State v. Doyen

In State v. Doyen, 165 Vt. 43, 676 A.2d 345 (1996), a father who had visitation rights picked up his daughter in Vermont and left the state. The visitation period ended two weeks later, but the father did not return the child to her mother. The father and daughter were eventually located in Hawaii, and he was charged with custodial interference by Vermont. He contended that the "keeping" of the child occurred exclusively outside of Vermont, thereby precluding Vermont jurisdiction. See Doyen, 165 Vt. at 45, 676 A.2d at 346. The Court held that, where the deprived mother was a Vermont resident, Vermont could exercise jurisdiction over the father even for out-of-state conduct. See id. at 50, 676 A.2d at 348. As the Court observed there, the custodial interference statute "explicitly contemplates application to a person who has kept a child outside of Vermont." Id. at 46, 676 A.2d at 346 (interpreting statutory language of "keeping"). The Court noted that other states dealing with custodial interference crimes have found two bases for jurisdiction: first, that the crime is one of omission occurring in the lawful custodian's state of residence, and second, that states may impose criminal sanctions for out-of-state conduct that has detrimental effects within the state. See id. at 47, 676 A.2d at 347.