At about 6 PM EST today [December 22, 2009] Brazil's top judge ruled 9-year-old Sean Goldman must be returned to his father, American citizen David Goldman of New Jersey. Most news sources, including major sources such as NBC and CNN still characterize this abduction case as a custody battle. Rep. Chris Smith from New Jersey, speaking to CNN by telephone, corrected the commentator, stating clearly, as Goldman had done yesterday, that this is not a custody case. "This is an abduction case." Earlier a ruling by Brazilian Judge Pinto had characterized the wrongful retention of Sean Goldman by Lins e Silva (the stepfather) and Goldman's former in-laws as a "second abduction." [Pinto's decision and summary]
Supreme Court Chief Justice Gilmar Mendes has reviewed the case. A decision expected yesterday was finally forthcoming today. The details are not yet clear, but what is clear is that the ruling was in David Goldman's favor. Scrolling text on the CNN site said that Sean's grandmother and stepfather plan to appeal yet again.
More details will be posted here as they are available.