August 29, 2012
Karina Garcia, Part II: Fight to Be a Father
In a four-year battle to bring his daughter Karina back home to Fox Point, Dr. Moises Garcia not only learned to speak fluent Japanese, but he spent more than $350,000 on more than three dozen trips to Japan to try and see her.
Editor’s Note: This is the second in an exclusive, three-part series in which Fox Point’s Dr. Moises Garcia talks about his 4-year fight to successfully recover his kidnapped daughter, Karina, from Japan. This series chronicles the abduction, Moises’ battle to maintain a relationship with her from more than 6,000 miles away, and takes a look at her today, age 10, as she celebrates her first birthday back in America since the abduction.
After learning that his daughter Karina had been abducted and taken to Japan by her mother, Emiko Inoue, in February 2008, Dr. Moises Garcia departed from Fox Point for his native Nicaragua to cope with the loss of his daughter and recharge.
He returned with a focus on the basics — to maintain a relationship with his daughter over the miles while navigating the legal challenges involved in bringing her back home.
Garcia studied many other cases and discovered that the most important aspect of child abduction cases like his was to establish jurisdiction. So he continued divorce proceedings in the United States. Inoue had left the United States on the day she was to be served with divorce papers and Japan does not have process servers. Instead, Garcia said, he had to publish a small summons in a Japanese newspaper for $7,000.
That established U.S. jurisdiction for the divorce, but didn’t dissolve the distance between himself and his five-year-old daughter. Garcia spent a year learning to speak Japanese; took phone calls from Karina at all hours, owing to the 14-hour time difference with Japan; and even engaged in Skype video chats with the little girl to maintain a connection with her that would prove to be key in her return to the U.S.
“The first few Skypes, she was a little bit weird, but then she was normal again,” Garcia said. “We were able to keep the relationship in that way, not ideally, but at least something.”
During Garcia’s research of other cases, he even discovered a case where a man was denied custody because he couldn’t cook Japanese food.
“The year I was learning Japanese, I also went to a Chicago supermarket and I bought Japanese food and I got a book and I studied everyday,” Garcia said.
His first trip to see Karina was in March 2009, more than a year after she left. Garcia was expecting a full week with Karina, based on a visitation schedule worked out with a Guardian ad Litem two months prior. Instead, he said, Emiko permitted him only two hours.
Garcia said that was the only time he saw his daughter during 13 trips to Japan over the next 12 months. On one trip, in February 2010, he visited Karina’s school even though, he said, Emiko kept the girl home. So instead he met with the girl’s teacher, who shared pictures of Karina and other students in class.
“I took pictures at her desk, it was kind of sad but I felt close,” Garcia said. “Every time I went to Japan I was happy because I was close to her.
Emiko’s U.S. attorney, Gerald Boyle, did not return a phone message left on Tuesday.
“Being so close and so far at the same time, it’s amazing,” he said. “You get so happy just to walk on the streets, see her classroom, talk to the people that are close to her and they can tell you stories about her. It’s all indirect, one day hoping she’s going to grow and come back and see you.”
A custody battle moved overseas
The day they would be reuinted drew a closer in the midst of these visits, in July 2009, when courts in the United States granted sole custody of Karina to her father. The victory had no immediate impact, however, as Inoue had filed her own divorce documents in Japan in March of that year.
“I won the fight here, but now the fight moves to Japan,” Garcia said.
Wheels began turning in Japan March 2010, when Garcia was granted a “trial visitation.” Garcia said he, Inoue and Karina were in one room with two-way glass and multiple police officers. During the 15 minute-assessment, the court was looking to determine if it is in the child’s best interest to have access to her father.
“(It’s) kind of stupid – you haven’t seen the kid for a year at least and they want to assess how much attachment the kid has to you,” Garcia said. “Many kids get scared and cry and they say the kid is not attached so we’re not going to give custody. But Karina did the opposite.”
Garcia believed the calls, Skype chats and postcards he exchanged with Karina assured a warm reunion when they finally saw each other. He earned a second trial visitation in August, for Karina’s birthday. He continued monthly visits to Japan, but never actually saw her on those trips. Over two years, he spent more than $350,000 for less than three total hours with Karina.
Did Garcia ever think about simply stealing Karina back?
