Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Runaway 17 1/2 years old in Texas

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    2

    Unhappy Runaway 17 1/2 years old in Texas

    My step-daughter has run away. She moved in with a 20 year old boyfriend, and has not contacted her mother or me. The boys grandmother came by our house while we were at work, and talked to my mother. My mother called my wife and put the grandmother on with my wife. She said that our daughter is OK, and is welcome to stay at her grandsons. Our daughter left her high school and is going to a GED course 3 hours per day. We think she is using drugs. What are our legal responsibilities to her, and what recourse do we have. Her mother is heart broken and I don't know how to control our 17 year old.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    266

    Default

    Texas

    Wow! You've got quite a situation and I've got just the answers you might need. There's so many, I don't even know where to start.

    First off, l need to let you know that more than 50% of my posts deal directly with minors and Texas law. You should look into those for more information.

    We must understand that it is not criminal for a child to run away. It is considered an offense. In Texas, a child is defined as a person under the age of 18 (Family Code). Legal custodians have the right of physical possession and the duty of care, control, and reasonable discipline of their child (Family Code). Therefore, if your daughter runs away, you can report her as a missing runaway. If she is located, the law requires that on determining the location of a missing child (who has left the care and control of their parents without their consent and without the intent to return) to take the child into custody and deliver that child to the person entitled to their possession.
    http://www.oag.state.tx.us/opinions/jc/JC0229.pdf)
    (http://www.oag.state.tx.us/opinions/ga/ga0125.pdf)

    If you call your local police department, they can go over to the KNOWN location of your daughter and make a forcible entry if necessary. Also, since her boyfriend (and possibly his parents/grandparents) has taken control of her, he (and they) can, and at your discretion, be charged with Harboring a Runaway Child (Penal Code).

    Regarding liability, a parent OR other person who has the duty of control and reasonable discipline of a child is liable for any property damage caused by that child. If a child moves out of their parents house and the parents entrust the duty and control of the child with another person, that person is then liable for negligent conduct by the child. Since you haven't entrusted her boyfriend with the care and control of your daughter, you are still responsible for her actions.

    I'm not sure how your daughter was able to leave school and enroll in a GED course. NO CHILD IS ALLOWED TO ENROLL IN A GED COURSE WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF THEIR LEGAL CUSTODIAN OR HAVING MET THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE REMOVAL OF DISABILITIES OF MINORITY. You really need to look into that.

    If it is determined that she is using drugs, then you might want to look into pressuring the district attorney's office into executing a search warrant for the boy's house to find out if he has possession of any illegal and controlled substances.

    I hope I've answered your questions. I apologize if my format is difficult to understand. I would've spent more time on the answer but I wanted to get you the information as soon as possible. Let me know if you have any questions. Click on the links below for more posts regarding Texas children.

    http://www.laborlawtalk.com/showthread.php?t=5321
    http://www.laborlawtalk.com/showthread.php?t=7672
    http://www.laborlawtalk.com/showthread.php?t=1275

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    2

    Angry Enrolled 2 weeks before running away

    We enrolled our daughter in the GED program 2 weeks before she ran away, because she was about to be charged for not attending school. She skipped 8 days before the high school contacted us, and she refused to attend high school anymore. We grounded her and were going to give her a drug test when she admitted that she had been using pot, and tried prescription speed. We had planned to test her after she was ungrounded to make sure she had stopped using, but she ran away.
    Update:
    On Fri. night she called her mom and said she was fine. She told her she couldn't live in "fear" anymore. When asked what she feared she said being grounded all the time. My wife told her those are the consequnces of her actions, and she (daughter) said "you just don't understand me" and hung up.
    We are not sure if forcing her home will do any good. We are just frustrated with the situation and are praying she doesn't get hurt or pregnant.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    266

    Default

    Well, I've told you what you can do. You have many options. Sometimes what your child wants isn't always the best option. You say that forcing her home might not be the best option; if so, that's your call. You're opening her life to drugs, pregnancy, and criminal conduct.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    5,926

    Default

    My suggestion is to go pick up your daughter and bring her home, or tell her that she needs to file to become an emancipated minor formally with the court as you cannot be responsible for her and her behavior if she is not living with you in a suitable environment, and take her to an attorney or to the court to start the process if she will not return home. I would be honest and explain to her that being a parent is a serious responsibility that you take seriously and you have done everything you can to make sure she was raised right, but if she insists on making bad choices and running off into a life that is dangerous, there is only so much you can do. I would explain that you are responsible for her. Since she is going to GED class, it shows some sense of personal responsibility so you may get thru to her and maybe that momeny of clarity may come in court in front of the judge. Good luck.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    3

