Juvenile Justice, filing warrants and Social Services
Another post concerning teenagers prompted me to post our turbulent events of the past 7 weeks. I have filed disciplinary papers against DD who just turned 16 last week. We just feel as if we are out of options and basically, we have no parental control over her. Nothing works fast "in the system" so we're still waiting for the paperwork end to be completed. After, DD will be on what amounts to probation.
DD befriended her friends mother, a 28 y/o woman with 5 kids (one of which is due any day) and prefers to stay there instead of home. It's a place where she can chill, have no responsibilities and come and go as she pleases. It got to a point where she refused to come home at night, and actually spent 4 nights there against my wishes. To make a long story a bit shorter, I ended up calling the police to get her home. She came home that night, and the next night she was refusing to get in the car with me, telling me the woman would drive her home. I gave her 15 minutes and told her I would again call the police if she wasn't home. I waited the 15 minutes, then called the police. DD was home before the deputy arrived. He informed me of the disciplinary action, which until that point I was unaware of.
The next day, I went to Juvenile Justice, told them of what had been occuring and the PO explained to me what all to expect if I filed the papers. She said one thing the judge would ask me is why I had not brought charges against the woman. She explained that DD was breaking the law and the other mother was complicit in the act. Actually, they view DD as a runaway.
Within a weeks time, several incidents occured, which was actually what gave me the backbone to finally call the police. One night, during this period where I could not get DD to come home, the other mother and her ex boss took DD and some other kids to a baseball game. I had spent about 7 hours trying to find DD, not having a clue where she was. Cutting this explanation short, they had gone to the ballgame, then to ex bosses office in another town. He, the ex boss, had a handgun in his glove compartment and it came up missing. He had been drinking, got mad, and left them stranded in the other town. They.. including DD, ended up at the police station over this stolen gun. Apparently, one of the other kids got the gun and tossed it out. I don't know the full details still, but it boils down to that woman taking DD off for hours and hours, without my permission, and putting her in a serious situation.
Another incident involved this woman's ex, whom she is pregnant by. The ex boyfriend apparently enjoyed the company of someone else, and this woman decides she wants to go confront the two of them. She took DD with her, and the woman ended up with having 3 charges brought against her for assault, communicating threats and harrassing phonecalls.
The 3rd incident happened when DD came home and stated that his other parent told her that she could move in with her. I immediately got in my car and went to ask her why she would tell a 15 y/o girl that she could move in with her. Her response to me was that she wouldn't turn away a child that had no place to go. I told her DD had a home.
During all this time, I was telling that other mother she needed to tell DD that she could not stay at her home. The following day, after again not getting DD to come home, she pulled up in my driveway and told me she did not let DD stay at her house the previous night. I asked DD where she stayed, and she said at another friends house.
It was this night that I finally called the police, and then found out that the other mother had lied to me, and that indeed DD had spent the night at her house.
So, back to leaving Juvenile Justice.... I went immediately to that woman's house, told her and DD that I had just spoken to JJ and about possibly bringing charges against the other parent. The woman did not understand how I could hold her responsible in any way. I explained to her about being complicit in DD being listed as a runaway.
Although DD was back home at night, she still chose to spend the day at that woman's house, against my wishes. 2 days later I filed the warrant against the woman... contributing to the delinquency of a minor. DD got mad and called Social Services on her dad because of an incident about a month before.
During an argument, she told her dad to leave her the "F" alone. He smacked her in the mouth and busted her lip. So, she reported this to SS. Within a couple hours, we had a meeting with SS worker. Unfortunately for DD things didn't go like she was expecting... and I really don't know what she expected... but, SS was not on her side. So, now we have SS in our lives until they close the case.
We are going to family counseling and DD is having individual counseling. It's too soon for there to be any headway, but we're working at it. At lease we the parents are working at it... DD only goes because she has no choice. We're waiting for juvenile justice to get the ball rolling, and we have another court date the end of next month. We have been to court twice, but the first time the woman asked for a court appointed atty, which was denied. She was given 3 weeks to attain her own atty. On the same court date, she also has the assault charges to be heard that occured over the ex boyfriend. The second time we went to court, the woman did not come. She called in and said she was in labor. The judge held the case open until all other cases were heard then she had the bailiff call the hospital. The hospital said that the woman did not check in there. The judge put out a failure to appear warrant. I'm not sure if they have picked her up on that charge, but there's rumors that she went to a hospital 1 1/2 hours away and could possibly get that squared away.
Anyway, obviously in the interest of time and space, I've left out alot of details. In many ways I feel like I've done the right thing by filing the papers against DD and by filing the charge against the other parent, but some days I second guess myself. When you bring the law, and Social services into a situation, sometimes it spirals out of control.
Really, I just want to get this court date behind us, get DD on probation, because she continues to have contact with this woman on probably a daily basis, although the woman is not allowed contact with DD, based on the warrant.