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Joseph, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 7280
Experience:  I have 15 years experience in criminal litigation including several years as a felony prosecutor
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Does Indiana Code IC 35-42-3-4 (Interference with custody)

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Does Indiana Code IC 35-42-3-4 (Interference with custody) OBLIGATE the responding Sheriff to make an arrest (if necessary) when a Custodial Parent frivolously withholds a visit against a standing Court Order?

It would be nice if it were as straightforward as being able to say that law enforcement is "obligated" to make an arrest. Unfortunately, it is rarely that simple.


First of all, law enforcement officers have a great deal of discretion when making an arrest. When an officer responds to a complaint, he is supposed to ascertain the relevant facts and then determine if he has probable cause for an arrest. If he doesn't believe the facts arise to the level of probable cause, he won't make an arrest.


Further, officers usually consider custodial issues to be civil in nature and not criminal. Typically, they will tell you to call your attorney rather than make an arrest. I've been doing criminal and family law for about 15 years and, in that time, I've seen ONE arrest for interference with custody and that occurred when the father fled with the child during a supervised visitation and attempted to take the child to another country by boat.


I regret that my answer is unfavorable, but please understand that it would be unfair to you (and unprofessional of me) to provide you with anything less than a truthful response. With that in mind, I hope that you found value in my answer.


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Thank you for your patience.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I'd much rather get a dose of reality from you than to be left spinning my wheels and not even knowing why! I have some new questions on the same subject and would very much like your opinion on those as well. I trust it's ok if I send them your way?
I'm happy to help!