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  • 17 Year Old Rights In Ohio.

    So, I am nearly 17 years old. I live with my mother, stepfather and their two kids. They fight a lot, and my mother isn't the average mom, lets just say that. I'm tired of fighting with him, and things not working out. I want to go live with my grandma, which is on my mothers side. I need to know what I can do to make the move happen, am I able just to pack my bags and leave to go to my grandmas? I'm tired of the mental abuse in this broken home. I'm looking for some guidance in where to start, or what the "official" laws are.

  • #2
    RE: 17 year old rights in Ohio

    Hey there,
    Thank you for reaching out to us here at the National Runaway Safeline (NRS). We are here to help you and provide you support during this time.

    It sounds like you are going through a really difficult time at home. It sounds like you have a thought a lot about leaving and where you want to go. You mentioned going to your grandmother’s house and staying with her. We are not legal experts here, but we can provide you with some general information. If you choose to pack up your things and just go, this may be considered running away. At 17 you may still be considered a minor in your area, if this is the case then your parents/legal guardians have a right to file a runaway report. If a runaway report is filed and you are found by the police there is a chance that you can be taken back home. Also, if you are found staying with someone there is a chance that that person could be charged with harboring a runaway.

    We understand that you are going through a difficult time right now. It seems like you are interested in legal resources that can talk with you further about the official laws in Ohio. We really want to talk with you further about your situation because we may be able to link you to legal resources in your area that may be better fit to answer some of the questions that you have.

    Thank you again for reaching out to us here at NRS. We want to hear from you and help you develop a plan that is best fir for you and what you are dealing with. We are here 24/7 and someone is available to talk. We can be reached at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929).

    Best,
    NRS
    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


    • #3
      I'm 17 and live in an abusive home. I am normally mentally abused but there has been physical abuse. I have been neglected as well. I take care of my four younger siblings and am the only one who cleans and rarely do anything fun for myself. my parents are never home and I don't get to hangout with my friends or see my biological dad's side of the family. My parent's wont let me see people. My real dad's family are the most supportive and are trying to help me move out asap. My grandma has a lawyer helping her. I would be moving to Detroit. I have attempted suicide and have suffered from depression and have had a history of cutting due to what my parents have done to me. Is there anything she can do to get me out legally without my parents consent? Does having more people on my side help too? I'm just ready to get my life back. Thank you

      Comment


      • ccsmod11
        ccsmod11 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi there,

        Thanks so much for reaching out. It seems like you’re having a lot of troubles living in a physically and mentally abusive home and are looking for some help getting out. This issue is very serious and we’re happy you looked for some help today.

        Firstly, your parents have no right to place their hands on you in a way that’s intended to cause harm. You deserve to be in a safe and comfortable home environment, and abuse definitely gets in the way of that being a reality. It’s very unfortunate that you have experienced abuse at home. You can file a report of this abuse to Child Help, the National Child Abuse Hotline, at 1-800-422-4453, childhelp.org. This lets CPS know that they should investigate your home situation, and they have the authority to rehouse you with a competent family member, if they deem that to be the appropriate course of action. We are not legal experts, but it seems like your grandmother has gotten in contact with one already, and that legal expert is bound to know more about the options available to you legally than we would.

        Additionally, you mentioned that you’ve attempted suicide, have a history of cutting, and suffer from depression. All of these issues are very serious and we want to acknowledge the bravery you displayed in coming forward about these issues to us today. We want to offer our call center as a place you can call into to talk about your struggles with mental health. We are confidential and non-judgmental. We know it can be difficult to talk to others about these problems, but oftentimes, talking helps relieve the burden of dealing with your problems by yourself. We also would like to refer you to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, who provides mental health support (1-800-273-8255). We also can refer you to findtreatment.samhsa.gov for information about mental health service providers that exist in your area.

        Hopefully this message helped you!

        Best,
        NRS

    • #4
      My daughter wants to move out less than 4 months before her 18th birthday . can she do that without getting into trouble.we live in Ashtabula county in Ohio.

