The parties are unmarried parents to one U.S. citizen child, born in December 2018. The parties resided together with their child in Mexico since the child’s birth. At the child’s first birthday party in Mexico, Ms. Paraskevas informed the family she would be relocating to Arizona “indefinitely” with the child. Mr. Baez did not agree to the relocation, but 4 days later (December 6, 2019), Ms. Paraskevas removed the child from Mexico. Mr. Baez filed a custody suit in Mexico in March 2020, and a Hague return petition in Santa Cruz County Arizona Superior Court in July 2021. In the Hague Convention matter, Ms. Paraskevas requested protection of her address from being disclosed on the basis of domestic violence. Mr. Baez objected. After a 4-day bench trial, the trial court denied Mr. Baez’s request to return the child on the basis that Ms. Paraskevas had established that Mr. Baez filed his return request more than one year from the wrongful removal, and the child was now “settled” in the United States. Ms. Paraksevas testified that the child has friends, swimming lessons, book time at the local Barnes & Noble, outings, family, doctors, and everything in her “safe environment” in Arizona. Mr. Baez appealed, arguing that he was prejudiced by the court’s protection of Ms. Paraskevas’ address because, among other reasons, he was denied procedural due process because he could not meaningfully challenge Ms. Paraskevas’ “well-settled” argument. The court disagreed, and affirmed the trial court.
“A court violates a party’s due process rights when it ‘does not allow for meaningful direct testimony and efficient but adequate cross-examination.'” A court has broad discretion to limit the scope of cross-examination so long as it does not unduly inhibit Mr. Baez’s ability to present information bearing on issues or on the credibility of witnesses. During trial, Ms. Paraskevas refused to provide her boyfriend’s name and the county in which she lived (with her boyfriend) because her address was protected. Mr. Baez argued that if Ms. Paraskevas and the child were residing with her boyfriend, and arguing that the child was settled in that home, he was entitled to know what was going on in that home. The court agreed with Mr. Baez’s argument that he should know what goes on in the home, but disagreed that this required Ms. Paraskevas to provide the address or her boyfriend’s name, as protecting those details did not inhibit Mr. Baez’s ability to present his case. Based on the totality-of-the-circumstances and the evidence provided, Ms. Paraskevas met her burden to demonstrate the child was settled.