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17 year old son committed crime who should pay? Help Please!!

Discussion in 'Juvenile Crime, Law & Court' started by heli123, Jun 2, 2011.

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  1. heli123

    heli123 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    My 17 year old son got caught destroying someone's property. I am the non-custodial parent. His mother and I have been to court a few times for his case. I was asked to fill out financial documents, as was his mother. She told the court that she does not have a job, but I know for a fact that she sells Mary Kay and is cleaning houses for money on the side. The court told her if she is not working she did not need to fill out the documents My son has an insurance settlement of $40,000 that he will receive on his 18th birthday. His Mom has taken $20,000 out of the settlement in order to purchase a car for him, so he now has $20,000 remaining. At the last hearing the judge asked me if I would be able to pay. I told him that I would not be able to pay as I have another household to maintain, and alot of medical bills, and child support. The judge told me that was irrelevant. The court ordered that my son pay restitution ($8,000) when he turns 18 out of his settlement. I have the feeling that his mother will draw out the money on his birthday and it will be spent before he pays his restitution. The judge said that if restitution is not paid a week after his birthday that a bench warrant will be put out for him. I think my son and his mother are trying to hang me with the bill, which I cannot afford. They were both mad at me for telling the judge that he had a settlement. I have not had a good relationship w/ either of them for 5 years. My son rarely visits and has told me that he doe not like coming to my house because I have rules and his Mom has none. What can I do to make sure that my son uses his settlement to pay this off? How can I prove that his Mom has income? I want my son to learn a lesson, which he will not if someone else has to pay for his mistakes. I appreciate any help!!
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    As a parent, I'm sure you wish to to teach your son one of life's many lessons.

    However, he has been ordered to pay the $8,000.

    If he fails to pay the $8,000, there will be severe and swift consequences.

    The judge has indicated that a bench warrant will issue within one week after the lad's 18th birthday, if the $8,000 is not paid.

    ALL YOU NEED TO DO IS WAIT.

    You've done your bit, dad.

    You informed the court about the sweet $20,000 stash.

    If junior and his mother ignore the court's admonishment, junior will learn the lesson to which you have alluded.

    Junior has been tried, convicted, and held accountable.

    If he fails, that will be his choice or his mother's.

    All you need do, at this point, is sit back and see what junior does.

    If he chooses foolishly, he'll reap his reward.

    If he thinks you have rules, wait until he learns what rules they have in the county jail!
     
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  3. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    Once he turns 18 you are off the hook. It sounds as if the judge has already protected you in this case. If your son fails to pay as ordered he will be the only one held responsible. Had the payment been ordered prior to his 18th birthday then you and his mother would have some big problems to work out.
    It sounds like you need to do nothing- and you likely have nothing to worry about if your son fails to pay.
     
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  4. heli123

    heli123 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    The only problem is that he is supposed to make $100 monthly payments until his 18th birthday which is 3 months away. At which point I could see him blowing through $20,000 and the judge trying to make me pay. His Mom has "no job" that she will tell the court about. The judge told his mother and I to work together to get him to pay the monthly payments which really means I can try to get him to pay by calling him and texting him to which it is unlikely that he will answer the phone. His Mom won't care if he pays or not because she has "no job" and "no money".
     
  5. jacksgal

    jacksgal Super Moderator

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    How is it Mom has access to funds and you do not? If Mom can withdraw funds for car why can you or Mom not withdraw funds now for fine?
     
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  6. heli123

    heli123 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    When my son was three he was playing in a parking lot of an apartment complex that his mother lived in. A lady was not paying attention and ran over his foot. Luckily he was okay, but his foot is still not normal. His Mom sued the lady driving the car through a lawyer that took on the case at no cost, but would charge her 30% of whatever he won. Well he won and my son got around $50,000 which he was not supposed to have access to until he turned 18. Most of the money is gone. It was put in a trust fund with a lawyer overseeing it and his mother was the only one with access to the money. She gets dividend checks and I am sure she is spending them on herself. She could borrow money from it if she wanted to buy herself a new car and pay it back without interest, but I do not have any access to it. My son went to juvenille detention for 2 months and received his GED there. When he got out his Mom bought him a $20,000 racing car and took the remaining $20,000 out and gave it to my son in cash. The lawyer that oversees the settlement called her and told her that she needed to put the money back. Now $20,000 is back in there and she is supposed to give the lawyer keys to the car too. My son will be able to get the money and car keys as soon as he is 18. His mother is a class act.
     