      Comment


      • ccsmod5
        ccsmod5 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi, there,
        We are not legal experts, but generally speaking your daughter is only able to leave home with your permission until she turns 18. If you give her permission, it should not be an issue. If she leaves without your permission, you can file a runaway report and if the police are able to find her they may return her home. That being said, protocol varies from police station to police station so we encourage you to reach out to your local non-emergency police line and ask about the situation.
        Thank you again for reaching out. We hope this was helpful and we encourage you to reach out by phone if you need additional resources or need help figuring out your 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
        Stay safe!

    • #5
      Hey I live in a abusive household and I have friends that would take me in and I read that if you 17 there is no legal action that can happen if you run away in Ohio at 17 is this true?

      Comment


      • ccsmod2
        ccsmod2 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hello,
        Thank you for reaching out to NRS, we are sorry to hear about your situation and what you’ve been dealing with.
        Although NRS is not a legal agency, we can try to give a general idea of possible outcomes if you were to run away. As you are considered a minor in your state until 18, you are still under your parents’ guardianship, therefore at any point when you are gone, they are legally within their rights to file a runaway report. Being a runaway is a status offense, and while you would not be charged with a crime, if police came across you, they would probably return you home. Guardians could also potentially press charges against people who took you into their care for “harboring a runaway;” these charges would be misdemeanors, but still criminal offenses.

        There may be certain rules in your state that we are not aware of. If you want to speak with legal experts, you could search online for pro bono legal services in your area. You can also reach out to Community Legal Services which is an agency in Ohio. They can be contacted at 330-535-4191.

        We are sorry to hear about the abuse that is going on, if you would like to speak to someone regarding that please reach out to Child Help at 1-800-422-4454 or childhelp.org you’ve endured.

        If you would like to talk about other resources and support, feel free to call our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or use our Live Chat.
        We hope this information was helpful and take care.
        National Runaway Safeline
        [email protected] (Crisis Email)
        1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

    • #6
      I’m 17 years old and my mom left me and my boyfriend living alone in her house. She just came back and kicked him out. Can I leave without getting into legal issues or getting him in trouble? I have less than 6 months till I’m 18?

      Comment


      • ccsmod15
        ccsmod15 commented
        Editing a comment
        I'm so sorry that your mom is putting you through that. It's great that you are reaching out for support.

        We are not legal experts, but it's never illegal to run away. It's what's called a status offense. If you run away, your guardian can file a runaway report. If they do that, the police's job is to return you to your guardian.

        There is something called Harboring a runaway. Our understanding is that it's only in cases where a youth is being hidden, and the family they are staying with doesn't cooperate with police. It is about the youth's safety.

        Many youth in unstable family situations set up an alternative living arrangement. Here are some things to consider:

        Even if a runaway report is filed, in our experience, police departments will handle different cases differently. If a youth is close to 18, they may not pursue it very aggressively. You can call the local police's non-emergency line anonymously to get a sense of how they might handle a case like yours.

        Some youth set up an alternative living arrangements like what you're describing, and their guardian simply never files a runaway report. So you might consider if this might be how your situation plays out. Also, if a guardian approves of a youth living elsewhere, they can. Think if this might be possible in your case.

        Lastly, your safety is most important. Be sure that you feel comfortable in any new living situation you start up. It might be good, too, to have contact numbers for people you could reach out to who could come get you, if the situation changes, or just for emotional support.

        We hope these ideas are a help. If you'd like to go into this in more depth, give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929)

    • #7
      I am 17 years old and will be 18 in september, i am engaged and welcome over at my fiancee's house at any time. I live with my aunt and my mom but they dont seem to understand that im not 5 anymore. Dont i have a right to walk to my fiancee's house or live there if i wanted to?

      Comment


      • ccsmod2
        ccsmod2 commented
        Editing a comment
        We are glad you are reaching out to us because we are here to help. In your message, you asked if you had the right to live at your fiancés house if you wanted. While we aren’t legal experts, contacting us is a good first step in figuring out your options.

