1Amending Title 23 (Domestic Relations) of the Pennsylvania
2Consolidated Statutes, providing for prevention of abduction
3of children.

4The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
5hereby enacts as follows:

6Section 1.  Title 23 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated
7Statutes is amended by adding a chapter to read:




115201.  Scope of chapter.

125202.  Definitions.

135203.  Cooperation and communication among courts.

145204.  Actions for abduction prevention measures.

155205.  Jurisdiction.

165206.  Contents of petition.

175207.  Factors to determine risk of abduction.

15208.  Provisions and measures to prevent abduction.

25209.  Warrant to take physical custody of child.

35210.  Duration of abduction prevention order.

45211.  Uniformity of application and construction.

55212.  Relation to Electronic Signatures in Global and National
6Commerce Act.

7§ 5201.  Scope of chapter.

8This chapter relates to uniform child abduction prevention.

9§ 5202.  Definitions.

10The following words and phrases when used in this chapter
11shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
12context clearly indicates otherwise:

13"Abduction."  The wrongful removal or wrongful retention of a 

15"Child."  An unemancipated individual who is under 18 years 
16of age.

17"Child custody determination."  Any judgment, decree or other 
18order of a court providing for the legal custody, physical 
19custody or visitation with respect to a child. The term includes 
20a permanent, temporary, initial and modification order.

21"Child custody proceeding."  A proceeding in which legal 
22custody, physical custody or visitation with respect to a child 
23is at issue. The term includes a proceeding for divorce, 
24dissolution of marriage, separation, neglect, abuse, dependency, 
25guardianship, paternity, termination of parental rights or 
26protection from domestic violence.

27"Court."  An entity authorized under the law of a state to 
28establish, enforce or modify a child custody determination.

29"Petition."  A motion or its equivalent.

30"Record."  Information that is inscribed on a tangible medium 

1or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is 
2retrievable in perceivable form.

3"State."  A state of the United States, the District of 
4Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands or any 
5territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of 
6the United States. The term includes a federally recognized 
7Indian tribe or nation.

8"Travel document."  Records relating to a travel itinerary, 
9including travel tickets, passes, reservations for 
10transportation or accommodations. The term does not include a 
11passport or visa.

12"Wrongful removal."  The taking of a child that breaches 
13rights of custody or visitation given or recognized under the 
14laws of this Commonwealth.

15"Wrongful retention."  The keeping or concealing of a child 
16that breaches rights of custody or visitation given or 
17recognized under the laws of this Commonwealth.

18§ 5203.  Cooperation and communication among courts.

19Sections 5410 (relating to communication between courts),
205411 (relating to taking testimony in another state) and 5412
21(relating to cooperation between courts; preservation of
22records) apply to cooperation and communications among courts in
23proceedings under this chapter.

24§ 5204.  Actions for abduction prevention measures.

25(a)  Court.--A court on its own motion may order abduction
26prevention measures in a child custody proceeding if the court
27finds that the evidence establishes a credible risk of abduction
28of the child.

29(b)  Party.--A party to a child custody determination or
30another individual or entity having a right under the laws of

1this Commonwealth or any other state to seek a child custody
2determination for the child may file a petition seeking
3abduction prevention measures to protect the child under this

5(c)  Prosecutors or public officials.--A prosecutor or public
6authority designated under section 5455 (relating to role of
7prosecutor or public official) may seek a warrant to take
8physical custody of a child under section 5209 (relating to
9warrant to take physical custody of child) or other appropriate
10prevention measures.

11§ 5205.  Jurisdiction.

12(a)  General rule.--A petition under this chapter may be
13filed only in a court that has jurisdiction to make a child
14custody determination with respect to the child at issue under
15Chapter 54 (relating to uniform child custody jurisdiction and

17(b)  Emergency jurisdiction.--A court of this Commonwealth
18has temporary emergency jurisdiction under section 5424
19(relating to temporary emergency jurisdiction) if the court
20finds a credible risk of abduction.

21§ 5206.  Contents of petition.

