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Father's Day Liabilities

By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Hey! Happy Father's Day! How's that parenting thing going for you? Expensive?

Police in San Diego, California are asking for the public's help in preventing a new trend in teenage destruction: teens are entering vacant multi-million dollar houses to party, and leaving a path of vomit, beer bottles, and trashed drywall in their wake. So on Father's Day you want to know: how can I be a better parent?

I don't know, this is the legal report not the parenting report. So we'll answer the question: Can I be held legally responsible for my stupid kid's stupid mischief?

Unless you are acting as an accomplice, in general only the person who commits the crime can be arrested for it. But as for financial responsibility, state law often requires parents to pay for the willful misconduct of their little monster, particularly where they have had reason to know of prior bad behavior or have failed to control the child's actions.

So, the best parenting and legal advice is to ask your kid before he leaves the house: 'Hey! Where are you headed with a six-pack and a spray paint can? Why don't you stay home with me and play Scrabble?'

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