Custody Case Heads to Brazil Federal Court

Asbury Park Press
Custody Case Heads to Brazil Federal Court
by Bill Handleman
February 12, 2009

panel of eight judges has ruled unanimously that David Goldman’s case to regain custody of his son, Sean, will be heard in a federal court in Brazil and not a state court, a move Goldman had sought.

Goldman, Tinton Falls, learned of the vote Wednesday while still in Brazil, where he had gone to visit Sean, 8, said Mark DeAngelis of Holmdel, a friend who spoke to Goldman before he boarded a flight in Rio de Janeiro to return home.

“Overall, I would say he was excited and thrilled with the news,” said DeAngelis. “It gives him more hope that ultimately he will get Sean home.”

Still, Goldman is not prepared to say his long nightmare is over, DeAngelis said.

“He’s always very cautious with these developments, but I think he looks at it as one more important step in getting Sean home,” said DeAngelis.

“He recognizes that the international attention his case is receiving is really helping his cause,” he said.

Goldman, his lawyers and his supporters sought to move the case to the federal courts, which are more familiar with the provisions of the international Hague Convention that Goldman uses in his case. The provisions state that if a child is a primary resident of one country, he or she would be returned to that country in the event of a custodial dispute.

Goldman has been waging a four-and-a-half-year battle to regain custody of Sean, who was taken to Brazil by his mother in 2004, without his father’s knowledge. The mother remarried in Brazil but died in childbirth in 2008; and Sean has been living with his stepfather who has refused to let him come home.

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