Our son ran away and was involved in property damage to a tractor in the state of Indiana.  He was 17 at the time.  Are we financially responsible?Our son is now in jail and is 18 for another...

Our son ran away and was involved in property damage to a tractor in the state of Indiana.  He was 17 at the time.  Are we financially responsible?

Our son is now in jail and is 18 for another crime he committed.  We have sent hin to boot camp and tried everything but he will not behave correctly.  Are we financially responsible for the damages done.  He was not with the boys who stole the tractor but joined them after the fact.  We had been told that he alone is responsible (in Indiana) for the damages.  Is this true and can you explain the law reguarding that.

Asked on by aaray43

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brettd's profile pic

brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I am sorry for the difficulties you are having, and I hope they work out for the best.  You did not say if you also live in Indiana, or if your son crossed state lines when he ran away.  You also did not mention if he was convicted of the damage to the tractor, or if this is a civil lawsuit by the owner of the property.  Lastly, who informed you that your son is responsible for the damages, the property owner or the State/Court?

All of these things will affect whether or not you will be held liable for the financial loss incurred by the tractor owner.  In general, parents are responsible for damages caused by their minor children, but this case is complicated enough I would consult an attorney. Typically a consultation fee is $50 - $100 (you are not hiring them to try the case, just for the legal advice) and you can get a more complete and definitive legal opinion than you can here.  Good luck!

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