From the answers here, the schulchan aruch h"m 349.3 and the aruch hashulchan 349.1:
it seems that if a child (below 12/13 years old) damages you no one is responsible (but is he stole and the thing still exists or it was exchanged for something that still exist (by the child) we can take it from him).

What can someone do to protect his property (or children) from children?
For example, can he inflict corporal punishment on them (to scare them from doing it again)?
Can he only protect his property when the child is on his property or while the child is doing the damage(Shulchan Aruch Harav Nizkei Haguf 3)?

  • related matzav.com/rav-shlomo-zalman-auerbach-the-child-should-hit-back
    – hazoriz
    Commented Jan 9, 2018 at 16:09
  • 1
    You could also ask about a שוטה - though the דין might be different. See also the סוגיא of עביד איניש דינא לנפשיה which perhaps might somehow be combined with the law of רודף and that of:כיון דמזיד הוא תקלה נמי איכא ורחמנא הוא דחס עילויה (סנהדרין נה:) עליה דידיה חס רחמנא אבהמה לא חס רחמנא
    – Loewian
    Commented Jan 9, 2018 at 16:31
  • @Loewian is it wrong to say that by definition it is impossible to discipline a שוטה? (so there is no question)
    – hazoriz
    Commented Jan 9, 2018 at 16:34
  • I would think that if parents are not providing the required amount of guidance and discipline, that would be grounds to bring the situation before the local beth din/authorities to intervene.
    – Loewian
    Commented Jan 9, 2018 at 16:38
  • @Loewian you are answering the OP: that there is nothing he can do, but only go to bais din in hopes they will help him (even though they are not obligated to). This is an answer
    – hazoriz
    Commented Jan 9, 2018 at 16:42

1 Answer 1


My answer is very practical albeit still Halakhical.
Let a Beis Din decide!

  1. Don't underestimate the power of a Bais Din. The Halokhoh gives a Bais Din an unlimited power (not only monetary but even capital) in two ways: a) Hefker Bais Din Hefker - they are allowed to expropriate anyone's money b) they are allowed to to so if they see a need to do so even if it contradicts general Halakha (שעה צריכה לכך).
  2. Don't underestimate the power of Dina deMalchuta - as we rule that it is accepted in most monetary litigations. Same way we obligate a father to support his kids to maturity, we can obligate to pay all their damages.
  3. Regarding #1, a Bais Din can estimate many aspects of a damage - was it intentional, how close was it to Peshiya, kid's background, family, intentions general atmosphere in the community or the town and many more. They can even double or triple the payment to show the importance of kids behavior to prevent it from others.
  4. Many Poskim allow turning to civil courts in such cases (regarding the power of Dina deMalchuta).
  • 1
    I agree with your general premise of Din Demalchut. However, per #4, I understand the opposite to be true in U.S. I think many poskim are against settling these cases in a secular court. Also, AFAIK, Ithe Bet Din is mainly involved in marital, divorce and conversion affairs. I know of few batei din that handle "petty theft" or "small claims".
    – DanF
    Commented Jan 9, 2018 at 20:53
  • @DanF Your "many poskim" does not contradict my "many poskim", I just say it is not outrageous to do so. The question was "what I can do", my answer was - you can turn to civil courts (if it's OK with you). Every Bais Din for Mamonoys deals exactly with this sort of claims.
    – Al Berko
    Commented Jan 10, 2018 at 14:40

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