California Parental Liability for Restitution, Fines, and Penalties

Beginning on January 1, 1996, the California Welfare and Institutions Code allowed judges to order parents or guardians to pay up to $25,000 to cover losses suffered by the victims of crimes committed by their minor children, and other fines and penalties that may be assessed against the minor. Furthermore, the future earning power of the parent, guardian, and minor can be considered in setting these liabilities.

California Parental Liability: Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor

Parents or legal guardians who fail in their legal duty to exercise reasonable care, supervision, protection, and control over their minor children can be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a misdemeanor punishable by one year in jail and/or a $2,500 fine per count. In some California cities, a new parenting project has started to help correct this situation. It gives parents of first-time juvenile offenders a choice: participate in a parenting education program or face criminal prosecution.

Civil Liability Imposed to Third Parties not Related to the Minor Child

In 2010, the California Supreme Court ruled that an adult homeowner accused of negligently failing to supervise her son (also an adult)—thus enabling him to repeatedly molest a minor child at the mother’s home—is liable enough to trigger the homeowner’s insurance coverage, even though the intentional acts exclusion provision of the insurance policy clearly precluded insurance coverage for the claim against the son. The point is, the California courts are expanding their search to protect injured minor children in civil cases, which is a good thing.

Mark C. Blane is a San Diego Child Injury/Accident Attorney and the managing lawyer of the Law Offices of Mark C. Blane, a San Diego, California Personal Injury Law Office dedicated to representing families of minor children injured due to the negligence of others. If you or a loved one, who is a minor child, has been injured or killed in a child accident in San Diego, please order your free copy of Mr. Blane's book, The 10 Secrets You Need To Know About Your Injury Case, BEFORE You Call A Lawyer. It is full of helpful information that will help you protect your legal rights and it normally sells for $16.95.  However, it is free to all California residents, or those injured in a California accident. Also, you can check out Mr. Blane's book on California child injuries called Justice for the Injured Child available for sale; this book has become a California parent's legal survival guide to their child's California accident case. 

Mark Blane
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