President signs Paulsen bill into law to help solve child abduction cases


July 8, 2016

Source: riponadvance.com

President Barack Obama recently signed legislation into law that U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) authored to allow investigators to use tax records to locate and rescue missing children.

Rep-Erik-Paulsen-Congress

The Recovering Missing Children Act, H.R. 3209, authorizes the IRS to release tax information to investigators to help solve child abductions by family members. There are approximately 200,000 such cases reported each year.

“This new law will help reunite families by giving law enforcement the critical and necessary tools to fill the ‘information gap’ in missing and abducted children cases,” Paulsen said. “The Recovering Missing Children Act is a commonsense fix that will change the lives of children and families who face these scary and heartbreaking situations all across the country. I’m proud to have taken the lead on such an important issue and would like to thank my colleagues from both sides of the aisle for their support.”

In an address on the House floor, Paulsen cited research that found that the perpetrators of a “significant number of child abductions” file tax returns using the child’s Social Security number and current address.

“One report found that as many as 46 percent of these cases could be solved if law enforcement had access to this information,” Paulsen said. “While this type of critical tax information can be accessed to solve other serious crimes, current law does not allow police officers to access federal tax records to help them find an abducted child. Without such a valuable tool, it could be very difficult for law enforcement to solve these cases when the suspect has left the area and has taken action to conceal their new location.”

Paulsen said that the Recovering Missing Children Act was a bipartisan solution that can make a difference in missing child abduction cases.

Follow our updates on Twitter and Facebook

Testimonials from our clients

profile pic.jpgdroppedImage_7TM

download (2)

ABP World Group™ Risk Management

Contact us here: Mail ( contact@abpworld.com )

Skype: abpworld

NOTE: We are always available 24/7

Criminal prosecution can play a significant role in international child abduction cases


Source: voltaantonio.com

Criminal prosecution can play a significant role in international child abduction cases. However, it can be a double-edged sword. Some courts use the possibility of criminal prosecution against an abducting parent as a reason not to order a child’s return.

Interpol Notices

One of Interpol’s most important functions is to help police in member countries share critical crime-related information using the organization’s system of international notices.

Notices can be issued in cases of international child kidnapping.

The notices include:

Extradition Treaties Interpretation Act of 1998

18 USC § 3181

SEC. 202. FINDINGS.

Congress finds that—

(1) each year, several hundred children are kidnapped by a parent in violation of law, court order, or legally binding agreement and brought to, or taken from, the United States;

(2) until the mid-1970’s, parental abduction generally was not considered a criminal offense in the United States;

(3) since the mid-1970’s, United States criminal law has evolved such that parental abduction is now a criminal offense in each of the 50 States and the District of Columbia;

(4) in enacting the International Parental Kidnapping Crime Act of 1993 (Public Law 103–173; 107 Stat. 1998; 18 U.S.C. 1204), Congress recognized the need to combat parental abduction by making the act of international parental kidnapping a Federal criminal offense;

(5) many of the extradition treaties to which the United States is a party specifically list the offenses that are extraditable and use the word ‘kidnapping’, but it has been the practice of the United States not to consider the term to include parental abduction because these treaties were negotiated by the United States prior to the development in United States criminal law described in paragraphs (3) and (4);

(6) the more modern extradition treaties to which the United States is a party contain dual criminality provisions, which provide for extradition where both parties make the offense a felony, and therefore it is the practice of the United States to consider such treaties to include parental abduction if the other foreign state party also considers the act of parental abduction to be a criminal offense; and

(7) this circumstance has resulted in a disparity in United States extradition law which should be rectified to better protect the interests of children and their parents.

SEC. 203. INTERPRETATION OF EXTRADITION TREATIES.

For purposes of any extradition treaty to which the United States is a party, Congress authorizes the interpretation of the terms ‘kidnaping’ and ‘kidnapping’ to include parental kidnapping.

Office of Children’s Issues, U.S. Department of State:

The Possibility of Extradition

The United States Department of Justice, not the United States Department of State, is responsible for pursuing extradition of wanted persons. Through INTERPOL and other international links, national law enforcement authorities in many countries regularly cooperate in the location and apprehension of international fugitives.

