- Associated Press - Friday, January 1, 2016

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A federal judge in Knoxville has issued a temporary restraining order against a mother accused of parental abduction.

The Knoxville New Sentinel reports (https://bit.ly/1YTGiqH) Alma Soto Soto is from Mexico. She is accused of fleeing to the U.S. with her son after a 2013 break-up with the father, Eugenio Garduno Guevara.

After Soto turned up two years later in Texas, the father invoked the Hague Convention on international child abduction and the U.S. State Department became involved. Soto fled Texas, resurfacing in Knox County in May when she filed a petition with the juvenile court seeking to establish custody of the boy.

That petition claimed the Hauge Convention did not apply because the boy had habitually resided in the United States with Soto for over two years and was therefore no longer a resident of Mexico subject to the international child abduction agreement.

The State Department stepped in, serving notice that the father’s claims usurp the juvenile court’s authority.

A federal complaint filed Dec. 11 sought emergency action to bar the mother from again fleeing and return the boy to Mexico.

Earlier this week, Chief U.S. District Judge Tom Varlan issued a temporary restraining order against the mother. He also ordered the Marshals Service to track Soto down and serve her with a notice to appear in his courtroom Jan. 12.

Varlan noted it is unusual for the court to issue a restraining order before a complaint is formally served, but he said there was a danger Soto would flee once informed of the federal court action. That flight risk was also the reason he turned to the Marshals Service for help.

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Information from: Knoxville News Sentinel, https://www.knoxnews.com

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