|Governor Ted Kulongoski signed Aaron's Law in 2005|
Terri Horman, stepmother of Kyron Horman and the defendant in the civil case, has filed a motion to abate the civil proceedings for at least two years, asserting that her constitutional rights under the Fifth Amendment are threatened.
And thus, the opening salvos in the Kyron Horman civil suit will address issues of rights guaranteed by the US and Oregon constitutions.
This civil suit is the first filed under Oregon’s landmark 2005 child abduction statute, Senate Bill 1041, known as “Aaron’s Law”, which provides child abduction victims with new tools when the criminal and family law systems are unable to move forward, and yet there is a missing child.
Under Aaron’s Law, Oregon became the first and (so far) only state in the nation where abducting a child (violating Oregon’s Custodial Interference in the First Degree statue) creates a civil cause of action.
Thus, everything that happens going forward in the Kyron Horman case will be first in the nation.
Local Portland news channels are beginning to devote more resources to understanding the issues that will be at trial, and there will be many.
KGW-8, for example, consulted with Tung Yin, a legal scholar at Lewis and Clark Law School in this story filed by Nigel Duara of the Associated Press:
The story includes a link to the legal arguments filed today.
Aaron’s Law was written with Constitutional rights in mind, including the right to parent your child without criminal interference from third parties, and the child’s right NOT to be abducted by ANYONE, including family, friends, neighbors, hangers-on, mopey in-laws, ex-family, church groups, and other criminal associates.
The nation’s criminal and family law systems treat the issue of time, the value of time in a child’s life and in the child’s relationships to parents and family, as if time has no importance.
Both systems also provide few tools or options for victims, who are usually put in the position of helpless spectators to processes that are failing to produce a missing child.
Aaron’s Law provides new tools to resolve and deter child abduction cases.
Aaron Cruz died in Payson, Utah from long term medical neglect, abandonment and heartbreak in the course of his Mormon abduction and the shunning imposed on his father by officials in the Mormon Church.
Aaron’s Law also recognizes that many child abductions involve multiple perpetrators, and is triggered by the Oregon Custodial Interference I statute that reaches to any person who takes, entices or keeps a child wrongfully, who provides planning, logistical or financial support to the abduction.
Aaron’s Law followed on the work of the Senate President's 2004 Interim Task Force on Parental and Family Abductions, and was informed by Sean Aaron Cruz’s personal experiences as the father of four children who disappeared from Oregon in a Mormon abduction that began in 1996.