On April 20, 2021, the 7th Circuit affirmed the ND of Illinois’s dismissal of Mr. Bordelais’ Hague Abduction return suit. Ms. Bordelais removed the parties’ child from Switzerland in 2016 in the middle of a contentious divorce and custody suit. She visited her parents in Illinois, and did not return to Switzerland. Mr. Bordelais petitioned the Illinois state court for divorce and return of the child under the Hague Abduction Convention. In 2017, dissatisfied with the pace of the state court proceedings, he filed a Hague Abduction return petition in federal court. That case was stayed since it duplicated the state court litigation. Additional litigation ensued between the parties in state and federal court, and in November 2019, Ms. Bordelais moved the federal court to dismiss the stayed lawsuit on the basis that their daughter had turned age 16. The court agreed, and dismissed the case.
“The Convention, by its terms, “shall cease to apply when the child attains the age of 16 years.” . . . As the State Department has opined, “[e]ven if a child is under sixteen at the time of the wrongful removal or retention as well as when the Convention is invoked, the Convention ceases to apply when the child reaches sixteen.”
The Court concluded its opinion by issuing an order to show cause why Mr. Bordelais should not have to pay reasonable attorney fees and costs, noting that he had filed this appeal alongside fifteen lawsuits since 2016 against Ms. Bordelais, her family, her employer, her lawyers, and her child’s therapist. He had filed five other appeals from his suits against Ms. Bordelais and her family.