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We have an order and interference with custody is obvious and

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We have an order and interference with custody is obvious and willful as it is a continuous pattern. However, we can not get the police to do a warrant for the arrest for the crime of interference with custody. They said we have to go to court and that's what we already did and have an Order (and 5 contempts) yet the sheriffs office won't do anything this time. Who do we go to? We should not have to keep filing contempts and nothing happens to the parent interfering????
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 1 year ago.
Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help solve your problem.

Good morning. I certainly understand the situation and concern. Why has the Judge failed to do anything in regard to the orders that you have, holding the party in contempt? Has a hearing been held on these matters and if so, how is it resolved?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Trying to stay out of court - last July 3rd - 5 counts of contempt and a new parenting plan that modified two previous Orders so giving new ground to screw around with summer visitation which is what the 5 counts are for from 3 years of interference. Now, we don't want to have to go back to Court (we were pro se) when we have Orders that are clear and the sheriff knows it's clear that interference is happening. Why do we have to keep going to court when there is already an Order and the violation is clear? Why doesn't it become criminal through interference with custody? The judge did put the defendant in jail for 24 hours for the 5 counts of contempt last year, but we didn't care about jail, we just wanted more time and now we've had nothing but interference to reduce the time since the defendant got out of jail the next day. Every time the police are called and nothing is done, they don't even do reports each time. We wrote the judge immediately when it started again and no response (we did copy it to their attorney, again, we are pro se). By the time we petition the court, much of our summer visitation is lost. But, if that's the only way...????

Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 1 year ago.
Mary, thank you for the additional information and I truly understand how hard this can be. If there is an order is placing, clear detailing and outlining your time, then it needs to be complied with. If it is not, the police should help and try to step into the situation, to resolve it, if your time with the child is not being exercised, as a result of the other parent interfering. If the police will not take any action, as a result of them claiming this is a civil issue, not criminal and that the order does not require them to do anything, then your only step would be to go back to court. You would need to hold the other party in contempt again for interfering and failing to comply with the order and ask the Judge to 1) enforce it 2) modify it to allow you the time you deserve along with additional time, if needed 3) hold the party in contempt again, since it is clear that the 24 hours in jail was not enough to deter this behavior. I know you want to stay out of court but it is the only way at this point. Writing a letter to the Judge, will not result in a response. You need to file a motion seeking to hold them in contempt, file it with the court, send copies to all parties and then set the matter for hearing, so everyone will appear.

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Contempt is obviously not working - I need an "interference with custody" as the first and second will be misdemeanors but the third is a felony in the state of GA. This makes the behavior criminal and hopefully will make it stop. In psychological evaluations (court-ordered) the defendant was found to have narcissistic tendencies with denial as their defense and the doctor said (I have the transcripts) "the party is highly likely to be involved in illegal activity because they are above the law in their own mind". THEY WILL NEVER FOLLOW AN ORDER AND IT HAS TO BE PROVEN BY CRIMINAL CHARGES.


This party also got full custody, outrageous child support and still tortured the child and visiting parent for eight years now. IT HAS TO STOP! Contempts are like candy, her side has framed one on me with a motion to compel that lead to a contempt because I didn't pay it fast enough after I filed for a Jury trial and the Judge said for me to drop that and them to drop the contempt and when I dropped my motion, the Judge allowed their contempt and threw me in jail for $960 in attorney fees on a compel that was a total lie and the judge didn't even listen to my side. This same judge has since done the 5 contempts to the other side. The opposing attorney was also a juvenile judge in the same district and my attorney was doing an adoption at the same time (she allowed me to go 10 months without seeing my daughter to establish the defendant as primary care giver and even when they made me start paying child support they never got me any visitation and my daughter still has emotional and physical problems from this constant abuse - I got so screwed and so did my daughter. We got that judge/attorney removed from the bench with the entire community and the new chief judge when the one who appointment these ???? retired, along with Judge Lynn Alderman who was her partner in crime and changed my daughter's name four times and it's still changed to the wrong name. We haven't gone back to correct that yet. She's in 5th grade now and that's been her name. It all sucks, but it's time for some freaking peace - every summer or holiday our family is tortured by this psychopath.


I hope you understand now why contempt was not my question or the outcome I am seeking, but interference with custody. I know contempts quite well. Thank you.

Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 1 year ago.
Mary, thank you for the additional information and it does help clarify things. Interference with custody under code 16-5-45, which I have listed below, is a crime. It is important to remember that it is a crime against the State of Georgia, with you being the victim. As such, it is the State that has to proceed and file charges and represent your interest, at the same time. If the police are not going to step in, investigate, arrest and charge, you need to go speak with the prosecutor in the county where you reside and see if they will direct file charges against the other parent. Seeing how it is a crime against the State, they have the discretion and ability to take criminal action against the parent for what they have done and are currently doing. If you do not want to proceed with the route of contempt ( and I can understand why), then you would need to convince the State to file charges against the other parent, if the police are unwilling to get involved. After all, you do have a court order, which is controlling, which needs to be enforced and complied with.

