Juvenile Matters

Parental Liability Information

Parental Liability for Costs and Fees/Fines

Welfare and Institution Code section 903. (a) The father, mother, spouse, or other person liable for the support of a minor, the estate of that person, and the estate of the minor, shall be liable for the reasonable costs of support of the minor while the minor is placed, or detained in, or committed to, any institution or other place pursuant to Section 625 or pursuant to an order of the juvenile court. However, a county shall not levy charges for the costs of support of a minor detained pursuant to Section 625 unless, at the detention hearing, the juvenile court determines that detention of the minor should be continued, the petition for the offense for which the minor is detained is subsequently sustained, or the minor agrees to a program of supervision pursuant to Section 654. The liability of these persons and estates shall be a joint and several liabilities.

Parental Liability for Costs of Support/Detention

Section 903 of the Welfare and Institutions Codes allows the Enhanced Collections Division to charge the parent(s) or other responsible persons, for the reasonable costs of support, while the minor is placed, or detained in, or committed to, any institution or other place pursuant to an order of the Juvenile Court. This means that each parent is responsible for the full amount until paid.

Parental Liability for Legal Services

Section 903.1 of the Welfare and Institutions Code states that a parent(s) or other responsible persons shall be liable for costs to the county for legal services rendered to the minor pursuant to an order of the Juvenile Court.


 

  • Why should I pay detention costs? I did not have custody of the minor nor did I commit any crime?
  • Welfare and Institution Code section 903 (a) states that: “The father, mother, spouse, or other person liable for the support of a minor, the estate of that person, and the estate of the minor, shall be liable for the reasonable costs of support of the minor while the minor is placed, or detained in, or committed to, any institution or other place.…”

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  • I only want to be responsible for half of the juvenile fees, could you bill me for my half only?
  • Welfare and Institution Code section 903 (a) states that “…The liability of these persons and estates shall be a joint and several liability.” Both parents are separately and jointly responsible for payment, there is no division on who pays.

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  • The judge ordered my minor child into custody.  Does this relieve me of having to pay anything?
  • No. If the judge ordered detainment, then the parents/guardian is responsible to pay for those detainment costs. Welfare and Institution Code section 903 (a) states “…shall be liable for the reasonable costs of support of the minor while the minor is placed, or detained in, or committed to, any institution or other place.…”

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  • I already have a case with the District Attorney's office for child support.  Am I still responsible for restitution, detention costs, or any other monies owed to the court for my child?
  • Yes. If there is a child support order from the District Attorney’s office, it has nothing to do with the court-ordered fees/fines. These costs must be paid separately.

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  • What do I do if I have moved?
  • Contact the Enhanced Collections Division and give them updated information so that all correspondence can reach you in a timely manner.

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© 2011 Superior Court of California, County of Riverside