Cases of International Child Abduction
As a an attorney handling international child abduction, many times I need to obtain evidence to support my clients request for return or to defend against the return of the child because the child may face a grave risk of harm. A subpoena duces tecum is a document lawyers employ to compel the production of documents that might be admissible in court. Subpoena duces tecum are used routinely within the state of Florida. If document are needed from another state, other formalities are required such as the appointment of a commissioner or letters rogatory are issued. These are two separate methods I utilize to obtain documents from other states.
Cases of International Child Abduction – Far more complex and not utilized is when one needs to compel evidence from a foreign country. One of the methods for compelling (forcing) a foreign entity to produce evidence is through the Hague Convention of 18 march 1970 on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial. This treaty which was enacted into a statute in the United States provides a mechanism to secure the equivalent of a subpoena in a foreign country. It is a complex procedure and varies from country to country. In essence, the court in the United States issues a request to the court in the foreign country to issue the subpoena. Depending upon the receiving, these requests can take some time to be issued and therefore it is important to immediately notify your lawyer of the need to obtain the evidence so that he or she may commence the process to issue a Request for International Judicial Assistance pursuant to the Hague Convention of 18 march 1970 on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial.
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