Parental Liability3 Φεβρουαρίου, 2022
It is commonly known that children and adolescents under the age of 18 are not held liable for many offenses and are tried separately for criminal offenses. But many people are unaware that they can be held liable, as parents of the offending child, for many of their child’s actions. This is referred to as parental liability. Specifically, these laws oblige the parents to pay for damage caused by negligent, intentional or criminal acts committed by the parent’s child.
Many states view a child’s actions as directly related to the parents. Theoretically, some sort of negligence might have been involved on the part of the parents that led to their child’s actions. This negligence could be the absence of adequate supervision of their child, lack of proper parenting and ethical training or even child abuse. The past actions of parents in regards to their children can be brought up or investigated during certain cases.
Parental liability varies from state to state but most states have laws in place which place some of the repercussions of a child’s actions on the parents. A child can commit civil or criminal offenses. The type of offense affects liability.
Civil Parental Liability
Parents are responsible for all malicious or willful property damage done by their children in most states. Accidental property damage is covered under a different set of laws, but in most cases parents are responsible regardless of accidental or intentional damage. However, malicious or willful property damage can result in a greater monetary amount for damages as in a civil case, the parents of the offending child can be sued for emotional damages as well.
Laws vary from state to state for civil parental liability cases in the areas of:
monetary limits on damages that can be collected by the prosecuting party
The age limit of the child
The inclusion of personal injury in the tort claim
Criminal Parental Liability
If a child commits a criminal offense, in certain cases the parent can be charged under the crime of “contributing to the delinquency of a minor.” Colorado became the first state in 1903 to establish a form of parental liability. In certain cases a parent can be tried criminally and civilly due to the actions of a child. So in addition to being convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, the parent may also be forced to pay for any damages incurred as the result of the child’s actions.