• Teen Chat Room – get answers to your questions about the law

    Ask your questions and make your comments to Judge Tom and your peers here.

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    Anonymous
    I am 16 years old and will be 17 on October 11th. I have an 8 month old daughter and my mother gave me verbal consent to live with my fiance. We had moved to his grandfathers in Alabama until we could actually buy and move into a house, but before then his aunt and dads family have made us move around with them and have been forcing us to move back and fourth with them in Texas. Well then his Aunt after she stole all of our money forced me to get on a bus back to Missouri, where my mother lives, and was going to kick out my fiance and daughter. So I came back to Fort Worth Tx and my fiance got his dad to drive him to get me. But before he took him his dad and grandparents forced him to sign an agreement (that was NOT notarized) stating that our daughter would be staying with them just to get some shots done and the doctor would have to call my fiance first. Well, after we finally got to Al, we had been staying in contact with them, (actually they had no contact with me, the mother, this entire time.) And my fiances dads wife started talking to us saying that his grandparents were planning to keep her so we rented a car and got up there. Once we got to the dads house he ripped our baby from her fathers arms and blocked us from leaving with his vehicle. After he took our baby he ran us outside and were yelling and threatening my fiance and saying we aren't good parents. So we had to come all the way back. We need to know what options we have. My fiance is 18 and we need to know if we should just get a lawyer or if we can file for a ofp or get a restraining order or how we can get our baby back. Because they have no rights over her and are planning to run away with her, isn't that kidnapping?! Will living in another state complicate this? We also have all the text messages stating that they knew that we were going to get our daughter after her appointment on August 29th. And all of the wifes text messages about them planning to keep her. Please help, and thank you for your time.
    7/27/2014 1:23 pm Reply
    Judge Tom
    Judge Tom
    Dear Anon: As the birth parents of your child, you and your fiance both have legal rights over your daughter despite the fact that you are still a minor. How to proceed in order to get your daughter back is going to depend on the laws in the states involved as well as the specific circumstances. First, you may want to try contacting your local legal aid office to see if they can offer some assistance for free or on a sliding scale basis. You can also look into whether your local court has a free legal assistance program which would allow you to meet briefly with a pro bono attorney. Finally, check out our Resource Directory under the Teen Health category for additional resources in your area that may be able to help. Good luck to you, your fiance and daughter.
    7/27/2014 9:25 pm
    Anonymous
    Can my probation officer ask me to hive her someone else's social security number?
    7/26/2014 8:01 pm Reply
    Judge Tom
    Judge Tom
    Dear Anon: We suggest you review the terms of your probation very carefully. You should have received a copy when you were first placed on probation, but if you cannot find them, simply ask you P.O. for a copy. This seems like an odd request and may be outside the scope of your P.O.'s authority. After reviewing the terms of your probation, if you do not see anything about making such a request, you could ask to speak with your P.O.'s supervisor to bring it to their attention. Good luck. (Check our Resource Directory for more help and resources in your area. This is information only – not legal advice.)
    7/26/2014 9:08 pm
    Anonymous
    7/26/2014 2:52 pm Reply
  • Judge Tom
    Can the police search your phone without a warrant?
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    7/25/2014 4:51 pm Reply
    Anonymous
    Can I choose to live with my dad when I'm 13 and if so how does the process work
    7/25/2014 12:26 pm Reply
    Judge Tom
    Judge Tom
    Dear Anon: First, you need to find out whether or not your parents have custody orders through the court or if they worked out the current custody arrangement on their own. If both your parents are willing to let you live with your Dad, then there shouldn't be a problem. However, they may need to go back to court to get the custody orders modified if there are any orders in place. If your parents don't agree with letting you live with your Dad, then you will have to deal with the current arrangement. Since you are a minor, they get to make the decision, but if the court gets involved in making the custody decision, then the judge may want to hear from you about what you want. Good luck. (Check our Resource Directory for more help and resources in your area. This is information only – not legal advice.)
    7/25/2014 4:15 pm
    Anonymous
    I have a simple question , Last month a group of my friends went pool hopping in a public pool. No cops were called or showed up that night but there was a security camera. They aren't sure if the camera even worked or not. If a pool staff called the police and said they seen them on the camera can they still be charged even though they didn't get caught on the scene?
    7/25/2014 4:06 am Reply
    Judge Tom
    Judge Tom
    Dear Anon: Although it's possible that they could be charged, it's quite unlikely considering it would be very difficult to identify them based on the surveillance cameras alone. We suggest your friends stay out of public pools after hours as the police may be called on them next time. Thanks for writing us.
    7/25/2014 9:34 am
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