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State v. C.R. and R.R.

Utah Court of Appeals
797 P.2d 459 (1990)


Facts

Fifteen-year-old R.R. left home in October 1984 and went to live with various relatives. His parents, C.R. and R.R. (defendants), alleged that he left voluntarily because he refused to comply with their demand that he abandon his homosexual way of life. In the boy’s defense, it was alleged that he was forced out of his parents’ home. In July 1985, the boy was adjudged to be dependent on the state of Utah (plaintiff) without objection by his parents. The Utah Department of Family Services (DFS) took temporary custody of the boy. On the expiration of the temporary custody order in October 1986, custody of R.R. was returned to his parents under DFS supervision. The state of Utah then filed suit against the parents for reimbursement of $1,159.06, representing the amount that the state had spent on R.R. between January 1985 and October 1986. The parents challenged the suit on the basis of the doctrine of emancipation, arguing that the boy was emancipated from their care, responsibility, and control when he voluntarily left home. The state responded that the parents had failed to prove emancipation because they provided no evidence that the boy was capable of living on his own. The juvenile court declined to apply the law of emancipation, and an appeal was taken. 

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Jackson, J.)

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