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(South Jersey Courier-Post)   NJ courts declare all parents from '80s and earlier were child abusers   (courierpostonline.com ) divider line
    More: Stupid, insults, New Jersey, South Plainfield  
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12269 clicks; posted to Main » on 15 Jan 2014 at 4:34 PM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-15 05:29:48 PM  
My mom left me alone in a car once. I almost died. I was bleeding profusely and had a skull fracture. Now some of you are going to come up with lame excuses, citing that the car was parked in front of the ER and she was frantically running in to get help... but the court knows... she was inviting danger. What if there had been a carjacker, just waiting at the ER parking lot for someone to abduct or a car to steal. Very dangerous, right?

Ok, seriously though, with the exception of actual emergencies, like what happened to me... you just shouldn't leave kids alone in the car. Even if you are just running into the convenience store, or if you're only getting milk in the grocery store, you just shouldn't. Whether the danger you are considering is predatory behavior, car thieves, car fires, or just the kid finally figuring out how to get out of the car (dealt with that a few months ago, found a toddler-sized person wandering in the parking garage connected to my store, brought him in, called security to find her). Just don't do it... I know, kids are loud, buckling them in and out takes more time than the whole shopping venture in 7-11, they cry or scream, it's easier to leave them asleep, etc.... but don't do it... your kid is a kid, they can't protect themselves, they can't defend themselves, and if buckled in, they can't get themselves out in case of fire or other emergency... your primary job in life as a parent or caretaker is to look out for their safety, the other stuff (annoying though it may be) needs to be secondary.
 
2014-01-15 05:32:54 PM  

vodka: jshine: Unless it was specially-modified, it would be impossible to lock anyone inside a car.

Not true. If I lock my car with the remote there is no way to unlock it without either the key or the remote. If you try the lock plunger up it just springs back down and the doors will not unlock. Even the unlock button inside the car will not function.

It seems pretty stupid to leave your kid in a running car. I don't think it warrants a child abuse/neglect charge but I don't think it should be allowed.


That sounds like a terribly dangerous vehicle, in the event of a malfunction at the time of emergency, you could be trapped in your vehicle in the worst possible situations... that whole arrangement really ought to be banned by NHTSA or whoever takes care of those standards.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-01-15 05:33:14 PM  
Fano: Sat on my moms lap when she was droving when I was a toddler. 36 now, I guess she was a felon.

Worse than a felon. If you're a criminal you get a right to a trial. If you are put on an abusers registry you don't have any meaningful rights, but anybody who does a background check can treat the accusation as proof of guilt.
 
2014-01-15 05:35:22 PM  

reaperducer: When I was a kid, my parents would give me a $20 bill and it was my job to walk to the bar a couple of blocks away, get change from the barman, buy Lucky Strikes and Parliament 100's from the vending machine, and bring the cigarettes home.  My reward was that I got to keep the change.

Yeah, that would probably be considered child abuse today.


The neighbor boy and I walked to the store for smokes for both our Mothers, frequently. 1 mile round trip, at least.
We were 9 or 10.

/60's -70's
//old
 
2014-01-15 05:36:40 PM  

OccamsWhiskers: Home of the Fear


There's a difference between "living in fear" and "using an ounce of common sense".  Clearly this woman failed to do the latter.
 
2014-01-15 05:38:03 PM  

Nightjars: Its pretty stupid in either case...  Opportunistic thieves exist, and chances are, one will happen to be in the right place at the right time while you're running into the 7-11 for a pack of smokes, sooner or later.


Drunk drivers exist too.  Sooner or later you will be involved in a serious car accident.  Is driving around with your children now cause for child abuse charges?

There are 100 activities that a child can get into every single day that are far more likely to result in serious harm, than being left in a locked car for a few minutes.  This case will be overturned.
 
2014-01-15 05:38:49 PM  

firefly212:  your kid is a kid, they can't protect themselves, they can't defend themselves, and if buckled in, they can't get themselves out in case of fire or other emergency... your primary job in life as a parent or caretaker is to look out for their safety, the other stuff (annoying though it may be) needs to be secondary.


