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Category: Family Law
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Experience:  10 + years of handling Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody and Child Support cases
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Is obstruction of fathers parental rights a criminal offense

Customer Question

Is obstruction of fathers parental rights a criminal offense and can I make a citizens arrest if your in violation according to idaho legal codes?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 2 years 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 afternoon. It is possible that the State of Iowa could charge a parent, under the below stated statute, which deals with custodial interference. However, if a parent is failing to comply with a court order regarding visitation or custody, a motion for contempt is often filed and the party brings the other before the Judge, to explain why they are failing to comply. The Judge can then step in and take action to compel them to act. You can not make a citizens arrest and if there is concern, need to contact the police or speak with the prosecutors office directly.
18-4506. CHILD CUSTODY INTERFERENCE DEFINED -- DEFENSES -- PUNISHMENT. 1. A person commits child custody interference if the person, whether a parent or other, or agent of that person, intentionally and without lawful authority:
(a) Takes, entices away, keeps or withholds any minor child from a parent or another person or institution having custody, joint custody, visitation or other parental rights, whether such rights arise from temporary or permanent custody order, or from the equal custodial rights of each parent in the absence of a custody order; or
(b) Takes, entices away, keeps or withholds a minor child from a parent after commencement of an action relating to child visitation or custody but prior to the issuance of an order determining custody or visitation rights.
2. It shall be an affirmative defense to a violation of the provisions of subsection 1. of this section that:
(a) The action is taken to protect the child from imminent physical harm;
(b) The action is taken by a parent fleeing from imminent physical harm to himself;
(c) The action is consented to by the lawful custodian of the child; or
(d) The child is returned within twenty-four (24) hours after expiration of an authorized visitation privilege.
3. A violation of the provisions of subsection 1. of this section shall be a felony, unless the defendant did not take the child outside the state, and the child was voluntarily returned unharmed prior to the defendant's arrest in which case the violation shall be reduced to a misdemeanor.
4. Any reasonable expenses incurred by a lawful custodian in locating or attempting to locate a child taken in violation of the provisions of subsection 1. of this section may be assessed against the defendant at the court's discretion in accordance with chapter 53, title 19, Idaho Code.
Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 2 years ago.
I just wanted to follow up and see if you had any other questions or needed me to clarify something. I am here to help, so please let me know. Thanks!