16-5-45. Interference with custody

(a) As used in this Code section, the term:

(1) “Child” means any individual who is under the age of 17 years or any individual who is under the age of 18 years who is alleged to be a deprived child or an unruly child as such terms are defined in Code Section 15-11-2.

(2) “Committed person” means any child or other person whose custody is entrusted to another individual by authority of law.

(3) “Lawful custody” means that custody inherent in the natural parents, that custody awarded by proper authority as provided in Code Section 15-11-45, or that custody awarded to a parent, guardian, or other person by a court of competent jurisdiction.

(4) “Service provider” means an entity that is registered with the Department of Human Services pursuant to Article 7 of Chapter 5 of Title 49 or a child welfare agency as defined in Code Section 49-5-12 or an agent or employee acting on behalf of such entity or child welfare agency.

(b)(1) A person commits the offense of interference with custody when without lawful authority to do so, the person:

(A) Knowingly or recklessly takes or entices any child or committed person away from the individual who has lawful custody of such child or committed person;

(B) Knowingly harbors any child or committed person who has absconded; provided, however, that this subparagraph shall not apply to a service provider that notifies the child's parent, guardian, or legal custodian of the child's location and general state of well being as soon as possible but not later than 72 hours after the child's acceptance of services; provided, further, that such notification shall not be required if:

(i) The service provider has reasonable cause to believe that the minor has been abused or neglected and makes a child abuse report pursuant to Code Section 19-7-5;

(ii) The child will not disclose the name of the child's parent, guardian, or legal custodian, and the Division of Family and Children Services within the Department of Human Services is notified within 72 hours of the child's acceptance of services; or

(iii) The child's parent, guardian, or legal custodian cannot be reached, and the Division of Family and Children Services within the Department of Human Services is notified within 72 hours of the child's acceptance of services; or

(C) Intentionally and willfully retains possession within this state of the child or committed person upon the expiration of a lawful period of visitation with the child or committed person.

(2) A person convicted of the offense of interference with custody shall be punished as follows:

(A) Upon conviction of the first offense, the defendant shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not less than $200.00 nor more than $500. 00 or shall be imprisoned for not less than one month nor more than five months, or both fined and imprisoned;

(B) Upon conviction of the second offense, the defendant shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not less than $400.00 nor more than $1,000.00 or shall be imprisoned for not less than three months nor more than 12 months, or both fined and imprisoned; and

(C) Upon the conviction of the third or subsequent offense, the defendant shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years.

(c)(1) A person commits the offense of interstate interference with custody when without lawful authority to do so the person knowingly or recklessly takes or entices any minor or committed person away from the individual who has lawful custody of such minor or committed person and in so doing brings such minor or committed person into this state or removes such minor or committed person from this state.

(2) A person also commits the offense of interstate interference with custody when the person removes a minor or committed person from this state in the lawful exercise of a visitation right and, upon the expiration of the period of lawful visitation, intentionally retains possession of the minor or committed person in another state for the purpose of keeping the minor or committed person away from the individual having lawful custody of the minor or committed person. The offense is deemed to be committed in the county to which the minor or committed person was to have been returned upon expiration of the period of lawful visitation.

(3) A person convicted of the offense of interstate interference with custody shall be guilty of a felony and shall be imprisoned for not less than one year nor more than five years.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I am familiar with the law/code on "interference with custody" and I have shown the sheriff's deputies this same law. I need to know how to get the sheriff to do the warrant because their superior is telling me to go to Superior Court and petition the Court AGAIN! I know this has to be wrong!!!


Are you saying that I need to go to the DA and then they go to the grand jury for an indictment? Or is it the magistrate judge? This is the part I have no experience with - criminal and how to prosecute or rather assist the state in prosecuting. I've only had to file a restraining order in the past and those are easy.


How do I insure the grand jury will follow the law? Will the police reports and the Order be enough? Will I have to testify to a grand jury?


Now, we are getting to my answer - please reply if possible. Thank you.

Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 1 year ago.
When a person breaks the law, it is up to the State to prosecute. You can not prosecute them for a criminal act, since that is a crime against the State and the DA is the one who represents the State and the victim interest. As such, tomorrow morning, you can contact the DA about what is happening and see if they will pick up the case and directly file it. Normally, the police make the arrest and turn the case over to the State to prosecute. If the police are telling you they will not get involved and you need to go before the court, the DA would have to take the case. This is the only way criminal action can be taken, since your remedies are all civil in nature. You will likely need to give a sworn statement and present the DA with evidence to use, when they decide to charge.
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