July 16, 2012

On the Case:

HSLDA Defends Homeschooler against Daytime Curfew Ticket

Staff Attorney Darren Jones is a member of HSLDA’s litigation team. He and his wife homeschool.

Each morning Ronald Zane (name changed to protect privacy) wakes up and rides the bus to school in Los Angeles. But unlike most California students, Ronald is a homeschooled 7th-grade student who takes the city bus to his grandmother’s house each day for lessons. One day in early April at 9:45 a.m., while waiting for the bus, Ronald was stopped by two police officers for allegedly violating Los Angeles’ daytime curfew law.

The purpose of Los Angeles’ daytime curfew is to keep minor children in school. Unfortunately, homeschool students have found themselves targeted by daytime curfews since their school schedule often differs from the public school’s schedule. Home School Legal Defense Association actively opposes daytime curfews, including the Los Angeles curfew.

Ronald explained to the police officers that he was a homeschool student on his way to his lessons at his grandmother’s house, but they were reluctant to believe his story even when Ronald showed them a homeschool identification card he was carrying. The officers then escorted Ronald to his grandmother’s house and issued him a ticket for being “in public during daytime curfew hours.” After the police officers left, the Zane family immediately contacted HSLDA.

HSLDA worked with Rex A. Lowe, an experienced homeschool attorney, to defend Ronald in court. When the Zane family presented proof to the court clerk that Ronald was legally enrolled in a homeschool, the court quickly dismissed his case.

“After all the work that HSLDA and other civic-minded groups have done through the years to protect our children from the Los Angeles curfew, it’s frustrating to see yet another student ticketed,” said HSLDA Staff Attorney Darren Jones. “But like all the rest, once we got to the court, the case was dismissed.”

 Other Resources

Home School Court Report: “Los Angeles Daytime Curfew Citation Dismissed”