Press Release

Burns & Levinson Wins Pro Bono International Parental Kidnapping Case

August 11, 2022

Boston, MA, August 11, 2022 – Burns & Levinson won an international parental kidnapping case on behalf of pro bono client Jean Karim, who sought the return of his eight-year-old daughter to the United Kingdom after the child’s mother illegally brought her to the U.S. in 2020 without his knowledge or consent. The U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts ruled on May 20, 2022 in favor of Karim, a British citizen, that his daughter be returned to him in the U.K. The deadline for filing an appeal to the First Circuit has now expired and Karim’s daughter was returned to the U.K. on August 9, 2022. Burns & Levinson filed the action, Jean Karim v. Rebecca Nakato, for Karim in federal court in Boston in September 2021 under the Hague Convention, a treaty that addresses international parental child abductions. The mother, who now lives in Massachusetts, raised several defenses available under the Hague Convention – including the child was now “well-settled” in the U.S. and should not be returned and faced a “grave risk of harm” if returned to the U.K. – all of which were unsuccessful. After a video bench trial, the judge found that the mother wrongfully brought the child to the country, and the mother’s defenses were not supported by the evidence. The Burns & Levinson team was led by partner Elizabeth Crowley and Emily Weber, members of the firm’s Divorce and Family Group. “This case has been a difficult journey for our client, with many false accusations made against him that we had to fight through to reunite him with his daughter. We commend the Court for its diligence in following the evidence in this complicated case,” said Crowley. “We are thrilled that our client’s minor child is finally back with her father. It has been nearly two years since she was abducted by her mother, and we are honored to be a part of bringing this case to a successful conclusion.”

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