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A Parent’s Obligation When a Child Commits a Crime

teen male portrait wearing handcuffs

The 1956 movie, The Bad Seed, terrified viewers with its contrast between the innocent beauty of childhood and the evil of murder without remorse. Likewise, the August 18, 2014 edition of People reviews a book about a similarly horrifying crime – the stabbing murder by two 16-year-old honor students of their best friend.

What is a parent’s obligation when a child commits a crime?   Can the parent abandon the child to the criminal justice system? In Louisiana, the obligation of a parent to support a minor child is almost unconditional. The child whose parents have refused to support him while he or she is in jail would have a right of action against them for child support. The State acting in its capacity as the custodian might have standing to seek support from the parents of an incarcerated minor. If you have a child who is incorrigible or in jail, seek legal counsel concerning your continued duties of support.

And Baby Makes Only Three – Grandparent Visitation Law in Louisiana

Grandfather Reading to Granddaughter

Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, and North, their daughter, have been living in Grandma Kris Jenner’s mansion while their own home is renovated according to the August 18, 2014 edition of US Weekly. Undoubtedly, Kris Jenner has developed a close and loving relationship with North. What would happen, however, if after Kim, Kanye, and North move, they refuse to permit Kris to see North?

In Louisiana and elsewhere in the United States, grandparent visitation is subject to our country’s supreme law – the United States Constitution.   For many years, our Supreme Court has recognized the fundamental right of parents to determine what is in their child’s best interest. In general, if a parent decides that he does not want his child to know her grandparents, courts may not overrule that decision. There are narrow exceptions for grandparents whose son or daughter is dead, in jail, or committed and the surviving, free, or sane parent refuses to allow them to see their grandchild. Even in those circumstances, there is no guarantee that a grandparent can meet the high evidentiary burden imposed by constitutional principles.

If you are a grandparent who has been refused visitation, you should seek legal advice. Be prepared for a long, bitter, and expensive uphill battle against the odds.

AFL-LSU? Do Minors Have the Right to Unionize?

A regional director of the National Labor Relations Board recently ruled that footballplayers at Northwestern University who receive full scholarships are employees of the university and are entitled to unionize.  Players recently voted on whether or not they wished to unionize but their ballots are sealed pending litigation.  It may be months or years before we know their decision. The NLRB regional director’s decision, assuming that it is affirmed during the judicial review process, has many implications for players as well as their parents.

In Louisiana, the age of majority is 18.  Until age 18, a person is considered a child and is under the authority of his parents.  When parents divorce, authority over a child’s person and property is determined during the custody proceedings. Can parents vote as proxies for their children who have received football scholarships but have not yet reached the age of 18?

While children are minors, there are state and federal restrictions on their employment.  If football is paid employment (for students with athletic scholarships), there may also be tax consequences whether a player is a minor or has reached the age of 18. Who will negotiate on the college players’ behalf? What impact will unionization have on college play? Do minors have the right to unionize?

Given the youth and limited life experience of many college athletes, wolves may get into the football fold and shear the sheep.  The director’s decision will undoubtedly have many unintended consequences.   Whether they are good or bad is unlikely to be seen for many years.