On March 10, 1992, Home School Legal Defense Association came closer than ever before to losing a home-schooled child to authorities. That Tuesday afternoon the Loudon family of Wayne County, Michigan, was visited by two police officers bearing an arrest warrant for their six-year-old daughter on truancy charges.
One year ago five of the Loudons’ children were separately charged with criminal truancy. Even the five-year-old who was below compulsory attendance age was charged. At the hearing the prosecutor approached Dave Kallman, the local HSLDA attorney representing the family, indicating that he had reviewed the case file and HSLDA’s letters to the school district and agreed to dismiss the charges against all of the children. The judge did dismiss the case, and it seemed that the ordeal was over.
In February of 1992, however, the Loudons were notified that their now six-year-old daughter was truant. They were summoned to appear in court. The Loudons immediately contacted the court referee and reminded her that the case had been dismissed. The court referee told them to ignore the summons.
Two weeks later police officers arrived on the Loudons’ doorstep with a warrant signed by the judge for the arrest of their six-year-old daughter. The family immediately placed a call to HSLDA attorney Chris Klicka.
Mr. Klicka attempted to reason with one of the police officers, explaining that the warrant was a mistake. But the officer insisted that without evidence that the warrant was improperly issued it was their duty to remove the child from her home. The officer finally agreed to allow time for attorney Klicka to ask the court to cancel the warrant.
Klicka immediately called the court referee. Surprised that the warrant was for the arrest of a six-year-old child, the referee, nonetheless, refused to rescind the warrant and referred Attorney Klicka to the prosecutor.
The prosecutor had no difficulty remembering the case, recalling with amusement that they had mistakenly charged a child under compulsory school age. Upon learning that this same child was about to be arrested on truancy charges, the prosecutor “hit the ceiling.” Within minutes the prosecutor was in the office of the court referee, convincing her to cancel the arrest warrant. He then called the police officers in the Loudons' home and informed them that they were free to go.
In the space of ten minutes the situation was resolved. Later HSLDA discovered the source of the wrongly issued warrant. After the 1990 hearing the court clerk had neglected to record the dismissal of the charges against the youngest child who was only five years old at the time. The charges resurfaced when the child reached compulsory school age, and the warrant was issued.
HSLDA believes that it was only through God’s hand of protection that the Loudon family was spared. It is absolutely miraculous that Attorney Klicka was able to contact both crucial officials in such a short amount of time!