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  • #46
    Re: runaway laws in california

    Hi -

    Thanks so much for reaching out in regards to your girlfriend's situation. It sounds like she is going through a lot right now and you are very concerned about her. You mentioned that the main thing you are looking into is if she can leave before she turns 18. She is only a few months away from being 18 so that certainly works to her advantage. As far as we know in CA and FL the age of majority is 18. But 17 is a tricky age and sometimes police deal with those situations differently. For example we often hear that while the legal age of majority is 18, at 17 the local police may no longer take a runaway report or make the youth return home if they leave without permission. Usually contacting the local police is the best way to find out the most accurate information for her area. When talking to the police, it's best to ask questions such as:

    *At what age is a youth no longer considered a runaway?
    *If a 17 y/o leaves home without permission, do you still take a runaway report?
    *If yes: what happens if/when that youth is found?

    There is such thing as harboring a runaway/minor but usually it is the parent or guardian that presses charges. Again though, because she is so close to 18 they may not be able to do a whole lot. In regards to some of these questions it may be helpful to talk with a legal aid resource to get more information.

    We wish we could give you more specific information but unfortunately we are not lawyers and not affiliated with the police so it’s difficult to say exactly how they will handle it. It’s wonderful that she has a safe place if she does leave and it sounds like you are trying to be as smart about this as possible. Does she have a way to get to CA when she does decide to go? Keep in mind that we are here 24 hours a day at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) if you would like to discuss this situation more in depth or need further resources. We also have an online chat that is available from 4:30p to 11:30p CST. All of our services are completely confidential and anonymous. Please feel free to contact us anytime. Take care.
    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


    • #47
      help

      I will be turning 18 in April and my problems at home are really bad with my mom. I want to run away to my godmother`s house but is that illegal in California. Please help me

      Comment


      • #48
        re: help.

        Hi there,

        Thanks for posting her tonight and asking your question. It sounds like you’re going through a lot with your mom. It was smart of you reach out and get some guidance because the law can be a little bit tough to manage. So let’s see how we can help you out tonight.

        We aren’t legal experts here, but we are able to talk through in general as to what might happen in these situations. If you aren’t on probation or parole, it is not illegal to runaway. If you decide to leave home without your parent’s permission, your parents have the right to file a runaway report with the police. If the police take the report, and then the police find you, they may force you back home to your parents.

        Now, it gets a little tricky because you are so close to 18. In general, the closer you are to 18, the less likely the police are to take the report, and they are even less likely to search for you. Something that might help in making your decision is thinking about how your mom might react if you were forced to return home.

        We hope that this information helps give you some guidance. If you’d like to talk more or have any questions about what we talked about above, you can call us 24 hours a day at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929). If you can’t call in, you can chat with us through our website (www.1800runaway.org) from 4.30pm-11.30pm Central Time.

        We look forward to your call or chat.

        Good luck to you,

        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


        • #49
          Hi Im 17 and ill be 18 in 5 months. I live with my mother who is really crazy and verbally abusive . I was wondering what would happen if i were to leave to my dads house . Would he get in trouble if she were to call the police ? Would family services get involved and make me go back to living with my mom? i only have 5 months left and id rather live somewhere where im happy. My dads mom is also a foster mom. Could she adopt me ? Knowing my mom , shes really crazy and shed probably hunt me down. She scares me so much

          Comment


          • #50
            RE: runaway laws in california

            Hello there,

            Thank you for reaching out to us during this difficult time. We are sorry to hear that your mom is abusive. Nobody deserves to be abused or made to feel unwanted in their own home. It sounds like you are planning on going to your father’s house. Just to let you know, we are not legal experts but we can try and explain what we know about the runaway laws.

            Technically it’s not against the law for you to run away from home. In most places it is considered a status offence. However, anyone you would be caught staying with could possibly be charged with ‘harboring a run away’ should your legal guardian decide to press charges. Would your father be willing to take this risk for you? If custody is an issue, that would be something to ask your legal guardian’s about.

            You do have the right to be safe in your own home. You also have the right to go to school regardless of your living situation. Although we cannot tell you what you should or should not do, we can help you explore options and come up with a solid plan for what to do next. We can be reached at any time at 1-800-RUNAWAY(786-2929) or by live chat at www.1800runaway.org from 4:30pm-11:30pm Central Standard Time.

