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Related to custody: Child custody


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 CBI had on Tuesday filed an affidavit before the Supreme Court, requesting it not to entertain the petition filed by Chidambaram challenging his CBI custody, as it would set a "bad precedent".
"I'll now be looking to my volunteer independent custody visitors (ICVs) - who do a fantastic job checking on the welfare of detainees - to ensure detainees continue to have access to appropriate facilities and to suggest further improvements.
The PNP spokesman also explained that aside from the request for custody from the arresting unit or a commitment order from the court, the custodial unit from the police requires proof of medical condition or medical certificate of the detainee.
"This award is great recognition for the work of our custody visitors as well as the team within my office who manage their work and I congratulate all concerned.
" The continued commitment, support and enthusiasm shown by all of our custody visitors is instrumental in the success of the scheme, and I would like to offer my personal thanks to them all."
On the other hand, India's National Investigation Agency has taken Sajjad into its custody after he was produced by Delhi Police's Special Cell in a Special Court of the agency.
The reports and rumors originated from ( The Blast , which claimed that Rob was keen on citing Chyna's "violence, substance abuse and neglect" as issues that would ensure his increased custody over their daughter.
But she said they were only doing their job as social welfare officers when they took custody of the children.
Merseyside has three operational custody suites and an extra site used at peak times.
Digital Asset Custody Company (DACC) has announced it has expanded its custody solutions to cover Monero (XMR), making private tokens available in cryptocurrency markets, the company said.
In 2006, the year the child was born, the juvenile and domestic relations district court granted Mother custody and ordered Father to pay $500 monthly in child support.
A Police Scotland review of custody facilities found that cells in Stirling were not safe .