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GOURVITZ FIRM ONCE AGAIN AFTER INITIAL DENIAL, PERSISTS IN HAVING NEW JERSEY COURT ADMIT LACK OF JURISDICTION TO MODIFY ITALIAN CHILD SUPPORT ORDER

italy flagMother who lived in Italy with her son sought to modify an Italian Consent order as to the amount of child support and contribution to college expenses because the divorce having incurred in N.J, and the father living in N.J.. The Gourvitz firm contended that Order in Italy which "modified and replaced" the earlier N.J. Judgement of Divorce deprived N.J. from Jurisdiction in accordance with the Uniform Child Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act {UCCJEA} which also applies to foreign countries. After first denying the request the Court admitted that it failed to appreciate and apply UCCJEA in this context, and ceded jurisdiction to Italy as to modification, reserving to itself only the ability to enforce the Italian Order. PERSISTANCE

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GOURVITZ FIRM PREVENTS SEXUALLY ABUSED GIRL FROM BEING RETURNED TO THE UNITED KINGDOM

flagIn a Hague Convention return case, a mother retained her 6 year old daughter after the time she promised the father she would return her to the United Kingdom and kept the child with her in New Jersey. The father, a corporal in the British Army, failed to safeguard his daughter from sexual abuse from his "mate" and was making no safeguards for her further safety. He applied for her return under the Hague Convention which was tried in the District Court of New Jersey. Elliot and Ari Gourvitz filed their responses on behalf of the mother arguing that the United States, not the United Kingdom was the child's "habitual residence" and the Hague Convention "13b exception," that of imminent harm to the child, precluded the return. After the first day of trial the judge adjourned the trial for 60 days for the Gourvitz firm to have available British social services personal, who had submitted reports which included statements of the father's nonchalant behavior about the attack and his failure to provide further safeguards. Seeing how the court was leaning toward enforcing the exception, and possibly finding that the child's "habitual residence" was New Jersey, the father dismissed his action, leaving custody in New Jersey which was designated the child's "habitual residence" with the mother.

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DIVORCE IS NO GROUNDS FOR FIRING

New Jersey High Court Warns Against Employer’s Retaliation for Divorce. The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled on June 21 that employers cannot retaliate against their workers because they are separated, contemplating divorce, or even if the breakup turns ugly is contentious. Unanimously, the court said the state's Law Against Discrimination, (LAD), precludes retaliation based on a worker's marital status. "We hold … that marital status is not limited to the state of being single or married," wrote Appellate Division Judge Mary Cuff, temporarily assigned, in Smith v. Millville Rescue Squad. "Rather, the LAD protects all employees who have declared that they will marry, have separated from their spouse, have initiated divorce proceedings, or have obtained a divorce from discrimination in the workplace. "The LAD prohibits an employer from imposing conditions of employment that have no relationship to the task assigned to and expected of an employee," Cuff said. "It also prohibits an employer from resorting to stereotypes to discipline, block for advancement, or terminate an employee due to a life decision, such as deciding to marry or divorce."

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MUHAMMAD ALI

Muhammad Ali, a kind and gentle man.MUHAMMAD AND BONNIE

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MUHAMMAD ALI. THE GREATEST OF THEM ALL.

MUHAMMAD ALII first met Ali when I was the president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Foundation, and his attorney convinced him to come to Chicago for our annual fund raiser. He was my hero because of his adherence to his principles and beliefs although diametrically opposed to mine, and his willingness to sacrifice everything to uphold them. I was awestruck when I first met him, but quickly experiences his gentleness and kindness. I didn't know how to address him, and I asked whether I should call him Muhammad, or Mr. Ali, or what? He replied, "just call me Champ," and that is what he was.

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RED NOSE DAY, MAY 26, 2016.

nose dayGive to the children. Red Nose Day charities help children in the poorest communities in the United States.

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GOURVITZ FIRM LOCATED AND UNITES FATHER WITH DAUGHTER ABDUCTED FROM WALES AND HAS NEW YORK SUPREME COURT ORDER THAT THE CHILD BE RETURNED TO WALES