“You only think about that like a dream, but you have to think about the implication you’ll have,” he said. “As a person, I wouldn’t feel right and I think it would be more traumatic on Karina. I always tried to do the right thing in terms of – she’s always telling them I’m a bad person. If I do that, she will confirm that so, it’s better to do the right thing no matter what because abduction is bad for the kid no matter what. Even bringing Karina now is a big trauma.”
February 2011 was the last time Garcia saw Karina in Japan. He didn’t tell anyone his plan. It was a normal school day and he simply walked into her school.
“We go there and we surprised Karina,” Garcia said with a laugh. “It was 10 minutes. I thought this was the last time I was ever going to see Karina to be honest.”
And that would be last time he would see Karina — in Japan.
Tomorrow: A look at what it took to arrest Inoue and force her to return Karina to the United States. And finally, how Karina is adapting to her life back in Fox Point.
August 29, 2012
Karina Garcia, Part I: The Abduction
In 2008, Fox Point’s Dr. Moises Garcia came home to find the family safe empty, clothes thrown everywhere and both his daughter and soon-to-be ex-wife missing. The girl was just 5 years old when she was taken to Japan.
Editor’s Note: This is the first in an exclusive, three-part series in which Fox Point’s Dr. Moises Garcia talks about his 4-year fight to successfully recover his kidnapped daughter, Karina, from Japan. This series chronicles the abduction, Moises’ battle to maintain a relationship with her from more than 6,000 miles away, and takes a look at her today, age 10, as she celebrates her first birthday back in America since the abduction.
On a warm August afternoon, Karina Garcia celebrated her 10th birthday surrounded by 15 of her friends at a lake near her Fox Point home. But this birthday was much more than a celebration with cupcakes, balloons and toys. Monday marked a new milestone for Karina after a four-year nightmare for her and her father, who’s never told the full, step-by-step story of his battle to bring his daughter home.
Karina’s father, Dr. Moises Garcia, said she wanted a bike for her birthday and that was one wish he couldn’t grant.
“I can’t, it’s dangerous,” he said.
Even after Karina has spent eight months in the United States with her step-mother and new baby sister, her father said she often endures nightmares that she will be abducted again.
“She had nightmares that an old lady kidnaps and takes her, grabs her,” Garcia said. “She’s scared that she’s going to be taken again, not see her sister.”
On Feb. 22, 2008, Garcia went to pick up Karina from the home where she stayed with her mother, Emiko Inoue, Garcia’s soon-to-be ex-wife.
But when he got there, no one was home. Instead, he found clothes scattered across the house, the family safe emptied of $3,000 cash and Inoue’s passport missing.
Garcia’s worst nightmare had become reality — his daughter had been kidnapped.
This began Garcia’s four-year crusade, which would cost him nearly $400,000, to bring his daughter home.
‘I was always afraid of that’
Garcia, originally from Nicaragua, and Inoue, a native of Japan, met while studying in Norway in 1998. They moved to Milwaukee in 2001 and married a year later with Karina on the way.
Garcia said his filing for divorce was fueled by personality problems between Inoue and himself that were exacerbated after Karina was born. Cultural differences and Inoue’s struggle to adapt to living in the United States were also a big part of their frustrations.
He said he finally filed for divorce after they had a massive argument in February 2008.
“By then we had tried everything,” he said, including counseling, a reconciliation from a previous divorce filed by Inoue in 2006, and moving into a new house. But even after all of that, they ultimately separated and Garcia filed for divorce. He said the troubled relationship with Inoue left him concerned for his daughter’s safety.
“I had Karina’s passport in my possession because I was always afraid of that. I was always concerned about abduction,” Garcia said.
The next step
After discovering the scene at the home in 2008, Garcia immediately called Fox Point police. It was later discovered that Karina and Inoue had left Mitchell International Airport at 7 p.m. Sunday for Minnesota for a connecting flight to Japan.
“Initially I didn’t believe she was in Japan. I thought maybe she’s hiding here,” he said.
That night, Garcia received a very short phone call from Inoue letting Garcia know that they were both safe in Japan. Because the caller ID showed up as “Unknown,” Garcia said he had hope they were still in the United States.
“There was a week where I was looking at hotels, everywhere, pushing police to see what happened, getting court orders, all this stuff,” he said. By Saturday, he remembered he had the home phone number of Inoue’s parents in Japan, where he believed she would have taken Karina. He called multiple times and at first, no one answered. Finally, Inoue picked up, confirming the international flight.
