Mota v. Castillo, No. 12-180 (2d Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Mota and Castillo married in Mexico, where their daughter, Elena, was born. In 2007, when Elena was six months old, Castillo entered the U.S. illegally and began sending financial support to his wife and daughter. In 2010 Mota and Castillo decided to reunite. They hired a smuggler to take Elena across the border. After Elena had entered the U.S., Mota tried to cross the border, but was repeatedly blocked by American border guards. Meanwhile, the smugglers had transported Elena to New York, where she began living with her father. After one attempt to enter, Mota was arrested and prosecuted for use of false identification. Castillo began living with another woman, no longer sent financial support, and declared that he would keep Elena. Mexican authorities applied to the U.S. government for the child’s return. Castillo then instituted custody proceedings in New York. Having obtained no relief through official diplomatic channels, Mota filed a petition seeking an order requiring Castillo to return Elena to her in Mexico under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, as implemented by the International Child Abduction Remedies Act, 42 U.S.C. 11601. The district court granted the order. The Second Circuit affirmed.