Skip to main content
Please enter a legal issue and/or a location
Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Find a Lawyer

More Options

Toddler Calls 911 15 Times in 1 Month; Mom, Boyfriend Charged

By Aditi Mukherji, JD on February 04, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A New York woman and her boyfriend are facing criminal charges after the woman's 2-year-old daughter dialed 911 a whopping 15 times in one month.

The 23-year-old mother and her 33-year-old boyfriend reportedly tried to keep their cell phones away from the little girl, but she kept managing to find the phones to dial 911, The Associated Press reports.

The lesson for parents: Your kid's little fingers can cause big legal problems.

Obstructing Governmental Administration

After dispatchers reported that a child had called 911 some 14 times in January, a police officer spoke to the toddler's mom and live-in boyfriend at their home in Lowville, New York. That was last Wednesday.

But just hours later, the toddler made yet another call to 911 -- her 15th in January alone. The next day, the couple was charged with obstructing governmental administration, reports the AP.

A person can be found guilty of obstructing governmental administration when he or she prevents (or attempts to prevent) a public servant from performing an official function. This can include interfering with state telephones and emergency services.

In this case, it's illegal to repeatedly call 911 without an actual, concrete reason to do so because the string of false alarms cause dispatchers to shift resources from real emergencies. Because the toddler was too young to realize what she was doing, the misdemeanor instead fell on the shoulders of her guardians for allegedly failing to properly supervise and control her.

It seems the criminal charge has done the trick. The girl somehow managed to fit in three more 911 calls on Friday (making it 18 calls to 911 in one month), but hasn't made a call since then.

Her mom probably has an idea about what to get for her during the next holiday season.

Adults Also Call 911 Too Much

Some busybody vigilantes people have a strong affinity for keeping the police in the know of neighborhood activity. Remember how George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch captain acquitted in the shooting death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin, called local police 46 times in the span of one year?

But alas, police can do without your play-by-play commentary when there's no real emergency. Even if you think you're doing your civic duty by keeping the cops on speed dial, hitting up 911 too much can actually get you arrested.

From 6-year-olds getting behind the wheel to get Chinese takeout to babies increasingly knowing how to use computers and smartphones, parents may want to keep a closer eye than ever on their tech-savvy kids. It doesn't seem like they could grow up any faster.

Follow FindLaw for Consumers on Facebook and Twitter (@FindLawConsumer).

Related Resources:

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

Or contact an attorney near you:
Copied to clipboard