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Are runaway laws enforced in Arkansas?

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  • Are runaway laws enforced in Arkansas?

    I'm almost 17, and the court has granted my mother temporary custody. My parents divorce was granted because of my mother being abusive, but they tried to make it out like my dad is a bad parent. Everyone is astonished that they would give my mother custody because of the abuse situation. I have been a runaway many times before because of my mother's abusive and all 4 times I was arrested. I know that in Missouri at 17 they do not enforce runaway laws. In Arkansas do they? If I leave home and go to my dad's can I be reported as a runaway and my dad get in trouble??

  • #2
    Re: Are runaway laws enforced in Arkansas?

    Thanks for contacting the National Runaway Switchboard. Sorry to hear about the abusive situation you are in at home. Have child abuse reports ever been filed? If you wanted to file a child abuse report, you can contact the Arkansas Hotline which is open 24/7 at 1-800-482-5964. If you have any questions or need assistance with filing the report, you can contact us 1-800-RUNAWAY and we too are available 24 hours.

    Generally speaking, running away is not illegal and is considered a status offense. In most cases after a runaway report is filed and the Youth is located, the Police will return the runaway Youth to the home of his or her legal guardian(s). There is no across the board policies when it comes to the enforcement of runaway laws. How actively the Police will search for runaways vary across Police precincts.

    Harboring a runaway is a charge that can be filed against individual(s) who provide assistance or aid to runaways. If a runaway report was filed, “harboring a runaway” is a possible charge that could result if assistance or aiding was provided.

    We hope the information provided is helpful! Remember you may contact us at 1-800-RUNAWAY for additional assistance; we can discuss and explore possible options. We are a confidential and anonymous hotline and are available 24/7. We look forward to hearing from you and we 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 which is open every day from 4:30p to 11:30p CST and can be accessed here:

    National Runaway Safeline
    info@1800runaway.org (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)
    Tell us what you think about your experience!
    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think

    Comment


    • #3
      Please help

      I am supposed to live with my father in Arkansas, but I am currently visiting my mother in Montana. I do not want to return to Arkansas, but stay with my mother. My father has custody. but I am 17 years old and think I should be able to choose where I want to live? If I just stayed at my moms and didn't get on my plane in a few weeks, could I or my mother get in any trouble?

      Comment


      • #4
        Thank you for reaching out to us and telling us what is going on. It sounds like you are in a difficult situation right now and hopefully we can provide you with some resources that may be able to help you out. It was very brave of you to contact us. Unfortunately, we aren’t legally trained here so we wouldn’t be able to tell you what exactly would happen if you were to leave home but we can give you some general information.

        It sounds like you are currently in MT visiting your mom but in a few weeks, you will need to return home to dad in AR. Can you tell us more about what is going on with dad? If you are feeling unsafe at home, you may have the option to file a report with Child Protective Services. They would open an investigation into your case and make a determination from there; unfortunately, there is no guarantee though that they would remove you from your dad’s or grant guardianship to mom. If you are interested in filing a report, please give us a call here and we can definitely help you out with that.

        Again, we aren’t legally trained here so we can’t tell you for sure what would happen if you stayed with mom but we can give you some general ideas. It is our understanding that if you were to stay there and your dad filed a runaway report, your mom could possibly get into trouble for harboring a runaway or contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Unfortunately, the charges vary from state to state so we wouldn’t be able to tell you exactly what would happen. Also, and we aren’t sure about this, but your mom may get into trouble if your dad has custodial rights but again, we aren’t sure.

        One place that may be able to give you some specific answers would be the local police department. You may be able to give them a call and find out from them what they would do if a report had been filed. If you would like to do that but are hesitant to call on your own, we can definitely help you out by making a conference call with you. Another option may be legal aid; we can help you locate an office but we would need to know what city and state you are calling from.

        Here at the National Runaway Safeline, we are a confidential and anonymous crisis line so if you would like to talk more or would like to explore your options, please give us a call at anytime. Our toll free hotline is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) and we are available 24 hours a day. Also, we have online chat services that are available from 4:30-11:30 PM (CST) if you would rather talk with us that way instead.

