GERMANY – JOLIFF – 1996 (Return ordered) JOLIFF v JOLIFF. Court ordered the children returned to their father for return to the US. The court issued an order that force may be used if necessary to achieve compliance. The court further stated that if there was non-compliance, a fine might be issued by the court.

Joliff and Joliff (FRG 1996)Amtsgericht Bremerhaven – Familiengericht – AZ 154 F 116/95
Case No 146977

Amtsgericht Bremerhaven – Familiengericht –
AZ 154 F 116/95
Case No 146977
21 May 1996

– United States


The child had to be returned to her father in the United States.


In case of non-compliance, the opposing applicant will be
threatened with a fine to be determined by the court.


The opposing applicant will be liable for the court cost. (Art.
26 Abs. 4 HKO)


1.) The relinquishing of the child Michelle Jean Jolliff, born
Oct. 10th, 1993, to the applicant (Father) John R. Jolliff, for
the purpose of immediate return of the child to the U.S.A, has
been so ordered.

2.) The opposing applicant or any other person, where the child
may be detained, is obliged to give up or relinquish the above
mentioned child to the applicant, (Father) or to the person of
his choosing.

3.) In order to prevail to carry out the judgment to
relinquish, the applicant (Father) may avail himself of the help
of the local bailiff, who is authorized to ask for assistance
from the police. The officials executing this assignment are
empowered to use force if necessary in order to achive


The American father and the German mother had married and lived
in the United States where their daughter had been born in
October 1993, until the mother left with the child for Germany in
May 1995.

The mother left for Germany while the father was at work on the
16th May 1995.

The mother refused to return to her husband and was unwilling to
turn the girl over to her father for return to the United States.


After a hearing with the mother it was determined that the mother
had first taken the child on the 15th-17th of May 1995, from the
United States to Bremerhaven, Germany. The reciept of the
application of the father for an order to return the child dated
March 6th, 1996 shows that the child had not yet resided in the
Federal Republic for (1) year, which, consequently in this case
necessitated for the mother to show that the return of the child
would precipitate grave physiological or psycholgical harm to
the child, or that the child would be put into abhorrent

The mother was not able to prove this. It is however clear to the
Court, that the return of the child will bring about a certain
amount of fright and burden for the child, especially since a
parting from the mother has to be taken into account.

However, according to the decree issued on Feb 15th 1996, (Fam PZ
1996 S. 405/406) by the Federal Court, only extraordinary, grave
circumstances regarding the well-being of the child may be a
reason for overcoming the order to relinquish. Such
extraordinary, grave imediments or circumstances have not been
brought foreward by the mother, therefore the application of the
father stands.

Bremerhaven, May 21st, 1996

District Court