Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘Thai Law’

27th December 2016

In an interesting recent turn of events, it appears that a court in the USA has recognized a Thai judgment pertaining to child support obligations of a man who apparently fathered triplets in the Kingdom of Thailand. To provide further insight it is necessary to quote directly from the website of the Chicago Law Bulletin:

A man who fathered triplets through assisted conception methods in Thailand must financially support them from the U.S. after a Cook County judge properly recognized the foreign court’s parentage judgment, a state appeals panel ruled…The father — identified as [NAME REDACTED]. in the panel’s unpublished order — argued the absence of a legal marriage between him and the children’s mother — identified as [NAME REDACTED]. — makes him nothing more than a sperm donor who is entitled to protection from such judgments through the state’s Parentage Act. But the 1st District Appellate Court affirmed Cook County Circuit Judge Jeanne R. Cleveland Bernstein’s order to enroll the foreign judgment, finding it is not contrary to Illinois public policy and he had a full opportunity to defend his case in Thailand.

Readers of this blog are strongly encouraged to click on the link above to read the article in full as this is something of an anomaly in Thai-American legal discourse. As Thailand and the USA are not bound legally by more than the US-Thai Treaty of Amity there is not a framework for any sort of automatic reciprocal recognition of court judgments in either country. Therefore, a judgment made in one country with respect to parentage, custody, or support of a child (or virtually any matter) will not necessarily be deemed enforceable by courts in the other country. What makes this case notable (and there are many aspects of this case which are very interesting hence the reason the reader is encouraged to read the full article) is due to the fact that the trial court in the USA found the Thai judgment to be reasonable and therefore recognized said judgment by determining it had comity and thereafter enrolling the terms of the judgment as a judgment of the Illinois Court. Moreover, the appellate court seems to have agreed with the determination of the trial court and found that the extension of comity and the enrolling of the foreign judgment as a judgment of the Illinois Courts was proper and upheld the lower court’s decision.

It was noteworthy that the court cited the fact that the American in question had an opportunity to defend his case in the Thai system and that such opportunity (along with other factors) resulted in the court finding that the foreign judgment was not contrary to State policy.

Even within the USA, interstate family law matters can be complex, but in an international context such matters can be vexing to a degree that borders upon indiscernible. Therefore, the aforementioned case should be analyzed especially in our increasingly interconnected world as this case may be a sign of things to come.

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29th July 2009

The Nation and Thai Visa are reporting some interesting developments with regard to Thailand’s Legal environment. First off, the all-but-abandoned Thailand Elite Card program is apparently still alive, but on life support. To quote the Nation via ThaiVisa:

“In November 2003, Mr Thaksin proudly presented 80 gold Thailand Elite cards to international VIPs and eminent people, including Japanese trade chiefs and US banking and financial supremos. The cards promised fast-tracked immigration, discounts at luxury resorts and golf courses, and many other perks. The optimistic estimates to attract the world’s wealthy were mind-boggling; a million subscribers to generate a trillion baht in revenue. But early signs were not encouraging. After four months, a meagre 400 memberships had been sold, barely a dent in the 100,000 target for the first year of operation. Panicky officials talked of targeting China’s nouveau riche, and predicted they would attract 30,000 Chinese within 12 months. But six years later, the total number of members is a risible 2,570, and the Thailand Privilege Card Company (TPC), set up by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), to run the scheme has a crippling net loss of 1.4 billion baht.”

As stated previously on this blog, the current government of Thailand has opted not to continue the Thai Immigration benefits accorded to Elite Card holders. As a result, the central pillar of the scheme has been toppled resulting in nearly no demand for the card. It will be interesting to see what the ultimate fate of the Elite Card will be, but at this time it appears that card holders are attempting to get as many benefits out of the card as possible in order to offset the cost of acquiring it.

In further reports from the Nation and ThaiVisa, it would appear that the Thai government is looking to crack down on Karaoke bars in Thailand, “The [Thai] Cabinet has approved new regulations that prohibit karaoke parlours from providing drinking or singing partners to customers, with their business licences being revoked if they do.” It will be interesting to see if these provisions will be stringently enforced and, if so, what effect this legislation will have upon the already crippled Thai tourism industry.

The government also is proposing regulations to limit the amount of time that Thai children can utilize computer gaming facilities. This seems like an attempt to reign in children who play computer games virtually non-stop. Finally, a proposed film rating system. The system would impose rating categories upon Thai films. The categories would span the spectrum from films which would be “encouraged” to those which would be “banned.”

(This post is merely opinion, no attorney-client relationship is created from reading this piece.)

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