Slapping Teen, Taking Pay Isn't Child Abuse: Court

Although it's not 'admirable' either, justice writes
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2011 1:09 PM CST
A New Jersey court found that slapping a child and taking her wages to pay family bills is not child abuse.   (Shutter Stock)

(Newser) – A couple of New Jersey parents may have slapped their daughter and taken money from her paycheck to pay the cable bill, but that’s hardly child abuse or neglect, the state Supreme Court ruled yesterday. The child in question, now an adult, was removed from her home in 2008 after her grandfather reported the above-mentioned behavior, and a family services rep who investigated the case found the home without heat, the Star-Ledger reports.

As one justice wrote, the parents’ behavior wasn’t exactly “stellar parenting,” and an occasional slap is “hardly admirable.” But it does not qualify as “‘excessive’ corporal punishment,” and there was not enough evidence to remove the teen from her home. As for garnishing her wages, calling that abusive is “simply wide of the mark,” the justice wrote. "Most of the allegations were the product of the family’s tight financial situation."

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