Commander Paul Toland lost in Maryland.

Hat tip to Tony over at his website.   I didn’t know Maryland had ruled late last month.

Tony is one of the “work with Japan” faction of the Left Behind Parents.   These, as you know, are the fathers (mostly) who had children by Japanese spouses, where there was some sort of split in the relationship, and the father was left out in the cold.

To review, this is Navy Commander Toland’s predicament:   sometime in the last decade, he was going to split with his wife in Japan.   Because he is “under SOFA”, which has nothing to do with furniture, but rather Status of Forces Agreement, he could have received a divorce in Washington state, where he was form.   Custody of his daughter would have been determined in Washington state, under American law.

What Toland has said, however, is that the JAG (military lawyer) in Yokohama advised him to work through the Japanese courts.    This looks to have been a big mistake for advice, and, frankly, I think it was a big mistake.   I am surprised that U.S. government would have any lawyer telling a military guy to “use the Japanese court system”, especially when the Defense Department fights so damn hard with the Japanese about every little point of SOFA.   Even in situations where it’s clear that the Japanese are making a very good case.   (For example, a rule of having the Alien Registration or the new Zairyu Card when you are a serviceman living off base.)

Because Commander Toland initiated his divorce in Japan, and it carried a certain number of steps along the way, it created “issue and claim preclusion” in Washington state courts.    Issue and claim preclusion, sometimes known as collateral estoppel and res judicata, are common law rules that bar the litigant from bringing a case in one jurisdiction, when, in fact, it has already been litigated—sometimes, even, under litigation—in another jurisdiction.    This is very important law to know; and, as I say, if you are reading me, do your own homework about it.

Since the time of Toland’s divorce, his wife passed away, and the grandmother (Mrs. Futagi) was given custody guardianship of Toland’s daughter by the Japanese courts.    So Commander Toland, now in Maryland, instituted action to see if he could get custody from the [guardian-]grandmother, since the initial litigation was versus the (late) wife.

However, Maryland is one of the jurisdictions that adheres to the American “Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act”  (UCCJEA).  This act generally leaves jurisdiction in the place where the child is located.    So, even though Mrs. Toland passed away, the daughter is still in Japan with the grandmother, who is guardian.   Under UCCJEA, this means, again, that Japan has jurisdiction over who has custody of the daughter.

To correct a couple of people out there, Commander Toland’s Maryland case was not a “frivolous” case; it was, however, a losing case.   This was because UCCJEA, by its own definitions, treats a foreign country as another “state”.   So Japan is treated the same as next-door Delaware.

This is why it is very important to get your Japan-related case into the right court.   That is not forum shopping.   Had that JAG only advised Commander Toland correctly, he wouldn’t have to deal with the Japanese court as sole decider.   It would have been more like the Moises Garcia case, where Japan would (i.e. should) honor the decisions of the Wisconsin court (especially, when the abducting wife is sitting in the pokey for trying to spirit the kid back to Japan).

Personally, I think there is too much grief in the world, and a shame, it is, that all these marriage separation decisions can’t be worked out amicably.   But the world does not work that way, and you really need to be educated if you find yourself in these not-so-good situations.   Knowledge can bring happiness sometimes.  Spread the joy, not the grief.

[Update:   A link to an ABC News site, with video featuring Paul Toland’s story.]

[Update #2:   You know, most international relationships in Japan go on like Old Man River.   There are no problems, and, if there are, the couple works it out.   I am talking about the particular situations when things go wrong.

I’m not a practicing lawyer, but I did go to law school—and I passed the bar.  And keep my admissions up.   Besides the law training, I keep a CPA. So, maybe, doubled-up on the regulatory soup. But even more, I have always been somebody who believes in the modern regulatory state.   Regulations are good.

Some people do not believe in regulations at all.   If everyone were honest, though, that number would be very few.   Most people really believe in regulations when it benefits them, but not when it’s to their disadvantage.   That’s really a lot of the Japan-side expat community, too, isn’t it?

To me, the whole tragedy–besides a relationship going–is the JAG lawyer.   The JAG lawyer should have been up on the jurisdictional rules.   It’s a shame, because no way was a Japanese court going to give anything to Paul Toland, and that’s why the SOFA is such a negotiated thing.   There are so many unprofessional screw-ups over in Tokyo.]

[Update #3:   Tony DelVecchio looks to have taken down his original blog entry, dated March 30.   Not sure why, even though I sense that he realized the point he was making (only use Japanese courts) wasn’t the best.]

[Update #4: Oops, now it’s back up.]

[Update #5: Commander Toland testimony before a congressional subcommittee, a few years ago. Since that time, of course, one child has been returned to America. (This was Moises Garcia’s girl.) All the 180 or so others, though, no.

[Update 4/23/12: If you would like Patrick Braden’s perspective on the extensive thread below, past this date PM, contact him directly at Global Future, which you might find on a Google search.]

[Update 4/24/12: As I review the comments made, I am particularly disappointed by some statements, especially in light of this litigation, from California in 2008 . . . How would suing ANA airlines for selling a ticket to an absconding mother and her son make anyone in Japan feel positive about the Left Behind Parent issue?]

[Update 5/14/12: Some of the comments below have been redacted, because one of the parties decided to move the dispute off this blog and to the “Hog Wallow” law school itself. Because that person mischaracterized some of Mr. Savoie’s statements, Mr. Savoie asked me to remove comments that pertain to Mr. Braden’s lack of a legal education. To be fair, I am also reviewing what Mr. Braden (who has been banned as a commenter for other remarks made) has said on this thread, with a critical eye to the fact that he follows Mr. Savoie around the internet, saying things that are or can be similarly skewed, to mean something defamatory about the target, or to paint Mr. Savoie (Mr. Toland, etc.) in a bad light.]

[Update 4/20/13: a partial victory in Washington State. My comments from September, here.]

123 thoughts on “Commander Paul Toland lost in Maryland.

  1. The UCCJEA does offer a vacuum jurisdiction for custody determinations if the other jurisdiction (“state”, in this case Japan) violates fundamental human rights. The Maryland court did not rule on this issue as requested by the appellant but instead the court conveniently went around this determination by holding that the court need not reach this issue because the current case is a guardian case (akin to a conservatorship, but for a minor), and not a custody determination in Japan. They did leave the door open for Commander Toland to challenge custody in Japan. If his rights were violated there as the sole biological parent, and he then brought an action challenging this negative determination, then the U.S. jurisdiction would be able then to test the UCCJEA vacuum jurisdiction, but not until his rights were violated by Japan in a *custody* case. As the opinion states, this question is not yet ripe in the instant case. But what this means is they just threw the hot potato on vacuum jurisdiction up in the air because they did not want to have to reach a conclusion that Japan offers no comity in the protection of fundamental rights pursuant to Troxel (see below). In my opinion, this is bad law and a cowardly. It just kicks that inevitable and obvious question down the road. Unfortunately this means that Paul might have to waste money proving to the court the forgone conclusion; that Japan will never give a foreigner custody and enforce it when there is even a distant ethnic Japanese relative available in Japan as a potential custodian. Just ask Paul Wong or others who have lost their kids to a Japanese grandparent or other relative when they are the sole surviving biological parent. This is why I believe the case may yet be certified if the U.S. Supreme Court can see through this specious guardian/custodian red herring offered by the Maryland court. Please give a thorough read to TROXEL V. GRANVILLE (99-138) 530 U.S. 57 (2000) 137 Wash. 2d 1, 969 P.2d 21, affirmed. The Maryland court’s holding here does seem to be repugnant to the principles set forth in Troxel in interpreting what might be a fundamental right and what might (under the 14th amendment), shock the conscience of the court so as to trigger the vacuum jurisdiction provisions of UCCJEA. This is an unfortunate decision because the giant pink elephant in the room is that Japan DOES violate universal principles of human rights in its family courts and UCCJEA DOES offer a trial court the ability to acknowledge the pink elephant, which would, in addition to simply being an acknowledgement of reality, would be a huge victory in this battle to reform Japanese family courts. Courts as a rule want to be given comity and respect by other jurisdictions. If that were taken away, it would cause some serious soul searching and introspection.

    1. OK thank you. I, of course, haven’t read relevant cases to this one, and was only looking to emphasize the point about collateral estoppel and res judicata. I do want to know more about vacuum jurisdiction.

      1. Estoppel and more general issue preclusion need to be understood in the context of comity. They are two sides of the same coin, and that is the point of this case. As you may know, Japanese courts under the civil service of process requirements for enforcing foreign judgements also demand comity as a specific statutory requirement. So if the shoe were on the other foot… The point is, if comity were removed under the vacuum jurisdictions because the foreign state conflicts with Troxel, then there would be no necessity to offer estoppel or any other issue preclusion because the foreign states decisions would be void, not voidable. Make sense?

        1. Yes, I understand that vacuum jurisdiction would, in some way, defeat collateral estoppel and res judicata. But I would have to do more reading about it in order to say much more as an informed writer.

          My last discussion about Toland as a case was with a small number of people (of the one Left Behind faction) who were asserting that the Maryland action was “frivolous”. I knew it was not frivolous, if for the least reason that the defendant was the grandmother now, not the late wife.

          1. And in this opinion, the Court itself said the issue is not a frivolous one, only that it is not ripe. [ ] These are really complicated and fuzzy areas of the law even for people with a LOT of litigation experience. If this case went Toland’s way (in keeping with Troxel), ANY parent deprived of parenting in Japan theoretically would be able to seek relief in American courts. Until Japan changes its ways, I cannot see why that would not be a such a good thing. Please read Troxel. Its holdings are fundamental to a legal discussion of this situation, and it emanates out of Washington State of all places, which is why IMHO Toland has WON cases there. Between you and me, I think those people you reference just want to hate Commander (and very soon to be Captain) Toland at any cost. I don’t think a solid legal argument would sway them to lay off. Much like the anti-CJ and anti Debito and anti-me hater crowds. They will just find some other new and specious reason to justify their hate. But thankfully the law will still be the law and by the good grace of G-d, [ ]. Onward and upward.

    2. Toland now wants anyone [deleted]. People should speculate on that some.

      A “brand new case” sounds like a real convenient way of [deleted].

      It sounds like Toland wants to believe that [deleted].

      He never [deleted] (which seems totally out of charachter based on everything he appealed in the US courts)

      Even 99% of the rest of the class at The Hog Wallow Night-school of Law, know that establishing a precedent [deleted]. You kind of have to know that before you go to law school.

      But lets say for a second that International Abductions (Christopher J Savoie) is right. Imagine how [deleted].

      Children’s lives and families would be destroyed…. and children would be snatched and tugged and bouncing all over the world like multi-play pachinko balls. So obviously, anyone who wants to say it was good plan, obviously only wants it one-way. To hear an idea [deleted], do you see my shocked face?

      Anyway, we have Toland to thank for another 28 pages [deleted]. So in spite of his attempt otherwise…People can speculate on why Toland and the Hog-Wallow night school of law bottom 1%’er would try to convince anyone here that this could have been good for anyone or any family anywhere on the planet.

      But you too Rick?
      Really Rick? It appears to me that your understanding of the details and facts at question here may be seriously lacking.

      At the very minimum, your opinion which seems to support a “sympathetic” view of Tolands actions and overlooks the actual facts of his actions….is in direct opposition to the 20 + US judges and justices ( who actually have the obligation to very carefully examine and consider the facts, details, and questions of law here)…and your best intelligent legal opinion is that they are all wrong??.

      Including the 9 Maryland justices in The Maryland Court of Appeals Rick ???

      On a sidebar- Interestingly, those 9 justices of the Maryland Court of Appeals saw Tolands [deleted] pattern and knew he would probably appeal the decision of the Special Court of Appeals. So the high court took [deleted]. The (lower) trial courts decision (20 pages long) was already way over and above what would be the norm for such a simple question of law. So by all means, go tell all of those Maryland Judges and Justices that Tolands case and appeal is not frivolous ( in yours and Savoies humble opinions). [deleted]

      Before Etsuko [deleted], the entire Appellate bench in Washington called Tolands litigation [deleted]

      One judge said (Tolands) [deleted]

      And shortly before Etsuko was [deleted]

      Then once [deleted]

      People should draw their own conclusions there.

      Rick, I forgot already, did you go to a night-school law-school like Hog Wallow?

      1. Patrick, in some ways you come across like a cheap shot artist who should be more reflective about the shots you send out. So I’m looking at what you wrote, and I’m trying to figure out what should be responded to, and what is just filler (sarcasm-filler) that should just be ignored.

        So if I don’t respond directly to a cheap shot, it doesn’t mean I agree with you. But, looking at your many prior postings here, I do think it’s something that you need to learn how to keep in check. Plus, learn how to use apostrophes where they are necessary in English. This is not German.

        You say:

        Toland now wants [deleted].

        Well, for issue and claim preclusion, the earlier party was no longer there. So “re-set” (or reset) is really what did happen, didn’t it?

        A “brand new case” sounds like a real convenient way [deleted].

        This just sounds like a shot. In police work, homicide is presumed when a body is found. Only when homicide is ruled out, is a death ruled a suicide. That’s how it is in America, and I’m sure in Japan, as well. So insinuating anything other than that is really bad.

        Are there outstanding court awards in Japan? The different sources here said yes, back in January. But, does that weigh on the issue of who should have custody? You seem to be emphatic, but I don’t think so.

        It sounds like Toland wants [deleted].

        That’s really just a shot, isn’t it?

        He never [deleted]

        Only one “ch” in character, by the way. I realize that contemporary norms for commenting–like blogging–don’t assume an editor is there. But in your writing, you don’t even seem to try.

        Paul has the right to file where he can get jurisdiction, and where he believes he can make the good case. SOFA gave him jurisdiction in America, but he didn’t know that. That’s really the problem. Once the hostile jurisdiction rules against you as a litigant, then I don’t anyone should fault anyone, that the party goes where he/she can make the best case.

        Or did I miss something? Maryland did not reject the case outright, right?

        Even 99% of the rest of the class at The Hog Wallow Night-school of Law, [deleted].

        You’ve lost me, because I’m not sure you understand what jurisdiction is. If SOFA had been followed, the so-called “original jurisdiction” would have been in Washington State. You will note that Maryland did not take an issue and claim preclusion analysis.

