Court: US custody case not moot with child abroad

Last Updated: Tue, Feb 19, 2013 15:45 hrs

The Supreme Court says U.S. courts still have some work to do in an international custody case between a U.S. soldier and his estranged Scottish wife over their daughter.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey Lee Chafin and Lynne Hales Chafin had a daughter in 2007. Lynne Chafin was deported after divorce procedures started in Alabama, but she cited an international custody treaty when she sued to bring her daughter to Scotland.

She left with the child once a federal judge allowed it, but the father appealed. A federal appeals court said his appeal was moot because the child is now in Scotland.

A unanimous Supreme Court overturned that decision Tuesday, with Chief Justice John Roberts saying "such return does not render this case moot."

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