Pretty much this.  I think a kid who's old enough to get him or herself in and out of a car and cross a public street without supervision can be left in a car without supervision.  That car should not be left running at the time.  A child younger than that should be brought with.

Grabbing a nearby shopping cart or whatever is a reasonable exception, but if you're going all the way into the store it's unwise.  I worry less about something happening to the kid, and more about something happening to the parent (if you trip and hit your head or whatever, how much time passes before someone notices your kid has been left alone).

I certainly don't think something like this warrants losing custody on a first offense.  She should've received an official warning that's logged in "the system", but social services is really reactionary about taking people's kids (for all the wrong reasons).
 
2014-01-15 05:39:19 PM  

NorCalLos: One of the mom's at my daughter's school left an infant in the running  car while she dropped off her toddler. Car got stolen.


Here's one of the local news stories about it. My daughter goes to the same school, different campus:

http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2013/10/14/sacramento-county-mom-than kf ul-son-ok-after-car-stolen-with-5-year-old-inside/
 
2014-01-15 05:42:24 PM  
Also, the whole 'if she were going inside to get medicine, that would be hunky dory' thing is insane. Where do you draw the line? Does it need to be prescription medicine? For her child? For herself? What about OTC medicine? Food for an empty pantry?

This is one hell of a slippery slope.
 
2014-01-15 05:42:26 PM  
Yeah, the running car thing is idiotic.

Child theft is rare, property theft is not.  Leaving $15,000 worth of unattended property with an invitation for someone to drive off with it is moronic (and then leaving your kid in that property is moreso)
 
2014-01-15 05:42:56 PM  
I was born in the 80's. My parents left me in the car on a regular basis. They also let me play in a fenced in backyard by myself. Nothing bad ever happened to me and I never did anything to give them a reason to not think I would be fine. I guess I wasn't an idiot as a child.
 
2014-01-15 05:44:44 PM  

MustardTiger: I was born in the 80's. My parents left me in the car on a regular basis. They also let me play in a fenced in backyard by myself. Nothing bad ever happened to me and I never did anything to give them a reason to not think I would be fine. I guess I wasn't an idiot as a child.


Were you 19 months old at the time they did this?  And did they leave the car running with keys in the ignition?

I was left unattended in the car as well, but apples & oranges when comparing to this specific story.
 
2014-01-15 05:45:12 PM  

Belias: Also, the whole 'if she were going inside to get medicine, that would be hunky dory' thing is insane. Where do you draw the line? Does it need to be prescription medicine? For her child? For herself? What about OTC medicine? Food for an empty pantry?

This is one hell of a slippery slope.


What if the starving family don't like food, but instead a truckload of cigarettes? Would that be wrong, Bart?
 
2014-01-15 05:45:49 PM  
My friend left his kid in the car as he transferred stuff from the front door of a store into the trunk.  Never out of sight of the car, etc.  When he got home, the cops came to his house to question him and said the helpful helper person had given them a video to review.  Things were better when you could lose a few kids and nobody was too bothered about it.


Once pulled the hood release while alone in the car, and the hood flew up while mom was driving, before they had the safety latch (Fiat in Italy).
 
2014-01-15 05:46:25 PM  

Kiwimann: Yeah, the running car thing is idiotic.

Child theft is rare, property theft is not.  Leaving $15,000 worth of unattended property with an invitation for someone to drive off with it is moronic (and then leaving your kid in that property is moreso)


Exactly this. Do not ever leave your toddler in this situation without leaving your handgun for protection.
 
2014-01-15 05:51:11 PM  

born_yesterday: My parents used to let me play in the back of our giant Chevy station wagon with no seat belt.  I never got bored and whiny during long trips. They'd probably be jailed for that now.


It was a 67 Mercury Commuter for me.  What a great playground during trips and in the parking lot while mom shopped!
 
2014-01-15 05:52:04 PM  

NorCalLos: Exactly this. Do not ever leave your toddler in this situation without leaving your handgun for protection.


