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JPEsq.
JPEsq., Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Experience as Criminal Defense Attorney and criminal law professor
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I have a question regarding Indiana law as it pertains to leaving

Resolved Question:

I have a question regarding Indiana law as it pertains to leaving a child in the car. Our HOA has cited us for parking right next to our house and has requested that we park in designated parking spots. We have two children and I refuse to leave one in the car while I carry the other inside from the HOA designated parking which is what must happen if they are both asleep under HOA covenants. Are HOA laws enforceable if they require you to neglect your children? We could drop them off and park the car but that would mean leaving small children in the house alone which we also do not wish to do.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  JPEsq. replied 3 years ago.

I am an Indiana lawyer. There is no hard and fast rule about leaving your children in the car. But I can tell you that people are arrested for child neglect all the time for leaving kids in the car. A couple years ago a doctor in Indiana was arrested for child neglect for leaving her toddler in the care while she ran into a store: http://www.courierpress.com/news/2008/jan/03/couple-accused-neglect-appear-court/

 

Your course of action here would be to challenge the citation issued by the HOA in court. You can request and administrative review of the citation or just refuse to pay it and challenge the legality of the rule in court.

 

As I have mentioned, there is no established "law" on this exact issue. So you would have to seek a ruling by challenging it. Personally, I think you would have a good chance of winning.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
The citation is not a fine but a threat that if I leave my car beside the house I will get towed. They put large green stickers on our windshield that are impossible to remove. The last one said I would be towed the next time I parked in that location.

Keep in mind that there are only 3 neighbors on my street and all have stated repeatedly that parking outside our garage is not an issue. My question is, can I refuse to follow convenants legally on the grounds that these covenants force me to break the law.

Is your answer still to challenge them in court? I basically need something to email them in order to explain my legal situation in order to defend my moral obligation and decision not to leave my children in the car.
Expert:  JPEsq. replied 3 years ago.

Yes, my answer is still to ask for a ruling from a judge. There is no defined law on the issue in Indiana that you can just present as a definitive end to the discussion. It is a balancing test as to whether the harm to you (having to wake your kids up) outweighs the benefit to the neighborhood.

 

You can send them an email explaining the situation, but there really is no relevant law or case that would support your position.

 

At this point it is a matter of negotiation with the HOA. You can seek a pre-emptive ruling from a judge stating how he will interpret the law in this case.

JPEsq., Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 5104
Experience: Experience as Criminal Defense Attorney and criminal law professor
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