• 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.

    What is your Question?
    Anonymous
    I'm a 17 year old mom in Colorado. I have looked it up and tried speaking to someone but didnt get any answers. I need to know if im able to get married or move out, without my moms consent.
    1/25/2015 4:37 pm Reply
    Judge Tom
    Judge Tom
    Dear Anon: Since you're still a minor, your Mom is legally responsible for you and gets to make the decisions about your upbringing. If you can convince her to allow you to move out or to marry, then you'll be allowed to do such. Otherwise, your other option is to request the court's permission to allow you to marry. In Colorado, you have to be 18 to marry without parental consent or what's called a "judicial bypass" (the court's permission). Click here to find out more about the laws in your state. Good luck.
    1/26/2015 3:48 pm
    Judge Tom
    Do I lose any rights if I′m pregnant?
    Not long ago, the answer to this question was a definite "yes." In the 1970s, you could have been asked to drop out of school if you were an unwed pregnant minor, or you could have lost your job for...(18314)[Read More]
    8/26/2012 10:27 am Reply
    Chat User
    Comment by: William
    o I am 22 years old and I got my 17 year old girlfriend pregnant. We live in iowa. We were wondering if there’s any way you can help me find out if she can get emancipated without her parents consent. She would be living me with and we both have good jobs to support all three of us and we plan on moving in together. Her parents are pressuring her to get an abortion and she doesn’t want to do that but her parents disagree. She would be done with school before she had the baby and she will start online college. Dear William: Iowa does have an emancipation law (232C-1). You can read this at any public library for yourself. Ask the librarian for help finding it or google “Iowa 232C-1.” It is not easy to obtain and it can’t be done behind a parent’s back. If your girlfriend files a petition with the court for emancipation, she must serve a copy of the petition on her parents who have a right to attend the hearing and state their position. Good luck. (This is information only – not legal advice).
    1/17/2015 7:59 am
    Chat User
    Comment by: Haley
    I am 15 years old , soon to be 16 in July. I live in Michigan, and as a child I got token into custody when I was 8, by my oldest sister. Am I considered my own adult now? What are my rights in a situation like this?
    5/13/2013 7:37 pm
    Chat User
    Comment by: Colette Adkins
    My niece lives in Ar. and she has a two week old baby, she's 1 month from being 17 yrs. old. The babies father is 16yrs. old. The fathers parents are threatening my neice with legal action if she doesn't let them see the baby. They wanted her to sign something to say that their son would not have to pay child support. No one is for sure if it's even the boys child. What can they do legally do to her? What are her rights as far as Ar.law goes Dear Colette: Your niece may want to contact a family law attorney in her area who could provide information based on the specific laws in her state as well as her circumstances. First, she does have rights as a teen parent and the possible grandparents on the father's side will have to take the matter to court if they want visitation rights of the baby. Since it sounds uncertain as to who the biological father is, a paternity test may need to be conducted. Your niece can choose to either ignore the grandparent's threats and wait to see if they take the matter to court, talk to a local attorney about her situation or try talking to the grandparents and work out some sort of compromise. Good luck to your niece. (This is information only - not legal advice.)
    1/20/2013 10:13 am
    No name
    No name
    I am very suicidal and I am bullied very bad and I really need help I have asked teachers and I have talked to the therapist and it does not help and I have been feeling more depressed lately and I have been thinking about ending it but can I file against the people who bully me Dear Writer:  First, understand that help in your situation is available to you. Suicide is definitely not the answer or the way to deal with your bullying or depression. It may end your pain, but think of the pain it would cause those who love and care about you. Keep talking with your parents, teachers and therapist. Tell them exactly what's going on and how it makes you feel. The answer to your question is "yes," you can take measures against the bullies. But you need your parents to help with this. They can talk to the school or the police about protecting you. They can go to court and ask the judge for a protective order that would be sent to the bullies. There are ways to put a stop to the bullying, but only if you tell someone what's going on who can take action on your behalf. Stay strong and believe that things will get better. We care about you and your well-being. Stay in touch with us - we'll be thinking about you. (This is information only - not legal advice).
