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Working with Mexico: Strategies for Success Alisha Griffin, Director California Department of Child Support Services.

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Presentation on theme: "Working with Mexico: Strategies for Success Alisha Griffin, Director California Department of Child Support Services."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Working with Mexico: Strategies for Success

3 Alisha Griffin, Director California Department of Child Support Services

4 Uniform Interstate Family Support Act International Hague Convention - Multilateral treaty National Title III of the Federal Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act - requires states to ratify 2008 version of UIFSA State Senate Bill 646 (Jackson) - adopts 2008 version of UIFSA in California County MOU between Sistema de Desarrollo Integral para la Familia (DIF) for the state of Baja California and Imperial County Department of Child Support Services

5 DIF and Imperial DCSS MOU Formalizes the partnership between agencies to develop and expand a framework of cooperation that will assist both agencies with their goals of providing child support services. Imperial County Department of Child Support Services Sistema de Desarrollo Integral para Ia Familia- Baja California

6 Ceremonial Signing held December 18, 2014

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8 Guillermo Fernandez Villalobos, Special Programs Coordinator Imperial County Department of Child Support Serv ices

9 BRIEF HISTORY Partners  Imperial County Department of Child Support Services (ICDCSS)  Mexican Consulate, Calexico  DIF Baja California (Sistema Integral para la Familia)

10 Why a partnership needed to be built Common issues between partners and their needs  Immigration issues  International Judicial Assistance issues (service of process and obtaining evidence abroad)  Need for clarification on foreign laws (i.e., Mexico’s establishment of parentage and clarification on child support orders vs voluntary child support consignments)  Conflicts of law and jurisdiction  Enforcement of child support orders on both sides of the border

11 Outcomes  A partnership was necessary to bring solutions to common barriers that arise across the borders of Mexicali and Imperial County  Provide better assistance to our Courts in order to determine Continuing Exclusive Jurisdiction in child support orders  It was necessary to remove barriers on Child Support Services such as: - Language - Culture - Legal literacy - Immigration Concerns  Necessary to establish an alternate procedure allowed by statutes and regulations to expedite the processing of applications for child support services between Imperial County and Mexicali, B.C. (Baja California)

12 What did it take to get here? Initial collaboration  Memoranda of Understanding between Superior Court of California, County of Imperial and the Government of Baja California  Imperial County DCSS was invited by Imperial County Superior Court and the Judicial and Executive Branches of Baja California to provide training in child support as part of their MOU  Memorandum of Understanding between Imperial County Department of Child Support Services and Consulate of Mexico in Calexico, California  Memorandum of Understanding between Imperial County Department of Child Support Services and DIF Baja California

13 Legal authorities for ICDCCS MOU with DIF CALIFORNIABAJA CALIFORNIA  California Family Code (UIFSA Chapter § )  California Code of Regulations §  Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) section 459A  Federal Law for the execution of treaties, sections 1,2, and 3 (allows state government agencies to execute MOUs with foreign governments)  Mexico’s International Declaration of Reciprocity  General Health Laws, section 182 (Ley General de Salud).  Manual for Collection of Child Support between Mexico and the US (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

14 Luis Benjamín Lara Escobedo, Vice-Consul Consulate of Mexico in Calexico, CA

15 Legal Authority ■The Constitution of the United States of Mexico ■Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations ■Vienna Convention on Consular Relations ■Mexican Foreign Service Act ■Organic Law of the Federal Public Administration ■Internal Regulations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ■Regulation of the Law of the Mexican Foreign Service

16 Consular Duties and Responsibilities ■Protect their nationals, whether natural or legal persons, within the limits permitted by international law ■Encourage the development of commercial, economic, cultural and scientific relations with the receiving State ■Ascertaining by all lawful means conditions and developments in the commercial, economic, cultural and scientific life of the receiving State, reporting thereon to the Government of the sending State and giving information to the persons concerned ■Issuance of passports and travel documents to nationals of the sending State, and visas to foreign citizens ■Help and assist nationals of their country of origin, whether natural or legal persons ■To act as notary and civil registry ■Take appropriate measures and arrangements to assist their nationals to have proper representation in the courts and other authorities of the receiving State, in accordance with the practice and procedures of the receiving State (Immigration Waivers)

17 Mexican Consulate Organizational Chart DEPUTY CONSUL CONSUL DOCUMENTATION, VISAS, NOTARY PUBLIC, AND CIVIL REGISTRY AFFAIRS ECONOMIC AFFAIRS ATTENTION TO MEXICAN COMMUNITIES, PRESS, AND CULTURAL AFFAIRS ADMINISTRATIVE AND TECHNOLOGICAL AFFAIRS CONSULAR PROTECTION AND LEGAL AFFAIRS

