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Parent Misappropriation of Alaska PFD for Minor

Discussion in 'Small Claims & Municipal Court' started by jacobjm, Sep 28, 2018.

  1. jacobjm

    jacobjm Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Alaska
    Once a year in Alaska, individuals who have lived there for more than a calendar year are given the opportunity to register for a PFD.
    I have recently become 18, a legal adult, and had filed under my name with my parents as a sponsor for my PFD. This year, the sum is $1600, so you can see why I'd be eager to get my hands on it. As a student working part time, this sum is roughly a quarter of a year's pay for me. The only problem is, my parents seized control of it and put it into an account that they say is for my schooling, yet I'm not able to touch a penny of it. Now would be the best time for me to have it since I'd be able to avoid getting myself into further debt. My parents say they will give the money to me, but they have refused. I have an older sister who had this same problem two years ago, so I know that they will not keep their word.
    I can survive without my PFD but it would increase the amount of time it'll take to pay off my college debt, so it's obvious why I want access to it. How do I go about obtaining access to my funds? I was legally still a minor when I had them file for the PFD but the money is not distributed until October 4th, and I am now a legal adult. Any help is appreciated
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You should have waited until you entered into majority.
    Alas, you chose unwisely. albeit eagerly.

    I doubt that the state will permit the change, you seek.
    You can ask, and see what the state says.

    Otherwise, it is legally THEIR money, not yours.

    Yes, mate, legally their money.

    How is that you quizzically ask me?

    Because minors have zero rights, as courts consider them legal incompetents.

    Parents have the legal authority to take all of the wages their children earn, as well as any Alaska PFD funds.
     
  3. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    If it's important that folks who are responding know what a "PFD" is, then you should have defined it.

    Unless there's some mechanism under the relevant law, you'll have to sue.
     
  4. cynthiag

    cynthiag Active Member

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    (PFD = Permanent Fund Dividend. Alaska residents' share of the revenue from the oil money from the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System that was built back in the 1970's. Also often referred to by those of us who live here as the "Perm Fund".)

    He couldn't have waited to file until he entered into majority. Those who live in Alaska and qualify for the PFD only have until March 31 of each year to file an application for that year's dividend. As long as he was under 18, he couldn't have filed for himself, his parents would have to file on his behalf, although the application is in the child's name and the check/direct deposit is in their name as well. Once you are actually 18, then your parents can no longer file on your behalf so in the next year, if you still live in the state and qualify, you have to file your own application.

    If the PFD was applied for when a person was under 18 and they turn 18 in the meantime, then there is nothing the State could do at this point to change how they distributed the funds. Eligibility is based upon an individual's status at the time of application, and since application is only allowed during the first quarter of every year, there is no provision allowing anything to be changed when a child turns 18 in between March and October.

    Since you cannot "bank" the funds with the State to take out later, the parents would have to have been putting the money into a bank account. So the question is not if the State could re-route the funds at this late date, but rather how to get the parents to take the money out of whatever kind of bank account they've been putting it into and allowing their child access to it. My son has always had bank accounts for his four children that the PFD was deposited directly into, but when the two older ones turned 18, he gave the money to them, and will do the same when the younger ones are 18 as well.

    Considering what I've seen some parents do with their children's PFD money every year (gambling, drugs, alcohol, name your vice) a kid whose parents puts their PFD money aside in an account for them every year is actually pretty lucky!
     
  5. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    He certainly could have waited, if he wanted to ensure his parents who allegedly confiscated his sister's funds wouldn't also confiscate his.

    Allowing his allegedly theft prone parents to confiscate his funds has the same effect as waiting until next year, in my view.

    That said, his parents did nothing illegal by securing the funds.

    Parents have an absolute right to all assets their minor children acquire, and owe no duty to ensure the child ever receives a penny of those funds.

    Next year he will be able to receive every penny the state disburses without any parental interference or confiscation.
     
  6. cynthiag

    cynthiag Active Member

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    Of course his parents didn't do anything illegal. And yes, I do understand that parents have an absolute right to all assets their minor children acquire, etc.

    Your statement that he "could have waited" implied to me (and likely to him as well) that he could have waited to file for this year's dividend, which is specifically what he was asking about.
     

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