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Missouri 17 YO Runaway Laws

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  • #31
    Hi I live in Sikeston mo I don’t live with neither of my parents I stay with my auntie and she trying to get gaurdianship over me but In a couple a months I will be 17 years of age I’m capable of supporting myself I work and my BF mom said it’s okay for me to live with them can I move out without my auntie consent?

    Comment


    • ccsmod5
      ccsmod5 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi, thanks for reaching out to us at NRS. So the decision for who you can stay with depends on who currently has custody of you. You mentioned that your aunt is pursuing guardianship, so is your legal guardian right now your parents? If that's the case, then your parents would get to decide if you were able to live anywhere else.

      There are exceptions to this rule, the first one being if your guardian or caretakers are determined to be abusive (physically, sexually, emotionally, or neglectful. If this is the case, you can call Child Help at (800) 422-4453.

      The second exception would be if you wanted to file for emancipation, which is an often lengthy process that allows you to show to the court that you are able to support yourself and live independently from your parents. To learn more about this process, you can call one of the following numbers:
      Poplar Bluff Phone number: 573-840-9540

      St. Louis Phone number: 314-340-6904


      Running away is not technically illegal for you, but if your guardian called in a runaway report they could have you returned, or the adults you choose to stay with could get in legal trouble. Please don't hesitate to call us if you want to explore your options further: (800) RUNAWAY. We are open 24/7.

      Good luck!
      NRS

  • #32
    theoretically if i was 17 and my mom had legal custody of me but i lived with my grandparents then i was told to leave and i and my friends dad went and picked it up and my grandparents handed them my birth certificate can they call the police and get my friends parents in trouble

    Comment


    • ccsmod16
      ccsmod16 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there, thanks for reaching out. It sounds like you might be in a tough situation right now. We are here to help the best we can!

      So at 17 in most states, you are still considered a minor and under the guardianship of your parents/ legal guardians. It sounds like your grandparents may have asked you to leave and then allowed you to go with your friend and their dad, even giving them your birth certificate. It must be really painful to be kicked out by your grandparent and if they were your caretakers, it could even be considerate neglect. If you would like more information on that or learn about steps of filing a report, call Child Help 1-800-422-4453, childhelp.org.

      We are glad you have friends to help you through this. It sounds like you might be referring to a “harboring a runaway” charge and are concerned about your friend’s family getting into trouble. That is understandable and really considerate of you to care! We are not legal experts, but from what we know, harboring charges are pretty rare in most states and situations. Harboring only comes about if a runaway report is filed by your guardian—which sounds like it’s legally your mom. So if she doesn’t plan to file one, harboring shouldn’t be an issue usually. Additionally, if police were to come and try to press charges, you and your friend’s family can tell the police what happened. Police typically listen to both sides before pressing any charges so telling them what you told us may be helpful.

      We are here 24/7 if you need resources or would like to talk more about your situation: 1-800-786-2929 and also online via live chat through our website. You are really brave for going through all of this. We are here to support you. Best of luck!

      We hope this response was helpful! We’d love to hear from you about your experience using our crisis email/forum. Your feedback plays an important role in helping us improve our services to youth and families. Please click the link to fill out our survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think.
      Last edited by ccsmod16; 04-20-2018, 09:50 AM.

  • #33
    My seventeen year old daughter ran away and local police will not do anything about it we have seen her since Saturday evening we are pretty sure she with her boyfriend is anything we can do sbout

    Comment


    • ccsmod3
      ccsmod3 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello,
      If you have contacted NRS today through another means (for example, live chat, email or bulletin) for the same issue, it would be helpful to let us know that you have already contacted us. NRS understands it takes courage to reach out for help; therefore, we would like to minimize the need for you to repeat your situation and avoid offering you duplicate services.
      Best of luck,
      NRS

  • #34
    If I run away from my mom will she most likely to be able to get me back if someone finds me.

    Comment


    • ccsmod0
      ccsmod0 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there,

      Thanks for reaching out to us to help you decide about this situation. It sounds like you’re going through a lot at home and are thinking of leaving. This is surely a difficult time for you, and we’re sure you’ve been enduring a lot. Hopefully we can help.

