@Rbianchiesq was on “The Kelly File” (@megynkelly) with special host @ShannonBream to discuss the interesting case involving actress @KellyRutherford who is fighting for custody of her children in a bitter divorce proceeding. It was a pleasure to be on with co-guest @LisWiehl.
The case has once again garnered attention as a result of a New York court indicating it had no jurisdiction to handle the case and ordered the children to be sent back to Monaco to live with their father, after having spent the summer in the US after years of Ms. Kelly being denied that right. Outrage over the details of this case has reignited with this newest court ruling.
While I believe the New York judge was correct in her assessment of the case, it is nevertheless a sad reality that Ms. Rutherford is in a twisted legal game where the US courts have abandoned her, leaving her with no recourse other than to petition the Monaco courts for custody of her children, while they are US citizens who were living in the US prior to them being allowed to move to Monaco with their father in the first place on a TEMPORARY basis. It has now been years that Ms. Rutherford has unsuccessfully fought to have them returned to her to live in the US.
This all started when a California judge originally gave temporary custody of the children to the father. Now, we do not know why this was, or if there was a finding that the father was best fit for possession of the children. We also do not know why at the time the California judge, with the consent of Ms. Rutherford, allowed the children to be transplanted in another country.
But what we do know is that the judge and parties indicated that Monaco would NOT be considered the “habitual residence” of the children and that there would be no prejudice to Ms. Rutherford should she seek to have them returned to the United states. This agreement, however, has been completely overlooked and Ms. Rutherford now has to fight her case on foreign soil to have her children returned.
And, since the time of the California court’s custody ruling (who usually would be the ones monitoring their own court orders) they now rule that that since Ms. Rutherford has moved to New York, they no longer have jurisdiction over the orders they previously issued. This is very strange to me legally based upon laws governing these kinds of matters and since courts always have jurisdiction over their court orders. Additionally, and rightly in my mind, recently a New York Judge ruled that considering that California has refused jurisdiction, that Ms. Rutherford’s only recourse under international child custody law is to argue her case in Monaco. The NY court ruled that the mere fact that Ms. Rutherford now lives in NY does not give them the authority to challenge legally issued orders coming from California and Monaco.
Ms. Rutherford got “played” in all of this. She was duped. It is clear that she and her attorneys never intended that the California courts would refuse to hear the case anymore and essentially allow the children to live permanently in Monaco. Now the California courts have turned their back on a case where their order created this mess- – leaving Ms. Rutherford to battle for her kids in a foreign country.
Someone in the State Department and courts needs to get their act together and right this wrong. I am not saying in the end which parent should be granted permanent custody, and I am still a little surprised when this whole thing started that Ms. Rutherford agreed, as did the California court, to allow the father to be given custody and take the children out of the United States in the first place. But that said, what is now happening is not right.
It is my hope that Ms. Rutherford considers appealing the California and New York courts who have denied her jurisdiction to argue this case in a US court. And, I would seriously consider filing an action in Federal Court since there is a diversity of jurisdiction issues here and international legal issues, as well.
Ms. Rutherford strikes me from what I know to be a loving and capable mother who has been placed in a legal hell to fight for her children. Something has really gone wrong here and someone needs to make it right!