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Child Against Child Crimes At Day Care Centers – What Are the Legal Rights of the Victim?

By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network


When a child is enrolled in a day care center in Montana and other States, parents rely on the day care center to provide a safe haven for the child. The day care center staff should use its best efforts to protect the child while being supervised at the day care center. When children are present, there are always risks of injury and because of this – it is important that the supervision is constant and timely. Other children enrolled or present at the day care center can also present a risk to a child. Whether it is bullying acts or just carelessness, there are child against child crimes or incidents reported at day care centers. Some are unforeseeable and unpreventable while other incidents can certainly be prevented with better supervision of the children enrolled in the day care center. It is most unfortunate and tragic when a child is injured or sexually assaulted at a day care center. When an incident takes place, there are three types of cases that may result from the incident:

1. Criminal Case. A criminal charge can be pursued against the child accused of committing the crime and / or the day care center workers present or nearby at the time of the incident. The type of charges filed (if any) is typically made by the local police and / or the office the State Attorney or prosecutor. Law enforcement officers and detectives will conduct an investigation to determine if the elements of a crime can be proven. A criminal case will depend on the facts and circumstances of the case and the applicability of State laws as it pertains to the crime(s) alleged committed.

2. Administrative Case. If State or Local officials determine that rules and regulations were violated, an Administrative Case can be pursued against the day care center. The penalties may involve fines, suspension of licenses, and / or better or more extensive training of the staff employed at the day care center.

3. Civil Case. The pursuit of a civil case is determined by the family along with the attorney hired by the family. Like the other types of cases, the civil case must be based on the facts and circumstances of the case along with the applicable law pertaining to negligence cases and day care center cases. Typically, a Child Injury Lawyer will evaluate the case as to the following four elements: a. Duty; b. Breach of Duty; c. Causation; and d. Damages. A civil cases (again depending on the facts and circumstances) may be pursued against the child who committed the acts, the parents of the child, and / or the day care center.

An alleged sexual assault of a 5 year old child by a 10 year old child was recently reported. The alleged incident took place at the Busy Hands Fun Center located in Missoula, Montana. The incident took place while the children at the day care center were watching a movie. See 10 Year Old Cited for Sexual Assault at Missoula, Montana Day Care Center.

Following the incident, the day care center subsequently installed surveillance cameras in the movie room of the child care facility. According to news reports, no charges had been filed against the day care center regarding this incident.

When a child is injured at a day care center, a parent often has a number of questions as to the applicable laws, regulations, and, yes, the legal rights of the injured child. It is often times helpful to get the advice of a Child Injury Lawyer for these matters. The book titled – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know – has chapters on Day Care Center Injuries, School Injuries, Medical Care and Treatment and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.

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