Texas courts should take charge of disabled teenager case wrongly taken to America
Judges in the United States should now make decisions relating to the future of a profoundly disabled teenager who was wrongly taken out of England by his father, a judge in London has decided.
Ms Justice Russell said attempts to get the 19-year-old man back to the UK have failed and will probably continue to fail.
She said the time has come for English judges to “cede jurisdiction” to judges in Texas, where the teenager lives with his father.
The teenager’s case has been analysed at hearings in the Family Division of the High Court in London.
His separated parents have been embroiled in family court fights over his care since he was small.
The teenager had been living with his father in London.
His father took him to America – first to Florida, then Texas – more than two years ago in breach of a London judge’s order.
The teenager’s mother wants a London judge to stay in control of the case and keep trying to get him back to England.
But Ms Justice Russell has decided otherwise following the most recent hearing.
Evidence showed that the teenager was receiving the care and education he needed in Texas, she said.
She said the litigation had cost the British taxpayer a “considerable” amount and said there was no end in sight.
“The most appropriate forum to litigate (his) future, if any litigation is necessary, is the court in Texas,” she said in a ruling published on Friday.
“I do not consider that there is any likelihood that further orders to try to bring (him) back to this jurisdiction would be any more successful than they have been heretofore.”
She added: “The court has sympathy with (his mother’s) desire to have contact with her son, but the practical reality is that his future is in the USA.”
The judge said the family involved could not be identified in media reports of the case.
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