        In most states you are still the responsibility of your guardian until you are 18. That means that if you were to leave home without your legal guardian’s permission that may be considered running away. While running away isn’t illegal, “harboring a runaway” or taking in a runaway can be. That means that if your guardian were to call the police and file a runaway report, they could press charges against your fiancé. Since you are so close to the age of adulthood, some police stations may not take a runaway report. This depends on the county you live in, however. An option to find out if the police would take a runaway report for someone who is almost 18 would be to call your local police station’s non-emergency number. Depending on their answer, you may be able to decide the best option for you. Additionally, involvement of the police could be avoided if you have consent of a guardian. Do you think your mom would be open to that?

        You also mentioned that your aunt and mom don’t seem to understand that you are not 5 anymore. Have you tried talking to them about how you are feeling? Sometimes parents may be unaware of how their actions can affect other people until they hear about it from your perspective. Some ways to have that conversation could be to write a letter and let them read it, or approach the conversation in a way you feel they might be susceptible to (such as having someone that both you and your mom trusts to help speak on your behalf), or our conference call service. Our hotline at 1-800-786-2929 offers a service were we would speak with you, and then speak with your mom. After talking with both of you separately, we would join the calls together and stay on the line to help keep conversation constructive. Would you comfortable with any of those options?

        Like we said, we are here to help, but we are also here to listen. If you wanted to call our hotline at 1-800-786-2929 to discuss the options above or help think of other ideas, we are available 24/7. Our number is free and confidential!

        Best of luck!

    • #8
      My youngest daughter was adopted by my mother. I lost my father 7 years ago. From when she was in middle school and even now she has endured emotional abuse from my mother and my 2 other sisters. My mom won't do anything to protect her from my evil sisters.

      She is now 17 and 3 months from being 18. I couldn't take care of her at the time she was adopted because of financial reasons. We kept touch from time to time via Facebook Messenger. She recently ran away from my mom's house due to the mental and emotional abuse by my mom and my 2 other sisters. I have an older daughter and my youngest was taken to my oldest daughter's house. She has missed school for about a week. My oldest daughter has spoken to a private investigator who is also a policeman. He told her that there is no need to get Children's Services involved and the police will not even take a report and can't do much because she is 3 months from turning 18. My mom tried to file a missing persons report at the time that she ran away.

      So now that she is at my oldest daughter's house and me and my fiance have arranged to take her back to school. According to the private investigator that even if my mom does file a interruption of custody that not much would be done because all my youngest daughter has to state is that she does not want to return because she does not feel safe going back there.

      So what are my options in dealing with this without any legal repercussions? I want my youngest daughter back and the plan was when she turned 18 that she wanted to live with her sister. My mother and my sisters are very vindictive and would do anything to put me in jail. They have always had a vendetta to take me down for years. Please help me.

      Comment


      • ccsmod16
        ccsmod16 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi there,

        Thanks for contacting National Runaway Safeline. You seem to be dealing with a difficult and overwhelming situation right now. You seem very concerned for your daughter and seem to really want her back. It is understandable to have the concerns you have with all that is going on and with the relationship you have with your family as well as the legal circumstances in place. Your daughter’s safety is a priority here and if she feels comfortable where she is, she has all the right to be there.

        As you mentioned, at 18 your daughter has right to make the decision to stay with her sister. In fact, she has the right to make the decision to stay wherever she pleases, even with you. Due to the fact that you no longer has custody and someone else does, legally your mother has the right to file a runaway report and demand she comes back to stay with her where she is to be supervised by your mother by law, being the legal guardian.

        However, due to your daughter being close to legal adult age, it is likely that law enforcement may not be strict with putting all of this into effect and may very well allow your daughter to make the decision to stay where she feels safe- especially if there is any issue with the youth’s safety at your mother’s and authorities was made aware.