            - 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


            • #51
              I'm 16 turning 17 in less than a month, i might be pregnant(i haven't uh had my monthly for about 4 months) and I've already ran away, i ran away from my group home about 4 weeks ago... i heard from someone that my mom had been posting my picture and text saying my name and age and my location... i don't know how she knows of my location because i haven't contacted her at all since she had put me in juvenile hall then in a group home. what I'm wanting to know is how she knew my location, or just possibilities of how she could have found out, oh I'm in Ca by the way. and also I'm going to be staying with the dad of the baby(if there is one) and if i end up being pregnant if they would turn me in if and when i go to the doctors because I'm a run away? how do i fill out my information at the doctors/hospital "if" I'm a runaway? I'm also wanting to continue my education since i only have a year or so left.. and will i be safe from the law, at least in this situation, when I'm 18? i don't plan on going to jail over running away! oh gosh i have so many other questions but I'm too overwhelmed right now. i just don't want to end up finding out that i am pregnant n then being found by the police or some other "higher authority" n then going straight back to juvenile hall! i just need a lot of help...also i would appreciate if some suggestions on where i could go n stay without being "found" er where i can stay anonymous would be part of a reply to this, because the people I'm staying with are nice, nice enough they let me stay with out even knowing my name or anything, are asking me when I'm going to leave cuz I'm guessing they're starting to get uncomfortable with a complete stranger staying in their house! but yeah I'm needing a place to stay just in case my potential baby daddy cant come through and take me in under his wing...

              Comment


              • #52
                Hello there,

                Thank you for reaching out to us during this difficult time. It sounds like you have been through a lot and are worried about having a safe place to stay. If you wanted to contact your local Planned Parenthood at 1-800-230-7526 that number will automatically direct you to the nearest clinic in your area. They will be able to tell you if you are pregnant, how far along you are, and what your options are.

                The other thing you mentioned was your concern at being reported as a runaway from the group home. Have you talked to anyone from the group home about your current situation? If you have a case manager or counselor that you trust, that could be an option for someone to reach out to.

                Just to let you know, you do have the right to go to school regardless of your living situation according to the McKinny Vento Act. Even if you are homeless the schools are required to help you continue your education. A good place to start might be to contact the administrative office in your school district and have them help you get registered for classes.

                You also have the right to feel safe wherever you are. The website www.nationalsafeplace.org has a list of every youth shelter in the United States. You can also walk into any QuickTrip that participates in the Safe Place program and ask to use their services. They will call a shelter worker to come pick you up, or give you directions on how to get there.

                You mentioned being concerned that you have been listed as a runaway. Although we are not legal experts, technically it is not against the law for you to run away from home. In most states it is considered a status offense. However, anyone you would be caught staying with could possibly be charged with ‘harboring a runaway’. It sounds like the people you are currently staying with are no longer comfortable taking this risk for you. Would it be possible for you to call us to discuss further options?

                Here at the National Runaway Safeline, we cannot tell you what you should or should not do. We can however, help you explore options and come up with a solid plan for what to do next. We can be reached at any time at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or by live chat at www.1800runaway.org from 4:30-pm-11:30pm Central Standard Time. We look forward to hearing from you and wish you the best of luck.

                - 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


                • #53
                  I want to move out

                  Hey am 19 years old and I have a 4 year old daughter I want to move in with my boyfriend but my mom it's always saiding she gone call the calls on me...can she do that ?

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    RE: I want to move out

                    Hi there,

                    Thanks for reaching out tonight. It sounds like you’re trying to put together a solid plan for moving out. That’s admirable.
                    We’re not legal experts here, but we are able to talk about what might happen in general. Since you are 19, you have a set of rights that includes deciding where you want to live. If your mom calls the police to have them return you back home, the police would do nothing about that. If your mom calls the police because she is worried for your safety, the police would still not force you to leave, but they may check up on you to make sure that you are safe.

                    Since you are 19, you are allowed to live wherever you decide. Your mom no longer has the right to decide where you live, so calling the police would not do anything to make you return to her house.

                    We hope that this information helps. If you’d like to talk more or have any questions you can contact us 24 hours a day at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929). If you can’t call in, you can chat with us through our website (www.1800runaway.org) from 4.30pm-11.30pm Central Time.

                    We look forward to your call or chat.

                    Best of luck,

                    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


                    • #55
                      I Need Help And Fast..

