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I live in new jersey. my 17 year old daughter ran away in sept

Customer Question

I live in new jersey. my 17 year old daughter ran away in sept 08. I located her on nov 11, 08. Her boyfriend's mother hid her and lied to police and kept her out of school for the entire time.    my dauther turned 18 in dec. she left home again on her 18th birthday and is with them, but is not allowed to give me her address.     i was able to convince her to stay in high school and gradutate. she did so in feb.     Now that she graduate,d i want to pursue a complaint against the mother for harboring a minor, withholding custody from me of my daughter, hindering a police investagation and anything she should be charged with.    I do not think i have waited to long, i waited to get my daughter successfully out of high school and into college.     Is there a statue of limitation on filing a criminal complaint.    It troubles me greatly that this person would be allowed to get away with breaking these laws.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  LawHelpNow replied 8 years ago.

Hello and thanks so much for choosing this forum to pose your important legal question. I will do my best to give you some honest and accurate guidance as I answer your question.


  1. I am a licensed attorney, and I will be glad to try and answer your question. I hope that the following information will be helpful to you, but please just write back if you have any follow-up questions or need clarification on anything after reviewing the following information. I am sorry for all you have been through here, and hope that everything gets resolved appropriately in this situation.
  2. Based on what you have related here, I do not think you are too late at all. There is no statute of limitations on reporting an alleged criminal violation. The statute of limitation for prosecution of a crime in New Jersey is generally five years. A prosecution is commenced when an indictment is issued with respect to a criminal offense. A few exceptions are that prosecution for murder or rape may be commenced at any time. And, a disorderly persons charge must be prosecuted within one year of commission of the related offense. But in your situation, I certainly think you have not waited to long to share your concerns with the law enforcement authorities.
  3. I would encourage you to report this conduct to your local police department without delay. In addition, if your daughter was transported across state lines it would certainly be appropriate to contact your local field office for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I hope that you do not encounter difficulties, but there is one factor I think bears mentioning here just to prepare you. In cases like this involving older teenagers (close to the age of majority), I have seen the police being hesitant or even refuse to open a case. I am not saying that will happen here, and the only way to know is to contact them. But I mention it just as a possibility based on my prior experiences.

I hope that this information has been helpful to you. If we can be of any further assistance please free to use our service again. Best wishes for a successful outcome.

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The information provided is general in nature only and should not be construed as legal advice. By using this forum, you acknowledge that no attorney-client relationship has been created between you and Benjamin M. Burt, Jr., Esq. You should always consult with a lawyer in your state.

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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
your anwer is helpful.   you are correct my local juvinile detectives were not interst in pursing, i assume because of her age and she "ran away". In fact at times I was treated very harshly.   They were not interest in my postion that I new the mother was hiding my dauther. and she did keep her in NYC for a period.   my concern is my daughter will be angry, i know that, but it it important for my daughter to learn if you break the law you should answer to the law.   In addition, I have learned the mother is teaching my dauther to break other laws (ie tax fraud, public assitance, )    The hardiet thing I must deal with is my daughter's reaction, that I will loose her.    I beleive she has been brainwashed (to a degree). ie, if she returns home, she can not see the boyfriend anymore.    
Expert:  LawHelpNow replied 8 years ago.

You are quite welcome. It was my pleasure.


I commend you for wanting to do the right thing here. At the end of the day, you have to be able to look yourself in the mirror and know you have done what your conscience dictates. I hope that, at least at some point, the relationship with your daughter is restored.


Take care and thanks again for using JustAnswer®.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
if i can re cap   i believe the camplaints i would file would be 1. harboring a minor, 2taking her across state lines, 3 hindering a police investation (pointed police to another person). 4witholding custody from me (mother and legal gurdian), 4neglect (keeping her out of school).   I dont know if there is anything else.   In addition, I assume I could file a civil suit. It has cost me thousands of dollars while my daughter was missing. I thank you for supporting me "emotionally" I am a good mother, and have tried to raise my daughther well. I saw the dangers when she first met the boy.   My guess isshe is in love and blind to the dangers. I wish I could have stopped this.   These are very bad people she is with I have learned there is gang involvment and aledged drug sales.    Again thank you,   
Expert:  LawHelpNow replied 8 years ago.

Hello there,


Yes, those are each relevant issues here and I think you have an excellent grasp of the legal principles at stake. A civil suit is worth considering, especially if the criminal law authorities decline to take action. One thing worth doing would be to contact a local attorney and at least explore your options. Seeing you are in Kearny, a good place to start would be:


Hudson County Bar AssociationXXXXXbr />Jersey City 07306(NNN) NNN-NNNN(phone)

Director: Lisa Burke
Internet: [email protected]


Take care and thanks again for using JustAnswer®.