        But let[‘]s [i.e. “let us”] say for a second that International Abductions (Christopher J Savoie) is right. [deleted]

        If you understood their legal argument correctly, they maintain that Troxel trumps the grandmother’s guardianship of the child in Japan, especially, where due process was not followed in granting the guardianship.

        Children’s lives and families would be destroyed…. and children would be snatched and tugged and bouncing all over the world like multi-play pachinko balls. So obviously, anyone who wants to say it was good plan, obviously only wants it one-way. To hear an idea like that coming from Savoie and Toland, do you see my shocked face? Anyway, we have Toland to thank for another 28 pages of solid and crystal clear protection for original jurisdiction. So in spite of his attempt otherwise…People can speculate on why Toland and the Hog-Wallow night school of law bottom 1%’er would try to convince anyone here that this could have been good for anyone or any family anywhere on the planet.

        Your comment is, like, a little extreme. As I understand the issue, it’s more like Japan always gets to take the pachinko balls home with them; and, pass them to fellow Japanese when the former winner is no longer there to cash them in at the TUC Shop behind the parlor.

        I am confused about who the Hog Wallow bottom 1%-er is? Me? My school is fairly well-ranked school, and I passed the bars of two states. That doesn’t mean I always got to win. And, like most lawyers, I don’t really practice. But, I feel I understand the basics, because two states said I did. If you mean Dr. Savoie, then this sounds like an undeserved cheap shot at a commenter who left a pretty sound legal argument on this site.

        You want to be taken seriously, Patrick, but then, you can’t comport yourself well enough to match the contribution of another commenter?

        My point is really about the SOFA, which, I understand is really water under the bridge.

        But you too Rick?
        Really Rick? It appears to me that your understanding of the details and facts at question here may be seriously lacking.

        At the very minimum, your opinion which seems to support a “sympathetic” view of Toland[‘]s actions and overlooks the actual facts of his actions….is in direct opposition to the 20 + US judges and justices ( who actually have the obligation to very carefully examine and consider the facts, details, and questions of law here)…and your best intelligent legal opinion is that they are all wrong??.

        Including the 9 Maryland justices in The Maryland Court of Appeals Rick ???

        Patrick, I’m not sure you understand how judges make decisions in many state courts. A lot of the writing and analysis comes from 25-year-old law clerks. Only when the same issue arises, ten, fifteen, twenty years later, do the shortcuts that the (now retired) judge took become apparent. And most decisions are “unpublished”, meaning they have no precedential effect. There are really only a few, really good, state courts.

        On a sidebar- Interestingly, [deleted] and appeal is not frivolous ( in yours and Savoies humble opinions). Maybe a better word here is [deleted].

        When you say, “sidebar”, you’re using that figuratively, right? You don’t mean the actual bar in a courtroom, because, the sense you keep giving me is that I would be on one side of it, and you never passed anything to let you be on that side, too. But yet, you read all this speculation into the Maryland opinion, which, frankly, you really don’t seem to understand. Except that Paul Toland lost.

        When an appellate case is ruled on, five to four, or two to one, does that mean the minority is always a bunch of dopes? If there isn’t a dissenting vote, does that mean that the losing side was being vexatious? I’ve personally had a losing case, where a Supreme Court justice of the United States pointed out, in a footnote to another case years later, that I had my best argument on the issue cast aside by the district court judge.

        You seem to think that the losing side is always meritless. That’s scary.

        Before Etsuko [deleted] .

        And shortly before Etsuko [deleted].

        People should draw their own conclusions there.

        Yet the Maryland court did not say any of that. And you offer no explanation as to why. Then, this thing about “found dead”. What do you know that the Japanese investigators don’t? It sounds to me, reading you, that you somehow think you gain this received knowledge about people and places you could not possibly have been present in, that makes your mouth going about those events like a tape recording of the actual event. Patrick, do you see that that is how you are coming across?

        Rick, I forgot already, did you go to a night-school law-school like Hog Wallow?

        Asked and answered. And, clearly, you did not even do that at a minimum. Plus, you don’t know how to use apostrophes.

        1. So I’m looking at what you wrote Rick, and I’m trying to figure out what should be responded to, and what is just filler (biased, distracting, cheap-shot-filler) that should just be ignored. I realize that if you are afraid of what I have written, you may just delete the parts you don’t want your readers to see. If you do so, understand that it will be an example of your level of credibility. Please don’t edit out something here or there. I ask that this posting be posted in its entirety, as I wrote it.
          So I am especially surprised that you work so hard at picking apart my grammar or failure to use apostrophes. I guess I will leave your readers to speculate whether or not you have a bias against me or not…and why you would focus so adamantly my lack of editing, and then just NOT apply the same standards to yourself in your own postings. Not to mention by focusing on the missing apostrophe, you have distracted from the content of the written words. Which distracts readers away from the actual conversation.

          Here are some examples that I found, and my responses Rick;
          1) of (16)- “Only one “ch” in character, by the way. I realize that contemporary norms for commenting–like blogging–don’t assume an editor is there. But in your writing, you don’t even seem to try.“ My question here- is that a correct use of dash? And are you even trying to edit your postings?

          2) of (16)- “Plus, you don’t know how to use apostrophes.”
          That just seems like a cheap personal shot at me, isn’t it Rick?

          3) of (16)- “then I don’t anyone should fault anyone”
          So this one is just missing some words isn’t it Rick?

          4) of (16)- “You’ve lost me, because I’m not sure you understand what jurisdiction is. If SOFA had been followed, the so-called “original jurisdiction” would have been in Washington State.”
          This one you are definitely mistaken on Rick, but how could you know that? I absolutely have a good understanding of what jurisdiction is, and in this case, what it is not.

          But I also want to comment on the second sentence…. Let me see…. “if ___ the so-called ___ would have been __” is a hypothetical question. Right? So whatever you filled in the blanks with, isn’t the fact or reality is it? Right?
          Listen to this similar example – If your aunt had balls, she’d be your uncle. Just cant be reality….but did I get the apostrophe right?

          5) of (16)- “Your comment is, like, a little extreme.”
          This must be Valley-Girl parlance?

          6) of (16)- “the Hog Wallow bottom 1%-er is? Me? “
          No , no Rick. It’s not you, and its not all about you. You didn’t go to a night-school law school in Hog-Wallow. Why would you so personally assume this is about you?

          7) of (16)- “I don’t really practice. But, I feel I understand the basics, because two states said I did. “ Same for me Rick, except I am not a lawyer with a law license…I am just a simple man. But I understand the basics, and the 8 lawyers I won my law-suit against in pro-per, and their counsel, said that I have a good understanding of the law. (AFTER they paid me)

          8) of (16)- “You want to be taken seriously, Patrick, but then, you can’t comport yourself well enough to match the contribution of another commenter?”
          Rick…this just looks like you attempting another cheap shot at me. Why do you want to compare my contribution to some other commenter? We are entirely different people. That’s only your opinion , Right?

          9) of (16)- “you read all this speculation into the Maryland opinion, which, frankly, you really don’t seem to understand. Except that Paul Toland lost.”
          You did get part of that right, Toland lost. Full stop.
          No court will ever hear that question of law from him again, and the Futagi family will not have to spend any more money defending their daughter, on that issue of law. Even if he tries,they wont hear it. But he may try something new in an effort to deplete their resources even further.
          Actually, it is my opinion that it is you Rick, and all of the other nay-sayers who are trying to read speculation into the opinion, and the law.

          10) of (16)- “You seem to think that the losing side is always meritless.”
          Is that you putting words in my mouth Rick? Why would you do that?

          11) of (16)- “Are here outstanding court awards in Japan?”
          So this your failure at spelling, right? I am just sure you meant “ Are there…“
          I guess this goes back to leaving your readers why you would criticize me for speling, apostropheeze, or grammer…and then just go on and do the same thing?

          12) of (16)- “They should never telling service members”
          You left a whole word out once again, right Rick?
          Or is this some sort of avant-garde English?

          13) of (16)- “Japan should, morally, respect the decision “
          This one stands on its own Rick, I just want your readers to speculate on this idea.

          14) of (16)- “”….victory within the system”. It wasn’t purely, by any means. Everyone can see that.”
          You are of course entitled to your opinion Rick, but your opinion on this one goes opposite so many USG and JG officials in so many departments and branches, I am reminded once again of the 22 US judges being on one side…. and you, Savoie, and Toland on the other.

          15) of (16)- “I think that the fact patterns between your case, Dr. Garcia, and Commander Toland’s, are quite different. It is not easy to draw comparisons between the two.”
          On this one Rick, we are in 100% agreement. I just wanted to let you know that we do have some common ground.

          16) of (16) -“There is so much misinformation, Paul, that has been put out about your story. It’s hard to cut through what was actual, …”
          Once again, this part of the sentence is accurate Rick, we just disagree on where the misinformation is originating.

          But let me conclude now Rick. Those 16 points are really meaningless in the real world in spite of their reality.

          What does have meaning to me and a great deal of others, is the results of the work I do every single day for the last 6 years+.

          We at Global Future have developed so many things, I wont bore you or your readers with all of it. Let me just say that through a process we developed and practiced, we brought 3 children home to the US, who by all appearances were hopelessly lost to another country.
          The US Department of State knows of ONLY ONE child returned from Japan through legal or diplomatic means. That child is Karina. We did that. Full stop. Go ahead, parse the words, try to minimize it, and whatever. That is the end of this story.
          There are other children reunited, and lots of other accomplishments. That is enough for your readers to consider in my opinion.
          I have to get to that work now.

          1. Well, this is such a piece of work, how could I not let it through, unedited?

            I am just curious about one or two things. Maybe three. There’s this claim:

            We at Global Future have developed so many things, I won[‘]t bore you or your readers with all of it.

            . . . made after you might have bored my readers with 16 silly points. What things did Global Future “develop”?


            The US Department of State knows of ONLY ONE child returned from Japan through legal or diplomatic means. That child is Karina. We did that. Full stop. Go ahead, parse the words, try to minimize it, and whatever. That is the end of this story.

            A number of people feel that Wisconsin state was instrumental in making sure that the custody order was honored; and, particularly, getting Eriko Inoue’s file tagged. When you say, “we did that”, what exactly did you do?

            Are you the same Global Future LLC that I would find if I did a California LLC online search?

  2. Dear Hoofin:
    I have been reading all the posting and I find very interesting the discussion. My experience with the legal system in US and Japan is obviously empiric as I am a physician not a lawyer. But, Japanese law have all the provision and statutes very simil ar to the one in US except that they apply the law quite different than us.
    There are few points in Paul’s story that I still can understand:

    1)- He keeps blaming this JAG attorney. However, I would presume that there must be a documentation of his inquiry about how to proceed after the abduction. It would be intersting to know the name, date of the inquiry, and obviously read the answer from this JAG.
    2)- In my own experience, the way to handle Japanese courts is not to let them beat you. Inaction just help them consolidate the status quo. I don’t understand why Paul is not also fighthing his case in Japanese courts. If the Maryland court have accepted Paul’s idea, it would also theoretically open the door for other parents (not only in Japan, but other countries) to seek relief from US court creating a chaos.
    3)- I suggested long before, that Paul must make his case open at the Japanese court and with the help of all different tools available, he could have fought better.
    4)- There is not only one weapon to fight child abduction. That is way other LBP faction are separated. You can’t expect the US government powers to help, LBP must do their diligent work in all fronts. There is strong disagreement with the ways, Mr Toland is approaching his case. As WWII, we must fight in their grounds.

    1. Dr. Garcia, I appreciate your insight. Let me make these points:

      1) With regard to the JAG attorney, I believe the story to be reasonable. It isn’t clear, though, how much evidence there might be for the exchange—because, for all I know, it’s a 1-800 number style advice center. Maybe, a walk-in office staffed by rotating, inexperienced JAGs.

      2) I obviously don’t have any experience with Japanese courts, but am very familiar with their work product on the exiting side. There are not a lot of foreigner victories on that end. One reason I can see that Paul Toland is not fighting in Japan as well, is that Japan has already ruled that he owes the Futagi estate a lot of money. Additionally, Akiko Futagi said, right on ABC News, that she is owed money. Toland said that he had set up some kind of fund. To me, this all looks like beating around the bush. I would bet that the fund had strings attached, because, from Toland’s perspective, it looks more like ransom money than support.

      3) Your advice on that [jurisdictional point] is sound, for the simple reason that the litigation began there. Had Paul not began the divorce matter there, then, he should not have. That’s why the military negotiates all those little SOFA points. That’s why. That’s why they do it.

      4) You notice, and I agree, that there is a deep split within the Left Behind Parents on this issue. Like so many topics going on with the Japan-side expat community and its “alumni”, I take a position that ends up in the middle. This is not by planning. I use my own independent judgment. I end up satisfying no faction, but I get a lot of reads anyway. And maybe be some of the grease that makes the wheel move.

      I think you make an interesting World War II analogy to the island-by-island combat in hostile territory.

  3. Hoofin, I’ll keep my comments specific to your point #3 above. Remember, when Etsuko died, this became a brand new case. This was no longer a divorce case from a spouse, or a custody case against a spouse, because there was no spouse. It was a custody case between me, an only living parent, and a third-party non-parent (the grandmother). I had a choice of two forums to pursue custody against the third party, nonparent; 1) The United States (specifically Maryland), in which, under the Troxel v. Granville case, the Supreme Court ruled that “[t]he interest of parents in the care, custody, and control of their children is perhaps the oldest of the fundamental liberty interests” protected by the United States Constitution, or 2) Japan, which sees being an only living parent as one of many factors in determining custody, but not as being a presumptive determining factor (as testified to in my Maryland case by Ms. Mikiko Otani, a renowned Japanese attorney). I am not an attorney, but I do know that there is not a single documented case of anyone, anywhere in Japan, where a contested custody case resulted a Japanese court ruling in favor of the party that did not have physical possession of the child. In a system with no enforcement mechanism, possession equals 10/10ths of the law and the status quo is upheld by the court in 100 percent of cases. Knowing that the Grandmother already had physical possession of my daughter, and that Japanese courts will not necessarly protect the rights of a parent over a third-party, nonparent, it made my decision to pursue custody in Maryland an easy one.

