Marshak v. Marshak

In Marshak v. Marshak, 226 Conn. 652, 628 A.2d 964 (1993), the Court recognized, for the first time, the tort of custodial interference. In that case, the plaintiff wife brought a civil action seeking damages against multiple defendants for conspiracy to interfere with her custodial rights. Id., 654-66. The plaintiff alleged that her husband, with assistance, had abducted the parties' child to Israel and to Brazil. Id., 657-59. The trial court found three of the four defendants liable for having conspired with the husband to abduct the child. Id. , 660-63. On appeal, the Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the trial court because it determined that at the time of the abduction, the father had joint legal custody of the child; id., 666; and "a factual predicate for any tort related to child abduction . . . is the unlawful custody of a child." Id. Relying on 3 Restatement (Second), Torts, supra, 700, the trial court concluded that a parent enjoying joint custody could not be liable for a claim of custodial interference and, therefore, did not find three of the four defendants liable. Id., 666, 670. 3 Restatement (Second), 700 comment (c) provides in relevant part: "When the parents are by law jointly entitled to the custody and earnings of the child, no action can be brought against one of the parents who abducts or induces the child to leave the other. . . ."