Kidnapping Charges against Mother

After a weeklong trial, Maurice Sercarz won the acquittal of Hyala Eller, a 35-year-old schoolteacher, who was the first woman to be criminally prosecuted for “kidnapping” her own children.

Mother, 35, Acquitted of ‘Kidnapping’ Sons in Custody of Father
By Max. H. Siegel
Published: November 16, 1978

“Maurice H. Sercarz, a Legal Aid Society lawyer who won Mrs. Eller’s acquittal Tuesday night after a weeklong trial, said his client had told him she had run off with her children in frustration over the long delays her efforts to regain custody were encountering in the courts.”

Find Mother Not Guilty in Custody Kidnapping
By Robert Lane
Published: November 16, 1978

“At her trial, the woman’s attorney, Maurice H. Sercarz, said his client had chosen to flee because she felt she had been wrongfully denied custody ...”