    1. Paul, I see exactly why you went with Maryland. I agree that it was, to some extent, a “new” case—but not as new as if it had only been a family matter adjudicated in America. (Even though your wife was no longer around, certain events had already taken place in Japan. That, in turn, as I read it, complicated the matter in Washington State.)

      You are right in thinking that Troxel, which I read the other day, says that the parent’s right to custody and control over their children trumps the grandparent’s right to see their grandchildren. What it looks like Maryland did, was say that you have to ask the Japanese court with jurisdiction over your daughter to grant you custody. If they were to say, “no”, then that would maybe implicate Troxel. But they can’t do UCCJEA “vacuum jurisdiction” where Japan has not (administratively) denied you custody?

      Law is like this, though. The other side looks for any excuse that can be wrapped up nice: what I call “elegant bullshit”. Courts, too, when they don’t want some result, are more than happy to accept some elegant bullshit. (“Courts”, of course, mean the judges who work within the court system. Not the actual four walls. It isn’t clear how a judge is different than a bureaucrat, but it probably has to do with the robe and, even more, the considerable power they almost always wield.)

      In a sense, you are lucky. It sounds like you get a second bite of the apple. You could have thrown out on forum non conveniens, since the defendant mother-in-law and your daughter are in Japan, with no connection to Maryland except you.

      As you should know, I don’t really subscribe to the factionalism that goes around the Left Behind Parent issues. I don’t think “only America” or “only Japan” is the correct avenue to pursue a judicial remedy. However, I do strongly believe that if people can get American jurisdiction, they should take it. This is for the simple fact that, as you point out, the Japanese court system does not have a good track record at appearing unbiased when it comes to us; and, in some fields, their decisions don’t seem to comport with what the outside observer would expect (i.e. like, whoever grabs the kid and gets him/her to Japan “wins”).

      1. Hoofin, One final point. You mentioned complicating “the matter in Washington State.” At the time I filed for custody in Maryland (September 2009), I didn’t even know there were any cases in Washington State, or a finalized divorce in Japan (I had never been served with a final Japanese divorce). I didn’t find out about the probate case and attempted registration of the Japanese Divorce in Washington State until I was served with papers in April 2010, 8 months after I had already filed for custody in Maryland, and 2 and 1/2 years after Etsuko’s death.

        1. Also, you mentioned “they can’t do UCCJEA “vacuum jurisdiction” where Japan has not (administratively) denied you custody?” My attorney’s argument to this was that the Japanese court had already given guardianship to the grandmother, a third-party, nonparent, which inferred all the rights of custody to her, in a secret hearing with no notice to me, the only living parent. That was a violation of my fundamental human rights (and certainly my constitutional rights). As [the lawyer] said to the court, it is unreasonable to expect me to go back to Japan to face the same tribunal in a custody hearing that had already given guardianship in a secret hearing to a third-party nonparent without any notice to me, the only living parent. If the Japanese court had already violated my fundamental human rights in the guardianship hearing, then how could I be expected to go back to that same tribunal asking for custody? That was our legal argument in asking for vacuum jurisdiction. The court, in their decision, skirted away from directly answering that question, and therefore did not reject our legal argument. Rather, they failed to address our legal argument at all.

          1. That’s my understanding, too. But what I also take from the reading is that you could, in theory, seek custody in Japan. Not saying you would want to. It is a complicated problem.

        2. I appreciate your further information. Paul, you are saying that you never initiated (or responded) to any legal action in Japan?

          1. I never set foot in Japanese court regarding the case against the grandmother after Etsuko’s death. I had learned from my prior experience with my former wife.

            Prior to Etsuko’s death, I filed for divorce in Washington State in October 2003, while a divorce in Japan was not filed until spring, 2004, so the initial legal action was filed in the US, not Japan. I also participated in Mediation, which is separate and distinct from the Japan family court system. Mediation in Japan is like the Japanese version of marriage counseling (at least that’s how it was explained to me by my Japanese attorney). Mediation was the ONLY way I could get to see my daughter. The mediation continued from October 2003 to June 2004 (right before I left Japan). As a result, I obtained supervised access to my daughter on two occasions in a courthouse playroom in May and June 2004. In addition to mediation, I participated in the divorce proceedings in what we in the US would call a “special appearance” to argue against Japanese jurisdiction. I have many details I can share with you about the legal arguments made in this special appearance, but it’s too long for this blog. The Japanese court actually accepted the arguments, but said they would take the case anyway, since my daughter was half-Japanese (even though she was not party to the divorce). At that point, I made no further appearance. That was the extent of my participation in Japanese court. I was not present or represented in Japan during the main divorce proceedings or when the divorce was finalized, and I was never served with the Japanese divorce, so when Etsuko died, I thought I was still married undergoing a divorce and still trying to get US jurisdiction. For these reasons, both the Department of Defense and Department of State consider me “widowed”.

            1. The special appearance means that you never consented to the Japanese jurisdiction? Then, neither Washington state or Virginia, it seems to me, should have objected to your bringing the matter there, when you were resident in those states.

              There is so much misinformation, Paul, that has been put out about your story. It’s hard to cut through what was actual, and what has been spun by the one faction.

              I am sure yours is the case where a JAG had given you some bad advice, and inconsistent with what you were permitted under SOFA. That was really the main point I was driving at.

      2. Exactly, that is the point I want to make to all LBP. In order to show to the world that Japanese Courts are violating “basic principle of human rights”, you must demonstrate it. You must obtain a judgment from those courts and gain evidence of the violation. What would David Goldman (apparently chosen for some as the standard in child abduction cases) have done if he decides to fight his custody case from New Jersey, instead of requesting the Brazilian court to address the issue?

        I am surprise that Paul has not followed suit like Mr. Goldman (I am sure he could have got the support from Mr. Smith as well as the media, unless of course there are skeletons in the closet).

        In my case, I first created a strong local case in Wisconsin. then, I pursued the Japanese court to try to enforce the Wisconsin judgment, (I knew my chances were slim, but I could never allow the Japanese courts to clean the abduction case with lies). Then, surprise, even the Japanese court supported my case (because of the strength of wisconsin law), and put pressure for around 2 years. At the end, US law enforcement was the final solution. But by then, my case was very strong that there was not way out for the abductor.

        1. D40mgar, You stated “in order to show to the world that Japanese Courts are violating “basic principle of human rights”, you must demonstrate it.” As I stated already, I demonstrated that the Court violated my human rights through the secret hearing granting guardianship of my daughter to a third party, nonparent abductor without any notice to me, the only living parent. This action violated what we in the United States consider a constitutional and fundamental human right for parents to participate the decisions regarding their children over non-parents. Since the Japanese court had already violated my fundamental human rights, there was no need to return to the same tribunal again to allow that court to violate my human rights a second time.

          I find your position very interesting. It appears to me that you are advocating that a parent who has their child abducted off US soil fly to Japan to engage with that foreign court (a court that has been demonstrated to not provide comity to US courts). Is this a position you advocate on your own? Is this also the position held by the left-behind parent group you associate with, because I have not seen any of those parents flying to Japan and engaging Japanese courts after their children were abducted off US soil. I’m just confused. Is your position aligned with the left-behind parent group you associate with, or is your position counter to the left-behind parent group you associate with?

          1. Let me put you an example:
            My daughter is back in US after 4 long year abduction, and I have sole custody of my child under Wisconsin law. Let suppose that somehow I am being found dead, then through my will, I have a designated guardian for my minor child.
            I supposed that under the Troxel, my ex-wife will request the custody of my daughter.
            My question for you gurus in law:
            What would be the most adequate forum to request such demand? Japan or US. That is the answer of the law that Maryland court did not ignore in this case! and Paul, perhaps you were not told about the guardianship hearing due to the fact that is impossible to know where you live (Washington state, Maryland, DC, Japan, etc), clearly the Maryland courts didn’t take into account your arguments.

            I don’t advocate any LBP to do anything that they don’t want to do. I don’t belong to any particular group although I incline more for the group that defends cases with strong US jurisdiction and law enforcement, in this case, Global future. I have received significant support for all of them. and not like other false child advocates in Washington that just want to sell books. I have done everything by myself and this is my opinion. (protected by the first US amendment)

            I do favor the respect of the law, and by engaging in a foreign court like Japan, you don’t lose jurisdiction, unless you wave it as Paul Toland did.
            Mr. Savoie, you talk so much about the Alien Tort, why, don’t you sue the Japanese government using such law as you pledge to be Japanese. Also, I understand why you don’t want to engage in the Japanese legal system, as with your attempt to self- recover your children, you more than burn all your chances.

            Again, I don’t say that is easy to engage in a foreign country, but I am also a foreigner in US courts, and I still don’t believe that US law is perfect. Maybe that is the main problem, that there is not respect for the sovereignty of foreign countries. Otherwise, let me ask you another question, why then Mr. Goldman has to engage in Brazilian courts for so long?

            I guess there are two trends among LBP:
            1)- the one that favor the respect of the law, even knowing that Japan will never recognize their rights. For example: Global future people, people in Japan that are fighting for changes in the laws over there. (Kevin & Tony).
            This is the group that is putting the basis for deep changes in Japan.

            2)- Other group, that still follow to “Big stick” theory. Hoping one day that US government will send marine to rescue our children, or will impose significant penalties for countries that do not follow their own standards. (It might work for developing countries like North Korea or Cuba, although they NK still was able to launch a rocket) Please wake up, it is not 1900!, it is 2012… and the world has changed since then, and although I still believe that US has significant power, its power is mostly in diplomacy and respect of the law.

            Just one personal note… Although I appreciate very much the information that Mr. Savoie shared with us regarding the type of laws in Japan (I guess this is the first chapter in law school or a wikipedia search), I am very capable to look for my own information in several languages. His comments toward my native language are the kind of things that made me feel “foreigner” in this country as much as I felt in Japan.(in spite of being US board certified physician with 16 years med school) Perhaps, this is something that LBP must think about it when trying to get their children back.

            1. You didn’t answer my question, but I figured you wouldn’t. Regarding David Goldman’s case, you are talking apples to oranges, because Brazil was a Hague Country, obligated to return his child under the Hague treaty. David engaged Brazil via our Central Authority under the Hague through their central authority under the Hague. Japan is not a Hague country, so it’s totally different. Japan has not signed the Hague treaty obligating them to return our children, and Japan has no central authority to work through.

            2. You see Dr. Garcia, with all due respect, I strongly believe you and your “faction” should stick to offering medical opinions [ ]. The [ ] argument I was making was in response to your suggestion that seeking relief in courts outside of where one lives would create “chaos” (or Braden’s decidedly more histrionic “catastrophe” verbiage, if you prefer his brand of hyperbole) in those rare cases in which the forum(s) available in the residential state cannot provide relief for reasons discussed at length in the statute and controlling cases. [ ].

              But since you asked, the reason why I have not yet filed an action against the government of Japan [ ]. The latter issue was exactly the point that Toland was attempting to adjudicate in Maryland. And if he had won, I might have been able to make the argument using the Maryland decision as persuasive authority. That did not happen; and until Japan loses comity in U.S. courts, such a lawsuit will likely fail. This is why Toland’s loss is a loss for all of us who have suffered injustices at the hands of the Japanese justice system. Get it? But for some reason your buddies at Global Failure (BTW, Hoofin, I cannot find any entity registered in any secretary of state for Global Future with Braden as an officer and yet they appear to be out soliciting donations as a purported non-profit? Help me there. Can anyone here point us to the right entity registration with Braden as CEO available online with a secretary of state? I think it is a fair question if someone is holding himself out that way?) posited the specious notion several times here and on DelVecchio’s slam blog that Paul’s loss represented a great victory for parents with children kidnapped to Japan or abducted within Japan. I presume that this is because 1.) You don’t know what you don’t know and/or 2.) you care far more about your faction “winning” and far less about us all attaining justice for our kids. But by all means, go ahead and offer your best legal argument to the contrary. And please cite the cases. However, based on experience, I highly suspect that you and your brethren will simply revert to your group’s standard M.O. and attack me and my family rather than debating the legal issues at hand in a professional manner. As you can see, your buddy has already attempted to do so, supra, and alas, you are getting close to that tipping point here as well it seems.

            3. Chris, I agree with you that the point Moises Garcia is making about trying to work within the Japanese system, is a bit of talking past the issue of whether activity within the United States (or awareness-raising within the United States) helps or hinders.

              I happen to think that it helps, and is an additional pressure point on the recalcitrants among the Japanese.

              I realize that there is that other perspective of the Braden-Tony group, who says ONLY work within the Japanese system. There is also some fellow, allegedly, Patrick McPike and his lawyer within California who does not respond to mail addressed to her, asking confirmations who does this as well. This group focuses on the one point, which they feel alone has merit, but I don’t really agree.

              If you do not instruct the bureaucrats as to what you need out of Japan, they tend to treat Japan as their own, nice junket. I’ve just seen this too many times, although I understand that the Obama administration is making changes. It may be that Secretary Clinton has to sit down with that business group there, guys who I’ve met like Ernie Higa, (a family friend of the Clinton’s since the 1990’s), and explain that bilateral relations just can’t be about promoting business and taking care of the Japanese-American community. It has to go to things being done between our countries at the level and standards of the 21st century. The everyday people are getting very tired.

              You should understand though, and I’m sure you do, that Moises is very proud of the efforts that he made in the Japanese system. However, Moises should acknowledge more that it wasn’t the State Department that made the success, or really, that court decision in Tokyo—which, yes, does advance the issue.

              Moises had custody awarded in Wisconsin. It was the Wisconsin state government getting Eriko’s file tagged that ultimately forced Inoue to cough up the daughter.

            4. I guess Dr. Savoie that you are right with the “Alien Tort” by saying that:
              ” the reason why you have not yet filed an action against the government of Japan is that you cannot sue a *government* unless sovereign immunity is removed for a nation because it is on the state terror sponsorship list. (with a couple of other exceptions like torture and the commercial activities exception). You also need 1.) to state a cognizable tort claim and 2.) you need to prove by preponderance that the tort committed against you in the foreign state can not be dealt fairly with in the forum of the foreign state”.