        Now, there may be ways that the legal guardian of your daughter can go through the courts since she is the legal guardian. We are not legal providers so, we cannot inform what those actually court proceeding can be or the weight they may hold in the circumstance that your daughter is so close to legal adult age but, it may be beneficial to communicate with a legal provider in your state for more clarification. However, there does not really seem to be grounds for you to be placed in jail, based on what you have shared. We hope this information was of assistance to you and if you would need more information or support, please feel free to give us a call at our 24/7 hotline 1800-RUNAWAY or contact us by visiting our website 1800runaway.org.

        We wish you the best of luck.

    • #9
      Update with the post above this. My oldest daughter has informed me that Children's Services has taken my youngest daughter out of school today and is with intake. My youngest one was adopted by my mother plus she is 3 months from turning 18. I just want to know what is the Intake process and what does it involve? Would they honor my youngest daughter's wishes which would be to stay with either me or her sister? I just want to know
      what to expect.

      Comment


      • ccsmod5
        ccsmod5 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi,
        Thank you for reaching out. It sounds like you’re in a very difficult situation and care very much about your children’s well-being. We here are not experts, so we cannot say what the intake process would involve or what the outcome would be. Your best resource would be calling your local Children’s Services to ask about next steps. For more specific information on children services and how placement works, you can call the National Child Abuse Hotline (also known as Child Help) at 1-800-422-4453. We hope this was helpful and we wish you the best of luck. If you have further questions you are welcome to call us at 1-800-786-2929.
        --NRS

    • #10
      I just turned 17 and am currently living with my grandma (legal guardian) in alliance ohio. I am always being treated unfair and unequal in my family (ex. Being forced to do very hard work by myself while everyone else is playing games or watching tv.) I'm just wondering if I can run away to my boyfriends house (his parents agree) without any legal consequences. Would it help if I wrote them a note stating the reasons I'm leaving or would it make things worse?

      Comment


      • ccsmod9
        ccsmod9 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi there,
        Thank you for writing to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS). We understand it takes great courage to reach out, and we appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on. It seems there is a lot that you are faced with right now and you’re feeling like leaving is one of your only options. It seems you want to know some information on runaway laws.
        While we are not experts on the law, 18 is generally the age that an individual may leave home without parent permission. If you are under 18 and leave home, your parent/guardian may file you as a runaway and you may be returned home. Also, those you stay with may run the risk of being charged with harboring a runaway. For more specifics on the law, the local non-emergency police or legal aid may better answer legal questions.
        We are here as support to help through this challenging time. We can best help by phone or chat as NRS is unable to respond more than twice by email to assist you. If you would like to talk more in detail please call or chat soon.
        Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); www.1800runaway.org (click on the chat button).
        If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately.
        Be safe,
        NRS

    • #11
      my 17 year old daughter said she is moving out. she won’t be 18 for another month and a half. we live in youngstown ohio. is she able to move out without any trouble?

      Comment


      • ccsmod9
        ccsmod9 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi there,
        Thank you for writing to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS). We understand it takes great courage to reach out, and we appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on. We want you to know that we are here as support to help you through this challenging time. From what we gather about the situation she can in fact move out and the likelihood of her getting into trouble is minimum simply because she is so close to being 18 the cops might not do anything but you never know and it is always good to call and ask them. If you would like to talk more in detail and share more about how we can help specifically, please call or chat soon.
        Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); www.1800runaway.org (click on the chat button).
        If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately.
        We hope to hear from you soon.
        Be safe, NRS

    • #12
      i’m turning seventeen next week, and i want to live with my brother, but it won’t be until probably december or january. i’m a senior in high school living in an abusive household. would i be able to move out without my dad getting the cops involved or taking me to court.

      Comment


      • #13
        I’m turning seventeen next week,


        Hello,
        Thanks for contacting the National Runaway Safeline.

        We understand it takes great courage to reach out, and we appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on.
        Just so that you know we are not legal experts and only can provide some general legal information when it comes to someone running away or someone assisting/aiding a person running away.

        Someone under 18 that leaves home, the parent/guardian may file them as a runaway and they may be returned home. Also, those that a reported runaway stays with may run the risk of being charged with harboring a runaway. Anyone found to be assisting or aiding someone to run away may also find themselves at risk legally. For more specifics on the law, you might consider contacting the local non-emergency number for the police. You might also look for a legal aid center in the area. They may be able to answer any legal questions on the subject.