18 Duties and Responsibilities of the Protection and Legal Affairs Department  Processing of child support applications from Mexico to the US under UIFSA  Processing of international restitution applications of abducted children  Processing of immigration waivers  Processing of letters rogatory and letters of request  Consular assistance of Mexicali Nationals in death penalty cases as well as of their nationals detained in the US (Immigration Detention Centers, State Prisons, etc.)  Assistance in the transmittal of corpses of Mexican citizens that have passed away in the US  Assistance in legal matters (workers compensation, human rights, civil, criminal and family law)  Repatriation to Mexico for unaccompanied minors after their intent to cross the US border  Assistance in the recovery of stolen and seized vehicles

19 Consular duties in child support cases  Process and transmit all child support applications received from Mexico‘s Central Authority  Maintain contact with LCSA in order to provide notice and updated case information to child support applicants  Distribute child support collections to applicants  Assistance in filling out child support applications  Provide legal information of the child support judicial and administrative process to applicants  Assist child support applicants in obtaining immigration waivers when their physical presence is required/ordered in child support hearings  Process letters rogatory for service of process abroad and the taking of evidence abroad in child support cases  Facilitate communication between judicial and administrative authorities across the border in child support cases, such as where continuing exclusive jurisdiction (CEJ) is at issue

20 APPLICANT requests the establishment and payment of a child support order. LOCAL FIELD OFFICE OF MEXICO MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS “SRE” (CENTRAL AUTHORITY IN MEXICO) 1.Interview of applicant, review of UIFSA application and attachments 2.Case registration on SIPC (Informative System of Consular Protection) 3.Transmittal of child support applications to the Family Department of SRE. (Central authority in Mexico city). 4.Transmittal of child support application to the State Registry of the State where obligor is found. STATE CENTRAL REGISTRY/ LCSA/ JUDICIAL AUTHORITY 1.Registration of application by the State Central Registry. 2.Transmittal of child support application to the LCSA where obligor is located. 3.Filing of summons and complaint regarding parental obligations in Superior Court. YES NO JUDICIAL AUTHORITY 1.Establishes the child support order that should be paid LOCAL CHILD SUPPORT AGENCY 1. Prepares an Income Withholding Order and is transmitted to obligor’s employer. STATE DISBURSMENT UNIT/ CONSULATE OR LOCAL FIELD OFFICE OF MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS 1.SDU receives payment from employer and transmitted to Consulate or SRE. 2.Consulate or SRE Local Field office delivers child support payment to applicant. END OF PROCEDURE SERVICE OF SUMMONS Transmittal Procedure of Child Support Applications from Mexico to the United States Of America

21 Luis Benjamin Lara Escobedo Tel.: (760)

22 Consuelo Luna Pineda, Prosecutor for Minor Children and Families State DIF of Baja California, Mexico

23 Sistema para el Desarrollo Integral de la Familia de Baja California (State DIF)  Background  State DIF Mission  State DIF Services  Organizational Chart  Duties under MOU with Imperial County

24 Background  DIF is a national Mexican public welfare institution founded in 1977 that focuses on developing the welfare of Mexican families  The institution was founded by ex- first lady Carmen Romano, wife of ex-President José López Portillo  Some of the general activities of the institution are to promote family planning, child care, assistance to the elderly, and the fight against drug abuse, among others  Each Mexican state (32 in all) has a State DIF agency which is represented by each state’s First Lady (usually the Governor’s wife) as well as its State Director

25 State DIF Mission  Provide social assistance and protection to the population, attending to their basic needs; processes of self- motivation to contribute to their quality of life and a healthy family environment  Provide humane and timely services within a framework of respect for universal rights  Provide services, assistance, and support to citizens that satisfy their expectations while evaluating current procedures and seeking improvements needed to overcome set goals  Guiding Concepts: family perspective, social responsibility, prevention, and comprehensiveness  Values: Service, honesty, respect, tolerance, justice, honor, and responsibility

26 State DIF Services  Through its Prosecutor Unit for the protection of minor children and the families, protect the physical and psychological integrity of each member of a household, especially children given their vulnerability  Provide legal assistance to child crime victims or those at risk that can be protected or placed in a temporary shelter, group home, or adoptive home alternatives  Provide legal, psychological, social, and physical protection for children and adolescents who are in a vulnerable state, guarding their integrity and best interests by allowing them to grow in healthy environments  Protect and promote the rights of minor children  Ensure full protection to people in vulnerable situations, as well as temporary economic support

27 DIF Organizational Chart PRESIDENT STATE DIRECTOR ADMINISTRATION GENERAL OPERATIONS STATE PROSECUTOR FAMILY SUPPORT SERVICES ADULT PROTECTIVE SERVICES REHABILITATIVE SERVICES CHILD WELFARE ADOPTIONS CHILD SUPPORT PUBLIC ASSISTANCE

28 Duties under MOU with Imperial County  Assist clients with the processing of child support applications  Identify opportunities for rendering comprehensive support to child support families and dependents requiring child support services  Establish, modify, and enforce child support obligations (including medical support), enforce spousal support orders established by a court of competent jurisdiction, and where permitted by law, determine paternity in the case of a child born out of wedlock  Provide training to Imperial County Child Support staff regarding administrative and/or court proceedings arising from child support services provided to families and dependents  Build collaborative networks to refer applicants requiring legal and social assistance to governmental and private entities competent in those areas

