Mission Viejo, CA asked in Child Custody, Family Law and Juvenile Law for Arizona

Q: in Arizona: what constitutes "kidnapping" if the child is 14 yrs old and your grandchild?

My daughter called me in a panic telling me to pick up her son (my grandson) from school before CPS picked him up. She called the school and told them that I was on my way to get him and they had no problem letting me sign him out and leave with him. After he packed up some of his clothes she told me to take him to my house. So she knows where he is and who he is with. Now since i havent brought him home to her because her lifestyle hasnt changed she is threatening me with kidnapping charges. Does she have the right to have me arrested just because now she wants him back but CPS could still pick him up and put him in a group home and i am trying to avoid that. What are my options?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In Arizona, kidnapping is generally defined as knowingly restraining another person with the intent to hold the person for ransom, as a shield or hostage, or to inflict death, physical injury, or a sexual offense on the person, among other reasons. In the scenario you described, if you have your daughter's initial consent to take your grandson, it is unlikely to be considered kidnapping. However, if she revokes her consent and you continue to keep the child against her wishes, the situation becomes more legally complicated.

Your daughter's threat to charge you with kidnapping stems from a change in her decision about the custody of her grandson. However, her lifestyle and the involvement of CPS add complexity to the issue. If CPS is involved due to concerns about the child's welfare at home, they might consider alternative arrangements, like placing the child with a relative, which could potentially be you.

To protect your rights and the best interests of your grandson, it's advisable to consult with an attorney who has experience in family law and child welfare cases. They can provide guidance based on the specific details of your situation and help you navigate the legal process.

Given the involvement of CPS, it's essential to cooperate with them and demonstrate that your home is a safe and suitable environment for your grandson. The primary goal is to ensure the child's safety and well-being, and legal counsel can assist in making the best case for your grandson's custody.

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