Cuccinelli: Sheriffs can assist in school truancy cases

A sheriff’s office can lawfully assist local schools with enforcing attendance laws without a court order, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has ruled.

            The official advisory opinion was issued in response to an inquiry from Sheriff B.J. Roberts of the City of Hampton.

            The Hampton Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court has established a program to combat truancy, and the Sheriff’s Office has been tasked with serving notice of meetings with parents and guardians before filing criminal truancy charges, according to the opinion.

            The local school board, division superintendent or the administration of a school would have to request the Sheriff’s assistance, Cuccinelli wrote.

“The duty to enforce the criminal law is not confined to arrests and court process,” Cuccinelli wrote. “Law enforcement in the case of a juvenile suspected of a criminal violation may include working with the juvenile's parents to remedy the violation or suspected violation.”

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