New precedent: Supreme Court holds parents responsible for murder committed by son

Dolores

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The Supreme Court of Justice ruled against the parents of a minor who had rejected the annulment of a court ruling that established they were responsible for damages caused by their son in San Francisco de Macorís, Duarte province. The court had ordered the parents to pay an indemnity of RD$750,000 for the death of a woman caused by their son.

The ruling SCJ-SS-22-0038 dated 31 January 2022 establishes that the parents have civilian responsibility for the damages of their minor children when the fault can be attributed to a lack of watch over their offspring on their part.

The Supreme Court ratified the decision of the Court of Appeals of Children and Teenagers of San Francisco de Macorís that suspended the serving of the jail sentence but ordered the parents to pay the victim’s relatives RD$750,000.

The decision was issued by Supreme Court judges Francisco Antonio...

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JD Jones

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I think it's a great concept but you can't squeeze blood from a turnip.
 

NALs

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It goes without saying that anyone under 18 or not married while under 18 is the responsibility of the parents. They can't sign contracts, get regular cédulas, open a bank account, etc on their own for a reason. I don't see why this needed to go to court for something so obvious.
 

bob saunders

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It goes without saying that anyone under 18 or not married while under 18 is the responsibility of the parents. They can't sign contracts, get regular cédulas, open a bank account, etc on their own for a reason. I don't see why this needed to go to court for something so obvious.
As the father of three adult children I can tell you it is very difficult to stop a teenager 15 and older from doing something they want to do. When they are 17 or 18 they are adults in every way but legally.
 

SKY

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This decision came down in a Civil case for damages. Different than a Criminal Case.
 

NotLurking

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This decision is disconcerting and in my opinion sets a bad precedent. The ruling is antithetical to the spirit of the constitution and jurisprudence. What is a parent to do with a rebellious kid? Kill him or her? Lock the rebellious children in the dungeon in the hope that it will deter them from mischief or future potential criminality? Does this sound reprehensible? Absurd? Perhaps because it is. This is no less what this odious ruling implies. The parents from now on are obligated to prevent bad or reckless behavior by any means necessary from a child hell bent on acting up and being destructive or face civil legal action for now or maybe even criminal in the future. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Note: For the record my youngest is 18 almost 19 hence I'm not trying to abrogate my parental responsibility as this ruling doesn't affect me. However this is egregious for any parent or at least it should be.
 
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chico bill

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I think it's a great concept but you can't squeeze blood from a turnip.
If you squeeze long enough - yes. Do they sell turnips in DR
Funny how families have new 4 Runners and fancy motos and can't seem to find nothing but moths in their wallets
 

chico bill

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This decision is disconcerting and in my opinion sets a bad precedent. The ruling is antithetical to the spirit of the constitution and jurisprudence. What is a parent to do with a rebellious kid? Kill him or her? Lock the rebellious children in the dungeon in the hope that it will deter them from mischief or future potential criminality? Does this sound reprehensible? Absurd? Perhaps because it is. This is no less what this odious ruling implies. The parents from now on are obligated to prevent bad or reckless behavior by any means necessary from a child hell bent on acting up and being destructive or face civil legal action for now or maybe even criminal in the future. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Note: For the record my youngest is 18 almost 19 hence I'm not trying to abrogate my parental responsibility as this ruling doesn't affect me. However this is egregious for any parent or at least it should be.
If you can not take full responsibility of children up until they are 18, don't procreate.
You have the obligation to feed and clothe and educate them, and that includes for their safety and those your child might harm.

The world isn't a Monty Pyton film on dropping babies and going on like they don't exist:
 

AlaPlaya

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This decision is disconcerting and in my opinion sets a bad precedent. The ruling is antithetical to the spirit of the constitution and jurisprudence. What is a parent to do with a rebellious kid? Kill him or her? Lock the rebellious children in the dungeon in the hope that it will deter them from mischief or future potential criminality? Does this sound reprehensible? Absurd? Perhaps because it is. This is no less what this odious ruling implies. The parents from now on are obligated to prevent bad or reckless behavior by any means necessary from a child hell bent on acting up and being destructive or face civil legal action for now or maybe even criminal in the future. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Note: For the record my youngest is 18 almost 19 hence I'm not trying to abrogate my parental responsibility as this ruling doesn't affect me. However this is egregious for any parent or at least it should be.
This is not a controversial ruling. Parents are responsible for civil damages caused by their minors in most--if not all--jurisdictions in the world.
 
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NALs

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If a parent and his kid go into a store and there are crystal merchandises and the kid breaks one of them, unless the owner or manager decides to absorb the loss, someone is getting charged and it will not be the owner/manager/employees and it will not be the kid despite he created the problem. Lets say he's 17 years old. Why is that?
 