“Then, that day, I hit bottom,” he said. “I cried like crazy, three or four hours. There was nothing to do at that point. I almost gave up.”
Garcia returned to Nicaragua to “rebuild” himself during that time. And after nearly a month refocusing, and coping with the loss of his daughter, he found the drive to develop a new plan.
“After that, I came out fresh with more ideas,” he said. He would read every article he could find on parental abductions to foreign countries, talk to support groups and government officials and he said he then realized that his problem was far from rare.
A father left behind
Emiko Inoue was arrested in 2011 when she visited Hawaii, and was brought to Wisconsin to face two felony charges: interference with custody beyond visitation and interference with child custody — other parent. If she is convicted on both counts, she faces up to 12 1/2 years in prison. She wears a GPS tracking device that she is trying to have removed.
Though Karina is home, Garcia continues devoting time and energy to the issue of these abductions.
“We are helping other cases, one in New York (taken to Japan), another in New Jersey (taken to South Korea) trying to write strong court orders to prevent this from happening to these children. This is a big problem facilitated by the fact that the U.S. is the only developed country without exit controls,” Garcia said.
Exit controls are a system to check the exit and entry of foreign nationals as they cross U.S. borders. In Karina’s case, custody had not yet been established and the couple was still married. However, without exit controls, no one checked to make sure Karina was leaving the United States legally.
But exit controls are only one part of the abduction picture. In 1994, the United States signed theHague Adoption Convention, an international agreement among 72 countries that requires children be returned to the parent with legal, custodial rights if another tries to take them away. Japan has not signed the convention, according to the U.S. Embassy, despite pressure to do so.
Tomorrow: A look at Garcia’s fight to be a father to Karina while she was more than 6,000 miles away, and the lengths he had to go to continue being a part of her life.
August 24, 2012
Contact Your Senator About Intl. Child Abduction
Thursday, August 23rd, 2012
In 2011 at least 1367 American children were abducted by a parent to a foreign country. Most will never have a chance to come home to their families and communities in the U.S.
You can help today by emailing your U.S. Senator(s) and urging them to co-sponsor Senate Resolution 543 http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112sres543is/pdf/BILLS-112sres543is.pdf
1) Use the chart below to find your Senator(s)
2) If they haven’t already co-sponsored, click the email link to their staff member
3) Email them* (Optionally you can call)
4) Ask your friends and family to do the same by sending them this link.
With your commitment to help we can create change to protect families in the future and help bring abducted children home now.
*HERE IS THE SUGGESTED EMAIL
Subject Line: S. Res 543- International Parental Child Abduction
I am a registered voter and a constituent. I would like the Senator to co-sponsor Senate Resolution 543
because American children need to be protected. In 2011 alone, at least 1367 American children were abducted by a parent to a foreign country.
[First & Last Name]
URGENT: The Deadline to Contact Your Senator(s) to Co-Sponsor S. Res 543 is in 16 days, 9 hours, 45 minutes
|SENATOR INFO||STAFF MEMBER INFO|
|First||Last Name||State||First||Last||e-mail address||Phone (202 Area Code)||S. Res. 543 Co-sponsor Status|
|If you are in the Seattle area, come join in the protest at the Consulate-General of Japan booth at the Aki Matsuri festival at the Bellevue College Main Campus 3000 Landerholm Circle SE, Bellevue, WA 98007. Contact Jeffery Morehouse with any specific questions. We will meet up at the Tully’s Coffee at 3080 148th Ave SE, Bellevue, WA 98007 to hand out the “Black Hole” t-shirts in advance.|
August 23, 2012
NBC interview with Randy Collins:
Press Releases from Senator Mimi Walters:
Legislature Sends Two of Senator Walters’ Bills to Governor
For Immediate Release: Wednesday, August 22, 2012
SACRAMENTO — Today, two bills authored by Senator Mimi Walters (R-Irvine), SB 1206 and SB 1174, were approved unanimously by the Legislature and now make their way to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk.
SB 1206, also known as Keisuke’s (Case-K’s) Law, would prevent parents in a custody dispute from applying for new or replacement passports for their children without consent from the other parent. In addition, the measure would allow the District Attorney to order a freeze on the California assets of an individual who is alleged to have abducted a child.
This bill was introduced at the request of a constituent, whose son, Keisuke, was abducted to Japan from Orange County in June 2008 and has not been returned. Since his son’s abduction Randy Collins has committed his life to deterring future child abductions. SB 1206 was approved by the State Senate on a 37-0 vote.
