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16 year old girl forced into horrible situation by her parents

Discussion in 'Emancipation Law' started by namtlaks1, Oct 25, 2012.

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  1. namtlaks1

    namtlaks1 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hi, I have a question about a girl I know, who is 16, and a junior in high school. In this question I'll refer to her as Sara.


    Sara lives in Pennsylvania. Her mom is a disaster - she is jobless and has made virtually no attempts to get employed for the last several years. She has been to jail multiple times, once because she attacked and stabbed her boyfriend with a knife. They are frequently without electricity, water, or heat (sometimes all at once). Their house is bedbug infested, but the mom refuses to get them taken care of, even when other people have offered to pay for a pest service. Her abusive, drunk boyfriend attacked choked sara about a year ago, and got sent to jail (not for the first time).

    Sara's mom wanted her boyfriend (who just got out of jail) to move into back into their house. However, because she not have a job, she does not have the money to take another person under the roof. She therefore asked Sara's dad, who has an apartment in Alaska, to come take Sara to live with him. He agreed, because he could barely afford to send child support money (He was giving the mom 100$ a week), and he realized he could save money by keeping her in Alaska and barely spending any money on her. He took a plane to PA, and they tricked her into taking a car ride to the airport (The dad said "I'm in danger, I need you two to come with me"). At the airport, they told her she had to take a plane with her dad to Alaska to live with him. Horrified and confused, she refused, but they had a police officer at the station tell her that she had to go with him.

    Sara has been in her dads small apartment in Alaska for a week now. She desperately wants to get back to Pennsylvania, but her dad says he won't let her go back. This was not a planned move, her parents decided this on a complete whim. She's still registered at her Pennsylvania School, her High School counselors only just found out about what happened to her. Her dad has made absolutely no attempt to register her in an Alaskan school, nor has he made any indication that he plans to do so.

    It is well know by everyone (Parents and teens) in the area who knows Sara that her family is both irrational and uncaring. Neither the dad or the mom graduated high school, and they have verbally made it clear that they don't care about the girls grades or best interests whatsoever. She was taking all AP and honors courses, and was going to go to States for track. A local mom was tutoring her to help her prepare for the spring SATs.


    Many local families in the area are very worried about the sweet girl. Everyone wants to find a way that she can legally get back to PA. Multiple local Parents have stated that they would take her in to live with them in a second.



    My question is as follows -
    Is there any legal way that in this situation Sara can get back to Pennsylvania and continue her life? It is clearly in her best in her best interests, but her awful parents don't care about her (or her future) whatsoever. Many local families want to do whatever they can to help get her back.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2012
  2. Proserpina

    Proserpina Moderator

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    She absolutely would not qualify for emancipation.

    If she is neglected or abused, CPS needs to be involved.

    Other than that, where she lives is entirely up to her parents/legal guardians.
     
  3. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Hello, Sara. Welcome to our little internet home.
    We'll be very happy to answer your question(s). :yes:


    Oh, Sara, that's an easy question.
    You say you're 16 years old, so you ONLY have to wait 24 months (or less) and you will become an adult.
    This sudden change in your age will allow you to tell that slob of a mother EXACTLY what you think of her.
    After all, she only carried you nine months in her belly, right?
    Well, at age 18 you can do anything you want to do. :party:
    You can move to Pennsylvania, or even Transylvania (if you get a passport from the mean old government officials).
    So, relax, put up with the old cow for a few more months, and you can show the old cow better than you can tell her. :rolleyes:

    Good luck, Sara. :bye:
     
  4. namtlaks1

    namtlaks1 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Army judge-

    I'm a parent of one of the girls friends. She has no internet in the apartment she is staying in, and her dad won't let her leave, so I imagine accessing a legal forum would be somewhat difficult for her. A group of parents and myself are considering hiring a lawyer to get her back to the states, but I wanted to post on a legal forum to get opinions from others.

    I would appreciate it if you don't patronize me by implying that I am a helpless 16 year old. My daughter is 16.

