A New York Court of Appeals decision reported in the New York Law Journal on June 1, 2012 decided that a parent, even with custodial rights over his or her child, can be found guilty of kidnapping.

In the case, People v. Leonard, the father of a 6-week-old baby held his baby hostage with a large knife by her throat and released her only after a one-hour standoff in which he threatened to kill the baby if the police approached him. The father was not married to the mother of the baby and the mother did not have sole custody of the baby.

The court looked to decisions made in other states as well as New York State before reaching a decision. The court ruled that the father prohibited the movement of a child (he had driven to Ulster County from Brooklyn to pick up and kidnap the baby) and committed second-degree kidnapping, usually not committed by a custodial parent.

At the law offices of Jayson Lutzky, P.C., we explain each step of the legal process to all of our clients. We have over 29 years of experience practicing divorce and family law. For a free initial consultation call us at (800) 660-5299 or visit us online at www.MyNewYorkCityLawyer.com.