Good article today in Toronto’s National Post reporting the intricacies of pursuing child abduction cases in Brazil.

The revolving doors of Brazil’s justice system have not stopped turning.

The article discusses the cases of Francois Larivee of Montreal, Canada who also has been trying to get his son returned from Brazil for four years and David Goldman.

Brazil’s record on judgments on The Hague cases has been spotty. In addition to the Goldman case, a return to Israel was refused, a return to Norway was partly granted–for summer periods only — and the outcome of another request from the U. S. remains indeterminate.

The article, titled Custody Wars is online at
http://www.financialpost.com/story.html?id=1118097

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News Update December 9th

David traveled to Washington D.C. on December 5th for meetings with representatives from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), The Office of Children’s Issues at the U.S. State Department, and a senior official in the Consulate General Office of the Brazilian government. The meetings went well and David was encouraged that more help is on the way. We’re hopeful that the people who can make a difference in this case will take the necessary actions which will lead to Sean coming home soon.

We encourage you to try to make it to one of the rallies being organized this Friday, December 12, in front of any of the Brazilian Consulate General offices around the country, especially New York where we expect a good crowd and will be giving out 200 “Bring Sean Home” t-shirts to supporters.

Update on Legal Case in Brazil: A Terrible Decision

Late last week Judge Luis Felipe Salomão, from the Superior Court of Justice (STJ) issued a stay to the Hague case pending at the 1st level federal court in Rio de Janeiro while he decides who has jurisdiction in the case, the State Court or the Federal Court.  David needs the case to remain at the federal level to have any chance of a proper decision. It has been established precedent that Hague cases are handled at the federal level in Brazil, but Lins e Silva is trying to move the case to the Rio State court, to waste more time and exert his influence.

The filing in front of Judge Salomão was only to determine if the State or Federal court will decide this case. Instead of making a determination on the issue in front of him, Judge Salomão decided to weigh in on the merits of the case and stated that Sean would be exposed to “irreperable damage” if he had contact with David just before the holidays. Based on this, the Judge established that the case should be stayed until he makes his determination on which court should decide the case. Judge Salamão appointed the Federal Judge responsible for urgent matters, but forbid the Federal Court from proceeding with the psychological evaluations, and forbid the Federal Court from allowing visitation now, on the grounds that “such matters are not urgent.” He made this decision 12 hours before Sean was to be evaluated.

Judge Salomão, until last June, 2008, was a Judge from the 2nd Level State Court of Rio de Janeiro. What is most important for David now is having the conflict of jurisdiction issue decided by Judge Salomão before December 19th, the last day of work in STJ before their summer recess. The court will be closed for the holidays and will open again on February 1st. As of now, the records of the conflict of jurisdiction are with the Public Prosecution Service. If the Public Prosecutor sends the records back to Court this week, Judge Salomão needs to decide the conflict of jurisdiction issue immediately. We are not optimistic, however, given the absurdity of this most recent decision.

For more information on how cases are handled in the Brazilian legal system, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_Brazil.

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Article in November Edition of Piauí Magazine

Dorrit Harazim published a comprehensive account of the Sean Goldman case in the November edition of the Brazilian magazine Piauí. We also have it up on the Media page in English and Portuguese.

English translation: A Father in a Foreign Land
Portuguese: A Busca do filho

Revista Piauí: http://www.revistapiaui.com.br/edicao_26/artigo_812/A_busca_do_filho.aspx

A variety of Bring Sean Home banners have been made and are available online. To make them very simple to insert, both the BringSeanHome.org link and banner into your web page or Blog the necessary code is included. You do not need to save a copy of the banner to your PC and then upload it to your server. The code will display the banner automatically without using any of your bandwidth. When a viewer clicks on the banner, a new browser window at BringSeanHome.org is opened automatically. Go to: http://bringseanhome.org/banners.html

Here are two examples:
Campaign to return kidnapped minor Sean Goldman to the United States - BringSeanHome.org
Campaign to return kidnapped minor Sean Goldman to the United States - BringSeanHome.org

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The Federal Court in Brazil issued an order for visitation permitting David to see Sean for the first time in four years. David flew to Brazil for a visit scheduled for Friday 17 Oct at 8:00 PM. The visit was delayed until Saturday but sadly it never happened.

—–Original Message—–
From:
To:
Sent: Fri, 17 Oct 2008 5:31 pm
Subject: Sean
I’m in Rio. It is 6:30 PM and it appears that it is still a go with visitation beginning at 8:00 PM. I have spoken to a U.S. consular officer who will accompany me. My attorney and two court officers will also come. It has been a long travel with a several hour lay over in Sao Paulo. But, I am here now just 20 minutes away from where Sean is supposed to be staying. I am cautiously optimistic. I think it is a very good idea to hold a vigil in Ipanema. Some officials have encouraged that as well, in order to help spread the word in Brazil. I will keep everyone posted as much as I can. It is all so very surreal.