    While the tone of your brightly colored, bolded post certainly does not fail to come across as extremely condescending because you assumed you were responding to a teen girl, it also seems to me that you did not fully read the girls situation. She was in her junior year of high school, and HER DAD WILL NOT SEND HER TO SCHOOL IN ALASKA. I don't quite see how "Putting up with the Old Cow" for 24 months would be a suitable option in this scenario. Not one appropriate step was taken to move her to Alaska. She is still enrolled in a PA school, where she has currently missed 9 consecutive days.

    I have known her for 10 years, and she is like family. This situation breaks my heart. I also feel that the dad is likely breaking a law by refusing to send her to school. Instead, he wants her to get a job to pay him back for the plane tickets.

    I implore you to recognize that this situation is NOT ok. Saying that this girl should roll over, accept that she will no longer attend school, and work for 2 years is just not an acceptable answer. She can't do anything on her own, but she has many people who wish to help her. We have ample resources to draw from, and will gladly hire a lawyer if it could potentially help her.

    If you have any useful advice I would be truly grateful.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2012
  5. Proserpina

    Proserpina Moderator

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    Here's the problem.

    You have absolutely no standing to do anything, other than contact CPS if you believe Dad is guilty of educational neglect.

    That is the bottom line.
     
  6. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Hello, Ms. Busy Body:

    Welcome to our forum, too. :yes:

    My considered legal opinion (yes, I'm a lawyer and a sitting judge, as well as a retired military judge; therefore I can give legal opinions, because I have a law degree and hold several bar admissions), and you're very fortunate, because I rarely offer them here. Anyway, my considered legal opinion is for you to mind your business.

    Sara is NOT your child, :no: nor is she your ward. You could find yourself defending a tortious interference with a child and parent lawsuit. :blush

    I'm glad you liked my artistic side, so I offered a twist for you. Now, go mind your own business. :bye:


    PS: Ms. BB, if you believe any child, any person, real property, or a pet to be in danger; please contact your local law enforcement authorities, immediately. The emergency number, even in Alaska is "911"!!!

     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2012
  7. namtlaks1

    namtlaks1 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Proserpina -

    Thanks for the response.

    My wife contacted Alaskan Child and Youth Services several days ago. Their representative informed us that they cannot get involved in a family matter unless the child is in danger. The girl can't call them herself, because her dad keeps a constant watch on her, so the most she can do is communicate through the occasional text.

    Is there truly nothing that can be done? I'm not thoroughly educated in law, but I don't believe a parent has the right to tear apart their child's life at will. She was in a position to succeed, and now the parents can prevent her from attending school until she's 18? I just find that hard to believe.

    CYS in Pennsylvania had taken the girl from her parents and had her stay with a foster family in the past. Were a similar situation to arise, could a local family register as a foster family and take her in? I imagine the court would make a ruling based on what is in her best interest, but I could be wrong.

    I'm trying to think outside the box. The legal system wouldn't be very just if situations like this were tolerated.




    army judge -

    Goodness, you do love those bright, bolded messages. It's quite charming.

    While I do realize that she is not my child, and is instead the child of two uncaring, neglectful parents who won't allow her to finish high school, I simply can't sit still and watch this girls life fall apart. It's not the kind of person I am, and thankfully I'm not alone. 6 other families are working to find a way to help this girl. I have contacted the alaskan police, who (politely) said the exact same thing as the Alaskan cys - that they couldn't get get involved in a family matter unless the child was in danger.

    While I wish you would do me the courtesy of a polite, non-obnoxious response, I appreciate your input nonetheless.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2012
  8. Proserpina

    Proserpina Moderator

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    Then that's all you can do.

    Again, you have no standing to interfere with what is essentially a custody matter. I know it's difficult, but that truly is the bottom line.

    Incidentally, it does seem a little hard to believe that CYS won't act; educational neglect is a real issue even in Alaska.
     
