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Legal advice for runaway. (NC to NY)

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  • Legal advice for runaway. (NC to NY)

    Hey so im posting this for a friend and wanted to see what you guys thought. So my friend ( bobby ) is 17 and lives in north carolina with his dad, and his dad's girlfriend. His madre lives in New York but she legally doesnt have custody of him and he can not live with her until he's 18. Bobby had a plan to leave north carolina, ( without his father+fathers girlfriend finding out) and taking a flight back to new york to live there. Apparently he talked to his mother about signing him up for school in new york using one of her friends address/friend sign him up for school ( apparently she can not have anything to do with this or she goes straight to jail, no police contact ) She has told boby that she will sign him up for school then have her friend/someone or bobby can buy a plane ticket for him to go back to new york. he plans on staying in an apartment given to him by a close friend that owns the apartments, or he could live with his mothers friend, or his own friends. Bobby wants to know that if he goes thru with his plan to ditch north carolina, catch a flight move to new york, if he goes thru with all of this, legally could he get into trouble? could he be thrown in court? could he be thrown back into his dads hands? can the police show up and take him away? He's 17 so isnt he allowed to make his own descisions? He just wants to " runaway " from where he lives in north carolina and move close to his mom in ny, is all of this possible without anything bad happening? like we've all heard stories about people moving out before 18? is he going to LEGALLY get himself into a hole in this sitatuon. Bobby is trying to stay away from having to go back to north carolina he just doesnt know if his plan is smart/the right idea. Please dont post " stay till 18 " we are past that. Is there anything better than doing, He has looked into getting emancipated ( independent ) but his dad would find out thru court or petitions or something and he does not want his father involved.

  • #2
    Hi there,

    Thank you for reaching out to us at the National Runaway Safeline. We're sorry to hear about how difficult things have been for Bobby, but glad he has a friend like you looking out for him and people on his side. You mentioned him wanting to leave your home before he is 18. We are not legal experts but generally speaking, if he leaves while still 17, his dad could file a runaway report and he could be returned home. It is not illegal to run away, it is a status offense, so he would most likely not go to court or jail. But there could be legal consequences for whomever he stays with for what is called harboring a minor, which is illegal. One thing you and him can do is reach out to his local police (of whatever county his dad lives in) 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. The way to get the most accurate information would be to call his 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).


    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!


    • #3
      I highly recommend that your friend call professional lawyers before he gets in any kind of trouble, especially you suspect him been discriminated - this is one of the reasons for runaway. Here's a good legal advice firm - It's worth to make a call if the situation doesn't seem good.


      • ccsmod9
        ccsmod9 commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you for your response to another user’s post. Often forums are a place of support and understanding for many youth. It often may be validating and helpful for users to read similar situations as well as exchange feedback to one another. For anyone experiencing any difficulties or challenges, the National Runaway Safeline encourages youth to reach out to our 24/7 crisis support line either by phone or chat for immediate services.
        Thank you, NRS
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