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View Full Version : The myth of 17 yr old emancipation in Missouri


BillZBubba
06-04-2009, 01:43 AM
Having had to deal with this issue recently, and having read a thread on this board with some very mixed information, I thought I would share what I have found on the subject.

If you have doubts as to the law.. you may wish to read the following pages.
I believe that if one reads carefully, you will find that at 17 yrs of age, under RSMO, you are defined as a child for "status offences", and you will find, under Defintions in the Juvenile Code that a Status offence includes Beyond Parental Control, and Runaway. Your parents CAN have you arrested, and detained, they can have you placed in a mental health clinic or hospital against your will for emergency mental health services , and you can even (if they refuse to allow you back home or refuse to voluntarily give custody to a family member) be detained by the Juvenile system, and likely end up in a foster home. While authorities may be reluctant to act, all it takes is persistence upon your parents part

From the Missouri Revised Statutes
http://www.moga.mo.gov/statutes/chapters/chap211.htm
211.021. *1. As used in this chapter, unless the context clearly requires otherwise:
(1) "Adult" means a person seventeen years of age or older except for seventeen-year-old children as defined in this section;
(2) "Child" means any person under seventeen years of age and shall mean, in addition, any person over seventeen but not yet eighteen years of age alleged to have committed a status offense;
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ALL OF THE FOLLOWING IS DIRECTLY FROM : MISSOURI LAW ENFORCEMENT JUVENILE JUSTICE GUIDELINES AND RECOMMENDED PRACTICES
http://www.dps.mo.gov/Juvenile/LE%20Manual%20Final.pdf
DEFINITIONS:

Child (status offenses and delinquent offenses) – a “child” means a person under seventeen years of age. Incomplete definition see Section 211.021(2) RSMo.

Status Offense – an act committed by a child that would not be considered a crime if committed by an adult but that subjects the child to juvenile or family court jurisdiction. Those acts include: truancy, beyond parental control, runaway and behavior and associations injurious to the welfare and other acts that are applicable only to children. See Section 211.031(2) RSMo.

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Beyond Parental Control
Statute: Section 211.031.1(2)(b). The following elements must be proven to substantiate a case of Beyond Parental Control:
Juvenile;

�� disobeys the reasonable and lawful directions;

�� of his or her parent(s) or other custodian; and,

�� is beyond the control of the parent(s) or other custodian.

Common examples of this offense include a juvenile who is verbally abusive to the parent or custodian, a juvenile who refuses to follow parental directives regarding assigned tasks or chores, and a juvenile who fails to abide by household rules such as what time to return home or leaves without parental permission.
In most circumstances, the best practice is to de‐escalate the situation, request the parent provide a written statement as to the juvenile’s failure to obey reasonable and lawful directions and forward a Juvenile Referral Report to the Juvenile Division for assessment and case processing during the next business day.
Alternative dispositions may be required in the event the parent refuses to allow the juvenile to remain in the home or the situation cannot be de‐
escalated to a point that the safety of the juvenile or family members may be assured.

Alternative dispositions may include:
A) Voluntary temporary alternative care – The parent may be given the option of voluntarily placing their child in the home of a relative or other suitable adult until the next business day when a Juvenile Officer or designee will meet with the juvenile and parent(s) for further assessment of the circumstances. In the event a parent exercises this option, all information regarding the placement provider (name, address, and telephone number) should be documented in the Juvenile Referral Report.
B) Voluntary emergency mental health services – The parent may be given the option of voluntarily obtaining emergency mental health services for their child.
C) Temporary Protective Custody – If the circumstances are such that the juvenile’s behavior has de‐escalated or the elements of the parent’s complaint are relatively minor and the parent refuses to allow the juvenile to remain in the family home, a report to the Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline may be made and the juvenile can be placed in Temporary Protective Custody in that the juvenile has no suitable parent, guardian, or custodian to provide care and supervision based on the parent’s refusal to have the juvenile remain in the family home. The Law Enforcement Officer should first report the issue to the Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 1‐800‐392‐3738 and then contact the Juvenile Division.
If the circumstances are such that the juvenile’s behavior has not de‐escalated and the circumstances of the parent’s complaint are serious in nature or a delinquent offense occurred in the context of this issue, the juvenile may be detained.

Runaway
Statute: Missouri Juvenile Code: 211.031.1(2)(c) RSMo. The following elements must be proven to substantiate a case of Runaway:

�� juvenile;

�� habitually absent from home; and,

�� without sufficient cause, permission or justification.