  9. namtlaks1

    namtlaks1 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Proserpina -

    Thats a shame. I appreciate the help.

    I agree, its not just a LITTLE hard to believe. I talked the girls PA cys case worker, as well as her Justice Works Case worker several days ago, and both also said that they can look into it, but without the girl being in danger they could not act.

    I found several Alaskan articles mentioning that educational neglect is serious and punishable. The problem is you need to hit a certain (large) number of absences by the 19th (or some date close to that). It seems strange, but perhaps the situation doesn't legally qualify as educational neglect yet?
     
  10. Proserpina

    Proserpina Moderator

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    You may be right. The person who really needs to act upon this, quite honestly, is Mom. Failing that though, you do have the right to call CYS though.

    The painful truth of the matter is that the standard of acceptable parenting is depressingly low. It's actually quite legal to be a craptacular parent, as long as the child's basic needs are being provided.
     
  11. namtlaks1

    namtlaks1 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Proserpina -

    The chances of the mom doing anything are zero. She has no interest in the girls academic success. When she first told her mom that a local mom was going to tutor her for the SATs, the response was "Why do you care about stuff like that? Its not like your going to get into college anyway". Considering that her abusive boyfriend is now out of jail and she can bring him back into the house since her daughter is gone, there's just no way she'll try to help the poor girl.

    Its a depressing world we live in. We'll continue looking into options, but if all else fails I suppose she can go back to high school after she turns 18. She was an academically excelling student with a bright future, who was looking into colleges. The fact that her father can ship her to Alaska (so he wouldn't have to pay child support) and take her out of school is so, so sad.

    Thanks again for your input, I truly appreciate it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2012
  12. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    The problem here, OP, is the lack of a law with teeth.

    Alaska is a huge state, and if you reside more than two miles from a public school, the law exempts you from attending school. In addition, Alaska only requires compulsory school attendance until the child is age 16.

    I've posted the relevant statute below.

    The good news here, is the child doesn't need to complete high school to enter college. She also doesn't need to take the SAT or ACT.

    She can enter a community college, and in many cases, transfer to most four year schools after two semesters of credit. (24+ hours)


    Chapter 30. Pupils and Educational Programs For Pupils
    Section 10. When Attendance Compulsory.
    previous: Chapter 30. Pupils and Educational Programs For Pupils
    next: Section 20. Violations.
    AS 14.30.010. When Attendance Compulsory.

    (a) Every child between seven and 16 years of age shall attend school at the public school in the district in which the child resides during each school term.Every parent, guardian or other person having the responsibility for or control of a child between seven and 16 years of age shall maintain the child in attendance at a public school in the district in which the child resides during the entire school term, except as provided in (b) of this section.
    (b) This section does not apply if a child
    (1) is provided an academic education comparable to that offered by the public schools in the area, either by
    (A) attendance at a private school in which the teachers are certificated according to AS 14.20.020 ;
    (B) tutoring by personnel certificated according to AS 14.20.020 ; or
    (C) attendance at an educational program operated in compliance with AS 14.45.100 - 14.45.200 by a religious or other private school;
    (2) attends a school operated by the federal government;
    (3) has a physical or mental condition that a competent medical authority determines will make attendance impractical;
    (4) is in the custody of a court or law enforcement authorities;
    (5) is temporarily ill or injured;
    (6) has been suspended or expelled under AS 14.03.160 or suspended or denied admittance under AS 14.30.045 ;
    (7) resides more than two miles from either a public school or a route on which transportation is provided by the school authorities, except that this paragraph does not apply if the child resides within two miles of a federal or private school that the child is eligible and able to attend;
    (8) is excused by action of the school board of the district at a regular meeting or by the district superintendent subject to approval by the school board of the district at the next regular meeting;
    (9) has completed the 12th grade;
    (10) is enrolled in
    (A) a state boarding school established under AS 14.16; or
    (B) a full-time program of correspondence study approved by the department; in those school districts providing an approved correspondence study program, a student may be enrolled either in the district correspondence program or in the centralized correspondence study program;
    (11) is equally well-served by an educational experience approved by the school board as serving the child's educational interests despite an absence from school, and the request for excuse is made in writing by the child's parents or guardian and approved by the principal or administrator of the school that the child attends;
    (12) is being educated in the child's home by a parent or legal guardian.
    (c) If a parent, legal guardian, or other person having the responsibility for or control of the child elects to enroll a child who is six years of age in first grade at a public school, after enrollment, the child is subject to the provisions of (a) and (b) of this section. If the parent or guardian of a child who is six years of age and is enrolled in first grade at a public school determines, within 60 days after the child is enrolled, that the best interests of the child are not being served by enrollment in the first grade, the child may be withdrawn from school, and the provisions of (a) and (b) of this section do not apply to the child until the child is seven years of age.