That's just crazy.  Clearly, the toddler should not be left with your handgun.  Get the toddler her own damn handgun - you never know when you may need to stand your ground.
 
2014-01-15 05:52:38 PM  

Belias: Nightjars: Its pretty stupid in either case...  Opportunistic thieves exist, and chances are, one will happen to be in the right place at the right time while you're running into the 7-11 for a pack of smokes, sooner or later.

Drunk drivers exist too.  Sooner or later you will be involved in a serious car accident.  Is driving around with your children now cause for child abuse charges?

There are 100 activities that a child can get into every single day that are far more likely to result in serious harm, than being left in a locked car for a few minutes.  This case will be overturned.


My comment had nothing to do with child abuse; I agree that this is not a cage of child abuse - its a gross overreaction.

Leaving your car running in a parking lot is about as bright as leaving your wallet on the sidewalk and expecting it to stay put.  Sure, people *shouldn't* mess with it, but most people have enough common sense to know that this is a terrible idea.  This isn't a case of "what if?", and looking for a problem where one is not likely to exist.  Leaving your car running in a parking lot is practically an open invitation for somebody to steal it.  If you disagree, that is fine; feel free to leave your car running while it is unattended.  I will feel perfectly justified in thinking that this is completely moronic.
 
2014-01-15 05:54:07 PM  

Nightjars:  cage case of child abuse


FTFM
 
2014-01-15 05:54:39 PM  

zulius: Are they in danger? No?
Are they afraid? No?
Is it 90 degrees with 80% humidity (or in AZ speak, 100+) no?
Then, mind your own farking business!


My mother left me in the car with the engine running when I was a wee one. And in NJ, no less.

I managed to put the car in reverse (or neutral, dunno) and the car rolled across the lot into another car. Some guy pulled me out of the car because I was squalling and that scared me even more lol.

I reckon transmission locks via the brake pedal would prevent that these days.

/mom later sunk that car in a flood. Still pisses my dad off
 
2014-01-15 05:55:14 PM  
    
shazbotuh       
I remember sitting in the little half seat at the back of a station wagon.. the seat most likely only suitable for groceries. I used to think it was so cool. Now I realize if the car had been rear-ended I would have been a kid/car sandwich.


We had one of those in our wagon, too. And what's more, ours had ashtrays on either side, I guess in case the siblings and I wanted to light up a Chesterfield King or something
 
2014-01-15 05:59:54 PM  

Nightjars: Leaving your car running in a parking lot is practically an open invitation for somebody to steal it.  If you disagree, that is fine; feel free to leave your car running while it is unattended.


Since it's indicated in the article that the car was locked, the fact that it was running does nothing to encourage theft.  You do realize that modern cars with remote ignition can be started from outside with the doors remaining locked, right?  Breaking in will not give you the ability to drive the vehicle without the key.  The transmission will not engage, the steering wheel will not move, and if you don't insert the key within 30 seconds, the engine shuts off.
 
2014-01-15 06:04:08 PM  

bass555: shazbotuh
I remember sitting in the little half seat at the back of a station wagon.. the seat most likely only suitable for groceries. I used to think it was so cool. Now I realize if the car had been rear-ended I would have been a kid/car sandwich.

We had one of those in our wagon, too. And what's more, ours had ashtrays on either side, I guess in case the siblings and I wanted to light up a Chesterfield King or something


We used to argue over who got to ride on the shelf between the back window and the back seat.  It was fun to lie up there and stick your feet in the faces of your siblings.

//Moooommmm - he's touching me with his feet!
 
2014-01-15 06:07:44 PM  

ZAZ: Court decision (PDF)

The state tried to take all the woman's children away based solely on that incident.


No they didn't.  Did you read the decision you linked?  They agreed she shouldn't lose the children and it was a single incident, she appealed solely over being included in some sort of child abuse database.
 
