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Help! 17 year old DOES have right to leave home in Michigan Michigan

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  • Help! 17 year old DOES have right to leave home in Michigan Michigan

    Everything I have read here and else where online says this is not the case but I have been fighting to have my daughter returned home for over 6 weeks with no one willing to help. The school, police and court house have actually told my daughter that she is an adult at 17 and can do anything she wants. She had just turned 17 when this all started. She just turned 17 in September. Below I am copying and pasting some of the recent happenings with her.. If anyone has any advice to help I would greatly appreciate it.

    November 16th, 2006
    To Whom it May COncern:
    My parental rights are being denied by Lincoln Township Police Department. Other police stations involved have been Coloma Township, and St Joseph City as well as St Joseph High School.

    I have been told repeatedly that I do not have any right to the custody of my daughter who just turned 17 in September. On October 2nd and 3rd I tried to report my daughter as a run away to Lincoln Township, and they refused to take my reports because she was 17 (and an adult in their eyes) even though she was under psychiatric care and in need of medication. After two days I gave up because they told me I had no rights.

    On November 1st the school made my daughter a medical appointment and took her to it for non emergency care without ever notifying me or getting my consent. She had told the nurse that she thought she had a bladder infection. They called her doctor, made and appointment for her then the dean of students transprted her to this appointment and dropped her off on her own. No one even attempted to contact me until 8 hours later to tell me that this had already happened.

    Probably in an attempt to cover their butt.. They or someone else, then called cps and said I was refusing her medical treatment which CPS found to be untrue since I was never contacted and I also had tried to force the police and school to turn her over to me for medical care and was told I didn't have this right.

    After CPS got involved I started trying to assert my parental rights again.. First by filing a missing person report with Lincoln Township, which the police at first refused to take. They only took it because I told them CPS was involved and that they said she needed medical treatment. They had told me they wouldn't take the report before I told them that. Coloma township did a well person check when they got a tip on where she was and decided she was ok and removed her from the missing person list. The national association for missing and exploited children said this was improper because she was still missing from home. Lincoln Township did not even let me know that she had been found or removed from the list. When I found out Lincoln township refused to put her back in and there by making it impossible to get help through the missing children’s organization. Again I was told I had no rights to have my daughter home and I have audio tapes of them telling me my daughter was an adult and could do anything she wanted and that I have no rights. I also have audio tapes of them refusing to take my missing person reports.

    If I call a boot camp for teens they tell me they have the right to pick my daughter up at 17 if I sign saying they can and of course pay them $13,000. Why do they have this right but I don’t? Again I was told to drop the matter I had no rights by the police and everyone I talked to in every department at the local court house.

    On November 16th my daughter disappeared from her high school in the middle of the day without signing out or checking with anyone. The principal called me at 2:00 to say she had been missing since third hour that day. She had gone to lunch and then didn’t show up for her fourth hour. I asked the principal if he called the police and he said he had not but he would if I wanted him to. Of course I said YES. I waited a few minutes to give him a chance to call and then I called the city in which this school is located. The person who answered the phone in St Joseph city said that the principal had called but that even though the school was in his jurisdiction I had to make a report in the township I lived in. I tried to call Lincoln township and they refused to take my report because since my daughter had ran away they said she was no longer a resident of their township... so I have no rights to the custody , care or control of my minor child and no where I can report her missing either? I thought these were state laws, federal laws and constitutional rights?

    I have proof of all of this and probably more. I do have audio tapes of some of these conversations. Even the court house has been no help. The prosecutor says there is nothing I can do about my parental rights and I have talked to probate court, juvenile court, Friend of the court etc also. Can I lose my constitutional parental rights with no due process? Why do I not have the right to have my daughter home when under state and federal law she appears to be a minor to me? Please help!


