Birmingham, AL asked in Juvenile Law for Tennessee

Q: If my child is is being unruly and not going to school what are the steps I could take to fix this matter

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1 Lawyer Answer
Ross Matuszak
Ross Matuszak

A: Thank you for your question. In Tennessee T.C.A. 37-1-102 defines an Unruly Child as a child in need of treatment and rehabilitation who:

(i) Habitually and without justification is truant from school while subject to compulsory school attendance under § 49-6-3007; or

(ii) Habitually is disobedient of the reasonable and lawful commands of the child's parent(s), guardian or other legal custodian to the degree that such child's health and safety are endangered; or

(iii) Commits an offense that is applicable only to a child; or

(iv) Is away from the home, residence or any other residential placement of the child's parent(s), guardian or other legal custodian without their consent.

So, if your child is not going to school and not obeying your reasonable and lawful commands, then they would probably be found "unruly." You can file an unruly petition against your child or you can call the police (use the non-emergency number unless there is an emergency) and they will take your child to begin the process.

Jurisdictions vary by how and where you file the petition, but the petition will be heard in Juvenile Court. Be aware that if you decide to involve the court in your issue, there may be court costs and other fees associated with the case. Generally, judges will order community service for the child in unruly cases.

For more information, contact the Juvenile Court Clerk in your area.

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