My neighbor threatened to press charges against my 6 year old! Long...

Ok heres the story. Last week my six year old and his friend walked around the block to play with another kid. They knocked on the door and nobody answered. One of the boys then turned the door knob to yell for their friend and set off their alarm. Yes their door was unlocked and their alarm was armed. When they heard the alarm they took off running of course. Anyway, their friend's mom calls me that night and wants me to find out if the boys actually walked in her house because the motion detector was set off. My boy said they did not and she said "well if they were we have video so they should just fess up". He swears they did not go in and I can tell he's not lying. She tells me if they were in the house they would have to pay a false alarm fee. Anyway, they did not go in, it was the police who walked in and set off the motion detectors.

She calls me tonight and says they are being charged a false alarm fee and her husband says if we (and the other boy's family) don't pay the fee he will press charges on them for trespassing. Now my little boys is 6 and his friend is 8. I think this is ridiculous. What should I do? They had no malicious intent. They were just behaving like little kids looking for their friend.

Should I just give them the $12.50 and forget about it or let them "press charges"? What do you think would happen if they did?
I'm tempted to go with the 'it's the principal of the matter' argument but I think I'd just pay the $12.50 and tell my son to use the phone next time.
I'd pay them the $12.50...in pennies.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
LOL! That's a great idea!
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I'd pay them the $12.50...in pennies.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
ITA! This comment made me lol... It's so evil, I just love it!
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It's their fault for leaving the front door unlocked. Some people are just ridiculous. They should be happy it was only two kids looking for a friend and not someone trying to rob their place.

I like RCW's idea... hehe
No attorney ANYWHERE is going to press charges against a 6 year old in the above situation. How utterly ridiculous!

If I were you, I would not pay. Are you kidding me??? $12.50 and your neighbor is willing to be an a**hole? For $12.50?????????

It's their house (they left unlocked and armed), it's their contract with the security company, let them pay the measly charge.

Yes, your 6-year old should not have opened someone elses door uninvited but, sheesh. I'd sure hate to have your neighbors.
I feel like I'm missing something. You had me until the $12.50 alarm fee. These people actually used the term "press charges" over a $12.50 alarm fee?

Is there bad blood between you and your neighbors?

I'm with RCW. If I did pay the $12.50, it'd be in pennies or monopoly money.
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1) I can't believe that people really will walk into their neighbor's house if the door is unlocked. I thought that was just some tv/movie stuff.

Nah...on second thought, I can believe that some little kids would do it (I think I remember doing the same when I was few years older kid than your son, so never mind my first point. lol).

2) Who sets the alarm but leaves the door unlocked? Weird.

My answer to your question: Just pay the fee. It's not worth all the trouble. And I hate to say it but I'd be wary about your son going back over that friend's house. His parents sound kind of petty. Next thing you know he'll be 'one of the last kids to play' with a $$$$ toy before it breaks. :/
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I'd pay them the $12.50...in pennies.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
Fabulous idea! And yes her husband would be willing to be an ass for $12.50. Most of my neighbors are wonderful btw but this particular family is really annoying. I hate to say this but she really ought to be thankful my son and his friend even want to play with her kid because he has some serious behavioral issues. Very odd child but my son likes him, doesn't mind his outbursts. I can't wait to see what my DH has to say about this. Its crazy!
No attorney ANYWHERE is going to press charges against a 6 year old in the above situation. How utterly ridiculous!

If I were you, I would not pay. Are you kidding me??? $12.50 and your neighbor is willing to be an a**hole? For $12.50?????????
Originally Posted by misspam


I agree...no legitimate District Attorney would press charges against a 6 year old. I hate to cause neighborhood-strive though. I'd be so nice and sweet to the neighbors, and give them their pennies in a crappy old rusty coffee can. That way they couldn't b1tch that I didn't pay, yet they would get the message that I think they're petty and stupid.
I wouldn't pay it. Screw them. They are heartless to come down so hard on little kids.
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i don't like them throwing out there that they would press charges BUT i do think the boys shouldn't have turned the knob to try to go in. so for that i think you should pay half or maybe the other kids mom will pay because technically their action did set off the alarm. they shouldn't have left their door unlocked but it was probably an accident. it's not worth it to turn this into a big deal. lesson learned. pay part of the fee and let it go.

plus i'd talk to your son and let him know in this case nothing happened BUT what if he went in the house of some nut or walked in on a crime or something else...basically what i'm saying is don't miss this opportunity to tell your child for his safety that he should never ever attempt to go inside someone's home (and i know he didn't and the other kid was the one that turned the knob but you get my point). your son didn't do anything wrong, i'm totally not saying that, but i just see this as a valuable teaching oppotunity. so many kids are being abducted and then held without a trace you just have to warn your child.

i think the other family is wrong but since your son is friends with the kid i wouldn't be a witch about this...for some reason on this one i think you should just take the high road.
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Last edited by luvmylocs; 09-25-2009 at 05:48 PM.
I feel like I'm missing something. You had me until the $12.50 alarm fee. These people actually used the term "press charges" over a $12.50 alarm fee?

Is there bad blood between you and your neighbors?

I'm with RCW. If I did pay the $12.50, it'd be in pennies or monopoly money.
Originally Posted by Bianca
Well the fee is $25.00 which we are expected to split with my son's friend since they were "co-criminals". Yes, she used the term "press-charges". There is no bad blood between us at all. I wouldn't say we are friends but we get along well enough. I really think its her husband.
In my mind, if I left my door unlocked and two little boys set the alarm off by opening the door, I'd be thanking my lucky stars it was a pair of children instead of two thieves. A $25 fee would be a small price to pay, IMO. But what do I know...
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I'm torn on this one.

On one hand, I'd want to pay them the $12.50 with a real sarcastic, "Really? You're trying to get other people to pay a fee this little for what reason? Whatevs."

On the other hand, I'd want to pay the $12.50 with an overly concerned inquiry as to their fiscal solvency, and possibly close with, "Well I hope things aren't so bad that you lose the house and have to move. That'd just be tragic."
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Well, here are my opinions. First of all, I think it's really stupid to leave the door unlocked when you're not home in the first place! And second of all, I agree that the kids didn't really know any better. They're 6-year-olds, for God's sake! And "co-criminals"? That's a harsh accusation. I agree with the other users on here, I think you should just give the $12.50 to them in pennies.

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I'd pay the $12.50 and tell your son not to open anyone's door without permission. I think she's being petty to ask you to pay and the threat of pressing charges is utterly ridiculous. However, your son shouldn't open doors to other peoples' houses without permission and I guess I would have offered to pay the false alarm fee before it even got to this point. And if I were the one with the false alarm, no way would I accept an offer to pay.
I would definitely find out whether paying the $12.50 could be seen as an admission of legal guilt. As long as it's not self-incriminating, I'd just pay it.

Also, if the kids set off the alarm by opening the door, that doesn't sound like a false alarm. That sounds like an accurate alarm! However, your state's laws and case history may say otherwise.

Finally...They have an alarm and surveillance cameras, but they can't lock the frigging door???
On the other hand, I'd want to pay the $12.50 with an overly concerned inquiry as to their fiscal solvency, and possibly close with, "Well I hope things aren't so bad that you lose the house and have to move. That'd just be tragic."
Originally Posted by MichelleBFT


Heh...good one.

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