Fines for parents for unruly teens


Active Member
In a city not to far from me, they just passed a "parental responsibility law". Meaning, if your child does anything to end up in court, (skipping school, violence, drugs, etc...) then the parents will get a $100.00 fine.


I'm not sure how effective this will be or what the point is. Most of our kids have responsible able parents. A lot of our kids will keep on doing what they are doing even if mom and dad get fined.


New Member
yes, most of the parents on this site are responsible (or they wouldn't be on this site) but there are so many parents that AREN'T.

I could tell you a lot of stories from my doing Citizens on Patrol, etc. - but I'll just detail one that was in the news here recently. A 14 year old was killed (shot) when he attemped to steal a car at 6am on a Monday morning. He had already been in front of juvenile court 14 times, he had been in several foster homes, he was on house arrest at the time of his death. His mother stated he went to go see his friend in a football game on Friday night, and she expected him home "before school".

While it's horrible the young person died (by the way, the man who shot him will not be prosecuted - he was found to be defending his life because the kid was trying to run him down with the car) but surely the parent must have SOME responsibility in this case. The kid was on house arrest and she "allowed" him to leave - she saw nothing wrong with it. She saw nothing wrong with having him running around town for 3 days as long as he was home "before" school started. She's also attempting to sue the man who shot her son in civil court.

I'm sure in the cases where these fines are imposed, if one could show attempts that the parent HAS asked for help, etc. the judge will have the option of not imposing them. Unless your state has manditory sentencing (ours doesn't).


Active Member
You are right skeeter, I wasn't considering the fact that there are irresponsible mixed up parents.

I'm used to us here, who are doing everything we can to help our kids.

Thanks for reminding me of the other side of the coin.


in my humble opinion it's not just neglectful parents, there are a lot of parents in denial.."boys will be boys", "oh I drank beer when I was in HR too", "it's just a phase". Can't tell you how many times this comes up in court, parents who make excuses rather than face the fact that Johnny has a sub abuse problem or whatever problem. Personally I think that in those cases the fine is meant to be a wake-up call and I think it's a good idea. I've heard of places where it may be low the first time but it can go up very high if there are repeated offenses. Other question I have is if the judge has discretion about assessing it. I think there needs to be some level of discretion so for those of us who are really trying, we don't end up in hock forever because of our difficult children.