August 10, 2015 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization
A thousand pardons for neglecting this little matter in yesterday’s post.
Yesterday I dealt with Kelly Rutherford’s bizarre and very public decision to simply ignore an existing court order to return her two children to their father last Friday. Since both the California and New York courts have decided they no longer have jurisdiction of the case because the children live with their father, Daniel Giersch in Monaco, Rutherford decided the California court no longer has jurisdiction to enforce the order it issued and that is still in effect.
She might have consulted a law book. The fact is that courts maintain continuing jurisdiction to enforce their existing orders. Period. Rutherford admits she’s ignoring the order, so she’s clearly in contempt of a valid court order and can be punished for doing so. As I said yesterday, the court should do so. This case has been little but a long litany of Kelly Rutherford’s attempts to remove their father from the children’s lives. Her most recent stunt is just the latest item on that list.
But what I neglected yesterday was that, in addition to violating the existing order, Rutherford has given Giersch yet another forum in which to litigate against her — United States Federal Court. That’s because she’s also violated the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.
The Convention covers actual physical abduction of children to a foreign country, as we saw Laura Garrett do to Tommaso Vincenti. She took their four daughters from Italy to Australia and violated the Convention in the process.
But the Convention also covers cases in which a parent maintains a child in a country that’s not its place of habitual residence. That’s what Rutherford’s done. The two kids live most of the time with Giersch in Monaco and spend the summers with Rutherford in the U.S. Her refusal to abide by the court order and return them to their country of habitual residence is a clear violation of the Hague Convention.
So expect to see Giersch not only filing a motion for contempt in the Superior Court in Los Angeles, but also an action for return of the children in a federal court in the United States.
What should happen is that those courts act quickly to hold Rutherford in contempt and return the children to Giersch in Monaco.
We’ll see what happens.
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