              My question for you, as a legal expert is:
              – Using Mr. Toland’s case in US courts to demonstrate with preponderance evidence that Japan has committed violation of human rights is wrong at least in paper. No Child support payments, Possible forum shopping in multiple courts in US…what about attorney fees payments?, and again, we go to the initial point….when Japan has jurisdiction (blame the JAG or not, at the end it was Paul’s decision to engage in the Japanese legal system). I believe that Paul is quite worry that people engage in the Japan legal system as there is a risk that the more people challenge the system, the more possibilities for success…therefore, he might have to address his case in Tokyo. I understand that both of you don’t have any legal options in Japan (Dr. Savoie’s case is quite clear, but in Toland besides the money own to the futagi, I am not sure what else?)

              – How can we demand Japan to protect human rights when some member of your faction go wild an attempt re-snatching!

              By using cases like several of your faction, we are giving enough ground to Japan to protect its citizens (No child support payments, disobedience of court orders, undisputed domestic violence claims , parents with significant disabilities suing Japanese citizen for child abduction, re-snatchings, profit made through “legal advice” by false legal experts,etc).

              You don’t have to be a lawyer to understand the situation. If you are complaining of the Maryland court, then how come now you are pledging that the US law is superior than the Japanese? contradictory statements right?

              With all respect, please Dr. Savoie, save your racist and superior comments out of this blog. I am very proud of my hispanic heritage, and again, we are also capable to learn language and research in different sources.

              In regards to the comment that Goldman’s case is a different kind of case. it might be! but then how comes your faction agreed to use Mr. Goldman’s case as the leading case for the law promoted by Mr. Smith… It will send the wrong message for non-hague convention countries?

            5. Moises, one problem that you are ignoring is that, by engaging in the Japanese court system, there is the high probability that a U.S. court will apply the common law rules of issue and claim preclusion. The JAGs who are Japan-side should be pointing this out. I think it’s borderline malpractice that they don’t.

              You had a Wisconsin judgment. You had the judgment before you engaged the Tokyo system, right? You could argue that Japan should, morally, respect the decision of the Wisconsin court. The other points of your case aside, it was set up that you had some victory already.

              It’s really inappropriate for the other guys (ONLY Japan faction) to keep pointing to your case as some “victory within the system”. It wasn’t purely, by any means.

              Everyone can see that.

            6. Hoofin- you said-
              “I realize that there is that other perspective of the Braden-Tony group, who says ONLY work within the Japanese system.”

              That’s you trying to put words in my mouth once again.
              Rick if you wanted my take or my statement on this subject you could just ask, but please don’t continue trying to mis-state my ideas, opinions, or perspective. It diminishes your credibility.

              That idea you stated, might be closer to part of Tony’s approach, and I fully support him and many others in that approach for cases with his fact pattern.

              For my take on this aspect- here you go;
              If someone has a case that is clearly under Japanese jurisdiction, they have to work it in Japan. If there is agreement among the opposing parties and courts to transfer it to the US, then by all legal and credible means, do that.
              When someone with a case with facts such as Tolands, who is unilaterally attempting to steal jurisdiction away from Japan long after it has been clearly established there, and is trying to dodge all of the court orders and jurisdiction established by his own actions, decisions, and participation in Japan (as you stated), it ends up damaging the image of ALL cases. The Japanese public see this as trickery and deceptive legal maneuvering by an American. They see it as evasion of just orders and responsibilities. And it is.

            7. OK fine. We will call it the DelVecchio approach, that you seem to support wholeheartedly, and I just say is one consideration.

              I also give you the fact that, yes, if one court system says you have a liability in the tens of millions of yen, it is going to be rougher navigation if you seek to use that system.

              Where I dispute what you’re saying is that Paul’s case was not “clearly under Japanese jurisdiction”. What happened along the way is that the military advised to go with the Japanese court system. This was wrong. So, then, everything you, Sawyer, and Tony DelVecchio keep saying about evading jurisdiction and “stealing away” jurisdiction is painted in a way to suggest that Paul Toland should have used the Japanese court system, when, in fact, he should have exclusively used the U.S. one. When you go back to the initial jurisdictional issue, it’s that he should have been told not to engage the Japanese court system at all.

              Does this make sense to you? However you think it appears to the Japanese public (and there’s no evidence to say anyone is commenting on the case as “trickery and deceptive legal maneuvering”), the real problem is that the initial advice was bad. And the reason, as spelled out by opposition’s papers, was that he gave his consent so that he could have more immediate visitation with his daughter.

              My initial post is about honoring the SOFA rules. Does your gang, the ones who keep going at Paul, agree, or disagree, with this? Add that to the list of questions you’re not answering.

            8. Rick, I still say you are arguing an issue that is long since water under the bridge….you cant un-ring the bell and that’s what you guys are arguing. [Rick’s Note: To, me, that’s the whole issue, rung or unrung.]
              So all of this [deleted] about the US should have jurisdiction, and the JAG’s advice is the root of Tolands problem, [deleted] AND 22 US JUDGES AGREE WITH MY POSITION, and disagree with your legal assessment. Plus if he had already engaged in the courts there, by virtue of that fact, HE [deleted] TO ACCEPT Japanese Jurisdiction….that is not to say that he didn’t like it at some point later, or that he decided later to try to switch jurisdictions, but preventing his daughter from being exposed to that risk is the opposite of his actions. [Rick’s Note: Patrick, this is your characterization of the situation, not necessarily what has gone on.]

              I like how you still work hard to subtly misstate my position, I didnt say “whole-heartedly”. I support that approach with certain case-fact qualifications. Your bias is showing again.

              And then you blindly assume Toland to be truthful when he says the JAG officer advised him to do this. Offering a page of JAG Policy, is not any kind of evidence that a JAG officer said anything to him at all. If he provided an email from a JAG officer advising him to pursue it in Japan dated around January 2003, that would be convincing.

              You also said- “What happened along the way is that the military advised (Composition error here Rick-are you missing a word here again? [Rick’s note: the object of the dependent clause does not have to be included, it’s understood. You realize that’s a dependent clause?]) to go with the Japanese court system. This was wrong.”

              The reality is along the way he was going with the Japanese Court System, he was living there, the child lived her entire life there, and his decision to do so may have been wrong, but they were his decisions.

              But more importantly, his later vexatious and defiant attempts to try to switch jurisdictions has given a black-eye to every single parent and child separation case because he just wont abide by almost any valid court orders. People in Japan and the world-over use his actions to paint us all as lawless, evasive, deadbeat dads. Looking at his actions, that may be true in his case, but certainly not all.

              If you want to see the evidence of how people in Japan are citing his case as [deleted] …just go look at the Defenders and Guardians of Childrens website where they cite him as the most [deleted] western LBP of all. [Rick’s Note: You give no link, and you don’t say who is behind that site.]

            9. Just two notes Rick. 1) You said- “Rick’s note: the object of the dependent clause does not have to be included, it’s understood. You realize that’s a dependent clause?]) ”

              Exactly my point. Sometimes, when you read something ….its all easily understood, but you dont like it so you attempt to discredit it somehow, and you attack the punctuation or whatever Rick.
              I have only mentioned these compositional, grammatical, and punctuational errors of yours, because you and the extraplenipotentiary genius from Hog Wallow continue to attack me and try to discredit what I have to say… simply because of a lack of apostrophe’s and or spelling mistakes. This gets us away from the real issue. Can you and I agree that we dont have to spell everything exactly correctly, and we can just read the sentence and get to the intended content and ideas? And you wont try to discredit the entire content because of a lack of an apostrophe or some other minimal BS that has nothing to do with the content of our discussion?

              and 2) The Guardians link you mentioned I didnt provide…(again, you infer some kind of fault with what I say, because I didnt provide a link?)
              This is a group of people in Japan (who apparently want to defend the Japanese abducting parents and their actions/position). Their website is run by a group of people in Japan (I assume). It has been said that Tolands Japanese attorney who he was represented by in the Japanese courts (long before the Wa case was filed)Mr. Kensuke Ohnuki, is the driving force behind it ….which would be really interesting considering their very close and special relationship. Toland mentioned their comments and assessment of his case on the Bring Sean Home Website. You can go thru their site and find his comment regarding it, if its still there….I am sure someone has a copy of it somewhere.

            10. What concerns me, Patrick, is that you don’t want to dialogue about whether it was right or wrong for Paul not to be advised of the SOFA in 2003 — the real issue in my post.

              Because you keep bringing up the various later developments, it sounds like you are avoiding the original problem: Paul should not have been in Japan’s system to begin with.

              I have to support our military people here. That SOFA jurisdictional rule was there for a reason, and the reason wasn’t honored by some bureaucrat, which apparently continued to 2008, and arguably, even today.

              Whoopie-do, that someone in Japan has twisted the case into something else. There are Japanese who are very good at that.

              I agree that Paul Toland is in a bit of a fix, because he can’t easily go back and use the Japanese court system, because the case filed there wasn’t as vigorously defended as it should have been. I still go back to the original problem, which was that SOFA was not honored.

              Do you believe that the SOFA jurisdiction should always be made clear to the service members, and be honored by those who advise them?

            11. I don’t think Braden’s [ ] registration of his “entity” Global Future LLC, or the proximity of the date of the pregnancy of his girlfriend to the girlfriend’s marriage to another American man, are irrelevant for impeachment of character purposes, because while he doth protest loudly such inquiries (or sticks his head in the stand and pretends to ignore the questions), he is also simultaneously attempting to impeach the character and credibility of others with similar sorts of arguments and innuendo, primarily from the non-adjudicated opposing party pleadings of divorce documents of others. [ ] Braden, if you don’t want the conversation to go there, then don’t do it to others. Please answer the very fair questions Rick and I have asked you here so that we can determine what weight to give to your opinions based on your own proposed standards of conduct. In the alternative, simply try to grow up and not slam others unprofessionally in the same manner that you yourself are opposed to. This long standing legal principle is also known as the Golden Rule. I mean, you spend SO much energy online trying to argue that others are unfit to represent the LBP cause due to the “facts”. And yet you have offered nothing to show why YOU would be such an outstanding example of conduct and citizenship as a purported leader and expert. I mean, you are not posting your own court documents or those of your ex-girlfriend’s divorce online are you? Do you think people should scrutinize those filings in public like you have done to others? Or are you somehow different from your slam targets?

            12. Rick I dont think you know how to support Military people here after reading all of your comments. You can have no possible idea how extensively I have worked on the SOFA agreement and on Personnel In-Country briefings. I have carried that work all the way into the White-House and to the VERY TOP of the Pentagon.
              The SOFA is not that easy to amend…especially when it comes to US servicemen living on foreign soil who are engaged in legal actions over there already. But It is crystal clear, that just because they are on foreign soil, does not mean they will be exempt from applicable laws.. And it is what it is today…and it was what it was in 2003.

              But I thought this blog was about Toland loosing his frivolous, vexatious case in Maryland….not SOFA.

              SO WHAT CONCERNS ME, is that you keep trying to steer this conversation off onto some misleading course that isnt about the Maryland case in spite of the title of this heading. And you keep assuming that the entire foundation of Tolands problem is a JAG officer’s bad advice (which is no-where in the record) and you continue IGNORE all that IS in the record.

              You said- “I agree that Paul Toland is in a bit of a fix, because he can’t easily go back and use the Japanese court system, because the case filed there wasn’t as vigorously defended as it should have been.”

              I think this is all BS Rick. The Maryland Supreme Court decision clearly says HE IS NOT PRE-EMPTED FROM FILING IN JAPAN. He can very easily go back and file there. The problem is it will not support a stack of lies told over the last several years….he has a huge crow-pie to swallow…and like the judgments against him…they just keep pi(E)ling higher.

            13. Patrick, about 80% of what you have been saying sounds like fluff. I keep telling you that the original problem was that Paul Toland had Washington jurisdiction, and was not advised to avoid the Japanese court system. For my regular readers—those that don’t come here for the 70-count thread of shots—the post was to inform them that Commander Toland lost in Maryland. Yes, why? Because Japan is being treated like another “state”, and the fact is that there is all this business, which occurred in that other “state”.

              I support military people much better than you on this issue. You promote websites being put forth by Japanese nationals who have no interest in making sure that military men and women benefit from SOFA protections. You do this, because you’ve taken one position against a military officer that you’ve had a falling out with.

              You don’t like the fact that the whole thing goes back to what the JAG office has been putting out there as advice. If you actually followed my writing, you would find that I focus on the initial problem. “The ringing bell.” Everything that comes afterward is really just an aside to the main problem.

              There are serious concerns about using the Japanese court system, that go to due process and honoring our (U.S.) standards. The Maryland appellate court did not address these–they did not seem to be too concerned with that. You don’t address these concerns, but want to dialogue about the news.

              You also don’t answer reasonable requests for information.

              Sorry, Patrick, this time around I have to cut you off.

          2. In all fairness, I agree with you that Dr. Garcia’s efforts and success have helped to move the ball forward. And I genuinely complimented him on this success even though he has been rather mean to me and my family (oh the understatement!) on comment boards. As already stated, there IS not stare decisis in Japan, so his case will not have any immediate or even ancillary effect for others to now use res judicata of their U.S. cases to have them enforced in Japan. I am also of the opinion that Dr. Garcia, Braden and DelVecchio of Global [???] (still waiting for the entity name and state of registration… BACHome BTW is duly registered as a Virginia Corporation) have taken great liberty in their representation of the status of Dr. Garcia’s case before, during and after the arrest of the abductor. According to the press reports on Garcia’s case, the trial court decision held that the MOTHER would be given custody but the father (unenforceable) visitation in the states. That visitation never happened. Both parties appealed. Only after the ex-wife was arrested did the appellate court rule that Dr. Garcia should get the child. Note that in that opinion, the judge specifically couched the ruling in verbiage that would preclude it from being used as precedent in other cases. He only ruled that the Wisconsin court’s decision was “not unreasonable” but it did not order the return of the child. The return was performed voluntarily by the family in order to gain the mother’s liberty stateside. My argument would be that this case understood in its full context would serve as a disincentive for any U.S. court order holding parent to seek enforcement in Japan, because the trial court might just enforce the status quo after ceding jurisdiction to Japan, as the trial court did in this case. So unless one has high confidence in the ex-wife showing up in a non-Japan interpol country, it might be wise not to show up in Japanese court and have one’s rights taken away by a judge there.