WALES FLAGOn May 3, 2016, New York Supreme Court Ordered a minor’s return to her habitual residence which the Court found to be Cardiff, Wales. In this case, the mother received father's permission to go on vacation with their 3 year old daughter to Bangladesh. When they did not sign in for their return trip from Bangladesh to the U.K., the father contacted the Gourvitz firm to aid in the return of his daughter. The daughter was first discovered in N.J. and within 24 hours Elliot Gourvitz had obtained an emergent Order from the Morris County Superior Court. The Gourvitz firm in house security advisor determined that the mother and daughter were no longer in New Jersey and were somewhere in Jamaica, Queens. Ari Gourvitz immediately went to the New York Supreme Court on a Hague Application and request for a Writ of Habeas Corpus. It was requested that the Court take emergent jurisdiction and Order not only the child’s return, but that temporary emergent custody be awarded to father pending return to Wales and subject to proceedings there. The State judge, who did not understand the proceedings, and castigated Gourvitz for the application and his perceived "condensation” when he tried to explain the procedure, demanded proof of the use of this procedure in New York. Ari Gourvitz who was familiar with the resistance that he usually receives from State Court Judges not schooled in the Hague and its procedures immediately produced it, along with a list of Judges who this Judge could confer with if need be. After a 2 hour recess, the Judge did not apologize but simply said Gourvitz was right and signed the Order to Show Cause/Writ of Habeas Corpus, but would not sign an Order for the immediate turnover of the child until 4 days later when he simply ordered the wife to come to court with the child. Anticipating that this would happen, Elliot Gourvitz previously contacted the British Embassy and requested that the mother and child’s passports be flagged. On the the return date, May 2, 2016, and despite the fact that the Sheriff was unable to personally serve the mother who continued to evade service of process with the Court documents, calls were made to relatives, acquaintances, and friends in the Bangladesh community, as well as the Respondent-Mother’s family, to compel her appearance. After a hearing, the New York Supreme Court determined that the Court had jurisdiction pursuant to the Hague Convention and I.C.A.R.A. 42 U.S.C. Sect. 11601 et. Seq. and that the child’s habitual residence of the parties’ infant daughter was in the United Kingdom (Wales). The Court Ordered the Child’s return that night and the child is currently safe in Wales with her father. The Mother who was pregnant with the parties second child decided to return that same night to Wales with the Father and Child.

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GOURVITZ STOPS ITALIAN COURT FROM DECIDING ALIMONY REDUCTION OF A NEW JERSEY JUDGMENT DESPITE BOTH PARTIES RESIDING IN ITALY

DAVIDThe Gourvitz Firm prevented a New Jersey divorce judgment from being modified in Italy, despite the fact that both parties reside in Italy.  The Gourvitz Firm had represented the wife/ex-wife for over 20 years. The husband alleged that wife's sizable inheritance including the family castle and her alleged cohabitation were sufficient factors to stop the $120,000 per year alimony that he had been paying for the last 20 years.  The New Jersey court decided that under N.J.S.A 2A4:-30.72, The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, UIFSA, that only New Jersey courts have the exclusive and continuing right to modification. It ordered the husband to cease proceedings in Italy, and if he did not made him liable for any reduction, which could be enforced against him when he decided to retire in the United States, and contempt of court remedies.  The court rejected the husband's forum non conveniens argument as being trumped by UIFSA.

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CHASING NEWS INTERVIEWED GOURVITZ ON CASE INVOLVING CHILD ABUSE AND SENDING CHILD TO ECUADOR

CHASING NEWSChasing News interviewed Ari Gourvitz after being contacted by the grandmother about the injustice she believed was happening to herself and her grandchild by the New Jersey Courts by transferring temporary custody from her to the illegal immigrant father. The grandmother alleged the child threatened to kill herself and deport the child to Ecuador after the mother died. She believed the father was/is unfit because he rarely saw the child, has never paid one cent in child support, and acts inappropriately. It was admitted that he snuck into the U.S. from Mexico 15 years ago and has stayed off the "grid" since then.  The Gourvitz firm appealed the interim decision to the Appellate Division that denied any relief and then to the Supreme Court that stayed the transfer of the child pending full review by the Appellate Division. The Appellate Division again denied any relief and a subsequent application was made to the Appellate Division. All relief was denied, but guidance was given to the Trial Court. The child was transferred to the father after he was released from jail on bail where he was being prosecuted for making terroristic threats against the grandmother.

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MUSLIM MAHR AGREEMENT VOIDED BY GOURVITZ FIRM IN NEW JERSEY COURT

haniA Muslim Mahr Agreement is a Dower Agreement entered into between Muslims in which the Husband pays an amount at the time of the marriage, and promises to pay an additional amount at a later date, usually the termination of a marriage, if the parties are divorced.  In this case, the Wife sought a divorce, and the Husband did not counterclaim and only filed an Appearance.  Upon cross-examination of the Plaintiff's expert, Iman, was discerned that the payment should be only made if the man divorces the women, or she divorces him and was at fault.  In this case, the action was filed on the grounds of irreconcilable differences, and thus no finding of fault.  Since Husband did not file a counterclaim, and was not "divorcing his wife," the Court found factually that she had no claim.