22A petition under this chapter must be verified and include a
23copy of any existing child custody determination, if available.
24The petition must specify the risk factors for abduction,
25including the relevant factors described under section 5207
26(relating to factors to determine risk of abduction). Subject to
27section 5429(e) (relating to information to be submitted to
28court), if reasonably ascertainable, the petition must contain:

29(1)  the name, date of birth and gender of the child;

30(2)  the customary address and current physical location

1of the child;

2(3)  the identity, customary address and current physical
3location of the respondent;

4(4)  a statement of whether a prior action to prevent
5abduction or domestic violence has been filed by a party or
6other individual or entity having custody of the child and
7the date, location and disposition of the action;

8(5)  a statement of whether a party to the proceeding has
9been arrested for a crime related to domestic violence,
10stalking or child abuse or neglect and the date, location and
11disposition of the case; and

12(6)  any other information required to be submitted to
13the court for a child custody determination under section

15§ 5207.  Factors to determine risk of abduction.

16(a)  Evidence supporting risk.--In determining whether there
17is a credible risk of abduction of a child, the court shall
18consider any evidence that the petitioner or respondent:

19(1)  has previously abducted or attempted to abduct the

21(2)  has threatened to abduct the child;

22(3)  has recently engaged in activities that may indicate
23a planned abduction, including:

24(i)  abandoning employment;

25(ii)  selling a primary residence;

26(iii)  terminating a lease;

27(iv)  closing bank or other financial management
28accounts, liquidating assets, hiding or destroying
29financial documents or conducting any unusual financial

1(v)  applying for a passport or visa or obtaining
2travel documents for the respondent, a family member or
3the child; or

4(vi)  seeking to obtain the child's birth certificate
5or school or medical records;

6(4)  has engaged in domestic violence, stalking or child
7abuse or neglect;

8(5)  has refused to follow a child custody determination;

9(6)  lacks strong familial, financial, emotional or
10cultural ties to this Commonwealth or the United States;

11(7)  has strong familial, financial, emotional or
12cultural ties to another state or country;

13(8)  is likely to take the child to a country that:

14(i)  is not a party to the Hague Convention on the
15Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction and does
16not provide for the extradition of an abducting parent or
17for the return of an abducted child;

18(ii)  is a party to the Hague Convention on the Civil
19Aspects of International Child Abduction but:

20(A)  the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of
21International Child Abduction is not in force between
22the United States and that country;

23(B)  according to the most recent compliance
24report issued by the United States Department of
25State, is noncompliant; or

26(C)  lacks legal mechanisms for immediately and
27effectively enforcing a return order under the Hague
28Convention on the Civil Aspects of International
29Child Abduction;

30(iii)  poses a risk that the child's physical or

1emotional health or safety would be endangered in the
2country because of specific circumstances relating to the
3child or because of human rights violations committed
4against children;

5(iv)  has laws or practices that would:

6(A)  enable the respondent, without due cause, to
7prevent the petitioner from contacting the child;

8(B)  restrict the petitioner from freely
9traveling to or exiting from the country because of
10the petitioner's gender, nationality, marital status
11or religion; or

12(C)  restrict the child's ability legally to
13leave the country after the child reaches the age of
14majority because of a child's gender, nationality or

16(v)  is included by the United States Department of
17State on a current list of state sponsors of terrorism;

18(vi)  does not have an official United States
19diplomatic presence in the country; or

20(vii)  is engaged in active military action or war,
21including a civil war, to which the child may be exposed;

22(9)  is undergoing a change in immigration or citizenship
23status that would adversely affect the respondent's ability
24to remain in the United States legally;

25(10)  has had an application for United States
26citizenship denied;

27(11)  has forged or presented misleading or false
28evidence on government forms or supporting documents to
29obtain or attempt to obtain a passport, a visa, travel
30documents, a Social Security card, a driver's license or

1other government-issued identification card or has made a
2misrepresentation to the United States Government;

3(12)  has used multiple names to attempt to mislead or
4defraud; or

5(13)  has engaged in any other conduct the court
6considers relevant to the risk of abduction.

7(b)  Good faith.--In the hearing on a petition under this
8chapter, the court shall consider any evidence that the
9respondent believed in good faith that the respondent's conduct
10was necessary to avoid imminent harm to the child or respondent
11and any other evidence that may be relevant to whether the
12respondent may be permitted to remove or retain the child.

13§ 5208.  Provisions and measures to prevent abduction.

