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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 48705 Find in a Library
Title: JUVENILE COURT AND PARENTAL RIGHTS
Journal: FAMILY LAW QUARTERLY  Volume:4  Issue:4  Dated:(DECEMBER 1970)  Pages:393-408
Author(s): M V DOBSON
Corporate Author: American Bar Association
United States of America
Date Published: 1970
Page Count: 16
Sponsoring Agency: American Bar Association
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE PROGRESSIVE LOSS OF PARENTAL RIGHTS ACCOMPANYING EACH STAGE OF JUVENILE COURT ACTION IS DOCUMENTED, AND THE ARBITRARY WAY IN WHICH SUCH SANCTIONS ARE APPLIED IS CRITICIZED.
Abstract: HISTORICALLY THE FAMILY HAS BEEN THE REPOSITORY OF CHILD TRAINING. EXCEPT IN CASES OF CRUELTY, SOCIETY CONSIDERS THE FATHER OR MOTHER THE PROPER PERSON TO PROVIDE DAILY CARE, MAKE MORAL DECISIONS, PROVIDE RELIGIOUS TRAINING, AND ENJOY THE 'COMPANIONSHIP AND FRUIT OF THE LABORS OF THE CHILD.' JUVENILE COURTS ERODE THIS AUTHORITY THROUGH THE DOCTRINE OF PARENS PATRIAE WHICH ASSUMES THAT THE STATE IS THE ULTIMATE PARENT OF EVERY CHILD. THIS DOCTRINE BEGINS ERODING PARENTAL RIGHTS THE FIRST TIME THE POLICE TAKE A JUVENILE INTO CUSTODY. MOST PARENTS AND YOUNG PEOPLE KNOW, OR SOON FIND OUT, THAT A SUBSERVIANT ATTITUDE WITH PROPER PENTITENCE WORKS BEST, EVEN THOUGH THERE IS SOME DOUBT ABOUT THE YOUNG PERSON'S RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE DEED. THIS POSTURE IS MAINTAINED THROUGHOUT HEARINGS, MEETINGS WITH PROBATION OFFICERS, AND EVEN INTO THE COURTROOM, BECAUSE THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF NONJUDICIAL COURT STAFF CARRY GREAT WEIGHT WITH THE JUDGE. THE COURT'S LACK OF RESPECT FOR PARENTAL RIGHTS WORKS SPECIAL HARDSHIP ON POOR AND MINORITY FAMILIES. A NUMBER OF STUDIES SHOW THAT SUCH YOUNG PEOPLE ARE FAR MORE LIKELY TO END UP UNDER PROBATIONARY SUPERVISION THAN IS THE MIDDLE-CLASS ATHLETE OR 'GOOD KID.' THE ULTIMATE LACK OF REGARD FOR PARENTAL RIGHTS IS THE HEARING FOR 'NEGLECT,' WHICH OFTEN INVOLVES A SUBJECTIVE JUDGMENT. THE STORY IS TOLD OF THE WIDOW WHOSE THREE CHILDREN WERE REMOVED FROM THE HOME AND PLACED IN AN INSTITUTION BECAUSE THEY WERE PICKED UP ON THE STREET LATE AT NIGHT AND USED ABUSIVE LANGUAGE. THEY WERE JUDGED 'IN NEED OF SUPERVSION.' ARGUMENTS AGAINST TAKING CHILDREN FROM THE HOME AND INSTITUTIONALIZING THEM ARE PRESENTED. IT IS SUGGESTED THAT THE CHILD WHO IS TRULY A DANGER TO THE COMMUNITY SHOULD BE TRIED IN CRIMINAL COURT AND THAT OTHER CHILDREN SHOULD BE LEFT ALONE. NUMEROUS CASE HISTORIES AND EXAMPLES ARE INCLUDED, AND THE ARTICLE IS EXTENSIVELY FOOTNOTED. (GLR)
Index Term(s): Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; Family courts; Juvenile court procedures; Juvenile courts; Juvenile dependency and neglect; Rights of minors
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=48705

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