Grano v. Martin

Decision Date11 March 2020
Docket Number19-CV-6970 (CS)
Citation443 F.Supp.3d 510
Parties Sergi Hernandez GRANO, Petitioner, v. Katherine Patricia MARTIN, Respondent.
CourtU.S. District Court — Southern District of New York

Neil J. Saltzman, Saltzman Law Offices, New York, NY, Barry Abbott, Schwartz Sladkus Reich Greenberg Atlas LLP, New York, NY, Counsel for Petitioner.

Richard Min, Michael Banuchis, Nancy M. Green, Burger Green & Min LLP, New York, New York, Counsel for Respondent.


Seibel, J.


1. Petitioner Sergi Grano is a Spanish citizen and Respondent Katherine Patricia Martin is a U.S. citizen. Grano and Martin are married and have a child, to whom the Court will refer as "D.H." or the "Child." On October 24, 2018, Martin traveled with D.H. from Spain to New York, and neither has returned to Spain since.

2. On July 25, 2019, Petitioner filed this suit under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, Oct. 25, 1980, T.I.A.S. No. 11670, 1343 U.N.T.S. 89 (the "Hague Convention" or "Convention"), seeking an order requiring an immediate return of the Child to Spain.

3. On July 31, 2019, the Court set a discovery schedule and set an evidentiary hearing for September 9, 2019. (Minute Entry dated July 31, 2019.) On September 6, 2019, upon the parties' joint request, the Court adjourned the hearing to December 2, 2019. The hearing took place from December 2 through 5, and then was completed on January 6, 2020.1 The Court ordered the parties to submit post-trial briefing no later than January 14, 2020, and permitted the parties to reply no later than January 17, 2020.


4. Grano was born and raised in Barcelona, and he has lived in Spain for his entire life except for a two-month period when he lived in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Tr. at 8:8-10, 105:16-22.) He works in his family's business as a commercial director for a group of companies in the sports field. (Id. at 9:6-10.)

5. Martin was born in the United States in 1990. When she was a toddler, she moved to the Dominican Republic to live with her grandmother, where she remained until she graduated university. Martin is a Dominican and U.S. citizen. (Id. at 368:7-19; see id. at 514:19-21.)

6. Martin moved to Spain on a student visa in October 2012, when she was twenty-two years old, to attend graduate school to obtain a master's degree in clinical psychology. (Id. at 369:14-22.) Martin's coursework was set to take approximately two years to complete, and her plan was to move to New York once she obtained her degree. (Id. at 370:9-13.) Her father, grandmother, aunt, cousin, and the rest of her extended family lived in New York, and she had no family in Spain. (Id. at 370:14-22.)

7. In March or April 2013, Martin and Grano met on a dating website and began dating shortly thereafter. (Id. at 371:3-6.) Martin was still a student at the time.

Early on while dating, Grano told Martin that it was always his dream to move to Las Vegas, and that he had lived there for a couple of months when he was younger. (Id. at 371:19-372:11.)

8. After Martin and Grano had been dating for a month or a month and a half, Grano asked Martin if her intention was to return to the United States or to stay in Spain with him. Grano explained that if it was the former, he would end the relationship. Martin told Grano that she intended to stay in Spain with him. (Id. at 101:25-102:5; 122:21-123:6.)

9. Sometime between July and September 2013, Martin moved into Grano's apartment. (Id. 15:17-19, 373:4-16.) While living together, Grano and Martin agreed that Martin, who had finished school and was not working, would handle the household chores, including cleaning the house, doing laundry, and preparing dinner. Grano told Martin early on in their relationship that he did not intend to do any chores himself. If Martin did not do her chores properly, as determined solely by Grano, Grano would yell at her. He would call Grano "stupid" and "bitch" for her failure to do chores properly. (Id. at 138:12-139:18, 377:6-25, 390:12-20.)

10. In late 2013 or early 2014, Martin's student visa was about to expire, so Martin and Grano registered as what Grano called a "couple-of-fact" in their local municipality. (Id. at 11:12-17.) As a couple in fact, Martin was given new legal status in Spain and granted all of the rights of a Spanish citizen except the right to vote. Martin's new legal status was valid for five years. (Id. at 12:8-14, 104:3-6.)

11. Sometime after Martin moved in with Grano, Martin told her father that she was going to remain in Spain with Grano. Martin's father stopped providing her with money and stopped paying her rent, health insurance, and credit card bills. (Id. at 123:19-124:1, 169:17-22, 253:21-23.) Martin then relied on Grano for financial support. Martin stopped talking to her father for approximately two years after he cut her off. (Id. at 513:10-17.) Grano often spoke negatively about her family after they left her in Spain without financial support. Grano called Martin's father a "motherfucker," a "piece of shit," and "human scum." (Id. at 376:5-20.) Grano also expressed anger over the fact that he had to financially support Martin. He would call Martin "stupid" and a "bitch" for her failure to support herself and for being depressed about her father cutting her off. (Id. at 376:2-377:5.)