    1/25/2015 6:51 pm Reply
  • hillarys
    hillarys
    Hi there, So a friend and I went to the mall. We made trips to many stores and shoplifed a few things, our final store my friend was caught stealing a $60 sweater. She confessed everything she took. but since I was never caught on the things I took I never said anything to the police, except for one thing that I put in her bag. I confessed, and said I did that. So now our parents are freaking out and honestly everything was not worth it and I really lernt my lesson. But my mum is telling me she is going in to see the footage, I don't know if she actually is, or she is saying that to scare me into telling her everything? Will she go see the footage? Will I go to court? Will this be on my record? Its been two days right now, and she's saying its an ongoing investigation, I really don't know is she's doing this to scare me. I think I'm more scared of my mum than the police to be honest. I don't know what to do, and will my school find out? Also they said they charged me because I knew about her stealing and banned me from the mall for a year. I'm just scared of my mum. Please help, and if it helps you answer all my questions, we are both 14, and we live in canada.
    1/24/2015 7:41 pm Reply
    hillarys
    hillarys
    Thank you judge tom But still had a few more questions. They did take my contacts info, as well as my friends. But they said they wanted to take my friend to court not me, because she was the one caught steeling. The cop actually said to me.. You are getting off easy. I've never done anything like this, its both of our first ofences so they let us go that night after the RCMP came to talk to us. I don't get why my mum is saying she will go in and see the footage and its an on going investigation, because the cops probably have other important shtuff to do. And I will not go back to the mall for a year maybe more, I definitely lernt my lesson. I'm just scared what my mum will do to me, she's already grounded me for two weeks and thretend for a year. She has done much worse for much little things. Dear Hillarys: Since you're under 18 and living with your mother, she has the right and responsibility to discipline you. Accept her punishment and as you said, learn from this. All the best,  -ATJ.info
    1/25/2015 11:54 am
    Judge Tom
    Judge Tom
    Dear Hillarys: First, calm down. What's done is done. There's nothing you can do to change the past. If the police or store manager didn't take any of your contact information, you may never hear anything further about this incident. Or you could receive notice in the mail about a court date or a fine that the store wants you to pay. If this is your first time in trouble with the law, you may be offered what's called diversion. Once you complete the terms of diversion (community service, for example), the case is closed and you won't have a record. It's unlikely your school would be told about this unless you live in a very small town where news travels fast. The store could show your mom the video - that's their call. Basically, you just have to sit tight and see what happens. Whatever you do, don't return to the store since you've been banned for a year. If you do, you could be charged with trespass. Good luck. (This is information only - not legal advice).
    1/25/2015 8:57 am
    Anonymous
    The police conducted a raid at my house because of my boyfriend. We cooperated and were honest and nice. They broke my brand new computer and tore up all my things. Poured drinks into my dresser and ruined important papers and so on and so forth. I would like to know my rights if they will compensate because they didn't have a right to search my things. My name wasn't on the warrant and he doesn't even live here.
    1/24/2015 2:18 pm Reply
    Judge Tom
    Judge Tom
    Dear Anon: You could try talking to your boyfriend's attorney or another criminal defense attorney about this. First, you'll probably want to document any damage by taking photos. You then could simply make a complaint to the police department and find out more about the process for requesting compensation. You need to look to the specific language on the warrant and the terms for the search allowed. Good luck. (Check our Resource Directory for more help and resources in your area. This is information only – not legal advice.)
    1/24/2015 4:41 pm
    Anonymous
    Hello, i am participating in the diversion program and i am wondering how well dressed i should show up.
    1/24/2015 11:15 am Reply
    Judge Tom
    Judge Tom
    Dear Anon: Great question. To show respect to the court and/or the probation department or whoever is supervising the program, dressing as though you are going to church or a wedding is generally a good idea. If you're already in the diversion program, you could ask your P.O. about this. Thanks for writing us. (Check our Resource Directory for more help and resources in your area. This is information only – not legal advice.)
    1/24/2015 4:35 pm
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