Rifqa Bary's parents have filed a claim against her in Ohio stating that she is an "incorrigible minor" in an attempt to return jurisdiction--and more importantly, Rifqa herself--to Ohio. Judge Dawson in Florida has thus far claimed his court has jurisdiction on the grounds that no court in Ohio claims jurisdiction. This could change all that.
An "incorrigible minor" claim is, from what I've been able to glean, a claim on the part of parents that they cannot control their own child and need the help of the state to do so. Some of the actions that can support such a claim are refusing to obey "reasonable" parental orders, repeatedly running away, being truant, or using drugs or alcohol. Obviously, several of these don't apply to Rifqa, and she has run away only once. Of course, her parents have in one sense "lost control" of her, since she escaped from them! But when the juvenile claims abuse and danger from the parents, there must be (I assume) some mechanism for the court to consider these counterclaims rather than simply returning the child to the parents. The courts can order any number of things if a child is found to be an "incorrigible minor," from house arrest (particularly bad in this case) to foster care. (Unfortunately, I did not keep the most useful link I found on the definition of an "incorrigible minor.")
Commentators here and here at Atlas Shrugs seem to be under the impression that Rifqa will be returned to Ohio but not to her parents. Moreover, this commentator indicate that an "incorrigible minor" claim can be met by a counterclaim for emancipation by Rifqa. I had previously been under the impression that Ohio does not permit emancipation claims, but according to this commentator, what it does not permit is only spontaneous emancipation filings by minors. A minor can, however, try to be emancipated in response to an "incorrigible minor" claim. But is Rifqa financially independent? Would her lack of financial independence scotch an emancipation claim?
More to the point, this article from the Orlando Sentinel, Sept. 2, claims that "Ohio child welfare officials already have concluded it is safe for Rifqa to return. They want to place the girl in therapy and reunite her with her family." This doesn't sound like it supports the positive talk about the responsible and serious actions to be expected from the Ohio authorities. Several news stories have said that Rifqa's parents have consented for her to be put in foster care in Ohio, but not all have added that this is "for at least thirty days." If the Ohio authorities send her back to her parents after thirty days rather than extending the foster care, she could simply be spirited out of the country, a result all the more likely as it appears she is presently here illegally. (That is, of course, not her fault--so are her parents, by the way.)
All of these considerations are, of course, in addition to concerns about her increased danger if she is returned to Ohio at all, even to foster care.
September 14--Pamela Geller at Atlas reports that Rifqa's Sept. 29 hearing date in Florida has been postponed. I am a pessimist by nature and am concerned that this may indicate Florida's willingness to relinquish jurisdiction to Ohio.