This is archived content from the U.S. Department of Justice website. The information here may be outdated and links may no longer function. Please contact if you have any questions about the archive site.

1961. Relationship To The Federal Kidnapping Act

Abduction of a minor child by a parent, usually associated with child custody disputes, accompanied by interstate flight or retention is specifically exempted from Federal enforcement under the Federal Kidnapping Act (18 U.S.C. § 1201). See United States v. Sheek, 990 F.2d 150 (4th Cir. 1993)("parent" exemption to Federal Kidnapping Act applies to biological parent whose parental rights have been permanently terminated). To overcome this decision Congress clarified the definition of a "parent" in the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 by amending 18 U.S.C. § 1201, adding subsection (h) that states the term 'parent' does not include a person whose parental rights with respect to the victim of an offense under this section have been terminated by a final court order. See JM 9-60.100 for a general discussion of kidnapping law.

[cited in JM 9-74.200]

Updated January 17, 2020