2014-01-15 06:13:18 PM  

Kiwimann: MustardTiger: I was born in the 80's. My parents left me in the car on a regular basis. They also let me play in a fenced in backyard by myself. Nothing bad ever happened to me and I never did anything to give them a reason to not think I would be fine. I guess I wasn't an idiot as a child.

Were you 19 months old at the time they did this?  And did they leave the car running with keys in the ignition?

I was left unattended in the car as well, but apples & oranges when comparing to this specific story.


I don't know. That would have been 28 years ago. But, I do know that the keys were always left in the ignition. I loved music as a youngling. I could moonwalk at the age of 3.
 
2014-01-15 06:18:38 PM  
Just because your parents did it and nothing happened doesn't mean it was a good idea. It just means you were lucky.
 
2014-01-15 06:22:46 PM  

Krieghund: Just because your parents did it and nothing happened doesn't mean it was a good idea. It just means you were lucky.


I guess that is one way to look at it. My parents didn't live life full of fear and it was passed on to me. People just need to relax. No one is out there playing dead baby kickball.
 
2014-01-15 06:26:09 PM  

KidneyStone: zulius: Are they in danger? No?
Are they afraid? No?
Is it 90 degrees with 80% humidity (or in AZ speak, 100+) no?
Then, mind your own farking business!

My mother left me in the car with the engine running when I was a wee one. And in NJ, no less.

I managed to put the car in reverse (or neutral, dunno) and the car rolled across the lot into another car. Some guy pulled me out of the car because I was squalling and that scared me even more lol.

I reckon transmission locks via the brake pedal would prevent that these days.

/mom later sunk that car in a flood. Still pisses my dad off


My oldest brother nearly killed me (and him) the one and only time my mother left the car running while she just knocked on the door to drop something off. He (middle front) kicked the car out of park and into neutral. It rolled down a hill and into a tree, my mother screaming and chasing it all the way. This was back when car seats were a joke, if you had them at all. We lived, but she never, ever, ever left the car running with us in it again.
 
2014-01-15 06:40:29 PM  
media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com

I remember sitting in the backward-facing seat of my dad's station wagon with my cousin, taunting all the drivers we passed. These days we'd probably be shot, or at the very least victims of road rage.
 
2014-01-15 06:45:54 PM  

yourdogwantsplacenta: Don't Lag Me Bro: That is farking ridiculous. I know my wife once parked the car in front of the library, walked 30 seconds to drop a book off at the drop bin came outside and some guy was screaming at her like she had been beating our son and was going to call the cops. Drove her to tears.

If "leaving your child alone for a few minutes" is a crime, every parent on the planet would be in the slammer. Yes, there is neglect, but I think your are talking on the order of hours, not minutes.

My parents left me in the car to run into the gas station and pay all the time without even thinking once about it. My wife is terrified to do that with our sons, not for fear of a predator or harm coming to them but rather that someone is going to make a stink about it. This is how freedom dies, not with a jack-boot but with millions of empty headed busybodies.


My family had five kids, so I'm pretty sure my parents were ok with one disappearing if it happened.  There were more where that one came from.  Seriously though, you're completely right.  Not just busybodies, but probably busybodies that don't have any kids of their own.
 
2014-01-15 06:50:00 PM  

reaperducer: When I was a kid, my parents would give me a $20 bill and it was my job to walk to the bar a couple of blocks away, get change from the barman, buy Lucky Strikes and Parliament 100's from the vending machine, and bring the cigarettes home.  My reward was that I got to keep the change.

Yeah, that would probably be considered child abuse today.


I don't know your age, but if it was a while ago, wouldn't the change be $15 or more?

/smokes were $1.50 a pack in the early 90s when I last bought them
 
2014-01-15 07:08:37 PM  
The 'obvious' tag must be busy actually parenting their children...
 
2014-01-15 07:10:49 PM  

tlars699: Missicat: I don't know....am I the only one thinking that leaving your car in a mall parking with the engine running is stupid, kid or no kid???

Mall/shopping centre? Yes
Strip Mall with small stores and huge windows? Then, no.


So that you can watch your car get jacked?
 
