UK/Czech Rep: ‘My ex secretly took our child out of the country’


Tracy hugs her daughter

A mother from Yorkshire has spent 18 months fighting for access to her daughter, who was taken abroad by her ex. Custody battles are always stressful and dealing with foreign courts and lawyers adds extra complications, expense and delays. But as more people take advantage of Europe’s freedom of movement stories like this are becoming more common.

“He didn’t tell me what he was planning,” says Tracy. “He said he was taking her for an overnight stay at his temporary accommodation in Bradford. Looking back, I remember her saying that she didn’t want to go, but I didn’t think anything was wrong. I wanted him to have this contact.

Something was wrong, though, as Tracy soon found out.

“The next morning he called me. He was clearly upset and he told me that they were back in the Czech Republic. I just went into shock. It was the worst moment of my life. I called the police and they spoke to him, but under the international treaty they said there was nothing they could do, even though he’d taken her there without me knowing anything about it.”

Tracy had met her Czech-born partner while he was working in Bradford in 2005 and had given birth to their daughter three years later. When the partner was made redundant the couple decided to move to his village in the Czech Republic where they lived with his parents. But at some point their relationship broke down.

In 2016, with Tracy’s mother’s health deteriorating, they moved back to the UK with their daughter, who was then seven. Even though they were not together as a couple, they could both love and care for her.

But when they got back to Bradford, Tracy’s ex had a disagreement with her mother, and he was asked to leave.

Her former partner, who did not want to be named, says that he had never intended the 2016 move back to the UK to be permanent – he only agreed because Tracy’s mother was ill. When he realised that he was not welcome at the family home he started considering his options.

“I was thinking what to do,” he says. “I wasn’t even allowed to be in the house for my daughter’s birthday. I walked away and I felt miserable. I was crying like a small kid. That was the breaking point when I said ‘No’. Maybe it could have been different if they had proceeded more carefully, Tracy and her mother, if they were not so heavy-handed.

“Maybe I would have stayed and found myself a flat. Maybe I would have endured it. I will be honest with you, now I have a huge aversion towards England. I see English football and I switch to another channel.”

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India: Still Open To Signing The Hague Treaty On Child Abduction: Maneka Gandhi


The Hague Convention is a multilateral treaty that seeks to protect children from the harmful effects of abduction and retention across international boundaries by providing a procedure to bring about their return.

Still Open To Signing The Hague Treaty On Child Abduction: Maneka Gandhi

Maneka Gandhi said that the decision on the Hague treaty will be taken in due time

NEW DELHI: 

Union minister Maneka Gandhi said the option of signing the Hague Convention on inter-country abduction of children by parents was still open, and a mediation cell will be constituted to resolve such cases till a decision was taken on signing the convention.

The Hague Convention is a multilateral treaty that seeks to protect children from the harmful effects of abduction and retention across international boundaries by providing a procedure to bring about their return.

India is not a signatory to the convention. The government had been of the view that the treaty could lead to harassment of women escaping marital discord or domestic violence.

The Women and Child Development (WCD) Ministry has directed the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) to constitute a mediation cell to resolve the cases of children taken away by one of the spouses without the permission of the other parent due to marital discord or domestic violence, from overseas to India or vice versa.

The commission has also been asked to prepare a parental plan, taking into account the best interest of the child, a statement by the ministry said.

In the statement, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi also mentioned that the issue of signing the Hague Convention was still open and a decision on it would be taken in due course.

“Till then, the mediation process as notified by the WCD Ministry, should take care of most of the representations received by the ministry. The speaking order of the INA (Integrated Nodal Agency) will be extremely useful for both the parents to get the legal cases resolved or closed,” she said.

The mediation cell will have a chairperson and members of NCPCR in fields of laws relating to children and those relating to child psychology-sociology, the statement said.

The cell will develop a parental plan keeping in view the interest of the child and submit its report to the INA. Based on the report of the agency and any other inputs that the INA may seek from the applicants or from Home Ministry or External Affairs Ministry, it will pass a speaking order in the matter, it said.

Maneka Gandhi said the purpose of the procedure was primarily to bring all the facts of the case, including the legal proceeding, make an overall assessment of the situation and suggest a parental plan in the best interests of the child.

Currently, there is no specific Indian legislation addressing issues related to abduction of children from and into India.

The decision to form the cell was taken after the ministry received a large number of complaints from such parents, the statement said.