The California Senate also approved SB 1174 on a 36-0 vote. The measure would allow 56-foot motorsports trailers to operate within California. Currently, California is the only state that does not allow these vehicles to drive within its borders. This prohibition has created a disincentive for racing organizations and teams to attend events held at California race tracks. SB 1174 removes a needless barrier to transporting racing vehicles and team equipment in California. As a result, the bill will enhance local economies by encouraging NASCAR and NHRA teams to continue bringing their cars to California and participating in local racing events.
August 21, 2012
Keisuke’s Law has been unanimously passed in the California legislature. The news is started to be noted in the Japanese media. Hopefully this legislation will become an important tool in helping prevent future child abductions to Japan:
August 16, 2012
News reports like this are extremely worrisome to U.S. left-behind parents as well as parents in other countries with abducted dual citizen children being held in Japan. A number of these children are believed to be living in or very near the Fukushima radiation zone. The best interests of the child need to be considered by both the Japanese and foreign governments in cases such as this where the child’s future health is at risk. Particularly troubling is the finding that “abnormal” traits doubled among the second generation born, with radiation damage intensifying in future generations.
Japan Nuclear Accident: ‘Abnormalities’ in Butterflies Traced to Fukushima Plant
By Akiko Fujita | ABC News – Mon, Aug 13, 2012
Japanese scientists say “abnormalities” detected in the country’s butterflies may be a result of radioactive fallout from the Fukushima nuclear disaster last year. In a study published in Scientific Reports, an online journal, researchers say “artificial radionuclides” from the Fukushima Daiichi power plant caused “physiological and genetic damage” to pale grass blue butterflies.
Scientists first began tracking common butterflies around the nuclear plant two months after the disaster. They collected 121 insects, and found 12 percent of them had unusually small wings. That number jumped more than 5 percent when butterflies collected from the plant site had offspring of their own.
In another group of butterflies collected six months after the disaster, scientists found 28 percent had “abnormal” traits. That number nearly doubled among the second generation born.
“At the time of the accident, the populations of this species were overwintering as larvae and were externally exposed to artificial radiation,” the researchers wrote in their study. “It is possible that they ate contaminated leaves during the spring and were thus also exposed to internal radiation.”
It has been 17 months after the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, and its effects on human health have largely been considered minimal, with no radiation-related deaths or illnesses reported so far. But traces of radioactive cesium exceeding government safety levels have been detected in seafood off the Fukushima coast, limiting the catch for fisherman there.
Tiny amounts of cesium of 137 and cesium 134 were detected in more than a dozen bluefin tuna caught near San Diego in August last year. The levels were 10 times higher than tuna found in previous years, but well below those the Japanese and US governments considered harmful to human health.
August 15, 2012
Charge: Unhappy with parenting plan, Seattle mom took daughter to Japan
Mom latest of several such parents to face such charges in King County
BY LEVI PULKKINEN, SEATTLEPI.COM STAFF
Published 11:10 p.m., Tuesday, August 14, 2012
A Seattle mom accused of fleeing the country with her young daughter during a custody dispute is now facing felony charges in King County.
Prosecutors there claim Ryoko Fukuda absconded with her daughter the day she was supposed to hand over the girl’s Japanese passport.
According to charging documents, the girl’s father rushed to Sea-Tac Airport in an attempt to retrieve her. But prosecutors say Fukuda and the child were already flying to Japan.
Writing the court, Senior Deputy Prosecutor David Martin noted Fukuda had been ordered not to take the girl out of the country hours before she did exactly that.
Fukuda and the girl’s father dated but had broken up by the time Fukuda gave birth to the girl, Seattle Detective Jason Stolt told the court. The girl’s father and Fukuda each took out domestic violence protection orders against the other; the man told police he didn’t learn his daughter existed until 2009.
A parenting plan was first ordered in 2010. The plan gave the girl’s father visitation rights and required that either parent let the other know if their daughter was going to travel out of Washington.
On May 16, Fukuda, 34, and the girl’s father met with a King County court commissioner to discuss Fukuda’s plan to take the child to Japan. The girl’s father objected to the move.
The commissioner ordered both parents to surrender their daughter’s passports to Fukuda’s attorney for safekeeping until a final decision could be made. Stolt noted Fukuda had the girl’s Japanese passport.