      We’re not legal experts, so what we tell you may not apply in your community, even if it applies in most of the U.S. Usually, if a runaway report is filed on a youth, the police are authorized to search for the youth and return them home. In most parts of the U.S., running away is not illegal and won’t result in a youth getting arrested or fined. Adults who you stay with could be charged for harboring a runaway, which is a very rare charge, but a charge you may want to know about. Penalties for this charge vary widely across the U.S.

      Hopefully this helped. Thanks so much for reaching out to us. If you have any questions or want to talk more, please call us at 1-800-786-2929.

      Best,
      NRS

  • #35
    im 17 and need help what do i do when i have and older brother that keep hiting me he 18 and i try to leave but my mom say that she would call for runway i under stand that i can leave have to come back because im 17 but ive called the cops on him before but the family help him all of them and say that i was lieing and they did nothing and the crap keep happening and dont what i should do because cant leave she call in a runway so what do i do

    Comment


    • ccsmod7
      ccsmod7 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks so much for reaching out to us. First of all, no one deserves to be hit or abused in any way – you have the right to a safe environment, and how your brother is treating you is not okay. It sounds like you are feeling angry and frustrated that your family is not protecting you, and looking for a way out of this situation.

      One option you have is to report this abuse to the authorities, since abuse is against the law and it sounds like you’re in an unsafe environment. In Mississippi, you can call the Mississippi Abuse Hotline at 1-800-222-8000. You can also tell a teacher, nurse or guidance counselor at school, since they’re required by law to report abuse. Another great resource is Child Help, a 24/7 hotline like NRS that can walk you through the reporting process and the possible outcomes. Their number is 1-800-422-4453.

      Although we’re not legal experts, we can tell you that in general, you need to reach the age of majority before you can legally leave home without your parents’ permission. In MS, the age of majority is 21. Running away is a status offense, not a crime, so if your mom filed a runaway report with the police, all they could do is bring you back. But in general, the police do not want to return youth to an abusive home, so you could also report the abuse to the police if you were picked up.

      It sounds like you’ve been through so much, and it shows a lot of strength and maturity that you’re reaching out for help and doing the best you can to make your situation better. We are here for you, and you can always call us 24/7 at 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929) or chat with us at https://www.1800runaway.org/ if you want to talk through your options or find other resources in your area.

      Best of luck,

      NRS

      We hope this response was helpful! We’d love to hear from you about your experience using our crisis email/forum. Your feedback plays an important role in helping us improve our services to youth and families. Please click the link to fill out our survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think.

  • #36
    Hi I’m 13 and I am wanting to runaway from home. I live in Missouri. I know that it is not illegal To runaway in Missouri. I want to do this because I have been abused by my older brother many times . I’ve tried calling the police but they never believe the abuse I go through. Can I runaway, and not get in trouble . Please help me. I really want to leave.

    Comment


    • ccsmod11
      ccsmod11 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there,

      Thanks for reaching out. It sounds like you're in a difficult situation where you are being abused by your older brother. Abuse of any sort is never acceptable and it is never your fault. Please call us if you want to talk more about these experiences or if you are interested in filing a report about this abuse to CPS. If you leave home, to our knowledge, it is not illegal, and the police would simply bring you home if you were reported as a runaway and found outside of your home. If you need help locating a runaway shelter or developing a plan for safety as a runaway, you can call us and we can help. 1-800-786-2929.

      Best,
      NRS

  • #37
    Hey, I’m 17 and live in a severely abusive house. I have a good job and want to move out of state, to Tennessee (I’m in MS currently.) I saw some family law loophole thing that said if you’re 17 you can’t face legal ramifications if you run away as long as you’re physically safe. But is this true? I can’t find conclusive answers. I have enough money to get an apartment and can get a job most anywhere I go. I’m ready to move as soon as I find out if they can send me home

    Comment


    • #38
      Hi there,

      Thank you for reaching out to us at the National Runaway Safeline. We are here 24/7 to listen and to support.

      We're sorry to hear about what you have been facing and want you to know that you deserve to feel safe and happy in your home. We are not legal experts but generally speaking, if you leave while still 17, your parents could file a runaway report and you could be returned home. There could also be legal consequences for whomever you stay with for what is called harboring a minor. One thing you can do is reach out to your local police to inquire how they handle runaway reports for 17 year olds. Some cities and departments treat them differently because a 17 year old is so close to becoming a legal adult. We can'y know for sure about the loophole you mentioned, but reaching out to the police could give you that answer. The way to get the most accurate information would be to call your local police non-emergency number and anonymously inquire about their practices. If you need help finding this number, we can be reached at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929). You also would have the right to report the abuse. You can also reach out to Child Help at 1-800-422-4453 to ask questions about your right as a minor and walk through with someone what it might look like before and after a report is made.

