Child Abduction Prevention
My children were taken. I don’t know where my children are staying? How do I file for child abduction?
You should file a child abduction prevention request to prevent one parent from concealing the whereabouts of a child from the other parent. Child custody battles can become fierce and some parents can make irrational decisions regarding the custody of their child. Moreover, there may be times that one parent will not abide by a court order for child abduction prevention. Should this happen, you may need to seek help from a district attorney to enforce a court order.
California Child Abduction Prevention
What is child abduction? Can I be charged with child abduction?
The role of California District Attorneys in family child abduction prevention cases is unique. California Family Code sections 3130 through 3134.5 mandate District Attorneys to assist the courts in enforcing their orders and in locating and returning missing children to the jurisdiction of the court. No other state has a similar legislative scheme.
Actions Taken for Child Abduction Prevention
California prosecutors are authorized to utilize any appropriate civil or criminal proceeding to assist the courts in enforcing their orders and to locate and recover missing children. This unique authorization allows prosecutors to resolve many cases without having to file criminal actions, which are not necessarily appropriate in many cases. Consequently, you may not have to file a California Abduction Order.
Family Codes used for California Child Abduction Prevention
California Family Code §3130. If a petition to determine custody of a child has been filed in a court of competent jurisdiction, or if a temporary order pending determination of custody has been entered in accordance with Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 3060), and the whereabouts of a party in possession of the child are not known, or there is reason to believe that the party may not appear in the proceedings although ordered to appear personally with the child pursuant to Section 3411, the district attorney shall take all actions necessary to locate the party and the child and to procure compliance with the order to appear with the child for purposes of adjudication of custody. The petition to determine custody may be filed by the district attorney. §3131. If a custody or visitation order has been entered by a court of competent jurisdiction and the child is taken or detained by another person in violation of the order, the district attorney shall take all actions necessary to locate and return the child and the person who violated the order and to assist in the enforcement of the custody or visitation order or other order of the court by use of an appropriate civil or criminal proceeding.
California Family Code §3132. In performing the functions described in Sections 3130 and 3131, the district attorney shall act on behalf of the court and shall not represent any party to the custody proceedings.
California Family Code §3133. If the district attorney represents to the court, by a written declaration under penalty of perjury, that a temporary custody order is needed to recover a child who is being detained or concealed in violation of a court order or a parent’s right to custody, the court may issue an order, placing temporary sole physical custody in the parent or person recommended by the district attorney to facilitate the return of the child to the jurisdiction of the court, pending further hearings. If the court determines that it is not in the best interest of the child to place temporary sole physical custody in the parent or person recommended by the district attorney, the court shall appoint a person to take charge of the child and return the child to the jurisdiction of the court.
California Family Code §3134. (a) When the district attorney incurs expenses pursuant to this chapter, including expenses incurred in a sister state, payment of the expenses may be advanced by the county subject to reimbursement by the state, and shall be audited by the Controller and paid by the State Treasury according to law.
(b) The court in which the custody proceeding is pending or which has continuing jurisdiction shall, if appropriate, allocate liability for the reimbursement of actual expenses incurred by the district attorney to either or both parties to the proceedings, and that allocation shall constitute a judgment for the state for the funds advanced pursuant to this section. The county shall take reasonable action to enforce that liability and shall transmit all recovered funds to the state.
California Family Code §3134.5. (a) Upon request of the district attorney, the court may issue a protective custody warrant to secure the recovery of an unlawfully detained or concealed child. The request by the district attorney shall include a written declaration under penalty of perjury that a warrant for the child is necessary in order for the district attorney to perform the duties described in Sections 3130 and 3131. The protective custody warrant for the child shall contain an order that the arresting agency shall place the child in protective custody, or return the child as directed by the court. The protective custody warrant may be served in any county in the same manner as a warrant of arrest and may be served at any time of the day or night.
(b) Upon a declaration of the district attorney that the child has been recovered or that the warrant is otherwise no longer required, the court may dismiss the warrant without further court proceedings.
California Family Code §3135. Part 3 (commencing with Section 3400) does not limit the authority of a district attorney or arresting agency to act pursuant to this chapter, Section 279.6 of the Penal Code, or any other applicable law.
Click on the following link to download the Child Abduction Prevention form which is used in California courts.
File Download (PDF File): fl341b – child abduction order
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For more information on child custody, click on one of the following links:
For more information about the Sacramento’s District Attorney’s role in child abduction, click on the following link: Sacramento District Attorney