Originally Posted by TinkerBelle
And yes, some underage kids DO get away with crimes and the law says "neener neener" to the victim. Not for murder, but other crimes. This I know for a fact. My mother's home was broken into and burglarized by my nephew, another juvenile and an adult. They stole her jewelry and other items that were never recovered and caused major damage. NONE of them were made to pay her back in ANY way and NONE of them did any jail time. To me, that is saying to my mom, "Neener neener". And my mom cannot sue my nephew or the other former juvenile for civil damages since they were underage at the time. So...
How can you place a lien or have a judgment against a small child?
So, given that your mom was hurt, and you seem angry about that, does that mean that every other person who is hurt by an underage person should have to suck it up too because your mom did? To me, causing someone bodily injury is just as severe, if not more so, than damaging property. Because you are angry that your mom didn't have recourse doesn't seem like a good reason to demand that nobody harmed by a child should have recourse.
The legal answer for how is simple. If you live in a state that allows minors to be sued for damages (and it doesn't seem clear to me that the judge followed the actual law in this case, from what I have read) then you can have a judgement against a child--which means that eventually, should they have a tangible asset at some point before the judgement is fulfilled, you can place a lien on it.
As to the "coulda/shoulda/woulda" question--I don't understand why people are assuming greed/malice on the part of the relatives of the victim. Perhaps I have a very jaded view, having dealt with many parents who refuse to make their children take responsibility for anything (or to take responsibility for their children)--but I can see a case where the parents just gave the victim's family the finger, and so the family is incensed and going full tilt in response. Not the most healthy response, or the most satisfying use of their time (IMO) but...I can certainly understand. OTOH, perhaps this arose out of some insurance bickering (parental liability insurance won't pay, victim health insurance won't pay or she was uninsured, ect). We don't really know. I'm just saying that I find the responses that seem to imply that if kids will be kids, and nobody is responsible for anything that they do very interesting. Interesting that this of course only applies to old ladies who dare to be walking along the sidewalk where kids ride bicycles, and not when one's kids are bullied/beat up/sexually harassed by other kids who may or may not "know better" and who are also minors.
If my children caused huge injury to someone, then you better believe that they would face consequences from ME at the very least. If they cause massive damage to someone or something, I really couldn't care less about what the law says, I expect them (and me, if my negligence and insufficient instruction led to the accident) to make restitution somehow. This very well could have happened in this case, but the elderly person's family refused to accept it and pressed on (it's not like that doesn't happen)--but IME it could have easily gone the other way, with the parents saying "So sue me, you shouldn't have gotten in the way, my kids aren't responsible and neither am I."