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Age and the Law - Aged 1 - 25

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This topic includes an "At A Glance" look at age limits in our law.

 

Were you horrified at a story in your newspapers a few weeks ago? "Young Defendant Used Loophole”  screamed the headline.  It was not a tale about a long handled lavatory brush. The story concerned a 13 year old second time rapist who could not be charged because of his tender age.   He was able to gloat effectively  "You can’t charge me, I'm too young".

 

The Crimes Act 1961 sets the rules. Murder and manslaughter are in a category of their own.  You can be charged with these serious crimes if you are 12 years old and up but not below the age of 12.  For all other crimes, including rape, robbery, grievous bodily injury and a whole lot of nasties, you must have turned 14.

 

Committing a crime between 10 and 14 can support a ruling by the Family Court that the child is in need of care and protection, with consequential orders.   But no criminal charges can be laid.

 

The law’s a bit of a thicket. "I am a kid. I want to drink, fly, drive, vote, have an abortion, become a hooker, buy a gun, place a bet, quit school, get married and certainly leave home.  At least those were my plans last weekend!"

 

There is no magic formula for deciding at what age a yo

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Feedback/Reviews/Blogs
"Really helpful to have this all laid out. Jamie R -Henderson"
Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Care of Children Act 2004
"I liked the coverage and all the related documentation through the links. I liked being up to draw up my own simple Agreement. I wonder if you could put some real life case on Netlaw. It may be really interesting. Jenny M. May 2007"
"Dear Clients,

On most of our Family Law topics we have direct links to the latest Family Court cases on the topic. These were finally loaded in the first week of June 2007 . . . . . Netlaw"

Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Care of Children Act 2004
"Well worth reading. I don't think I will have any more kids!! Louise J Auckland March 2007"
Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Care of Children Act 2004
"Thanks . . . for us grandparents it was helpful to have a topic dedicated to us although we had to go to some of your other sites to get the full picture and documents. we have aplied for counselling firt.
All the best to the team at Netlaw"

"This website is TOPS!! tnx!! Q:I have a Returning resident visa issued 070307 and would like to take my 2.5 year old child to Europe for a month to simply visit my parents which I havent seen for 2 years! My childs mum(Kiwi) and her oldest daughter went last year all paid for and my parents never had a thank you!!!! and although I notified her months ago about our trip she is emotionally blackmailing me and threatening me with a laywer out of jalousy(?)or the poor thing is scared I might not come back while I have been living and working here for the last 5 years. All our arrangements are made orally. NZ and our boy is my life! Our child is staying with me every other day. I pay weekly 100$ I am a good dad, she is a good mum but I'd like to know her rights and mine as a parent within my current visa situation as well. And although my right to vote in NZ indirectly supports those who are chosen to make these laws I feel as a father quite left on my own since I consider NZ family law extremely father unfriendly..HELP please anyone! Me in Queenstown

Netlaw replies - You need to see the Familky Court at Queenstown at once and ask for counselling to try and sort this out. That costs nothing and should not take long. BUT - you should also ask a lawyer to file an application for an order because that will take a few weeks to get to Court at the very earliest and you will need to ask the Court to take urgency and it is better to file at once as a back up to counselling failing. "

Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Care of Children Act 2004
"Can the Family Protection Act help 2 kids 11 and 13 to some provision from their fathers estate when there is no will. They live with their mother (divorced from late father) and now his defacto (no children involved) is claiming everything and not willing to make any provision for these children. House and furniture gone to her as purchsed jointly but there is still balance of insurance, super ann. ute, boat and personal effects that could be dispersed to them. At present all they have is hte ACC weekly payment that replaces the child support thir father paid.
Is there anything fathers family can do to get something for his boys? Any thoughts or othe similar experiences??

Netlaw replies: YES. A claim can be made if there is no will. It sounds as if they have a very dtrong case. See a lawyer immediately.

"

"Dear Netlaw,
Our father had a will which was invalidated by a 3-day form of marriage. The woman in question got divorced 1-month before and married our father when he was in a semi-coma and he died 3-days later. The supposed spouse is now applying to be Administrator under the Administration Act and after $121,000 + 1/3 share of remaining property. Could you please advise, do the children (there are 4 of us) have any remedies? Your expertise will be gratefully received and is very much appreciated, thank you.

Netlaw replies: Yes. Children can file a claim under the Family Protection Act 1955 asking the Family Court to provide "further provision" from the will. Our special topic "Family Protection Act 1955" covers the principles.

But in this case, you might also be able to challenge the validity of the new will on the basis of your father's medical condition and possibly on the basis that he signed under pressure."

"Hi
I have a mother who is 80 years old with dementia. We (6 children) don't think she has a will and no EPOA. She has no real assets except $8000 in the bank which is intended for her funeral. Are we likely to run into any problems or major costs if no will exists at her death. Is there anything we could do now to make life easier in the event of her death. I'm guessing if she doesn't have a will now, its probably too late.
Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks

Netlaw replies - It is too late unfortunately. See a lawyer."

Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Care of Children Act 2004
"My husband and I liked all this information. Keep it up please! Well worth the $45. We have spent so much on lawyers, blast them. I suppose they are necessary but when we see these concepts set out simply by you in Netlaw we wonder what all the secrecy and fuss was about in other matters. "
"I have heard that through the Will I am able to gift up to $27 500.00 of my property per year to some one that I want to inherit without paying gifting fees where do I find a template for this

Netlaw answers: Good morning,

You posted a blog on Netlaw this morning. We reply as follows.

Gift duty is not payable on money or assets which pass under your will. Therefore, you can leave $1,000,000 to someone in your will and it is not classified as a gift.
However, if you wanted to give someone $1 million during your lifetime then that would attract gift duty at 40 cents in the dollar (subject to a more specific calculation about a lesser amount of gift duty in some bands above $27,000) for any amount gifted over $27,000 per year. This is why gift programmes over a number of years have to be set up during the course of your lifetime to avoid or minimise paying gift duty.
But we repeat - money or assets left under a will are not treated as gifts for gift duty purposes. Nor are death duties payable any more. They were abolished well over 10 years ago.

Cheers . . . . Netlaw"

Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Care of Children Act 2004
"Helped us greatly. We also looked through all your other criminal sites and have printed some off. Thanks Netlaw. Ali"
"Do we have to use the State paid "Youth Advocates"? Mrs H. (name withheld)

Netlaw replies - No, but you do have to pay for a lawyer of your choice UNLESS the case is so serious that it goes to the District Court or the High Court. Then, normal legal aid takes over where you can choose your own lawyer."

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