At 2 p.m. the following day, the girl’s father called 911 to report that his daughter failed to arrive at her Broadview neighborhood elementary school that morning. Nor was the girl or Fukuda at their apartment.
Meeting with police an hour later, the man said Fukuda had failed to turn over their daughter’s Japanese passport. He said he was concerned Fukuda was preparing to flee the country, and he worried he’d never see his daughter again.
Leaving the meeting with police, the man drove to Sea-Tac Airport hoping to learn whether his daughter had been flown out of the country. With the help of Port of Seattle police and State Department officials, the man determined Fukuda and his daughter left the country at 2 a.m. that morning.
The detective told the court he has since confirmed that Fukuda and the girl are in Japan.
Fukuda has now been charged with first-degree custodial interference.
If similar cases filed in recent years are any measure, prosecutors will have a difficult time getting Fukuda before a King County judge.
Similar charges filed separately against two other Japanese women alleged to have fled the Seattle area for Japan have gone nowhere so far.
In 2009, Mayumi Ogawa fled the country weeks after a Superior Court judge approved an parenting plan stating that her son would split his time between his parents. The boy’s father has since been awarded sole control of the child, Ogawa remains at large and charged with first-degree custodial interference.
Michiyo Imoto Morehouse, 44, was charged with the same crime in 2010 after fleeing the country with her son. Her ex-husband had been awarded sole custody of the child; she remains at large.
In recent years, U.S. authorities have seen an increase in the number of international custodial child abductions. Watchdogs on the issue say there are currently more than 1,000 such open cases involving U.S. parents whose children have been taken overseas.
Speaking with seattlepi.com in 2009, Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, said custodial child abduction is on the rise.
Unlike the United States and 80 other countries, the Japanese government has not ratified the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction. The 29-year-old United Nations accord requires that member countries honor custody agreements made outside their borders unless doing so threatens the child involved.
Allen said that even when the country in question has signed on to the Hague Convention, a child’s return is not assured.
“The cases where we don’t get children returned aren’t just from places like Iran,” Allen said in March 2009. “There are a host of horror stories out there.”
Another recent case has had something of a happy ending.
After months of work, the Redmond mother of a boy whose father had taken him to Morocco was able to retrieve her son and return him to Washington. Still, the boy’s father, Mouad Aimane Elbou, has not faced the charge against him.
August 14, 2012
AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY AUGUST 6, 2012
AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY JULY 2, 2012
AMENDED IN SENATE MAY 1, 2012
AMENDED IN SENATE APRIL 12, 2012
INTRODUCED BY Senator Walters
FEBRUARY 22, 2012
An act to amend Sections 2040 and 3134.5 of the Family Code,
relating to child abduction prevention.
LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST
SB 1206, as amended, Walters. Child abduction prevention.
(1) Existing law requires, upon the commencement of proceedings
for dissolution or nullity of marriage or legal separation of the
parties, that the summons contain a temporary restraining order
restraining both parties from, among other things, removing the minor
child or children of the parties, if any, from the state without the
prior written consent of the other party or an order of the court.
This bill would, additionally, provide that the temporary
restraining order restrain the parties from applying for a new or
replacement passport for the minor child or children of the parties
without the prior written consent of the other party or an order of
(2) Existing law authorizes the court, upon request of the
district attorney, to issue a protective custody warrant to secure
the recovery of an unlawfully detained or concealed child. The
protective custody warrant for the child is required to contain an
order that the arresting agency shall place the child in protective
custody, or return the child as directed by the court.
This bill would authorize the court to also include within the
protective custody warrant for the child an order to freeze the
California assets, as defined, of the party alleged to be in
possession of the child. The bill would provide that, upon noticed
motion, any order to freeze assets pursuant to these provisions may
be terminated, modified, or vacated by the court upon a finding that
the release of the assets will not jeopardize the safety or best
interest of the child. The bill would also require that if an asset
freeze order is entered pursuant to these provisions, and the court
subsequently dismisses the protective custody warrant for the child,
notice of the dismissal be immediately served on specified entities.
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes.
State-mandated local program: no.
