It is unusual for the federal courts to be involved in custody disputes but in this case an emergency order was sought after the mother too the 7 year old to the emergency psychiatric hospital and did not tell the father. Also this case involves a parent living in another country and the Hague Convention:


Docket no. 2:10-cv-375


751 F. Supp. 2d 255

Decided November 16, 2010 by US District Judge George Z. Singal:

Before the Court is the Emergency Motion to Modify Stay (Docket # 101), which was filed by Petitioner/Appellee Savvas Charalambous (“Father” or “Savvas”). The Motion was transferred to this Court by the First Circuit. (See Nov. 10, 2010 Order of Court (Docket # 100).) Pursuant to the First Circuit’s Order, this Court is to make necessary factual findings and rule upon three specific requests in Petitioner’s Emergency Motion


In accordance with this Court’s November 10, 2010 Procedural Order, this Court held a conference of counsel on November 15, 2010. Attorney David Abramson appeared for the Father, Petitioner Savvas Charalambous. Attorney Judith Potter appeared for Respondent Elizabeth Rohnert Charalambous (“Mother” or “Elizabeth”).


Based on the record and the stipulations provided by the parties, the Court makes the following findings regarding post-judgment developments:

1. On October 18, 2010, this Court set a November 2, 2010 deadline for Mother to turnover the Children to Father. As of October 20, 2010, Mother, the appellant before the Court of Appeals, had filed a motion to further extend this turnover date and stay judgment pending resolution of her appeal by the First Circuit.

2. On October 26, 2010, Savvas had one of his regularly scheduled after-school visits with his son, N.C. During this visit, Savvas provided N.C. with a ninja costume and play numchucks as part of a Halloween costume.

3. On the evening of October 26th, after returning from this visit, N.C. argued with his Mother. Elizabeth was unable to get N.C. to go to bed. Elizabeth ultimately called 911 for assistance.

4. At 9:21 PM, Deputy Delbert Mason of the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Department was dispatched to the Mother’s home on a report of “a 7 year old child that was out of control and violent.” (Mason Aff. ¶ 2.)

5. Upon arrival, Deputy Mason met Elizabeth and N.C., who was still wearing a ninja costume. N.C. appeared calm. As noted by the Deputy, N.C.’s grandmother was also present at the house.

6. Ultimately, Elizabeth requested that the Deputy call for an ambulance to transport N.C. to St. Mary’s hospital in Lewiston, Maine. N.C. did exhibit violence towards his Mother while resisting attempts to be taken to the ambulance. With the assistance of Deputy Mason, N.C. was secured in the ambulance by seatbelt and his Mother rode with him to St. Mary’s hospital.

7. At no point in the evening was Savvas contacted to inform him of the difficulties N.C. was having or of the need to have him transported to the hospital.

The Court concludes:

Based on this Court’s examination of the above-summarized factual record and the representations of counsel, the troubling events that led to N.C. being hospitalized at NMMC appear to reflect a panicked parent seeking to avoid the then-pending November 2, 2010 turnover date. Even with no definite turnover date on the horizon, the parents are struggling to engage in the communication necessary to co-parent two children while they are living apart. This failure to communicate does a disservice to their Children and disrespects the important role that each parent plays in the life of N.C. and A.C.