Thursday, September 26, 2019

"Supervised Visitation"... and Does It Work?

From what attorney has seen in cases involving supervised visits, some parents do quite well and others fail to even do the supervised visits?  In some cases this is a problem but in other cases we have seen judges ignore non compliance and just keep the case moving along?

In many cases, supervised visits go along with Domestic violence and TRO cases...if one party is not represented, that party usually does not fare so well (because attorney on other side will represent the opposite client, while unrepresented client will become understandably unhappy...)
Domestic violence is one of the worst type of cases to work on due to the high stakes involved, the emotional aspects, and the common failure of some judges to believe what actually happened?


 Unfortunately, those without representation often do not do that well since they are fighting against an attorney--however, if the non represented client can hire an attorney on Limited Scope basis--ONLY for one aspect of the case, it is possible that client can make headway in the issue that really requires legal help.  It would depend on how long such issue will take to resolve for most part.

If you believe you have an issue that would benefit from Limited Scope Representation, please do call and inquire; there is no charge on consultation.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

New 2019..Fed TSA Updates Marijuana-Don't Ignore Law and Lose Custody

According to the TSA.gov site, the "medical marijuana" section now states that hemp derived CDB products/medications or those approved by FDA, are legal as long as it's produced according to the regs defined by law under the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018.

 Supposedly medications which qualify can be inside checked and carry on luggage, with special instructions. The TSA says that possession of MJ and certain cannabis infused products (including SOME CBD oil products, still remain illegal under federal law. )

Purportedly the TSA officers are required to report any suspected violations of the law which would include possession of MJ and certain cannabis infused products. * https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/whatcanibring/items/medical-marijuana   It's clear as mud, maybe!!

Let's just say this: attorney has been through many airports and is usually held aside and must go through some nonsense about 40% of the time. Then after so many trips up and back to San Diego, the hold-asides became less frequent.

SO, how might this related to YOUR case, or family members? Well, obviously if no one knows what the TSA rules are, and you are the current custodial parent, and you get arrested in the TSA line and they take your kid, does that sound like something you want to happen????  And that was because you did not follow the rule, or didn't know the rule?  Very easy to see the other parent running to court to get rid of your current visitation????   This could easily happen, unfortunately.

The Transportation Security Administration has updated the “What Can I Bring” section of its online regulations to reflect news of an FDA-approved epilepsy medication containing CBD oil.

Also, supposedly TSA security officers don't search for MJ or illegal drugs, BUT if an illegal substance IS discovered during security screening, they will refer the matter to a law enforcement officer.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Why Attorneys Talk about Social Media Evidence

Talking to Clients About Social Media Posts
(from blogs.findlaw.com)
The American Bar Association has issued 12 ethical rules for lawyers, dealing with social media. These include:
  • You should tell your clients about the privacy settings on various social media platforms and how to make them as private as possible.
  • You cannot tell clients to destroy existing relevant posts, just like you can’t tell a client to destroy any other existing relevant evidence.
  • Relatedly, you must inform the client of the potential negative consequences (if they do destroy existing evidence on social media...)
  • You cannot contact or communicate with your clients through social media.
  • You cannot contact potential witnesses on social media through pretext.
Failing to follow these rules can leave you, and your clients, at risk. And if you tell your clients to “clean up” their social media without providing specific directions, in writing, “spoliation sanctions” won’t be such a fun phrase to say anymore......
This type of information above, just shows that attorneys must be diligent about social media, and preferably, should ensure that clients understand that posting on social media (which of course, include Facebook) can have some pretty bad fallout, especially if there has to be an investigation into posts that had key evidentiary value, and then were found to have been removed?    
 Most clients do not understand the required steps required in order to introduce evidence of texting , for example;  how judges want such data to be arranged, shown or displayed in court; emails have a slightly easier time; posts that are regularly taken down by the website or host can prove to be more expensive when attempting to show time frames. Most of online data these days is subject to current discovery rules and because new platforms can often change quickly, the cost to resurrect such data can possibly be both high in cost and time.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Cheating Spouses Caught due to Syncing of Devices?!! True.....