Kricke87

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This decision is disconcerting and in my opinion sets a bad precedent. The ruling is antithetical to the spirit of the constitution and jurisprudence. What is a parent to do with a rebellious kid? Kill him or her? Lock the rebellious children in the dungeon in the hope that it will deter them from mischief or future potential criminality? Does this sound reprehensible? Absurd? Perhaps because it is. This is no less what this odious ruling implies. The parents from now on are obligated to prevent bad or reckless behavior by any means necessary from a child hell bent on acting up and being destructive or face civil legal action for now or maybe even criminal in the future. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Note: For the record my youngest is 18 almost 19 hence I'm not trying to abrogate my parental responsibility as this ruling doesn't affect me. However this is egregious for any parent or at least it should be.
I think the main focus should be on the following words "

The ruling SCJ-SS-22-0038 dated 31 January 2022 establishes that the parents have civilian responsibility for the damages of their minor children when the fault can be attributed to a lack of watch over their offspring on their part."

Because I can agree that it can be very difficult to exert total control over a 15yrs+ old or what they are doing ALL the time. I mean I was once young and did some stupid sh**, that I (hope) my parents never found out.
But sadly there are so many parents that just show they don't care. "Where's your son/daughter?" "uhhhh, don't know... out".
And on a personal level, although my oldest son is "only" 13yrs, I've already told him, that while he lives under my roof, he's NOT gonna have a bike. And if I would see him with one, I would either return it to its owner or the store where it was bought or sell it myself.
So even though you cannot control every little thing they do, you could still do so many things to prevent it.
If you know they are known troublemakers, there are still things you can do to at least try to avoid so they don't crimes.
And even if they do crime, if you can show that you have done EVERYTHING in YOUR power to prevent that, then I don't see why you should be accountable for your offspring. But if you just passively just watch how your kid is doing stupid thing after stupid thing, heck yeah you should be accountable.
Just as I feel that if you have a teenage daughter that you knowingly send off to be with an older man, that then later have physically abused her or even killed her, the parents should also be held accountable for that.
 

NotLurking

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I think the main focus should be on the following words "

The ruling SCJ-SS-22-0038 dated 31 January 2022 establishes that the parents have civilian responsibility for the damages of their minor children when the fault can be attributed to a lack of watch over their offspring on their part."

Because I can agree that it can be very difficult to exert total control over a 15yrs+ old or what they are doing ALL the time.
Your above quoted statement is precisely the source of my apprehension. Anything that a 15+ year old offspring does can be attributed to a lack of parental supervision. Human nature can not be changed no matter how good a parent you are or hard you try. If a kid wants to commit a crime, or suicide for that matter, no amount of responsible parenting will prevent that. The world is full of examples of this fact.

Although the ruling provides an escape clause, the litmus test is highly subjective. Again this is bad precedent. I'm not against parents being responsible for their offspring but I am oppose to a court ruling based on an unquantifiable criteria, that is, the subjective amount of parental supervision. I.e you supervise your kid for 17 years without any issue. The child decides to be a maverick and race a car down the malecon, loses control and injures a few people some fatally. The court can decide there was a "lack of watch" and find you civilly resposible perhaps even criminally negligent. Slippery slope.
 

CaribeDigital

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The ruling makes sense as a first step. The victim must be compensated.

Step two: let the parents to sue the child after it grows. Always considering the age and the capacity of the child at the time of damage, of course. If they were 6 they will walk free, not so if 16.
 

NotLurking

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This is not a controversial ruling. Parents are responsible for civil damages caused by their minors in most--if not all--jurisdictions in the world.
Yes this ruling IS controversial not because it deems the parents responsible but because of the criteria used to assign that responsibility. Following this logic anything can be justified, not particularly comforting.
 

NotLurking

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The ruling makes sense as a first step. The victim must be compensated.

Step two: let the parents to sue the child after it grows. Always considering the age and the capacity of the child at the time of damage, of course. If they were 6 they will walk free, not so if 16.
My issue isn't with the responsibility of the parent it's the way the court looked at the issue. Although your suggestion might be plausible I doubt that many parents would find it appealing. The court could've said in the decision that you are responsible for an offspring since conception, that would be acceptable and in accordance with the constitution and jurisprudence. Not this garbage of, "lack of watch".
 

CristoRey

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The current administration we have governing this country wants everything to run like a
resort. They are hell bent on turning the DR into the 51st state of America. Law and order
is their top priority and no more laid back/ passive attitude towards other people's behavior.
You will start doing as they see fit or you will pay out of pocket. End of story.
 

El Hijo de Manolo

It's outrageous, egregious, preposterous!
Dec 10, 2021
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The current administration we have governing this country wants everything to run like a
resort. They are hell bent on turning the DR into the 51st state of America. Law and order
is their top priority and no more laid back/ passive attitude towards other people's behavior.
You will start doing as they see fit or you will pay out of pocket. End of story.
Law yes, haven't seen order :ROFLMAO: