Certified Translation for Child Custody Cases

French to English Translation for the Hague Abduction Convention

Certified translation services are often required in international child custody cases. Today we are covering a case which spans the globe, from Morocco to the United States. This suit is from the United States District Court in the Southern District of New York and the name of the case is Jacquety v. Baptista.

Guillaume Jacquety and Geraldine Helena Tena Baptista were married under French law. Their young daughter was living with Geraldine in Morocco until November of 2018, when both of them left their family home to go to Switzerland and then to New York City. In New York City the mother and daughter started living with Dr. Wadghiri.

The father subsequently brought a petition against the mother of the child as well as Dr. Wadghiri. The petitioner requested, pursuant to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, to have the child returned to Morocco, to his custody.

Both the United States and Morocco are signatories of the Hague Abduction Convention which was adopted in 1980 to protect children from wrongful removal from their residence. The convention intends to return the child to his/her residence if they have been wrongly removed from it. However, there is also an exception to this, namely the “grave risk of harm” rule. Under this exception the child should not be returned if he/she would face a grave risk of physical or psychological harm upon return.

The respondents opposed the petition using this exception arguing that the child would face a grave risk of harm if she were to return to Morocco. The case eventually proceeded to trial where the main point of contention was whether the child would face a grave risk of physical or psychological harm if she were repatriated to Morocco. To support her argument, the respondent argued that she was the victim of domestic violence which had been perpetrated by the petitioner and would affect the child psychologically as well. The petitioner, on the other hand, argued that he was the victim, rather than the perpetrator, of such abuse.

French Certified Translation and Legal Interpreting Services

At trial both the petitioner and the respondent testified partially in English, and partially in French with the help of a French court interpreter. To support their respective arguments both parties provided certified French to English translations of a wide array of text messages exchanged between them. There were instances where the parties disagreed on the correct English translation.

When there were points of contention regarding the English translation of the French text messages, the court said that it was guided by the certified translation from French to English. A witness who was the couple’s housekeeper in Morocco also testified at trial through a French court interpreter. The housekeeper testified in support of the petitioner’s case but the Court did not find her credible.

In the end the court denied the petition after finding that the child would face a grave risk of harm if she were to be returned to Morocco. The court believed the respondent’s testimony and evidence that she was the victim of domestic abuse by the petitioner.

With the help of the certified French to English translation and professional French court interpreting services the respondent was able to be successful in her argument, thereby underscoring the importance of professional legal translation and interpreting services in such disputes.

Get in touch with All Language Alliance, Inc. to requested certified document translation services from and into French, English, Chinese, Italian, Portuguese, Korean, Mongolian, Russian, Spanish, Polish, Hungarian, German, Croatian, and to hire court-certified interpreters in any foreign language for child custody cases.

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