14(a)  Contents of discretionary orders.--If a petition is
15filed under this chapter, the court may enter an order that must

17(1)  the basis for the court's exercise of jurisdiction;

18(2)  the manner in which notice and opportunity to be
19heard were given to the persons entitled to notice of the

21(3)  a detailed description of each party's custody and
22visitation rights and residential arrangements for the child;

23(4)  a provision stating that a violation of the order
24may subject the party in violation to civil and criminal
25penalties; and

26(5)  identification of the child's country of habitual
27residence at the time of the issuance of the order.

28(b)  Abduction prevention orders.--

29(1)  If, at a hearing on a petition under this chapter or
30on the court's own motion, the court after reviewing the

1evidence finds a credible risk of abduction of the child, the
2court shall enter an abduction prevention order.

3(2)  The order must include the provisions required by
4subsection (a) and measures and conditions, including those
5in subsections (c), (d) and (e), that are reasonably
6calculated to prevent abduction of the child, giving due
7consideration to the custody and visitation rights of the

9(3)  The court shall consider:

10(i)  the age of the child;

11(ii)  the potential harm to the child from an

13(iii)  the legal and practical difficulties of
14returning the child to the jurisdiction if abducted; and

15(iv)  the reasons for the potential abduction,
16including evidence of domestic violence, stalking or
17child abuse or neglect.

18(c)  Restrictions.--An abduction prevention order may include
19one or more of the following:

20(1)  an imposition of travel restrictions that require
21that a party traveling with the child outside a designated
22geographical area provide the other party with the following:

23(i)  the travel itinerary of the child;

24(ii)  a list of physical addresses and telephone
25numbers at which the child can be reached at specified
26times; and

27(iii)  copies of all travel documents;

28(2)  a prohibition of the respondent directly or

30(i)  removing the child from this Commonwealth, the

1United States or another geographic area without
2permission of the court or the petitioner's written

4(ii)  removing or retaining the child in violation of
5a child custody determination;

6(iii)  removing the child from school or a child-care
7or similar facility; or

8(iv)  approaching the child at any location other
9than a site designated for supervised visitation;

10(3)  a requirement that a party register the order in
11another state as a prerequisite to allowing the child to
12travel to that state;

13(4)  with regard to the child's passport:

14(i)  a direction that the petitioner place the
15child's name in the United States Department of State's
16Child Passport Issuance Alert Program;

17(ii)  a requirement that the respondent surrender to
18the court or the petitioner's attorney any United States
19or foreign passport issued in the child's name, including
20a passport issued in the name of both the parent and the
21child; and

22(iii)  a prohibition upon the respondent from
23applying on behalf of the child for a new or replacement
24passport or visa;

25(5)  as a prerequisite to exercising custody or
26visitation, a requirement that the respondent provide:

27(i)  to the United States Department of State Office
28of Children's Issues and the relevant foreign consulate
29or embassy, an authenticated copy of the order detailing
30passport and travel restrictions for the child;

1(ii)  to the court:

2(A)  proof that the respondent has provided the
3information in subparagraph (i); and

4(B)  an acknowledgment in a record from the
5relevant foreign consulate or embassy that no
6passport application has been made or passport issued
7on behalf of the child;

8(iii)  to the petitioner, proof of registration with
9the United States Embassy or other United States
10diplomatic presence in the destination country and with
11the Central Authority for the Hague Convention on the
12Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, if that
13convention is in effect between the United States and the
14destination country, unless one of the parties objects;

16(iv)  a written waiver under the Privacy Act of 1974, 
17(Public Law 93-579, 5 U.S.C. § 552a), with respect to any 
18document, application or other information pertaining to 
19the child authorizing its disclosure to the court and the 
20petitioner; and

21(6)  upon the petitioner's request, a requirement that
22the respondent obtain an order from the relevant foreign
23country containing terms identical to the child custody
24determination issued in the United States.

25(d)  Conditions on custody and visitation.--In an abduction
26prevention order, the court may impose conditions on the
27exercise of custody or visitation that:

28(1)  limit visitation or require that visitation with the
29child by the respondent be supervised until the court finds
30that supervision is no longer necessary and order the

1respondent to pay the costs of supervision;

2(2)  require the respondent to post a bond or provide
3other security in an amount sufficient to serve as a
4financial deterrent to abduction, the proceeds of which may
5be used to pay for the reasonable expenses of recovery of the
6child, including reasonable attorney fees and costs if there
7is an abduction; and

8(3)  require the respondent to obtain education on the
9potentially harmful effects to the child from abduction.