2014-01-15 07:18:23 PM  

namegoeshere: KidneyStone: zulius: Are they in danger? No?
Are they afraid? No?
Is it 90 degrees with 80% humidity (or in AZ speak, 100+) no?
Then, mind your own farking business!

My mother left me in the car with the engine running when I was a wee one. And in NJ, no less.

I managed to put the car in reverse (or neutral, dunno) and the car rolled across the lot into another car. Some guy pulled me out of the car because I was squalling and that scared me even more lol.

I reckon transmission locks via the brake pedal would prevent that these days.

/mom later sunk that car in a flood. Still pisses my dad off

My oldest brother nearly killed me (and him) the one and only time my mother left the car running while she just knocked on the door to drop something off. He (middle front) kicked the car out of park and into neutral. It rolled down a hill and into a tree, my mother screaming and chasing it all the way. This was back when car seats were a joke, if you had them at all. We lived, but she never, ever, ever left the car running with us in it again.


Very similar thing happened with my brother and I when we were wee ones. Mom went inside the bakery outlet and told us not to touch anything, we immediately shifted into neutral and hit a tree. Never left us alone in the car after that.

/and yes, she made a stupid decision leaving us like that
 
2014-01-15 07:22:47 PM  
If it's greater than 90 degrees or colder than 40 outside... (and you don't have the car running with heat/AC on) then yes, it's abuse.

Unless you're leaving them there for hours or in sweltering/frigid conditions, it's not abuse.
 
2014-01-15 07:29:08 PM  
When I was 9 years old I spent six hours in the parking lot at Harvey's Casino (south Lake Tahoe) waiting for mom to drive us back to the bay area. I wasn't locked in but I didn't feel very comfortable wandering around a casino parking lot- weird right? Nothing happened. I was just bored out of my 9 year old mind. She came back and had to write a check to pay the bridge toll. Luckily I had insisted that she fill the tank BEFORE going into the casino.

/reason #431 for why I haven't spoken to her in years.
 
2014-01-15 07:44:54 PM  
When I hit the ripe old age of about 8 or 9 my dad often had me to walk to the store and buy him cigarettes!!! beat that!! not sure how many laws were broken! Crazy thing was I guess other kids may have done it too because the store owner 'knows' we were buying for our parents.
 
2014-01-15 07:45:41 PM  

Belias: Nightjars: Leaving your car running in a parking lot is practically an open invitation for somebody to steal it.  If you disagree, that is fine; feel free to leave your car running while it is unattended.

Since it's indicated in the article that the car was locked, the fact that it was running does nothing to encourage theft.  You do realize that modern cars with remote ignition can be started from outside with the doors remaining locked, right?  Breaking in will not give you the ability to drive the vehicle without the key.  The transmission will not engage, the steering wheel will not move, and if you don't insert the key within 30 seconds, the engine shuts...


There is no indication that this was a remote start vehicle and there is a high probability that your assumption of no key in the ignition is wrong.

Also, a running vehicle is a loud *invitation* to a thief to investigate if the car can in fact be stolen. And while I'd like to think that the majority of thieves would curb the kid instead of running off or "disposing" of them, that risk is in fact there.

It's more then unforeseeable negligence, it is willful negligence.The situation could easily been avoided, and was made potentially dangerous by her actions, but she chose not too for whatever reason.

I do agree, however, that if this is the only reason that child services has the women on radar then loss of custody is a gross over reaction.
 
2014-01-15 07:52:43 PM  

Don't Lag Me Bro: That is farking ridiculous. I know my wife once parked the car in front of the library, walked 30 seconds to drop a book off at the drop bin came outside and some guy was screaming at her like she had been beating our son and was going to call the cops. Drove her to tears.

If "leaving your child alone for a few minutes" is a crime, every parent on the planet would be in the slammer. Yes, there is neglect, but I think your are talking on the order of hours, not minutes.


If you cannot quickly glance and see the car the child should not be left.

So petrol station ok,  dropping a letter off ok.   Going shopping in the mall even for only 5 minutes not OK.

