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Section 61.538, Florida Statutes

Role of state attorney.—

(1)In a case arising under this part or involving the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, the state attorney may take any lawful action, including resort to a proceeding under ss. 61.524-61.540 or any other available civil proceeding, to locate a child, obtain the return of a child, or enforce a child custody determination, if there is:

(a)An existing child custody determination;

(b)A request to do so from a court in a pending child custody proceeding;

(c)A reasonable belief that a criminal statute has been violated; or

(d)A reasonable belief that the child has been wrongfully removed or retained in violation of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

(2)A state attorney acting under this section acts on behalf of the court and may not represent any party.

History.—s. 5, ch. 2002-65.

Section 61.540, Florida Statutes

Costs and expenses.—

The court may assess against the nonprevailing party all direct expenses and costs incurred by the state attorney and law enforcement officers under s. 61.538 or s. 61.539 so long as the court has personal jurisdiction over the nonprevailing party.

History.—s. 5, ch. 2002-65.

Section 61.539, Florida Statutes

Role of law enforcement officers.—

At the request of a state attorney acting under s. 61.538, a law enforcement officer may take any lawful action reasonably necessary to locate a child or a party and assist a state attorney with responsibilities under s. 61.538.

History.—s. 5, ch. 2002-65.

Section 61.525, Florida Statutes

Enforcement under the Hague Convention.—

Under this part, a court of this state may enforce an order for the return of a child made under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction as if it were a child custody determination.

History.—s. 5, ch. 2002-65.

Section 61.524, Florida Statutes

Definitions.—

As used in ss. 61.524-61.540, the term:

(1)“Petitioner” means a person who seeks enforcement of an order for return of a child under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction or enforcement of a child custody determination.

(2)“Respondent” means a person against whom a proceeding has been commenced for enforcement of an order for return of a child under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction or enforcement of a child custody determination.

History.—s. 5, ch. 2002-65.