Most of these complaints are from women who have had to escape from foreign countries along with their children to come to the safety of their own families residing in India.

Their husbands file criminal cases of abduction of the children in the country where they are residing, which go uncontested as the women in India are unable to present their cases, it said.

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USA: Fair Play police chief finds missing children during traffic stop


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FAIR PLAY, Mo A routine traffic stop in Fair Play quickly turned into much more when three missing children were spotted in the back seat.

They had been missing since March.

Chief Ed Morrison was patrolling town last weekend when he passed a vehicle that didn’t have a license plate, and pulled it over.

Morrison radioed dispatch with the information on the woman driving and they radioed back with some shocking news.

“Her and her boyfriend were persons of interest in a case with three missing juveniles. And I told dispatch well there is three juveniles in the back seat of this car.” said Chief Ed Morrison, with the Fair Play police department.

36 year old Valerie Scott had a warrant out of Montana for parental kidnapping after she skipped a court appearance for a parenting plan and took off with the kids.

She was down in the area to visit her father and was unaware of the warrant out for her arrest.

“I actually didn’t do anything that any other deputy or officer wouldn’t have done. I just happened to be at the right place at the right time. If she would have had a valid temp tag my PC for the stop would have been gone, I wouldn’t have even have ran her.” said Morrison.

Morrison says in a small town stuff like this doesn’t happen often so helping those kids felt good.

“You have that sense of satisfaction that you have done your job.” said Morrison. “I just did my job and by doing that it worked out the way it should have worked out.”

And his most unique traffic stop of his 18 year career was just days before his retirement.

“For me it is a good way to go out.” said Morrison. “It feels good to end it that way, but I hate to end it.”

He is set to retire on Wednesday, his 74th birthday.

The kids were returned to their father.

And Scott is being held in the Polk County jail on a 25 thousand dollar bond.

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USA/Algeria: Federal kidnapping charge filed against French national for fleeing US with infant child in Boston custody dispute


BOSTON –  The U.S. Attorney’s Office filed federal kidnapping charges against a French national who last month defied a judge’s orders and fled the country with his 3-year-old child without the mother’s permission.

Malik Benhamza, 33, who had been living in East Boston, is believed to be in Algiers, Algeria. Neither he nor the child have been seen or heard from since July 1.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office on Monday filed a criminal complaint that charges him with a single count of international parental kidnapping. He is now considered an international fugitive.

The United States has no extradition treaty with Algeria, a country in northern Africa bordering on the Mediterranean Sea.

According to prosecutors, the child’s mother, Jerusha Hall, in February was granted sole legal custody of the child by Essex County Family Court. Benhamza was granted visitation rights but only on specific days and times.

The family court judge also ordered that neither parent could travel outside Massachusetts with the child without written consent of the other parent.

On July 1, Benhamza did not return the child following a scheduled visit. Hall contacted law enforcement when the child was not returned, and officials tracked him by cell phone records to John F. Kennedy Airport in New York. A review of flight records showed that he and the child had departed on a Royal Air Moroc flight to Algiers where they disembarked.

If he is apprehended, Benhamza faces a penalty of up to three years in prison for international parental kidnapping.

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If you have any questions or concerns regarding parental abduction to of from France, Algeria or The USA, we can help.  Please feel free to contact us 24 / 7.  We are always available at contact@abpworld.com or by calling our offices – +1 (805) CHILD-11 (+18052445311)

USA: National Guard Can Do More at the Border


By most accounts, National Guard deployment at the border has been an asset to U.S. Border Patrol operations. With some commonsense adjustments, the Guard could be more useful.

Since Operation Guardian Support began in April, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has been assisted by the National Guard in carrying out thousands of apprehensions, seizing thousands of pounds of drugs and performing multiple rescues, according to Rodolfo Karisch, CBP’s Tucson sector chief.

In their support role, Guard personnel have demolished a narrative that they would behave like jackbooted storm troopers running roughshod over illegal border crossers. Barred from direct enforcement actions, the Guard has aided in several rescues, and even family reunifications.

In Eagle Pass, Texas, a Guardsman was instrumental in the safe return of a 3-year-old child after a parental abduction in Mexico. Thanks to Guard surveillance, the boy, who had been taken across the Rio Grande by his non-custodial father, was tracked, turned over to the Mexican Consulate and reunited with his mother just hours after an Amber Alert.

The good works could come to an end Oct. 1, when funds for the six-month program run out.

