Jurisdiction and Venue

To establish federal jurisdiction under the federal kidnapping statute, proof of transportation of a kidnapped victim in interstate or foreign commerce is necessary.  Jurisdiction is established under the Federal Kidnapping Act when a victim, acting because of false pretenses initiated at the instance of the defendant, transports him or herself across state lines without accompaniment by the alleged perpetrator or an accomplice.  If the victim is an internationally protected person outside the U.S., the U.S. may exercise jurisdiction over the offense if:

  • the victim is a representative, officer, employee, or agent of the U.S.;
  • an offender is a U.S.national ; or
  • an offender is afterwards found in the U.S..

Once jurisdiction is established for kidnapping there can be no successful attack on that.  The trial court is without jurisdiction over a charge, where amended information does not contain all the elements of the kidnapping offense charged

The proper venue for prosecuting a charge of kidnapping with bodily injury is where the victim was seized, even where the bodily injury was inflicted in another county.


Inside Jurisdiction and Venue