How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Joseph Your Own Question
Joseph, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 5299
Experience:  Attorney with significant and substantial experience in multiple areas of law.
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Joseph is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

We hosted a 19 year old camp counselor in our home for the

This answer was rated:

We hosted a 19 year old camp counselor in our home for the summer. We left for Europe on her second to last day with us. That evening, to say thank you for welcoming her into our home, she decided to throw a party with all the other underage counselors. The house was a mess and some of our alcohol was missing, but nothing was broken. What charges, if any, can we bring against the counselor who had the party? Against the other counselors who knew we were away and that they were in our house without our knowledge?

I'm sorry to hear about your situation and hope I can help.

My name isXXXXX am a licensed attorney, and my goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

I need a bit more information from you before I can proceed to provide you with a complete and thorough answer to your question.

Are you asking about criminal or civil charges to bring against the counselor?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I was thinking criminal, since there weren't damages per se.


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I should have also mentioned that the neighbor called the police. When they arrived, there were at least 15 underage drinkers in our hot tub (which we had closed before we left), one boy unconcious in the house and several "couples" in the bedrooms. Most kids ran off, one ended up in PC, the boy was taken to the hospital (and is now fine) and those two, the host and another received citations for underage drinking. My understanding this will likely result in the need to take an educational course


Actually, only a D.A. can bring criminal charges against someone.

Any criminal charge is subject to a beyond a reasonable doubt standard of proof, so it would be MUCH more difficult to convict on criminal charges than to bring a civil case.

That said, you can file a police report if you want to see if any charges can be filed. (I could see only see possible charges for theft or vandalism, and maybe serving minors, and minor in possession of alcohol, if those can be proven--they are normally only proven by officer presence).

However, if your main goal is to get payment for damages, you may want to talk to the 19 year old camp counselor though and ask her to pay you for damages (cleaning, alcohol stolen, etc.) if that is your primary concern. You can inform her that you will go to the police if she doesn't pay you for the damages, and she will more than likely comply to avoid potential prosecution.

(Yes, courts typically require an educational course after a minor in possession of alcohol offense).

I hope the above information is helpful.

Please let me know if you have any clarifying or follow up questions as I want to ensure that you are completely satisfied with my service. Please contact me first if you are contemplating leaving me a negative rating, as I’ll be happy to continue to address your concerns until you are completely satisfied with my service.

If not, please remember to rate my answer positively so I get credit for my work. Please also rate me highly (9-10) when you receive your customer satisfaction survey as well.

Thanks and best of luck!


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My goal is to scare these kids and even more importantly the camp - as they seem to want to brush it under the rug. Rather than deal strong handedly with the counselors. I had suggested that the camp not invite the counselors back and use the opportunity as a learning event for their next crop. They have basically asked us to "get over it."


I went on facebook and found that several of them had pictures posted from the night - and it just seems to me that they are reveling in the fact that they got away with something rather than feeling the need to take ownership of their actions. Not a single parent has contacted me (though I know that the police have spoken to them). I just feel that everyone is implicitly condoning the behavior and I want to find a way to get folks to do the right thing, without pubicly humiliating the camp (which my children attend).

I understand your concerns, but your legal options are pretty limited.

If the minors were invited in by your house guest, they really cannot be convicted of trespassing. The most they could be charged with is minor in possession. (If they're drinking in the photos, you could provide those to the police).

Unfortunately, the camp is not under any obligation to not allow the counselors involved to come back or to take any other disciplinary action against them if they don't want to.

I'm not entirely sure about what you mean by 'doing the right thing,' but I'm sure the counselors will want to avoid getting a criminal record and giving up their jobs for next summer due to their mistake. While that could be considered taking ownership of their actions, it would also likely have pretty negative consequences on their lives (criminal record, loss of income/job). And, otherwise, they may be good counselors.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Understood all of your points. My issue is that not a single adult has held them accountable. I know if it were my child, I would march them over to the house and insist that they apologize, regardless of the consequences. To me, that is parenting, not helping your child evade any responsability. But I appreciate this is beyond the legal question. thank you for your help.

The parents have definitely failed to take appropriate action. I'm in complete agreement with you on that point.

My twin brother was a bit of a delinquent when younger, and the only way to get him to learn a lesson was that form of humbling and humiliating experience of public apology.
Joseph and 6 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you

Related Legal Questions