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  1. #1
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    May 2011
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    Default Which State to File Emergency Temporary Custody

    My question involves child abuse or neglect in the State of: Florida

    15 year old was beaten and threatened by father several days ago. He has primary physical custody of child. This was an agreed upon arrangement by both parents as mother had to move out of state for work and 50/50 custody was in place at the time. Parents did file a formal custody agreement and visitation through courts. Child and father have been having problems past months and turned violent several days ago. School notified police and DCF. Filing a protective order today. This was not a one hit or one slap incident. There are several marks and bruises and possible concussion. Visit with pediatrician today also. Police are filing charges. DCF has open case and child was placed with family member. Mom is arriving from out of state today. There are still safety concerns as father is still trying to contact child. Does mom file temporary custody in FL or would it be better to get child and leave to her home state and file in the other state. The other state does have jurisdiction for emergency custody orders....already checked. DCF is really not very helpful as it seems to be impossible to contact anyone or have anyone give a straight answer at present time. Please advise.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Which State to File Emergency Temporary Custody

    How does the other state have jurisdiction over the child (regardless of circumstances)?
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Which State to File Emergency Temporary Custody

    Quote Quoting Dogmatique
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    How does the other state have jurisdiction over the child (regardless of circumstances)?
    In abusive situation the states cooperate to keep the safety of the child the priority. Without specifically discussing which state here is an overview:

    Circumstances for Emergency Child Custody

    In an emergency, a court has the authority to issue a temporary child custody order. The order is meant to protect a child who's subjected to or threatened with mistreatment or abuse. Examples of situations that could lead to an emergency order include:

    Allegations of sexual abuse
    Threats of mistreatment or abuse
    Child abandonment
    Custody was awarded to a convicted sex offender
    Child endangerment from a parent's alcohol abuse

    Whether you'll be awarded child custody will greatly depend on the law of the state in which you're filing the petition. What qualifies as an emergency differs greatly from state to state. Some courts have a very restrictive view of emergency authority, while others take a much broader view..

    A court may also enter an emergency order when a child's parent or sibling has been abused. This will allow a parent to leave a domestic abuse situation and seek temporary custody in another state.
    Procedures for Emergency Child Custody

    In order for a court to have the authority to enter an emergency order, the child must be physically present in the state. The child must have been abandoned or subjected to or threatened with mistreatment or abuse.

    The court must conduct a full hearing before it may issue an emergency order. All parties must be given notice and an opportunity to be heard. However, the court may issue an interim temporary order to protect the child before the hearing.

    The court that has emergency authority must contact the court that has original authority. The two courts need to communicate and determine the best way to protect the child.
    Evidence of Abuse or Abandonment

    Your petition to the court to assume emergency authority should contain specific instances of threats or abuse. The following types of evidence are useful to support your petition:

    Records from protection order proceedings
    Reports of social workers
    Home studies
    Medical and dental reports
    Psychological evaluations of the child
    Affidavits from teachers and other adults concerning your child's behaviors
    Police reports and arrest records concerning incidents of domestic violence or other violent behavior
    Criminal records
    Affidavits of the parties
    In camera interviews (private interviews with a judge in the judge's chambers) with your child

    The allegations in your petition need to be supported by evidence. Allegations of threats not supported by evidence aren't enough to warrant a court's emergency authority.
    Duration of the Temporary Emergency Order

    The court with emergency authority specifies a time period that the temporary order is in effect. During this time, the party with temporary custody can seek a permanent child custody order from the original court. The emergency order remains in effect until the original court enters a custody order or until the specified time expires.

    The emergency court may only enter a temporary order to protect a child. It may not enter an order that has an impact on permanent child custody.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Which State to File Emergency Temporary Custody

    There's a reason why we ask which state/s are involved.

    But you appear to have the answer anyway. You answered your own question.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  5. #5
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    Red face Re: Which State to File Emergency Temporary Custody

    Maybe I'm not wording my question right. I know that temporary custoday CAN be filed in the other state, just wasn't sure if it was okay to remove child from Florida. Protective order was granted, and judge was aware that Mom lives elsewhere and does not have primary custody. The domestic violence department that helped file the injunction basically said that if child was left in relatives care and DCF was not going to formally place child in anyone's custody, Mom should be grateful child won't be caught up in the "system". So does this mean that Mom can take child to other state and file for an emergency custody hearing there rather than having to stay in Florida to manuver the system here and potentially put mother and child at risk while they are here. DCF has still not returned calls...very frustrating! I know that I am being evasive about the other state but I would rather not post too much info online.....you never know who may be reading!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Which State to File Emergency Temporary Custody

    Since DCF are involved, it's really best to get an attorney. Jurisdiction may well be an issue here, and Mom would be unwise to "escape" out of Florida without having formal custody. She should file in Florida to make sure she's covering her bases.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Which State to File Emergency Temporary Custody

    Emergency jurisdiction under the UCCJEA is meant to last only as long as necessary to resolve the danger to the child in the state that has continuing, exclusive jurisdiction over the custody case, at which point the child is to return to his home state. It would appear that with the DCF involvement and injunction there is no present danger to the child to resolve.

  8. #8
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    Red face Re: Which State to File Emergency Temporary Custody

    So funny how complicated the laws can be. I know they are in place to protect but sometimes they can hinder too! Tried to file temporary custody with the injunction and was told there was no need as DCF had already removed child. Relative was unser the impression that this she was just stepping in until mom could get here. DCF finally had something to say after calls to supervisor, and we were told that relative does NOT have custody, only a court can do that. They also said that father could technically still pick up child if he wanted too? They are NOT going to have a shelter hearing or place child as they feel that child is fine with relatives so there will not be a case worker assigned just the pi. They custody that relative has is in the form of a hand written letter from the original pi that just states child is under relatives care until further notice. Mom is going tomorrow to meet with them. Funny thing is the letter was shown to the court today and they said that IS a legal document as it is from DCF. Obviously, this seems to be far more complicated than expected so we do have a consult tomorrow with an atty. Thank you for your time here and bless you all for trying to understand this system and help others!

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