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Nom de l'affaire

Saada v. Golan 18-CV-5292 (AMD) (RML)

Référence INCADAT

HC/E/US 1578



États-Unis d'Amérique


Première instance

États concernés

État requérant


État requis

États-Unis d'Amérique



24 January 2024




Risque grave - art. 13(1)(b)


Retour refusé

Article(s) de la Convention visé(s)


Article(s) de la Convention visé(s) par le dispositif


Autres dispositions


Jurisprudence | Affaires invoquées


Publiée dans



Résumé disponible en EN


The mother, a United States citizen, married the father, an Italian citizen, in Italy, where they had a son in 2016. In 2018, the mother brought the child to the United States to attend a wedding and, instead of returning to Italy, moved into a domestic violence shelter with the child.

The father made an application under the 1980 Convention for the return of the child to Italy.

The District Court concluded that the child would face a grave risk of harm if returned to Italy, given evidence that the father had abused the mother. The Court, however, made an order for the child to be returned after concluding that ameliorative measures in Italy would make a safe return possible.

The Second Circuit vacated the return order and remanded for the District Court to consider whether such ameliorative measures, in fact, existed. After an examination over nine months, the District Court identified new State protection measures and again ordered the child’s return. The Second Circuit affirmed this decision.

In June 2022 the United States Supreme Court stated that a court is not categorically required to examine all possible ameliorative measures before denying a Hague Convention petition. The case was remanded to the District Court to determine whether the measures considered were adequate to order return.

In October 2022, while the appeal was pending, the mother died suddenly.


Return refused.


Grave Risk - Art. 13(1)(b)

The mother’s death radically altered the case and the Court’s analysis. There was undisputed evidence that the child suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (“PTSD”) and that removing him from his current environment would have risked multiple harms.

Moreover, in contrast to at the time of the first District Court decision, the legal landscape in Italy was far from clear and there had been no determination about where the child would live or with whom. In addition, there was a possibility that he would be placed in an institutional setting while the Italian court decided the issue of custody.

The Court found that this combination of circumstances would subject the child to a risk of real and lasting harm.