April 26, 2006
LEGAL RIGHTS OF PARENTS OF ADULT CHILDREN
By: Susan Price, Principal Legislative Analyst
You asked a series of questions about the rights of your constituents, the parents of an adult son with obsessive compulsive disorder who apparently has been found, or pled, guilty of assaulting his father.
The Office of Legislative Research is not authorized to give legal advice or opinions and this report should not be considered such.
How can parents obtain information about their son's treatment and progress?
With a few exceptions not relevant to the fact pattern you describe, parents cannot obtain information about an adult child's medical treatment and progress unless he consents.
If your constituents' son, who apparently was convicted of assaulting his father, completes an education program offered to him by a judge, will that clear his record? Also, does the Family Violence Education Program require their son to perform community service?
We cannot answer these questions. But your constituents could get this information from the court's Office of Victim Services, as the father appears to be a crime victim. The son's attorney can also answer these questions, or your constituents could go to the courthouse where the case was prosecuted and review their son's court file for the sentence and any conditions imposed by the judge.
In cases like this, does state law require that the son be examined by a certified and licensed psychiatrist?
We do not have enough information about this specific case to answer this question, but the son's lawyer can.
Your constituents have been paying the rental charges on a storage locker where their son is storing some of his belongings. Can they remove all of these items and get rid of those that do not have sentimental or other value?
We suggest your constituents get legal advice before taking or disposing of their son's property. In some situations, the action they are considering could subject them to a civil lawsuit, criminal prosecution, or both.
How long must your constituents pay their son's legal costs?
Based on the limited information you have provided, it appears your constituents have no legal duty to pay their son's legal bills. However, if they signed a retainer agreement with his lawyer, they may be bound by its terms. The attorney can answer this question and provide them with a copy of the agreement, if they cannot locate their own copy.