        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 which is open every day from 4:30p to 11:30p CST and can be accessed here:

        National Runaway Safeline
        info@1800runaway.org (Crisis Email)
        1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

        https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NRSOnlineServicesSurvey

        Comment


        • #5
          okay if you live in a house with your half mother and your dad but they ground you for no reason and then say stugg about your girlfriend and they hit the crap out of you cant they get child abuse charges and if you runaway and you have not even been gone 2 hours and they lie to the cops saying you have been gone 24 hours and they then decide to threating your girlfriends family for no reason and then send you to a youth home then not even a day later make personal post about my girlfriend on facebook and call and harressent cant they get like charges for that stuff.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re:

            Hello –

            Thanks for reaching out and telling us a bit about your situation. It sounds like you are in a tough spot right now and not sure how to proceed. You mentioned that there are issues with your parents and it has gotten to the point that they have gotten physically abusive with you. Have you ever spoken with anyone about the abuse or thought about reporting it to child services? If you are being hurt or abused in anyway you do have the right to report it. It also sounds like another concern you have is that your parents are posting harassing messages on your girlfriend’s Facebook. Her family may be able to report this through Facebook and if it continues to happen they may want to speak with the police or some kind of legal aid.

            Keep in mind that you can always reach out to us if you would like to talk through the situation more in depth. There is always someone here to listen and here to help. We can talk through safe options and even find helpful resources in your area. Our services are confidential and anonymous.
            Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat which is open every day from 4:30p to 11:30p CST and can be accessed here:

            National Runaway Safeline
            info@1800runaway.org (Crisis Email)
            1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)
            Tell us what you think about your experience!
            https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think

            Comment


            • #7
              Mom kicked me out and I'm staying with a friend who is 18

              Last weekend I had a huge argument with my mom and my brother. Things at home have been heated for a few weeks now and I'm tired of staying with my parents. But I know I can move out legally until I'm 18 or get emancipated. Well my brother and I got in a fist fight and I went back home to relax and my mom saw my face and started lecturing me on how I need to grow up and change. I'm 17 years old. I told her how I was tired of my dad, her and my brother and how once I turn 18 I will move out. She told me to not wait until I'm 18 and to just leave now. So I did seeing that she was kicking me out. I've been staying with my friend who is 18 and lives with his dad and brother and sisters. They openly let me in their home. A few days after I left my brother told me in school that my dad told him to tell me that I'm not allowed back into my home and can't get the rest of my things. Today he told me that my dad is planning on having my friend and his dad arrested for letting me stay in their home. But is that right for him to do since he himself said I'm not allowed back into my own home and since my mom kicked me out?

              Comment


              • #8
                re: Mom kicked me out and I'm staying with a friend who is 18

                Hello,

                Thank you for reaching out to us at the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like you are going through a difficult situation with your family. We are not legal experts but we can try to help you in any way that we can. Every city and state has a different legal age to leave home, however, it is illegal for your family to kick out a minor. It must be very frustrating to be fighting constantly with your family. It sounds like you do have a friend that really cares about you and is letting you stay with him. We have many resources such as legal aid numbers that we would be happy to provide you.

                If you would like to explore further options, you can call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY, we are a toll free 24/7 Safeline. We also have a daily live chat session from 4:30 PM to 11:30 PM CST. I hope we were able to help you with your questions and concerns, if not feel free to contact us. Stay strong, we are always here to help 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 which is open every day from 4:30p to 11:30p CST and can be accessed here:

                National Runaway Safeline
                info@1800runaway.org (Crisis Email)
                1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)
                Tell us what you think about your experience!
                https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hello can you help?

                  i want to move out of my dads house into my moms house they both live in arkansas and my dad has full custody of me. but i am graduating on may 16th in arkansas but i will be 17 and wont be 18 until august. can i just move over my moms and not worry about my dad or do i have to stay with my dad until i am 18? i was wanting to go live with my mother but as of right now i am not even allowed to spend the night but my dad still lets me go every other weekend and spend the night. so couldnt i just go live with my mom?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    re: Hello can you help?

                    Hi there,

                    Thanks for reaching out today and sharing a bit of your story with us. It sounds like you are having a tough time living with your dad. It’s great that you’re thinking through your options and working on putting together a plan. You’re asking a good question, so let’s see how we can help you out.

                    We aren’t legal experts here, but we are able to speak generally. In general, since you are 17, if you leave home without your legal guardian’s permission (your dad), then your dad has the right to file a runaway report all the way until you turn 18. That’s because he is legally responsible for you until you gain legal responsibility for yourself when you turn 18. It’s not illegal to be filed as a runaway, but the police may force you back home. One thing that might be of concern is that if you are found at your mom’s house, then your mom could be charged with harboring a runaway – and that is an offense that has legal consequences.