      NRS
      Last edited by ccsmod1; 06-03-2018, 06:54 AM.
      Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

      National Runaway Safeline
      [email protected] (Crisis Email)
      1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

      Tell us what you think about your experience!
      https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

      Comment


      • #39
        Im moving out of state when im 17 and i already taoked to the cops and everything and the said the legal age in missouri is 17 so am i still going to get in trouble?

        Comment


        • ccsmod7
          ccsmod7 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hello there, thanks for reaching out today.

          We are not legal experts but we can answer your question generally. In Missouri, the legal age where you are considered a legal adult and can make your own decisions is 18. However, sometimes police will not take runaway reports for 17 year olds since the criminal justice system automatically charges 17 year olds as adults currently in Missouri. Since Missouri has contradicting laws, if you could be listed as a runaway depends on how local police interpret the law and respond to your situation. If local police told you that you could move out at 17, that means that they would not take a runaway report for you and you are good leave without being listed as a runaway. At 17, you might not be able to do some things adults can such as rent an apartment or open a separate bank account. So if you haven't already, you might solidify a plan before moving out that includes where you will go and how you will support yourself.

          Please do not hesitate to call or chat us if you have more questions or if you would like to talk through your situation. We are here to listen, here to help.

          Best,

          NRS
          Thank you again for reaching out. We hope this was helpful and we encourage you to reach out by phone if you/she needs additional resources or need help figuring out more options. Our number is 1-800-786-2929 and our lines are always open. If you have a moment, we'd appreciate your feedback of our crisis services at the following link:
          https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think.

      • #40
        Im 16 and want to move out of my dads. can i move out at 17

        Comment


        • ccsmod1
          ccsmod1 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hi there,

          Thanks for reaching out. If you were to get permission from your dad to move out then you should have no legal consequences. If you leave without permission, then it considered running away. We aren’t legal experts, but we have general knowledge about running away. In most states, running away isn’t illegal, but what is called a status offense. You can’t get arrested for it but it will mostly likely go on your record until you are 18. The police will only know if you have runaway if your parents/guardians file a police report. We can’t say for sure how the police will respond, but we hear a lot that police will take potential places you might be and will actively search for you. If they come across you, they may return you home to your parents since you are a minor, but you are in a grey area since you are so close to 18. Sometimes we hear that if you are staying with someone who is safe, and have reason to be there then they may not make you go back. It is good to be aware that there is something called harboring, which is a person who knows you are a runaway and are not actively trying to return you or finding shelter for you, your guardians/or police can press charges against the people who are housing you, with something that is called harboring. One of our main goals is to make sure you are safe, so if you ever seriously decide to run away and need shelter, resources, or a safe place to go you can find safe locations at nationalsafeplace.org or reach out to us directly and we can find local resources in your area.

          We are here for you and will support you in anyway that we can. Please feel free to call into us directly as we can talk further about your situation and find resources that are best for you in your area. Stay strong and you are not alone in this! Our hotline ( 1-800-RUNAWAY) and chat are open 24/7.


          -NRS

      • #41
        I am a 16-year-old girl who wants to leave home but I've been in the psych ward not in any other trouble I did try to kill myself but my mom is a loving mom and been by my side just I can't handle it

        Comment


        • ccsmod3
          ccsmod3 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hi there,
          Thank you for reaching out to us at NRS and telling us about your situation. It sounds like you’ve going through a lot with your mom lately. We are sorry that you are dealing all of this, but we’re glad that you are looking for safe alternatives.
          We’re aren’t legal experts here, but it looks like the age of majority in Missouri is 18. If you leave home without your mom’s permission, she could file a runaway report. Luckily, running away is not a criminal offence. In most cases, the police would take you back to your mom’s unless there was evidence of abuse or if you pose a risk to yourself or others.
          However, your safety is a priority. It’s important that you live in a safe environment with the emotional and physical resources you need. Have you talked to a counselor about what you’ve been going through lately? Do you have other family members in the area that you can stay with that your mom would agree to? There may be other options that might be available to you. If you would like to discuss options or get referrals in your local area, you can call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY or via our chat services at www.1800runaway.org between 4:30pm and 11:30pm CST. We hope to hear from you. Good luck and stay safe!
          NRS

