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Legal Statutes: Arkansas

UPDATED September 15, 2017

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Subchapter 5. Custody and Visitation

back to top5-26-503. Interference with custody

(a) A person commits the offense of interference with custody if without lawful authority he or she knowingly takes, entices, or keeps, or aids, abets, hires, or otherwise procures another person to take, entice, or keep any minor from the custody of:


(1) The parent of the minor including an unmarried woman having legal custody of an illegitimate child under § 9-10-113;


(2) The guardian of the minor;


(3) A public agency having lawful charge of the minor; or


(4) Any other lawful custodian.


(b) Interference with custody is a Class C felony.


(c)(1) In every case prior to serving a warrant for arrest on a person charged with the offense of interference with custody, the police officer or other law enforcement officer shall inform the Department of Human Services of the circumstances of any minor named in the information or indictment as having been taken, enticed, or kept from the parent, guardian, or custodian in a manner constituting interference with custody.


(2) A representative of the department shall be present with the arresting police officer or law enforcement officer to take the minor into temporary custody of the department pending further proceedings by a court of competent jurisdiction.


(d)(1) A court of competent jurisdiction shall determine the immediate custodial placement of any minor taken into custody by the department under subsection (c) of this section pursuant to a petition brought by the department to determine if there is probable cause to believe the minor may be:


(A) Removed from the jurisdiction of the court;


(B) Abandoned; or


(C) Outside the immediate care or supervision of a person lawfully entitled to custody.


(2) The court shall immediately give custody to the lawful custodian if it finds that the lawful custodian is present before the court.


(e)(1) The department shall comply with the requirements of § 9-27-312 with regard to the giving of a notice and the setting of a hearing on a petition filed under subsection (d) of this section.


(2) The department is immune from liability with respect to any conduct undertaken pursuant to this section unless it is determined that the department acted with actual malice.

Acts of 2007, Act 669, § 1, eff. July 31, 2007; Acts of 2011, Act 1177, § 1, eff. July 27, 2011.