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Bajcar v. Bajcar

Florida Court of Appeals, Third District

May 16, 2018

Bronislaw Bajcar, Petitioner,
v.
Monika Klaudia Bajcar, Respondent.

         Not final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.

          A Writ of Certiorari to the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County, Lower Tribunal No. 16-25108 Rosa C. Figarola, Judge.

          Lowry at Law, P.A., and Carla P. Lowry (Fort Lauderdale), for petitioner.

          Mary Nikezic (Fort Lauderdale), for respondent.

          Before ROTHENBERG, C.J., and EMAS and LUCK, JJ.

          EMAS, J.

         INTRODUCTION

         Bronislaw Bajcar ("the father") petitions for a writ of certiorari, [1] seeking relief from the trial court's writ of bodily attachment, issued against the father, directing that he be taken into custody for his failure to comply with previous orders of the trial court. Because the trial court failed to comply with the procedural requirements for indirect criminal contempt proceedings, depriving the father of the constitutional due process protections to which he is entitled, we grant the petition and quash the writ of bodily attachment.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         The father, a Polish citizen, married Monika Klaudia Bajcar ("the mother"), also a Polish citizen, in Poland. The mother and father have a minor child, who is also a Polish citizen, and are currently embroiled in a divorce and child custody dispute in Poland.

         In December 2013, the mother brought the child to Miami on a visitor visa. The father claims that the mother absconded from Poland with the child; nevertheless, on March 4, 2016, the Polish court entered a custody[2] order, acknowledging the child's then-current residence in the United States, and granting visitation with the father for two weekends per month, in addition to Christmas Break and one month of summer vacation (June 15 to July 15). The Polish court order also expressly permitted the father to bring the child back to Poland for Christmas Break and summer vacation, with the proviso that he return the child to the child's home in the United States.

         The August 3rd Order

         When the mother allegedly refused the father his visitation rights, the father filed a petition in Miami-Dade Circuit Court to register and enforce the Polish order as written. The mother agreed that the Polish order should be recognized, but asserted that the Florida court could modify the terms of the order. The trial court referred the matter to a general magistrate, who specifically determined: "There is no basis for the Florida courts to modify the Polish court decrees on the issue of visitation between the father and the minor child. The Florida courts must enforce the Polish decrees." The trial court approved and ratified the general magistrate's recommendation on July 31, 2017. On August 3, 2017, the court granted the father's motion for makeup time sharing, allowing him to exercise his time sharing between August 3 and August 17.

         The ...


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