Disclosing accusation of "terroristic threat" in 5th grade?

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tilapiahollandaise
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Disclosing accusation of "terroristic threat" in 5th grade?

Postby tilapiahollandaise » Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:36 pm

In 5th grade I was expelled from elementary school because of a rumor made up about me. I was socially awkward and played video games a lot, so the kids accused me of making a columbine-style threat not soon after columbine just happened and the school came swooping down on us.

The school got into a lawsuit with us, and it financially devastated my parents. We eventually settled out of court.

This is also what motivated me to go to law school, and I've been told it's a good personal statement topic since it's honest and something of a story.

The specifics of this event are blurry to me, since I was 11 and don't remember actually being arrested for anything. I've had a background check done on me before, and when it happens this event never comes up. I do have two speeding tickets and plan to disclose those, but I'm not sure if this event counts.

Is this something I would disclose? If so, how would I disclose it? I'm not even sure what I'd put it down as on my form.

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Re: Disclosing accusation of "terroristic threat" in 5th grade?

Postby 071816 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:38 pm

This cannot be real.

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FryBreadPower
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Re: Disclosing accusation of "terroristic threat" in 5th grade?

Postby FryBreadPower » Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:38 pm

I'd say PS the topic; especially if it led somewhat to your desire to pursue law.


...provided this is real.

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tilapiahollandaise
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Re: Disclosing accusation of "terroristic threat" in 5th grade?

Postby tilapiahollandaise » Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:39 pm

It's absolutely real. It's one of the top 3 most traumatic events in my life. I was homeschooled for the duration of middle school because of it.

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Re: Disclosing accusation of "terroristic threat" in 5th grade?

Postby 071816 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:40 pm

What was the basis of the lawsuit?

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tilapiahollandaise
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Re: Disclosing accusation of "terroristic threat" in 5th grade?

Postby tilapiahollandaise » Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:42 pm

chimp: Just asked my mother, since I wasn't sure if it was the school suing us or the other way around. The school sued us because I had made, in their words, a "terroristic threat."

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cinephile
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Re: Disclosing accusation of "terroristic threat" in 5th grade?

Postby cinephile » Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:44 pm

If you're talking about an academic misconduct addendum or something like that, they normally only ask about post-secondary education.

I think this could make a good personal statement, it'd certainly be interesting to take a look at it if you're willing to post it.

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Opie
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Re: Disclosing accusation of "terroristic threat" in 5th grade?

Postby Opie » Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:45 pm

This COULD be real. I knew a guy in HS that had a similar situation though not as serious. Same time in history though I'm older than OP.

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Re: Disclosing accusation of "terroristic threat" in 5th grade?

Postby 071816 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:49 pm

tilapiahollandaise wrote:chimp: Just asked my mother, since I wasn't sure if it was the school suing us or the other way around. The school sued us because I had made, in their words, a "terroristic threat."


I don't see how this could result in a lawsuit unless there are some important facts that you aren't telling us. An expulsion? fine. But a lawsuit against a fifth grader for a rumored "terrorist threat"? C'mon. I'm having a hard time believing this.

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Re: Disclosing accusation of "terroristic threat" in 5th grade?

Postby 03121202698008 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:55 pm

chimp wrote:
tilapiahollandaise wrote:chimp: Just asked my mother, since I wasn't sure if it was the school suing us or the other way around. The school sued us because I had made, in their words, a "terroristic threat."


I don't see how this could result in a lawsuit unless there are some important facts that you aren't telling us. An expulsion? fine. But a lawsuit against a fifth grader for a rumored "terrorist threat"? C'mon. I'm having a hard time believing this.


Yeah. What CoA would this be exactly? And how would the school show injury?

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Re: Disclosing accusation of "terroristic threat" in 5th grade?

Postby 071816 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:56 pm

blowhard wrote:
chimp wrote:
tilapiahollandaise wrote:chimp: Just asked my mother, since I wasn't sure if it was the school suing us or the other way around. The school sued us because I had made, in their words, a "terroristic threat."


