In an unpublished opinion, the Ninth Circuit affirmed dismissal of Mr. Matrai’s suit that he filed against the family court judge that put in place child abduction prevention measures.
Judge Hiromoto issued a $5,000,000 bond before Mr. Matrai could see his son to prevent the child from being abducted. Mr. Matrai sued in federal court arguing it violated his and his son’s substantive due process rights. The U.S. District Court dismissed the action under the Younger abstention doctrine. The Ninth Circuit agreed with the district court that the state has a valid interest in taking precautions to ensure one parent does not abduct a child to a more favorable jurisdiction and that the bond requirement aids the authority of the judicial system so that its orders are not rendered “nugatory.” Nothing in the record indicated that Mr. Matrai was precluded from raising his constitutional arguments in the state court proceeding or in seeking an appeal from that court’s judgment. In fact, Mr. Matrai apparently did not appear at the actual hearing that yielded the bond order.