            Oh, as for the recurring theme about “self help” when one has about a 100%+ certainty of not getting help from a foreign court, or even if the IS a chance of that, read this case (carefully) and then let’s talk… Dr. Garcia and Braden have stated here that judges[‘] opinions are somehow above scrutiny. I do not subscribe to that, but I do agree with this opinion and its implications, from the bottom of my heart.

            Click to access BMM.pdf

            Hey, and on the lighter side, I’ve got a great joke too. A Nicaraguan with a green card in the U.S. and and and a U.S. born Jew, both with half Japanese kids who were abducted and both with doctorate degrees, walk into a bar. One calls the other a racist… Still working on the punch line. 😦

            1. And BTW, how are Mr. Braden’s and Mr. Sawyer’s court cases going in Japan? Emboldened by the Garcia ruling, they should no doubt be seeking relief in Japan and enforcement of their Los Angeles court orders, I gather? OK gloves off for a moment. Just a hypo. Does anyone out there in Internet Land really think that Japan would theoretically grant entry into the country, let alone custody, [deleted] [deleted] And PLEASE answer my question and stop being evasive as to where “Global Future” is registered as a corporation with you as (an) officer, if such an organization exists at all. Or is “Global W[h]atever” simply a common law partnership? Which is it? You know Braden, [deleted] you might eventually be usurped by your own background and past decisions in life. [deleted] Please be nice. 😉 I could someday have an ACTUAL sidebar with our host! LOL

            2. Hoofin, Two more addition things to add to your most recent reply:

              1. I had never engaged the third-party nonparent holding my child in any Japanese court proceedings, so there was no pre-established jurisdiction for my dealings with that individual. The fact that I may have engaged in the Japanese system (even if it was a special appearance to argue jurisdiction) in a divorce of my wife is completely irrelevant to whether or not I would engage that system in a custody dispute against a completely different person.

              2. Braden’s argument holds absolutely true IF, and ONLY IF, you give full faith, credence and comity to the both legal systems. You are absolutely allowed to challenge the jurisdiction of a country in which the legal system violates human rights. The UCCJEA provides for this through their vacuum jurisdiction.
              So it appears that Braden is advocating that we give full faith, credence and comity to the Japanese legal system. If that is the case, then why isn’t he currently engaging that system right now to get his daughter back, because if they provide comity, then they will absolutely recognize US Court orders. But wait, Japan does NOT recognize US court orders, therefore they do not provide comity (which was the finding of the Judge in my most recent Washington State case).

              So, knowing that they do not provide comity, and that they violated my human rights by providing guardianship (which instilled all the rights of custody) to a third-party, nonparent in a secret hearing with no notice to me, the only living parent, and knowing that I had never engaged the Japanese court system in any legal action against that third party, nonparent, it made my choice easy. Bringing a case in Maryland was by far the best answer. To bring a case in Japan would entail cooperation with an unjust system. “To accept passively an unjust system is to cooperate with that system; thereby the oppressed become as evil as the oppressor.” MLK

              [Rick’s Note: I agree with you that there are serious jurisdictional concerns. I go back to the original, bad Tokyo advice, in 2003. It sounds to me, though, that the US state system is going to compel you to go back to Japan and try and get a custody award there, versus the grandmother. That’s just my sense. I know you have people on this, and I hope the military is being more responsible in following SOFA rules–since someone is getting paid a lot of money to negotiate them.]

            3. Hoofin, Time to move on from this thread. You have made great points and asked excellent questions, but received no answer from the manipulator and his one or two minions. We have been through this before with them, and it’s just one giant distraction from moving forward productively. First they write “You do not know for a fact what, if anything, any JAG officer might have instructed Toland to do. And concluding that the entire JAG corps is off-target, based on Toland’s unverifiable account, is a stretch.” So I went ahead and provided a link to actual Navy Legal Service Office Pacific policy showing the advice given by JAGs in Japan is still the same advice I received 9 years ago. Now that we’ve fully refuted their previous attack, they change their method of attack and state “Offering a page of JAG Policy, is not any kind of evidence that a JAG officer said anything to him at all.” Hmmm, let’s see, my wife abducted my child off the base I was living on base overseas and I needed legal help. Who was I going to turn to for help? Maybe the head of the base Commissary? No, wait, maybe the director of the base weather station? Oh wait, I have it, maybe the bartender at the Officer’s Club? Maybe if I provide an email from 2003 (which I never had an email since meeting with a JAG is in person at Navy Legal Serivces Office) then they would want verification that the email was authentic, then If I provided that, they would want videotape of the acutal meeting, then if I provided that, they would want proof that the person I met with was actually a JAG, and want to see his law school diploma, etc. etc.

              Then, to top it all off, the hold up the “Defenders and Guardians of Children” as an example…not really sure what kind of example, since this is an organized group of Japanese abductors, most with criminal warrants against them. Braden seems to hold me up as public enemy number 1 of this group, and if that’s true, and I am public enemy number 1 of criminal abductors…then apparently I am succeeding in my efforts and believe me, I WEAR THAT BADGE PROUDLY!!! I’m not sure, but is Global Future holding up the Defenders of Guardians of Children as their ally? Oh wait, we’ll probably never know because they don’t actually answer any questions asked of them.

              You can see Rick how ridiculous it is even trying to argue with these people. There is no consistency, no organized plan, and no strategy for returning children. Our strategy at BAC Home ( is clear. We have a clearly defined mission statement, and work toward fulfiling the objectives outlined in that mission statement. I won’t be checking back here again for awhile because we need to move forward productively with President Obama’s upcoming visit with the Japanese Prime Minister on April 30th in Washington, DC. I do appreciate your ongoing interest in this topic. Take care, and I’ll talk to you soon.

            4. Paul, I agree with you that Patrick Braden has been pushing this thread off the topic of how we need to support military who are under SOFA. It is also very frustrating that my questions don’t get answered. So don’t expect me to tolerate Patrick for much longer.

  4. Yes, that is correct. The terrible thing is that DoD has not changed their ways. I know of a recent case in Okinawa where a military member went to legal services and legal services is still giving the same advice today that they gave to me 9 years ago…servicemembers are still being told it is a private matter, and given a list of local Japanese attorneys, instead of being told to go file for divorce in their homestate and contact the State Department Office of Children’s issues and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for assistance. The irony of it all is that our servicemembers are overseas protecting the rights and freedoms given to us by our legal system, yet while deployed overseas by the US Government, they are not afforded those same rights and freedoms, and are put at risk, as I was, and as servicemembers today still are.

  5. Also, regarding jurisdiction. Washington State found that they did, in fact, have jurisdiction over our marriage, but they stayed the case waiting to see whether or not Japan would take jurisdiction. I did not agree with Washington staying the case, but by that time I was living in Virginia (one of the difficulties of military service is that we get moved around often), so I brought a divorce case in Virginia, as was my right since I was a resident of Virginia. The Virginia judge ruled that he had no problem taking the case except that the case is Washington State had not yet been closed, so I went to close the Washington State case, and Etsuko, who had all along protested against the case in Washington, now moved to keep the Washington State case open, and keep the “stay” on in Washington, so she could continue to pursue the case in Japan. Since Etusko blocked me from closing the Washington State case, Virginia had no other option but to drop the case. Then I went back to Washington to appeal them staying the case. While that was ongoing, Etsuko committed suicide. Yes, there were a lot of lawsuits and it was very complicated, but my motive was singular throughout the entire process. I wanted to attain jurisdiction in a location where my daughter’s fundemental human right to know and love both parents would be protected, and as a military member serving my country overseas, deployed overseas by the military, and Etsuko being an American citizen, that jurisdiction should be the US. Everything I did was toward that singular end of protecting Erika’s rights to know and love both parents. Japan did not protect that fundemental human right for my daughter, so I refused to use Japan as a forum, and I still do to this day.

    1. Ah, yes. The “drive by” jurisdictional rulings that, in turn, mess up any other remedies.

  6. To the recurring “point” on this and other forums promoting the use of Japanese courts to create legal precedent by stare decisis in Japan (if that were even possible, which it is not really…see below), my opinion is that it would do nothing to advance this child custody issue as claimed. And the proof is in the pudding. (Well, the kind of pudding that looks and tastes like Japanese court opinions). This has not ever worked even for ANY Japanese fathers or mothers to gain a reversal of physical custody after an abduction, even after 766 recently became law, and even in the recent Watanabe case that was all over the news in Japan. Note that Mr. Watanabe is an elite bureaucrat at Soumushou, so in my opinion if anyone had a chance to break through, he did. There’s your lead case and it didn’t work. We need to keep in mind that unlike the United States, Japan is NOT a common law jurisdiction anyway and lower courts are not bound by stare decisis. Authority even from the JSC is ONLY EVER *persuasive* authority (at best) for trial courts in Japan, and the standard for appellate review in Japan is always de novo at every level of appeal. Japanese courts are therefore categorically not a good place to spend money in court in an attempt to generate lasting mandatory precedent. I would strongly argue that money and time is better spent at lobbying the Diet in Japan. After all, Japan is a CIVIL law jurisdiction. Perhaps these folks should study this *significant* difference in legal systems and then revisit their proposition in that context. There is much differential analysis available in Spanish for Dr. Garcia, as right now many conflicts of law principles between Spain and the U.K. have arisen and have been litigated within the context of the E.U. in most areas of the law and many fine Spanish and Latin American law journals have provided guidance thereto in secondary sources in Spanish. If English is preferred, one need go no further than Louisianian law journals. For well over a century that odd duck of a jurisdiction has dealt with the dilemma of running a civil law system in the context of a common law federation. When our friends are done with Civil vs. Common Law Legal Systems 101, then let’s discuss the merits of precedent.

  7. Furthermore, why would it “create chaos” for Japan’s courts to be stripped of comity for their abuse of human rights? That is just not a valid legal or even moral argument in any way, shape or form. Such a removal of comity would create justice, not chaos. And it would create another pressure point that does not exist now. We already allow U.S. courts to take personal jurisdiction over foreign persons for human rights violations in the case of the ATCA by an act of Congress (see even when the plaintiff is not a U.S. person. But maybe our friends think that Congress risked chaos in creating this law and that the Supreme court erred in upholding it under judicial review? The Supreme Court apparently specifically disagrees with the “chaos” argument. Go figure.

  8. Hoofin, Regarding your update #5, the most recent number from State Department is 374 American children abducted to Japan since 1994. Additionally, there are multiple circumstances where children have returned FROM Japan. Chris Gulbraa was a self-return when he became a teenager and escaped his abductor and went to the US Conulate asking to be returned, Mary Victoria Lake was also a self-return when she became a teenager and escaped her abductor two months ago and went to the US Consulate in Osaka asking to be returned, and Karina Garcia was returned under unique circumstances when the abductor returned to the US and got arrested. However, no child has ever been returned BY Japan, so Japan is still a black hole with zero returns by the Japanese court system and/or the Japanese Government.

    1. Paul…I like when you talk about KARINA being returned under unique circumstances… I have to tell you that this case made more impact in Japan (positively) than any other case as it was evident that Japan had to recognize other countries laws. In addition, it was a wake up call for them to show the functioning of law enforcements. Unfortunately, comments like yours try to minimize the impact and the respect of this case. I agree that one case doesn’t mean Japan is changing at all, but in order for an abductor to be arrested, you must have a strong case, otherwise law enforcement will ignore your pledge.

      1. What confuses me is you advocating a position to engage in the Japanese court system. Based on what I have read, the outcome of your case would have been exactly the same even if you had never set foot in Japanese court. Your ex-wife would still have set foot on US Soil, the US judge in Wisconsin would still have put her in jail until Karina was released, and Karina’s grandparents would have agreed to return Karina so your ex-wife could be released from US jail. I fail to see how the hundreds of thousands of dollars you spent in Japanese court resulted in a positive outcome, since the Japanese court was not involved in Karina’s return to the US. If I am mistaken, and the Japanese court was involved in Karina’s return, then please enlighten me and educate the Hoofin readers.

        1. I seem to recall that Dr. Garcia received a positive “opinion”, let’s say, out of the Tokyo court. In the opinion, the court acknowledged that the needs of international children had to be considered and respected. So this was a bit of a breakthrough, since no Japanese court, that anyone knows of, had made a similar ruling.

          Paul, you have a point, though, that the former Mrs. Garcia’s ending up in the pokey was part of the reason that the daughter was returned to Wisconsin. So the Tokyo opinion was a breakthrough, but Eriko Inoue being incarcerated for child abduction was probably the act that got the result to happen.

          In my own employment case, I did not use the Japanese courts, because Congress clarified in 1991 that Title VII includes the extraterritorial coverage for discrimination abroad, and I worked for a U.S.-controlled employer. My breach of contract / violation of Japanese labor law, and tortious interference claims join (tag along) with the Title VII one because of supplemental jurisdiction (28 U.S.C. section 1367). So I have a situation where I am asking an American judge to rule, for one of the claims, using Japanese labor law (which should grant me back pay and regular employment).

          I had the trolls visit here and e-mail, and they insisted, no, an American working for an American-controlled company in Japan should always use Japanese courts! They simply object to the fact that Congress created the alternate protection, and that you can bring a foreign law question into U.S. courts (Federal Rule of Civil Procedure, Rule 44.1). It sounded like they wouldn’t object to a Japanese applying Japanese labor law to a question, but would object to an American judge applying Japanese labor law to a question. That nonsense confounded me. Still does.

          Dr. Garcia is no troll. But he feels that some action within the Japanese court system is “advised”, maybe, in certain circumstances. The difficulty I see, though, is that that advice ignores the fact that the results out of the Japanese system are, almost as a rule, not very good.

          It kind-of goes back to Dr. Savoie. Had he not made an issue of taking his kids back, the child kidnapping would not have hit the American media, and gotten the attention on the issue, that it did. The nay-sayers say that this set things back, but I think some outside observers would say that a couple broken eggs made the omelet, because now the issue is more prominent than it had been. This debate goes on with practically every civil rights issue.

          I suppose the suggestion is that, if you saw an opportunity to “work within” Japan’s system, maybe you should take it. But the opposite warning could be that you further ensnare yourself in a system that does not work to the Left Behind Parent, Japanese or foreign.

      2. I think that the fact patterns between your case, Dr. Garcia, and Commander Toland’s, are quite different. It is not easy to draw comparisons between the two.

