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Minors and police reports

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  • Minors and police reports

    In my state, and I believe most if not all others, someone under age 18 can not sign a police report or official complaint.

    What would happen if a minor is a victim of a legitimate UCR part 1 felony (say is pushed to the ground and has a phone stolen, car broken into at school, assaulted etc) and the parents refuse to sign the report because "we don't want the police involved" or "we want to handle this internally".

    Can they be arrested for obstruction or referred to CPS? Would they be in your jurisdiction?

    I have asked some officers in the past, but haven't gotten a real answer; usually something like "we would find a way to get the complaint signed"

  • #2
    No one signs police reports. In my jurisdiction, all felonies are presented to the prosecutor's office for review of charges. Felony charges are signed by a police officer on behalf of the state--they do not need to be signed by an individual complainant or victim.

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    • #3
      It's the same for my state. Whenever a crime is crime is committed the people of the state are also the victim because it is their laws that are broken. The decision to prosecute on their behalf rests with the District or City Attorney and not any additional victims.
      Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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      • #4
        We don't do signatures on reports anymore especially when they went electronic. If the parent/guardian declines prosecution the report is cleared by refused to cooperate. Filed and never touched again. They might not even do a report depending on the circumstances.
        Where'd you learn that, Cheech? Drug school?

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        • #5
          Let's say I get called by a kid who says he was assaulted. I would contact his parent or whomever is responsible for him. If they don't want to file charges against the offender, I still investigate, do a report and send it in. It eventually ends up in front of a prosecutor who then makes a decision if they pursue the case or not.

          If I take a written statement, I put a line on it stating that it is given in the presence and knowledge of the parent or responsible person. I will even get the parent or responsible person to sign it in addition to the kid. We've been trying to take fewer handwritten statements over the last few years, but there are still times when we think it is still a good idea to.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by L-1 View Post
            It's the same for my state. Whenever a crime is crime is committed the people of the state are also the victim because it is their laws that are broken. The decision to prosecute on their behalf rests with the District or City Attorney and not any additional victims.
            Originally posted by ftttu View Post
            Let's say I get called by a kid who says he was assaulted. I would contact his parent or whomever is responsible for him. If they don't want to file charges against the offender, I still investigate, do a report and send it in. It eventually ends up in front of a prosecutor who then makes a decision if they pursue the case or not.

            If I take a written statement, I put a line on it stating that it is given in the presence and knowledge of the parent or responsible person. I will even get the parent or responsible person to sign it in addition to the kid. We've been trying to take fewer handwritten statements over the last few years, but there are still times when we think it is still a good idea to.
            Read the above....................they also mirror what is done in my area.
            My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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            • #7
              Sign a complaint? What in the world is that.

              They tell us what happened, we write a report, we locate the suspect, if the suspect is a juvenile and it's a felony we charge them.

              If it's a Misd. and they do not want to file charges we note it in the report and it's done.

              The victims don't really have a choice in the matter when it involves a felony and there is nothing for them to sign.

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              • #8
                This is a little extreme, but.....let's say a kid gets gets shot or stabbed and the parents don't want to file. We will then contact CPS to go from there. There are parents out there who want to file charges against someone for giving their child the stink eye while you have others not wanting to for felony assaults.

                My above posts are for non-family violence situations. Also, we have to contact the ADA prior to any arrest without a warrant situation so it is up to them if someone goes in or not.

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