Tags: parents | charged | neglect | kids | playing | outside

Parents Charged With Neglect for Leaving Kids to Play Outside Say It's Government Overreach

By    |   Monday, 15 Jun 2015 12:10 PM

Two Florida parents charged with felony neglect in April for leaving their 11-year-old son outside their house for 90 minutes got their kids back after they spent a month in foster care, but the family's court case remains in limbo.

Reason.com interviewed the parents late last week and reviewed their case documents following a court appearance. At the appearance, a judge told the family's lawyer that they are to work with the prosecutor to reach a mutual arrangement and return to court by the end of June.

The parents have come forward — anonymously while the case continues — because they believe the charge is wildly overblown, and a classic example of government overreach resulting in harm.

They said in an interview that they could not get home in time to let their son into the house, and, not having a key, he played basketball outside the house for 90 minutes while he waited for them. A neighbor called the cops, however, and Child Protective Services (CPS) got involved.

The boy and his 4-year-old brother were taken into custody, while the parents were arrested and held overnight in jail. The kids were placed with foster parents for a month before the older son was able to tell a judge that he wanted to go back with his parents. The judge acquiesced, but it remains unclear if the parents will suffer further consequences.

On "Fox and Friends Weekend," legal experts Robert Bianchi and Steve Raiser debated the merits of the charges.

Bianchi said that in his many years litigating child-custody cases, he's never seen a judge allow such a case to move forward unless there were serious red flags.

Raiser noted that there is no minimum age in Florida law at which a child can be left alone, and said that the facts of the case that are known suggest government overreach.

Both agreed that more facts of the case could be forthcoming, however, and that could drastically change the existing narrative.



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Two Florida parents charged with felony neglect in April for leaving their 11-year-old son outside their house for 90 minutes got their kids back after they spent a month in foster care, but the family's court case remains in limbo.
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2015-10-15
Monday, 15 Jun 2015 12:10 PM
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