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Criminal Resource Manual

1962. Use Of Unlawful Flight To Avoid Prosecution Warrants (UFAPS)

In the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act of 1980 (PKPA)(28 U.S.C. § 1738A), Congress expressly stated that Federal action in cases involving interstate flight or retention would be covered under the Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution (UFAP), 18 U.S.C. § 1073. See USAM 9-69.400 et seq. for a general discussion of UFAP warrants, and USAM 9-69.421, which specifically addresses the use of UFAP warrants in felony parental abduction cases. Parental abduction cases referred to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for investigation, where interstate flight or retention exists, will continue to be handled as fugitive matters relative to the abducting parent. Keep in mind that criminal proceedings relate to the abductor and that the parent needs to pursue civil remedies for return of the child if not made voluntarily.

Prosecutors seeking assistance from the FBI through the UFAP process or under 18 U.S.C. § 1204, or the custodial parent seeking the return of the abducted child, should be made aware of civil remedies and Office of Children's Issues assistance. The civil/judicial route should be pursued simultaneously with the law enforcement action to maximize the chances of a return of the child. Be aware that in some signatory countries the Hague Convention process may be extremely slow and ultimately counter-productive. Therefore, at some point a decision may need to be made to pursue criminal charges even though Hague Convention remedies are available. Questions regarding extradition issues should be addressed to the Office of International Affairs (OIA). See USAM 9-15.000 et. seq.

[cited in USAM 9-74.200]