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
SECTION 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as Keisuke’s
SEC. 2. Section 2040 of the Family Code is amended to read:
2040. (a) In addition to the contents required by Section 412.20
of the Code of Civil Procedure, the summons shall contain a temporary
(1) Restraining both parties from removing the minor child or
children of the parties, if any, from the state, or from applying for
a new or replacement passport for the minor child or children,
without the prior written consent of the other party or an order of
(2) Restraining both parties from transferring, encumbering,
hypothecating, concealing, or in any way disposing of any property,
real or personal, whether community, quasi-community, or separate,
without the written consent of the other party or an order of the
court, except in the usual course of business or for the necessities
of life, and requiring each party to notify the other party of any
proposed extraordinary expenditures at least five business days
before incurring those expenditures and to account to the court for
all extraordinary expenditures made after service of the summons on
Notwithstanding the foregoing, nothing in the restraining order
shall preclude a party from using community property, quasi-community
property, or the party’s own separate property to pay reasonable
attorney’s fees and costs in order to retain legal counsel in the
proceeding. A party who uses community property or quasi-community
property to pay his or her attorney’s retainer for fees and costs
under this provision shall account to the community for the use of
the property. A party who uses other property that is subsequently
determined to be the separate property of the other party to pay his
or her attorney’s retainer for fees and costs under this provision
shall account to the other party for the use of the property.
(3) Restraining both parties from cashing, borrowing against,
canceling, transferring, disposing of, or changing the beneficiaries
of any insurance or other coverage, including life, health,
automobile, and disability, held for the benefit of the parties and
their child or children for whom support may be ordered.
(4) Restraining both parties from creating a nonprobate transfer
or modifying a nonprobate transfer in a manner that affects the
disposition of property subject to the transfer, without the written
consent of the other party or an order of the court.
(b) Nothing in this section restrains any of the following:
(1) Creation, modification, or revocation of a will.
(2) Revocation of a nonprobate transfer, including a revocable
trust, pursuant to the instrument, provided that notice of the change
is filed and served on the other party before the change takes
(3) Elimination of a right of survivorship to property, provided
that notice of the change is filed and served on the other party
before the change takes effect.
(4) Creation of an unfunded revocable or irrevocable trust.
(5) Execution and filing of a disclaimer pursuant to Part 8
(commencing with Section 260) of Division 2 of the Probate Code.
(c) In all actions filed on and after January 1, 1995, the summons
shall contain the following notice:
“WARNING: California law provides that, for purposes of division
of property upon dissolution of marriage or legal separation,
property acquired by the parties during marriage in joint form is
presumed to be community property. If either party to this action
should die before the jointly held community property is divided, the
language of how title is held in the deed (i.e., joint tenancy,
tenants in common, or community property) will be controlling and not
the community property presumption. You should consult your attorney
if you want the community property presumption to be written into
the recorded title to the property.”
(d) For the purposes of this section:
(1) “Nonprobate transfer” means an instrument, other than a will,
that makes a transfer of property on death, including a revocable
trust, pay on death account in a financial institution, Totten trust,
transfer on death registration of personal property, or other
instrument of a type described in Section 5000 of the Probate Code.
(2) “Nonprobate transfer” does not include a provision for the
transfer of property on death in an insurance policy or other
coverage held for the benefit of the parties and their child or
children for whom support may be ordered, to the extent that the
provision is subject to paragraph (3) of subdivision (a).
(e) The restraining order included in the summons shall include
descriptions of the notices required by paragraphs (2) and (3) of
SEC. 3. Section 3134.5 of the Family Code is amended to read:
3134.5. (a) Upon request of the district attorney, the court may
issue a protective custody warrant to secure the recovery of an
unlawfully detained or concealed child. The request by the district
attorney shall include a written declaration under penalty of perjury
that a warrant for the child is necessary in order for the district
attorney to perform the duties described in Sections 3130 and 3131.
The protective custody warrant for the child shall contain an order
that the arresting agency shall place the child in protective
custody, or return the child as directed by the court. The protective
custody warrant for the child may also contain an order to freeze
the California assets of the party alleged to be in possession of the
child. The protective custody warrant may be served in any county in
the same manner as a warrant of arrest and may be served at any time
of the day or night. For purposes of this subdivision, “assets”
means funds held in a depository institution, as defined in
subdivision (a) of Section 1420 of the Financial Code, in California
(b) Upon a declaration of the district attorney that the child has
been recovered or that the warrant is otherwise no longer required,
the court may dismiss the warrant without further court proceedings.
