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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 156793 Find in a Library
Title: Child Stealing
Journal: Law Enforcement Quarterly  Dated:(August-October 1995)  Pages:7-10
Author(s): S Abrams
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 4
Type: Legislation/Policy Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This overview of California police officers' responsibilities in child abduction cases (one parent takes a child from the residence of the custodial parent without that parent's knowledge or consent) reviews California child abduction laws, common scenarios of alleged abduction, violation of court orders, and protective custody of the child.
Abstract: California's child abduction laws are contained in sections 277, 278, and 278.5 of the Penal Code and are distinct from kidnapping laws. The law distinguishes between parental rights relative to a child when there is no court order specifying custody and when there is a court order. The article presents three principles for police officers to follow in responding to and investigating child-abduction complaints. One principle is that the safety and welfare of the child is of primary importance. The second principle is that when legal issues cannot be settled at the scene and child safety is not an issue, the best course of action is to maintain the status quo; this means that when the child is living happily and safely in one place, no change in the child's status should occur until a court has reviewed the case. Thirdly, when legal issues cannot be resolved immediately, police should not allow the loss of local court jurisdiction over the child. The article presents some common scenarios in alleged child abduction cases and appropriate legal responses to each scenario.
Main Term(s): Police legal training
Index Term(s): California; Child Abduction; Child custody; Police legal limitations; State laws
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