Many states have felony laws for custodial interference they just aren’t enforced like many laws associated with Family Law. False police reports, false child abuse allegations, perjury to name a few. A retired law enforcement officer myself for 24 years with the Los Angeles Police Department and now a Child Custody and Divorce Coach I was curious why this case in Texas was so different.
I spoke to the New Boston Police Department. They conducted the investigation and issued the warrants on the grandparents in this article for felony custodial interference in compliance with 25.03. The mother is also pending an arrest for felony custodial interference.
This is a very small police department. Only 13 officers in total. The department still takes police reports on all custody issues and conducts investigations. In cases where it is determined that a violation of court order has occurred the Department provides a warning to the parties on a first offense. The parties are advised that continued violation of court orders will result in an arrest. They said in most cases a warning has proved sufficient to correct the situation. This case was the exception.
The Department said there had been substantial contact with the parties involved over the prior months. Including police reports and allegations of child abuse that later proved false. The day prior to the police taking a report for felony custodial interference the parties had been in Family Law court on a contempt motion. Court was pending final determination of the criminal charges of contempt by the police before making a final ruling and the investigating officer was present for the hearing. The judge ordered the parties to adhere to the court order pending a final ruling. The next day, the grandparents and the mother failed to comply with the court order. This was in addition to the prior three months that the father has been blocked from his parenting time with the child.
The article referenced that during the investigation the grandmother made statements to a reliable third party that she was willing to kill herself and the child to keep the child from the other parent. This lead the investigating officers to issue an Amber alert and seek warrants for the grandparents and ultimately the mother too.
CPS was already involved conducting the prior child abuse investigation and when the child was recovered in Dallas where the grandparents were arrested the child was taken into custody by CPS at that time. Since this is an ongoing investigation the information on the location of the child and/or the release or placement of the child with the father if this has occurred is being withheld.
The District Attorney’s Office, CPS and the police department were all working in full cooperation on the investigation and the DA has filed charges. Bail is set at $250,000 for each of the parties plus additional charges and conditions including a psych evaluation on the grandmother. This information was also referenced in the article.
Essentially, this was a case of the perfect scenario. The prior violation of court orders were well known, documented and understood by police in a small community that still takes reports and investigates them. The information learned during the investigation and the risk to the child, involvement of the courts and investigator being in the courtroom for the hearing the day prior, attorneys, CPS, DA’s office came together in the perfect timeline. Something that doesn’t happen very often in Family Law cases.
This is also an example of a small department with limited resources doing a great job in their community on an issue that is rarely addressed properly to the detriment of most divorced families and children. I wish more police departments large and small acted with the same commitment as New Boston Police Department to it’s community. It would go a long way to saving lives in high conflict Family Law cases. The District Attorney’s office and CPS also did a great job. Again wish these cases were handled like this more often by these agencies too. Also want to recognize Dallas Police Department and their Chief of Police for acting so swiftly on the information on the location of the grandparents.
To read the full article on the story click here.
Catherine MacWillie is the CEO of Custody Calculations and a Child Custody and Divorce Coach. She has 32 years experience dealing with Family Law. 24 years as a law enforcement officer responding to radio calls dealing with divorce and custody issues and a first responder to child abuse investigations in addition to other related assignments. She spent ten years researching Family Law and divorce including cause, effect, impact, solutions to the many issues that arise during divorce and custody proceedings. The last eight years as a Coach.
She is the past president of Stop Parental Alienation of Children (SPAC). A prior board member of Parental Alienation Awareness Organization with Sarvy Emo (PAAO). An advisory board member of International Support Network of Alienated Families ISNAF). A member of Parental Alienation Study Group (PASG). A member of the 2014 Parental Alienation Colloquium, Long Beach, California. A member of the 2016 Parental Alienation Think Tank, Beverly Hills, California.
In 2017 her research on divorce, crime and parental alienation will be presented in Prague, Czechoslovakia at the International Academy of Law and Mental Health (IALMH) a prestigious event with participants coming from around the globe to present.
For additional information go to CustodyCalculations.com or visit us on social media, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,YouTube, Vimeo, or call 702-675-5120.