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Parent-Liability Law Unneeded; Teen Offenders Should Be Named

March 21, 1993

Supervisor (Harriett M.) Wieder cries out for laws that impose liability on the parents of children who commit gang-type crimes or vandalism ("Anti-Gang Tool Cited," March 1). In the same article, Assemblyman (Tom) Umberg (D-Garden Grove) states he is trying to get the same legislation passed.

This points out just how really out of touch our politicians and supervisors are. California Civil Code Section 1714.1 has been on the books, in various forms, since 1955, with the latest change being in 1983. This law imposes absolute liability on the parents for the willful misconduct of a minor which results in injury or death to another person or in any injury to the property of another.

Unfortunately, this statute has a limit of only $10,000 for each tort of the minor and is usually paid under the parents' homeowners insurance.

Instead of political rhetoric by our supervisors and legislators, they should be ensuring that the laws already on the books are utilized and enforced by the judicial system.

TED KREMPA

Mission Viejo

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