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Is there a statute of limitations on pressing assault charges against juveniles?

Atlanta, GA |

My son was assaulted by a classmate in school ( another 6th grader). I had him transported to the hospital because he appeared out of it and his speech was slurred. After being examined, the Dr told me to watch him but saw no signs of serious injury. The parents of the other child contacted me so that we could settle out of court for his medical expenses. We wrote up a contract stating that they would make monthly payments until the expenses are paid off and that we would not file charges contingent on them making all payments. It has been four months now and they have not made any payments. I've contacted them and still have not recieve payments. Can I still go to the juvenile courts to pursue actions againts the child?

Attorney Answers 3

  1. You have, based on the facts provided, two causes-of-action. One is civil, and can include being awarded monetary damages against the child and his family. The second is criminal, and can include having the offending child be removed from the school, be put into juvenile detention, and/or a youth correction program. One thing you cannot do is threaten to pursue the criminal matter if the family doesn't pay your medical bills. You are not allowed to hold that over their heads. It sounds like you just want to be reimbursed, and not pursue the criminal matter. If that is what you are interested in please feel free to call me for more advice.


    Aaron Marks
    Aaron Marks, Esq.
    The Marks Law Group, LLC
    103 W. Dearborn Circle
    Decatur, GA 30030
    404-939-1485 (ph)
    404-581-5902 (fx)

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  2. It sounds like the police were not involved in the original process. Failure to involve the police at that time opens up a can-of-worms if you involve them now; the "out-of court" contract that you all signed may have made things more difficult.

    There are two ways that you can proceed: File a lawsuit based upon the agreement that was made, or based upon the assault itself, and seek reimbursement or damages. There is a special statute in Georgia making parents liable for some damages caused by a child. The other way is to call the police now, and hope for the best. Be sure to advise the police that the only reason the delay for reporting the assault was trying to resolve it among parents, and that didn't work out as you hoped. This goes under the heading 'No good deed goes unpunished".

    I would speak to an attorney first so that you can get more formal advise based upon all the details and evidence.

    Good luck.

    You can contact me at my office at 770-744-4211 or by email through this website. The questioner and any reader do not have an attorney-client relationship formed by our communications on this website. Advice given by me on this website is general advice based on partial information. You should not rely on any advice given without first hiring a lawyer in the area where the case is pending, and providing that lawyer with full information.

  3. The fact that you have agreed not to press charges and a contract complicates things. You might want I consider going I the police department and seeing if they will apply for a juvenile tale and hold. You may also consider calling the Victim Advocate at your local prosecutor's office and also look for a personal injury attorney. | The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Florida. Responses are based solely on Florida law unless stated otherwise.

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