Son got into a fight while he was under his mother's supervision...

by Anonymous
(Montgomery, Texas)

My 12 year old son got into a fight with a 14 year old child while he was at his mother's house. She has custody of him and I have expanded visitation. My son was charged with Assault and Bodily Injury by the ADA and has a court hearing soon.

My question is, am I going to be held responsible for my son's actions while he was supposed to be under his mother's supervision? Also, if there is a Civil case about this, will I again be held responsible for damages?

It doesn't seem fair if so, but then again, it doesn't seem fair that my son got into a fight with this child who was older than him AND the 14 year old threw the first punch. My ex wife said we are to show up with our financial statements as well. What does that mean? I'm very worried here. Thank you for any perspective you can give here.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Son got into a fight while he was under his mother's supervision...":

Anonymous (Montgomery, Texas):

Section 51.01(1)(C) of the Texas Juvenile Justice Code refers to the court’s responsibility " provide treatment, training, and rehabilitation that emphasizes the accountability and responsibility of both the parent and the child for the child's conduct."

You will be notified when your child is to appear before the juvenile district court judge. At that time the court will determine if it is safe for your son and for others who may be around him to be released into your custody or your ex-wife's, or if your son should be held in custody until the next hearing date.

This will be especially important if the court believes your son is likely to injure himself or others.

It is likely at the hearing, if your son doesn't have a history of violence and the court believes you and/or your ex-wife will be able to keep him under control, your son will be released into your custody.

The purpose of bringing your financial statements is to determine if the court will appoint an attorney "ad litem" to represent your son for free, or if the court believes you and your ex-wife have sufficient assets to pay for your son’s attorney.

As parents of the child, you many be held responsible for medical bills resulting from your son’s infliction of injuries upon the 14 year old. Of course this is only if the court believes your son caused injuries, and they were deliberate and not in self-defense.

For more information about your son’s court appearance and your obligations go to:

Texas Juvenile Probation Commission - Parental Responsibilities

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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