DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

December 19, 2013

Teen wants to stop taking drugs

About the Law
Andrew Myers

---- — I’m still a minor and a senior in high school. My parents force me to take prescription medication prescribed by a psychiatrist and recommended by a counselor.

I’ve read bad things about the medication and I want to know if a minor can be forced to take prescription drugs and if any law exists so that I can prevent taking the medication or if there is some way I can have this stopped.

One of the problems here is that if your parents did not oversee that you took properly prescribed medication and if something bad were to take place, harming you or someone else, they could face charges, including child endangerment.

Without knowing all of the facts and background, it’s extremely difficult at best to comment. I encourage you to initiate open discussions with everyone, your counselor, your parents and a school guidance counsellor in a non-confrontational manner. Explore options, alternatives and potentially activities that can engage you.

In the extreme, a legal process exists for establishing a guardianship through the courts. The courts appoint a guardian ad litem to interview everyone, then report back to the court, independent of any one of the above focusing only on what is in your best interest. However, this is an extreme and takes a lot of time and money. I encourage open discussions with everyone.

Can I get my money back from a girl I lent $1,500 cash? She needed money to fix her car and other things. She promised if I lent her money she would pay me back and go out on dinner dates and things like that.

Once I gave her the money, she changed entirely. She ignored my texts. When I asked her to go out she called me crazy. She denied the loan. I have the bank receipt for the cash and our texts before. Can I enforce this contract in court?

Yikes. A long time ago I wrote a column with 10 basic legal truths. One was never lend anyone money ever under any circumstances, unless you’re a bank. Also, if you ignore this advice always get written confirmation of the loan, signed by the borrower. Banks call this a note. Others call it an IOU.

Your first problem is that the deal sounds a bit fuzzy with the agreement by her to go out on dates and “things like that” in exchange for money. If a court even vaguely senses that money changed hands for, shall we say, very personal services, you’re all done. Even an otherwise valid written contract can be held void for illegality.

But, if you have promises by her to pay back and you changed position in reliance on those promises, giving her your rent money, then small claims court might enforce the oral contract. Helping someone fix their car so they can get to work is one thing, a deal for “dates” is something else.

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Andrew Myers of Derry has law offices in Derry and North Andover. He is a member of the American Association for Justice and the New Hampshire Trial Lawyers Association. Send questions to andrew@attorney-myers.com.