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Good Cause Child Removal

If a parent or legal guardian of a child has a good faith belief the child is in immediate physical or emotional danger from the other parent/guardian, that person may choose to leave Madera County with the child in order to protect their safety. This action can open the person up to potential criminal liability for child abduction. To avoid such liability, the person taking the child out of the county may take steps to benefit from a necessity defense to parental child abduction known as the “Good Cause” defense (Penal Code section 278.7). 

To take advantage of the “Good Cause” defense, the person taking the child must, among other things, make a report to the District Attorney’s Office of the county from which the child is being taken. The person making the report must completely fill out the Good Cause Child Removal Packet (see link below) and submit the packet to the District Attorney's Office.

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