  7. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    This is simple, dad.

    Please stop with the "what if's" and speculating.

    The little demon will be an adult in three, short months.

    If I were in YOUR position, I'd pony up $300 now.

    I'd tell the "budding AL CAPONE" that I will pay $300, directly to the court for his probationary assessment.

    I would suggest that he also pay $100 per month as directed by the court.

    I would advise him and his mother (by certified mail, of course), that by virtue of my generous $300 donation for his benefit alone, that I will no longer be responsible for ANYTHING he should do upon his assumption of majority!

    If the little creep screws up, bring out your letter and and PROOF of your $300 payment, and the junior miscreant will slither away!
     
  8. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    I say still do nothing. He will be 18 in a few months, and if he fails to pay between now and then nobody is going to be able to take action fast enough that you will be held to pay anything.
     
  9. heli123

    heli123 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    So is everyone thinking that once he turns 18 he is responsible? I am not so sure because he committed the crime when he was 16.
     
  10. bluemann33

    bluemann33 New Member

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    The judge has pretty much made him resopnsable for his actions once he turns 18. The only issue is the 300 bucks before his bday. Do you pay child support? If so maybe you can talk to mom and the 300 could be taken out of that. Good luck and you have nothing to worry about from a legal stand point.
     
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  11. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    If someone sues you between now and the time he turns 18 then it might be an issue... but that is incredibly unlikely to happen. It really sounds like you are in the clear on this. I wouldn't pay a dime.
     
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  12. heli123

    heli123 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    His Mom won't give up a dime of child support to pay for this. I thinks that he should be paying for it with the money he is making at his job if he really has one. I hope that he actually makes the payments on this and pays off the balance w/ his settlement, but in my mind it is doubtful. His Mom has never disciplined him and he always thinks that he will get away w/ whatever he does.
     
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  13. bluemann33

    bluemann33 New Member

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    well if he disobeys the judges order then he will be in for a rude awakining. He wont get away with that. Sounds like mom needs to grow up as much as your son does. Again good luck and hopefully your son will take your good advice and resolve the matter when the judge ordered him to.
     
  14. heli123

    heli123 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Well Mom definately needs to grow up. Sometimes I think he is more mature than she is! It seems that she appealed and now we have a new court date in a month. In front of a different judge. Any suggestions on what to say in court besides the obvious? She is going to try and stick me w/ the bill because they are both mad that I told the court about his settlement.
     
  15. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    So what makes you think that the new judge will override the first one on the word of your ex-wife?
     
  16. heli123

    heli123 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    She has friends w/in the law efforcement that have let him off before. He should have been taken to jail and instead he was released to his mother. She also has a friend that works at the courthouse. His mother's view is that he should get off and not be made to pay. She is going to say that he/she can't afford to pay even though he has more than enough money to pay this off. He also has only made $50 payments instead of the court ordered $100 before this last time that we went to court. He supposedly has a job....can his wages be garnished?
     
  17. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Let it go.

    Sit back and wait.

    This clown will cut his own throat.


     
  18. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    Heli - I'm on your side here. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I'm a firm believer in personal responsibility - one has to take responsibilty for one's own actions.

    But we can sit here and play what-if all night long, and it won't mean diddly. I have a very hard time believing that any judge will demand full payment from the non-custodial parent when the perpetrator himself will have control of more than enough money to pay it himself in three month's time, particularly on the word of the custodial parent. But if it happens, that will be more than enough time to try to formulate a strategy with actual facts, rather than trying to second guess all the possible "mights".

    And even in the unlikely event that the judge does demand that you pay, that doesn't stop you from requiring that your minor son reimburse you.
     
  19. courtreporterscopist

    courtreporterscopist New Member

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    So is everyone thinking that once he turns 18 he is responsible? I am not so sure because he committed the crime when he was 16.

    When he turns 18 he is an ADULT!! His court case has taken 2 years to complete and find him guilty of $8,000 in damages to property? I'm a little lost here, but you do provide a valid question - but, let's just say he doesn't pay. The judge will put a warrant out for his arrest and if I were the people who he vandalized, I would be filing a civil suit against him and ask the bank to put a "freeze" on his little nest egg a garnish is once he defaults.

    I am NOT a lawyer but God knows I have had to represent myself enough in this lifetime plus, college has taught me some things about the legal system so I wonder if the civil suit would be an option?
     

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