Abscond


The term “abscond” refers to a person leaving the jurisdiction of the courts in a secretive manner, or to lie concealed, in order to avoid the process of said courts.

To hide, conceal or absent oneself secretly with the intent to avoid legal process.

State v. Hunnicutt, 740 S.E.2d 906, 911 (N.C. 2013):  “The termabscond’ has frequently been used when referring to violations of the longstanding statutory probation conditions to “remain within the jurisdiction of the court” or to report as directed to the officer.”  State v. Hunnicutt, 740 S.E.2d 906, 911 (N.C. 2013).

Manley v. State, 633 S.W.2d 881, 882-83 (Tex. App. 1982):  “The Penal Code does not define ‘abscond’ or ‘absconded.’ We must therefore determine the meaning of ‘absconded’ pursuant to Article 5429b-2, Subchapter (B), s 2.01, V.A.C.S. (Code Construction Act), which reads:

Sec. 2.01. Words and phrases shall be read in context and construed according to the rules of grammar and common usage. Words and phrases that have acquired a technical or particular meaning, whether by legislative definition or otherwise, shall be construed accordingly.

“Abscond is defined in 1 C.J.S. 349 as:

To absent one’s self clandestinely; to absent or withdraw one’s self privately; to conceal one’s self clandestinely with intent to avoid legal process; to go in a clandestine manner out of the jurisdiction of the court; to lie concealed in order to avoid process of the court; and means something more than a temporary absence.

“Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, p. 6, gives the following definition for abscond: ‘Withdraw, flee; to depart secretly; withdraw and hide oneself; to evade the legal process of a court by hiding within or secretly leaving its jurisdiction.’

“Black’s Law Dictionary, Fifth Ed., p. 9, defines abscond: ‘To go in a clandestine manner out of the jurisdiction of the courts, or to lie concealed in order to avoid their process. To hide, conceal, or absent oneself clandestinely, with the intent to avoid legal process.’

“And in the case of Snyder v. St. Paul Mercury Indemnity Co., 191 S.W.2d 107, 110 (Tex.Civ.App.-Galveston, 1945, writ ref. w. m.), it was stated that “abscond” was construed to mean ‘to hide oneself; to retire from the public view; generally used of persons in debt, or criminals eluding the law; to go away hurriedly and secretly.’”

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