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Introduced Version House Bill 2269 History

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hb2269 intr
H. B. 2269


(By Delegate Stalnaker)
[Introduced February 11, 2005; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]




A BILL to amend and reenact §61-2-14d of the code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to providing a misdemeanor penalty if a person fails to make a reasonable, good-faith attempt to return a minor child in a timely manner at the expiration of a lawful custody or visitation period.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §61-2-14d
of the code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2. CRIMES AGAINST THE PERSON.

§61-2-14d. Concealment or removal of minor child from custodian or from person entitled to visitation; penalties; defenses.

(a) Any person who conceals, takes or removes a minor child in violation of any court order an with the intent to deprive another person of lawful custody or visitation right shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned in the penitentiary a state correctional facility not less than one nor more than five years, or in the discretion of the court, shall be imprisoned in the county jail not more than one year or fined not more than one thousand dollars, or both fined and imprisoned.
(b) Any person who violates this section and in so doing removes the minor child from this State or conceals the minor child in another state shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned in the penitentiary a state correctional facility not less than one nor more than five years, or fined not more than one thousand dollars, or both fined and imprisoned.
(c) It shall be is a defense under this section that the accused reasonably believed such action was necessary to preserve the welfare of the minor child. The mere failure to return a minor child at the expiration of any lawful custody or visitation period without the intent to deprive another person of lawful custody or visitation rights shall does not constitute an offense under this section if there is a reasonable, good-faith attempt to return the minor child in a timely manner. A person who fails to make a reasonable, good-faith attempt to return a minor child in a timely manner at the expiration of a lawful custody or visitation period, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars and may be ordered to pay any resulting court costs: Provided, That if the minor child is retained more than forty-eight hours after the expiration of a lawful custody or visitation period, or is removed from the State during such period, the felony offense provisions under subsections (a) or (b) of this section shall apply.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide a misdemeanor penalty if a person fails to make a reasonable, good-faith attempt to return a minor child in a timely manner at the expiration of a lawful custody or visitation period.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.

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