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APPELLATE DIVISION AFFIRMS HAGUE CONVENTION FEES PURSUANT TO ICARA TO GOURVITZ FIRM

Hague Convention Child Abduction CaseOn May 29, 2015 the Supeior Court of New Jersey Appellate Division ruled in favor of Gourvitz & Gourvitz LLC in a Hague child abduction case involving the award of attorney fees to Plaintiff. The Court ultimately found that, " Defendant's arguments lack sufficient merit to warrant discussion in a written opinon," and that there was "no abuse of discretion by the trial court in it's computation of the award"

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GOURVITZ FIRM SUCCESSFULLY STOPS WIFE FROM PROCEEDING WITH DIVORCE IN INDIA

IMG 0912The Gourvitz Firm successfully stopped a wife from continuing her divorce in India in favor of litigating in New Jersey. Wife and husband are Indian citizens living in New Jersey and wife began a divorce action in India in March of 2013 and supposedly served husband in New Jersey.  While the matter was pending in India, a divorce complaint was brought in New Jersey. Wife submitted that New Jersey lacked subject matter and personal jurisdiction over divorce and proper jurisdiction was in India where the case was brought first. The Gourvitz Firm proved that the move to New Jersey was with the intention to remain permanently because wife, among other actions had applied for HIB visa, and that a divorce could not be granted under Indian law because neither party resides there. Gourvitz further asserted that only New Jersey had the authority to award support, alimony and equitable distribution. They also proved that the husband was not served in accordance with the Hague Convention, and India does not have "comity" with the United States and on the doctrine of forum non conveniens as to witnesses and evidence.

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A HEART-FELT-THANK YOU FROM A GOURVITZ & GOURVITZ CLIENT

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HAGUE CONVENTION ATTORNEY NETWORK OF THE U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT AGAIN THANKS THE GOURVITZ FIRM FOR THEIR VOLUNTEER WORK

We thank you for making an important contribution to the overall operation of the Hague Convention of the United States.  It is only through the generosity of Pro Bono counsel like you that hundreds of parents have been able to seek relief under the Hague Convention in U.S. courts in their incoming child abduction cases.  The good will generated enhances our relationships with our foreign treaty partners which enhances our abilities in our country to for them to aid in the return of children in their country.  And for that we are grateful. It cannot be said often enough: thank you!

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UGLY DIVORCE NO GROUNDS TO FIRE A PUBLIC EMPLOYEE

Robert Smith was fired from his job at the Millville Rescue Squad 9 years ago where his wife also worked because their divorce would be bitter. The law against discrimination protects anyone subject to unfair treatment on the basis of age, race, origin, religion or orientation and applies to such acts in the workplace. Marital status is not specifically covered. The trial court in Smith v. Millville Rescue Squad, dismissed the case and the Appellate Division reversed and reinstated the case.

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DIVORCING PARENTS CAN HAVE A PARAMOUR STAY OVERNIGHT WITH THE CHILDREN PRESENT

A New Jersey family law judge in the Mantle v. Mantle case refused to enforce a consent agreement which provided an indefinite ban on such activity. absent any evidence of inappropriate conduct. recognizing the changing societal morays of the 1970's the judge said each case must be evaluated: 1. How long the parties have lived apart; 2. If the partner is already known to the child; 3. Whether the child has special mental considerations. A blanket ban can be imposed if the paramour poses a threat to the child through inappropriate actions. See our case of Michlen v. Michlen, 305 N.J. 643 (App. DIv. 1997).

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N.J. JUDGE EXPANDS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE TO COVER ELDER ABUSE

Despite the fact that the N.J. Domestic Violence Act specifically is limited to specific individuals, a N.J. judge issued a restraining order against a son who lived with his 73 year old mother, who he determined had a history of verbal abuse to her, and this emotional abuse constituted domestic violence. He never explained how the act which defines "victim" applied to her, and since neither party had an attorney, simply entered the order. Even the judge decided the case for good motives, he seemingly violated the strict statutory mandate of the act, and in doing so usurped the dictates of the legislature.

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NEW JERSEY COURT REFUSES TO HEAR DEFAMATION SUIT BASED ON ISLAMIC LAW

SAUDI A FLAGA New Jersey trial court dismissed a defamation case by a Saudi Arabian woman against her half sister because the suit was based upon the interpretation of religious cannons. Plaintiff sued alleging that the defendant defamed her in social media posts that she had sexual relations with several men under a marriage arrangement known under Islamic law as a “Misyar.” The court determined that this was a non-secular matter and a court must abstain from matters that require interpretation of religious cannons.  The attorney for the plaintiff intends to appeal the decision stating that allegations of promiscuity are considered defamatory per se.

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U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT CONGRATULATES THE GOURVITZ FIRM AND ASKS FOR HELP

The Gourvitz Firm which successfully returned a child kidnapped from Trinidad and Tobago to New Jersey was both congratulated and asked for help on a similar case. Despite the fact that Trinidad and Tobago had not formally been a part of the Hague Convention, Gourvitz's "Encyclopedic knowledge of wrongful removal and retention cases was deemed as "Remarkable."

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DIVORCE STRESS CAN KILL YOU

Splitsville Stress: Divorce Linked to Higher Heart Attack Risk -Stress As A Result of A Divorce Ranks Higher than Going to Jail or Starting A New Job Says Experts. http://www.today.com/health/splitsville-stress-divorce-linked-higher-heart-attack-risk-t15206

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