Before On the Civil Side existed, the story about NFL running back, Adrian Peterson, pleading no contest to a misdemeanor reckless assault charge for disciplining his 4-year old son with a switch was national news. I wrote about what I thought would happen to him here in NC for our Criminal Law Blog: Parental Discipline: When Is It Abuse and/or a Crime? Since I wrote that post, the NC Court of Appeals published its first opinions interpreting the definition of abuse as applied to a child protective case that says:
a child is abused when his or her parent, guardian, custodian, or caretaker uses or allows to be used cruel or grossly inappropriate procedures or devices to modify the child’s behavior.
In other words, a child is abused when parental discipline goes too far. How does a court determine whether a parent has gone too far? Continue Reading