Sunday, November 4, 2012

Stop Doing Graffiti, Or Your Mom Might Get Busted!

Prosecutors are constantly trying to increase the punishments associated with graffiti, even though it has not diminished the amount of graffiti around.  

Well, the government in Lake Forest have begun prosecuting parents of suspected graffiti vandals, and going after them for fines.

It seems like a ridiculous solution.  Its not like most parents wouldn't already be trying to stop their children from doing illicit graffiti.  This new law seems to just add insult to the parents ineffectuality.  

Sounds crazy.  Is this technique even legal?  States are already prosecuting teenagers as adults for violent crimes, and they don't charge the parents in those cases.  How ridiculous would it be to charge a parent for a murder their child committed?  And how is it even legal to hold someone else responsible for another person's actions--even if that person is a minor?

So, Stay Up! (and sorry Mom~)

Here is the full press release story down below:

LAKE FOREST (CNS) - A Lake Forest woman who became the first prosecuted
under an anti-graffiti ordinance that holds parents financially responsible for
their children's vandalism is facing fines up to $15,000.
Three more cases are in litigation and three others have been settled,
which resulted in thousands of dollars being paid to the city, The Orange
County Register reported. In the pending cases, the city is seeking $4,621.64
in damages.
Maria Gutierrez, the first parent prosecuted under the ordinance passed
last year, and her teenage son could have their wages garnished or liens placed
upon any property they own, according to attorney Matt Silver, who represented
the city in the case. The son is accused of tagging at least 23 spots,
something the city said cost it $5,800 to remove.
Authorities declined to name the youth, saying that making his name public
could compromise related investigations.
Under the ordinance, parents and teens are held equally liable for cleanup,
repair, attorney, court and law enforcement costs.
Mayor Kathryn McCullough told The Register she hoped ``this case serves
as a warning to parents, guardians and youth about the consequences of
committing acts of graffiti."
If no assets exist when a judgment is entered, the city can continue
recovery efforts for up to 10 years, Silver told The Register. He is also
seeking attorneys' fees and civil penalties against the taggers.
Because the ordinance classifies graffiti as a public nuisance, it
enables the city to remove graffiti from private property if it is visible to
the public or to adjoining property owners. It also enables the city to recover
removal costs if property owners do not remove graffiti in a reasonable amount
of time.

***Thanks to LOUDLABS for the heads up on the story***

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