PA 08-41—HB 5529

Judiciary Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING YOUTH WHO RUN AWAY

SUMMARY: Until January 1, 2010, this act permits judges to order 16- and 17-year-old runaways who they adjudicate as being “youth in crisis” to submit to the control of their parents, guardians, foster parents, or other custodians for a period the court specifies. The court must find that the youth meets the legal criteria under the youth in crisis law (i. e. , that the reason for running away was not justified).

The order cannot override any other law or extend beyond the youth's 18th birthday. As with other court orders directed at youth in crisis, violations are not delinquent acts and cannot subject the youth to detention or imprisonment.

The law allows parents and foster parents to initiate youth in crisis proceedings. The act expands the list of caregivers who may take this action to include guardians and other custodians.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2008

BACKGROUND

Youth in Crisis Law

The law, which is repealed by PA 07-4 (June Special Session) on January 1, 2010, covers 16- and 17-year-olds who are beyond their parents', guardians', or other custodian's control; run away from home; or fail to go to school. Juvenile court judges can make and enforce orders directed at youth in crisis, including suspending driver's licenses and requiring school attendance, mental health or substance abuse treatment, employment, or community service. They can also consider whether a youth in crisis is eligible for emancipation (i. e. , to be declared a legal adult).

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