In most circumstances, the usual practice and procedure relating to juvenile runaways will include releasing the juvenile to the parent or custodian and submitting a Juvenile Referral Report to the Juvenile Division for assessment and case processing during the next business day.
Alternative dispositions may be required in the event the parent refuses to allow the juvenile to remain in the home or reasonable cause exists to believe that the juvenile will leave home again without permission before the juvenile and parent can meet with a Juvenile Officer the next business day.
Alternative dispositions may include:
A) Voluntary temporary alternative care – The parent may be given the option of voluntarily placing their child in the home of a relative or other suitable adult until the next business day when a Juvenile Officer will meet with the juvenile and parent(s) for further assessment of the circumstances. In the event a parent exercises this option, all information regarding the placement provider (name, address, and telephone number) should be documented in the Juvenile Referral Report.
B) Temporary Protective Custody – If the circumstances are such that the juvenile’s behavior has de‐escalated or the elements of the parent’s complaint are relatively minor and the parent refuses to allow the juvenile to remain in the family home, a report to the Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline should be made

and the juvenile should be placed in Temporary Protective Custody in that the juvenile has no suitable parent, guardian, or custodian to provide care and supervision based on the parent’s refusal to have the juvenile remain in the family home. The Law Enforcement Officer should first report the issue to the Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 1‐800‐392‐3738 and then contact the Juvenile Division.
If the circumstances are such that the juvenile’s behavior or conduct indicates the juvenile continues to be a flight risk or the juvenile refuses to return to the family home, the juvenile may be detained in detention facility.

Behavior and Associations Injurious to Self or Others
Statute: See Section 211.031.1(2)(d) RSMo. The following elements must be proven to substantiate a case of Behavior and Associations Injurious to Self or Others:

�� Juvenile; and,

�� behavior or associations of the juvenile are injurious to his/her welfare or to the welfare of others.

This is a very broad category in which many circumstances of juvenile misconduct or behavior may be appropriate. The most common occurrences include: self‐mutilation, suicidal behavior, consensual sexual activities among peers, associating with adult felons or negative influences and issues relating to curfew violations.
In most circumstances, the usual practice and procedure relating to Behavior and Associations Injurious to Self or Others will include notifying the parent of the situation, releasing the juvenile to the parent or custodian and submitting a Juvenile Referral Report to the Juvenile Division for assessment and case processing during the next business day.
Generally, a juvenile should not be held in a secure detention facility for issues relating to Behavior and Associations Injurious to Self or Others.

The juvenile’s parent(s) or custodian should be given assistance in responding appropriately to the issues of concern. In the event a parent refuses or is incapable of responding appropriately to a crisis situation in which the juvenile needs emergency care, treatment or intervention, a report to the Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline should be made and the juvenile should be placed in Temporary Protective Custody pursuant to statutory requirements.

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Emancipation
"Emancipation" is a legal concept related to when and whether parents are required to support a minor, and the concept of emancipation is not relevant to the determination of whether the juvenile or adult court should hear charges related to either traffic offenses or other crimes committed by the person arrested or charged.
A person who commits a non‐felony traffic offense at age 15 or after is subject to proceedings in the adult courts. A person who commits a non‐felony traffic offense before age 15 is subject to proceedings in the Juvenile Division.
A person who, at age 17 or after, commits: (1) a felony traffic offense or (2) any other act that would be a crime, is subject to proceedings in the adult courts. A person who, before age 17, commits: (1) a felony traffic offense or (2) any other act that would be a crime, is subject to proceedings in the Juvenile Division.
Different rules may apply to juveniles previously certified to stand trial as adults who have not been found "not guilty" in adult court and questions related thereto should be directed to the appropriate authority.

cbg
06-04-2009, 05:53 AM
Posting it once was enough.

Just for clarification, there is NO state where a minor is emancipated by law at 17. It is 18 or older in all states. There are a couple of states where a badly worded law makes it difficult for a 17 year old who has left home without permission to be returned there, but that does not mean that the 17 year old is acting legally or has legal authorization to leave at 17. The age of consent, the age an individual is considered an adult for criminal offenses, and the age of majority are all different concepts. The age of majority (the age at which you are considered a legal adult for all purposes, including parental support and the legal right to leave home without permission) is 18 or older EVERYWHERE IN THE US.

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