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FAQs on Child Abduction for 2013: San Diego

What Does Child Abduction Mean in San Diego?

In San Diego, also known sometimes as child theft, child abduction is the unauthorized removal of a minor from the custody of his or her natural parents or legally appointed guardian or other person who has legal custody. This can be part of a divorce, legal separation or paternity case in which there are court orders or can be one parent [whether married or not married] who takes a child without permission and refuses to return the child. A parent in this situation can ask for help from the Judges in the San Diego Superior Court upon proper noticed motion and also from the San Diego District Attorney’s Office from their Child Abduction Unit. If the abductor is a non parent, then the best procedure is to contact the local law enforcement agency immediately [police department or sheriff department depending on the jurisdiction] to make sure this is reported.

This is considered by many to be one of the worst crimes that can be committed by anyone and it can leave an emotional scar on the child that affects their school grades, confidence and future. This is whether the child is ever recovered and physically healthy on their return to their actual parents.

Child abduction can be a little confusing since there are two broad categories which fall under the title but are vastly different in intent and otherwise from each other.

Parental Kidnapping

Parental child abduction for example is when a parent or other family member, without authorization, takes custody of a child in violation of a parental agreement or family law ruling in San Diego Superior Court and without permission of the custodial parent or guardian. It generally violates orders of a Family Court, Probate Court, or Juvenile Court. It is also considered a criminal violation carrying a punishment which could be physical incarceration or a monetary fine or both in San Diego.

Abduction and Kidnapping With Criminal Intent

Another situation is child kidnapping or abduction by strangers where the intention is more sinister and might include criminal intent. The reasons for this could include kidnapping for extortion, illegal adoption, and human trafficking for sex abuse, forced labor, or illegal organ harvesting.

In Alabama, for example, there have been two recent cases of child kidnapping which have rocked the nation. In one, a 5-year old boy in Midland City, AL was held captive for five days in an underground bunker by a 65-year-old man. Fortunately, in this case the boy was recovered unharmed while the kidnapper was killed and not one person cared about that.

More recently in Piedmont, AL a 28-year-old man has been arrested by police and charged with first-degree kidnapping and rape of a child under 12-years of age. In this case also the child has been recovered and released after medical treatment.

What Steps Should You Take if Your Child Is Abducted?

The first step is to file a report the local police as above. You may need to produce a certified copy of the most recent custody orders. You should also request the appropriate law enforcement agency to have the child listed in the computer system of the national crime information center or NCIC, and inform the local DAs office about the kidnapping. You can also consider contacting the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Located 15 Miles From Poway

Doppelt and Forney, APLC is a family law firm in San Diego, CA which practices in representing parents in issues relating to child abduction and kidnapping for parental or family kidnapping. The firm also handles other child related issues like child custody, child support, and visitation rights. It offers a free introductory 30–minute virtual consultation which is a boon to those involved in custody issues.

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