Commander Toland, Left Behind Parent, scores a non-custodial victory in Washington State.

PDF of the opinion, here: Estate of Toland v. Toland, 286 P. 3d 60 – Washington Court of Appeals, 2nd Div. 2012. And here. And here.

I will hopefully do a review sometime later, but the bottom line is that Washington State said it wasn’t bound by the divorce decree and support order that was issued in Japan. One reason is that Paul did not receive due process.

3 thoughts on “Commander Toland, Left Behind Parent, scores a non-custodial victory in Washington State.

  1. Hoofin, This case was an appellate court, so it can be used as precedent. The court found that (and I quote) “We are satisfied that enforcing the Japanese divorce decree would violate Paul’s procedural due process right to notice and opportunity to be heard, Washington’s Policy protecting the parent-child relationship, and Paul’s substantive due process right as a parent.” The court further found that “Japanese law concerning parental rights, nullify the parent-child relationship that our law explicitly recognizes.” It further stated that recognizing the judgment would VIOLATE PUBLIC POLICIES AND FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS, including Paul’s parental rights as recognized under federal and state law.”
    A pretty damning condemnation of the Japanese Family law system. Hopefully, our state department will stop referring Americans overseas to the Japanese family court system, a system that “violates public policies and fundamental rights.”

  2. It is encouraging to see that the appellate court in this case spent the time necessary to delve into the complex issues here and rule in favor of due process and the inalienable rights of a parent. I hope this ruling can be used as precedence to aid other parents who may be at risk of attempts by the Japanese Family Court system to unduly seize jurisdictional control.

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