The Vermont Statutes Online
NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.
NOTE: The online version of the Vermont Statutes does NOT yet include the actions of the 2023 legislative session. The 2023 updates should be available by the end of October.
§ 2451. Custodial interference
(a) A person commits custodial interference by taking, enticing, or keeping a child from the child’s lawful custodian, knowingly, without a legal right to do so, when the person is a relative of the child and the child is less than 18 years old.
(b) A person who commits custodial interference shall be imprisoned not more than five years or fined not more than $5,000.00, or both.
(c) It shall be a defense to a charge of keeping a child from the child’s lawful custodian that the person charged with the offense was acting in good faith to protect the child from real and imminent physical danger. Evidence of good faith shall include the filing of a nonfrivolous petition documenting that danger and seeking to modify the custodial decree in a Vermont court of competent jurisdiction. This petition must be filed within three business days of the termination of visitation rights. This defense shall not be available if the person charged with the offense has left the State with the child. (Added 1979, No. 149 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. April 24, 1980; amended 2017, No. 11, § 25.)