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Name: People v. Mehaisin
Case #: C037300
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 09/04/2002
Subsequent History: Review Denied November 20, 2002

Appellant was charged with a violation of Penal Code section 278.5, for keeping his children from their lawful custodian, their mother. He moved in limine to present a necessity defense, pursuant to section 278.7, because he he claimed that he withheld the children to protect them from their mother. The trial court ruled he was not entitled to a necessity defense because he did not comply with the notice provisions of section 278.7, which require that a parent who claims his conduct was necessary must notify certain authorities or take action within the courts within a reasonable time of having taken or withheld the child. Here, the appellate court affirmed that ruling, and thus, the conviction. Although section 278.7 is silent as to whether a person claiming the defense must comply with the notice provisions, that analysis is consistent with the common law defense of necessity.