  9. There’s no real JAG officer in this story. Wouldn’t creating a phantom JAG officer be a way for Toland to blame the outcome on a sock puppet fall guy, well after things didn’t go his way, including the fact that the court fined him for illegal acts against his wife? The sock puppet is convenient, so that there’s only one version of the story–Toland’s.

    1. Scott, your side keeps repeating that, but it makes no sense to me. A military person who goes for legal advice, provided by military, is going to receive a JAG lawyer. (Judge Advocate General is JAG, for my readers who don’t want to search it.)

      Apparently, the advice being given out by the JAG corps is not complete. They should never be telling service members to go into the Japanese court system, if SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement) has resulted in a different jurisdictional rule. Why negotiate the different jurisdiction if there wasn’t a reason to do it??

      1. You’re drawing conclusions on facts not in evidence. If he did talk to a JAG officer, you have only Toland’s account of what the JAG officer supposedly said. You do not know for a fact what, if anything, any JAG officer might have instructed Toland to do. And concluding that the entire JAG corps is off-target, based on Toland’s unverifiable account, is a stretch. If you’re an attorney, doesn’t it sound like the old “my lawyer screwed me” story that so many jailbirds and losers of lawsuits tell after things don’t go their way?

        1. Yes, the source is third hand. But, then again, I don’t know if there really is a Scott Sawyer, except the people at ABC News said there was when you were on the TV show.

          To me, it sounds reasonable that Paul Toland spoke to a JAG and got bad advice. But the question that’s getting dodged is that if the SOFA provides for U.S. jurisdiction, then why would any JAG, at any point, advice something differently? Apparently, this happens with some unspecified frequency, because they rotate JAGs in and out of there.

          U.S. military serving in Japan should never be having their family matters adjudicated by a Japanese court. Period.

          1. So now the SOFA/JAG officer theory is based on a third hand with a sock puppet on it. Third hand sock puppets aren’t convincing enough to sell the idea that teams of U.S. judges and their superiors should be reversed. Are you representing Toland now as counsel, or receiving consideration for legal services? If so, you should disclose this to your readers. By the way, why didn’t Toland just put the approximately $200,000 that he owed Etsuko before she was found dead, and still owes her estate after her death, into a trust fund for his daughter in the Futagis’ control, as was proposed to him in December 2007, and proceed with the Futagi’s plan to reunite him with his daughter pemanently in the U.S?

            1. Scott, you’re losing me on a few things. Paul Toland said that he was advised by a JAG to seek out Japanese counsel. That counsel, apparently, did not tell him to object to jurisdiction in Tokyo. As a result, whether he meant to or not, Commander Toland “agreed” to Japanese jurisdiction. Apparently, the request to have visitation rights while the Japanese process was going on was sufficient to create a jurisdiction.

              This conclusion is not coming from Toland or a sock puppet. You can conclude it from the attachments to the brief for Etsuko:

              Click to access 350700%20respondent.pdf

              Now, you are suggesting that Toland honor the decree, when, in fact, the only reason he “participated” in the Japanese process was to secure visitation rights with his daughter, who was taken off the base in Yokosuka.

              Your side’s guys like to pick through divorce filings to say nasty things about the faction you are fighting against. However, what you should do is learn enough to see the points that you are missing. If you don’t know what to look for, you don’t know what is amiss.

              Maybe this will be clearer: essentially, Etsuko Futagi left the base with their kid, and said to Paul Toland, “Now it’s time to start this game in Japanese rules.”

            1. Yeah, see, Paul, this is accurate, but it leaves out something important, doesn’t it? I am surprised that it’s captioned “Preventative Law Series”. Preventing what? Preventing the advice giver from having to spell out what options there are?

            2. The SOFA sideshow aside, why did Toland and his attorney Ohnuki wait until the very day that the divorce was to become certified and final to announce to the Japanese court that Toland would no longer be present in Japan or represented in the divorce proceedings in Japan? This strategy apparently caused a delay in the entry of the Japanese court judgment and created obstacles for the Futagis to get service on Toland. Service or not, wouldn’t Toland still be on the hook to pay the court-ordered monies that he owed, had he returned to Japan after Etsuko was found dead? Again, Counselor, why didn’t Toland just put the approximately $200,000 that he owed Etsuko before she was found dead, and still owes her estate after her death, into a trust fund for his daughter in the Futagis’ control, as was proposed to him in December 2007, and proceed with the Futagi’s plan to reunite him with his daughter pemanently in the U.S?

            3. I don’t think SOFA is the sideshow. I think the jurisdictional rule in it is the whole thing.

              If you bothered to read the brief I linked to (which was opposing Paul Toland), Toland was hoodwinked into that Japanese court process. Therefore, the judgment really wasn’t fair. This is probably why he didn’t satsify it, if you that’s true.

              I can only speculate as to why the Washington state process was not pursued with immediate vigor, but it seems from the record that the belief was the Japanese court would not take the matter up. Both Tolands were, by that time, Americans. The proper jurisdiction was in Washington state.

              If there were some offer by the surviving Futagis in late 2007, I don’t see it in the record. I know support is an issue for Mrs. Futagi, because she told Abby Boudreau that. In fact, I’m surprised she didn’t let Boudreau know what you are saying in that clip. (That was the same report, where someone else said, “Now it’s time to start this game in Japanese rules.”)

              Your comments just go to this problem of your guys picking through the other side’s spousal counterarguments, to see what you can twist. It’s very boring, and I’m going to cut it off, unless you can tell me why service members should not be informed of their SOFA rights concerning jurisdiction.

            4. Hoofin, you have not really laid out the time line of all of Tolands court actions correctly. Doing that should help you understand things better.
              The very first court engaged action in Japan for Toland appears to be Etsuko’s abuse claim against Paul. That was the very first thing in court for the Toland family who had been living in Japan for some years at that point.
              When that case was heard in court, the judge ruled in favor of Etsuko’s allegations and ordered Paul to pay $10,000 for his illegal acts against her. Was he tricked into Japanese jurisdiction then? So instead of making amends, he simply refused to pay it, never appealed it and then there were further allegations against him. They then began the divorce process in Japanese mediation and he was ordered to pay child support which he may have paid one or two months, but has since refused to pay any again. Was Paul tricked then? They then proceeded into divorce court in Japan when the mediation failed. In the divorce court proceedings, Paul agreed to a shared parenting plan with Etsuko, but then he chose not to participate. Was he tricked then? Around that time, he began his attempt in Washington to get them to take jurisdiction, but the Tolands had been engaged and represented in the divorce proceedings in Japan for about 2 years before anything had been filed in Washinton state. So there is this matter of 2 years of engaging with representation in the Japanese family court that ensures that Japan has jurisdiction. More when I get off the plane.

            5. Patrick, besides trying to sow the field with salt, you are wrong about the timeline. Please review what Futagi-Toland submitted to the Washington state court. Futagi-Toland acknowledges that Washington state said it had jurisdiction over Paul, but that the Japanese proceedings were in competition with that court.

              Here is what you are doing: mixing a human interest story with a discussion about the military’s education of its members about SOFA. Divorces are messy. That’s why, in the United States, these are nowadays “no fault”. It doesn’t mean that one party or the other isn’t at fault. It means, in a divorce, the battle will not be about finding fault for the dissolution. Why? Because it encourages the one side or the other, or both, to start embellishing.

              What you and your fellow travelers on the internet have done is to piggyback on Japan’s fault-based divorce system, and then bring those items back into a discussion about SOFA and jurisdiction here. As has been roundly acknowledged, Paul Toland’s main legal problem is that he did things in Tokyo to cause jurisdiction there. That’s the problem. Military should be told to go file back home, and only use that home system. If the partner takes the child off base, do not try and use the Japanese courts to negotiate custody (since you won’t get it like that).

              Why do you think that the U.S. negotiators work that Status of Forces Agreement, point by point? So that they can show work product and punch a clock? No. The SOFA rule is purportedly there to support our service members’ legal protections and due process rights.

              The irony of the “work ONLY through Japan” faction is that you fail to acknowledge that Japan is not a “no fault” system, and joint custody is rare.

              By the way, there are a couple of questions put to you in my last response, that you haven’t answered. I’m not holding my breath, because I realize you can’t answer them.

    2. Wait, are you the guy whose wife said, “Now it’s time to start this game in Japanese rules”? [sic]

  10. Click to access CHRG-111shrg62791.pdf


    This is the way Paul is telling the US congress his story about how his daughter was abducted.

    “I first sought advice from the Navy Legal Services Office in Yokosuka, Japan. I was distraught and looking for help. My daughter had disappeared into the foreign country in which I was assigned, and I needed the Navy’s help. Any attorney with a rudimentary knowledge of the dysfunctional Japanese family law system would have told me to avoid entering the Japanese legal system at all costs, and instead hire an attorney in my home state, contact the U.S. State Department and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Instead, the advice I was given by the young inexperienced Navy attorney was ‘‘this is a private matter, I suggest you hire a Japanese attorney.’’ That advice doomed me to years of unnecessary legal battles. Two years after that experience, Washington State family court did rule that they had jurisdiction over our marriage, but also ruled that since I had initially entered the Japanese family law system, I had forfeit my right to any U.S. jurisdiction over my case.
    I entered Japanese mediation in late 2003 in an attempt to maintain contact with Erika. The Japanese version of mediation is unlike anything you could possibly imagine. My wife and I never saw each other or met to discuss issues. Instead, we both waited behind frosted glass in separate waiting rooms, each spoke to a ‘‘judge’’ separately, and never discussed any issues of substance. Most importantly, the court completely avoided any discussion regarding visitation with Erika. When I said I wanted to see Erika on weekends, the judge and the attorneys in the room laughed”

    – It is possible that he received a bad advice from a JAG attorney. However, if we see the documents presented during the washington state hearing. It is interesting to see that Paul participated in mediation for visitation negotiation together with his attorney Onuki”

    Click to access 350700%20respondent.pdf

    -Unfortunately, he served the divorce documents in Washington long after the process in Tokyo had started. Paul is right to say that Washignton had jurisdiction, however, as he had applied for mediation in Japan and the process was pending in Japan, it is my guess that under UCCJEA, Japan was declared a better venue to deal with the issue.
    In the court document from Japan, it says that both agreed to Japanese jurisdiction. When was a SOFA exception requested?

    “My own Japanese attorney apologized for actions taken by the Japanese court, asking me in an e-mail to ‘‘Please understand your case is not a piece of cake because of the racism and irrationalism of Japan. It might be something like defend- ing Taliban in the U.S.’’

    It is very unfortunate, but Japan has jurisdiction over his case, and unfortunately not all the countries feel like US that “parents are better than third parties”. This is one of the reason why US has not signed ” UN children rights bill” as it is contradictory at time with the constitution. It is my opinion that US law in this case was applied properly. The question is how come we prioritize case with Foreign jurisdiction as this one, or cases where there is contradictory facts, instead of promoting cases with strong US jurisprudence and already reviewed by our judiciary?

    1. Well, Moises, I think this goes again to the original problem, that using the Japanese system in any way–including this “mediation”—meant assenting to Japanese jurisdiction. You are right that Paul did not serve the Washington legal papers as quickly as he should have, but reading both briefs, it seems clear that this is because his side thought that the Japanese court would not finalize a divorce, because it was a matter (at the time) between two Americans.

      My post is simply about how unfortunate it is when someone goes into the Japanese system, when they should just, 100%, stay out of that court. Mediation, etc. It means that the party is assenting to jurisdiction. Even if, later, they just want to do “special appearance”, it’s really too late.

      Military people should always, and exlusively, seek a stateside remedy. The military officials may not like that (since it will more likely put the story in international news), but this is the only way to protect the military member’s rights. We cannot rely on Japan to do this.

      My own feeling is that older cases should be emphasized, to show the clear pattern and practice of the Japanese government up to now. Also, to make others aware that the Defense Department needs more candid support people and counsellors.

      1. This is why we should be gravely concerned with what Japan’s Diet is proposing as legislation and policy to implement the Hague Convention. One of the procedures that they would like to introduce is to have the Ministry of Justice encourage the parties to mediate their “custody disputes” in Japan before, and as an alternative to, a Hague proceeding. The obvious purpose of such a provision would be to try and usurp the jurisdiction of the applicant and transfer it to Japanese courts. Since many of these cases are by consequence of demographics, military (SOFA) cases your concerns are well-founded.

        As to Dr. Garcia’s suggestion on “prioritizing” cases, I don’t think that anyone is doing that (ranking cases) in the U.S. federal government, nor should they. The federal courts specifically do not weigh in on state custody matters except in Hague return cases and the State Department has no particular expertise in child custody or child welfare, anyhow. But what Moises and Braden and Sawyer *are really* suggesting consistently, if you follow their many posts on comment boards over the years, is that “Global Future” (still waiting for that entity info…) should be made the sole authority as to which cases are “promoted” based on who Braden and the Gang “like” and who they “hate” because they either agree to anoint Braden as their leader or they do not. They couch this as a case having “good facts” or “solid jurisdiction” or some other specious term that even they do not really understand, but in fact, they are not legal experts or child welfare experts or law enforcement or military experts themselves, so they cannot be taken seriously as a candidate for arbiter of “whose case is better” . Alas, they have demonstrated here, in my opinion, that they do not have a really decent handle as to what “facts” or “jurisdiction” even mean in a general legal sense.

        This apparent “LBP faction issue” is actually much simpler than it seems, in my opinion. It is ultimately not even about argument of the merits by two factions that disagree based on certain issues, which is why it is so vexing and frustrating. For the one group, online discussions (such as a discussion of SOFA and Troxel) are just a medium by which they can slam other parents they do not like. They are all over the map on the logic in my experience. I believe you REALLY hit on it above, Rick. It is ALL about falling(s) out with Braden. The simple reality is that anyone who disagrees with Braden and “Global Future” (the entity-that-shall-not-be-named-on-a-secretary-of-state-search) in this victim parent community, risks being slammed by these folks in some way, shape, or form regardless of the merits of their abduction cases. There is no real rhyme or reason or common thread to their arguments for slamming one particular Non-Global-Future person over another. If you closely examine the cases that they put forward as “model cases” (especially Braden’s!), there are no consistent fact patterns at all that I can discern, except that all of them agree with Braden being their “mouthpiece” and have joined the amorphous “Global Future” “organization” (that has “developed many things” and now has allegedly had serious national security strategy meetings with the Secretary of Defense and President of the United States on the negotiation of SOFA. All that without articles of incorporation or a top security clearance? LOL) If you examine the other cases that do not subscribe to the “Global Future” cult of personality centered on Braden, they all have only ONE thing in common: sadly, they are all victims of Braden, Garcia, DelVecchio, Higgins and Sawyer’s relentless verbal attacks online and in real life.

