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Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - 11:27am

Supreme Court Rules In Custody Case

Updated: 1 year ago.
Sgt. Jeffrey Chafin says he saw his daughter, Eris, in Scotland briefly over the Christmas holidays. (photo Jeffrey Chafin)

The US Supreme Court says a lower federal court still has some work to do in an international custody battle.

It's over the daughter of a Ft. Stewart-based Army soldier and his estranged Scottish wife.

In a unanimous ruling the justices say the case isn't moot.

The five year old's mother, Lynne Chafin, was deported after divorce proceedings were filed in Alabama.

But she cited an international custody treaty and sued to bring her daughter to Scotland.

A federal judge granted her request.

But the child's father, Sgt. Jeffrey Chafin, appealed.

The appeals court ruled the case was moot since his daughter already was in Scotland.

The ruling this week keeps the case alive.

But Sgt. Chafin says an outcome in his favor in the Montgomery-based court still wouldn't be the end of his case.

"If we do prevail in the 11th Circuit and we can't get a return order, who knows what's on the opposite side of that?" Sgt. Chafin says.

Sgt. Chafin says, it's unclear if Scottish authorities would accept the lower court's decision.

"We've been screaming and hollering for the last year and a half saying that justice was done wrong," Sgt. Chafin says. "Now that we have taken it to the highest court in the land, somebody has heard us."

An attorney representing Lynne Chafin previously told GPB the last time the parents agreed about where the child would live, it was to be in Scotland.

A date has not yet been set for the appeal.

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