When clients keep using the "SYNC" capabilities, knowingly (or un-knowingly) whether on their phone, tablets, computers, etc.-- it is just a matter of time that will prove that having everything SYNCED to each other's devices-- IS A SUPER, SUPER BAD, BAD, BAD, IDEA????  We have seen more than several cases  in different counties, where an ex spouse somehow got the former spouse's data (text/photos/etc.) "synced" to a personal tablet or equivalent; and other cases where the "sexting" between phones was also "synced" to a personal device, and then printed out for the COURT????  Possibly by the attorney?  

Unfortunately, this type of case can become very expensive, and difficult due to the forensics, data preservation, correct tracing, and then, if needed, the forensic testimony of an expert?  It would depend on facts of the case, as some judges will not admit evidence unless every single iota of law has been qualified, and in data issues, this can be burdensome due to new discovery rules on data/transmission of data. Further, the time it would take will increase, thus expenses are increased to the client.

In  these types of cases, one  spouse or former parter either found out about the other partner's  new  interest, or was able to obtain the personal text between the new interest and former spouse.  This is exactly what you do NOT want to happen?  Whether or not the data was of personal or sexual or other personal data or photos--this is NOT what we want to see in court cases involving divorce? and  purposely PUBLISHING this personal data might be grounds for both a civil or personal cause of action under the law?  Depending on the severity, it is possible this would amount to sancionable conduct? 

Current case law indicates that this is not something you want to get into trouble for??? We know, as we have seen more than several of these things keep happening!!!  In fact, such facts were the basic ground for invasion of privacy in a domestic violence case? [The only reason we dropped the DV was because the client agreed to do it; otherwise, it was a perfectly valid DV case based upon strong facts.] 

If in fact,  you believe that  you are a victim of such conduct, whether in a family law case, or even just in a personal relationship, consider contacting attorney. Legally, we don't like to see these actions happen, but they are becoming more and more apparent. Such illegal actions can not only ruin one's reputation, it can cause job loss, intimidation, harsh reaction that would never have arisen, creating intimidation and loss of privacy, lost work hours, and much more, including personal injury.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Dissomaster- Determine Your Support or use DCSS Calculator Online

Image result for photos paying child support


This program  is not free to use, you have to pay a fee.....   Attorney does use this service  to have support calculated and finds that it is just as accurate as the Dissomaster done in the Courtroom.

  We have found it to be as reliable as the court calculates it, so therefore, it's worth it to have it done, because we feel it saves time and money. 

OR-- You can go online to the CA DCSS calculator: https://childsupport.ca.gov/calculate-child-support/ 

 [This is free to use and will generally be in the ballpark if you know the data needed and IF you actually calculate it correctly.................] 

.....AND-- here is the PDF with instructions just in case you want to read it and use it:  https://childsupport.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/252/Misc./Calculator-User-Guide-1.pdf

The Dissomaster program itself,  is an expensive program that many attorneys pay for yearly. Attorney only works part time and has no need to spend funds for the Dissomaster program on a weekly or daily basis, so even if you are doing your own case, this service (the fee based calculator) can still help you and normally they allow you to have X number of revisions within a certain time frame.

There is only so much one can do when it comes to calculating support. A self employed parent may end up paying less support due to the way the taxes are calculated. However, one should consult a tax professional ahead of time to figure out if your own business can help you save on taxes or support!]  If in fact, you have a former spouse that is hiding income, you will have your work cut out for you. That is never an easy job.

Some cases cannot be won no matter what, whereas other cases can be, but they will take time. Still other cases involve so much past garbage, that the garbage has to be reduced to get a good result.
Having done this type of work for so long, attorney understands what people want. And most of them want to win the case, while others just want some changes.

