baby holding finger

Custodial Interference - "Unusual Laws"

The Baby Veronica case grows even more fraught as the child's biological father surrendered to authorities yesterday and was charged under South Carolina's custodial interference law.

I'm working on a more thorough examination of this case as a follow-up, as the procedural twists and turns are fascinating, but one quote attributed to the biological father's lawyer jumped out at me:

“I suspect that’s going to be a serious challenge of whether that’s a crime in this state… That’s a very unusual statute in South Carolina. We’ll argue that it’s not an extraditable charge.”

I'm not sure what the lawyer was actually referring to, or what he meant by "unusual" - or as must be questioned in this internet age, whether the quote is properly attributable to him in the first place - but there's nothing unusual, let alone "very unusual" about custodial interference laws.

For example, here in Arkansas, we have three different "interference" statutes:

  1. Section 5-26-501 - Interference with visitation
  2. Section 5-26-502 - Interference with court-ordered custody
  3. Section 5-26-503 - Interference with custody.

Violations of 5-26-501 are generally misdemeanors, where as violations of 5-26-503 are Class C felonies. (Section 5-26-502 violations can be either misdemeanors or felonies, depending on factual circumstances.)

Whether the SC custodial interference will support extraditing Brown to South Carolina is another matter - perhaps a South Carolina attorney can weigh in here? What seems pretty clear is that the Capobianco's intention is to see their adopted daughter returned to their custody at long last, rather than retribution against Mr. Brown or his family.