I would actually argue that it is far safer to leave a child in a locked car at the petrol station than to go in.

How many cars have been stolen from a petrol station that have been locked.  Note not unlocked with the car running.

How many kids have been hit in petrol stations when walking to the shop.
 
2014-01-15 08:05:51 PM  
Children are the property of the state, and as such, they MUST be raised to the standards demanded of by the government.
 
2014-01-15 08:18:03 PM  

SheltemDragon: There is no indication that this was a remote start vehicle and there is a high probability that your assumption of no key in the ignition is wrong.


Which is more likely?

A) It was remote ignition

OR

B) The woman drives around with two sets of keys, AND her car allows for the doors to be locked from the outside while the keys are in the ignition.
 
2014-01-15 08:20:29 PM  

Uptown Hipster Doofus: Seatbelt?  What's a seatbelt?


[daddytypes.com image 525x406]


/Back when everybody's Old Man could smack all 3 kids in the back seat and not lose the ash off his Lucky Strike.


It's toasted!
 
2014-01-15 08:36:32 PM  
.

bass555: We had one of those in our wagon, too. And what's more, ours had ashtrays on either side, I guess in case the siblings and I wanted to light up a Chesterfield King or something


Those were the secret hiding places. You had to find very small stuff to hide in them.

Dr Jack Badofsky: My family had five kids, so I'm pretty sure my parents were ok with one disappearing if it happened.  There were more where that one came from.  Seriously though, you're completely right.  Not just busybodies, but probably busybodies that don't have any kids of their own.


And let's not even get started on how people are with other people's pets.
 
2014-01-15 09:02:58 PM  
Depends on the age of the kid, an infant is definitely too young but by 5 or 6 they should be fine in a car for a short time.
 
2014-01-15 09:35:52 PM  
I can remember it must've been the mid 80s when my mom started turning off the car when she stopped to drip something of at a friend's house quickly, or something. I had gotten used to waiting in the car by then, but she started asking to bring me into the supermarket with her, despite my lazy protests.

This one time a few years ago, I overheard a maybe 9 year old kid mouthing off to his mother, and she said "just for that, I'm taking you shopping." The boy whined, "nooooooo!!" and it was all I could do to keep from laughing.
 
2014-01-15 10:18:30 PM  
The court says a parent invites substantial peril when leaving a young child alone in a motor vehicle, no matter how briefly, unless there is an extenuating circumstance such as going into a store to purchase medicine.

I fail to see how that particular situation makes a farking bit of difference.
 
2014-01-16 12:48:18 AM  

Fano: Sat on my moms lap when she was droving when I was a toddler. 36 now, I guess she was a felon.


I saw something as a kid that beats that, two kids sitting on the open tailgate of a station wagon on the Ventura Freeway in 1968 or so.

ReapTheChaos: Depends on the age of the kid, an infant is definitely too young but by 5 or 6 they should be fine in a car for a short time.


I had a friend that was driving his mom around (she had a bad back) when he was 12.

SheltemDragon: I do agree, however, that if this is the only reason that child services has the women on radar then loss of custody is a gross over reaction.


My impression is bad parents are familiar with how CPS works and knows how to work the system and make things a royal pain in the keister for them. Which makes CPS leery about taking action. Goodie two shoes parents get the full hammer for not being properly submissive.
 
2014-01-16 02:41:18 AM  
being a parent in new jersey is bad enough.
 
2014-01-16 05:32:24 AM  
My brother and I trained our mum to not leave us unattended in the car when we were 3 and 5. I worked out how to undo the seatbelts, he wound down the window and we jumped out. We got pretty fast at the routine. Take that, childproof doors. Teamwork.
 
2014-01-16 08:51:15 AM  

zulius: Are they in danger? No?
Are they afraid? No?
Is it 90 degrees with 80% humidity (or in AZ speak, 100+) no?
Then, mind your own farking business!


Are they a 19-month-old child left unattended in a running car? Yeah, go ahead and raise some alarm on that one.
 
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