I don't see how this could result in a lawsuit unless there are some important facts that you aren't telling us. An expulsion? fine. But a lawsuit against a fifth grader for a rumored "terrorist threat"? C'mon. I'm having a hard time believing this.


Yeah. What CoA would this be exactly? And how would the school show injury?


My thoughts exactly.

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Re: Disclosing accusation of "terroristic threat" in 5th grade?

Postby MrAnon » Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:57 pm

One of the three most traumatic events of your life, but you can't recall it

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Re: Disclosing accusation of "terroristic threat" in 5th grade?

Postby Renzo » Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:57 pm

chimp wrote:
tilapiahollandaise wrote:chimp: Just asked my mother, since I wasn't sure if it was the school suing us or the other way around. The school sued us because I had made, in their words, a "terroristic threat."


I don't see how this could result in a lawsuit unless there are some important facts that you aren't telling us. An expulsion? fine. But a lawsuit against a fifth grader for a rumored "terrorist threat"? C'mon. I'm having a hard time believing this.


Yep. Unless you burned something down, or blew something up, I just don't see it.

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Re: Disclosing accusation of "terroristic threat" in 5th grade?

Postby Bronte » Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:01 pm

In terms of disclosure, the questions are usually pretty clear. Usually they either ask "have you ever been cited, arrested, charged, or convicted of a crime" or "have you ever been convicted of a crime." They usually don't ask if you've been the subject of a civil action. If you don't understand these distinctions, you should either disclose fully or speak to an attorney.

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Re: Disclosing accusation of "terroristic threat" in 5th grade?

Postby 071816 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:03 pm

Bronte wrote:In terms of disclosure, the questions are usually pretty clear. Usually they either ask "have you ever been cited, arrested, charged, or convicted of a crime" or "have you ever been convicted of a crime." They usually don't ask if you've been the subject of a civil action. If you don't understand these distinctions, you should either disclose fully or speak to an attorney.


Or google it to find out the difference. But I agree with everything else. No need to disclose civil actions (assuming this bizarre tale is real and not just some weird ass trolling).

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Re: Disclosing accusation of "terroristic threat" in 5th grade?

Postby 03121202698008 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:04 pm

Hmm, a second thought. Are you sure this wasn't in family court? Some kind of juvenile adjudication?

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Re: Disclosing accusation of "terroristic threat" in 5th grade?

Postby Bronte » Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:11 pm

chimp wrote:
Bronte wrote:In terms of disclosure, the questions are usually pretty clear. Usually they either ask "have you ever been cited, arrested, charged, or convicted of a crime" or "have you ever been convicted of a crime." They usually don't ask if you've been the subject of a civil action. If you don't understand these distinctions, you should either disclose fully or speak to an attorney.


Or google it to find out the difference. But I agree with everything else. No need to disclose civil actions (assuming this bizarre tale is real and not just some weird ass trolling).


I just tend to think people who don't already understand the difference between arrests, charges, convictions, and civil suits are going to have trouble figuring it out on their own. Also, sometimes people who do understand the distinction still don't know the details of their incident. You should be able to pay a criminal attorney a few hundred bucks to look up your criminal record, review your applications, and tell you what you need go disclose. It depends on individual circumstances, but you shouldn't rely on TLS for the answer because: (1) we're not allowed to give legal advice and (2) we've been giving terribly over conservative advice on this subject since I joined this site.

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Re: Disclosing accusation of "terroristic threat" in 5th grade?

Postby FryBreadPower » Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:11 pm

I'm not saying this isn't real, but you clearly need to speak with people who had a better perspective at the time so that you can understand the situation perfectly. Otherwise, an addendum/PS would be misguided if based on incomplete information (which it sounds like you might have).

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Re: Disclosing accusation of "terroristic threat" in 5th grade?