29 Consuelo Luna Pineda Tel.: 01152(686)

30 Guillermo Fernandez Villalobos, Special Programs Coordinator Imperial County Department of Child Support Services

31 Processing of Child Support Applications between Imperial County and State of Baja California POST- MOU APPLICANT Requests the establishment and payment of a child support order. LOCAL FIELD OFFICE OF “DIF” (STATE CENTRAL AUTHORITY IN BAJA CALIFORNIA) 1.Interview of applicant, review of UIFSA application and attachments 2.Transmittal of child support applications to ICDCSS. 3.Transmittal of child support application by ICDCSS to the State Registry of the State. STATE CENTRAL REGISTRY/ LCSA/ JUDICIAL AUTHORITY. 1.Registration of application by the State Central Registry. 2.Transmittal of the child support application back to the LCSA. 3.Filing of summons and complaint regarding parental obligations in Superior Court. YES NO JUDICIAL AUTHORITY 1.Establishes the child support order that should be paid LOCAL CHILD SUPPORT AGENCY 1. Prepares an Income Withholding Order and is transmitted to obligor’s employer. STATE DISBURSMENT UNIT/CONSULATE OF MEXICO IN CALEXICO 1.SDU receives payment from employer and transmitted to Consulate in Calexico. 2.Consulate office delivers child support payment to applicant or DIF. END OF PROCEDURE * NOTE: Processing time 3 months

32 Differences between procedures  Speedier processing (State vs. Federal)  Direct communication between state agencies vs. going through third parties  Speedier distribution of child support payments  Facilitates coordination between state agencies in cases where CP’s physical presence might be required in Court

33 International Judicial Assistance  Definition of International Judicial Assistance  Definition of Letters Rogatory  US legal authorities for preparation and issuance of Letters Rogatory: Hague Convention of the Service Abroad of Judicial and Non-Judicial Documents in Civil and Commercial matters Inter-American Convention on Letters Rogatory United States Code, Title 28, sections 1781 (b)(2), 1782, 1783 and 1651 Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 28 (b) Code of Federal Regulations, Title 22 California Code of Civil Procedure, sections (c) and (3) (e)

34 3 Types of Letters Rogatory:  Service of process of summons, citations and notices  Obtaining Evidence Abroad (Depositions, Discovery, etc.)  Registration and Enforcement of Judgments  No treaties between Mexico and the US  Based on International Reciprocity

35 Evidence that can be obtained and verified through Letters Rogatory  Employment  Wages and Insurance Verification (WIVs)  Real property records  Personal property (bank accounts)  Gathering of Mexican judicial documents, child support judgments, information on Mexican laws, etc. Note: Mexico links to obtain employment information Private sector:  /obten+tu+numero+de+seguridad+social+%28nss%29 /obten+tu+numero+de+seguridad+social+%28nss%29  Public sector: 

36 Preparation and processing of Letters Rogatory to obtain evidence in Mexico STEP 1 Verify NCP or CP Employment information. STEP 2 Prepare Ex-Parte application for Issuance of LR to obtain Evidence. STEP 3 Once issuance of LR is approved by Court, proceed to prepare LR using Hague Convention Model form STEP 4 Translate LR to Spanish and proceed To transmit LR to Mexican Court (by mail, file directly with Court, etc.) STEP 5 Once LR is received by Mexican Court, the Court will proceed to obtain the information requested. STEP 6 Mexican Court will send information to ICDCSS through Mexican Consulate.

37 Results of the Collaboration Derived from the MOUs  Provide better services to customers on both sides of the border in their cases  Understanding of child support and family laws of Baja California and California  Use of treaties on International Judicial Assistance to satisfy long arm jurisdiction  Formal creation of partnerships with Mexico’s state and federal agencies in order to provide solutions to common situations  More efficient processing of court cases when dealing with issues of:  Conflicts of Jurisdiction  Determination of a controlling child support order  Establishment of parentage and location of assets of NCP in Mexico  Child support obligations among border counties

38 Attachments  Copy of ICDCSS and Consulate of Mexico MOU  Copy of ICDCSS and DIF MOU  Sample Ex-Parte Application for Issuance of Letters Rogatory for Service of Process, (includes preparation instructions and requirements)  Sample Letter Rogatory for service of process  Sample Ex-Parte Application for Issuance of Letters Rogatory for Obtaining Evidence Abroad  Sample Letter Rogatory for Obtaining Evidence Abroad  Copy of Mexico’s Declaration of International Reciprocity  Copy of Mexico’s SRE (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) URESA-RURESA Child Support Manual (translated to English)  Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) section 459 A  OCSE TITLE IV Survivor Guide: “Working a case when a party is in Mexico”

39 Guillermo Fernandez Villalobos Tel.:

40 Questions?

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