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Steven  K.
Steven K., Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1610
Experience:  I have practiced family law since 1996, focusing on child custody and domestic violence
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Hello, My 17 year old daughter wants to leave home and be

Resolved Question:

Hello,

My 17 year old daughter wants to leave home and be with her 18 year old boyfriend, She has recently turned up pregnant by the 18 year old and I was just wondering (In the state of Georgia) if i report her as a runaway with the police make her come back home or can she stay with her 18 year old boyfriend? I've heard a lot of different answers to this question and according to DJJ 22.4 if the a child is 17 and non-emancipated the stipulations are quite different which states the police can not forcibly remove the child from the home unless they have the appropriate court papers.

So my question is, If i do decide to go through the courts what are the chances that it will get heard in a reasonable time frame? I know that a 17 year old pregnant woman leaving home to live with her child's father might not be something priority in the eyes of the law would it?

An in-detailed explanation would be grateful.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Steven K. replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for allowing me to assist you.

In Georgia, for purposes of a juvenile court proceeding, a child is defined as a person under 17 years of age. O.C.G.A § 15-11-2 (2001). Under state law, there is no definition of "runaway." There is a definition of an unruly child means which includes a child who, among other things, without guardian permission deserts home. O.C.G.A. § 15-11-2 (2001). The police can take an “unruly child” or any child who has run away from home into custody without a warrant and hold them in a facility for unruly children. However, a 17 year old is not a child under the definition cited above. O.C.G.A. §§ 15-11-2, 15-11-45, 15-11-47, 15-11-67, 15-11-68 (2001).

A person commits the crime of interfering with the custody of a child if he/she knowingly harbors a child who has run away. O.C.G.A. § 16-5-45 (2001). Again, this only applies to a "child" under the age of 17.

Furthermore, the age for sexual consent in Georgia is 16, so there is no issue of statutory rape.

Is there any other information I can provide?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Steve,

Thank you so much for acknowledging my question so quickly. However it was not right on the money of what i was asking, My original question is what in the state of Georgia is the statutes for a 17 year old runaway? Meaning can the police take her in to custody given the fact that she is 17-Years old or is this something that is not likely going to happen considering the DJJ does not have juristiction over a 17 Year old or would they even be classified as a run away at the age of 17?

My real question to put it simply is, What would happen to the 18 year old who she is currently with (Has he commited a crime by doing this?) The other question, Can the police legally make her come home? (Or does this have to go through a court order?)

Do remember this is for the state of Georgia.
Expert:  Steven K. replied 3 years ago.
If you look at the Georgia statutes I explained above, it shows that nothing happens to a 17 year old who leaves home. Technically, such a person is not a runaway because you have to be under 17 to be a runaway. Therefore, the police cannot do anything once a person turns 18. They cannot take her into custody and they cannot force her to return home. Since the age of consent is 16, the 18 year old is not committing statutory rape. Since it is only "custodial interference" to harbor a runaway under the age of 17, the 18 year old is not guilty of custodial interference either. He would not be committing any crime.
Steven K., Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1610
Experience: I have practiced family law since 1996, focusing on child custody and domestic violence
Steven K. and 11 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Steve,

Your actually a very knowledgable person so i will certainly leave you some good feedback after you answer this last question (Just so i am entirely positive on this).

Your saying that the 17 year old can not be forced to come home (In the state of Georgia) because she is not classified by state law as a runaway (I apologize for my stupidity but i am not fully up to date on anything regarding law hence my questions here).

The Georgia Law is quite a mess on the case of 17 year olds if that is the case, Because from what your saying they are not considered a legal adult until 18 but not considered a minor at 17, So where does this leave a 17 year old in the laws eyes in regards XXXXX XXXXX home without parental consent?

I do thank you for bareing with me while i try to understand this.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Steve,

Your actually a very knowledgable person so i will certainly leave you some good feedback after you answer this last question (Just so i am entirely positive on this).

