Parental liability for children’s acts

A parent may be vicariously liable for the acts of a minor child if the parent failed to supervise or control the child properly. Vicarious liability imposes responsibility for the acts of another based on the relationship with the person who committed the act.

For example, California has a “gang parent” law that authorizes the arrest of parents of juvenile gang members where a gang member commits a serious offense. Similarly, if a teenage driver has an accident or commits a crime while driving the family car, a court may hold the parents responsible in certain situations. For example, parental liability may be imposed if a teenager driving while intoxicated causes injury to another or damages or destroys public property.