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Author Topic: Dominican Republic - Article 16  (Read 9585 times)

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Offline rmakielski

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Dominican Republic - Article 16
« on: May 10, 2011, 11:10:08 AM »
In January of this year my two children, Gabriel Leonardo Makielski Rivera and Isabel Marie Makielski Rivera, where illegally taken to the Dominican Republic by their mother, Maria Rivera Estevez. I have filed a, which has been processed by the Dominican Central Authority (CONANI). The facts are as follows:
• An existing court order is place detailing custody, visitation, travel, and habitual residence (dated 2009).
• The mother removed the children from Virginia and took them to the Dominican Republic without the fathers authorization required by the court order (January 2011).
• Hague application filed (Feb 2011)
• The Culpeper JDR Court has ordered the mother to return to Virginia with the children (March 2011 )
• There are ongoing legal proceedings in Culpeper Virginia concerning, Children in Need of Services (CHINS), divorce, and custody
• The  father receive a “Cita y Emplaza” (summons) to appear March 22, 2011 in the Dominican  Republic for a closed door hearing on Divorce, Custody and Support. The “Cita y Emplaza” was post marked April 2011
• A hearing took place on March 22, 2011. The Mothers Dominican attorney, Dilia Leticia Jorge Mera, requested an ex-parte or default divorce.
• The US State Department and US Embassy performed a Welfare and whereabouts visit and located the Children (April 2011).
• The Mothers last known location as of April 11, 2011 is Ensanche Ozama, Provincia Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (April 2011).
• The Mother has not allowed the father or the Guardian Ad Litem any contact with her or the children.

I have retained counsel in the Dominican Republic. According to the Clerk of the Court, the Judge has not granted the divorce yet. According to case law the judge should reopen the case and in the next hearing rule to get the proceedings dismissed. If the Judge of is corrupt, he might grant a divorce.

I also notified the State Department about an Article 16 Violation. I found it rather alarming that OCI appeared to be uninformed of this Hague treaty article.  Therefore, I have evoked my rights under the Freedom of Information Act and requested a copy of all correspondence between the State Department and the Dominican Republic.

The judge should have made a ruling by now. I can only wait to see what happens.
I place the my children rights above my own; Children have the right to have a relationship with both parents; I stand against domestic violence and child abuse; The amicable return of Abducted children is the best solution; I will obey the laws of the United States

Offline SageDad

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Re: Dominican Republic - Article 16
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2011, 06:33:55 PM »
Hi rmakielski,

Thank you for sharing some of your story. 

An initial word of advice, don't take anything that the State Dept, or OCI, says too seriously.  It would be silly for them not to understand Article 16 of the Hague Convention.  The idea that custody determinations should be made in the home country is one of the core foundations of the Convention.  They are just trying to blow you off by playing dumb.  When that doesn't work for them they'll opt for another tact.  In the end it comes down to finding the most diplomatic way to not do anything to get involved in your children's abduction.

Have you contacted your Senators and Congressman?

I also recommend you contact Dhanika Athukorala, one of the other parents in these forums.  He's been working to have his daughter returned from the DR for quite some time now and has a case pending before there Supreme Court.

May also want to try getting in contact with Karl Hindle, another parent in VA, whose child was internationally abducted (in this case to the US from the UK) who is very knowledgeable and has experience working with VA legislators, including in their new law against international parental abductions.

btw, Welcome to BSH!

I hope together we can bring our children home.

“What you seek is seeking you.”
― Rumi

Offline Portland97025

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Re: Dominican Republic - Article 16
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2011, 07:25:50 PM »
I disagree completely with SageDad's comment about OCI.  Have you asked them to send an Article 16 letter to the Dominican Republic?  Is it possible that they already have? 

Offline rmakielski

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Re: Dominican Republic - Article 16
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2011, 08:08:39 PM »
Have you asked them to send an Article 16 letter to the Dominican Republic? 
The response from the the State Department: "On April 12 the Central Authority  sent an official letter to the Family Court listed on the summons in which it explained the particulars of Article 16. It is up to the presiding judge to comply with The Hague Convention.  As of now, the court has not responded." Its been over a month since the March 22nd hearing. I expected a decision by now.