                    Now, since you are 17, some states and some cities would not force you to go back to your guardian. The police would still take a runaway report, but if you are in a safe place, they wouldn’t make you go back home. To find out if you live in a place like that, you can call your local police department’s non emergency number (just do an internet search for it). You can ask them questions like “How would you respond to a 17 year old who leaves home without their guardian’s permission? Would you force them back home?”.

                    We hope that this is a helpful start for you. If you’d like to talk more about anything, have any questions or just want support, you can call us 24 hours a day at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or 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 to you,

                    NRS

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      questions

                      hi, so I have a few questions. I live in Arkansas and I'm 15; I won't be 16 till June. my parents do not allow me to go anywhere besides school and (on occasions) to a friends house. my parents don't physically abuse me but mentally abuse me enough to where I have suicidal and self harm thoughts?? - I feel I should have more freedom but my parents refuse to listen to me and would rather just scream at me instead. so if I weren't to "run away" but move into a friends house where I am welcome to stay (and I am perfectly capable of taking care of my self and going to school and having a job) and my parents called the police, would they force me to go back home?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: questions

                        Hello,

                        Thank you for reaching out to us. We’re sorry to hear things at home are so stressful for you. It must be really difficult feeling that your parents aren’t listening to you. It sounds like you’re doing all you can to better your situation and it’s great that you have a friend who is so supportive and willing to let you live with them.

                        Unfortunately, as a minor, your parents could file a runaway report with the police if you leave home without permission. What that means is that the police might return you home, but this shouldn’t cause you any legal trouble if you were to leave home. Additionally, anyone you stay with could be charged with harboring a runaway, usually a misdemeanor offense. If you feel unsafe in your home, you could contact your state’s child protective services, although sometimes it can be difficult to make a case when there is no physical abuse going on. We would be happy to talk to you more about child abuse reporting and can help make a report if you decide to call or chat with us.

                        We are not legal experts here, but there are two other potential options to be able to leave your home legally. One is with your parent’s permission. Two, is through emancipation. In most places, you need to be 16 in order to begin the emancipation process and prove that you are financially able to support yourself. If you would like to find out more information about emancipation in Arkansas, you can contact Legal Services of Northeast Arkansas: 1-800-952-9243, or check out this website: www.arkansaslegalservices.org.

                        We hope this information is helpful and hope that you reach out to us through phone or chat to discuss your options in more detail.

                        Best,
                        NRS
                        Last edited by ccsmod7; 11-03-2015, 10:02 PM.
                        Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat which is open every day from 4:30p to 11:30p CST and can be accessed here:

                        National Runaway Safeline
                        info@1800runaway.org (Crisis Email)
                        1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)
                        Tell us what you think about your experience!
                        https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Leaving home

                          I'm 13 and I'm tired of my mom always yelling at me and she's hit me once and my brother raped me and the court of law dismissed it as a false accusation and my friend said I could live with him and his family, could I do that

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            RE: Leaving home

                            Hi there,
                            Thank you so much for reaching out to us at the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like you’re dealing with a lot right now at home and in your life and we hope that we can help you the best that we can.
                            We’re sorry that people in your family have been mistreating and neglecting you. Everyone deserves to be fully respected and to feel safe at home and that includes you. It sounds as if that some of the things that you have been facing at home have already been reported, but have not been acted upon or regarded.
                            We’re not legal experts, but we can speak in general terms of what it means to be a runaway. Because it sounds like you’d like to leave home without parental consent, your parents or guardians have the right to make a runaway report with the local police if you have left home. This basically means that if you are found by the police or other legal authority figures, you would have to be returned home. You would not get charged with anything or be arrested but you would just have to be returned. Things like abuse and neglect can affect the nature of your return if they are brought to a police’s attention.
                            We hope that some of this information has helped you today. What you’re facing is incredibly tough and you don’t have to remain in this situation if you don’t want to. If you’d like to talk more, feel free to give us a call at 1(800) RUNAWAY. Our lines are open 24/7 and we’re always here.
                            Thank you and take care,
                            The National Runaway Safeline
                            Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat which is open every day from 4:30p to 11:30p CST and can be accessed here:




                            National Runaway Safeline
                            info@1800runaway.org (Crisis Email)
                            1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

                            https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NRSOnlineServicesSurvey

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Help

                              Okay so I no longer want to live with my parents I am 17 and live in Arkansas. My parents keep me locked up at home half the time and don't let me get out much, the acationally threaten to beat me, they force me to go to a church I don't want to go to, and they are keeping me from the woman I love.... Do you think there is any way that I can legally leave them or sue them for all the trauma they've caused me?

                              Comment

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