Postby 071816 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:13 pm

Bronte wrote:
chimp wrote:
Bronte wrote:In terms of disclosure, the questions are usually pretty clear. Usually they either ask "have you ever been cited, arrested, charged, or convicted of a crime" or "have you ever been convicted of a crime." They usually don't ask if you've been the subject of a civil action. If you don't understand these distinctions, you should either disclose fully or speak to an attorney.


Or google it to find out the difference. But I agree with everything else. No need to disclose civil actions (assuming this bizarre tale is real and not just some weird ass trolling).


I just tend to think people who don't already understand the difference between arrests, charges, convictions, and civil suits are going to have trouble figuring it out on their own. Also, sometimes people who do understand the distinction still don't know the details of their incident. You should be able to pay a criminal attorney a few hundred bucks to look up your criminal record, review your applications, and tell you what you need go disclose. It depends on individual circumstances, but you shouldn't rely on TLS for the answer because: (1) we're not allowed to give legal advice and (2) we've been giving terribly over conservative advice on this subject since I joined this site.


You've definitely got a point there. OP doesn't seem to really even know what happened.

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Re: Disclosing accusation of "terroristic threat" in 5th grade?

Postby Bronte » Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:21 pm

chimp wrote:You've definitely got a point there. OP doesn't seem to really even know what happened.


I've seen it in a lot in these posts. People know they got in trouble but they don't know if they were cited, arrested, charged, or convicted. You can figure this out on your own, but I would say, if you're that in the dark, you should either disclose (if you don't have the money to hire an attorney) or hire an attorney.

For most people, they will have been charged with something like a "minor in possession of alcohol" and the charge will have been dismissed after they stipulated to doing alcohol classes or community reparations or whatever. This is the typical case for people who got caught doing stupid shit in high school or college. In this case, usually you have to disclose on the "citation, arrest, charge, conviction" applications (like Cornell, Vanderbilt, NYU, etc.) and you might not have to on the "conviction" apps (like Michigan and some other state schools).

In OP's case... I don't even know what to say. It's an incredible story. If he were expelled from school (with no other criminal actions) and then sued by the school for whatever reason, it seems unlikely he would have to disclose on any application. But this is an extremely improbable event for the reasons stated by other posters.

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Re: Disclosing accusation of "terroristic threat" in 5th grade?

Postby 03121202698008 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:23 pm

Bronte wrote:
chimp wrote:You've definitely got a point there. OP doesn't seem to really even know what happened.


I've seen it in a lot in these posts. People know they got in trouble but they don't know if they were cited, arrested, charged, or convicted. You can figure this out on your own, but I would say, if you're that in the dark, you should either disclose (if you don't have the money to hire an attorney) or hire an attorney.

For most people, they will have been charged with something like a "minor in possession of alcohol" and the charge will have been dismissed after they stipulated to doing alcohol classes or community reparations or whatever. This is the typical case for people who got caught doing stupid shit in high school or college. In this case, usually you have to disclose on the "citation, arrest, charge, conviction" applications (like Cornell, Vanderbilt, NYU, etc.) and you might not have to on the "conviction" apps (like Michigan and some other state schools).

In OP's case... I don't even know what to say. It's an incredible story. If he were expelled from school (with no other criminal actions) and then sued by the school for whatever reason, it seems unlikely he would have to disclose on any application. But this is an extremely improbable event for the reasons stated by other posters.


The only possible "lawsuit" I can think to come out of this would be a family court adjudication. Not really a suit by the school but still...

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Re: Disclosing accusation of "terroristic threat" in 5th grade?

Postby Bronte » Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:26 pm

blowhard wrote:The only possible "lawsuit" I can think to come out of this would be a family court adjudication. Not really a suit by the school but still...


Well there could be a suit for any reason. A person can file a lawsuit without a colorable cause of action. It's just very unlikely that a school district would do so. But who knows the details of the event? Something could have given rise to a colorable cause of action. Maybe his parents said something to the local newspaper and they got sued for defamation. Maybe one of his parents came to the school and freaked out and they got sued for assault.

