Maryland–“The decision was closure to six years of criminal and civil court dates. Throughout, [I] have yet to be once on the ‘losing” side of any judge or jury”s outcome. Yet the changes in the state and federal law have done nothing for my family or sons. [The] only solace is they all know – or will someday know the extraordinary efforts gone to recover the boys, and that we have never stopped thinking of them.”–Michael Shannon
According to the Associated Press story Court upholds jury award in international custody battle (4/10/08):
“Maryland’s highest court has upheld a $3 million dollar jury award in favor of an Anne Arundel County man whose two sons were illegally taken out of the country by his ex-wife and mother-in-law.
“The Court of Appeals upheld Michael Shannon’s right to seek civil damages and denied claims by Nermeen Khalifa Shannon and her mother, Afaf Khalifa, that the award was excessive.
“The court opinion says the women knowingly deprived Shannon of the love and comfort of his two children. The boys were taken to Egypt nearly seven years ago, when one was 4 and the other was less than a year old. They are believed to be living in Cairo.”
This is a nice legal victory for Jeff Leving on behalf of a father whose two sons were internationally abducted. The sons are pictured above, on a poster Shannon keeps in his home.
Leving’s press release on the court decision is excerpted below:
“A Maryland Court of Appeals upheld a jury”s decision on Wednesday, granting Michael Shannon over 3 million dollars in punitive and compensatory damages. The decision is stemming from visitation interference against Shannon”s ex-wife and mother-in-law, after they abducted their two sons to Egypt. This is a groundbreaking case and is the first successful case in the US filed over an international kidnapping and is precedent setting.
“International fathers” rights attorney Jeffery M. Leving, who is coordinating all litigation in the US and Egypt for the father, said this verdict is part of his strategy to put pressure on the mother to return the children. Leving has also retained Egyptian counsel to persuade the Egyptian court in Cairo to recognize and enforce Mr. Shannon”s custody orders entered in a US court.
“‘The decision was closure to six years of criminal and civil court dates. Throughout, [I] have yet to be once on the ‘losing” side of any judge or jury”s outcome. Yet the changes in the state and federal law have done nothing for my family or sons. [The] only solace is they all know – or will someday know the extraordinary efforts gone to recover the boys, and that we have never stopped thinking of them…’ says Mr. Shannon.
“The court opinion, written by Judge Lynne A. Battaglia, says the Khalifas ‘Consciously and knowingly have deprived a father of the love and comfort of his two children for an extended period of time.’ The opinion also stated that Mr. Shannon will never be fully compensated for the time he has lost with his children.
“Shannon’s legal team is trying to convince the Egyptian court to order the mother to return the boys to the US. The boy”s mother, who has dual citizenship in Egypt and the US, will face criminal charges if she returns to the US. The ex-wife”s mother was convicted of kidnapping and incarcerated in Maryland, but was recently deported to Egypt.
“According to Leving:
“Shannon v. Khalifa will have a significant effect on the future of parental rights. Not only is this case a victory for Mr. Shannon, but it”s a victory for parents who have had their children abducted and taken out of the United States.”