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TN legislators introduce ‘Noah’s Law’ that could help missing children be found faster

Republican legislation that could allow for an Amber Alert to be issued sooner in certain cases advanced out of the Tennessee House Children & Family Affairs Subcommittee last week.

House Bill 2354, also known as Noah’s Law, would allow a custodial parent to seek a court order declaring their child to be in imminent danger if the child’s noncustodial parent fails to return them in accordance with a current visitation order or parenting plan. The legislation, which could allow for an Amber Alert to be issued sooner, would apply to cases involving pending custody, parentage, child support or dependency and neglect proceedings in court.

“Noah’s Law (will) assist law enforcement in making sure we use every tool in the tool box, including the criteria under the Amber Alert, to make sure we find every child that is missing,” House Majority Whip Johnny Garrett, R-Goodlettsville, told members of the subcommittee Wednesday.

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The bill is named after Sumner County resident Noah Clare, 3, who went missing after his noncustodial father failed to return the child to his mother following a scheduled visitation last year. The child was later found safe in California after a more than week-long multi-state manhunt in November. His family has pushed for changes to the Amber Alert process after it took more than a week for an alert to be issued in his case.

The legislation now heads to the House Children & Family Affairs Committee for consideration. More information about House Bill 2354 can be found here.

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