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Re: Disclosing accusation of "terroristic threat" in 5th grade?

Postby 03121202698008 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:32 pm

Bronte wrote:
blowhard wrote:The only possible "lawsuit" I can think to come out of this would be a family court adjudication. Not really a suit by the school but still...


Well there could be a suit for any reason. A person can file a lawsuit without a colorable cause of action. It's just very unlikely that a school district would do so. But who knows the details of the event? Something could have given rise to a colorable cause of action. Maybe his parents said something to the local newspaper and they got sued for defamation. Maybe one of his parents came to the school and freaked out and they got sued for assault.


We both know anyone can sue for anything. But getting something tossed at summary wouldn't be likely to financially devastate his parents. Nor would there be a settlement without a colorable claim unless his parents are idiots. I just don't see a school doing this.

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Re: Disclosing accusation of "terroristic threat" in 5th grade?

Postby Bronte » Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:38 pm

blowhard wrote:
Bronte wrote:
blowhard wrote:The only possible "lawsuit" I can think to come out of this would be a family court adjudication. Not really a suit by the school but still...


Well there could be a suit for any reason. A person can file a lawsuit without a colorable cause of action. It's just very unlikely that a school district would do so. But who knows the details of the event? Something could have given rise to a colorable cause of action. Maybe his parents said something to the local newspaper and they got sued for defamation. Maybe one of his parents came to the school and freaked out and they got sued for assault.


We both know anyone can sue for anything. But getting something tossed at summary wouldn't be likely to financially devastate his parents. Nor would there be a settlement without a colorable claim unless his parents are idiots. I just don't see a school doing this.


It's unlikely. He's either bullshitting or he doesn't have the whole story. I'm just saying, given the facts, I can imagine a scenario wherein the school district might have sued him, but it would involve facts he hasn't given us yet.

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Re: Disclosing accusation of "terroristic threat" in 5th grade?

Postby tilapiahollandaise » Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:58 pm

MrAnon wrote:One of the three most traumatic events of your life, but you can't recall it


I recall the event very clearly. What I don't recall were the things like what they were suing me over, which I wouldn't remember at 11 since lawyers to me were word sorcerers. According to my mom, it was over a terroristic threat.

However, I realize this answer doesn't help me much so I went through the paperwork to get as much detail as I can.

"Terroristic threat" was what I was expelled over. I was assigned to several days of alternative school, but my parents didn't want me to do this. Because of that, I was summoned to court. I've looked over the summons, and the most I can get is "delinquent conduct" and "threatening to kill said complainant". The terroristic threat I was accused of making was brought by the parents of two girls. I'm not sure if the parents themselves or the school brought the suit, but all of the paperwork is from the school which leads me to believe they brought it forward.

I also have a note from our attorney which says that the case had been "non-suited" and "dismissed". He also noted that it unless I did some action that "brought [me] to the attention of [tilapiahollandaise's] County Juvenile Authorities", I would "never hear about this again."

I'm aware that top-law-schools.com is not the best source to ask about this. My reasons for asking this here are:

1. My prelaw adviser's advice is, by default, "disclose everything", and "if you have doubts, disclose it". I have no reason to believe he would say anything differently if I asked him this. And honestly, I have no idea what I'd disclose this as. I'll ask him though, just to make sure.

2. I don't have the money to pay an attorney several hundred dollars to research this for me unfortunately.

Now that I think about it, though, there is an attorney I know who usually gives blunt answers to things like this, so I'll try asking him as well.

edit: also, about my use of "financially devastate". My parents don't make much money. Combined, they make about $30k-40k. My father's estimate for the attorneys + private investigators + everything else was "around $5000". I remember around that time of my life that they were struggling to make house payments because of how much the court case cost them. It didn't bankrupt them, if that's what you're thinking.




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