12. Once Grano started supporting Martin, Grano would yell at Martin that she needed to find a job. But if Martin found a job that Grano did not consider to be high-earning enough to pay a housekeeper to handle the chores that Martin handled at home, Grano would instruct Martin not to take the job. (Id. 378:1-379:1.)

13. Sometime in 2014 or 2015, Grano started a serious diet and a rigorous exercise routine. (Id. at 90:5-17; see id. at 196:8-14, 358:14-24.) He initially went to the gym three days a week, and then began a five-day-a-week routine. (Id. at 359:3-6.) Grano would go to the gym for an hour to an hour and a half either early in the morning or around 4:00 p.m. (See id. at 363:6-15; 366:10-14.) He was unable to drink heavily or eat fattening foods at this time. (Id. at 127:8-10, 359:7-11.) When Grano was on his diet, he would yell at Martin if she cooked his food with fattening ingredients or if she ate unhealthy food in front of him. (Id. at 127:14-128:10, 397:9-24.)

14. In 2014, Martin became pregnant but had a miscarriage. (Id. at 12:21-25, 384:6-10.) About a year later, Martin became pregnant a second time and again had a miscarriage. (Id. at 13:1-7.) Martin and Grano went to the doctor, who told Martin and Grano that Martin had endometriosis

. (Id. at 14:2-10.) Martin had surgery, and the couple kept trying to get pregnant. (Id. at 14:13-20.)

15. After the first miscarriage, Martin and Grano got engaged. (Id. at 384:6-8.) Their initial intention was to have a wedding in New York, so in 2015, Martin and Grano traveled to New York to look at potential wedding venues. But after Martin's father (with whom she had achieved something of a reconciliation) failed to put down an initial deposit at the venue, as he had agreed to do, Martin and Grano called off the New York wedding. (Id. at 16:1-18)

16. During the aforementioned trip to New York, Grano went to Las Vegas for five days. (168:21-169:1.)

17. On January 15, 2016, Martin and Grano were married in Spain. (Id. at 15:5-12.) They got married at a city building in Sant Cugat del Valles and did not have an event afterward. (Id. at 15:11-25.) No one from Martin's family came to the wedding. (Id. at 15:20-22.) Martin and Grano were married under a separation-of-property regime whereby each party's property was kept separate from the other. (Id. at 37:24-38:2.)

18. After Martin and Grano were married, they again considered moving to Las Vegas. Grano put his apartment up for sale, and Martin began applying for jobs there. (Id. at 387:4-388:3.) Grano also created a spreadsheet detailing what their potential expenses and schedules would be if they moved to Las Vegas. (R's Ex. G.)2 Additionally, in 2016, Martin and Grano traveled to Las Vegas for about four or five days and looked at properties to buy. Ultimately, because of Grano's business and family obligations in Spain, they did not move. (See Tr. at 390:4-18.)

19. After their marriage, Grano continued to yell at Martin and call her names. One of the main sources of tension revolved around Martin's unemployment. Grano wanted Martin to find a job, but Martin had been unemployed for their entire relationship. (Id. at 131:20-132:5, 377:6-378:22.) Grano also continued to yell at Martin if her chores were not done correctly, including not cleaning, doing laundry, or cooking up to Grano's standards. (Id. at 379:8-380:5.) He would sometimes scream inches away from her face, bang his hands on tables, or slam doors shut while arguing. (Id. at 380:6-381:25.) The two would argue at least once per week. (Id. at 380:22-25.) Martin would usually cry after Grano yelled at her, which would further incite Grano. (Id. at 386:9-12.) After arguments, Grano would occasionally leave the apartment to either take a walk or a drive. (Id. at 146:21-147:1)

20. Sometime in 2016, Martin took a job as a customer service representative at a technology company. (Id. at 136:9-21, 393:21-22.) The commute to her office was approximately an hour and a half, and the working hours were 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. each day, so Martin did not have time to do the household chores for which Grano held her responsible. (Id. at 137:4-13, 393:24-394:23.) Grano would yell at Martin for not completing the chores, even during this time when she was employed. (Id. )

21. Grano continued to insult and degrade Martin and tell her that she did not deserve the life he provided for her. (Id. at 386:19-23.) If Martin did not complete her assigned chores up to Grano's standards, he would make her redo the tasks. For example, he would throw out the food she cooked for him and make her cook again if he thought she used fattening...

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