        If you would like to talk more in detail we are here as support to help through this challenging time. We can best help by phone or chat as NRS is unable to respond more than twice by email to assist you.

        If you should ever be at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately.
        Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); www.1800runaway.org (click on the chat button).


        Take care,
        NRS

        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


        • #14
          I'm 17, I will be 18 in 5 months. My father physically abuses me. And my parents live together. My mother tends to always be at work when this happens and takes his side. Can I leave my home without suffering consequences? i live in Ross County, Ohio. I'm just not safe at home and I have told my counselor and she's reported it to children services, but they have not done anything. This all has started in September.

          Comment


          • ccsmod15
            ccsmod15 commented
            Editing a comment
            We are so sorry to hear about the abuse you are going through at home. You absolutely do not deserve that sort of treatment and the neglect on the part of your mom is also unjustifiable and unfortunate. You deserve to be safe and live in a nourishing environment. It's also so frustrating that CPS hasn't taken the abuse seriously yet. One option would be to file another abuse report. Sometimes if there are multiple reports CPS will take the matter more seriously. If you do decide to report it would be helpful if you documented with as much detail exactly what's going on. If you have marks or bruises you can take a picture of them as evidence. Even if you don't have any visible marks you can still detail what happened, including times and dates if possible. The number to call to report child abuse or neglect in Ohio is 1-855-O-H-CHILD. If you want us to file on your behalf, we can do that. You'd just need to give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY or chat with us via the portal on our website www.1800runaway.org. Of course, whether or not you decide to file is totally up to you. We never tell anyone what to do.

            You ask a really great question about leaving home at 17. Technically, you are under your parent's supervision until you are 18 in Ohio. If you leave home without permission your parents have the right to file a runaway report on you. Running away is a status offense like breaking curfew, so it's not a crime. So much depends on what you think your parents might do. Of course, if you leave home and they do decide to file a runaway report, you could always explain to the police that you left due to abuse. This might prompt a wider investigation of what's going on at home. You should also know that local police rarely actively search for runaways, and some local police stations might not even accept a runaway report for a youth that is close to turning 18, or they may take it less seriously.

            Our biggest priority is your safety. If you are in immediate danger you can always dial 911 or just leave the danger right away. It's great that you are working with your counselor about what's happening. We hope she continues to be of support to you. We are also totally supportive of you in whatever you decide. If you call us we can talk more about what's going on and discuss what your options are. We have a large database of resources; things like shelters, legal aid, medical care, and the like. You don't have to face this alone.

            Please be safe. We hope to hear from you soon!
            Last edited by ccsmod15; 01-28-2020, 10:48 AM. Reason: Edited to include child abuse reporting resource for OH

        • #15
          Im almost 17 and I'll have a child within the next couple months. My boyfriends 19 and were living at my moms right now. Ill also be graduated from high school by the end of this year. My moms emotionally abusive and somewhat neglective of her priorities and whatnot. At this point me and my boyfriend are more stable than her and I want to move out once Im 17 and have the baby. I dont want my little sister to be taken from the home as it is safe but my mom is very controlling, non-affectionate and almost cruel. Me and my boyfriend both have jobs and will have a place to stay as well as our own vehicle. I know that the police may bring me back to my home being a runaway but im wondering how leniant it may be and how the process will go when a case is opened considering we're on our own and have a child.

          Comment


          • ccsmod0
            ccsmod0 commented
            Editing a comment
            Hi there,

            If you call your local nonemergency police number, you can ask them directly how they would approach your situation and what the consequences might be for you moving out at the age of 17. Generally, if you leave before the age of 18, you can be reported as a runaway and may be returned home by the police, even if you have a child. There is a chance, your boyfriend could be charged with harboring a runaway because he is over the age of 18. You are always welcome to reach out to us to discuss your situation in more detail.

            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 support youth and families. Please click the link below to fill out our survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think
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