Parental Accountability Act Exposed

From ALEC Exposed
Jump to: navigation, search

The Parental Accountability Act is listed under ALEC's Public Safety and Elections Task Force and was included in the 1996 ALEC Sourcebook of American State Legislation. ALEC has attempted to distance itself from this piece of legislation after the launch of in 2011, but it has done nothing to get it repealed in the states where it previously pushed for it to be made into law.

CMD's Bill Summary

While encouraging parents to attend their child's trial is a good idea, this model bill suggests why for-profit corporations should not be writing sentencing and criminal justice laws. A sizable percentage of juveniles offenders do not have strong family structures (which may have contributed to their delinquency), and this law apparently fails to acknowledge that. This law will likely be unenforceable, or, in the alternative, will stick more people with more opportunities to have unpaid fines. More laws do not mean less crime.

ALEC Bill Text


This bill requires that the parent or guardian of a juvenile attend each court hearing or proceeding unless the court excuses the parent or guardian for good cause shown. Failure of the parent or guardian to appear shall not be considered grounds for relief/adjournment, but may be grounds for contempt.

Model Legislation

Section 1. {Title}

This Act shall be known as the Parental Accountability Act.

Section 2. {Model Legislation}

The parent or guardian of a juvenile who is within the court's jurisdiction[1] shall attend each hearing or proceeding unless the court excuses the parent or guardian for good cause[2] shown. A parent or guardian who fails to attend the juvenile's hearing without good cause shown may be held in contempt and subject to fines.[3] Failure of a parent or guardian to attend a hearing is not, however, grounds for an adjournment, continuance, or other delay of the proceeding and does not provide the basis for appellate or other relief.

Section 3. {Severability Clause}

Section 4. {Repealer Clause}

Section 5. {Effective Date}


[1] Cite statutory authority for jurisdiction of juvenile court or probate court.

[2] Review appropriate state statute regarding parental notification in juvenile criminal proceedings. If one exists, cite here. Otherwise, Act needs explicit definition of what shall be considered "good cause."

[3] In some states, a judicial finding of contempt might subject accuseds' parents to incarceration.

ALEC's Sourcebook of American State Legislation 1996