Resolution No. 480-2008 of March 6, 2008  is Procedure for hearing the application for return of  minor illegally transferred to the Dominican Republic.  This Resolution states the Hague Application procedure should  complete within a period not exceeding six  weeks from the date of the request. Its going on 12 weeks without any news of a hearing.

It was only 29 days from the date the mother filed the divorce with court until the hearing date.
I place the my children rights above my own; Children have the right to have a relationship with both parents; I stand against domestic violence and child abuse; The amicable return of Abducted children is the best solution; I will obey the laws of the United States

Offline Portland97025

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Re: Dominican Republic - Article 16
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2011, 09:44:10 AM »
Hmmm.  At least it looks like they have contacted the DR about it.  You should really call your case officer and ask them to follow up with the central authority in the DR.

Offline SageDad

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Re: Dominican Republic - Article 16
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2011, 12:13:05 PM »
I disagree completely with SageDad's comment about OCI.  Have you asked them to send an Article 16 letter to the Dominican Republic?  Is it possible that they already have?  

Disagree all you like.  I don't suppose you'd like to base your disagreement on anything more than your word?  My comment is virtually the universal consensus of those of us who have been "working with" (as opposed to working for) State to bring home our abducted children for years.  

Perhaps you'd like to tell us about the wonderful job the OCI has done to help you get your children back?  What's that, you have no internationally abducted children?  I didn't think so.  Next time you go into your office try going downstairs and asking your co-worker at State, Attorney Tom Johnson, what he thinks of the job you guys are doing?  Actually, there's no need, he wrote a paper on it in the NYU Journal of International Law:

The Hague Child Abduction Convention: Diminishing Returns and Little to Celebrate for Americans

While you're at it, why not give us State's response to Timothy Maier's series of articles on international child abduction?

http://bringseanhome.org/forums/index.php/topic,2771.msg66099.htm

Or explain why, in 2009, when Congressman Smith called for a Congressional Hearing on international child abduction the US State Dept and OCI declined to attend.  Why you quietly opposed HR 3240 and why you have chosen to publish a 2011 Compliance Report that contains less information than any other report in the past five years?  Why won't State include blatant and persistent violations of the Hague Abduction Convention in their Human Trafficking or Human Rights reports?

Even more to the point, perhaps you'd like to explain why the OCI disingenuously quotes the Privacy Act to hide information about the whereabouts of internationally abducted children and deny LBP's access to evidence that could assist them in recovering their children while simultaneously egregiously violating the Privacy Act to look up the private information of celebrities?

Former State Department Employee Sentenced for Illegally Accessing Confidential Passport Files

...And I'm just getting started.  Everyone has a right to an opinion; but not his own facts.  Unfortunately your opinion is contradicted by decades of history.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2011, 12:18:47 PM by SageDad »
“What you seek is seeking you.”
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Offline Portland97025

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Re: Dominican Republic - Article 16
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2011, 12:42:16 PM »
Wow, let's have a civil conversation, why don't we?  I have personally had a very positive experience with OCI.  I am sorry to hear that you have not.  Sheesh.

Offline lovellboys

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Re: Dominican Republic - Article 16
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2011, 12:50:05 PM »
Wow, let's have a civil conversation, why don't we?  I have personally had a very positive experience with OCI.  I am sorry to hear that you have not.  Sheesh.

Seriously - you went there!?

You do realize you are addressing a veteran BSH member and - more importantly - an LBP, correct? 

Offline SageDad

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Re: Dominican Republic - Article 16
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2011, 01:17:35 PM »
Wow, let's have a civil conversation, why don't we?  I have personally had a very positive experience with OCI.  I am sorry to hear that you have not.  Sheesh.

I'm sorry, did I give you the impression that I was offering anecdotal personal experiences?  I hardly need to draw on my own personal experiences to substantiate my position (as valid as those are.)  Were the links I provided with comments by others not enough?

If so, I also recommend "Dangerous Diplomacy" written by journalist Joel Mowbray, who exposed State's still running "Visa Express" program that allowed expedited, essentially rubber stamped, Visa's to Saudi nationals after it allowed the majority of the 9/11 hijackers into the US.  The second chapter entitled "Cold Shoulder: State's Smallest Victim's", is dedicated to an analysis of the assistance provided to American parents left in the wake of an international child abduction.

