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Final Legal Stuff Book 2010

Final Legal Stuff Book 2010

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Published by Jim Skoog

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Published by: Jim Skoog on Aug 26, 2011
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01/12/2013

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1. When am I no longer a juvenile in
the eyes of the law?

When you turn 18 you are no longer a minor.

2. What is emancipation of minors?

The term “emancipation” of a minor means the freeing of a

person under the age of majority from legal obligations to

parents or guardians. Likewise, parents of an emancipated

child are released from legal obligations to that child and they

will no longer have authority over that child. Emancipation

automatically occurs when a person reaches the age of majority

or when a teenager marries or enlists in the Armed Forces.

3. When is it important to decide if a
juvenile is emancipated?

This may be important when determining whether a young

person can sue or be sued, leave home to live independently,

receive General Assistance, authorize medical care, sign a

contract or a lease, set up a utility account, or register a car.

4. What do courts say about
emancipation?

Minnesota Statutes do not specifcally defne emancipation

or create a legal process by which a minor may become

emancipated. However, emancipation as a legal principle,

has long been recognized by Minnesota courts. The

courts must examine each case individually to determine

whether emancipation is appropriate based upon the

particular circumstances in the case. Courts have made their

emancipation decisions based on factors such as:

the existence of a letter written by the parent to the child

saying they agree that the child is on his or her own

the existence of a formal document drafted by an attorney

the parent’s action or inaction in permitting the young

person to live independently

whether the young person has been living away from home,

is self-supporting, and is not living under parental control.

There is no guarantee that a child is emancipated until a court

decides that it has occurred. In some cases, a parent believed

he or she had emancipated a child and a court has decided

otherwise.

5. Can the juvenile court emancipate
a child?

Juvenile court statutes allow a court to order a child into

independent living as a result of a “child in need of protection

or services” (CHIPS) action. Such actions may be brought by

the county, or if the county refuses to provide services when

asked or refuses to fle the petition, a private person may also

fle the petition. In CHIPS actions, rather than ordering the

child into independent living, the juvenile court may place the

child in foster care.

An attorney could also attempt to request emancipation

through a declaratory judgment-type action on behalf of a

young person or his or her parent.

6. Must a young person be
emancipated in order to request
medical care?

No. In certain circumstances Minnesota allows minors to

request medical care without parental consent. Minors of

any age may request medical care relating to pregnancy,

childbirth, venereal disease, and drug and alcohol abuse.

Teenagers who have given birth may give consent for medical

care for that child and for themselves. Minors living away

from home and managing their own fnancial affairs (no matter

what their source of support) may give consent for medical

care for themselves. No other person’s consent is required. In

giving consent under these circumstances, the individual is also

responsible for the costs.

HCBA LegAL Stuff - 6

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