        Rick, I am done for now, too. Thank you for the lively legal discussion of the res judicata issue, BTW. I am eagerly waiting to see Stephen’s brief in Paul’s case on application for cert. I thought he was absolutely [mesmerizing] at oral argument. Maybe we can revisit this topic in the context of Troxel if/when that brief comes out.

        In the mean time, best of luck to all those parents who miss their kids due to Japan’s policies and good luck with any and all strategies to be together with them again. Yes, even to you Patrick, Scott, William and Tony. Despite all the dreadfully hurtful things you have said about and to me, my family and my friends, I sincerely hope you regularly get to see your beloved children soon. G-dspeed.

        1. As is his wont, Savoie again beats his chest and tries to convince everyone that he is the smartest guy in the room. His reckless and I’ll-conceived “plan” to re-abduct his children would make a convincing case to any jury for precisely the opposite conclusion.

          Let’s get a few things straight regarding his self-promotion as a “legal expert.” After three years, according to his own Twitter posting, he has only completed half of his law school training. He can only “practice law” under the direct supervision of a real attorney. Needless to say, he has not passed the bar exam in Tennessee and is no way qualified — or licensed, I hasten to add — to dispense legal advice or offer legal opinions beyond what he has read in textbooks at his esteemed Southern university.

          I would not point all this out were it not for his racist condescension towards my good friend Moises, a board-certified liver transplant surgeon whom I have always found to be a highly intelligent and insightful individual.

          Savoie also likes to imply that all of us ((read: anyone who disagrees with the BACHome version of reality) is somehow a mindless sycophant belonging to some sort of subservient cult of personality with Patrick Braden as the head. The truth is far afield from such juvenile characterizations. The difference between Global Future (never mind Savoie’s irrelevant demand for official government registration) and his Chautauqua tent organization is that Global Future is an association of freethinkers who have come together out of a shared sense of purpose. My personal experience with BACHome was that dissent and deviation from established dogma is not tolerated, and that apostates are summarily excommunicated, libeled, and set upon by the torch-carrying mob.

          Savoie also likes to draw parallels between himself and genuine civil rights leaders such as the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Unlike Savoie, however, true champions of justice like King VOLUNTARILY stride into the lion’s den, and do not find themselves in that position due to a botched “reclamation” attempt in a foreign country in broad daylight.

          Finally, it should be noted that once upon a time — when I was foolish enough to befriend Savoie — both he and the other Ph.D. in his family told me they were happy to know me owing to my intelligence and common sense. It was only after I disagreed with him that he insulted me, called into question my credentials as an educator, and publicly libeled me in front of the so-called “left-behind parent community.”

          I realize, Rick, that I have strayed from the original topic here, but I’d appreciate it if you would let this stand as is, with no assumpt[i]on that a failure to redact my comments in any way implies your agreement.

          As a final point, please note that I am typing this with my thumb on an iPhone in a crowded Starbuck’s, just in case anyone wishes to launch any cheap shots about MY grammar, syntax, or spelling abilities.

          1. Tony, I would appreciate if each side didn’t have to keep taking shots at each other. What Chris had to say about the Maryland case (Paul Toland’s case) is very informative. He is not dispensing legal advice or soliciting clients; he is talking about the case law, which anyone may do.

            For being “work withins”, you guys are really adapt at zingers. No one commented about the Braden v. ANA case (Google Scholar), which seemed to me like it would equally rile the general Japanese public who follow the issue of international divorce splits. It sounds a bit like the pot calling the kettle black.

            1. Nice try Rick. The two cases have nothing in common …especially in terms of doing the right thing, or vexation. That seems like you yourself Rick are attempting to take a shot at me again, but I have now come to expect no less from you.

              It is nothing about “being adept at zingers”….the reality is their behavior is obviously offensive, and we don’t cower to their threats, and we value the progress on all of our children’s cases enough, that we will defend against those who damage the progress.

            2. There is no shot. You fault the other side for their litigations and news making, and yet you, yourself, do the same thing. You zing, they zang.

              The bottom line, to me, once again, is that the Japanese have this game set. They sit on their hands, and you two sides go at it. In the meantime, the calendar pages keep falling off the calendar. Time goes on.

            3. Yeah, right, Rick. Everybody here is correcting each other’s grammar and spelling, and I’m the one taking shots. I’ve done the same thing
              Myself for two reasons –1) to divert attention from the substance of an argument and 2) out of pure malice.

              Regarding Mr. Savoie legal commentary, there’s nothing this gentleman can say any longer that is of the slightest interest to me. Magua has a twisted heart.

            4. Tony, you and Patrick Braden showed up on this thread, and, as I say, the vast majority of it has been to go at Paul Toland and Chris Savoie. Just like in January. I realize that you all have very distinct differences. But, to me, it looks like it’s more that Japanese hold on to your kids, and the just wait for the sparks to fly someplace else.

              I am not just interested in LBP issues. I talk about a lot of things. The one pattern I see out of the Japanese, though, is that they sit back and breach something, and then let other people go at it. Or they go hire other foreigners to do it for them.

            5. Rick you said-“Or they go hire other foreigners to do it for them.”

              Now there is a concept you should consider.
              Who do you think could be getting paid to interfere with the progress here?

          2. That brings to mind one essential beginning point about conversing with Savoie. Rick, we should all get this straight if this is to continue any…..If you don’t stipulate that Savoie is the smartest guy you ever met, you will get stuck in debate about his education, and surprisingly your own education. Savoie not only understands your personal education in spite of knowing nothing about it, but he understands the flaws in your educators philosophy and style that lead to your obvious shortcomings … least when measured against his own. At least , that is what he told Assistant Secretary Kurt Campbell in a meeting that I negotiated for all parents to attend.

            For a guy who purports to be SOOOOOO smart, Savoie seems to have made one very bad and demonstrably failed decision after another. Then when he was faced with a decision that could have lead to a real resolution in his children’s case, he chose to sign an agreement with the Japanese Police (government) whereby he would never attempt to contact his children again in Japan, in exchange for getting out of jail. Then there are so many of his legal actions, capped off by suing the judge??

            One has only to ponder Savoies brilliance for a brief moment in relation to the Toland case and or the Bachome faction, much less his own case.

            Lets say for the sake of argument that Savoies comments here are completely telling about the future of Tolands intentions. So we should just assume that we will see Toland attempt to appeal up the the SCOTUS. (Of course, they wont be selecting his case for hearing on such a simple issue of the law that was so overkilled in the trial courts decision and in the Md Supreme Courts decision, but so what?)….

            So then you may ask??? …What possible benefit could the SCOTUS appeal actually have for Toland???

            Well, to answer that….. we have to go back to the Maryland decision that Rick has posted here….alllllll the way at the very end of the decision. Where the justices found for costs AGAINST Mr Toland.

            So the entirety of those costs will be decided by the Maryland Supreme Court when Tolands appeal notice passes…which by my sundial and Aztec astronomical calculations is …er…oh yes, three days from now. So this decision and resulting financial judgment is NOT going to be a foreign financial judgment that Toland can just weasel out of by going to Washington or somewhere. He tried that on the Washington Appeal costs, but it caught up to him, and a few years after his delays, he had no choice but to pay-up or face the law enforcement arm of the the US Justice system. He paid finally, but not without the trickery and delays of a C- magician who dropped the rabbit out of his sleeve.

            The SCOTUS appeal will only buy Toland more time on his coming obligations for paying the Maryland costs. There is no question of law that is novel in this case. Which is possibly where it all ties back to Savoie and the extraplenipotentiary strategery of one of the greatest legal minds ever to hum. (a Lady Gaga song I think)
            But really??? Someone would go through all of the effort(and money) to appeal to SCOTUS , just to avoid financial obligations? Maybe. What other possible benefits could Toland get from a SCOTUS appeal? Well , we already know that we will get the Savoie Amicus Brief. (looking forward to that one being reviewed)
            Oh yes…the one other Toland benefit that seems to be tied all the way back to the beginning of Tolands very first act. He wants to restrict the Futagi family (before them his wife) from being able to pay legal costs, restrict them from having any money he is ordered to pay. Depleting his adversaries resources.

            But since this blog is about the Toland loss in (what is) the Supreme Court of Maryland ….which followed Tolands loss in the Maryland trial courts, which followed the untimely death of Etsuko Futagi, which followed Toland being resoundingly kicked out of the Virginia Court, which followed the Tolands loss in Washington state Appellate court, which followed Tolands loss in Washington state trial court, which followed Tolands defiance against all court orders relating to monetary judgements against him, the divorce, and custody of his daughter in the Japanese court. Lets just avoid Savoie.

            1. Now look, here you go again. From the time that Chris Savoie began posting on this thread, with follow up material to Toland v. Futagi, all you’ve done is make cheap shots. You’re not invited here to do that.

              On my recent New York jurisdiction thread, the same Dr. Savoie (MD, soon-to-be JD) humbly let me explain some fine points that he was unaware of, and thanked me for it. So, clearly, what you are saying is just reflective of your own animosities, what I have described as factional fighting. The BACHome approach is a more aggressive one than what you think is good (even though, there was Braden v. ANA, which is not exactly passive and not exactly something you went to Tokyo to file.)

              The problem with your side is that you think you’re supposed to follow Toland and Savoie around the internet and badmouth them. I see nothing good about that. 98% of what you’re saying has been said already, in one context or another.

              OK, so, point taken that there is more than one way to skin a cat. And, yes, successful U.S. Supreme Court appeals are as rare as any court process—maybe 80 or 90 a year even get argued. So, point made that Paul Toland is probably going to have to go back to
              Tokyo, and pay at least the child support portion. But that’s not how Paul or BACHome want to do it, and the read I get is that they told you to bug off some time ago. Then, you keep following them around the internet.

            2. I read that blog posting. It didnt look to me like he was humbly allowing you to share some fine points. It looked to me like you corrected him.
              But to most people I know who have examined your blog Rick, your handling of comments from me or Tony is entirely different from your handling of comments from Toland and Savoie. You are not just bias, you cant even control your bias. Your impulsive biased defensive positions seem to guide your comments entirely. You allow huge lattitude for Savoie, and you chastise Tony and I for anything that you believe is straying off topic.
              So you join in with them, and attack me on whatever you can …like leaving out an apostrophe and ridiculous petty BS like that. Because you just cant get much more than that. Comparing the ANA case to any of theirs??? Really Rick?

              Like I said before, the Maryland court is only one in a long string of courts that wont buy Tolands BS. His abusive use of the system has been a fraudulent cover for what his real actions have been and intentions are. THE JUDGES RULED CLEARLY AGAINST HIM EVERY SINGLE TIME. 22 US JUDGES SAY HIS ARGUMENTS ARE BS.

              You said “the BACHome approach is a more aggressive one than what you think is good ”
              You just keep trying to mis-state my opinions and ideas Rick…just another example of evidence of your bias. The Bachole approach is intentionally damaging to the cause. Full Stop>
              Toland and Savoie work double hard on a cover of plausible deniability, and there is no way to go through all of the nuances so that you can understand it all here, but if you cant acknowledge that their “approach” (read words, actions, vexation, revenge, attempted control) only confirms the negative stereotypes that Japan wants to paint all western parents of children with, then you are simply being dishonest. For what reason Rick? Because you like the argument? Maybe Scott had it right before when he asked you a question about your relationship with these guys.
              Here’s the bottom line on that Rick…at some point soon, you will be eating those words, and you may be determined to be a part of ‘the conspiracy’ with them. Look, your blog has 6 other contributors this month??? Your biggest comment strings other than these, are by far fractions of this conversation. There is a reason why. There is a reason why you don’t practice law too. Or practice as a CPA. You are batting for the wrong team my friend.

              You said ” So, point made that Paul Toland is probably going to have to go back to
              Tokyo, and pay at least the child support portion. But that’s not how Paul or BACHome want to do it, and the read I get is that they told you to bug off some time ago. Then, you keep following them around the internet.”
              I disagree, he wont go back to Tokyo and engage in the system period…way too much to hide from there. He wont pay the child support unless the Futagi family wins their appeal in Washington…then he’ll pay ALL of those Japanese judgements, plus legal fees and court costs too probably.
              You are right to say that “thats not how they want to do it” though. They would like to avoid paying anything, even if it costs them more than it would have in the beginning. Toland is already way past that point now. He has spent about $200,000 on vexation and avoidance as well as a psuedo promotion of his victimhood.
              He could have been re-united with his daughter back in 2007, if he would have only paid the $180,000 (that he legally owed Etsuko) into a trust for his daughter, that was out of his personal control. THATS 5 YEARS AGO!
              BTW…there is no chance I follow them around….you see, long before they ever typed a word about IPCA on the internet, I was writing policy, and trying to encourage and support lots of other parents. In spite of the fact that Tolands case came before mine….he was hiding his case and the truth until 2010 when a reporter started looking into his case. When that one hits the print…. you Rick, may have earned unwittingly solidified your seat at the table.

            3. This all sounds like extreme characterization of a line of cases where the judges find different reasons to avoid U.S. jurisdiction. It doesn’t sound like anyone is being told that the matter is frivolous or vexatious. And, again, it goes back to avoiding Japanese jurisdiction if you are covered under SOFA rules.

              When that one hits the print…. you Rick, may have earned unwittingly solidified your seat at the table.

              My “seat” is with the service members who don’t get the benefit of SOFA when they should.

            4. Rick you said -“The very common problem, though, is that some Japanese are good at stalling and delaying, and getting other parties to do the fighting for them. Or, getting other parties to do the stalling and delaying. I strongly feel that Westerners don’t appreciate this.”
              It is my feeling that you are naiive to think many westerners who have anything to do with Japan, dont realize this.
              But I am so glad you brought the subject up.Because, now you are getting to the core of the problem with Bacho[m]e .

