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  1. #1
    gdjk13 Guest

    Question Step parent spanking child

    I am in North Carolina and would like to know if anyone knows any laws or suggestions on what to do with regards to a step father spanking the child and not the mother. The child was told on Tuesday she was getting a spanking on Saturday when her step father got home. The mother refuses to do the punishment herself.
  2. #2
    krispenstpeter Guest
    Then you call the mother and tell her that if step pappy lays one hand on the child you will file assault charges.

    Momma had better learn to discipline her own child or she may be visiting the jail real soon. Step pappy has NO rights at all in this situation.
  3. #3
    gdjk13 Guest
    Do you know if there is anywhere i find out the laws in north carolina to show the mother that it is not right? It is like talking to a wall getting her to understand common sense. Can the father really file assault charges and if so what needs to be done?
  4. #4
    krispenstpeter Guest
    There are all kinds of laws on the books in every state regarding child abuse, assault. There are no laws in any state that I know of that stipulate a person who is allowed to punish a child.

    HOWEVER, this child is yours and hers. And it is incumbant upon the both of you to discipline the child, NOT a third-party. So, since you have just as much right to decide who the punisher should be, either do as I suggested or return to court for a modification of the custody agreement stipulating that no third-party is to discipline the child.
  5. #5
    I AM ALWAYS LIABLE is offline Senior Member
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    [url]http://www.rutherford.org/documents/pdf/brief_bank/E06-CorporalPunishment.pdf[/url].

    Parental Rights: Corporal Punishment

    INTRODUCTION

    Parents generally have the legal right to discipline their children by using reasonable corporal punishment. This right, however, is not absolute and may be subject to scrutiny and restriction by the state.

    The questions of whether parents have the right to administer corporal punishment and whether a particular parent has inflicted excessive punishment usually arise in one of two circumstances: (a) criminal prosecution or (b) termination of parental rights.

    CRIMINAL PROSECUTION: THE PARENTAL PRIVILEGE

    Parents accused of inflicting excessive punishment on their children are sometimes prosecuted for crimes such as assault, battery, child abuse or murder.

    The common law recognizes that parents and persons acting in loco parentis (in the place of a parent) have the right to discipline their children by reasonable and timely punishment, including corporal punishment. In other words, if a parent were charged with a crime such as battery, the parent could raise the defense of parental privilege and avoid criminal liability by demonstrating that his use of force against his child was a reasonable exercise of the parental right to discipline.

    A vast majority of states continue to recognize the common law rule of parental privilege. Twenty-nine states have expressly incorporated the parental privilege by statute, one of which is North Carolina.

    The versions of the privilege vary slightly among the states but not significantly. While the law has traditionally given broad discretion to parents in exercising the parental right to discipline their children, the parental privilege is limited, and exceeding those limits leaves the parent open to criminal liability. The limits of the parental privilege cannot be easily defined but rather are adjudicated on a case-by-case basis and stated in terms such as "reasonable under the circumstances."

    Courts deciding criminal appeals that address the limits of the parental privilege usually focus on one of two issues. The first issue addresses who is qualified to assert the privilege. Clearly, parents or guardians with legal custody may assert the privilege in disciplining their own children.

    Persons acting in loco parentis may assert the privilege as well. Such persons are individuals who have voluntarily assumed the status of a parent, whether or not through formal legal means.

    While it is said that persons acting in loco parentis can discipline a child to the same extent as a parent, some courts do not give persons acting in loco parentis the same latitude in discretion to punish.

    The states have traditionally offered the parental privilege to teachers as well, although some states in recent years have withdrawn that protection. The second and more recurrent issue addressed by the courts is what constitutes reasonable punishment and, more importantly, what punishment exceeds what is reasonable.

    In determining reasonableness, the law considers all of the circumstances surrounding the punishment, including the age and physical condition of the child, the severity of the punishment inflicted on the child and the gravity of the offense committed by the child. A cursory review of the cases indicates that the courts are very deferential to moderate spankings on the buttocks but are more suspicious when permanent injuries or scars are inflicted, when objects such as glass bottles and baseball bats are used and when episodes of beatings continue for prolonged periods of time.

    The question of whether a parent's disciplinary action is reasonable is a question for the jury. A defendant's conviction will not be overturned on appeal unless there is no evidence to support the jury's verdict.


    Summary:

    So, yes, in North Carolina, a step-parent acting "as a parent" in a caregiver situation, may administer reasonable punishment to your child without fear of legal reprisal.

    IAAL
  6. #6
    nextwife is offline Senior Member
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    So then IAAL, I presume if the "spanking" consists of a swat or two on the tushy, it is not something that would legally be prohibited if administered by the stepdad?
  7. #7
    I AM ALWAYS LIABLE is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by nextwife
    So then IAAL, I presume if the "spanking" consists of a swat or two on the tushy, it is not something that would legally be prohibited if administered by the stepdad?

    My response:

    That is correct. The law in North Carolina specifically allows caregivers; e.g., step-parents, babysitters, pre-school teachers, etc., to administer "reasonable" physical corporal punishment - - including swats on the butt. The "limitations" to such punishment are difficult to define.

    IAAL
  8. #8
    nextwife is offline Senior Member
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    So then, can one presume that ANY corporal punishment that is NOT reasonable, is not allowable by ANYONE, parent or not? "Unreasonable" corporal punishment is forbidden to all.
  9. #9
    Bloomer Guest
    Wouldn't any "unreasonable" corporal punishment be called ABUSE?
  10. #10
    nextwife is offline Senior Member
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    That's why it's forbidden!

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