HBA-MPA H.B. 158 76(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 158 By: Wise Criminal Jurisprudence 3/10/1999 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Legislation passed at a federal level over the last 15 years reflects a growing concern about child abduction. H.B. 158 provides for a court to issue a warrant for the recovery of a detained or concealed child. This bill requires courts to order restitution to be paid by the offender to the victims of enumerated offenses associated with child abduction, including the cost of any necessary rehabilitation, and increases the criminal penalty for these offenses. This bill also clarifies that it is interference with custody if a person knowingly retains or takes a child in the expectation of a divorce or change in custody status, and provides that a court may issue an ex parte order for custody of a child if it finds a clear and present danger that the child may be abducted. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Chapter 18, Code of Criminal Procedure, by adding Article 18.022, as follows: Art. 18.022. WARRANT TO RECOVER CHILD. (a) Authorizes the court to issue a warrant upon request to recover a detained or concealed child upon receipt of an affidavit from a district or county attorney showing probable cause that issuance is necessary to protect the child or to preserve the court's jurisdiction. (b) Provides that such a warrant must authorize the child to be placed in protective custody by a peace officer or to be returned as ordered by the court. Authorizes the service of the warrant in any county in the same manner as a search warrant. (c) Provides that on the declaration by the attorney originally requesting the warrant that the child is recovered or that the warrant is no longer required, the warrant may be dismissed without further proceedings. (d) Requires the peace officer executing the warrant to return the child to the person entitled to possession of the child, or to place the child in protective custody. (e) Requires the peace officer executing the warrant to deliver the child to the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services as provided under Section 262.007 (Possession and Delivery of Missing Child), Family Code, if the person entitled to possession of the child is not available. SECTION 2. Amends Chapter 42, Code of Criminal Procedure, by adding Article 42.0371, as follows: Art. 42.0371. MANDATORY RESTITUTION FOR OFFENSES INVOLVING CHILD CUSTODY. (a) Requires the court to order a defendant convicted under Sections 25.03 (Interference with Child Custody), 25.031 (Abduction from Custody), or 25.04 (Enticing a Child), Penal Code, to pay restitution to the victim of the offense to cover the cost of necessary rehabilitation, the cost incurred in returning the victim, and any other reasonable cost incurred by the victim, to pay restitution to a private entity that provided victim services at a reasonable cost, and to pay restitution to the district or county attorney for the costs incurred in returning the victim. (b) Requires the court to specify in the restitution order the manner in which the defendant is required to pay restitution. (c) Provides that a restitution order be enforced in the same manner as a judgment in a civil action. (d) Provides that the court may hold hearings, make findings of fact, and amend the restitution order if the defendant fails to pay the victim as specified. SECTION 3. Amends Section 25.03 (Interference with Child Custody), Penal Code, to specify that a person is interfering with child custody by taking or retaining a child if the person knows that a suit of divorce, a civil suit, or an application for habeas corpus to dispose of the child's custody will be filed. Provides that a person is presumed to know that such an action will be filed if another informs the person of the pending filing, if the suit or application is filed within 30 days of the taking or retention of the child, and if the person has not been awarded possession of the child in a temporary or permanent court order. Deletes a provision providing that it is a defense for a person charged under Subsection (a)(2) that the child was returned to the judicial district or county within three days of the offense. Provides that an offense under this section is a third degree felony, rather than a state jail felony. SECTION 4. Amends Section 25.031(b), Penal Code, to provide that an offense under this section is a third degree felony, rather than a state jail felony. SECTION 5. Amends Section 25.04(b), Penal Code, to provide that an offense under this section is a state jail felony, rather than a Class B misdemeanor. SECTION 6. Amends Chapter 25, Penal Code, by adding Sections 25.10 and 25.11, as follows: Sec. 25.10. SUBSEQUENT CUSTODY OR VISITATION ORDER NO DEFENSE. Provides that the award of custody or visitation is not a defense for a person charged under Section 25.03, 25.031, or 25.04, and provides an exception. Sec. 25.11 NECESSITY DEFENSE FOR OFFENSES INVOLVING CHILD CUSTODY. (a) Provides that it is a defense for a person charged under Sections 25.03, 25.031, or 25.04, Penal Code, that the person: believed in good faith that the action was necessary to avoid imminent harm to the child; filed within 10 days of the offense a report with the prosecuting attorney in the county where the child resided, containing the information required by Subsection (b); and filed within 30 days of the offense a suit for a modification of the child's custody or possession order with the court. (b) Provides that the report filed with the prosecuting attorney include the name of the person charged, the current address and telephone number of the child and the person charged, and the reason the person committed the offense. (c) Requires that the person charged under this section notify the prosecuting attorney of any change in address or telephone number of the child or the person charged, and provides that the information is confidential and may not be disclosed. SECTION 7. Amends Chapter 105, Family Code, by adding Section 105.009, as follows: Sec. 105.009. TEMPORARY EX PARTE ORDER TO PROHIBIT ABDUCTION. Authorizes a person who has standing to file a suit affecting the parent-child relationship to apply to a court for the issuance of a temporary ex parte order providing for possession of or access to the child if: (1) such a suit has not been filed and (2) an order for possession or access has not been rendered. Authorizes the court to render the ex parte order without other notice to the family or household and without a hearing, for a period of up to 30 days with subsequent 30 day extensions, if the court finds from the information contained in the application that there is a clear and present danger that the child may be abducted. Provides that violation of such an order is punishable by contempt and is enforced under Chapter 157. ( Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition, ex parte: "on one side only; at or for the benefit of one party only"). SECTION 8. Effective date: September 1, 1999. Makes application of SECTION 3 of this Act prospective. SECTION 9. Emergency clause.