(c) Upon noticed motion, any order to freeze assets pursuant
to subdivision (a) may be terminated, modified, or vacated by
the court upon a finding that the release of the assets will not
jeopardize the safety or best interest of the child.
(d) If an asset freeze order is entered pursuant to subdivision
(a), and the court subsequently dismisses the warrant pursuant to
subdivision (b), notice of the dismissal shall be immediately served
on the depository institutions holding any assets pursuant to the
Boxer, Lautenberg, Kerry, Lugar, Inhofe Join Colleagues to Introduce Resolution Condemning International Parental Child Abduction
August 3, 2012
Press Release of U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer
|For Immediate Release:
August 2, 2012
Washington D.C. Office (202) 224-3553
Boxer, Lautenberg, Kerry, Lugar, Inhofe Join Colleagues to Introduce Resolution Condemning International Parental Child Abduction
Bipartisan Resolution Calls on Countries to Do More to Prevent and Resolve Cases of Children Abducted by Parents Across International Borders
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today joined Senators Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), John Kerry (D-MA), Richard Lugar (R-IN), James Inhofe (R-OK) and 10 colleagues to introduce a bipartisan resolution condemning the unlawful international abduction of all children. The resolution also calls on the United States and the international community to take additional steps to resolve current and future abduction cases.
Tragically, international parental child abduction continues to be a common occurrence. According to the U.S. Department of State, last year 1,367 American children were reported abducted by a parent from the United States to a foreign country.
The 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is the principal tool for a parent seeking the return of a child abducted across international borders. The Convention provides a legal framework for securing the return of an abducted child so that judicial authorities can make decisions on issues of custody and the best interests of the child. However, many countries do not participate in the Hague Abduction Convention and the Convention does not apply to abductions that occur before a country joins.
The resolution calls on all countries to join and fully comply with the Hague Abduction Convention and to take other steps to prevent and resolve cases of international parental child abduction. The resolution also expresses the Sense of the Senate that the United States should “aggressively pursue the return of each child abducted by a parent from the United States to another country through all appropriate means, consistent with the Hague Abduction Convention, and through extradition, when appropriate, and facilitate access by the left-behind parent if the child is not returned.”
“These abductions are devastating for the parent who is left behind and are extremely harmful to the children involved,” Senator Boxer said. “I have met parents who have not seen or heard from their children in years, and this is simply unacceptable. The international community must be united in its condemnation of child abduction and in its commitment to resolve custody disputes by rule of law.”
“International child abduction is a tragic situation that impacts not only the parents who are left behind but also the children who have been illegally separated from them and denied any contact,” Senator Lugar said.“Bringing greater attention to this issue is important if we are to change other governments’ attitudes to these abductions.”
“Conservatives and liberals rarely agree, but on the issue of these child abductions, we see eye to eye,”Senator Inhofe said. “Unfortunately, some countries around the world are complicit in allowing these unacceptable acts. The heart wrenching stories I have heard from parents is not just devastating for them, but destructive for the children. It is time for the Senate to act in a way that will help end this injustice. This well written measure is a high priority. I encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join in this effort.”
“International child abductions aren’t faceless crimes, they’re real and they’re tragic,” Senator Kerry said.“Over the last two years, I’ve gotten to know Colin Bower, a Massachusetts father who had full legal custody of his two young sons and whose life was ripped apart when they were abducted and taken to Egypt. We’re still fighting and working to get his boys home and reunite them with their dad. If you know Colin, you know it’s almost a cliche to say that this is any parent’s worst nightmare and a tragic, all-too-real reminder of why the United States must condemn international abductions and work to resolve them. The international community must stand up and do all it can to make this right.”
“We saw firsthand the devastation that international child abductions cause for parents and children when New Jersey resident David Goldman had to fight for years to be reunited with his son Sean. We need to gain the support of countries around the world in condemning this practice and agreeing to cooperate in the return of abducted children. This resolution will help us prevent these tragedies in the future,” said Lautenberg, who was instrumental in helping the return of Sean Goldman from Brazil to his father in the United States.
In November 2009, Senator Boxer and 21 colleagues wrote to President Obama urging him to address international parental child abduction with Japanese leaders during a trip to the country. Japan remains the only G-7 industrialized nation that has yet to ratify the Hague Abduction Convention.
The resolution introduced today will help continue to raise the profile of this important issue in the United States and across the globe. Additional cosponsors of the resolution currently include Senators Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Patty Murray (D-WA). The full text of the resolution is below.