Extradition, the surrender of a fugitive or prisoner by one jurisdiction for criminal prosecution or service of a sentence in another jurisdiction, is rarely a viable approach in international child abduction cases. Extradition is utilized only for criminal justice purposes in cases that prosecutors believe can be successfully prosecuted due to the sufficiency of the evidence. Prosecutors may decide not to proceed with a request for extradition for a number of different reasons. Moreover, it must be remembered that extradition does not apply to the abducted or wrongfully retained child, but only to the abductor. There is no guarantee that the child will be returned by foreign authorities in connection with extradition of the alleged wrongdoer. Threatened with impending extradition, abducting parents may hide the child or children with a friend or relative in the foreign country.

Another reason that extradition may not be useful in a given case is that the offenses of parental child abduction or custodial interference are sometimes not included in the U.S. Government’s extradition relationships with some foreign countries. The United States now has extradition treaties now in force at this point with over 120 foreign countries. Some of these are “dual criminality” treaties while others are “list” treaties. In each case, in order for conduct to be an extraditable offense under a particular treaty, the conduct in question must be (1) be extraditable under a given treaty, the conduct in question must be considered a crime in both countries, and (2) and also included as an extraditable offense under the treaty. In this respect, the United States Government has two kinds of extradition treaties, “dual criminality” and “list” treaties.

Dual Criminality Treaties: U.S. Government’s Most modern extradition treaties (i.e., generally those concluded after 1980) usually include a “dual criminality” provision. This means that persons generally may be extradited under the treaty if their conduct is a crime punishable by more than one year imprisonment in both countries.

As a result, if the illegal conduct involved in a particular parental child abduction or custodial interference case is a crime punishable by more than one year imprisonment in both the United States and the foreign jurisdiction country concerned, then that conduct would be considered an extraditable offense under most extradition treaties that are based on “dual criminality” extradition treaties. (A small number of the U.S. Government’s dual criminality treaties use periods other than one year as the measure for extraditable offenses.)

If the conduct is not criminalized a crime in either the United States or the foreign country, then it will not be an extraditable offense.even if our treaty with that country is a modern “dual criminality” treaty.

List Treaties: The U.S. Government’s older extradition treaties (generally those concluded before 1980) typically contain a list of covered offenses that are extraditable under the treaty. In this respect, nearly all of these older treaties include the word “kidnapping” in their list of covered extraditable offenses. The Extradition Treaties Interpretation Act of 1998 (Pub. L. 105-323) makes clear that the word “kidnapping” as used in these older treaties can encompass parental kidnapping. If, however, the conduct is not a crime criminalized in the United States or the foreign country, then it will not be an extraditable offense even if the word “kidnapping” is included in the relevant list treaty.

Despite the fact that parental child abduction may be covered by certain extradition treaties, you should be aware of potential difficulties in utilizing them. Apart from the possible counterproductive effects already discussed, specifically, most all civil law countries (in contrast with common law countries like the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia) refuse to extradite their own nationals. Nearly all the nations of Latin America and Europe are civil law countries. Whatever the terms of any applicable extradition treaty, experience has also shown that foreign governments are generally reluctant (and often simply unwilling) to extradite anyone (their own citizens, United States citizens, or third country nationals) for parental child abduction.

For extradition to be possible, therefore:

· The local and/or federal prosecutor must decide to file charges and pursue the case, and you should be prepared to testify in any criminal trial;

· There must be an extradition treaty in force between the United States and the country in question;

· The treaty must cover parental child abduction or custodial interference;

· If the person sought is a national of the country in question, that country must be willing to extradite its own nationals; and,

· The country in question must be willing to extradite persons for parental child abduction /custodial interference (i.e., not refuse to do so for “humanitarian” or other policy reasons).

International Parental Kidnapping Act

The International Parental Kidnapping Act (18 USCA 1204), enacted in 1993, is an important component of the international family lawyer’s arsenal.

It makes it an offense to remove or attempt to remove a child who has been in the United States from the United States , or retain a child outside the United States, with the intent to obstruct the lawful exercise of parental rights. The offense is punishable by a fine under Title 18, imprisonment for not more than three years, or both.

The statutory language is as follows:

18 U.S.C. § 1204. International parental kidnapping

(a) Whoever removes a child from the United States, or attempts to do so, or retains a child (who has been in the United States) outside the United States with intent to obstruct the lawful exercise of parental rights shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 3 years, or both.

