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Michigan Runaway Law

On Lawyer & Legal » Family Law

3,598 words with 4 Comments; publish: Sun, 12 Jul 2009 21:24:00 GMT; (80062.50, « »)

My question involves juvenile law in the State of: Michigan. I know of a 16 yr old female 17 in 2 months. Shes tried to leave home once and they declared her as a missing person. Her parents set up a trap and asked her to watch the dogs for a week so she did and got caught by the cops on her way back to where she was staying. The officer told her that next time it would be considered a runaway. Her mother didnt want to pick her up so her aunt had to pick her up from the police station. Anyways the question is what is the truth because i know for a fact police lie to get the results they want. Can she be considered a runaway next time even though she told them what the name of the friend was. If she gets declared a runaway when does that "runaway title" dissappear because she dont want to get busted as a runaway at 17. And also what happens to the people shes staying with if she gets caught as a runaway. Also kind of curious why they put her as a missing person the first time instead of a runaway. She needs some kind of help because she cant handle her family especially with her father being a habitual drunk.

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  • 4 Comments
    • I have to question the accuracy of this answer. As the mother of a 14 year old daughter I would very much like to believe this response is correct, however, on two separate occasions a local police department told us that they will do nothing about a 17 year old runaway. Tonight, our local pd stated so in front of my 14 year old, which I was not happy about. Both Rochester Hills and Shelby Township police have told us that the age of adult in Michigan is 17, not 18. I would really like to know the truth of this law.
      #1; Mon, 02 Nov 2009 20:45:00 GMT
    • Bottom line? Until she's 18, her parent or guardian can report her as either missing or a runaway. And police will respond accordingly. The burden to file such a report (either missing OR runaway) is pretty minimal - if the parent/guardian doesn't know where their child is, their report is likely to be accepted. If they've left, and even if parents know where they are, runaway treatment by police is still pretty likely.

      People who "aid and abet", or who shelter, shield, or otherwise assist a minor in resisting parental control can be looking at criminal charges (along the lines of either contributing to the delinquency of a minor, or, interfering with parental authority, or interfering with custody of a minor).

      If she needs some kind of help, then she needs to get it - whether that be talking to someone at school (there's a whole department called "Guidance", and they do MORE than talk about what classes she should take), or, she can call any number of help organizations in her community - if she's not sure who to call, she can start with 800-292-4517 - a Michigan helpline for teens in such situations). The sooner she figures out that running away won't solve the problem, the sooner she'll be able to direct her energy towards things that can help CHANGE the situation in other ways. But until she's 18, she is going to lose the runaway game every time.

      #2; Sun, 12 Jul 2009 23:18:00 GMT
    • We discuss this issue every couple of months. Being a runaway is a status offense, handled in juvenile court. In states like Michigan, in which juvenile courts don't have jurisdiction over acts you commit after the age of 17, the police can do little to force a 17-year-old runaway to return home. It's not a crime, and unless the 17-year-old is already under the jurisdiction of a juvenile court they can't initiate delinquency proceedings.

      The age of majority remains age 18.

      #3; Mon, 02 Nov 2009 21:22:00 GMT
    • Where did those policemen go to law school?
      #4; Mon, 02 Nov 2009 20:50:00 GMT