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Quinn v. Quinn

United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Southwestern Division

April 2, 2019

SAORI QUINN, Petitioner,
v.
JUSTIN LEVI QUINN, Respondent.

          ORDER BIFURCATING TRIAL AND COMPELLING DISCOVERY OF MEDICAL RECORDS

          ROSEANN A. KETCHMARK, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

         Petitioner's Verified Complaint

         On February 20, 2019, Petitioner filed her Verified Complaint (Doc. 1) for the return of her son L.R.Q. (“Child”) pursuant to the International Child Abduction Remedies Act. 22 U.S.C. § 9001, et. seq. The Verified Complaint sets forth the following allegations: Petitioner and Respondent were married in Japan on September 5, 2014. Petitioner and Respondent lived together in Japan from September 2013 through May 2018, thereafter, Respondent returned to the United States. Petitioner and Respondent are the biological parents of the Child, who was born in Japan in April 2014. Petitioner currently resides in Tokyo, Japan. Respondent currently resides in Mount Vernon, Missouri. Petitioner and the Child came to the United States to visit Respondent in August 2018. On October 15, 2018, Petitioner returned to Japan without the Child for a medical procedure. At that time, Respondent agreed to send the Child back to Japan on November 6, 2018; however, Respondent failed to return the Child to Petitioner in Japan on November 6, 2018, and at any point thereafter.

         On February 20, 2019, Petitioner also filed a Motion to Expedite Hearing and Order that Child Remain in Western District of Missouri (Doc. 3) seeking the following relief: (1) the Court order Respondent not to remove the Child from the Western District of Missouri pending resolution of this matter; (2) the Court order Respondent to surrender the minor child's passports pending resolution of this matter; and (3) the Court set a hearing, as the Court's schedule permits, to decide whether the child should be returned to Japan. The Court held an ex parte telephone conference on February 22, 2019. (Doc. 7.) On February 23, 2019, the Court granted Petitioner's motion. Id.

         Respondent's Affirmative Defenses

         On February 28, 2019, Respondent filed his Answer and Affirmative Defenses to the Verified Complaint. (Doc. 15.) Respondent alleges the following in his Answer and Affirmative Defenses: Petitioner is unemployed and lives with her mother in Japan. Petitioner was not exercising, and was unable to exercise, her custody rights when the Child was retained in the United States on October 15, 2018, because: (1) Petitioner “can only be with the child under the supervision of another adult for a few hours daily due to a history of extensive mental illness and ongoing treatment, ” and (2) Petitioner gave up care of the Child to Petitioner's parents and to child care facilities. Beginning in January of 2015, and to as recently as December 20, 2017, Petitioner was voluntarily and involuntarily admitted to an inpatient psychiatric facility for periods of up to two months at a time. These admissions stemmed in part from Petitioner's multiple suicide attempts that included “standing in front of a train, trying to jump off a balcony, and ingesting all of her medication” and Petitioner's domestic violence arrest in October of 2017. In late 2017, Petitioner's medical provider opined in a “medical order” that “Petitioner could not care for [the Child] without direct adult supervision.” Respondent left Japan in May of 2018 to reside in the United States. From May 2018 until Petitioner and the Child came to the United States on August 15, 2018, the Child “continued to be cared for at the Izumi Nursery due to Petitioner's inability to care for” the Child. Petitioner consented to Respondent's retention of the Child on October 15, 2018, when Petitioner returned to Japan without the Child “to see her doctor and obtain different medication.” If the Child were sent back to Japan at this time, it would “create a grave risk that would expose [the Child] to physical or psychological harm or otherwise place the child in an intolerable situation due to Petitioner's history of abuse and instability” and “Petitioner's extensive history and frequency of mental illness, and her need for ongoing treatment.”

         On March 6, 2019, the Court set a hearing on the merits (trial) for March 21, 2019. On March 15, 2019, Respondent filed a motion for discovery (Doc. 24) and a motion to continue (Doc. 25). The Court held a telephone conference on March 18, 2019, to address Respondent's discovery and continuance motions. The Court granted in part and denied in part Respondent's motion to continue. In denying Respondent's continuance request in part, the Court ordered the trial to begin as scheduled on March 21, 2019, however, the Court left open Respondent's ability to present additional trial evidence at a later date. The Court now addresses Respondent's request to bifurcate the hearing. Respondent's request to bifurcate the hearing is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. Respondent's motion seeks Petitioner's “medical records from the NTT Medical Center Tokyo from 2015 to present and any medical records form her current mental health physician.” (Doc. 24.) Petitioner has already provided a summary of her medical records from NTT Medical Center through November 2017; accordingly, the motion is DENIED as to any requests from NTT Medical Center from 2015 through November 2017. The motion is GRANTED as to medical records from NTT Medical Center after November 2017 and GRANTED as to any other medical records from other providers from 2015 through present. The Court will contact the parties concerning scheduling of the bifurcated hearing.

         Evidence Presented March 21, 2019

         1. Verified Complaint

         As to Petitioner's Verified Complaint, Petitioner presented evidence through Petitioner's medical records, Petitioner's testimony, and Respondent's testimony as follows: Petitioner and Respondent were married in Japan on September 5, 2014. Respondent has recently indicated to Petitioner that he intends to file for divorce. Petitioner and Respondent lived together in Japan from September 2013 through May 2018; thereafter, Respondent returned to the United States. Petitioner and Respondent are the biological parents of the Child, who was born in Japan in April 2014. Petitioner currently resides in Tokyo, Japan. Respondent currently resides in Mount Vernon, Missouri. Petitioner and the Child came to the United States to visit Respondent in August 2018. On October 15, 2018, Petitioner returned to Japan without the Child to seek medical treatment. At that time, Respondent agreed to send the Child back to Japan; however, Respondent failed to return the Child to Petitioner in Japan.

         2. Affirmative Defenses

         As to Respondent's Affirmative Defenses, evidence was presented through Petitioner's medical records, Petitioner's testimony, and Respondent's testimony as follows:

         According to Petitioner's medical records/summaries, beginning in April of 2015, and to as recently as November 24, 2017, Petitioner was hospitalized voluntarily and involuntarily to inpatient psychiatric facilities during the following dates:

1. April 6, 2015 to April 13, 2015 - Involuntarily admitted for 8 days after “voicing incoherent complaints, ” “refus[ing] medications, ” and “being violent against her husband.” Petitioner was “discharged before [her] treatment finished”, and “her father took a leave of absence to attend to [her] needs.” Because Petitioner's medications made her extremely sleepy and “impaired her ability to raise her son, ” she was re-hospitalized on April 24, 2015.
2. April 24, 2015 to June 11, 2015 - Involuntarily admitted for 49 days. Upon discharge Petitioner felt uneasy about “picking up her child from the daycare center.” In July of 2015 Petitioner “practiced picking up her son from the daycare center, and was able to more or less do it.”
3. July 24, 2015 to August 6, 2015 - Voluntarily admitted for 14 days upon feeling “immense frustration” with caring for the Child with no cooperation from her husband, and upon having “suicidal thoughts.” Around the time of Petitioner's discharge she complained of “uneasiness with child-raising.”
4. August 20, 2015 to September 4, 2015 - Voluntarily admitted for 15 days for suicidal thoughts and low energy. Upon admission Petitioner's “suicidal thoughts immediately disappeared, but she continued to feel uneasy about child-raising.”
5. October 23, 2015 to October 26, 2015[1] - Petitioner admitted for 4 days after she “started to act out in rage and tried to jump off the veranda of her apartment” to commit suicide, “but her husband held her back. [Petitioner] grabbed a ...

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