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New Case on Parental Kidnapping

New Case on Parental Kidnapping 

A new case from the NC Court of Appeals was handed down today concerning a parental kidnapping, State of North Carolina v. Issac J. Pender, Jr.  The state criminal law in North Carolina is NC Gen. Stat. §14-39A.  It defines kidnapping as follows:

“Any person who shall unlawfully confine, restrain, or remove from one place to another, any other person 16 years of age . . . without the consent of a parent or legal custodian of such person, shall be guilty of kidnapping. . .”   The statute goes on to require the purpose of the kidnapping to be generally bad, such as holding the victim as a hostage for example.

Unless there is a child custody order (or certain contracts signed by both parents) defining the rights of each parent, each has equal rights.  In this case, there was no child custody order in place.  The father was charged with the crime of kidnapping, and convicted of the crime.  The appellate court overturned his conviction. As the father of the children, he could legally consent to the confinement of the children. In other words, his confinement of the children was lawful.  This case is only related to NC criminal law, and not civil law or federal law. The individual circumstances of parents are also important, and the outcome of cases in other circumstances may be different because of them. Court orders and other legal documents or events may define rights and give the parties certain ways to enforce those rights.  Laws change.  This article is current only when originally posted.

(c) 2015

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