Hello, I believe I can best explain this situation through an example: There is a 17 year old boy that wants to go on a dinner date with a 17 year old girl. The boy does not have a license or car, but the girl does. The boy tells his parents that he is being picked up to go on the date, however they tell him he can't because they don't like the girl. The boy decides to still go with the girl anyways, and he lets his parents know where and when he is going. They leave, but shortly after his parents call the police and ask the police to pick him up and take him home. Can they do this? Will the police actually pick up the boy? He has told them where he is going, is in no danger, and is not breaking any laws whatsoever.
You sound like a very intelligent person---and you are wise to raise this question because it involves some rather complex legal issues. Until the age of 18, young persons are under the control and direction of their parents or other legal guardians. This does not mean, however, that parents can abuse their children or otherwise repeatedly impose restrictions that are against the best interests of them. The issue of dating is particularly difficult---parents have the right to set ground-rules and curfews. On the other hand, dating among high school students is a time-honored American tradition. And it would be extreme to say the least for a parent to prohibit a teenager from dating. Nonetheless, if a parent is looking out for the best interest of the teenager, the parent probably has the right to prohibit a teenager from going out on a date with a specific person, and probably could ask the police for assistance in enforcing this restriction. I do not know whether local law enforcement authorities will pick up the boy in this situation---given budgetary limitations they may decide that they have better things to do with their time. But if the parents tell the police that they have reason to believe that the teenager is in danger, law enforcement may act. While it seems to me that the parents in this situation are being unreasonable, I cannot say they are acting illegally. Here is the good news---on the 18th birthday of these people the parents have no legal right to stop them from doing anything or dating anybody.
The parent can keep a minor at home for the most part. Exceptions would be going to school, medical necessities etc. But a parent could prohibit a date.
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