David Crump, ‘The Tort of Interference with Custody: A Tale of Two Jurisdictions’

ABSTRACT
Interference with custody is a malignant tort. As a result, most jurisdictions have recognized liability for the underlying conduct through the common law or by statute. But the proper function of this legal theory requires balanced adjudication. When former spouses are cooperative, they usually act informally to adjust visitation, and a jurisdiction that applies the interference tort too broadly may discourage this desirable behavior. On the other hand, a jurisdiction that makes the tort too difficult to prove may encourage destructive conduct. This Article considers two examples: cases from different states, with different results. A decision by the New Jersey Supreme Court shows appropriate adjudication of the tort. A case from the Texas Supreme Court exemplifies a cramped reading of the interference statute in that state …

David Crump, The Tort of Interference with Custody: A Tale of Two Jurisdictions, 57 San Diego Law Review 131 (2020).

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