Case Update: attorney fee award in Hague Abduction return proceeding; no fees for the prevailing respondent
The U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, in Stone v. Stone, (2020 WL 491194) reaffirmed that a prevailing respondent in a Hague Abduction return proceeding is not entitled to an award of fees. Specifically, ICARA section 9001, et. seq., requires the respondent to pay necessary expenses if the petitioner prevails. There is no provision under which a respondent may recover fees and costs from a petitioner. This is bolstered by caselaw in other circuits. Furthermore, the American Rule typically requires each party to bear the burden of his or her own legal expenses.