Knowing the Dissomaster down to a science is not actually required, if you can pay someone to do it correctly? Just sayin'!!!

Drugs-- Hard Drugs, Alcohol, Abuse, Violence + More; Is it Enough to LOSE Your Kids?

WELL................maybe it is and maybe it isn't? Or are drugs even necessary?
And why would we say that? Many cases that have nothing to do with illegal, criminal, or bad conduct go through courts every day. And many cases don't involve kids, protective services, counselors, supervisors, foster parents, or anything related to children. But many cases in fact, do involve these elements or people.

In part, because it  might be determined by who you are, and who the other parent is; and it might be that the other parent is actually not such a great parent, but you are better at parenting; yet, somehow, your kids end up in foster care, in CPS court, or something else where you are separated from them; that perhaps you even have an attorney but can't win no matter what is done; or maybe the other parent has NO attorney, but wins in front of judge despite not following the law, the rules, or even the orders?  http://sacramentocountyfamilycourtnews.blogspot.com/p/temporary-judges.html

If you have such a case,  maybe  this scenario isn't so uncommon locally. It may not be that way in different counties, but we are talking about this county.
We only know this because even if it's not our case, my case, or even your case, it happens. 
So what does that mean as far as what you are trying to do? Good question. You might start looking at the Sacramento courts in Family law, where trouble has been in place for many years; a group started involving a journalist and others, where they got together to start documenting what was happening in family law cases. It appears that due to the overwhelming number of pro se litigants representing themselves (over 75% of cases), the people following the issues seemingly decided to tell the rest of the world what was happening online. http://sacramentocountyfamilycourtnews.blogspot.com/p/temporary-judges.html

This apparently led to documentaries and people who know others (like reporters, journalists, group leaders, and other affected people who found the law and legal system was not working correctly) and they started to keep track of what they believed to be wrongdoing. Mind you, this is not criminal law, but family law courts in Sacramento.

If you are having issues with your case, perhaps you can ask your friends and families to review the same link which is above several times........maybe you will (or won't) find similarities? Maybe you may have to think outside the box for answers. We don't have a solution, but if there is an issue and enough people keep seeing it over, and over, and over, maybe..........???

Tuesday, September 3, 2019


Attorney herein has seen PLENTY of bad, bad cases, BUT some are far worse than others.................

Some of the worse cases include:

Clients never making it clear to Judge, the actual facts?

Clients ignoring the facts, and focusing on things that are of no value?

Clients ignoring good advice, and instead, listening to friends who know nothing?

Clients who post photos of themselves drunk?

Clients who put their dirty laundry out there on "FACEBOOK" ?? (Really, really DUMB!!...,.)

Clients who lie, cheat, steal and make up crap to others to ignore the truth???

Clients who refuse to admit they have mental issues, and pretend they are always right???
Clients who have domestic violence (by spouse or partner) but ignore it,
and think it will GO AWAY????

Clients who pretend they know what is goin on, but in fact are burying their heads in
the sand???

Clients that know the other parent is abusive---- but claim they are "OKAY"

Clients who have had domestic violence cases, but want to go back to the guy or gal??

Let's face it.IF ANY OF THE ABOVE APPLY TO Y-O-U,.........you need help.

You cannot get help unless you try and ask for it...and with domestic violence, I recommend going to Catalyst first......

Monday, September 2, 2019

Prepare for MANY PGE Power Shut-OFFS !!!

If you haven't lived with 'no' power before, let me tell you---I have done it in the past [YES during the winter!!!]  for almost 5 straight months, so I know what it is like!!

I therefore, feel qualified to at least tell y'all what can be expected, and I do not mean turning on a generator all the time. Oh sure, we had one, and even had a special box put in just for the generator to run the well.  However,  even if you don't have a well, you will at least need a few things to be organized, as I predict PGE will routinely shut off the power this year and next, any time they want to do so.....

So-- what are the basics of living with no power?

