Thank you. Someone in your situation does have recourse on two fronts.
It is unlawful to interfere with custody of a child in New York under N.Y. Penal Law §§ 135.45 and 135.50
. She may be charged with a misdemeanor
. The police will investigate and it is up to them whether or not to charge her.
Civilly, one has two options. One can file for a contempt
hearing to punish the parent. The Court may then admonish, fine, and/or imprison them for the action at the discretion of the Judge.
Alternatively (or at the same time), one may file a Writ of Habeas Corpus
under N.Y. DOM. LAW § 70
as a request from the Court to order the child released. The Writ acts more as an order for release; the contempt motion is for punishment - although either/both may be used.
Of course, this does not resolve your IMMEDIATE problem. If one feels that the parent has fled, then the above actions are warranted, arguably. If one feels that the parent has simply been aloof and forgotten, then perhaps upon finding them, the threat
of filing the above may be enough to get the child.
I hope this helps and clarifies. Best of luck.
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