FREEHOLD, N.J. (AP) _ Actor Peter O'Toole failed to comply with a court order to return his 5- year-old son to the boy's mother, but his lawyer said he believes his client will do so soon.

O'Toole was ordered last week by Superior Court Judge Alexander D. Lehrer here to bring his son, Lorcan, back from England by Tuesday or face a fine and possible arrest.

Raoul Felder, lawyer for the boy's mother, Karen Sommerville O'Toole, said he would seek O'Toole's arrest ''in a couple of days.''

Jeffrey P. Weinstein, O'Toole's New Jersey lawyer, said he believes the actor will comply, but would not say when and where.

O'Toole and Ms. O'Toole met about six years ago, but never married. After the child was born, the mother began using O'Toole's last name. A short time later, the couple split and have been embroiled in a bitter custody dispute for more than a year.