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Legal Statutes: Rhode Island

UPDATED May 25, 2017

Rhode Island Statutes

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Chapter 26. Kidnapping

back to top11-26-1.1. Childsnatching

(a) Any person who intentionally removes, causes the removal of, or detains any child under the age of eighteen (18) years, whether within or without the state of Rhode Island, with intent to deny another person's right of custody under an existing decree or order of the family court, shall be guilty of a felony, and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment for a term not more than two (2) years, or a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or both.

(b) It shall be an affirmative defense that:

(1) The person at the time of the alleged violation had lawful custody of the child pursuant to a court order granting legal custody or visitation rights;

(2) The person 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 his or her control, and the person notified and disclosed to the other parent or legal custodian the specific whereabouts of the child and a means by which the child could be contacted or made a reasonable attempt to notify the other parent or lawful custodian of the child of the circumstances and made that disclosure within twenty-four (24) hours after the visitation period had expired and returned the child as soon as possible; or

(3) The person was fleeing an incidence or pattern of domestic violence.
History: P.L. 1980, ch. 217, § 1; P.L. 1988, ch. 251, § 1; P.L. 1988, ch. 349, § 1; P.L. 1988, ch. 539, § 10; P.L. 1989, ch. 542, § 6.