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Court orders boy, 12, to get a job

Jan. 31, 2013 at 3:48 PM   |   Comments

EASTHAMPTON, Mass., Jan. 31 (UPI) -- A Massachusetts appeals court upheld a judge's order for a 12-year-old tagger to get a job so he can pay $1,000 restitution to his victim.

The boy, who was 11 at the time of the crime, had been ordered to pay restitution to his Easthampton neighbors in exchange for having charges of juvenile delinquency put on hold for one year, and Juvenile Court Judge James Collins extended the probation for four years and ordered the youth -- identified under the pseudonym "Avram" in court papers -- to get a job when he failed to pay the damages within the allotted year, the Boston Globe reported Thursday.

Attorney Craig Bartolomei filed an appeal on behalf of the boy, but the ruling was upheld Wednesday by the Massachusetts Appeals Court.

"The state itself limits what they [12-year-olds] can do," Bartolomei said. "They can be actors, with a permit. They can work a farm, and they can basically deliver newspapers. But kids don't deliver newspapers anymore."

However, the court offered some employment suggestions for Avram.

The boy can "earn money by obtaining a paper route, mowing lawns, raking leaves, shoveling snow, baby-sitting, delivering groceries or by recycling items upon which a deposit had been paid," Judge William Meade wrote in the three-judge panel's decision.

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