      • #42
        I am 17 been in the psych ward could I leave home

        Comment


        • ccsmod3
          ccsmod3 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hello,
          You ask a great question. It sounds like you’ve been through a lot and would like know if you can leave home. Generally speaking, a parent or guardian can try to file a runaway report for a 17 year old, though sometimes local police won’t accept a runaway report for youth that are close to becoming 18. The best way to find out for sure is to call your local police non-emergency number and ask them if they accept runaway reports for 17 year olds.
          Of course, running away is a big decision that involves answering questions like: “How will I be safe? Where will I go?” and so on. We’d like to help you figure out what your next best steps are whatever you decide. But we probably need a little more information from you to help out. The best way we can do that is if you give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY. We are here 24/7 and are confidential. We hope to hear from you!
          Good luck and stay safe,
          NRS

      • #43
        hey im 14 and i just wanna leave home what will happen to me if i do leave

        Comment


        • ccsmod6
          ccsmod6 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hello and thank you for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. It is hard for us to say what will happen to you because we do not know much about you, but we can give you some general runaway information. While we are not legal experts, your guardians can file a runaway report on you because you are a minor. It is not illegal to runaway but it is considered a status offense. If the police pick you up with a runaway report out on you, you will not get arrested unless you are doing something illegal. In most cases, your guardians will be notified and you will be taken home. If you are staying with someone while there is a runaway report out on you, they could be charged with harboring a runaway. Harboring a runaway is often considered a misdemeanor offense. If you would like to talk about what is making you want to leave home or explore other potential situations that you could encounter as a runaway, please do not hesitate to contact us on our 24/7 hotline 1-800-RUNAWAY or on chat at 1800runaway.org.

      • #44
        Hello I am 17 and I am currently in a home where I feel as if my mental health is very unstable and I plan on going to live with my boyfriend who is 19 and currently working on getting our own place and as soon as I get there I am applying for jobs... is it okay for me to do this and is there anything my parent can do to make the police or something take me back because where I am now is the last place I want to be....

        Comment


        • ccsmod7
          ccsmod7 commented
          Editing a comment
          Thank you for contacting the National Runaway Service bulletin board. It sounds like you are in a difficult situation dealing with your home life. Unfortunately, age of majority in the state of Missouri is 18, which means that if you choose to run away at age 17 your parents would be within their rights to report you as missing and potentially charge your boyfriend for harboring a runaway. We can discuss a couple of other options. It could help to talk to your parents with a moderator in order to help you feel heard. If you call our hotline, we can offer that service. Your situation could also benefit from family counseling or, more likely, individual counseling. If you are interested in either, please call our hotline and we will be happy to put you in contact with a counselor. If you are financially restricted, we can find you sliding scale therapists that will work for a reduced fee. It may also help to find another adult in your life to talk to.

          If you are ever in a spot where you need to talk out more options or just to vent, please do not hesitate to contact us via our hotline number.

      • #45
        Hi , I am 15 and plan on leaving ! I have a mother that is hard headed and won’t listen to a thing I have to say ! If I was to run away like my mother has told me to do can she get the people that I’m staying with in trouble Or possibly even me ?

        Comment


        • ccsmod6
          ccsmod6 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hello, thank you for reaching out during this difficult time. We are not legal experts, but technically it’s not against the law for you to leave home without your mom’s permission. In most places it’s considered a ‘status offense’. However, there is a catch that anyone you would be caught staying with could possibly be charged with ‘harboring a runaway’. It would be up to the people you would be staying with if they are willing to take this risk for you. If you need a youth shelter, https://www.nationalsafeplace.org/ is a good resource to reach out to. One option you and you mom might be interested in is counseling, where you can talk about her stubbornness and the family dynamics. It’s not okay for her to lash out at you. If you don’t think your mom will be open to that, you can always talk to a school counselor yourself, you have the right to be heard.
          Here at the National Runaway Safeline, we are always here to help you go over your options. We can be reached at any time at 1-800-RUNAWAY or online at https://www.1800runaway.org/. If you do leave please stay safe and contact us if you need help.
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