    Sent from my iPad3 using Tapatalk HD
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2012
  13. Proserpina

    Proserpina Moderator

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    Nicely done, AJ!

    That puts the whole thing to bed!
     
  14. disagreeable

    disagreeable Well-Known Member

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    WOW, No Internet for a 16 year old!!! Call out the Army, we have a natural disaster occurring.

    Tell Sara if dad enrolls her in school and qualifies her for free lunch, there are programs whereby he can get high speed internet for $10 a month and a computer for $150.

    There, Sara's world is complete now.
     
  15. namtlaks1

    namtlaks1 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Disagreeable-

    Not having internet is HARDLY the problem.... and he wants her to get a job, which will pay for much, much more than than a 150$ computer and internet. It was a nice thought, though. Her world is very far from complete, in fact it is falling apart. You may be able to say that when its not you in the situation, but put yourself in her shoes. To have ones parents do this to you for personal gain would emotionally devastating to any 16-year old, especially one who has worked as hard as this child to achieve academic success in a zero income household.


    Army Judge -

    That is extremely helpful information! Sad, but helpful. Thank you, I really appreciate you taking the time to look that up.
     
  16. disagreeable

    disagreeable Well-Known Member

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    Sara should explain to dad she is not going to even consider looking for a job unless he allows her to go to school. If you find Sara's position so discouraging, you should support mandatory sterilization of deadbeats, so they don't create a useless and ever expanding drain on the social system of the US. No one seems to want to take up this cause with me.
     
  17. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    One last comment, on this sordid tale.

    Yes, a parent can take their child's wages.

    If Sara does find work, dad can legally take her wages.

    Google it if you wish, children have rights that flow through their parents or guardians.

    If you thought the things Dickens wrote about were long gone, sorry, they exist today.

    Society feigns interest in children, while all it does is pimp children.

    Don't think the increase in child sexual abuse is by accident.

    All I can say is make sure you love your own children, teach them good things, and make sure they pass that along to their children.

    Being a tough parent doesn't mean you must be an abusive or neglectful parent.

    If you want things to change, take this up with your state's legislators.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2012
  18. disagreeable

    disagreeable Well-Known Member

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    It appears OP edited their post. It originally contained a statement something along the lines of...

    "She doesn't even have Internet!!!"

    As that was a ridiculous statement to make, I replied with a solution to it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2012
  19. namtlaks1

    namtlaks1 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Disagreeable -

    Ah, I apologize for the misunderstanding! I must say I stand by you in the "mandatory sterilization of deadbeats" movement. I can't even fathom what compels people like this have children. A child isn't a toy that you can take an interest in and stop caring for once your short-lived enthusiasm wears off. Just awful.


    Army Judge -

    Wonderful, more confirmation that what this man is doing is legal. The fact that the law protects these people and allows them to do this to their daughter just sickens me.
     
  20. Proserpina

    Proserpina Moderator

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    You are...the parent of one the girl's friends, correct?

    Do you think it would be fair if HER parents went online and criticized your parenting? Tried to interfere with YOUR family and/or custody decisions?

    I'm simply curious.
     
    BayState likes this.

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