53 Ky. L.J. 254 (1964-1965)
Parental Libality for Torts of Children

handle is hein.journals/kentlj53 and id is 266 raw text is: Parental Libality for Torts
of Children
By ALICE B. FRmm*
A child is responsible for his torts or delinquent acts., Today
many states, as a condition of probation, order children to make
restitution for damages which resulted from their delinquent acts.
Thirty-five states2 have passed laws placing an absolute liability
on the parent for damages resulting from the delinquent acts of
his child (see Appendix) in amounts ranging from $100 to $750.
As far as is known, no study has been made relative to the effect-
iveness of such laws or to what extent they have been used.
The common law doctrine is that a parent is not liable for
the torts of his minor child, on the basis of meer relationship.3
The civil law doctrine is that a parent is liable for the torts of
his minor child unless the parent was unable to prevent the child's
act or the child himself was under the legal age of responsi-
bility.4
In numerous situations, the civil law provides for redress
against parents for damages resulting from their children's torts;
for example, where the child is acting as the agent of the parent,
or commits a tort within the scope of an employment relation-
ship with the parent, or in situations where the parent has been
negligent in the control of the child, such negligence being the
proximate cause of the damage, and in other situations where the
parents have entrusted dangerous instruments to their children.'
* Program analyst, Office of the Director, Division of juvenile Delinquency
Service, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.
I Brown v. Dellinger, 855 S.W.2d 742 (Tex. 1963). Minor seven and eight
years of age held civilly liable for their own torts and summary judgment for
damages caused by fire, upheld.
noes not include Ohio which places liability on parents of an adjudicated
delinquent in certain instances. Ohio Code Supp. 1963, 2151.411.
3 Prosser, Torts § 101 (2d ed. 1955).
4 See Stone, Liability for Damage Caused by Minors, A Comparative Study,
5 Ala. L. Rev. 1, 6, (1952).
5n Roca v. Steinrnetz, 61 Cal. App. 102 (1923), the parents were held
liable as they had provided the child with a dangerous instrument.

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