    Last edited by cactus jack; 04-03-2011, 12:52 AM. Reason: Posting personal info here is risky. We appreciate the level of trust, but we are not the only ones that read this. CJ

  • #2
    I would contact a local attorney and see about filing suit against the local police department for not making your daughter return. Since you are LIABLE/Responsible for anything she does until she is 18, this sounds almost the same as not returning a vehicle but making you still responsible for costs if the person who took it got into an accident.


    • #3
      "gray area" and a "loophole" in Michigan law

      I have contacted attorneys.. They all say this is Michigan Law??!!?? They say this is a "gray area" and a "loophole" in Michigan law that prevents a parent from forcing a 17 year old home. I do currently have a lawsuit pending against the school for their part in this with the medical treatment without parental consent.

      I have even called attorneys out of my local area and talked to every department of the local court house. They say Michigan law does give parents the legal responsibilities but because according to juvenile law that at the age of 17 these kids can be charged as adults.. it does away with the juvenile codes when it comes to 17 year olds that they are no longer breaking a law by being a run away and cant be forced to return.. according to jevenile law they are adults at 17. At 17 there is nothing to charge them with is why they cant be forced home? That is the story Im getting.

      Thanks so much for your help!


      • #4
        Hmm, I think I would ask an attorney about YOUR rights to not be responsible for someone that the state is not allowing you to control. Have you written local respresentatives and asked them if the law can be changed to either 1) not have you responsible if the 17 year old leaves or 2) make them return since you are responsible?

        I am grasping at straws here, I live in a state that is very different from what you are dealing with. I have seen a number of parents recently having issues with this magical 17 year age in other states and it seems that something needs to be done via our legal/government system to correct it.


        • #5
          I did send a letter similiar to the one I first posted here.. I actually copied and pasted it from those letters to here.. I sent it to all the state representatives, senators and the governor that I had email addresses for. It seems to be a problem with Michigan laws.

          I have been reading here for some time trying to understand why I was reading that these rights existed in Michigan and just trying to figure out why I was unable to find out how to enforce them. I have been grasping at these straws for over 6 weeks now. I do have an attorney involved due to the schools involvement but no one seems to see any answers as to my right to have my daughter home.

          No one in Berrien County is aware of any laws that will allow me to enforce this right.. that seems to even exist on the federal level and as a constitutional right, or they are just unwilling to enforce them if they are aware.

          Michigan law now prevents a minor from being emancipated under the age of 18 if they can not completely support themselves alone. She cant. This prevents getting rid of the liability. I have thought about voluntarily letting her go to a foster home but am told I cant do that either. That I would have to be proven unfit for that to happen. And of course I dont' think they would have a way to legally force her to stay there either. I would still be legally liable even if I were allowed to do that.

          My daughter originally stayed with a boyfriend for a few days, then a local substitute teacher for a few weeks who gave her a job at a local bar that her boyfriend managed, and now she is staying with a relative without my approval and not in a very good situation. Some of the time she hasnt known from one day to the next where she was going to go. Now she is at the home of a mentally ill.. severly.. relative.

          If I am ever able to get anywhere with this I will definately post updates. Please let me know if you are able to offer any further advice.

          Thank you for all your help!


          • #6
            I understand your pain...
            Today is my daughters 17th birthday and she tells me she is leaving with a friend and her family to Wyoming...

            The parents are at fault for this one-- they are telling her they will take care of everything. What kind of parents would pull another child away from her mother?
            I am trying to do all I can to stop this all from happening. I wish you all the luck and I feel your frustration.


            • #7
              Ms Smith...if they take your daughter over state lines, they face federal charges. You need to file for a restraining order immediately to keep them from having any contact with your daughter.
              HOOK 'EM HORNS!!!
              How do you catch a very rare rabbit?
              (unique up on him)
              How do catch an ordinary rabbit?
              (same way)


