My question involves criminal law for the state of: Washington
What process needs to occur to charge a family with a civil lawsuit for harboring a runaway, as well as aiding and abetting?
My girlfriend's daughter ran away to a friend, whose mother informed us she was there, and attempted to "run" the "negotiation" in trying to get us to allow our daughter to stay with her.
When we told her to return the child, she said "Well the child has more rights than you know, and she WILL try to run away..." to which we replied, "Thank you, but no thank you. She needs to be here to deal with these issues, not hiding out where she wanted to be." Sounding resigned, the mother agreed to bring our daughter back and went home. We heard nothing for hours.
We called the police (for the 3rd time), who told us to go to the house and ask for her back. If she refused, then we could get a police officer there. When we arrived, the mother informed us that her daughter had taken our daughter to a movie or something, and she didn't know where she was (They both have a cell phone, and never bothered to check).
We then decided to check another friend's house and lo and behold, her daughter's vehicle was there in the driveway. The household claimed our daughter wasn't there. We went around the corner to call the police, as instructed to do, and saw the vehicle drive away. I left my girlfriend at the corner waiting for the police to show up and tried to follow the car. It disappeared, so I figured I would beat them home and headed that direction. My girlfriend then watched the vehicle come back to the house, and when she tried to approach and stop them, the car backed out and the driver looked straight at my girlfriend and floored it, racing back home.
I was sitting on the side of the road waiting for them at 1:30am when they arrived back at her friend's house, and we called the police immediately. They told us to wait for an officer. By 3:45am, no officer had shown up, so we had to give up and go home, for fear we'd be too tired to try to drive home after that.
The next day, the mother called to inform us, VERY matter-of-factly, that our daughter had indeed shown up at 1:30am, and she'd informed her that she needed to "make a decision" about what to do. Our daughter was somehow granted another night in the house, and had run away in the middle of the night.
That was 2 weeks ago... and we haven't heard a peep since.
What are our legal options with regards to a civil suit against those parents? We would very much like to nail them for all of this, ESPECIALLY since our daughter is bipolar, suicidal and currently on medication that psychiatrists have acknowledged will make her MORE suicidal and so on...
She was supposed to have a medical appointment to change the medication, as well as a dental appointment for a ticking time-bomb potential abcessed tooth last week, but missed them both because she ran from her friend's mother's house.
Since the mother knowingly let the child stay at her house another night, isn't she responsible for the anything that happens to the child, as well as any and all charges stemming from this?
Last but not least, the "friend" of our daughter is 18.... so can she be charged for kidnapping (for the driving away thing) as well as aiding/abetting and harboring?
Would a lawyer take this case pro bono by any chance?
We're so lost at the moment is isn't even funny. My girlfriend is on L&I due to a work-related car accident, and is being treated for severe depression as is. This just compounds everything, to the point where I'm left to console her and do my best to keep her from snapping and doing something irrational and potentially illegal.