(redirected from custodial)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Encyclopedia.


The care, possession, and control of a thing or person. The retention, inspection, guarding, maintenance, or security of a thing within the immediate care and control of the person to whom it is committed. The detention of a person by lawful authority or process.

For example, in a Bailment, the bailee has custody of goods delivered to him or her in trust for the execution of a special object upon such goods.

The term is flexible and may mean actual imprisonment or the mere power—legal or physical—of imprisoning or assuming manual possession. A petitioner must be "in custody" to be entitled to Habeas Corpus relief, which provides for release from unlawful confinement in violation of constitutional rights. Custody in this context is synonymous with restraint of liberty and does not necessarily mean actual physical imprisonment. Persons who are on Probation or who are released on their own recognizance are "in custody" for purposes of habeas corpus proceedings.

Child Custody, which encompasses the care, control, guardianship, and maintenance of a child, may be awarded to one of the parents in a Divorce or separation proceeding. Joint custody is an emerging concept that involves the apportionment of custody between the parents during specified periods of time. For example, a child may reside with each parent for six months each year.

Jurisdiction of courts over custody disputes has been heavily litigated, especially in child-custody cases. In the past, some parents sought to obtain custody over their children by removing them from one state, then seeking to obtain custody through a decree in another state. The federal and state governments have sought to prevent this occurrence through the enactment of a series of statutes. In 1967, the Commissioners on Uniform Laws approved the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act, which was eventually adopted in every state. The act provides that a state court will not accept a custody case unless it has original jurisdiction or unless the state with original jurisdiction relinquishes it. The Commissioners on Uniform Laws updated the law in 1997 with the approval of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, which more than 30 states have adopted. Congress has enacted similar legislation, including the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (28 U.S.C.A. § 1738A [Supp. 2003]). That statute requires that a state give full faith and credit to another state's custody order.

The jurisdiction of federal courts over custody of Aliens has also become a significant issue with the enactment of several anti-Terrorism statutes since the late 1990s. In 1996, Congress enacted the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, Pub. L. No. 104-132, 110 Stat. 1214 (1996), and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, Pub. L. No. 104-208, 110 Stat. 3009 (1996), both of which removed much of the power from federal courts to review cases involving immigrants who are held in custody for certain crimes. Several legal commentators criticized the application of these statutes due to their limitation of the habeas corpus rights that traditionally are extended to aliens. Commentators have similarly raised questions with respect to orders issued by President george w. bush, which limit the ability of federal courts to review cases of suspected terrorists who are held in custody.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


n. 1) holding property under one's control. 2) law enforcement officials' act of holding an accused or convicted person in criminal proceedings, beginning with the arrest of that person. 3) in domestic relations (divorce, dissolution) a court's determination of which parent (or other appropriate party) should have physical and/or legal control and responsibility for a minor under 18. (See: child custody)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


1 detention of a person or thing. In relation to children, a concept broader than mere care and control (but encompassing them) involving control over long-term decisions affecting a child's future. It is replaced now by the idea of a residence order as part of parental responsibility.
2 in the care of an authority, as where a person charged with crime or convicted of an offence is held in captivity.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

CUSTODY. The detainer of a person by virtue of a lawful authority. To be in custody, is to be lawfully detained under arrest. Vide 14 Vin. Ab. 359; 3 Chit. Pr. 355. In another sense, custody signifies having the care and possession of a thing; as, the chancellor is entitled to the custody as the keeper of the seal.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
The only time na confident kami sa security ng ating mga under custody ay kapag nasa custodial center na po siya.
Sheriff Robertson however pointed out that a custodial sentence "may be inevitable" despite his young age, given the nature of the offence and a previous conviction, albeit for which he had been admonished and had not served a custodial sentence.
The long-term ratings assigned to the Custodial Receipts is exclusively based on the bank providing credit enhancement and will reflect all changes to that rating.
"Whoever is committed at our Custodial Center, I think it is ready," said Durana.
Thus, the custodial spouse retains (if applicable) the head-of-household status, child and dependent care credit, earned income tax credit, and exclusion from income for dependent care assistance under Sec.
In his remarks, the Chief of the Custodial Corps, General Bashir Mohamed Jama, stressed the importance of a functional prisons service to the delivery of justice in the country and the rehabilitation of convicted offenders, before their reintegration into society.
Citing data released by the China Banking Association, the report said that the banking industry's custodial assets stood at CNY54.12tn (USD8.7tn) at the end of 2014 - an increase of 54.7 percent from a year earlier.
" Despite repeated judgments and directives passed by the court, laying down various guidelines for prevention of custodial violence and custodial deaths, the implementation by the various states appears to be extremely lax, resulting in a steady stream of cases of gross custodial violence," Singhvi's report said.
The judges said on Thursday that they want to hear all custodial death cases together and have appointed Yug Chaudhry as amicus curiae (friend of the court) to assist the court, as "we want to do something about this."
PTCOJ (Perverting the course of justice) FBFR (Fraud by false representation) CTPTCOJ (Conspiracy to pervert to court of justice) FFTDI (Fraud by failing to disclose information) Pictured left to right from top row: Brian Ungi, 40, of Cheshire Avenue, Fazakerley 5 x CTPTCOJ - 5-week custodial, 6-month driving ban.
In addition, criminals who receive an Extended Determinate Sentence (EDS) - sentences where they receive a custodial sentence plus a further extended period of licence - will no longer be released automatically two-thirds of the way into their custodial sentence.
A MOTHER from Merthyr Tydfil has been given a nine-week custodial sentence after failing to ensure that her children attended school.