Are parents liable for the actions their 8 year old child?

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Are parents liable for the actions their 8 year old child?

My friend’s younger brother is an avid Pokemon card collector and he had his binder of cards stolen. Though it was eventually returned, some of the cards were damaged or missing. This resulted in an estimated thousands of dollars in lost value. The child who admitted to stealing the binder is eight years old. I know the child likely cannot be prosecuted and our state’s parental liability statute says

that parents are only liable for the actions of a child between the ages of 10 and 18. However, I was wondering if there was a loophole or if the negligent parenting section of the statute would apply in this case?

Asked on April 26, 2018 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

The parents are not criminally liable, but they are civilly liable for the actions of their child in that if the parents of the cards' owner can show that the parents of the child who stole the cards did not properly supervise or monitor their child (that is, they were negligent or unreasonably careless in supervising their child), those parents can be held resposible for the cost of the damaged or missing cards. Their liabiity would be based on their own negligence as parents--not directly on the child's actions. So you have to show that under the circumstances, something *they* did was neligent or careless to hold them liable.


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