United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING AND ORDER RE: MOTION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING
ORDER (DOC NO. 3)
C. Hall, United States District Judge.
case comes before the court pursuant to a petition for relief
under the Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International
Child Abduction and the International Child Abduction
Remedies Act, title 22, sections 9001 through 9011. The
petitioner, Nimah Muwakil-Zakuri, filed a Verified Complaint
(Doc. No. 1) alleging that the respondent, Marlon Azikiwe
Zakuri, is unlawfully retaining custody of I., age twelve,
and A., age five (“the Children”). Muwakil-Zakuri
alleges that the Children are habitual residents of Trinidad
and Tobago, that she had custody of them in that country,
that she permitted the Children to stay with their father,
Zakuri, in the United States for twenty days terminating by
agreement on August 28, 2017, and that Zakuri has unlawfully
retained them up to and including this date.
moves this court for judgment in her favor establishing that
the Children be returned to Trinidad and Tobago.
Muwakil-Zakuri further moves for a Temporary Restraining
• The Children be removed from Zakuri by the United
States Marshal and delivered to Muwakil-Zakuri for care and
custody pending further order of the court;
• All travel documents for the Children be surrendered
to the United States Marshal and placed with the Clerk of the
• Neither Zakuri nor anyone acting in concert with him
shall take any action to remove the Children from the
jurisdiction of this Court, or contact, harass, or restrain
the Children or Muwakil-Zakuri in any way, pending a
determination of the merits of the Verified Complaint.
See Motion for Temporary Restraining Order
(“Mot. for TRO”) (Doc. No. 3) at 3-4. The court
held an ex parte hearing on the Motion for a Temporary
Restraining Order on December 11, 2017. During that hearing,
Muwakil-Zakuri offered evidence, and the court made factual
findings on the record.
on those findings and for the following additional findings
and reasons, Muwakil-Zakuri's Motion for Temporary
Restraining Order is granted with slight modification.
restraining orders may be issued without notice to the
opposing party if “specific facts in . . . a verified
complaint clearly show that immediate and irreparable injury,
loss, or damage will result to the movant before the adverse
party can be heard in opposition” and “the
movant's attorney certifies in writing any efforts made
to give notice and the reasons why it should not be
required.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 65(b). Counsel has so
Second Circuit applies similar standards for temporary
restraining orders and preliminary injunctions, “and
district courts have assumed them to be the same.”
See Foley v. State Elections Enforcement Com'n,
No. 10 Civ. 1091 (SRU) (D. Conn. Jul. 16, 2010), 2010 WL
2836722, *3 (quoting Allied Office Supplies, Inc. v.
Lewandowski, 261 F.Supp. 107, 108 n.2 (D. Conn. 2005)).
Preliminary injunctive relief is an extraordinary remedy and
is never awarded as a matter of right. See Winter v.
Natural Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 24 (2008).
“A plaintiff seeking a preliminary injunction must
establish that he is likely to succeed on the merits, that he
is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of
preliminary relief, that the balance of equities tips in his
favor, and that an injunction is in the public
interest.” Glossip v. Gross, 135 S.Ct. 2726,
2736 (2015) (internal quotation marks omitted). “In
deciding a motion for preliminary injunction, a court may
consider the entire record including affidavits and other
hearsay evidence.” Johnson v. Newport
Lorillard, No. 01 Civ. 9587 (SAS), 2003 WL 169797, *1
(S.D.N.Y. Jan. 23, 2003).
ICARA Restrictions on Removal from Physical Custody /
to title 22, section 9004(a), a court having jurisdiction
under ICARA “may take or cause to be taken measures
under Federal or State law, as appropriate, to protect the
well-being of the child involved or to prevent the
child's further removal or concealment before the final
disposition of the petition.” 22 U.S.C. § 9004(b).
However, section 9004(b) expressly provides that courts may
not “order a child removed from a person having