The start-and-stop prospects of Operation Guardian Support have limited its effectiveness, Maj. Gen. Michael McGuire, adjutant general of the Arizona National Guard, told a House Committee hearing last month.

“This makes it impossible to schedule any long lead time activities like engineering projects,” McGuire testified.

Operation Jump Start, an earlier troop deployment, showed what continuity of service could do. From 2006-2008, National Guard units built 122 miles of border fencing, among other duties. Nothing like that has been attempted this time around.

The National Border Patrol Council, the union that represents rank-and-file agents, has complained that troops are stationed too far from the border and too often duplicate, rather than enhance, CBP activities.

McGuire agrees that aerial operations need an upgrade. He calls the current eye in the sky myopic — “like looking through a soda straw.”

Further, the general wants Guardsmen to supplement undermanned CBP Air and Marine crews flying MQ-9 drones over the border. At Fort Huachuca, Ariz., only two of the authorized five daily flights are actually in the air.

America’s 2,000-mile southern border is riddled with well-documented security gaps. The Guard is ready, willing and able step into the breach, without overstepping its legal orders. There’s no point in going halfway on this mission.

f you have any questions or concerns regarding parental abduction to of from Mexico or The USA, we can help.  Please feel free to contact us 24 / 7.  We are always available at contact@abpworld.com or by calling our offices – +1 (805) CHILD-11 (+18052445311)

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India: Option of signing Hague treaty on child abduction still open: Maneka


india_abducted_child1
today said the option of signing the Hague Convention on inter-country abduction of children by parents was still open, and a cell will be constituted to resolve such cases till a decision was taken on signing the convention.
The Hague Convention is a multilateral treaty that seeks to protect children from the harmful effects of abduction and retention across international boundaries by providing a procedure to bring about their return.
India is not a signatory to the convention. The government had been of the view that the treaty could lead to harassment of women escaping marital discord or 

The Women and Child Development (WCD) Ministry has directed the National Commission for Protection of (NCPCR) to constitute a cell to resolve the cases of children taken away by one of the spouses without the permission of the other parent due to marital discord or domestic violence, from overseas to or vice versa.

The NCPCR has also been asked to prepare a parental plan, taking into account the best interest of the child, a statement by the ministry said.

In the statement, Women and also mentioned that the issue of signing the Hague Convention was still open and a decision on it would be taken in due course.

“Till then, the process as notified by the WCD Ministry, should take care of most of the representations received by the ministry. The speaking order of the INA (Integrated Nodal Agency) will be extremely useful for both the parents to get the legal cases resolved or closed,” she said.

The mediation cell will have a and members of NCPCR in fields of laws relating to children and those relating to child psychology-sociology, the statement said.

The cell will develop a parental plan keeping in view the interest of the child and submit its report to the INA. Based on the report of the agency and any other inputs that the INA may seek from the applicants or from or External Affairs Ministry, it will pass a speaking order in the matter, it said.

Gandhi said the purpose of the procedure was primarily to bring all the facts of the case, including the legal proceeding, make an overall assessment of the situation and suggest a parental plan in the best interests of the child.

Currently, there is no specific Indian legislation addressing issues related to abduction of children from and into 

The decision to form the cell was taken after the ministry received a large number of complaints from such parents, the statement said.

Most of these complaints are from women who have had to escape from foreign countries along with their children to come to the safety of their own families residing in India.

Their husbands file criminal cases of abduction of the children in the country where they are residing, which go uncontested as the women in India are unable to present their cases, it said.

In order to resolve the issues, the ministry had appointed a committee under Justice Rajesh Bindal. The committee has since submitted its recommendations which are under examination.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding parental abduction to of from India, we can help.  Please feel free to contact us 24 / 7.  We are always available at contact@abpworld.com or by calling our offices – +1 (805) CHILD-11 (+18052445311)

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USA: Woman Accused of Breaking Into Palm Coast Home and Kidnapping Her Two Children


sara Elisabeth Jones

The call came in to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office at 8:21 Saturday morning from 9 Cute Court in Palm Coast.

Two children, ages 3 and 5, had been at the house, in their great-grandparents’ custody. They’d been put to bed the previous night. Somehow, sometime in the night, their mother, Sara Elisabeth Jones, managed to get in the house and take them–or kidnap them, according to the charges she faces. She then drove to Tennessee.