To express the sense of the Senate on international parental child abduction.
Whereas international parental child abduction is a tragic and common occurrence;
Whereas the abduction of a child by one parent is a heartbreaking loss for the left-behind parent and deprives the child of a relationship with 2 loving parents;
Whereas, according to the Report on Compliance with the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction of the United States Department of State from April 2010, research shows that abducted children are at risk of significant short- and long-term problems, including “anxiety, eating problems, nightmares, mood swings, sleep disturbances, [and] aggressive behavior”;
Whereas, according to that report, left-behind parents may also experience substantial psychological and emotional issues, including feelings of “betrayal, sadness over the loss of their children or the end of their marriage, anger toward the other parent, anxiety, sleeplessness, and severe depression”, as well as financial strain while fighting for the return of a child;
Whereas, since 1988, the United States, which has a treaty relationship under the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, done at The Hague October 25, 1980 (TIAS 11670) (referred to in this preamble as the “Hague Abduction Convention”) with 69 other countries, has agreed with its treaty partners to follow the terms of the Hague Abduction Convention;
Whereas the Hague Abduction Convention provides a legal framework for securing the prompt return of wrongfully removed or retained children to the countries of their habitual residence where competent courts can make decisions on issues of custody and the best interests of the children;
Whereas, according to the United States Department of State, the number of new cases of international child abduction from the United States increased from 579 in 2006 to 941 in 2011;
Whereas, in 2011, those 941 cases involved 1,367 children who were reported abducted from the United States by a parent and taken to a foreign country;
Whereas, in 2011, more than 660 children who were abducted from the United States and taken to a foreign country were returned to the United States;
Whereas 7 of the top 10 countries to which children from the United States were most frequently abducted in 2011 are parties to the Hague Abduction Convention, including Mexico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Ecuador, Brazil, and Colombia;
Whereas Japan, India, and Egypt are not parties to the Hague Abduction Convention and were also among the top 10 countries to which children in the United States were most frequently abducted in 2011;
Whereas, in many countries, such as Japan and India, international parental child abduction is not considered a crime, and custody rulings made by courts in the United States are not typically recognized by courts in those countries; and
Whereas Japan is the only member of the Group of 7 major industrialized countries that has not ratified the Hague Abduction Convention: Now, therefore, be it
(1) the Senate—
(A) condemns the unlawful international abduction of all children;
(B) urges countries identified by the United States Department of State as noncompliant or demonstrating patterns of noncompliance with the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, done at The Hague October 25, 1980 (TIAS 11670) (referred to in this resolution as the “Hague Abduction Convention”) to fulfill their commitment under international law to expeditiously implement the provisions of the Hague Abduction Convention;
(C) calls on all countries to accede to or ratify the Hague Abduction Convention and to promptly institute measures to equitably and transparently address cases of international parental child abduction; and
(D) calls on all countries that have not acceded to or ratified the Hague Abduction Convention to develop a mechanism for the resolution of current and future cases of international parental child abduction that occur before those countries accede to or ratify the Hague Abduction Convention in order to facilitate the prompt return of children abducted to those countries to the children’s countries of habitual residence; and
(2) it is the sense of the Senate that the United States should—
(A) aggressively pursue the return of each child abducted by a parent from the United States to another country through all appropriate means, consistent with the Hague Abduction Convention, and through extradition, when appropriate, and facilitate access by the left-behind parent if the child is not returned;
(B) take all appropriate measures to ensure that a child abducted to a country that is a party to the Hague Abduction Convention is returned to the country of habitual residence of the child in compliance with the provisions of the Hague Abduction Convention;
(C) continue to use diplomacy to encourage other countries to accede to or ratify the Hague Abduction Convention and to take the necessary steps to effectively fulfill their responsibilities under the Hague Abduction Convention;
(D) use diplomacy to encourage countries that have not acceded to or ratified the Hague Abduction Convention to develop an institutionalized mechanism to transparently and expeditiously resolve current and future cases of international child abduction that occur before those countries accede to or ratify the Hague Abduction Convention; and
(E) review the advisory services made available to United States citizens by the United States Department of State, the United States Department of Justice, and other United States Government agencies—
(i) to improve the prevention of international parental child abduction from the United States; and
(ii) to ensure that effective and timely assistance is provided to United States citizens who are parents of children abducted from the United States and taken to foreign countries.