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Tuesday, March 05, 2013

New child abduction bill in Oregon House


By Sean Aaron Cruz
March 5, 2013

Portland, Oregon

State Representative Alissa Keny-Guyer (D, Portland, House District 46) has introduced legislation calling for an Oregon State Police study of the issue of children abducted both from and to Oregon.

HB 2014 is the first legislation on the issue since the passage of Senate Bill 1041 (Aaron’s Law) in 2005.

Representative Keny-Guyer’s bill addresses the issue of parental, family and church-sponsored abductions in several important ways, and I want to underscore the fact that when your child disappears, every barrier and everything that delays or prevents the recovery of your child matters, every minute of every day matters, and it will matter for the rest of your and your children’s lives.

(1) HB 2014 calls on the Oregon State Police to report on “the chain of events that take place when a child is reported to law enforcement officials as missing by the parent, grandparent or legal custodian of the child.”

Under existing laws and practices, law enforcement and court officials ignore reports of missing/abducted children from grandparents and non-custodial parents.

Yet, all too often, children are abducted by family members in situations where the parents are still married or were never married, and thus there is no custody order.

And there are often cases where it is a grandparent who is actually raising the child(ren), but has no standing in court.

HB 2014 brings the whole of the child(ren)’s family into view, and asks the question, “What chain of events takes place….”

(2) HB 2014 calls on the Oregon State Police to report on “the chain of events that take place when a child is reported to law enforcement officials as having been brought to Oregon in violation of a lawful custody order issued by a court of competent jurisdiction in another state.”

There has been no prior study on this issue, what happens when a child is abducted from somewhere else and brought to Oregon.

(3) HB 2014 calls on the Oregon State Police to report on “any progress that has been made in conducting investigations” of children abducted to or from Oregon since the issuance of the final report of the 2004 Senate Interim Task Force on Parental and Family Abductions.”

The 2004 Senate Interim Task Force on Parental and Family Abductions built on prior work by the earlier Task Force on Family Law, which sought to reduce the incidence of divorce in Oregon.

Among the findings of the Task Force on Parental and Family Abductions was the shocking realization that no state agency knew the number of non-stranger child abduction cases occurring in Oregon, because no one tracks them. The Oregon State Police made promises to the legislature in 2005 that they would do so in the future.

The 2004 Task Force on Parental and Family Abductions laid the groundwork for Senate Bill 1041 “Aaron’s Law” in 2005. With the passage of SB 1041, Oregon became the first state in the nation where abducting a child (violating the Custodial Interference I statute) creates a civil cause of action.

Aaron’s Law provides parents of abducted children with new tools to deter and resolve cases where parents or family members or members of a church congregation engaging in a shunning have abducted a child in the state of Oregon.

Here is the full text of HB 2014:


77th OREGON LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY--2013 Regular Session

House Bill 2014
Sponsored by Representative KENY-GUYER; Representatives BARTON, GARRETT, KRIEGER

SUMMARY

Requires  Department  of  State  Police  to  conduct  study  on issues related to abduction of children. Directs  department  to  report  results  of  study  to  interim 
committees  of  Legislative  Assembly  related to  crime  on  or  before 
November  1,  2014. Sunsets January 2, 2015.

Declares  emergency,  effective  on  passage.

A BILL FOR AN ACT

Relating  to  the  abduction  of  children;  and  declaring  an  emergency.

Be It Enacted by the People of the State of Oregon:

SECTION 1. (1) The Department of State Police shall conduct a study of:
(a) The chain of events that take place when a child is reported to law enforcement officials as missing by the parent, grandparent or legal custodian of the child;

(b) The chain of events that take place when a child is reported to law enforcement officials as having been brought to Oregon in violation of a lawful custody order issued by a court of competent jurisdiction in another state;

(c) Investigation procedures related to violations of ORS 163.245 and 163.257; and

(d) Any progress that has been made in conducting investigations described in paragraphs (a) to (c) of this subsection since the issuance of the final report of the 2004 Senate Interim Task Force on Parental and Family Abductions.

(2) The department shall report the results of the study to the interim committees of the Legislative Assembly related to crime on or before November 1, 2014.

SECTION 2. Section 1 of this 2013 Act is repealed on January 2, 2015.

SECTION 3. This 2013 Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, an emergency is declared to exist, and this 2013 Act takes effect on its passage.

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Link to Representative Keny-Guyer’s web page:


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Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski signed Senate Bill 1041 (Aaron’s Law) with my son’s picture on his desk in 2005




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