Mootness: the return of a child to a foreign country pursuant to a Convention return order does not render an appeal of that order moot; the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction; the International Child Abduction Remedies Act (ICARA) implements the Convention in the United States; the Eleventh Circuit dismissed the appeal as moot, on the ground that once a child has been returned to a foreign country, a U. S. court becomes powerless to grant relief; Article III restricts the power of federal courts to “Cases” and “Controversies,” and this “requirement subsists through all stages of the proceedings,” Lewis v. Continental Bank Corp., 494 U. S. 472, 477. No case or controversy exists, and a suit becomes moot, “when the issues presented are no longer ‘live’ or the parties lack a legally cognizable interest in the outcome,” Already, LLC v. Nike, Inc., 568 U. S. ___, ___. But a case “becomes moot only when it is impossible for a court to grant any effectual relief whatever to the prevailing party,” Knox v. Service Employees, 567 U. S. ___, ___. As “long as the parties have a concrete interest, however small, in the outcome of the litigation, the case is not moot,” ibid.
Because the Chafins continue to vigorously contest the question of where their daughter will be raised, this dispute is very much alive. This case does not address “a hypothetical state of facts,” Lewis, supra, at 477, and there continues to exist between the parties “that concrete adverseness which sharpens the presentation of issues,” Camreta v. Greene, 563 U. S. ___, __; as to the effectiveness of any relief, even if Scotland were to ignore a re-return order, this case would not be moot. The U. S. courts continue to have personal jurisdiction over Ms. Chafin and may command her to take action under threat of sanctions. She could decide to comply with an order against her and return E. C. to the United States. Enforcement of the order may be uncertain if Ms. Chafin chooses to defy it, but such uncertainty does not typically render cases moot (U.S. S. Ct., 19.02.2013, Chafin v. Chafin, C.J. Roberts, unanimous).