                      I'm 16 years old and I'll be 17 in two months and 11 days. My mom is very emotionally abusive and sometimes has mental breakdowns, most of which were when I was young. I have vivid memories of physically having to restrain her from killing herself when I was only 6 years old. She's still extremely emotionally abusive, and I'm absolutely terrified of her. She's mentally unstable, and I'm treated like a prisoner, as I can only leave the house for school.
                      Next week, my sister who's 18 is leaving home without my mom's consent (my mother would never give her permission) to go on a choir trip, and I will be the only one at home at my mother. I'm extremely terrified, and I have nowhere to go except my boyfriend's house.
                      If she suffered a mental breakdown again and became physically abusive, and I ran away and went to my boyfriend's house, could he potentially be charged with harboring a runaway?
                      I have absolutely nowhere to go, and CPS already admitted to not being able to do anything seeing as I have no "proof" of her being physically or emotionally abusive. If the police caught me, would there be absolutely any way I could convince them to let me stay with him in a safe place rather than be returned back to my mother?

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        re: I Need Help And Fast..

                        Hi

                        Thanks for contacting the National Runaway Safeline. We are sorry to hear about the emotional abuse that you have suffered through. It sounds like the abuse has been going on for a long time. It sounds like CPS has been contacted in the past and were unable to do anything because of no physical proof. You mentioned that you have a 18 year old sister who also resides at home with you and your mom. It seems that you are concerned about having to spend some alone time with your mom while your sister is away. You stated that you do have somewhere safe to go if needed be. Generally speaking, running away is not illegal. However there is a chance that anyone you stay with while being reported as a runaway can get charged with harboring or abiding a runaway. The likelihood of these charges getting filed will depend on your state as well as other factors. We cannot for certain state that the police will allow you to stay or force you to return home. Unfortunately the outcome of your encounter with the police will depend heavily upon the officer that is handling the situation. If you report that you do not feel safe at home, the officer may or may not take that into consideration. Even if you are not forced to return home, the officer may still have to notify your mother if a runaway report was filed. If you are concerned about your boyfriend getting into legal trouble, we can always try and help you locate an alternative safe place. Depending upon the city and state you're located, we may be able to locate a safe place youth shelter.

                        We hope the information provided helps. If you have any additional questions or would like to discuss things in further detail, please do not hesitate to get back in touch with us. Remember that our hotline is available 24/7 at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929). You can also receive live assistance via live chat between 4:30pm and 11:30pm CST.

                        We look forward to hearing from you.

                        Best Wishes
                        ~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


                        • #57
                          Afraid But Not Alone..

                          Hello. I am sixteen and feel that i need to leave home. I have tried braving my family, turning the other cheek, and putting on a brave face.. Yet every time, i feel bombarded by their criticism,literally slapped on that cheek, and as for the brave face.. It doesn't last. I've harbored the idea of running away since i was around 8, but i didn't know what to do back then, so i toughed out the beatings and punishments i was, most of the time, wrongfully toled.

                          Now i have an idea on what i can do, and im not alone. My friend also has a similar situation as me. He, like me, has a strong and statured family with a bit of money under their belts. Our families have high expectations of us, but always put us down and verbally abuse us. I can't vouche for him, but i also get physically hit. Money, grand experiences, and materialistic things mean nothing to me if i am not mentally or physically happy in the life i am leading. We want to run away for all of these reasons and so much more.

                          Now, here are my concerns.. How heavily and how long will the police be on high alert to find us? When might it die down? Another issue i see would be, can i still register into a new school where i am going, if that school i find preferably doesn't have the runaway policy ive heard about? Also, i've heard about "squatting", i believe it is, is that illegal? If so, are there public places we could stay for little to no expence, that is if the place we plan to go to is compromised? And finally, my friend, as you've read is male. I am female. My family has accused me of many things, such as a drug user, a criminal, and, basically, a whore. If i get sent back by the police, if i do, because i dont plan on coming back any other way, how would i deal with the reciprocations of me running away with a male friend? How would i, basically, stay sane through the onslaught of harsh words im sure will proceed with me being found with my friend and brought back home unwillingly?

                          I hope you respond.
                          Sincerely,
                          A scared, bullied girl with the hopes of having a solid plan..

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            re: Afraid But Not Alone..