              If you were Japanese and were in charge of doing exactly this…what would you do?

              Well, maybe you would go and find the emblematic worst cases and examples of American LBP’s …and highlight them. You could find examples where Americans attempted to break the law in Japan, who gamed the system, who had one conflicting story after another, who were reckless with their children, who cared more about their personal vengeance being exacted more than they cared about their children. Who tricked their Japanese spouses. Who used finances to exact control over their spouses. Other emblematic cases would be ones with documented (by law enforcement and courts) abuse and domestic violence against their Japanese wives. Who Failure to follow court orders, who “resist” against doing the right thing, who refuse to support their children in spite of the divorce. LBP’s who demonstrate uncontrollable anger at every stimulus. LBP’s who have made decisions that put their children at risk, and that placed the childrens needs and best interests SECOND to their own.
              And Rick, you can find them all in one group…its called Bachome.

          3. Tony, you are wrong about “jury” and “re-abduction” shot for many reasons. You keep on proving to us all only that you do not know what you do not know about the law, nothing more and nothing less. First of all, in U.S. state courts, custody cases are 99.9% bench trials, not jury trials. Further, the case law in most jurisdictions, including mine [do] not support your viewpoint on private retrieval attempts. Read this case below, and then let’s discuss, perhaps on a separate thread.

            Click to access BMM.pdf

            1. And now there’s a new euphemisms for kidnapping being bandied about by the spin doctors at BACHome called “private retrieval attempt.” I’ll make it simple for you doctor — either you abhor abduction in any form or you don’t. It’s not a case of “bad when they do it but justified when I do.” Your actions and those of others who have attempted to re-abduct your children give the lie to BACHome’s insincere prattle about how “Kids need both parents.” You people don’t give a rat’s ass about the welfare if your children, but instead are obsessed with proving that you were right and with exacting revenge on those who have wronged you. Hypocrites all.

            2. Tony, what I see going on here is strenuous objections to approaches of achieving the same goal. I really don’t except any of you guys to kiss and make up, because there is clearly a lot of bad blood now. And internet fighting is the worst, because it’s carried on 24-7 and somewhat in the shadows (even though, everybody knows who everyone is mostly.)

              The very common problem, though, is that some Japanese are good at stalling and delaying, and getting other parties to do the fighting for them. Or, getting other parties to do the stalling and delaying. I strongly feel that Westerners don’t appreciate this. This is one angle where my own IBM case gets caught up in. Because now, I have waiting 3 1/2 years for simple answers to simple questions.

              If BACHome wants to present “private retrieval” as a possibility, where is it that your side, which really is saying let Japan keep your kid and theirs as long as they like, have any business knocking others who feel that it’s appropriate to leave open the possibility that a child may be taken back without notice? (Seeing as how Japan is an island, I think this avenue is extremely far afield, but someone, somewhere finds comfort in the notion.) Talk like that emphasizes the fact that this hostage situation is not the normal state of things. Many times in negotiation where Japanese are involved, you have to remind them of certain ground facts that will otherwise be conveniently forgotten. Yeah, I know this goes on everywhere, but you see it a lot in Japan.

              I’m a little tired of this rehash of the Chris Savoie – Fukuoka Consulate story. It was one of these ones where the Japan-side expat internet community worked their socks all up into knots, but, in the long haul, probably did more to put the issue of child kidnapping to Japan out, front and center, in the bilateral dialogue between the two countries.

              Japan has to learn that nemawashi is really taraimawashi. Ne?

            3. Rick said “approaches of achieving the same goal.”
              Once again, a total misstatement here Rick.
              bachome has entirely different goals than we do…but you have to look at their actions, not their words to see it. There are places where their words do tell the story though….but once again, it[‘]s about nuances that there is just not enough time to convey.

            4. If it’s about nuances, then it is about factional bickering. When you say “just not enough time to convey”, it looks like you get busy when the hard question is put to you. You have plenty of time to write long, long comments.

            5. How is your dispute with Toland and Savoie any more than petty bickering about approaches to the same goal? You spend so much time demonizing the two that I fail to see how it isn’t more about personalities.

              If Paul Toland uses the US court system, he’s “bad”, but when you and Sawyer used it, on what appears to be even weaker grounds, it was “good”.

            6. Rick you said-“If BACHome wants to present “private retrieval” as a possibility, where is it that your side, which really is saying let Japan keep your kid and theirs as long as they like, have any business knocking others who feel that it’s appropriate to leave open the possibility that a child may be taken back without notice? ”

              The problem with that idea and promoting it is that:
              #1- it is bad for the children. (emotionally and psychologically)
              #2- what if someone gets hurt?(physically)
              #3-its against the law here in the US and in other countries (legally)
              #4-it undermines the rule of law and civil society
              #5- you could end up like Christopher J Savoie did- [ redacted ]
              #6- when these ill-advised attempts fail as Savoies did, the children’s [redacted]
              #7- this is a very bad idea to promote to people who are at a vulnerable time in their lives

              And this quote you posted Rick….once again you are trying to put words in our mouths …your bias is ridiculously obvious again. “your side, which really is saying let Japan keep your kid and theirs as long as they like,”
              Nothing could be farther from the truth here Rick.

              I am surprised that as a lawyer, you need to re-interpret inaccurately, mis-state, skew, and sometimes just falsely state “the ideas or words of me or global future”, so many times, in order to support your arguments.

            7. Rick you said-“but, in the long haul, probably did more to put the issue of child kidnapping to Japan out, front and center, in the bilateral dialogue between the two countries.”
              That is another entirely un-informed statement.

              The reality is his arrest and his stereotypical case-fact image, has been used by the GOJ to attempt to paint all American LBP’s with a lawless, reckless, abusive, and gaming trickster brush.

              Our children are now paying his bills. And they dont deserve that.

              It set back negotiations between both governments. It wasted time that was intended for ongoing negotiations between the two governments. It provided the Japanese Govt with the ammo they needed to just halt the progress.
              You obviously have no idea (and how could you) what was going on in the ongoing bi-lateral negotiations.

            8. Again, you say there are these developments in the shadows of the bureaucracy. But you prattle on via the internet like someone who is more talk than walk.

            9. Rick you said- “Again, you say there are these developments in the shadows of the bureaucracy. But you prattle on via the internet like someone who is more talk than walk.”
              Personal shot again Rick. I am disappointed at your inability to maintain moderator composure.

              You will unfortunately embarrass yourself if you try to promote that idea to anyone who is actually important Rick. I am definitely more engaged and active in the real work on this issue than anyone.
              The ongoing work in the two governments is unfortunately unavailable to the general public…the information about these meetings is also very much distilled down to limited memos for those on the inside even. But those meetings are not in the shadows of bureaucracy, just inaccessible to outsiders.

            10. Patrick, you’re a cheap shot artist who dodges the real issues. Each response makes it more apparent.

            11. I am just wondering how it looks to Japan, when not one, but two, Americans sue their flag carriers on very weak claims of having a role in spiriting their children to Japan.

            12. Tony has crystallized the truth here in such a simple way, that you should ponder this until you truely believe it Rick. if you cant see this, you are intentionally blind.

            13. You ascribe a lot of disabilities to people who don’t see it exactly your way, Patrick, don’t you?

        2. I reckon you’ve said a few “dreadfully hurtful things” yourself, Saint Christopher. When are you going to give up the martyr act and man up and take some responsibilty for your own actions?

          BTW, I too wish that all parents separated from their children may be reunited some day. That’s besides the point. But I cannot abide the chicanery that comes from you and your brethren, nor am I very adept at concealing my loathing of you people for the setbacks you have caused us all with your infantile attacks against the USG.

          1. To bottom line it: GlobalFuture does not care for BACHome, and BACHome doesn’t particularly care for GlobalFuture, either. Fine. Everybody gets it.

            1. Actually, the bottom line is that the actions of one left-behind parent group directly impacts other groups. BACHome has managed to alienate our strongest allies with their incessant whining in the media and their disrespectful diatribes at State Dept. meetings. Even if it were true that the USG “has not done enough” for LBPs — a claim I vehemently dispute — what possible purpose can be served by publicly attacking those who are best positioned to help us, as Dr. Amy Savoie and Randy Collins have again done in recent weeks. This gives the Japanese the excuse they need for inaction, not the infighting between the disparate advocacy groups as you have suggested. They couldn’t care less if Tony hates Chris, or Paul hates Patrick. What the love us when LBPs attack those who are not responsible for the J gov’t’s actions. In short, they can drag their feet all they want as long as the perception is being disseminated by these misguided “strategists” (I.e., the BACHoles) that this issue would be resolved “if only our gover[nm]ent would do more to help us.” Attack the Japanese government all you want, in my view, and God bless. Lay the blame where it belongs, and foster go[o]d relations with those who provide you with the best chance of success. The foolish children at BACHome have poisoned the well for the rest if us, and therein lies the main reason for my animosity towards them. And rightly so.

            2. No, Tony, it’s actually more like what I said: GlobalFuture doesn’t care for BAChome, and vice versa. It is hard for me to believe that something a citizens group is doing is causing the Japanese government to delay resolving the issue. That’s total nonsense. It sounds more like a manipulation, through others, so that the Japanese government and their enablers in our own government put pressure on vociferous people to shut up and go away. Or at least, shut up.

              If only our (U.S.) government would do more to help. You seem to think that they are, and others think that they have not. How do you know, that you’re not the pawn. In my employment matter, I waited over 2 years for the EEOC to get into gear and do something. What they did was they basically let IBM run out the clock on my residence in Japan, almost to the week. An admittedly overworked U.S. district court system has me waiting a year, so far, for pretty straightforward jurisdictional and cause-of-action rulings. In the latter, it’s clearly a wait-your-turn circumstance, but I’ve seen bureaucracies that make you wait a couple of years and then send you a one-page ding letter. I am sure there is the one-page ding memorandum in court, too.

              When really simple things take months, and then years, this is a sign that someone is being screwed with.
              The Japanese will get around to solving these child custody matters when they feel like it. Meanwhile, you wait. You are content with that situation, and the BAChome people would rather apply pressure at every pressure point—including on the State Department functionaries. Some of these career State Department people seem more in the service of Japan than in the service of Americans. That is bad.

              I appreciate your perspective, but please do not come to my site and think that, when I discuss the LBP issues, that it is a call for a round of denunciations. I am really surprised about that.

            3. Right, the initial problem was someone sending me a snarky post, replete with mistakes that would make one wonder if they knew the correct rule of English. I appreciate the casual mistake or the word that is left out accident.

            4. Hello? What and where? I support Moises Garcia and his efforts, through Wisconsin state, to get his kid. I don’t support the fact that you don’t seem to take fifteen minutes to leave the internet and consider serious questions.

            5. I was planning to take a break from this site, but I was informed by some friends that this site is claiming that BAC Home doesn’t care for Global Future. That is completely untrue. I fully support Global Future LLC of 150 Merano Way in Palm Desert, California. That company is a Mortgage Investment Trust Company and I think they are a fine and reputable company. However, there is another entity of some kind that purports to be called Global Future with a PO Box in Los Angeles, but other than a yahoo email address that uses the words “global future” within the email, I have seen no evidence that this company exists, and if they do exist, and they are using the name Global Future in California, and if they might be soliciting money using the name Global Future, then it is possible that they may be breaking some laws. I am not an attorney, so I have no idea whether or not any laws are being broken, but since you, Hoofin, are an attorney, maybe you could enlighten me as to whether such an entity soliciting money under the name of an already existing company would be illlegal.

            6. Well, it’s your blog, so you must be right, Rick. Whatever. I really don’t care all that much anymore, to be perfectly honest with you. If you want to believe there’s a conspiracy afoot and that the USG is screwing us over, then you must be on the mark because you say it’s so. And man never landed on the moon, and the CIA took down the Twin Towers, and there are aliens in Area 51….

            7. I don’t think it would have to be a conspiracy. Not enough American citizens pay attention to what goes on between our country and Japan. Was the Financial Crisis a conspiracy? No, it’s that people were not really educated about what the American (and world) financial system turned into. Then, it blew up in the Lehman bankruptcy.

              People don’t know what’s going on with Japan. They just know generalities, if that. America won World War II. Our car industry was shifted over there in the 1980’s. They had a big earthquake and tsunami. It’s over in Asia somewhere, isn’t it?

              When this is the public’s engagement, you can have bureaucrats hem and haw month after month after month.

            1. That AMEN was AMEN to what Tony said here-“But I cannot abide the chicanery that comes from you and your brethren, nor am I very adept at concealing my loathing of you people for the setbacks you have caused us all with your infantile attacks against the USG.”

    1. And here are a couple of reputable companies going by the name of BACHome as well, Toland.

      What did you do, have your ersatz lawyer come up with this new approach to discredit an organization that brought you into the movement and taught you everything you know?

      You really may be the world’s biggest (redact away, Rick.)

      And you ought to be VERY CAREFUL about accusing others of illegal activity living in that glass house of yours.

      1. So, Tony are you admitting that Global Future, unlike BAC Home, is not a real LLC or corporation? Then why hold oneself out as a company? Isn’t that a bit misleading? It certainly can’t help Braden’s credibility for him to be “CEO” of a company that does not exist.
        Back on point, did you read the case I posted? What do you think about the holding of the appellate court?

    2. Wow….that is an old one! (of our press releases)…I think that’s on the temporary site that Moises wanted us to use….I didnt even know that site was still out there. I may have seen it once when Moises made it. But the main content of the press release is accurate…. so thanks for finding that for me.

      1. So Hoofin, Just to get back to my original point from last night, and let me pose this as a hypothetical question. You are an attorney, so your expertise may be helpful here.

        1. An individual states that he is CEO for a company called “Ignoble FUBAR”, claims the organization is based in Los Angeles, and solicits money on behalf of that organization.
        2. That organization does not really exist because it is not registered as a corporation in any state.
        3. There already exists a corporation called “Ignobal Fubar” in a different city in the State of California.

        In this case, is solicitation of funds by the CEO of the Los Angeles based company purporting to be “Ignoble Fubar” legal?

  11. One of your examples is a French Company and the other is a type of loan provided by Bank of America. Neither are called “Bring Abducted Childen Home” which is the name of our organization, officially incorporated in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

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