California Parental Liability for Minor Children Overview
As a parent of a minor child who is in your physical and legal custody, you are well advised to supervise your minor children and make everything in your power to prevent them from getting in violent fights, conflict with others, and intentionally causing injuries, as California law imposes serious liability on parents of minor children in such circumstances without hesitation.
California Parental Liability: Intentional Misconduct of a Minor Child
In addition to any liability for negligent supervision of minor children who cause injury or damage to property, a parent or a guardian is liable under California law, Civil Code section 1714.1, for intentional misconduct of a minor child (such as criminal acts, or destruction of public or private property, etc.) Any act of a minor child which results in injury or death to another person or damage to property will be imputed to the parent for all purposes of civil damages (the parent or guarding having custody (physical custody and not just legal custody required). The liability of a parent for each such act by a minor child was originally limited to $25,000.00 in damages when this California law was enacted, but is being adjusted by judicial council every two years and is currently at about $35,000.00. The law does change so please be mindful of any changes that may have occurred.
California Parental Liability Imposed by California Statute (law)
Liability is also imposed by statute (California law) on parents for the intentional misconduct of children in other situations. These other situations include:
o Per California Civil Code section 1714.3, injury caused by a discharge of a weapon by a minor under 18 years if the parent either permitted the minor to have a firearm or left the firearm in a place accessible to the minor, although such liability is limited to $30,000 for injury to or death of one person per one injured person or $60,000 for injury to or death of all persons involved in a single event.
o Per California Education Code section 48904(a), an intentional act resulting in injury or death to any student or any person employed by performing volunteer services for a school district or private school;
o Per California Vehicle Code sections 17150, and 17707, an intentional or negligent act by a minor in driving a parent's vehicle with parent's express or implied permission.
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