U.S. mom loses one appeal to constitutional magistrates

Trina Atwell Chavarría has lost an appeal to the Sala IV constitutional court, but another appeal is pending in her case.

Ms. Atwell, a U.S. citizen, is seeking to keep her daughter Emily in Costa Rica with her even though the father, Roy Koyama, obtains sole custody from a court in Green County, Missouri.

The Sala IV decision was released as a summary Friday. Although three magistrates sided with Ms. Atwell, the vote was that the habeas corpus appeal was rejected.

Ms. Atwell sought to recover her daughter who was taken to a shelter two weeks ago by the Patronato Nacional de la
Infancia, the child welfare agency.

The summary noted that Ms. Atwell came to Costa Rica and sought refugee status for herself and her child. She said that she and the child were victims of family violence on the part of the father.

The court noted that the case had been resolved under the Convention over the Civil Aspects of Minors, the so-called Hague convention.

A family court judge ordered the child returned to the father, and the decision was upheld in a subsequent appeal.

The pending case is believed to be the one filed by the Defensoría de los Habitantes, which questions the procedure involved in the court cases.

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