Judge Rules Parental Responsibility Law Unconstitutional

GARFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio (AP) - A judge has ruled that a city law holding parents accountable for crimes their children commit is unconstitutional.

Garfield Heights Municipal Court Judge Jennifer Weiler dropped charges yesterday against a Maple Heights mother accused of failing to supervise her 17-year-old son. The son instigated a high speed chase with police that ended when his car hit a tree.

44-year-old Thelma Ephraim challenged the parental responsibility law enacted last year after the city received complaints of teens congregating and violating curfew.

Weiler decided the law was vague and unevenly applied.

Maple Heights Mayor Michael Ciaravino said the city will appeal the decision.

Ephraim's case was the eleventh time the city has brought charges against parents.