(A) The detainer of a person by virtue of a lawful authority. To be in custody, is to be lawfully detained under arrest. In another sense, custody signifies having the care and possession of a thing; as, the chancellor is entitled to the custody as the keeper of the seal. (B) To have custody or possession of an item or personal property. (C) Family Law. Legal Custody is the ability to make decisions affecting a child’s interests (such as where to go to school.) Physical custody relates to the ability to be the primary caretaker and to house the child and the right to have the child live with him or her.
Law Dictionary – Alternative Legal Definition
The care and keeping of anything; as when an article is said to be “In the custody of the court.” People v. Burr, 41 How. Prac. (N. Y.) 296; Emmerson v. State, 33 Tex. Cr. R. 89, 25 S. W. 290; Roe v. Irwin, 32 Ga. 39. Also the detainer of a man’s person by virtue of lawful process or authority; actual imprisonment. In a sentence that the defendant “be in custody until,” etc., this term imports actual imprisonment. The duty of the sheriff under such a sentence is not performed by allowing the defendant to go at large under his general watch and control, but so doing renders him liable for an escape. Smith v.x Com., 59 Pa. 320; Wilkes v. Slaughter, 10 X. C. 216; Turner v. Wilson, 49 Ind. 581; Ex parte Powers (D. C.) 129 Fed. 985. Custody of the law. Property is in the custody of the law when it has been lawfully taken by authority of legal process, and remains in the possession of a public officer (as, a sheriff) or an officer of a court (as, a receiver) empowered by law to hold it.