(b) As used in this section—

(1) the term “child” means a person who has not attained the age of 16 years; and

(2) the term “parental rights”, with respect to a child, means the right to physical custody of the child—

(A) whether joint or sole (and includes visiting rights); and

(B) whether arising by operation of law, court order, or legally binding agreement of the parties.

(c) It shall be an affirmative defense under this section that—

(1) the defendant acted within the provisions of a valid court order granting the defendant legal custody or visitation rights and that order was obtained pursuant to the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act or the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act and was in effect at the time of the offense;

(2) the defendant was fleeing an incidence or pattern of domestic violence; or

(3) the defendant had physical custody of the child pursuant to a court order granting legal custody or visitation rights and failed to return the child as a result of circumstances beyond the defendant’s control, and the defendant notified or made reasonable attempts to notify the other parent or lawful custodian of the child of such circumstances within 24 hours after the visitation period had expired and returned the child as soon as possible.

(d) This section does not detract from The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Parental Child Abduction, done at The Hague on October 25, 1980.

Follow our updates on Twitter and Facebook

One key to ABP World Group`s successful recovery and re-unification of your loved one is to use all necessary means available

Contact us here: Mail

NOTE: We are always available 24/7

U.S Phone Number: (646) 502-7443

UK Phone Number: 020 3239 0013 –

Or you can call our 24h Emergency phone number: +47 45504271

Custody Laws – Violating the Custody Order Through Parental Kidnapping


If you are lucky to have your child back after he or she was kidnapped by your ex-spouse, you will now have to deal with another nightmare: the resulting trauma on your child.

The effects of parental kidnapping are emotionally, developmentally and psychologically devastating on children who in a moment were stolen away from their entire world of familiarity. Parents stealing children after a high conflict custody battle is not uncommon. Surprisingly more than 50 percent of these kidnappings take place during a scheduled visitation after which the child is not returned.

Taking a child away and concealing his or her location to the custodial parent in violation of a visitation order is a crime and a form of child abuse. Parental abduction has permanent ramifications in the victim’s life. The emotional effects on the abducted child can be as harmful as those of sexual abuse or neglect. After such an experience, children tend to be more timid, clingy, and relate poorly to others.

In her presentation to the United Nations Convention on Child Rights titled “Parental Child Abduction is Child Abuse”, Dr. Nancy Faulkner identified nine of the many harmful effects parental abduction can have on a child:

  • Reactive Attachment Disorder
  • Learned Helplessness
  • Fear and Phobias
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  • Guilt
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Parental Alienation
  • Separation Anxiety and Fear of Abandonment
  • Grief

If you have been in a prolonged and highly conflictive custody and visitation battle, you must rigorously adhere to the guidelines in the order. The same is applicable to your ex-spouse. He or she must abide to the time share percentages and visitation calendar conformed in the order. Many custodial parents are so drained after a custody dispute that they avoid having to go to court in order to enforce or modify the order. However, it is your obligation to watch over your child’s health, safety and welfare. A parent who regularly fails to comply with the visitation schedule or percentages of time share is not acting right. He or she is acting in contempt of the court. He or she is been disrespectful to you, to your child, and to our legal system. This parent is not a good role model for your child, and in fact, he or she might turn out to be a bad influence for your kid.

Repetitive violations to the custody and visitation order mean that you must go back to court to have the order enforced. The parent who regularly fails to comply with the visitation schedule is relating in an erratic and unhealthy manner with your child. This type of conduct should be addressed and penalized from the very start, in order to avoid a more serious violation, such as your child being kidnapped by your ex-spouse.

Find out about the custody laws that will impact your case, and learn how to get the custody order you want.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Caleb_Jonsun

Follow our updates on Twitter and Facebook

Father fights for daughter in parental kidnapping case


Source:  Jessica Rush, Planojobs.us June 13, 2011

Ronnie Baker / Staff Photo –For the last two years, Plano father Bart Hermer has dedicated his life to seeing his daughter returned from overseas. Alessia was abducted by her mother and represents one of more than 200,000 family abduction cases in the United States every year
Bart Hermer carries a pacifier with him at all times. It’s purple with flecks of glitter and has the words “Princess Alessia” scrolled across the plastic.
He keeps the soother as a small comfort of his own — a reminder that his 2-year-old daughter, Alessia, is still out there and waiting to be reunited with her father.For now, Alessia lives in the United Kingdom with her mother, 40-year-old Simmone Cohen, who is a British citizen. Hermer and his parents have spent around $75,000 on an international custody battle that has left them drained both monetarily and emotionally.