    Default I've been through what your daughter is doing

    Quote Originally Posted by tom.morgananne
    We enrolled our daughter in the GED program 2 weeks before she ran away, because she was about to be charged for not attending school. She skipped 8 days before the high school contacted us, and she refused to attend high school anymore. We grounded her and were going to give her a drug test when she admitted that she had been using pot, and tried prescription speed. We had planned to test her after she was ungrounded to make sure she had stopped using, but she ran away.
    Update:
    On Fri. night she called her mom and said she was fine. She told her she couldn't live in "fear" anymore. When asked what she feared she said being grounded all the time. My wife told her those are the consequnces of her actions, and she (daughter) said "you just don't understand me" and hung up.
    We are not sure if forcing her home will do any good. We are just frustrated with the situation and are praying she doesn't get hurt or pregnant.
    hi i ranaway when i was seventeen also. when they finally did find me they couldnt make me go anywhere. Simply because in the courts eyes im grown enough to make the decision. The police officer had to call the attorney general to make sure and even after that he could not force me to go anywhere.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    266

    Default

    hi i ranaway when i was seventeen also. when they finally did find me they couldnt make me go anywhere. Simply because in the courts eyes im grown enough to make the decision. The police officer had to call the attorney general to make sure and even after that he could not force me to go anywhere.
    THAT INFORMATION IS WRONG!

    "pash_78382", unless you have a JD from an accredited university or are certified as a peace officer in the state of Texas, DON'T BE MISINFORMING PEOPLE OR PROVIDING INCORRECT LEGAL INFORMATION. YOUR INFORMATION IS INCORRECT.

    The information I have provided is 100% accurate for the state of Texas. PERIOD.

  8. #8

    Default

    I havenít read everything here but I skimmed it.

    Honestly, let the girl go. I know it is hard but my sister did the same thing and my parents tried to get her back home. I guess you could say it worked the first time but it only delayed her getting better. Basically she didnít change until she hit rock bottom. Nobody changes in life until the happens.

    What I am saying is this girl here needs to hit rock bottom and I know it will hurt for you to see. But it is for the best. If someone can be living a bad life and doing bad things but still being helped it only delays them longer on getting better. Once she is at the bottom she will come back and will regret everything but at least she will start getting better. Be like my parents right now with the "So what tude" to her which a lot of the times helps push them to fall faster since they dont have anyone to fall to. But once they do then you are there to help.

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    13

    Default

    ACc083, your information is INVALUABLE! Thank you! (and special thanks to my father-n-law for finding this thread).

    Tom,

    Your scenario is EXTREMELY similar to mine.....20 yr old boyfriend, and much of the other stuff you mentioned....and probably much of what you HAVEN'T mentioned. She only VERY recently began skipping school....but school has been a very low priority for her.

    I'm a stepfather too. We (step parents) get to fully be involved with the problems/responsibilities/blame associated with being the "real parent", but often we're "not allowed" to fully participate in the rule making and/or enforcing. Or so has been my case.

    My wife, stepdaughter and I were all going to Counseling as a family prior to the day she left.

    I learned something.

    It's a communication problem. You've probably been told that by now.

    This is obviously a new buzzword for saying "Discipline Problem" or "Self Discipline Problem", cause the communication was ALWAYS clear, concise and I even believe over 50% of it was clearly received.

    I'd estimate at least 95% of the received communication was promptly dismissed regardless of the message, and it's validity, even if and when undisputable evidence was presented.

    I have yet to get a clear definition of "The Communication Problem" I keep hearing about.

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    56

    Default

    This may not be the definition any adult wants to hear of "clear communication" but, to me it means that you, the parent/adult listen and comprehend your child's position as well as voicing your own. Kids don't listen because many times they're mirroring your own behavior. It's frustrating and irritating, but you aren't communicating if it doesn't go BOTH ways.

  11. #11
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kalindria
    This may not be the definition any adult wants to hear of "clear communication" but, to me it means that you, the parent/adult listen and comprehend your child's position as well as voicing your own. Kids don't listen because many times they're mirroring your own behavior. It's frustrating and irritating, but you aren't communicating if it doesn't go BOTH ways.
    I agree.

    I can assure you we were doing our part (regarding communication/listening, etc...).

  12. #12
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    13

    Default

    Well, mine did "runaway" for the 3rd time now.

    She had been court ordered to live at home, go to school, and obey parents/officials.

    She skipped about 10 times, which according to the judge, would've been $5000 worth of fines, and 30 days in jail. Just like I thought, he was extremely lenient.

    So here's my question, he court-ordered her to withdraw from her High School, and get her GED by August 16th.

    Since she is no longer enrolled in school, and has moved out (we packed her bags and she took them from the driveway), are we legally responsible? Has this "technically" emancipated her?

    From what I've read, if she is enrolled in school, we ARE responsible for her at this age, but if not, we're not....Is it true?

  13. #13
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    3

    Default

    [QUOTE=ACc083;439002]hi i ranaway when i was seventeen also. when they finally did find me they couldnt make me go anywhere. Simply because in the courts eyes im grown enough to make the decision. The police officer had to call the attorney general to make sure and even after that he could not force me to go anywhere.
    THAT INFORMATION IS WRONG!

    I have a strange situation related to this. My wife gave birth to a girl 2 months before I met her. She gave the girl to her brother and his wife, who adopted her, and my wife signed away all her legal rights, so the brother is the legal father etc.

    He has a large family and his wife has homeschooled the children and done a good job. When the oldest boy, and my neice who is the number 2 child in age, began reaching high school age, the mother felt she couldn't educate them adequately with the other children. So she asked the father to put them in high school.

