By Thompson                                     H.C.R. No. 34

      75R2722 SGW-D                           

                             HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

 1-1           WHEREAS, The kidnapping of children by parents is a serious

 1-2     problem in America; a 1990 U.S. Department of Justice report

 1-3     estimated that in 1988, more than 300,000 children were abducted by

 1-4     parents and family members in the United States, with close to half

 1-5     of these children being taken across state lines, concealed, or

 1-6     denied  contact with the other parent; and

 1-7           WHEREAS, Several studies on law enforcement agency responses

 1-8     to family abductions found serious inconsistencies in legal

 1-9     procedure:  despite criminal statutes in almost every state, a

1-10     majority of law enforcement personnel treat parental kidnapping as

1-11     strictly a civil matter and refuse to take a missing child report;

1-12     standards for prosecution vary by county; and many judges are

1-13     unfamiliar with federal laws designed to prevent a parent from

1-14     fleeing to another state for a new custody order; and

1-15           WHEREAS, Standardized parental abduction charging and

1-16     sentencing guidelines would reduce the extreme variations in

1-17     handling such cases by different courts and aid attorneys in

1-18     developing suggested charges, requesting sanctions, and writing

1-19     orders; now, therefore, be it

1-20           RESOLVED, That the 75th Legislature of the State of Texas

1-21     hereby urge the State Bar of Texas to develop model parental

1-22     abduction charging and sentencing guidelines; and, be it further

1-23           RESOLVED, That an official copy of this resolution be

1-24     forwarded to the State Bar of Texas.