Your saying that the 17 year old can not be forced to come home (In the state of Georgia) because she is not classified by state law as a runaway (I apologize for my stupidity but i am not fully up to date on anything regarding law hence my questions here).

The Georgia Law is quite a mess on the case of 17 year olds if that is the case, Because from what your saying they are not considered a legal adult until 18 but not considered a minor at 17, So where does this leave a 17 year old in the laws eyes in regards XXXXX XXXXX home without parental consent?

I do thank you for bareing with me while i try to understand this.









Expert:  Steven K. replied 3 years ago.
Don't worry, it is very confusing and counterintuitive. But yes, that is what I am saying. In the state of Georgia, a 17 year old is not legally a child and is not legally a runaway. So, a 17 year old suffers no repercussions for leaving home against the will of their parents.

One way to view it is to see a difference between the age of "majority" and the age of "emancipation." At age 18, the child has reached the age of majority. However, at age 17, they are effectively emancipated from their parents if they choose to be.

Thank you for your positive comments.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
"However, at age 17, they are effectively emancipated from their parents if they choose to be."

Do you have the law number (I'm not sure what it's called) that states the above or anything near it? If so can i please have it.

Actually if you can provide me with the law that states a 17 year old can leave without parental consent i will leave you a nice bonus Mr. Steven.

Thanks in Advance!
Expert:  Steven K. replied 3 years ago.
O.C.G.A § 15-11-2 defines a child as being under age 17.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I read that one steven but what I'm saying is are there any law number's that state a child may leave there home at the age of 17 without parental consent.
Expert:  Steven K. replied 3 years ago.
There is not a law that says that. What the law says is that a 17 year old is not a child. There is another law that says that a runaway must be a child. Therefore, a 17 year old cannot be a runaway.
Steven K., Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1610
Experience: I have practiced family law since 1996, focusing on child custody and domestic violence
Steven K. and 11 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hey Steve,

This is the last question (I also left you a $15 Bonus for being so patient with me).

Can you tell me the law (Or link me) where is states that a runaway must be a child.

Thanks
Expert:  Steven K. replied 3 years ago.
If you click on this link and scroll down to (12) it says, "Unruly child' means a child who: (A) While subject to compulsory school attendance is habitually and without justification truant from school; (B) Is habitually disobedient of the reasonable and lawful commands of his or her parent, guardian, or other custodian and is ungovernable; (C) Has committed an offense applicable only to a child; (D) Without just cause and without the consent of his or her parent or legal custodian deserts his or her home or place of abode.

Under (1) of the same link it says, "'Child' means any individual who is: (A) Under the age of 17 years; (B) Under the age of 21 years, who committed an act of delinquency before reaching the age of 17 years, and who has been placed under the supervision of the court or on probation to the court; or (C) Under the age of 18 years, if alleged to be a 'deprived child' or a 'status offender' as defined by this Code section." (You have not given me any facts that indicate that your daughter already has an open delinquency case, or that she is "deprived" or a "status offender.")

Thank you for the bonus!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hey Steven,

That link only links me back to the this question.
Expert:  Steven K. replied 3 years ago.
I'm sorry. I don't know how that happened. Here is the correct link.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
That answers that question perfectly, I honestly really want to leave you alone but i do have another question (I apologize for everything and i promise I'll leave you another bonus!)

Now,

In the state of Georgia what are the statutes of a 17 year old and school attendance? Because currently she is not going to school, Is she required by the state of Georgia to attend school until she reaches 18 or can she legally just not go at the age of 17 since she is not considered a minor by the state of Georgia?

The Georgia law (in my opinion) is very contradictory.
Expert:  Steven K. replied 3 years ago.
Don't worry about it!

In Alabama, school attendance is only required from age 7 to age 16. 17 year olds are not legally required to attend school.

Here is the statute: Code of Ala. § 16-28-17.
Steven K., Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1610
Experience: I have practiced family law since 1996, focusing on child custody and domestic violence
Steven K. and 11 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you

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