Can I sue a minor driver in an car wreck directly or must I do so through a parent
Answer: You sue the minor just like you do an adult, but the difference is in serving. If the minor is over 15, you just serve him. If he is under 15, you serve the parents. See: 12 O.S. Sec. 2004C1c(1) & (2): “c. Service shall be made as follows:
(1) upon an individual other than an infant who is less than fifteen (15) years of age or an incompetent person, by delivering a copy of the summons and of the petition personally or by leaving copies thereof at the person's dwelling house or usual place of abode with some person then residing therein who is fifteen (15) years of age or older or by delivering a copy of the summons and of the petition to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process,
(2) upon an infant who is less than fifteen (15) years of age, by serving the summons and petition personally and upon either of the infant's parents or guardian, or if they cannot be found, then upon the person having the care or control of the infant or with whom the infant lives; and upon an incompetent person by serving the summons and petition personally and upon the incompetent person's guardian.”
You simply move the court to appoint a guardian ad litem per 12 O.S. Sec. 2017C: “C. INFANTS OR INCOMPETENT PERSONS. Whenever an infant or incompetent person has a representative, such as a general guardian, committee, conservator, or other like fiduciary, the representative may sue or defend on behalf of the infant or incompetent person. If an infant or incompetent person does not have a duly appointed representative he may sue by his next friend or by a guardian ad litem. The court shall appoint a guardian ad litem for an infant or incompetent person not otherwise represented in an action or shall make such other order as it deems proper for the protection of the infant or incompetent person.”
So you defend by a guardian ad litem but you sue by a next friend. The guardian ad litem may, but need not be, the parent.
Posted on Sun, November 7, 2010
by Sharon Coleman