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Minnesota Legal Reference Library
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Legal Topics & Problems

Child and Juvenile Law

Sub-Categories:
  • Adoption Law
  • Child and Student Maltreatment
  • Child Custody and Child Support
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Minnesota Rules of Juvenile Procedure
  • Parental Kidnapping
  • Tattoos and Body Piercing
  • Truancy and Educational Neglect


  • Resources in this category:
       At what age may a child be left home alone and for how long? (Dakota County Attorney's Office)
    "There is no Minnesota law that states at what exact age a child must be before he or she may be left home alone or left under the care of another child. There are general laws, however, that require adequate and appropriate supervision of children. County child protection offices are required to investigate and enforce that general law. As a result, Dakota County Child Protection... has adopted a policy, which defines those situations when it will investigate a report of children who may be inadequately supervised. "

    Those in search of a legal guideline on this subject may find this document useful. It is mostly bottled common sense which, of course, is what is called for.

       Legal Age Laws in Minnesota (Minnesota Legislative Reference Library)
    An introduction to Minnesota legal age laws.
       Minnesota Juvenile Justice System Flowchart (Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Office of Justice Programs)
    This interactive, click-to-see-more-information, chart makes it easy to get a quick overview.
       Minnesota Minority Child Heritage Protection Act (Minnesota Legislative Reference Library)
       Minor's Consent for Health Care by Cleveland, Emily (July 1, 2008) (Minnesota House of Representatives Research Department)
    2 pages.
       Program Evaluation: Guardians ad Litem (February 28, 1995) (Minnesota Office of the Legislative Auditor)
    "A guardian ad litem is a person appointed by a court to represent the best interests of a child (or children) in court proceedings when they are at risk of being overlooked. There are many cases where a child's interests might be at risk, such as in some of the almost 10,000 divorces of couples with children, and in the 4,800 cases of child abuse or neglect filed in Minnesota courts in 1993." ...

    "Many concerns have been raised about the use of guardians ad litem. Most complaints have centered on guardian actions in family court cases, primarily in contested divorce actions. Complaints have focused on guardian bias, lack of oversight and accountability, inadequate training, and inappropriate communication between guardians and judges. Parents have also complained that there is no place to seek relief if they have a problem with a guardian.

    In response to legislative concerns, the Legislative Audit Commission directed us to evaluate guardian ad litem services." Published February 28, 1995.

       Understanding the Juvenile Justice System (Minnesota Department of Human Services, Children and Family Services)
    "Information for parents from the office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention"
       Youth and the Law (December 1, 2012) (House Research Department)
    125 page report and summary of legal issues involving children and youth prepared for the Minnesota House of Representatives. In Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format. Youth and the Law is a cooperative project by Legislative Analysts in the Research Department of the Minnesota House of Representatives. Includes information about economic protection (child support, property rights, and employment), educational rights and responsibilities, family relations, health and social services, unlawful acts by, and against, youths, and youth and the courts. A must read document!
       Child Welfare Information Gateway (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children's Bureau)
    "Provides professionals with ... resources and information on child welfare topics ranging from child abuse prevention to adoption."

    Formerly the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information.

       Minors and the Right to Consent to Health Care (Minnesota Department of Human Services, Children and Family Services)
    This document states that it is a reprint of an article appearing in the August 2000 issue of the Guttmacher Report on Public Policy, with research supported in part by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
       Roper v. Simmons, U.S. Supreme Court, March 1, 2005 (March 1, 2005) (Legal Information Institute)
    The Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments forbid imposition of the death penalty on offenders who were under the age of 18 when their crimes were committed.
       Tattoos and Body Piercings for Minors (June 1, 2007) (National Conference of State Legislatures)
    "At least 38 states have laws prohibiting minors from getting tattoos, and 28 states have laws against body piercing on minors without parental permission."

    Presented in the form of a chart of state, citation for tattooing a minor, citation for piercing a minor, and provision (summary).

       Wex: Children's Rights (Legal Information Institute)
       Wex: Juvenile Justice (Legal Information Institute)

    See also:
  • Disability Law
  • Family Law
  • Minnesota Juvenile Courts
  • Parentage and Parenting Law
  • Pro Bono & Pro Se
  • Similar resources in our Wisconsin Legal Reference Library
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