First--- if you have a regular job and are not dependent on lighting everything,  or well water, then that's less work.

But if you only need "lighting" and you have a source that can (a) either charge power or (b) can charge power from your car, then you can get either an inverter for the car, or something more expensive that will store power enough for small lighting. For example, I just bought several lamps or lanterns that can be charged via USB...it may take up- to 4 hours, but you will likely have 4hr of lighting, depending on the lumens used........... OR, you can just buy a lantern that uses fuel (like for camping...........)

 You can also buy various lights and lanterns that work with batteries,  of course.   I also recommend getting a camping stove which uses propane as they are widely available. In fact, if the weather isn't bad, you can sleep outside if you have a tent, pop up canopy or whatever. You could also actually live inside a Rubbermaid shed outside, just to see if you could do it? (True test of someone who can live outside but not necessarily in tent??!! LOL)

If you want to have your own coffee early in the morning, you can heat in on the stove mentioned, or be forced to buy drive through coffee....I will just drink the coffee without heating it. Heating is not required for me!!!  and I don't really patronize Starbucks.  Just Sayin'.........

IF the power is out long enough, and you need to use a computer for any length of time, you may need to get a power supply device which has stored power via batteries (for lack of better description)....these can run $500-$5k so you will need to decide what is right for you.  Additionally, I recommend the inverter for your car, just in case, so you can charge smaller things.  Of course, you can always go to Starbucks and use WIFI.

Or you can really prepare and look at this rack mount:

I was forced to sue PGE when they cut the power off illegally, this is how I know exactly what they will do, even when a bill is disputed and illegal.
 Especially in rural areas, PGE has no qualms about simply cutting your power even if they never sent you a bill? I know, because I sued PGE for it.

Most people have never lived without electricity for 4-5 months. I must admit-- I have done it. I only used the computer once a week. Did most things once a week. Did buy an actual generator which PGE had to pay for (since forced to sue PGE..) SO-- let's just say I am more than qualified to say what it is like to use a generator once a week.

If you are not a rural type person, and you are spoiled and a yuppy type, you probably won't like living without power at all.  You will probably be spending scads of money on gasoline, or you have already invested  in an automatic generator for your house.  If I was working 8hr per day in some job I might have had to buy that. But I am not working that much and would not buy it because I would not need it to survive.

IF you have scads of money and tons of food in freezers---you better get a generator that will be on constantly, or stop buying so much expensive food. Most of the food will be lost if the power is out for 3 days.  My prediction is that PGE intends to shut off all power whenever it believes it can do so.

And I do not expect to see PGE stop  doing it at all.  NOT in foreseeable future.


JUST WAIT......................YOU HAVEN'T SEEN ANYTHING YET..................

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Why Pay to Settle When You can Win?


In the above post from another blog site done in the past, I clearly explain how some cases get "settled" due to family pressure and a very unethical/mean spouse who simply took advantage of the other spouse. I personally will never, ever represent a client into doing that which was done in the specific case detailed, because it is inherently wrong, unfair, and not ethical in my opinion. I had the client fire me because I would not engage in a division which was in my opinion, basically illegal.

If you read the link, you will understand there is a HUGE, HUGE-- difference in the way attorneys handle their clients. I do not believe it is ethical to allow a client to engage in what was done (but the next attorney  was gung ho to settle the case with the poor client as the definitive loser overall financially? That won't happen on my watch.)

Any spouse making $27k/year while other spouse is at $80k a year, should not be bailing out of the marriage and taking nothing, especially when the $80k/year spouse had over $100k of debt accrued without the spouse even knowing about it? That forced the family into bankruptcy.  Attorney herein will definitely litigate on most issues and maybe even settle cases, BUT will not allow a client such as in this case, to lose almost everything, because it is inherently wrong. It's true, attorneys are allowed to let clients hang themselves if they choose to do so financially--but when this type of situation happens, attorney will not do anything of the sort. I will choose to be fired because I do not believe it is a good practice to allow clients on their own accord, while under huge pressure, to cave in and then regret it later.  And I am certain this client will regret it later.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Family Code 3044 and Domestic Violence, Problems that Arise

NOT understanding FC 3044, or having your judge ignore FC 3044 is going to be problematic.
Having a Criminal Protective Order and having judge ignore it is a problem.

