The January 23, 2023 court order is one in a long line of court orders in federal, state, and foreign courts related to the parties and their child. To summarize – the Patels voluntarily signed an agreement in 2017 granting Mr. Patel full custody and the ability to relocate, which he did – to India – with the child. Ms. Patel then secured an order from the family court requiring him to return the child, which did not modify the prior order. She sought criminal charges against him. She convinced him to travel to London, where she sought the child’s return under the Hague Abduction Convention. The London Hague court denied her request, and sent the child to his paternal grandparents in India, while Mr. Patel was extradited to stand trial in the United States. He was convicted by a jury of kidnapping, but, in late November 2022, his conviction was vacated by the court, on the basis that the prosecutors impermissibly amended the indictment mid-trial. While he was awaiting this overturned conviction, Ms. Patel filed a suit in family court, which issued an order requiring the child to be returned to the United States by December 18, 2022, or Mr. Patel would be incarcerated. He did as ordered, and the child landed at JFK, where the FBI took custody of him and transferred him to Ms. Patel. The federal court opinion sounds exasperated – not sure why the FBI was still involved on December 18th when the conviction had been vacated, unsure how the state court opinion came to be when a Hague court in London returned the child to India, confused as to how this interplays with the criminal conviction being vacated, etc. The family case is still pending with the existing order giving Ms. Patel custody and Mr. Patel 4 hours every other Saturday, but, on January 23, 2023, the federal court addressed the prosecutor’s request to reconsider the court order that vacated the conviction, concerned it could be read as saying the Assistant US Attorney engaged in prosecutorial misconduct.
Therefore, on January 23, 2023, the court amended its order, but remained steadfast in vacating Mr. Patel’s conviction, stating, “Because the Government constructively amended the Indictment in more than one constitutionally impermissible way, the Court will vacate Defendant’s conviction. An accompanying Order, of today’s date, shall issue.“