Every night, Hermer sleeps on a bed in the nursery to feel closer to his daughter, but an empty crib is a constant reminder that the woman who first stole his heart, also stole his most precious possession.
Blindsided
Hermer and Cohen’s relationship started out as a picture-perfect romance. He fell for her British accent and stunning looks when they met on a single’s cruise in 2007, and months later they were visiting each other’s countries. The aging couple talked about both wanting children, so within a matter of months they were engaged.”I swear on my daughter’s life, heart and soul we never had an argument,” Hermer said, reflecting on the blissful times. “We were the envy of everybody we knew.”

The two began planning for a wedding at the Dallas Arboretum — plans that were delayed when Cohen found out she was pregnant with Alessia. When the baby was 10 months old, Cohen planned a regular trip for the three of them to visit her family in London. Hermer said he had just been laid off from his job as an advertising executive, but Cohen had income from her marketing business she ran from their Plano home.

While going through customs at the London airport, Hermer was pulled aside and questioned. A customs officer accused him of trying to enter the country with the intention to live there — information Hermer’s fiancee had told them. As much as Hermer denied the story, he was sent back to the United States alone, and Cohen and Alessia remained in England.

“I was set up,” Hermer said. “The truth was she just wanted a baby.”

Back in Texas, Cohen’s designer clothes still hang in the closet. Her laptop was left behind, and a Plano detective confirmed in writing that she wrote messages contradicting their happy engagement.

“I definitley [sic] don’t want to marry him,” Cohen wrote in one Skype message to a family member. “… he knows I am delaying things so he may have guessed,” she wrote to a friend.

“She played him like a sucker,” Hermer’s mother, Kathy, said. “She lied about everything.”

An epidemic
The Hermer’s are not alone in their daily struggle with parental kidnapping. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) estimates more than 200,000 family abduction cases occur annually in the United States.

In cases involving children taken from the United States to the United Kingdom, 92 percent of cases are unresolved for longer than a year, and 38 percent are unresolved for more than five years, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children database.

Hermer has tried to use international child abduction laws from the Hague Convention to get Alessia back. Article 3 of the convention talks about the “rights of custody” and says the courts must use the law of the state — in this case Texas — where the child was a resident before being abducted.

Even with letters of support from Texas Senators Florence Shapiro and Jane Nelson and state Rep. Jerry Madden, most of Hermer’s evidence was not allowed in the British court.

“I was not given a fair trial,” Hermer said. “I have solid evidence from credible people … and that evidence was not allowed. A lot of these countries will not return a child because of gender bias.”

After a crushing loss with denial of appeal, Hermer is trying a different approach. He hopes Attorney General Greg Abbott will push to have Cohen extradited to Texas on felony kidnapping charges.

“If my child stays there, it sets the precedent for thousands of children in the future,” Hermer said.

Time is ticking
Two years have passed with Hermer devoting his life to studying state and federal parental kidnapping law. He now works as assistant director of the Global Missing Children Fund.
Precedence from other international kidnapping cases shows that courts consider a child acclimated to their new country once they reach 3 years old. After that point, the courts are reluctant to return the child.

“I’ve got six months,” Hermer said, desperation in his voice. “She’s my life. She’s my pride. I don’t want to catch up with her in my 70s.”

He sees her occassionally when he is allowed to enter England for scheduled court hearings, but the trips are expensive and visitation is never guaranteed.

“When they are together it’s like they’ve never been separated for a moment,” Kathy said. “They had such a tight bond.”

Hermer is praying that someone will hear Alessia’s story and know how to help. While he is openly thankful for the ongoing support from Jewish Family Services, a separate fund has been set up for donations to offset some of the court costs at www.firstgiving.com/Bring-Alessia-Home.

“I’ll never quit until she’s in that crib,” he said. “I don’t care what it takes.”

Follow our updates on Twitter and Facebook