HBA-CBW, KDB H.B. 680 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 680 By: Goodman Juvenile Justice & Family Issues 3/5/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Currently, there are many missing children in Texas. A large number of them have been kidnapped by a parent, conservator, or guardian of the child. This often happens when decisions are being made in court about the possession of or access to the child. House Bill 680 provides that taking a child with intent to deprive a parent or conservator of the possession of or access to a child is an offense. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. ANALYSIS House Bill 680 amends the Penal Code to provide that a person commits an offense if, regardless of the existence of a court order or judgment relating to the right to the possession of or access to the child, the person takes or retains a child younger than 18 years of age with the intent to deprive another individual of the right to the possession of or access to the child or a court of its authority over the child. The bill modifies provisions relating to the presumption of an intent to deprive an individual of such possession or access. The bill provides that it is an affirmative defense to prosecution that the actor reasonably believed the conduct was necessary to prevent imminent danger of family violence to the actor, the child, or another and the actor gave appropriate notice of the child's location. The bill removes the provision which establishes that it is an affirmative defense to prosecution that the actor returned the child to a specified geographic area within three days after the date of the commission of the offense. The bill provides that it is not a defense to prosecution that the actor's conduct complied with a court order or judgment relating to the right to the possession of or access to the child if the order or judgment was entered after the date the actor began to engage in the conduct. The bill provides that it is a felony of the third degree if the actor intended to commit a felony against the child or used an electronic communication to entice, persuade, or take the child. H.B. 680 amends the Code of Criminal Procedure to modify the definitions of "missing child" and "legal custodian of a child." EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.