BEREFT FATHER SEEKS 2.6 MILLION FROM LAW FIRM
IN ISRAELI/AMERICAN CHILD ABDUCTION CASE
Sharon Ben-Haim, a Plaintiff, has filed a $2.6 million Complaint against Tal Itkin, Miki Mor and the Itkin Law Firmin a child abduction lawsuit focusing on actions taking place in American and Israeli courts. The Complaint is titled Civil Action No. BER L-8284-12 and filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Bergan County, Finance Division.
The Complaint seeks to document the Defendants “flagrant violation of the Order of the Superior Court of New Jersey and their…. continuing campaign to harass and destroy the Plaintiff in aid of their client’s parental abduction of the Plaintiff’s young daughter, Ofir.”
According to the Complaint, the “action is the result of the Itkin Law Firm’s “overzealous representation of their client.” The Plaintiff alleges that the law firm “aided and abetted an anti-suit injunction by Plaintiff’s wife, Oshrat Ben-Haim.” This action resulted in the defamation of the Plaintiff, “libel and slander in the Israeli courts and in the Plaintiff’s community in New Jersey.”
Plaintiff against Tal Itkin et, al, Sharon Ben-Haim, claims his ex-wife kidnapped his two year-old daughter from the USA to Israel. When he tried to exercise his parental rights under the Hague Convention on int
ernational child abduction; he hit a brick wall in the Israeli legal system.
“Words cannot express how much I miss my daughter,” says Ben-Haim, “My heart is broken.”
The Ben-Haim custody battle was heard in a New Jersey Superior Court. Bonnie J. Mizdol, the presiding judge in that case, ruled that Ben-Haim’s daughter was being illegally held in Israel and ordered her immediate return to the USA. In her August 25, 2011 ruling, Mizdol noted, “This Court finds that the entire situation was laden with duress,” concerning the father’s experience in the Israeli judiciary.
There are three Causes of Action in the suit.
In respect of Cause of Action #1, Aiding and Abetting Violation of an Anti-Suit Order, Plaintiff alleges that his wife, Oshrat, was enjoined by Judge Mizdol on January 6, 2012 “from filing any action or complaint for divorce, child support or alimony in any court other than the Superior Court of New Jersey…” In alleged defiance of this order, the Defendants supported actions in Israel related to “divorce, child support or alimony,” with three cases pending in the Rabbinical Court in Haifa and one “action for child support pending in the Family Court in Nazareth. Further, on July 17, 2012, in a ruling by the Rabbinical Court, the public was instructed “not to do Plaintiff ‘any favors and/or talk to him and/or pray with him and/or negotiate wit him and/or bury him,” allowing his wife to “publish Plaintiff’s name, picture and description of him as a criminal in New Jersey.” These legal actions, according to the Cause of Action, were directly countermanding the Anti-Suit Order.
In respect of Cause of Action #2, Defamation– the Defendants are alleged by the Plaintiff that he “was attempting to kidnap his daughter to the U.S.,” omitting to tell the Rabbinical Court that the Plaintiff lives there, “made false representations that the Plaintiff was violent and abusive with his wife” and that he was “not in the U.S. legally and had no residence there and alleged falsely that his daughter “would not have health insurance if she was returned to the U.S.” Plaintiff alleges that published statements asserting Plaintiff was “criminal” and other statements caused him not only emotional distress, but loss of reputation in his business community and the eventual loss of his business, forcing him to now work in a job with “minimal wages.”
In respect of Cause of Action #3, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Plaintiff claims that “Defendant Itkin and her firm were hired by Oshrat Ben-Haim to maliciously torment and financially exhaust Plaintiff, including effecting such actions as causing Plaintiff to be wrongly trapped “in Israel, after he attempted to return his wrongfully abducted daughter to New Jersey.” This same type of action also resulted later in Plaintiff’s father being trapped in Israel. Other actions emotionally “alienated the natural bond and affection that should exist between Plaintiff and child,” causing both emotional distress.
Based on these three causes of action, the Plaintiff requested “judgment against Defendants for $2,600,000 in damages, attorney’s fees of at least $52,000, if applicable, costs of suit, and any other relief the Court may deem must and proper.” The Complaint was filed on October 26, 2012.