Having a Criminal Protective Order  (CPO)  and it is never mentioned during a custody hearing or order is in fact, a problem.  The law was specifically passed-- such that if one party does HAVE a criminal protective order against him/or her--that FACT must be written in the custody order by the judge--so in most cases, on an RFO to change custody, there will be an order and FOAH (findings/order after hearing) that is issued.
             The order should always state the CPO is currently in effect as to party X. Most judges won't give a parent with the CPO custody---but we have definitely seen it done, and put it on the record. Beware: it is definitely possible that judge(s) give custody to parents who are under CPOs...although this would seem improbable, it does happen, and has happened, because we have seen the cases. Or other examples include CPS, which will place kids with people who are known drug people, past drug convictions, even on probation for drugs...

Especially if it is not mentioned during the Request for Order to change something, like visitation and custody,  and the person with the Criminal Protective Order against him or her-- gets custody?  That is usually wrong, unless there is some huge problem elsewhere. Like maybe the other person is a heroin addict?  Just sayin'..........

Criminal Protective Orders are not just handed out. Not usually. Some domestic violence orders are issued temporarily out of safety concerns, but essentially judges were finding they were being misused to gain custody improperly in theory, and they started denying them more and more.

A genuine Domestic Violence TRO should be based on factual data that can support harm to children or the parent filing it; it should be truthful and thus factually based, it should be clear and not ambiguous, it should have data but not 995 text messages attached; it should preferably be based upon evidence that one can prove and testify to; it should not contain false allegations; if in fact it has to use sexual data to prove wrongful conduct, such data should be mentioned without attaching, but should be described only to point to prove that such data/or conduct involved was actually revealed inappropriately or illegally; (there is case law on this, which is why I am stating this..) and if stalking or surveillance which is illegal is involved, it should have been reported somewhere, somehow, with some evidence that it was in fact documented; harassment or stalking by continued unwanted action, or having your mail stolen, or your car followed, or a GPS device was hidden under your car--these are basically improper actions and you need to save the evidence, and have witnesses, and hopefully photos that can be verified.

     Calling 911 if in FACT you can prove that such conduct which gave rise to the call is bona fide.  Calling 911 without such evidence will not help you very much, but if in fact there is an emergency, the 911 call is automatically recorded regardless.

     For example, our client called 911 from her phone while trying to escape the ex trying to chase her down in her car, AND client called attorney.  Attorney immediately called 911 and dispatch stated she was on phone with client.

This resulted in client going directly to police and guess what? The culprit was in jail on 87-93K bail AND he was allowed to get out of jail in a few days and no bail hearing?

The fact is, the culprit has been an informant in the past (whether acknowledged or NOT)--  and the DA let him get out. This occurs when certain criminals apparently either become snitches or help certain sides to carry out activities...how else does federal law allow informants you might ask?
     That is why we recommend the above data.  To any and all people who have been or were or are being stalked or otherwise followed.

Family Code 3044 is based upon a presumption that a perpetrator of Domestic violence is not likely to be the custodial parent for obvious reasons.  We suggest you look up the code, read it, and then figure out if you,  in fact, are in this boat; if so, get help ASAP.  There is no substitute for legal help in this area, as you will be losing your case  if you do it improperly.

