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Texas Parental Child Abduction Petition

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This is a petition to be presented for consideration into law.

We ask to make a law, in the absence of a court order regarding the custody and visitation of a child; A parent having the right of custody of the child commits the crime of parental child abduction, if the parent removes, detains, conceals, entices away, or withholds their child within or outside of the residing state, without good cause, and with the intent to deprive the access and custody right of the other parent or a public agency also having a similar custodial right.

We are asking to charge a person who commits the act of child abduction or parental child abduction with a class D felony.

Requirements

The legal right of custody, paternity, maternity, and guardianship, must be established. We ask that a valid birth certificate which bears the name of the child, father and mother, filed with the appropriate state agency, establish sufficient evidence of the right of custody to the child.

Eligibility

A parent, having the right of custody to the minor child, who is seeking to change the residence and school of the child, this person must;

1. Be seeking legal separation and divorce from the marriage with the other parent.

2. Be seeking separation of the cohabitation whereas both parents of the child are not married.

3. Is a victim of physical, emotional, psychological abuse or other criminal activity where the abused intends to file a report of such acts with local, or state police officials, judicial officials, and medical personnel.

Accessory

We are also asking to punish any person who commits the act of assisting in child abduction or parental child abduction, if this person:

(1) Before or during the commission of a child abduction or parental child abduction, with the intent to create, promote, or facilitate such act by intentionally assisting another in the planning or commission of child abduction or parental child abduction, unless before the commission of the act, the person and other person have properly met the eligibility requirements that would exempt them from being charged with violation of child abduction or parental child abduction; or

(2) With the intentional act to prevent the apprehension of a person who has committed the act of child abduction or parental child abduction, or with the intent to obstruct, prevent, or hinder by any manner, all efforts to locate the child victim of an abduction, or knowingly creates falsified information, destroys, alters, conceals, or disguises such physical evidence.

We ask to charge a person who assists in child abduction or parental child abduction with a class A misdemeanor offense.

We are also asking that a person who assists a parent who is fleeing an abusive or otherwise dangerous situation be exempted from charges.

Enforcement

We ask that it to be mandatory for all law enforcement agencies to assist in the return of the child to the other parent having the right to custody of the child, or public agency that has the same right to custody of the child. We ask that the District Attorney for the residential county of the filing person maintain jurisdiction in charging an offense.

Exemption

An assessor who aids a parent as described in the Eligibility section and a person, as described in the Eligibility section, who is fleeing an abusive, neglectful, or dangerous situation, and commits the act of parental child abduction is exempted from, and is not required to return the child or divulge the whereabouts of the child to the other parent if any one of the following conditions apply:

1). Criminal activity as described by the Penal Code.

2). Neglect

3). Physical and emotional abuse

4). Child endangerment

5). Prior Child Protective Services investigation, where there is sufficient evidence warranting further CPS investigation.

We ask that any person who makes this claim as reasoning for the act of the parental child abduction that they file with law enforcement agencies, medical, and legal officials, all offenses and violations that affected them or which was witnessed, no more than three days after the date the change of residence has occurred. The police report, medical report,
Retraining Order, or Protective Order will provide sufficient evidence to exempt you from charges being assessed.

We ask that the person that meets the requirements under this section, send notice that does not require divulging their location or phone number, stating their intent to file for custody of the child within three days of the change of residence. This party must file a petition for custody no more than the thirtieth day after this notice was sent.

Falsified Claims and Punitive Assessment

If a parent as described in the eligibility section, files a false statement, creates a false document, or files a false allegation with law enforcement officials, medical officials, school officials, CPS or judicial officials with the intent to obtain possession of the child;

We ask that punitive damages be assessed against the person making the claim of $500.00 per violation in which is payable to the court.

We also ask that class B felony charges be assessed against the person making the false statement. The child must be returned to the other parent and back to the original residence and school.

Closing

We also request that the State of Texas Department of Public Safety enact the IAN Alert system. This is in remembrance of six-year-old Ian Castillo who in July 2003, was abducted from a public daycare facility by his parent and was missing for over 6 months. Police could not pursue and hence, an Amber Alert was not issued. This was considered a domestic issue and the abducting parent gained a period of custody due to the 6 month rule. This is the sole reason why this petition was created and would be a defining mark between an AMBER alert in which child abductions occurs by non parental parties and the proposed IAN alert that describes parental child abduction.

We the Citizens of this great State ask our Legislative Members to enact our request to stop Parental Child Abduction and put forth our proposal for this petition to become law. We also request the Texas Department of Public Safety to enact the IAN ALERT system as a part of the Texas Amber Alert system.

We the People of the State of Texas