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Legal Statutes: New Jersey

UPDATED February 3, 2016

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Article 8. Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act

back to top2A:34-85. Warrant to take physical custody of child


a. Upon the filing of a petition seeking enforcement of a child custody determination, the petitioner may file a verified application for the issuance of a warrant to take physical custody of the child if the child is likely to suffer serious imminent physical harm or removal from this State.

b. If the court, upon the testimony of the petitioner or other witness, finds that the child is likely to suffer serious imminent physical harm or be imminently removed from this State, it may issue a warrant to take physical custody of the child. The petition shall be heard on the next judicial day after the warrant is executed. The warrant shall include the statements required by subsection b. of section 30 of this act. [FN1]

c. A warrant to take physical custody of a child shall:

(1) recite the facts upon which a conclusion of serious imminent physical harm or removal from the jurisdiction is based;

(2) direct law enforcement officers to take physical custody of the child immediately;

(3) provide for the placement of the child pending final relief.

d. The respondent shall be served with the petition, warrant and order immediately after the child is taken into physical custody.

e. A warrant to take physical custody of a child is enforceable throughout this State. If the court finds on the basis of the testimony of the petitioner or other witness that a less intrusive remedy is not effective, it may authorize law enforcement officers to enter private property to take physical custody of the child. If required by the exigency of the case, the court may authorize law enforcement officers to make a forcible entry at any hour.

f. The court may impose conditions upon placement of a child to ensure the appearance of the child and the child's custodian. After the issuance of any temporary or permanent order determining custody or visitation of a minor child, a law enforcement officer having reasonable cause to believe that a person is likely to flee the State with the child or otherwise by flight or concealment evade the jurisdiction of the courts of this State may take a child into protective custody and return the child to the parent having lawful custody, or to a court in which a custody hearing concerning the child is pending.

g. After the issuance of any temporary or permanent order determining custody or visitation of a minor child, a law enforcement officer having reasonable cause to believe that a person is likely to flee the State with the child or otherwise by flight or concealment evade the jurisdiction of the courts of this State may take a child into protective custody and deliver the child to a court in which a custody hearing concerning the child is pending.

L.2004, c. 147, § 33, eff. Dec. 13, 2004.