David

—–Original Message—–
From:
To:
Sent: Fri, 17 Oct 2008 6:03 pm
Subject: Re: Sean
I just got a call from my Brazilian counsel. The visitation will not be tonight. We are hoping for tomorrow at 8 AM.

—–Original Message—–
From:
To:
Sent: Fri, 17 Oct 2008 7:02 pm
Subject: Re: Sean
Apparently, Lins e Silva filed an appeal today in the 2nd level court claiming I should have no contact with Sean. He continues to claim that I have abandoned Sean for the last four years. He claims that I do not want anything to do with Sean. He claims that my interest is only $…not Sean. The good thing is that the 2nd level judge of first instance (it’s a 3 judge panel) denied the appeal. He said the claims are unfounded. He said because it is late, it’s raining, there is a lot of traffic, etc., visitation will begin tomorrow at 8 AM. I am encouraged that the Fed level judges have not yielded to Lins e Silva. It’s about time. I will remain cautiously optimistic. -David

—– Forwarded Message —-
From:
To:
Sent: Saturday, October 18, 2008 11:43:42 AM
Subject: Re: Sean

We arrived a little before 8 AM to the address filed in State and Federal court by Lins e Silva as Sean’s address. I walked up to the gate outside the condominium with two plain clothed Federal agents, three Fed court officers, one U.S. consular officer and my Brazilian attorney. I waited outside the building while the Fed. court officers and agents presented the order for visitation to the security of the building. They all went into the condominium to meet Lins e Silva and ultimately begin the visitation process for Sean and I. We hoped Lins e Silva would cooperate and handle the delicate situation with compassion for Sean.

I remained outside the gate preparing myself as best I could to finally after four + years to reunite with my son. Twenty minutes later the Fed. agents/officers appeared WITHOUT SEAN.

In the apartment were Bruna’s father, brother, the new baby and some servants. NO SEAN and NO LINS E SILVA. The Fed agents were told that Lins e Silva and Sean went away yesterday and they are not sure where they went. The agents checked the apartment and did not find Sean or Lins e Silva. The security of the building said they don’t think Sean lives in the condo because they don’t see him there all the time. As is becoming the normal the most egregious behavior by Lins e Silva and the Ribeiros keeping Sean and I separated has continued. Actually, now it is worse, because they are disrespecting even a Brazilian Federal Court order and up until now getting away with it The Fed officers will report back to the Fed judge of the events that occurred. It is Saturday morning and I don’t know when the Fed. judge will learn of this morning’s events. I hope Monday the latest. How long can Lins e Silva and the Ribeiro’s continue this blatant disregard of the law? How long can they obstruct justice? Will they ever be held accountable? So once again I’m in Brazil without any contact with my son, while his kidnappers go about their daily lives unscathed. I will not give up. I am not sure how long I will remain in Brazil. I just can not believe that such evil and illegal behavior with complete and flagrant disregard for my son as well as for the Brazilian, U.S. and international law can continue. I will keep everyone posted. I will not give up on my son……EVER!
David

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Asbury Park Press article, Oct 15

Today David’s hometown newspaper, the Asbury Park Press, ran a front page article on the story. There’s also a video to go along with it.  As the USA Today is also a Gannett paper, there’s a good chance they may also run the story.

News story: http://www.app.com/article/20081015/NEWS/810150353/1001/newsfront

Related video: http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?Category=VideoNetwork&pid=5f291b0253b26bacf1c9fa8b267ccc390f653933&videoid=890513678

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Contact Info for Brazilian Judges

Below is the contact information for the Brazilian judges involved in this case. The first judge listed is the Federal judge who has the case before him now while the second judge listed already ruled against David and denied visitation at the State family Court in Rio. Let them know how you feel about this case but PLEASE bear in mind that the Federal Judge HAS NOT YET RULED so we need to send separate emails to both judges. The third judge, Gilson Dipp, is a senior member of the Brazilian judiciary and should also be aware of the court proceedings in this case.

 

1. Federal Judge responsible for the motion for return under the Hague Convention filed against João Paulo Lins e Silva: Hon. Judge Rafael de Souza Pereira Pinto, from the 16th Civil Chamber of the Federal Court of Rio de Janeiro, Email: 16vf@jfrj.gov.br.

 

2. State Family Judge responsible for the motion for fatherhood and custody, filed by João Paulo Lins e Silva: Hon. Judge Gerardo Carnevale Ney da Silva, from the 2nd Chamber of the State Family Court of Rio de Janeiro, Email: cap02vfam@tj.rj.gov.br.

 

3. President of Brazilian Judicial Administrative Council and Minister of the Superior Justice Court of Brazil (STJ, in Portuguese), Hon. Judge Gilson Dipp, Email: corregedoria@cnj.gov.br.

 

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