0640.31 Custodial Interference

Administrative Rules Adopted by Bureaus Pursuant to Rule Making Authority (ARB)
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640.31 Custodial Interference


  • ORS §163.215 Kidnapping and Related Offenses Definitions
  • ORS §163.245 Custodial Interference II
  • ORS §163.257 Custodial Interference I
  • DIR 640.30 Child Abuse Investigations
  • DIR 825.00 Domestic Violence, Arrests and Restraining Orders
  • DIR 850.30 Custody, Juvenile Holds
  • DIR 850.39 Missing, Runaway, Lost or Disoriented Persons/Amber Alert


  • Custodial Interference: Where a person, knowing or having reason to believe that they have no legal right to do so, takes, entices or keeps an individual from another person’s lawful custody, or violates a valid joint custody order from a court, with the intent to hold the individual permanently or for a protracted period.


1. The Portland Police Bureau recognizes that members will investigate family disputes regarding minors and other dependent individuals under parentship/guardianship. Members shall investigate custodial interference situations in accordance with the procedures in this directive.

2. The Bureau recognizes that some custodial interference may have civil or criminal implications. If a member determines that the custodial interference does not rise to the level of criminal conduct and instead warrants civil resolution, members shall not intercede in physical custody disputes, but will instead refer involved parents/guardians to the Family Courts for resolution. For custodial interferences rising to the level of criminal conduct, members will follow the procedures set forth in this directive.


1. Member Responsibilities:

1.1. In the absence of any indications of a criminal act, concerns about the child’s welfare, or a signed order from a judge commanding law enforcement to transfer custody of a child, members shall not transfer physical custody from one party to another. Members shall instead refer both parties to Family Court for resolution.

1.2. If a member takes a report involving custodial interference, and any involved child is believed to be in imminent danger by being with the suspect(s), the member shall immediately contact a supervisor and advise of the situation.

1.3. The supervisor will then contact a Missing Persons Unit (MPERS) detective or the On-Call Homicide Supervisor.

1.4. The MPERS detective or the On-Call Homicide supervisor (or a designee), will evaluate whether the incident meets the criteria for an Amber Alert. Members shall refer to Directive 850.39, Missing, Runaway, Lost, or Disoriented Persons, for additional guidance.

1.5. Any person requesting from a member a recommendation for an attorney should be referred to the Oregon State Bar Lawyers Referral Service or the Multnomah County Family Law Court. Members shall not recommend attorneys or provide legal advice.

2. Reporting:

2.1. Members taking reports that appear to constitute custodial interference that is determined to be criminal in nature shall complete a General Offense Report. The report should include detailed biographical and contact information for all involved parties, including the reporting party, alleged suspects, and alleged missing or involved child. If a member determines that the matter is not criminal in nature, the member may document that determination in the comments on the member’s mobile data computer (MDC) prior to closing the call.

2.2. Members taking reports that appear to constitute custodial interference shall ensure the report is routed to the MPERS Detective Division through the Regional Justice Information Network (RegJIN).

2.3. Questions regarding criminal custodial interference should be referred to MPERS during business hours.

2.4. Members encountering custodial interference cases that appear to involve child abuse or sexual abuse will also contact the Child Abuse Team. Members shall refer to Directive 640.30, Child Abuse Investigations and 850.39, Missing, Runaway, Lost, or Disoriented Persons, for additional guidance.

2.5. Members should clearly articulate the reporting party’s reason(s) for why the incident might rise to the level of criminal custodial interference, rather than possibly being a civil custody matter to be remedied in the appropriate Family Law Court.


  • Originating Directive Effective: 09/06/01
  • First Revision Effective: 01/07/09
  • Second Revision Effective: 11/29/16
  • Next Review Date: 11/29/18
  • Reviewed By: Family Services Division

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