              • #8
                stephrenia, I am in Jackson county and basically the same problem with my 17 year old daughter she moved out the day after her 17th birthday changed schools without my permission and she has even gotten caught shoplifting and was just released without prosecution because according to the store she was caught at because it was under 25.00 michigan law prevents them from prosecuting, I never know where she is staying from one day to the next , she does not have a job or a drivers lisence or a vehicle and police and courts say because she is 17 there is nothing I can do but like you I am told I am still legally responsible for her well if I am legally responsible why can't I report her as a runaway or force her to return home and why can I not sign off my rights to her so I am not legally responsible. I got sole legal and physical custody of her in my divorce yet she climed to be sick and went to the hospital and they allowed her dad who has no rights to come down and sign for consent for her to be treated and guess who gets stuck with the bill me because I have sole legal and physical custody therefore I am legally responsible even though I knew nothing about it untill after the fact. my daughter though has told all my family and friends and her friends that I kicked her out funny if I kicked her out why did she move out while I was gone without so much as a note. I don't understand the law in michigan that basically says once they are 17 they can do whatever they want and there is nothing the parent can say or do about it but yet we are still legally responsible for them. so i really understand where you are coming from and I truely do feel for you because I am going through it to and feeling like no matter where I turn I hit a brick wall.
                Last edited by bratpenny7; 07-31-2008, 10:04 PM.


                • #9
                  This post is from 2006 and I doubt the original poster is coming back as their child will be beyond the age of 18 by this point.


                  • #10
                    Thank you so much I realized that after I posted it and thought to myself what a dummy I am


                    • #11
                      I am still lurking..

                      I replied privately to bratpenny7. If you don't get my message feel free to post again or to contact me by phone or email.
                      Last edited by cbg; 08-07-2008, 12:28 PM.


                      • #12
                        Please remove your phone numbers from post. I have already requested this of mods. Its in your best interest


                        • #13
                          Do I have the right to throw him out? A BETTER question!

                          Wow!!! I too a parent in Michigan going thru the SAME THING!!!! My son is 17 will disappear 2 -3 days, knock holes in my walls - they say it's 'his' property!, won't make him come home like the previous parent said telling him and me he's techinally an adult but sending ME bills for HIS shoplifting!!!!!!!!!! I can't throw him out and he gets to destroy property, curse me out, do what he wants, breaks the law, attempts to fight me.... but I"M RESPONSIBLE???? If I crack his head I"LL go to jail! In order to get a 'petition of incorrigibility' they send you thru a whole lot of running around until your child turns 18 and they don't have to deal with it! Yes the system is screwed put it mildly!!!!


                          • #14
                            im 17 and my dad wont let me go anywhere. and i found out all the info i needed to know here. us teenagers love this cause it gives us the chance to "stick it to the man". in these cases "the man" eaquals parents. i have a car, cell phone, internet and other things but i think i wud loose it all to do wat i want. i have a girlfriend and he wont let me go n c her, i have gas and i payed for it so what the hell? reasons like these make us leave. and im not a bad kid i had a clean record beside from a while back a couple friends and i were lite n off firecrackers and now i have a warning for those. but thats it. my dad makes me b home by 9, thats total bull. i dont go to public shcools, im doin stratford universitys high school diploma course. all im sayin is if hed let me stay out later atleast to 11 or 12, n let me stay the nite with my gf once n a while, i wudnt b forced to leave. so u parents ask yourselves what it was that u did rong to make your kids leave. yall bring it upon yourselves. so with this said yall can sit down and think, and when u realize wat it was u shud do the rite thing and aplogize for wat u had did and dont forget cut your kids some slack b4 this crap happens.


                            • #15
                              Just remember...

                              Leaving is a two way street. Once you burn that bridge, you can't go back.

                              You want to stick it to the man? You might end up on the end of that stick.

                              Oh, and let's pretend for a minute that we are all grown ups here and try to type in the Queen's English, huh?
                              Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

                              I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

                              Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.


                              The forum is intended for informational use only and should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for legal advice. The information contained on are opinions and suggestions of members and is not a representation of the opinions of does not warrant or vouch for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any postings or the qualifications of any person responding. Please consult a legal expert or seek the services of an attorney in your area for more accuracy on your specific situation.