Thanks for visiting us. The answer to your question appears to be
YES, California does indeed permit imputing liability to the parent
when the child of that parent engages in negligent (tortuous) conduct.
The provision you are seeking is found in Sections 1714 and 1714.1(a)
of the California Civil Code. Please allow me to summarize the
1714. (a) Every one is responsible, not only for the result of his
willful acts, but also for an injury occasioned to another by his want
of ordinary care or skill in the management of his property or person
. . . .
1714.1. (a) Any act of willful misconduct of a minor which results in
injury . . . to the property of another shall be imputed to the parent
or guardian having custody and control of the minor for all purposes
of civil damages, and the parent or guardian having custody and
control shall be jointly and severally liable with the minor for any
damages resulting from the willful misconduct. Subject to the
provisions of subdivision (c), the joint and several liability of the
parent or guardian having custody and control of a minor under this
subdivision shall not exceed twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000)
for each tort of the minor . . . . .
(b) [not applicable pertains to defacement of property with paint]
(c) The amounts listed in subdivisions (a) and (b) shall be
adjusted every two years by the Judicial Council. . . .
(d) The maximum liability imposed by this section is the maximum
liability authorized under this section at the time that the act of
willful misconduct by a minor was committed.
(e) Nothing in this section shall impose liability on an insurer for a
loss caused by the willful act of the insured for purposes of Section
533 of the Insurance Code. An insurer shall not be liable for the
conduct imputed to a parent or guardian by this section for any amount
in excess of ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
THE ENTIRE TEXT OF THESE SECTIONS CAN BE FOUND AT:
If you desire any clarification, please click the clarification
button and ask away!
Good luck in small claims court! I would suggest that you prepare a
copy of the civil code section for the judge, outline your
presentation, take a deep breath and follow the judges lead and
instruction. Make your presentation, permit the other side to
respond, and always ask the judge if you may proceed. Speak ONLY to
the judge and not to the party opposite. Youll do fine and be in an
excellent position to receive the judgment that you are seeking.
Best regards, and best of luck!
parental responsibility and California
California Civil Code