H. R. 6095
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
May 20, 2008
Mr. Lampson (for himself, Mr. Chabot, Mr. Al Green of Texas, Mr. Gene Green of Texas, Mr. Kagen, Mr. Shimkus, Mr. Udall of Colorado, and Mr. Poe) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
To implement certain measures to increase the effectiveness of international child abduction remedies, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
International and Parental Child
Abduction Remedies Assistance Act.
Investigative assistance to law enforcement agencies to locate alien children missing in the United States
The Attorney General shall make available to State and local law enforcement agencies, information describing the methods and procedures available to them to institute or assist an investigative search for an alien child who is believed to be in the United States and who is the subject of—
an application under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Parental Child Abduction, or
an Interpol yellow notice.
Section 3702 of the Crime Control Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 5780) is amended—
in paragraph (2)
and at the end, and
in paragraph (3)—
in subparagraph (B)
and at the end,
(C) by striking the period at the end and inserting
by inserting after subparagraph (C) the following:
a statement specifying whether the child is believed to have been taken outside of the United States;
Amendments to International Child Abduction Remedies Act
Legal assistance, technical assistance, and training
Section 7 of the International Child Abduction Remedies Act (42 U.S.C. 11606) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsections:
Legal assistance for victims of parental kidnapping grants
Funding to legal services providers
The United States Central Authority shall establish a program to provide funding to legal services providers, including private attorneys, public officials acting pursuant to the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, legal aid programs, and law school clinical programs, to provide direct legal or advocacy services on behalf of persons seeking remedies under the Convention, or other civil or criminal remedies in interstate or international parental kidnapping cases.
Training and technical assistance
The United States Central Authority, directly or through grants, shall provide training and technical assistance to recipients of funds under paragraph (1) to improve their capacity to offer legal assistance described in paragraph (1).
The United States Central Authority shall encourage the Chief Justice of every State and the District of Columbia to designate a single court, or a limited number of courts, in which cases brought under the Convention may be heard. The United States Central Authority may provide technical assistance (including computers and Internet access) as necessary to foster consolidation of jurisdiction and implementation of the Convention, consistent with the purposes of the Convention.
The United States Central Authority shall provide or promote training of State court judges, lawyers, and law students on the civil and criminal laws pertaining to interstate and international parental kidnapping. To carry out this subsection, the United States Central Authority may make available funds under subsection (e) to State judicial educators, national, State, and local bar associations, and law schools. The United States Central Authority shall require recipients of such funds to report on the training programs they present, including the number of participants.
Legal Services Corporation
The Legal Services Corporation may use funds made available to the Corporation for programs to represent aliens in proceedings brought in the United States under the Convention—
if the individuals to whom the representation is provided otherwise meet the criteria of the Corporation for eligible clients under the Legal Services Corporation Act; and
whether or not such individuals are resident in the United States.
Section 8(b) of the International Child Abduction Remedies Act (42 U.S.C. 11607(b)) is amended to read as follows:
Costs incurred in civil actions
Payment of court costs by central authority
The Central Authority shall establish a program under which it provides, directly to the court or to petitioners and respondents, the funds necessary to pay the court costs of petitioners and respondents in actions brought under section 4, including court fees and the cost of translation services, expert witness testimony, and transcription services.
Costs of legal counsel and travel
Petitioners may be required to bear the costs of legal counsel or advisors and travel costs for the return of the child involved and any accompanying persons, except as provided in paragraphs (3) and (4).
Payments from other sources
Subject to paragraph (4), legal fees incurred in connection with an action brought under section 4 shall be borne by the petitioner unless they are covered by payments from Federal, State, or local legal assistance or other programs.
Costs borne by petitioner
Any court ordering the return of a child pursuant to an action brought under section 4 shall order the respondent to pay necessary expenses incurred by or on behalf of the petitioner (other than court costs for which the Central Authority pays under paragraph (1)), including legal fees, foster home or other care during the course of proceedings in the action, and transportation costs related to the return of the child, unless the respondent establishes that such order would be clearly inappropriate.
Federal Judicial Center
Section 620 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
Continuing education and training programs
The Center shall include in its continuing education and training programs under subsection (b)(3), including the training programs for newly appointed judges, information on the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, the International Child Abduction Remedies Act, the International Parental Kidnapping Crime Act of 1993, and other Federal statutes pertaining to parental kidnapping within the jurisdiction of the Federal courts, and shall prepare materials necessary to carry out this subsection.
Additional funds for the investigation and prosecution of parental kidnapping
In addition to funds otherwise authorized to be appropriated for the activities described in this section, there are authorized to be appropriated to the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section of the Department of Justice for each of the fiscal years 2009 through 2012 such sums as may be necessary for the investigation and prosecution of violations of section 1204 of title 18, United States Code.
Grants for travel costs associated with the safe return of abducted children
The Director of the Office of Victims of Crime of the Department of Justice shall, subject to the availability of appropriations, establish a Victim Travel in International Reunification Cases program to award grants to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children to reimburse parents, guardians, law enforcement, and other individuals, as appropriate, for travel costs related to the safe return of children from the United States who have been abducted and taken to foreign countries.
Use of grant funds
Travel costs under subsection (a) that are reimbursed using funds under this section may include airfare and daily subsistence costs, including lodging, meals, and ground transportation.
Authorization of appropriations
There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $250,000 for each of the fiscal years 2009 through 2012.