If a17 year old in a stolen car hit my car and it was ordered that I be paid restitution, how do I get my money if the minor was ordered to pay me instead of his parents?

He was on supervised probation at the time he hit my car with a ankle bracelet on. Is the state liable for his actions too because he was being monitored by the state?

Asked on September 3, 2014 under Accident Law, Tennessee


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

No, the state is not liable for the minor's wrongful (criminal-he stole a car) and negligent (careless driving) act. The state was monitoring him to see if he violated probation; they were not protecting the world from him.

If he was ordered to pay and does not, because this is state-ordered restititution, the state *should* take action to get him to pay (the state, not the injured person, enforces restitution orders); but it is difficult to get the state to take action in those cases, and in any event, he may simply not have the money or means to pay. If he was a minor at the time though, you should be able to sue his parents (who can be civilly reponsible for the wrongful acts or torts of minor children) for compensation (e.g. the cost to repair your car) from them. For amounts under the limit for your small claims court, you are probably best off suing in small claims court, acting as your own attorney.

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