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How to Open an International Child Kidnapping Case From San Diego in 2013

If your child has been abducted in San Diego and you feel he or she has been taken abroad, then you should open an international child abduction case. You will have to do this in stages. First, in San Diego, immediately contact the San Diego Police Department or San Diego Sheriff Department to report your child as missing. You can also contact the San Diego District Attorney Child Abduction Unit if this is a parent related kidnapping. You also need to immediately set an emergency hearing in San Diego Superior Court where your divorce, legal separation or paternity judgment was entered. You can ask for an order for sole legal and sole physical and the District Attorney order to locate and pick up.

Your First Step

Contact the U.S. Department of State which will open a child abduction case on your behalf. The Department of State has global connections with officers who have the necessary expertise and knowledge of local laws and the best solutions for each country. They can assist in filing the Application under the Hague Convention for Return of the child if the country is a member of the Hague Convention.

As above, file a missing person report with your local police department with a request that the name of your child be entered into the computer database of the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), if you believe your child has been relocated to another country.

Finding Where Your Child Is

If you don’t know where your child is, locating the child should be your priority. Very often the abducting parent makes superb efforts to keep the location of the child hidden even to the extent of changing the child’s name. If you feel you know in which country the child is, the Department of State will contact its embassy or consulate in that country to make a search and if possible visit the child. You will of course need to provide detailed information about the child, the parent, and the place where the child is likely to be in as well as the citizenship of your child and much more information as requested.

Other Institutions to Contact
  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • The International Police Organization (INTERPOL) which can be contacted through your local police department
  • The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which will help you publicize your child’s photograph in the media of the country where you believe your child has been taken to.
  • The Office of Children’s Issues which is the U.S. Central Authority for the Hague Abduction Convention. The office will assist you in filing an application through civil law treaty for the return of your child. If the country where the child is located in is not a signatory to the treaty the office can apprise you of other solutions you can explore. This entity specializes in parental child abduction on an international basis. Its case officers know how different countries operate and what works best in the local environment. They will provide answers to your questions and offer a range of resources. In addition they will find you a local attorney which is often an integral part of resolving a parental abduction issue with international ramifications.
    • Mediation if often the most viable solution where a local attorney will be of inestimable assistance. Mediation is a discussion between disputing parents to reach a mutually acceptable solution. It is one of the best ways of resolving custody disputes with certain distinct advantages. It offers a quick solution, costs much less and more often than not provides a more enduring solution.
A Law Firm willing to get its Hands Dirty

Doppelt and Forney, APLC is a San Diego family law firm with particular expertise in dealing with child kidnapping cases both domestic and international. Additionally this well established firm handles all other legal issues relating to family law. Call them to schedule a free introductory 30-minute virtual consultation.

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