We say this because we have seen judges in the past, award custody to the informant.  They may claim such parent is not an informant, but let's be realistic here--when a person sells drugs, and then snitches people off, that is an informant, whether recognized or NOT.  Therefore such informant is dangerous --period.  Doesn't matter if he/she was working with government or not.  The informant is dangerous, therefore it puts the kids at risk.  It is that simple. Drug users, alcoholism, mental instability that involves anger control and aggression coupled with former DV cases are usually both difficult and expensive to fix. It can take more than a year to change legal and physical custody. If you keep waiting, it will just likely get more expensive to fix.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Down to Earth..or, Talked Down to???...Average attorney or Better?..............

The one thing that many clients do not really like, is when attorneys talk down to clients...that kind of means, the attorney will be acting like a know it all, and let's face it, some attorneys ARE know it alls, right?  But do clients really enjoy that attitude?  Hmmmm....well...........maybe not so much in reality?  We aren't dealing with quantum physics or the IRS tax code in bankruptcy (unless you are dealing with that, then excuse me!)  For the majority of cases, we are not representing rock stars or the actresses/actors of Hollywood.  Trust me, those cases are in the National Enquirer.

And that is why sites like the Huffington Post are popular--they just spell out the laws in plain English so everyone pretty much can understand it?  What's wrong with that? In reality, there is nothing wrong with it at all.  Some of the best attorneys can simplify almost any of the statutory law so that nearly all clients will understand what they are working with?  Sometimes having a teaching background is helpful because most teachers will have a good deal of patience and will work hard to ensure clients understand the issues.  NOT understanding the issues is not a good position for the client.  Clients are entitled to be able to know and understand issues, especially if they are directly going to be affected adversely.

One of the worst things that an attorney can do is to not make the issues understandable--the client should know what he/she may be facing, even if the news is not so great. We all know that family law issues can be not-so-great!!! Seriously--some of the most difficult cases are the custody cases that seem to be endless-- right?  You really haven't lived until you have to tell your client that his or her kids are being taken from him or her.  It is not only devastating, it's also very hard on the kids to say the least.  Sometimes at the end of the day, you may just want to cry.  Seriously.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

..So...What About that Trial???

For some Reason, this post is very popular?
In family law, most cases will not require a trial. In some cases, certain issues may require a trial due to the inability to settle the issue.

The big questions usually are, will the trial actually gain you anything, and if so, for how long and would it be worth it if you don't win?  Depending on the circumstances of the case/issues, and how difficult the opposing party/or the attorney defending, will make an obvious difference.

There are calculated risks in any trial, even if you know you will win. If there is a bankruptcy involved, you should make sure to consult an attorney that knows bankruptcy ahead of time, not the week before the trial? (Yes, attorney herein is familiar with bankruptcy law..)

If there is a legal issue that is definitely on your side, great. Then why are you needing the trial-- is it because of a difficult attorney?  Is it because of a difficult client that doesn't care what it costs to go to trial?  Is it because the other side wants gratification to make you pay?  None of these things are unheard of, by any stretch.  Attorney herein is never in favor of trial to make the other side pay, and attorney herein can usually tell a difficult client usually within the first 5-10 minutes.

Image result for courtroom family law

While an issue involving a legal aspect of ongoing spousal is usually a bona fide issue, some issues should likely be worked out without need for judge to tell you what to do. A move away issue is more likely to require judge's experience than other issues.

Attorney has seen counsel drag in unknown witnesses from other states that no one even knows, and the client himself or herself is not even present? Further, attorney has seen judges ignore the statutory law and just make decisions based on
almost nothing (meaning, there is no real evidence) and judge just makes the call--for example, almost no judge is going to award custody to a perpetrator of domestic violence where a criminal protective order is in place, and where that criminal protective order has been broken many times? But we have seen this happen not once, twice, or more times........when it should realistically almost never happen.

We have seen valid restraining orders get dropped due to other reasons (meaning--the domestic or TRO is and was valid, but judge decided that some other issues were more important and that to get the other issues finalized, dropping the TRO was apparently easier or faster or both--??) or we have seen attorneys appointed for minor children who do more harm than good?

