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Author Topic: How do I get my kids back!  (Read 2993 times)

truthdefender

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How do I get my kids back!
« on: Dec 29, 2003, 02:40:09 PM »
I was divorced in 1994, we had three kids and for years we shared joint physical and legal custody, alternating weeks with the kids without obvious problems.  I have never tried to take the kids away from my ex, nor tried to turn them against him.   Then in 2001 I (the mom) was falsley accused of abusing the kids, it was thrown out of court, and he filed to modify our divorce decree to try to get full custody, he did not win, and we continued alternating weeks.  Then at the beginning of the school year 2003 he pulled my 15 year old son out of school to "home school" him.  (The divorce decree explicitly stated that we make decisions regarding schooling together, and if we could not agree I had final say).  I filed a motion for contempt and won, it was ordered that the kids attend school.  He has talked with the kids (never with me) about moving and the oldest refused to agree with him, she has been living with me full time since July of 2003, but he has seen her when ever he wanted and I had nothing to do with her decision to live only with me.  Then two months later, November 23rd, I went to his residence to pick up the boys and found that he had moved, someone else was living at the residence.  I made a report to the police, and their response was shocking, they said they took these type of reports as a courtsey!  that a crime had not been committed!  We filed another motion for contempt and an ex-parte motion on Monday the 24th and the court granted me sole legal and physical custody, but we have to get the kids back!  The police detective working the case and the city prosecutor kept telling me that they had to have proof that he had left the state in order to charge this as a felony.  The FBI does not get involved until there are felony charges.  For weeks I just took their word for it, we discussed that the statute really needs to be changed to say after a certain amount of time it automatically becomes a felony or something.  Then I actually read the statute for myself and it says "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."  The problem is that they don't read the whole sentence!  We went to court on the motion for contempt, and at the end the Judge said "This Court finds that there is probable cause to believe that the felony offense of child custody interference has occurred in ________.  The Court further finds probable cause to believe that _______ has committed that offense by stealing the children from the valid Custodial Order.  This Court will execute a Complaint upon presentation by the State of _____.  This Court will issue a warrant for the arrest of _____.  It would be this Court’s intent to set a bail in an amount that would absolutely guaranty future appearances in Court.  What I would like you to do is go downstairs to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, tell them that based on your testimony today, and the Court’s own knowledge of this particular case, the parties in the proceedings, I have made a probable cause finding and I would like to see the Prosecuting Attorney take action."  So we did what the Judge said and went to the prosecuting attorneys office, and guess what his response was?....  Looks like a misdemeanor to me!!!!  Unbelievable!!!!  Then we received correspondence from the prosecutor and they said this:  

1)  The statute is vague and poorly worded.  

2)  The statute impermissibly shifts the burden of proof to the defendant to show that he is not a felon.

3)  Due to the wording of the statute, I am constrained to construe it in favor of the suspect, so for now, the charge is a misdemeanor.

Since when did prosecutors become public defenders!?  And what happened to a duty to prosecute!  Isn't it the court's role to interpret the statute and the defense attorney's job to attempt to make claims that the statute is invalid!!  So my boys have been missing over a month, and we don't even have a warrant issued.  They were not even entered into NCIC until December 17th.  Without a felony warrant the FBI won't get involved in locating them and only the local police are involved.  

We spoke with a different city police department and county prosecutors office and they agreed that it should be treated as a felony and ony if he returned the kids prior to being arrested, and he did not leave the state could it be a misdemeanor.

I am tempted to go to news media, but I am afraid of tipping him off, and/or interferring with what attempts are being made to locate him.  
Finding your website has offered some comfort.  I wish I had found it in 2001, as I think there was clear evidence of PAS then, and I should have taken pro-active action then.  But it hard not to give up.  I am an emotional wreak!  Any ideas??



tulip

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Was he renting a home?
« Reply #1 on: Dec 29, 2003, 08:19:11 PM »
Did he have a lease? A landlord? Did you check with them to see if there is a forwarding adress? The person living in the home should be able to give you the name and # of the landlord, or real-estate agent, if he owned the home. What about the post office? Can you check with them for a forwarding address? Are the police even trying to help you?

I really hope you find your kids.

truthdefender

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RE: Was he renting a home?
« Reply #2 on: Dec 31, 2003, 03:11:16 PM »
Yes he was renting, I went to his house to pick up the boys, and when I knocked on the door, a woman answered, said she had just moved in and did not know him.  She gave me the name/number of the landlord and I called her.  She said he told her he was moving that month, but she did not know he had left yet, and she did not know where he went.  Dead end.  We sent mail to this address with "address service requested" under the return address, but he did not leave a forwarding address.  We also sent to his previous address, it forwards, but to a po box, not much help.  The police are not being very helpful, and without a felony warrant I cannot get FBI involved.   I am just shocked at the response of law enforcement.  I hope I find them soon too!  

MrR

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RE: How do I get my kids back!
« Reply #3 on: Dec 31, 2003, 05:35:52 PM »
Try PeopleData.com, (all states search). The fee is around $10.00 and might give you their location, and proof that they are in another state.

If a current address is not listed, contact some local PI firms. Request a skip trace. The fee will be much higher, but most guarantee (No Hit, No Charge).

Good Luck

msme

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What about school?
« Reply #4 on: Jan 01, 2004, 11:50:43 AM »
Have you checked to see if he transfered their records. If not, notify the state education office. They should notify every school in the state. It may be a long shot but if their name turns up anywhere in the state, they will be notified.

Also have them go after him for truency. A minor thing but interfering with a child's education is more serious & truency charges will prove that interference. The more charges, the better.

Also notify their doctor. Hopefully nothing serious happens but if it did, he may be forced to get medical history.

I understand that you don't want to go public but you can use the threat of it to push the police department.

Also, I would go to the judge with the correspondence from the prosecutor & see if the judge will lean on him.  

Subtly but strongly suggest that the judges orders seem to mean nothing to the prosecutor & how his attitude seems to be very disrespectful of the court & it's officers.

We will keep you & your family in our prayers. Good luck & God bless!

msme

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