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Taking Children to Small Claims Court

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I know that you can not take a child (i.e Person under 18 years of age) to court via Small Claims Court.

 

However, I am wondering if its possible to take the parents of children to court?? Basically the case is one where I provided a service to a person who was 17 years of age and didnt pay for it....

 

Am I able to take the parents of the 17 year old to court even though they were not part of the transaction?

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Hi sherlock and welcome to CAG.

 

I have moved your thread to the Legal forum where the guys will be happy to advise as soon as they are available


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I know that you can not take a child (i.e Person under 18 years of age) to court via Small Claims Court.

 

However, I am wondering if its possible to take the parents of children to court?? Basically the case is one where I provided a service to a person who was 17 years of age and didnt pay for it....

 

Am I able to take the parents of the 17 year old to court even though they were not part of the transaction?

 

 

Short answer is no.

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Hi Ganny

 

Just for my own notes....is this because in law, persons under 18 do not have contractual capacity?

 

Thanks

 

ims


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3. Reclaim Loan & Credit Card Charges Read Here

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Read Here

6. Staying Calm About Debt

Read Here

7. Thinking of a Full & Final Settlement?

Read Here

 

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I DON'T GIVE ADVICE BY PM BUT IF YOU SEND ME A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER HELP THERE

 

 

 

Private message facilities are offered for users to communicate issues that are perhaps inappropriate for posting on the main forum. Site rules explain this in more detail.

 

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Hi sherlock and welcome to CAG.

 

I have moved your thread to the Legal forum where the guys will be happy to advise as soon as they are available

 

The justice system in this country is a arse it needs a massive injection of Common Sense!!!

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You can take the minor to coulrt through his parents if the contract is enforceable.

 

What was the service?

If it was "necessary" or related to his edutaction or training then you could sue him for payment.

 

The claim would be

Between

you

 

and

 

XXX (a minor) by his parents XXXXXX


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Hi Ganny

 

Just for my own notes....is this because in law, persons under 18 do not have contractual capacity?

 

Thanks

 

ims

 

 

The question was can the OP sue the parents. The answer was no as they were not party to the contract.

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While anyone under 18 cannot sue by themselves (except for wages), they can be sued. If your defendant is a child (i.e. under 18), you should specify this as follows: 'NAME XXXXX, a child by [insert name of parent currently responsible for them] ... their litigation friend'.

 

It would be wise to check whether the parents have legal responsibility for the acts or debts of the child. If they do, they should also be named as defendants.

 

Regards

 

Andy


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Thanks Andy,

When I first research this, I came across the method you just described...but wasnt sure how accurate or easy this was to do in practice.

How would I check if they have legal resposibility? I know the defendant still lives at home with her parents if that makes a difference?

Thnaks,

James

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That would depend on what history you retain and why you are suing.Was there a contract? How did you validate her request for your services?


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It was for a photo shoot which she attended but didnt pay for. She was happy with the service but just didnt pay, maybe because she didnt have the money... It was all agreed in emails.

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Would the emails constitute an agreement? Have you tried invoicing the Parents? Consider if legal action would be justified for the costs and work involved? If so you need to consider preparing a Letter before Action after invoicing has failed.

 

Regards

 

Andy


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hi andy, i think the emails would specify an agreement..they specify the terms of the service and payment being required on the day of shoot...I have already make a claim through Small Claim Court but if was rejected on the grounds of her age so I may try and issue another claim addessing it to her parents...A problem I have had before is that some times when you take a person to court and a ruling is made in the claimants favour that the defendant still doesnt pay...and for smaller amounts its not cost effective to pay for bailiffs....

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Quite... Try a reissue, I'm sure the parents wont want a CCJ for the sake of the amount involved.

 

Regards

 

Andy


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Ganymede is absolutely right!

 

You cannot sue the parents under the contract you have with a minor because they are NOT guarantors.

 

To do so would leave you liable for a huge costs application because as soon as that claim is lodged, a strike out application or even summary judgment could be filed before allocation thus reneging fixed costs.

 

You have two options, file a claim against the minor (not using MCOL) and argue that the service you provided is defined as “necessaries" OR wait until the minor reaches age (s. 1 of the Family Law Reform Act 1969 reduced the age from 21 at common law to 18) and ensure that they ratify the contract made by them during their minority, then it will be binding on them. Ratification can be express or implied.

 

If the minor repudiates the contract whilst they are still a minor or shortly after reaching majority, you have no recourse but you may try but you have been forewarned about suing the parents.

 

Please seek professional legal advice before you lodge a claim as it may be the best thing you ever did.

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My understanding is that you can enter a contract with a moinor but it is only enforceable by the monor, in the case of goods received (photos) you can claim them back, but unless the minor agrees or makes acknowledgement of the contract again once they are 18 it is unenforceable. parents cannot be held liable if they were unaware of the contract.

Just a thought though did you know the person was under 18 when you agreed the photo shoot? and if you knew they were under 18 did you get the parents permission ? also why didnt you ask for payment before taking the photos?


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In England and Wales under 18's do not have the capacity to enter into contracts aside from those arising from neccesity. In Scotland this is from 16 years of age.

 

A minor will be liable for a contract for the sale of necessaries

 

Necessaries – Shelter, food,clothing, also anything which is essential and suited to the minors position in life

 

Sale of Goods Act s3(3)defines necessaries as, ‘goods suitable to the condition in life of the minor and to his actual requirements at the time of sale and delivery’.

 

Minors Contract Act 1987

 

This act was introduced to protect minors, and provide guarantees, when involved in contracts with adults. Section 2 and 3 of the act outline rules with minors and contracts.

 

In Section 2, a contract would be enforced against the adult where the adult provides a guarantee against the agreement made by the minor. Therefore, if a minor breaches the contract, the adult would be responsible.

 

In Section 3, a court can have, for example, non-necessaries, property or property representing it returned, if the minor refuses to pay.

 

This is copied from a post where i provided the response to a threat to a minor to instigate legal proceedings... in over 30 cases this is 100% sucessful, usually airtime / service but works for all other.

 

This

 

To A Company

 

I refer to your letter dated xx/xx/xx.

 

Please be aware that the alleged debt arose at the time I was xx years of age. As you will be aware, I lacked capacity under contract law at that time to enter into contractual obligations with your client.

 

I therefore assert that no debt nor legal claim exists. Should you disagree I am happy to seek repudiation on any contract that you or your client allege exists.

 

Please note under common law I revoke the right of access to your doorstep collectorslink3.gif.

 

Regards

 

Me

 

Unless the parents / guardians were joined in the contract then the minors act will provide a 100% defense.

 

N

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Unless the parents / guardians were joined in the contract then the minors act will provide a 100% defense.

 

N

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Unless the minor re-affirms the contract when they reach majority and have not repudiated the contract in the first place.

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Unless the minor re-affirms the contract when they reach majority and have not repudiated the contract in the first place.

 

Absolutely - if they were trying to avoid paying the debt, then they would not!! - I KNOW THIS IS DEBT AVOIDANCE please no flaming!

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Flaming... Moi? Monsieur, you judge me so harshly! :) My posts may have a slight acerbic tone but a fully developed flame they are not. :smile:

Edited by hmmh1978

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Hi assited Blond, I think the parents were unaware or atleast this is what they would say..I didnt get the parents permission....We asked her to arrive with a parent but she came with a friend instead (also under 18)....We did take a deposit of £50 before the shoot which she paid for online... thinking of about this,

maybe the payment came from the parents i.e. can you have a visa card if you are under 18?? If her parents made the payment I dont know if this means the parents were aware of the shoot.....

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