We have seen judge ignore valid testimony and only focus on certain witnesses. One must remember that attorneys sometimes inherit cases that have been done by pro per clients, so sometimes the record of the case has not been done properly; key facts may have been left out or ignored; judge may have ignored key issues like protective orders and violation of such orders; the prosecuting criminal court may have allowed a criminal to go free (even with very high bail), even with overwhelming proof of crimes?  When these types of cases get to trial, it's a crap shoot.   That means you may not win no matter how good your case actually is?  If you do not believe that, then you have not seen what actually transpires in other cases, since you would not be there to witness it?    It is attorney's opinion, that just  having a trial does not necessarily mean you will get what you want or deserve.  In a  number of cases you will not prevail, even if you are sure your evidence is the winning evidence.

Having a trial is not necessarily the destination you may really need or want, since there is a lot more to consider when deciding your options. Trials are often over rated for family law, as many family law litigants are not happy with their trial results. That is fairly typical in family law, when compared to criminal or civil cases which have much more stringent rules in general.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Who Can't Afford an Attorney? Most People........

Attorney has and does work hundreds of  unpaid hours on family law cases  and animal law related cases..and has volunteered countless hours working with groups against inherently bad legislation, unconstitutional regulations, and laws that stifle free trade and sales in general.

Despite a great deal of unpaid (pro bono) hours every year,  Attorney has never been awarded any legal fees by any court herein, even if a client requests such fees. 
Because the demand for affordable legal help is high, clients can often use help with their pleadings. If appropriate, attorney will recommend that clients use paralegal services which are overseen by an attorney. [Paralegals cannot represent clients in court..]

An attorney  may specifically work  only specified parts of cases-for example,  the custody  issues, or only certain mediation report   --   via a "Limited Scope" agreement, and if your Divorce-- or-- Paternity-- is not that difficult, you can often do most of it without excessive fees (especially in cases where there are NO spousal, pension, and commingled accounts, OR separate property contributions to community assets for example...)

The Butte County  SHARP  offices have all of the forms for nearly all divorce issues; if there is a complicated issue as to certain situations, you should consult an attorney possibly at the Legal Services of Northern California, which is based upon low income scale. You can also check the law library in Oroville for help.

The majority of cases that attorney works on involve disputed custody, visitation, supervised visitation,  domestic violence, contested domestic violence, repeat offenders of domestic violence, criminal protective orders and domestic violence;  and difficult or involved financial issues (usually illegal) within a marriage. Attorney has also worked for father's rights groups, and domestic violence groups.

Attorney usually suggests that clients visit the SHARP office or at least get the forms online just to read what must be done initially.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Domestic Violence , Technology Abuse, evidence Issues

Issues in Technology Abuse against Victims

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/51dc541ce4b03ebab8c5c88c/t/54e3d1b6e4b08500fcb455a0/1424216502058/NNEDV_Glimpse+From+the+Field+-+2014.pdf  (Abusers misusing technology; and see down below, for specific data)



Registration as a sex offender under Penal Code 290 PC (known as the Sex Offender Registration Act) is, perhaps, one of the most devastating penalties you face if convicted of a California sex offense. ... Tier two requires registration as a sex offender for at least twenty (20) years.

Sex offender registration in California (SB 384 & the 3-tiered system)

*Attorney has access to experts in most technology
issues, including tracing, cell phone technology issues
and improper or illegal spying on cell phones, computers and the like. It should be noted that although attorney does file domestic violence TRO cases, attorney also defends people who are accused of DV. Some DV cases are valid but certainly not all of them...
        Attorney usually ends up representing the person being sued, but that's probably due to the fact that those who have to defend themselves from lies and misrepresentation will need a very strong defense attorney, and therefor seek out someone who is not afraid to fight for them.
In a 2015 survey of victim service providers, 97 percent of programs reported that their clients experienced harassment, monitoring, and threats by abusers through the misuse of technology.    

