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  1. #1
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    Feb 2011
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    Default Can Parents Be Held Accountable for Acts of Their Juvenile Through Civil Suit

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Florida

    Not sure who/where to ask. We are going through a criminal case in juvenile system of state attorney office. Teenage daughter 13, was preyed upon and cooerced into sex by two older teenage boys, one 16 and one almost 18. Charges are being filed against younger boy, older boy, awaiting more evidence. I want to hold their parents accountable for the actions of their teenage sons and taking advantage of a young naive young girl. These boys have continued to pursue younger teenage girls and someone needs to set an example. Just wondering if anyone has ever heard of a suit such as I am discussing?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Can Parents Be Held Accountable for Acts of Their Juvenile Through Civil Suit

    Quote Quoting OnTheBuckle
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    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Florida

    We are going through a criminal case in juvenile system of state attorney office. Teenage daughter 13, was preyed upon and cooerced into sex by two older teenage boys, one 16 and one almost 18. Charges are being filed against younger boy, older boy, awaiting more evidence.
    I suspect because they are wanting to charge the older minor as an adult. A little different process and can take a little longer to get their ducks in a row.


    I want to hold their parents accountable for the actions of their teenage sons
    Then by that standard, the state would also pursue YOU for inadequately supervising your child. Going after the parents for the criminal acts of their children is generally limited to acts commmitted in the presence of the parents or under circumstances where the parents had some overwhelmingly obvious responsibility that the failed to hold up. In other words, if the parents weren't there to STOP it, the accused will stand on their own as far as accountability.

    and taking advantage of a young naive young girl.
    Who wasn't being supervised.

    These boys have continued to pursue younger teenage girls and someone needs to set an example.
    And these boys may be the ones to do so by answering for their acts before the criminal court. The example ALSO needs to be set that 13 year old naive girls have no business around 16 and 18 year olds unsupervised, lest such (predictable) victimization be set in motion.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Can Parents Be Held Accountable for Acts of Their Juvenile Through Civil Suit

    It's more complicated than "Your kid wasn't supervised, either". There are questions of why and how the kids avoided supervision, any awareness of the parents for a need for special supervision, where the events occurred, etc.

    Also, most states allow for a relatively modest recovery against parents for certain willful misconduct by a minor, even if parental negligence cannot be proved so as to obtain a greater judgment; Florida has such statutes that can apply to car accidents, vandalism and drug dealing, but I haven't found a Florida statute that creates automatic parental liability under these facts.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Can Parents Be Held Accountable for Acts of Their Juvenile Through Civil Suit

    My goodness, you have gotten some stupid replies.

    There is no claim against you for an alleged lack of supervision. That is really stupid. That is even more stupid than the defense arguing that the victims dress was too short and an invitation to rape. No 13 year old can give consent to any sexual activity and if the activity was forced in any way, then the charges are going to be very serious and life changing. Your child has no responsibility in this matter.

    You need to consult with a good personal injury attorney who handles sexual assault cases.

    You might want to wait on a civil case until the criminal convictions are in, HOWEVER, the criminal convictions may or may not be evidence in the civil case, depending on various factors. A lack of conviction in the criminal cases would make a civil case a bit harder, but would not stop it as the burdens of proof are completely different in the two types of cases..

    As parents of a minor, you fully represent your child and should sue the parents of the minors for all the torts available to you, including sexual assault, the emotional distress to your child, as well as your own emotional distress and other damages. Perhaps their homeowners insurance policies will kick in. Generally intentional torts are not included, but as the intentional tort was committed by a minor and not the policy holder directly, they insurance might well be valid. The insurance companies will likely settle, NOBODY, especially insurance companies want to take a sexual assualt case of a child to trial.

    The older one might well be charged as an adult or there is a problem with the case against him.

    The parents are liable for the actions of their minor children, especially sexual assualt. There does not need to be a specific statute saying so, it is common law. The parents are always responsible for damages caused by their minor children.

    As I said, get a personal injury attorney who has experience in this type of case. Do not pick one from television commercials or the like. Start now. Colelcting evidence, etc. for the civil case is an entirely different matter from the criminal prosecution.

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