Disclaimer: The Texas State Law Library is unable to give legal advice, legal opinions or any interpretation of the law. It is strongly recommended that you contact an attorney for advice specific to your situation. If you have questions about anything in this guide, please ask a librarian.
Disclaimer: The Texas State Law Library is unable to give legal advice, legal opinions or any interpretation of the law.
This opinion responds to the following request: "Whether law enforcement officers are authorized to take a seventeen-year-old into custody simply because he or she has been reported as a missing child under chapter 63 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, and related questions. (RQ-0169-JC)"
This opinion responds to the following request: "Whether a minor may be classified as a 'missing child' under article 63.001, Code of Criminal Procedure, if the minor’s legal custodian knows the minor’s whereabouts. (RQ-0057-GA)"
This article discusses Texas's confusing and inconsistent laws regarding whether or not a 17 year-old can be reported as a "runaway" or a "missing person." It also discusses other useful information for minors including basic legal terminology, rights of youth in child abuse reporting and investigation, protective orders for minors, youth in suits affecting the parent-child relationship, and the rights of pregnant and parenting teens.
This booklet addresses many questions about runaway youths including: what options parents have to bring their children home, what risks a person might assume by housing a runaway youth, and whether youths can sign a lease. It also includes information about emergency shelter/housing, emancipation, public education, medical treatment, and eligibility for state and federal benefits.
The Texas Youth & Runaway Hotline (1-800-989-6884) is available 24 hours a day and provides free, confidential prevention services to youths, parents, siblings, and other family members. They may be able to provide information on whether a 17-year-old may leave home, and they encourage both parents and youth to contact them with questions. Counselors also assist youth advocates such as police, caseworkers, counselors, and school officials by locating state and local resources and providing free information and outreach materials to those working with youth and families.