It describes State's overriding desire to appease foreign governments and maintain "good relations" as having a conflict of interest between their responsibility to internationally abducted children as the designated United States Central Authority under the Hague Convention. This inherent conflict of interest between the two roles is magnified by what the book defines as the "culture of state", a culture characterized by extreme moral relativism, valuing process over substance and misplaced priorities that reward failures by promotions or high paying jobs "consulting" for the foreign government of the country that they'd previously been paid to advocate America's interests in.

...but then you hardly need a book to tell you about the culture of the State Dept. and Foreign Service Officers.

I can provide more examples if you think it would help...
“What you seek is seeking you.”
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Offline cm

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Re: Dominican Republic - Article 16
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2011, 01:22:44 PM »
Wow, let's have a civil conversation, why don't we?  I have personally had a very positive experience with OCI.  I am sorry to hear that you have not.  Sheesh.

Seriously - you went there!?

You do realize you are addressing a veteran BSH member and - more importantly - an LBP, correct? 

 :yeahthat

SageDad IS being civil. I highly suggest you read the facts he has presented...and I am quite certain if you need more facts, he will be happy to provide them.
"When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. "  ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

Offline Portland97025

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Re: Dominican Republic - Article 16
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2011, 01:28:26 PM »
Thanks, I'm done.  I have a great support network and don't need any more abuse.

Offline SageDad

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Re: Dominican Republic - Article 16
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2011, 01:54:32 PM »
Thanks, I'm done.  I have a great support network and don't need any more abuse.

Ahh... "abuse."  Right.  I'm an abuser?  Do my posts constitute a form of Domestic Violence then?  Is it psychological abuse?  Emotional?  Economic?  Are my posts coercive and controlling?  Am I creating a "hostile environment" for you with "intellectual harassment?"  I supose that now that you have survived being "battered" you can call yourself an abuse "survivor."

Just one piece of advice... the next time you want to post on an internet forum pretending to be a left behind parent and singing songs about the great work that the State Dept and the OCI does I suggest you don't do so from an IP address that originates at the US State Department.  
« Last Edit: May 11, 2011, 01:56:35 PM by SageDad »
“What you seek is seeking you.”
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Offline rmakielski

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Re: Dominican Republic - Article 16
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2011, 11:21:43 AM »
I sent the following E-mail to OCI today:

"I respectfully request an official “Statement on the reasons for the delay” as specified in Article 11 of the “Convention on the Civil Aspects of International
Child Abduction”.
Is the recorded or file number with CONANI?
I would like more detail about the process steps and officials involved with the “channeling” of my case to the judiciary."

There needs to be Transparency.... NOW!
I place the my children rights above my own; Children have the right to have a relationship with both parents; I stand against domestic violence and child abuse; The amicable return of Abducted children is the best solution; I will obey the laws of the United States

Offline sue

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Re: Dominican Republic - Article 16
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2011, 12:49:54 PM »
Thanks, I'm done.  I have a great support network and don't need any more abuse.

Ahh... "abuse."  Right.  I'm an abuser?  Do my posts constitute a form of Domestic Violence then?  Is it psychological abuse?  Emotional?  Economic?  Are my posts coercive and controlling?  Am I creating a "hostile environment" for you with "intellectual harassment?"  I supose that now that you have survived being "battered" you can call yourself an abuse "survivor."

Just one piece of advice... the next time you want to post on an internet forum pretending to be a left behind parent and singing songs about the great work that the State Dept and the OCI does I suggest you don't do so from an IP address that originates at the US State Department.  

This one takes the cake! OMG!

Offline rduffiel

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Re: Dominican Republic - Article 16
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2011, 01:07:02 PM »
Thanks, I'm done.  I have a great support network and don't need any more abuse.

Shh... "abuse."  Right.  I'm an abuser?  Do my posts constitute a form of Domestic Violence then?  Is it psychological abuse?  Emotional?  Economic?  Are my posts coercive and controlling?  Am I creating a "hostile environment" for you with "intellectual harassment?"  I suppose that now that you have survived being "battered" you can call yourself an abuse "survivor."

Just one piece of advice... the next time you want to post on an internet forum pretending to be a left behind parent and singing songs about the great work that the State Dept and the OCI does I suggest you don't do so from an IP address that originates at the US State Department.   


I Believe that you are upset because you got busted by Carlos.
Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers.  ~Alfred Lord Tennyson

Rose