10(e)  Prevention of imminent abduction.--To prevent imminent
11abduction of a child, a court may:

12(1)  issue a warrant to take physical custody of the
13child under section 5209 (relating to warrant to take
14physical custody of child) or the laws of this Commonwealth
15other than this chapter;

16(2)  direct the use of law enforcement to take any action
17reasonably necessary to locate the child, obtain return of
18the child or enforce a custody determination under this
19chapter or the laws of this Commonwealth other than this
20chapter; or

21(3)  grant any other relief allowed under the laws of
22this Commonwealth other than this chapter.

23(f)  Cumulative remedies.--The remedies provided in this
24chapter are cumulative and do not affect the availability of
25other remedies to prevent abduction.

26§ 5209.  Warrant to take physical custody of child.

27(a)  Ex parte.--If a petition under this chapter contains
28allegations and the court finds that there is a credible risk
29that the child is imminently likely to be wrongfully removed,
30the court may issue an ex parte warrant to take physical custody

1of the child.

2(b)  Hearing.--The respondent on a petition under subsection
3(a) must be afforded an opportunity to be heard at the earliest
4possible time after the ex parte warrant is executed, but not
5later than the next judicial day unless a hearing on that date
6is impossible. In that event, the court shall hold the hearing
7on the first judicial day possible.

8(c)  Requirements.--An ex parte warrant under subsection (a)
9to take physical custody of a child must:

10(1)  Recite the facts upon which a determination of a
11credible risk of imminent wrongful removal of the child is

13(2)  Direct law enforcement officers to take physical
14custody of the child immediately.

15(3)  State the date and time for the hearing on the

17(4)  Provide for the safe interim placement of the child
18pending further order of the court.

19(d)  Search of databases.--If feasible, before issuing a
20warrant and before determining the placement of the child after
21the warrant is executed, the court may order a search of the
22relevant databases of the National Crime Information Center
23system and similar state databases to determine if either the
24petitioner or respondent has a history of domestic violence,
25stalking or child abuse or neglect.

26(e)  Service.--The petition and warrant must be served on the
27respondent when or immediately after the child is taken into
28physical custody.

29(f)  Enforcement.--

30(1)  A warrant to take physical custody of a child,

1issued by this Commonwealth or another state, is enforceable
2throughout this Commonwealth.

3(2)  If the court finds that a less intrusive remedy will
4not be effective, it may authorize law enforcement officers
5to enter private property to take physical custody of the
6child. If required by exigent circumstances, the court may
7authorize law enforcement officers to make a forcible entry
8at any hour.

9(g)  Fees and costs.--If the court finds, after a hearing,
10that a petitioner sought an ex parte warrant under subsection
11(a) for the purpose of harassment or in bad faith, the court may
12award the respondent reasonable attorney fees, costs and

14(h)  Other relief.--This chapter does not affect the
15availability of relief allowed under the laws of this
16Commonwealth other than this chapter.

17§ 5210.  Duration of abduction prevention order.

18An abduction prevention order remains in effect until the
19earliest of:

20(1)  the time stated in the order;

21(2)  the emancipation of the child;

22(3)  the child's attaining 18 years of age; or

23(4)  the time the order is modified, revoked, vacated or
24superseded by a court with jurisdiction under sections 5421
25(relating to initial child custody jurisdiction), 5422
26(relating to exclusive, continuing jurisdiction) and 5423
27(relating to jurisdiction to modify determination) and
28applicable laws of this Commonwealth.

29§ 5211.  Uniformity of application and construction.

30In applying and construing this chapter, consideration must

1be given to the need to promote uniformity of the law with
2respect to its subject matter among states that enact it.

3§ 5212.  Relation to Electronic Signatures in Global and
4National Commerce Act.

5To the extent permitted by section 102 of the Electronic 
6Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (Public Law 106-
7229, 15 U.S.C. § 7002), this chapter may supersede provisions of 
8that act.

9Section 2.  This act shall take effect in 60 days.