                            Hi

                            Thanks for contacting the National Runaway Safeline. We are sorry to hear about the things you have had to experience. You mentioned that you have been physically and verbally abused at home. It sounds like you have endured so much pain for so long that you are now ready to leave. It does take a lot of courage to stand up against something that is not right. It sounds like you have a friend who is experiencing similar things at home. It is saddening that you two has been subjected to such cruel treatment. No one deserves to be abused. Does anyone else know about the abuse (i.e. teacher, counselor, etc...)? Like we have mentioned before, it does take a lot of courage to reach out for help and we are glad that you contacted us today.

                            Generally speaking, it is not illegal to runaway. However your legal guardian(s) may still have the right to file you as a runaway. It sounds like you have started thinking about the possible consequences of running away. Determining if running away is the best option can be a difficult decision. It sounds like you have tried coping with the mistreatment in the past and is now ready to leave. Since you are still a minor, your parents do have the right to report you as a runaway if you left home without permission. If a runaway report is filed, it will get entered into a national law enforcement database. Runaway minors are not generally actively sought after by the police. However if a reported runaway come into contact with a law enforcement agent, a search can be performed to determine if the minor is listed as a runaway. If determined to be a runaway, the minor can be taken into custody until contact is made with the parent or legal guardian who filed the report. Generally arrangements are then made for the minor to return home. Runaway minors are not generally actively sought after by the police. Law enforcement agents are usually the only people who can access the database to determine if a youth is a runaway.
                            Therefore it is highly unlikely for a non-law enforcement personnel (i.e. school personnel) to know your runaway status unless otherwise informed. However if you were to attempt to enroll into a different school, you would need the help of an adult for most schools(generally a relative or guardian).

                            We can assist you by trying to locate the nearest safe place if you find yourself in need of somewhere safe to go. There are youth shelters that can work with both the youth and their family members to try and resolve any issues at home. If you would like for us to locate the nearest safe place, we will need your city and state. For the most part, squatting and loitering is illegal in most states.

                            Remember regardless as to how your plans go, someone is always available at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929). Our hotline is anonymous, confidential, toll-free, and available 24/7. Dealing with and understanding the consequences of running away is something that many youth think about before making a final decision. Unfortunately we cannot predict the way things might go after you return. However we can hope for things not to get worse for you but to improve. We can also offer counseling resources in your area.

                            We would like to once again thank you for being brave and reaching out to us. Please give us a call whenever it is safe for you to do so. We look forward to hearing from you.

                            Best Wishes
                            ~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


                            • #59
                              I Need Help.

                              About a year ago, my stepfather left my mother, taking my little sister (the daughter of him and my mother) and leaving my mother, my 16 year old sister, and me, (14 then) alone in an apartment we were about to get evicted from. We moved some of our things to my mother's friend's house, and stayed in the apartment until we were kicked out. We drove to town afterwards and my mom stopped at my grandmother's house to drop us off. But my grandmother only took my sister. She left me with my mom, and we had to live with my mother's friend Anne until she could find somewhere to stay. My mom was then given a house by a man, and we moved everything into it, thinking it was safe. It turned out that the house was being fought over by the man and his ex wife, so we were kicked out of there as well. The police came one day, and my mom told me to stay in the house and to not let anyone in. She left in the car and left me alone with the police outside. One of them came to the door and asked me questions, and then went back outside. She came back an hour later stating that she had gone to her friend's house hoping that it had all blown over. The police told us that we could get all of our stuff out, but it never happened, and I lost everything. We then moved into Annes apartment again with whatever we had left over. Then, my mother would disappear every day. She would leave and not come back for days, and I was left alone with Anne. One day, my mother came back and told me that we were moving into a trailer out in the middle of the country. I wasn't able to finish my last days of eigth grade, and missed my graduation. I was taken to the trailer and was miserable for months because it was summer and I had nowhere to go. My mother would have constant mood swings and she broke multiple items in the trailer by throwing them at walls. She would leave for hours without telling me where she was. My friend Fallon called one day and we started hanging out. I would visit her house and my mother started leaving me there for days on end. When I told her parents about what had been happening, they tries to call CPS, but when the Agent checked the trailer, which had no hot water, stove, oven, and barely any food, they said that they couldn't find any proof that I had been abused and neglected, so they placed me back in her care. I went to my freshman orientation, and found out that I was not registered for school because I had been unexpectedly removed from the school system, because I missed the last month of 8th grade. I had to get re registered and start all over. I had to take the bus to school every morning, and walk miles to get home. Then one day in science class, I got a paper. It said to go home with my sister. I later found out that my mom had been sent to jail, and then I would live with my grandmother from then on. I was happy, until the abuse came into place. She would insult me, yell at me, correct me, and force me to stay home for no reason. My sister left to go live with her dad today, and since then, the abuse has gotten worse. I told my grandmother that I was openly bisexual, and she said that I can no longer visit friends, boy or girl. I am trapped, so I called my mom and told her that I was falling apart and that I wanted her to let me move in with my friends family. she agreed to speak to her mother but never did. I tried messaging her and calling her but she ignored them, until I got to voicemail from my step grandmother telling me to leave my mother alone. Now I dont know what to do. I cannot handle living here alone and going through the abuse and neglect constantly. Thoughts if suicide have been creeping into my head for a few hours now, and i'm becoming more and more weak by the minute. I want to run, but I know that I will just be caught. I don't know what to do and I feel so alone and deserted. Nobody in my family will help me. I want to run, but I dont know if I should. My grandmother has no legal guardianship over me, and multiple families that live nearby are willing to take me in. My mother has no car, so she cannot come after me, but I also do not want my friends parents to be charged with harboring a runaway which I know is a misdemeanor in the state of California. What do I do?

