WHEN you pursue other avenues, it will certainly offer you and your child a layer of protection as time goes on. The avenues you all went down to get this far, keep that up. It will help eventually...just do not make it your only avenue. I see this is the biggest mistake LBP's make...they rely too much on government to help. This onus is on us as parents to make this happen. That is what David Goldman did so well. He was relentless and that paid off.

Remember, the main objective is to be reunited with your child. You will find a much quicker route to your kids in civil court in both countries...the US and where your kids are at now. In the US you want to find an attorney who knows the family court system very well and has some knowledge of how to work in the country where you child is. To find the right attorney in the country where your child is, check the list of attorney's provided by the appropriate consulate. They screen the attorney's on that list very heavily and they tend to have the interests of the US in mind. Those also tend to be the best of the best attorneys in their respective cities. If you are fortunate enough to know where your child is, civil court can pin the abducting parent down to a geographical area...threatening to take their paternal rights away if they run again. Civil court will also give you access to your child...this is invaluable in building the parent/child bond after not being together for sometime. I am not going to lie, this is gut wrenching because you have to hold the ego and pride back to accomplish this...for your child. You realize quickly that the bond with your child was never gone. They know you are fighting for them!

Before all that, unless your child is legally a dual-citizen, you can actually have them deported out of the country they have been abducted to. The bottom line is not leaving ANY stone unturned...you just don't know which one will be the big break through for you. The Hague alone will not help you. I don't care what Kool Aid the State Department and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children are selling you. I have talked to too many LBP's to think otherwise. In fact there are people in the State Department who actually do not drink the Hague Kool Aid...they are few and far between but there none the less. The NCMEC is a mere shell of itself after John Walsh relinquished control. Ernie Allen runs it now and he has no interest in helping kids. He get's paid $1.5 million a year to glad hand Senators to make sure 90+% of the $40 million in funding continues to come in thanks to us...the taxpayer. They are a non-profit...all their tax returns are public knowledge. Team HOPE is even worse. Ask your Team HOPE contact how they got their child back? Or even if they got their child back? Not one that I met used the Hague to get their child back...not even my direct contact.

I am sorry this is so long. I am very passionate about the subject and if there is anything I can do for fellow LBP's I am all in.