Can parents/guardians of juveniles found guilty of felonies be held responsible in a civil case?

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Can parents/guardians of juveniles found guilty of felonies be held responsible in a civil case?

I was the victim of a home invasion/armed robbery committed by 2 juveniles. I received a broken nose in the process of them trying to force their way into my house. After a few months the first one was apprehended. He was bound over as an adult and some charges were dropped for his cooperation with police. He was still given 7 years in prison. The other perpetrator pled guilty as a juvenile. Since they were juveniles when they committed the crime still are can I sue their parents to recover some of my losses from moving, the items stolen, etc.?

Asked on January 11, 2017 under Personal Injury, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can sue the parents or legal guardians for your direct and reasonably foreseeable losses from the robbery and assault: e.g. out-of-pocket medical costs; "pain and suffering" if there is some lingering breathing problem or disfigurement; the value of the stolen items; etc. But you can't sue for moving--it is not regarded as a sufficiently foreseeable or predictable outcome of a criminal act like this that the victim will uproot him/herself and move; the causal link is too attenuated from the law's point of view. Therefore, moving expenses cannot be recoverd, but you can sue for other costs or damages, and you could sue as your own  attorney ("pro se") if you can't find someone to take it.


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