    To make a long story short, he feels that women don't need an education beyond doing the checkbook and being mothers. (he wasn't like this when my wife gave the girl to him) and he is letting both the oldest boy and the one younger than my neice attend high school, but won't let her go.

    He pretends to still be homeschooling her but is in effect just waiting until she can get her GED. There is no legal way to force him to educate her in any specific way.

    She is now 16 and wants, not only to go to school, but just to live a normal teenage life. She's not a delinquent and does what she's supposed to.

    She knows my wife is her mother and she loves us and we love her. She has visited for long periods in the past, and we would gladly take her.

    We are both upstanding, employed citizens and have a nice house etc. We have no children of our own.

    She looks to us as her only escape from that environment, and I consider it abusive to treat a girl as though she is a second class citizen.

    We attempted to get the father to let her live with us and he refused. We went so far as to tell him we weren't bringing her back when she visited recently.

    He called the police and they came and got her.

    Now for the 17 issue. I've read your posts on the law as it's written. When I was about 20 and stupid, I was dating a girl that was 17. She wanted to live with me, I didn't do drugs etc by the way. I called the local police and they told me that they would not force her to go home if she was there of her own free will.

    Her mother came to get her and the police made the mother and her boyfriend leave my property. They did not make her go home.

    I have since contacted another Texas sheriff's department to confirm that is still their procedure and they confirmed that it was.

    I don't know what the law says, but the actual inforcement of it seems to be different. I wonder if anyone else has any input or similar experiences, as we are planning to let her come live with us when she's 17 and get her in school.

  14. #14
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ACc083 View Post
    hi i ranaway when i was seventeen also. when they finally did find me they couldnt make me go anywhere. Simply because in the courts eyes im grown enough to make the decision. The police officer had to call the attorney general to make sure and even after that he could not force me to go anywhere.
    THAT INFORMATION IS WRONG!

    "pash_78382", unless you have a JD from an accredited university or are certified as a peace officer in the state of Texas, DON'T BE MISINFORMING PEOPLE OR PROVIDING INCORRECT LEGAL INFORMATION. YOUR INFORMATION IS INCORRECT.

    The information I have provided is 100% accurate for the state of Texas. PERIOD.
    For what it's worth, I found this regarding special circumstances of 17 year olds.

    The state of Texas has adopted the Uniform Interstate Compact on Juveniles which is based on the Becca Bill.

    This means that anyone under the age of 17 who is believed to have run away from home can be detained and returned to the custody of a parent, guardian or the court. If a runaway is 17 years old but left home at 16 or younger, he/she can also be detained. One interpretation of the law states that a 17-year-old who voluntarily left home after turning 17 cannot be taken into protective custody if the parent or guardian knows the child's whereabouts- but there may be other legal options for a parent or the state in this case. Read more from Texas law on runaways below...

    I also found this directly from the Attorney General's office

    The age of the child is significant because a seventeen-year-old who voluntarily leaves home without parental consent and without intending to return may not be taken into custody under the Juvenile Justice Code, Family Code title III. An unemancipated [FN2] seventeen-year-old is not a "child" within the Juvenile Justice Code. See Tex. Fam. Code Ann. s 51.02(2)(A)- (B) (Vernon 2004)
    Last edited by torkora; 02-03-2007 at 08:16 AM.

  15. #15
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    3

    Default

    this information really helped me out! thanks alot!! >>>>>>>The state of Texas has adopted the Uniform Interstate Compact on Juveniles which is based on the Becca Bill.

    This means that anyone under the age of 17 who is believed to have run away from home can be detained and returned to the custody of a parent, guardian or the court. If a runaway is 17 years old but left home at 16 or younger, he/she can also be detained. One interpretation of the law states that a 17-year-old who voluntarily left home after turning 17 cannot be taken into protective custody if the parent or guardian knows the child's whereabouts- but there may be other legal options for a parent or the state in this case. Read more from Texas law on runaways below...

    I also found this directly from the Attorney General's office

    The age of the child is significant because a seventeen-year-old who voluntarily leaves home without parental consent and without intending to return may not be taken into custody under the Juvenile Justice Code, Family Code title III. An unemancipated [FN2] seventeen-year-old is not a "child" within the Juvenile Justice Code. See Tex. Fam. Code Ann. s 51.02(2)(A)- (B) (Vernon 2004)[/QUOTE]

Similar Threads

  1. Texas Moving out at 17.
    By Beau_Tragedie in forum Texas Family Law
    Replies: 214
    Last Post: 12-10-2009, 07:20 AM
  2. 21 dating a 17 year old in texas
    By rohugo in forum Texas Family Law
    Replies: 65
    Last Post: 08-07-2007, 11:56 AM
  3. Pregnant and 17 in Texas
    By Chihuahua in forum Texas Family Law
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 08-23-2005, 06:44 AM
  4. New Jersey Child Labor Law Poster
    By laborlaw in forum New Jersey Labor Laws
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-25-2005, 01:33 PM
  5. Texas Child Labor Laws Labor Law Poster
    By laborlaw in forum Texas Labor Laws
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-24-2005, 12:41 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •