Florida, one parent in evacuation zone has children and won't evacuate.
September 9, 2017 1:06 PM   Subscribe

Friend's children are with the other parent in Hillsborough County, Florida, evacuation zone A. Other parent is likely not evacuating, and will not release the children. What options do they have, if any?

Is there a way to find an attorney available in the area right now who may be able to bring this before a judge? For that matter would there even be any judges or courts "on duty" (for lack of a better term) at the moment to possibly intervene? If so, how could they get access for some sort of hearing? They have already visited the other parent in person (with a police officer on civil standby), and the parent refused to hand over the children. Other parent claimed they were planning to leave for a hotel later, so the police said they could not take further action, but we are not confident they actually plan to leave.
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
This will depend greatly on whether there is a custody plan in place and whether the parent is in violation of it.
posted by bq at 1:31 PM on September 9 [4 favorites]


Other parent claimed they were planning to leave for a hotel later, so the police said they could not take further action, but we are not confident they actually plan to leave.

Given that the cops didn't remove the kids, I am assuming the current order places them with that parent. Given that, this is not something that can be resolved this instant. Next week or whatever, Your friend tells their lawyer what happened, and how they would like to modify the placement order to prevent this in the future. Then they spend a bunch of money to get that modified, and maybe next time they can maybe get the court to maybe find them in contempt.

If the other parent is actually violating the terms of the order, then you can maybe escalate up the chain of command with the cops to get them to do something. This is unlikely to work. Very broadly speaking, cops tend to prefer letting the courts settle the matter after the fact than having to yank the kids from the house by force.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:42 PM on September 9 [7 favorites]


I would call the police again. They said they would leave - by when? If it's past that time, then it is worth following up.
posted by Toddles at 2:54 PM on September 9 [2 favorites]


I do not know the legal answer to your question, but in all likelihood as the storm nears Hillsborough County they will have to go to a shelter, or somewhere else inland, if they didn't evacuate when told to so. Better than nothing.
posted by Crystal Fox at 3:15 PM on September 9


Maybe the parent cannot afford to evacuate themselves, but feels like they have to keep their children with them so that later a judge doesn't rule that they were unable to take care of the children in an emergency situation (let's forget the problem with that logic that keeping them in the path of a dangerous storm is definitely not a good idea).

Perhaps your friend needs to pay to evacuate all of them to a safe area.
posted by cacao at 4:24 PM on September 9 [6 favorites]


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