Articles Posted in International Law

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The issue on appeal before the Supreme Court was a challenge to the failure of a district court to give preclusive effect to a California federal district court judgment during a proceeding to grant recognition of a subsequent German judgment. Plaintiff Ron Markin executed a promissory note in 1988 agreeing to pay Defendant Thomas Grohmann $551,292.00 with interest at ten percent per annum. The loan was for a business transaction between the parties. In September 1997, Plaintiff sued Defendant in the United States District Court in the Central District of California in order to collect the promissory note. At that time, Defendant resided in Scottsdale, Arizona. The parties entered into a written settlement agreement to resolve the lawsuit. The agreement provided the principal and interest owing; that the lawsuit would be dismissed if that sum plus interest was paid according to the terms of the agreement; that the court would retain jurisdiction to enforce the agreement; that if the amount due under the agreement was not paid in full as provided in the agreement, Plaintiff could obtain a judgment as provided by California law; and that the agreement "shall be governed by and interpreted under the laws of the State of California." Defendant failed to pay according to the agreement, and Plaintiff obtained an ex parte judgment against Defendant. After learning that Defendant owned real property in Germany, Plaintiff commenced a civil action in Germany to enforce the California judgment. The German trial court dismissed the action on the ground that the judgment was not enforceable under German law. Plaintiff appealed and asserted that if the judgment was not enforceable, he could recover on the settlement agreement upon which that judgment was based. The appellate court agreed, and it issued an opinion ordering Defendant to pay Plaintiff. The court held that it could enter a judgment against Defendant based upon the settlement agreement because he had previously been a German citizen. Upon its review of matter, the Idaho Supreme Court concluded that the German judgment was a final judgment under German law. But because the German judgment did not recognize the effect of a final judgment under California law, it conflicted with the California judgment. The Idaho Court therefore reversed the judgment of the district court that recognized the German judgment. View "Markin v. Grohmann" on Justia Law

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Appellant is a citizen of Mexico who entered the United States illegally in 2003. He married Jane Doe (Mother) in Payette, Idaho. After they were married, Appellant was arrested in when he attempted to open a bank account with a false social security number. He served three months in jail, and was then transferred to a to be held for deportation. He agreed to voluntarily leave the United States and did so, returning to his parents' home in Mexico. Mother also went to Mexico, but she returned to the United States after she became pregnant. Their child (Daughter) was born in the United States in November 2008. Mother also had a four-year-old son by another man. In March 2009, Father reentered the United States illegally in an attempt to be with his wife and Daughter, but he was caught in Arizona and returned to Mexico. In 2009, Mother and her boyfriend took the boyfriend's son to the hospital regarding severe bruising on his head. Because Mother and the boyfriend gave conflicting accounts of how the child was injured, medical personnel called law enforcement. The two were arrested, and the State initiated proceedings for care of the children in Mother's custody. The petition alleged the daughter's father was unknown, in Mexico, at an unknown address. Appellant spoke by telephone from Mexico with a State caseworker, expressing his wish to be reunited with Mother and his daughter. When informed that Mother was not adhering to the plan, Appellant attempted to have his daughter moved to Mexico so that he may care for her. For the next year, there was a breakdown in communications between Appellant and the state caseworker. The State decided to initiate termination proceedings against Appellant. A default judgment was entered against him and his parental rights to his daughter were terminated. Upon review, the Supreme Court found the magistrate's finding that Appellant "made no attempt to establish a relationship by the means that were available to him" was "absurd." The Court found the magistrate's decisions with regard to the child "clearly erroneous," and reversed the lower court's decision. The Court remanded the case with instructions for the State to make all reasonable steps to promptly place the daughter with Appellant in Mexico. View "RE: Termination of Parental Rights of John (2011-23) Doe" on Justia Law

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Claimant Floyd Fife appealed a decision of the Industrial Commission that found he had failed to prove that his medical condition requiring back surgery was caused by an industrial accident rather than by pre-existing degenerative changes in his thoracic and lumbar spine. An evidentiary hearing was held before a hearing officer on November 5, 2009, but the hearing officer left the employment of the Industrial Commission before submitting proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law. The Commission then reviewed the record and issued its findings of fact, conclusions of law, and order on June 8, 2010. It found the testimony of Claimant’s surgeon unpersuasive, characterizing it as "unclear, to the point of opacity, as to the actual nature of the injury which he claims is responsible for the need for surgery." When the surgeon had been asked whether he could point to any objective pathological findings in any of the diagnostic studies he had performed on Claimant that related to recent trauma, the surgeon answered that he could not. The Commission found convincing the testimony of the physician who conducted the independent medical examination of Claimant. On appeal, Claimant contended that the Commission erred as a matter of law in rejecting the testimony of his surgeon. Upon review, the Supreme Court concluded that because the Commission, as the trier of fact, was not required to accept the testimony of Claimant’s treating physician, the Court affirmed its decision. View "Fife v. The Home Depot " on Justia Law