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NCJ Number: 66972 Find in a Library
Title: CHILDSNATCHING - A CONTINUING OFFENSE
Journal: PROSECUTOR  Volume:15  Issue:3  Dated:(JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1980)  Pages:204-211
Author(s): D ZEGART; M R LEVY
Corporate Author: National District Atorneys Assoc
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: National District Atorneys Assoc
Alexandria, VA 22314
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A UNIFORM LAW ON CHILDSNATCHING MAKING BOTH THE TAKING OF AND THE UNLAWFUL DOMINION OVER THE CHILD A FELONY IS NEEDED. A MODEL LAW IS PROPOSED THAT REMOVES THE PROTECTIONS OF MOVING FROM JURISDICTION TO JURISDICTION.
Abstract: STATES HAVE DEALT WITH CHILDSNATCHING IN VARIOUS WAYS, BUT, IN EFFECT, KIDNAPPING PARENTS ARE ABLE TO MOVE OUT OF A STATE HANDING DOWN AN UNFAVORABLE CUSTODY DECISION TO ANOTHER STATE TO TRY AND OBTAIN A FAVORABLE DECISION. MANY CASES HAVE OCCURRED WHEREIN THE PARENT AWARDED CUSTODY IN THE CHILD'S HOME STATE HAS FILED FOR BUT HAS BEEN DENIED A WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS IN THE SECOND STATE. INNOVATIONS BY SEVERAL STATES TO CIRCUMVENT THIS PROBLEM, SUCH AS ELIMINATION OF PARENTAL IMMUNITY, AND THE PROPOSED BUT DEFEATED UNIFORM CHILD CUSTODY JURISDICTION ACT ARE NOT EFFECTIVE DETERRENTS TO CHILDSNATCHING. ONLY ADOPTION OF UNIFORM LEGISLATION MAKING CHILDSNATCHING A FELONY PUNISHABLE BY CRIMINAL SANCTIONS CAN BE EFFECTIVE. THE MODEL LAW PROPOSED HERE HAS THE ADVANTAGE OF MAKING IT A CRIME TO HAVE DOMINION OVER THE CHILD IN ANY JURISDICTION IN WHICH THE 'SNATCHING' PARENT GOES TO COURT TO OBTAIN CUSTODY OR IN ANY JURISDICTION WHERE THE SNATCHING PARENT AND CHILD ARE FOUND. THUS THE PARENT WOULD BECOME AN UNFAVORED LITIGANT IN HIS OR HER OWN FORUM AND THUS DETER A JUDGE FROM GIVING CUSTODY TO THAT PARENT. THIS STATUTE, THEREFORE, ACHIEVES THE SAME CLEAN HANDS EFFECT AS THE UNIFORM CHILD CUSTODY JURISDICTION ACT (UCCJA) WHICH DIED IN THE 1978 CONGRESS. HOWEVER, AT THE SAME TIME, THIS PROPOSED NEW LEGISLATION MAKES CRIMINAL THE OFFENSE OF SNATCHING THE CHILD AND GIVES THE SECOND STATE CRIMINAL JURISDICTION OVER THE OFFENDING PARENT. ALTHOUGH THE PROPOSED STATUTE IS ANALOGOUS TO POSSESSION OF STOLEN GOODS. IF PAST LEGISLATION IN VARIOUS STATES COULD EFFECTIVELY DEAL WITH HORSE THEFT, PRESENT ATTEMPTS TO DEAL WITH THIS MONUMENTAL NATIONAL PROBLEM SHOULD NOT BE IMPEDED BY THE CURRENT INTELLECTUAL DISFAVOR TOWARD USE OF THE PROPERTY CONCEPT WITH CHILDREN. PAST ANALOGOUS LEGISLATION IS APPENDED AND THE BIT OF THE PROPOSED STATUTE IS INCLUDED. (PRG)
Index Term(s): Child custody; Jurisdiction; Legislation
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66972

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