The children’s legal guardians are James and Billie Dean Jones. Kristi Kocer, the children’s grandmother, told authorities that clothing, toiletries and toys belonging to the children were also missing. The children’s parents immediately believed Jones had taken the children–either to a house on County Road 304, where she’d lived before (she was not there when deputies checked), or to their father’s, Philip McGraw, who lives in Tennessee. The Joneses believed McGraw had given Jones access to a vehicle.

Joyce Jones, the mother of Sara Jones, speaking to FlaglerLive by phone from Tennessee on Tuesday, said Sara Jones and McGraw had taken the children together and driven to Tennessee. “The father came and took the children, she went with him,” Joyce Jones said.

Sara Jones was not supposed to drive: she had lost custody of the children, according to the Sheriff’s Office’s dispatch notes, because she’d been in a crash, with the children in the vehicle, and had tested positive for various drugs–methamphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana. The children had been in the backseat. (Joyce Jones said only one child was in the car at the time of the crash.)

The children’s disappearance wasn’t entirely a surprise: Jones two days earlier had told their guardians she would be coming for them, according to what they told the 911 dispatcher–and the guardians had met with Jones and a behavioral specialist at the C-Section home the night before. It was a family counseling session. But beyond that, Jones did not have permission to be in the house, let alone take the children from the house. Still, she had a key to the house.

By noon Saturday the Sheriff’s Office learned that the children had been dropped off somewhere in Tennessee. Locating the mother’s phone through pinging and GPS proved unsuccessful.

As detectives investigated, James Jones got a call from McGraw’s former boss: he had called McGraw and heard children’s voices in the background, leading him to believe those were the missing children. By 2:30 p.m. Saturday, authorities had contacted the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office in Tennessee, and within hours Jones was arrested on kidnapping charges and the children were placed in the custody of Tennessee’s Department of Children and Families. The children had been located with their paternal grandmother at a house on Reed Springs Road in Sweetwater, in the eastern part of the state.

Joyce Jones disputed that account. She said she had called the paternal grandmother and urged her to tell the children’s parents to “do the right thing.” But she defended Philip McGraw, saying he had 50-50 custody of the children, according to a Tennessee judge’s order, even though the same order did not apply in Florida, and that he’d fulfilled numerous requirements of family court to regain custody. “What you’ve got here is you have two different states, two different problems,” Joyce Jones said, blaming Florida’s Department of Children and Families for not being current with the case, and blaming the the Sheriff’s Office and the media for publicizing the story of the arrest–and getting facts wrong, in her view.

Joyce Jones at one point contacted the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office–on whose facts the central accounts of this story were based–and asked the office to contact FlaglerLive to demand that the story be altered. She was told otherwise. “Our facts are what your facts are,” the Sheriff’s Chief Mark Strobridge said Wednesday, referring to FlaglerLive and the agency’s original account of the incident, which appeared on the agency’s Facebook page. “That’s what the court system is for, they’ll be able to bring their facts through their attorneys through the courtroom.”

(On Tuesday, McGraw posted a reaction to this story on FlaglerLive’s Facebook page that disputed the sheriff’s account, saying he was the one who told authorities the children were at his mother’s house. “My children were safe and sound with their cousins when authorities showed up they didn’t want to take the kids away but Florida gave them no choice,” he wrote. “Smh shame on Florida for saying they were in harm’s way me nor Sarah Jones would never hurt our children.. I’ve been waiting three months for Florida to send dcs to my house for home study. None of the paper work I have faxed has been documented. But yet here they are trying to make it out that we are horrible parents.”)

“I’m thankful these children are safe and out of harms way,” Sheriff Rick Staly was quoted as saying in a release. “Our detectives worked quickly with DCF and Tennessee authorities to find these children and track down the mother. You cannot interfere in custody issues ordered by a judge without risk of being arrested. These orders are done to protect children when their parents don’t and are not taken lightly. Parental abduction is against the law in Florida.” (Parental kidnapping of a child in violation of legal custody decisions is a felony in most, but not all, states.)

The Sheriff’s Office is working with Tennessee authorities to extradite Sara Jones back to Flagler County. That usually means deputies from Flagler must travel to Tennessee to bring Jones back, at taxpayer expense, though the sheriff has been adding the cost of such extraditions to a defendant’s bill when it is drawn up in court.

The children, according to Joyce Jones, were flown back to Florida with a Tennessee case worker.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding parental abduction, we can help.  Please feel free to contact us 24 / 7.  We are always available at contact@abpworld.com or by calling our offices – +1 (805) CHILD-11 (+18052445311)

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