                              Please help me...

                              ~T
                              Last edited by ccsmod6; 06-16-2014, 04:04 AM. Reason: confidentiality

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                re: I Need Help.

                                Hi

                                Thanks for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. We are sorry to hear about all of the hardship and abuse you have experienced. It sounds like your home life has been very unstable as well as neglectful and abusive. It seems that you are currently staying with grandmother who verbally abuses you almost daily. It sounds like you have informed of one of your friend's and her mother about your home life. You mentioned that you have been staying alone with your grandmother since your mother was sent to jail. It seems that you have had contact with her recently. Is your mother currently out of jail? You mentioned that your grandmother does not have legal guardianship; it appears that your mother is still your legal guardian. Do you think your mother would grant you permission to live with your friend since it seems to be a safe place?

                                It seems that other options have been explored to try to legally remove you from an unsafe environment but without much luck. You are correct in some states harboring a runaway does carry the weight of possibly being charged with a misdemeanor. Since we do not have a legal background, we cannot tell you the likelihood of those charges finding their way in front of a judge. We are nondirective so we cannot tell you what we think you should or shouldn't do. However we can tell you that one of our primary missions is trying to keep youth safe whether it be at or home or while they are out on the streets. If you did decide to leave home, we could and try to locate a safe place for you to go. Determining if leaving home is the best option for you can be a difficult decision. Based upon on the timeline provided, it seems that you are either 15 or 15 turning 16 this year.

                                Emancipation may be a possible option considering your age and the state that you reside in. In California, minors have to be at least 14 years of age. However there are some other qualifications or minimum factors that might need to be in place before filing a petition. They include still in school or has obtained a GED, living apart from parent with consent, managing finances with a legal source of income, and/or emancipation is found to be in the best interest of the minor by the judge.

                                Remember if you decided to leave home without permission, your parents would have the right to file you as a runaway. It is hard to determine how exactly the police will handle your case because it varies a lot by state, county, and even city. Generally speaking once a runaway report if filed, it is then entered into a national law enforcement database.

                                The police do not actively search for runaways. However if a runaway is picked up by the police on the streets, transportation arrangements for the youth to return home is usually made (i.e. police drop youth off at home or legal guardian pick youth up from station). Generally speaking, the police do not go to the homes of where runaways are suspected to be. Sometimes the police may go to the known address to do a courtesy check to check upon your well being. Remember this will vary and heavily depend upon that police station’s protocol for dealing with runaways and possibly even on the officer that is dispatched to the scene.

                                Don't forgot we are here and available 24/7. So if you ever feel unsafe, we can assist you with trying to get a safe place. If you feel that your immediate safety is at risk, you can dial 9-11 for immediate assistance.

                                We hope the information provided helps. Remember if you have any additional questions or concerns, we can be reached on our 24/7 hotline at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929). Our hotline is confidential and anonymous. Also our live chat is available between 4:30pm and 11:30pm CST.


                                Best Wishes
                                ~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

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