Technology misuse can include tracking devices to monitor where you go (such as putting an app on your phone to track where your phone is); listening in on your conversations; monitoring your activity on your cell phone, tablet or computer; using technology to impersonate someone; and sending harassing or threatening messages via text, email, etc.

Attorney C. Chan = The Fixer of Bad Cases!

Attorney has seen many, many cases that never had to get to the point that they are at--IF at least one client had changed some key methods. But it is to be expected that clients can't always fix their cases since they are wound up in the turmoil... right?

From attorney's outside view....fixing most cases is possible. It may not be fast. But it is likely doable over time. Also attorney finds that clients must sometimes modify their own actions and that of the kids as well.
Apparently attorney herein is not alone when realizing that the FIXER name is known even by other attorneys, for example.... attorney just saw this online, and it is exactly the view of attorney herein........ at https://njfamilylaw.foxrothschild.com/2018/10/articles/general-new-jersey-family-law-news-updates/when-you-cant-find-a-better-man-five-tips-to-consider-when-preparing-for-divorce/

  1. Find the right “Fixer”:  The divorce process can be beyond overwhelming for countless reasons.  When searching for a divorce attorney, consider not just looking for someone who is experienced in family law. 
  2. Consider retaining an attorney who you feel comfortable talking to.  Who you can trust.  Who you can confide in and discuss certain aspects of your life and your marriage that you may not ordinarily feel comfortable speaking about with anyone else.  Who is responsive and reliable.  
  3. Who can ultimately advocate for you in the way that you believe best serves your interests and those of your children.  Who will listen to you and be mindful of what you are looking to achieve.


There is no point to keep doing the same mistakes over 
and over and expecting a different result?

Therefore if the thing that needs changing just happens to be under your authority, then that's likely where the change needs to be made.  Judges get tried of hearing the same old stuff every day in court.  Pretty soon they are on auto pilot and send everyone to required "mediation."
  But mediation doesn't change people.  


         A judge should not be allowing a defendant who is under Criminal Protective                            Order, with prison history, heavy drug use, unauthorized hiding of kids  (after obtaining an intent to withhold for 3 months?) . ... to have custody of kids that one parent has abused...but that is what we have seen?

Change cannot take place unless someone or something makes a change--it likely won't happen by itself. So in mediation, judges just read what the mediators have written down. When and if the clients don't follow what they are to do, we see repeated issues over and over and over.  Clearly the parties MUST implement some change somewhere.

So the biggest problems are usually that all of the parties:
1.  Don't want to change their behavior, or do not know how;
2.  Don't want to jump through hoops
3.  Don't want to have to do anything that is inconvenient
4.  Don't want anyone telling them what to do.

It's pretty simple that if your other spouse or live in, is a difficult personality, takes meds for behavioral issues, or has been diagnosed with A B or C,  your case will take more work. Not every child should be raised primarily with a parent that has NO parenting skills at all.

But sometimes we have to make the best out of a bad situation. And sometimes that may mean we will be required to jump through a few hoops also.
     For most parents, this is doable. For some parents that have mental issues/or blocks, they will refuse to do whatever it is.  In those cases, the parent that won't comply will inevitably suffer in the long run. Because it isn't about you so much, as whether your behavior will or will not affect the kid or kids to a large degree.

As an example, a couple with kids  where one parent has serious issues and is not suitable as the
primary parent, will continue to battle the other parent for years in trying to keep his/her domain over the kids.

Obviously this person should not be primary custodial nor should he/she even have the kids overnight--that's when we start to have some really large damage with the kids... and to prevent that from being a vicious circle, someone has to step in.

Minor's counsel is NOT always the answer, and attorney has seen that minor's counsel is often given cases that will not change. Reason being, not all parents should be using "co-parenting".

Attorney has seen some pretty bad cases and co-parenting simply doesn't work well in really bad cases.  If you have that situation, call attorney--she may be able to restructure your case.

Examples of bad cases:
The father had apparently used inappropriate sexual conduct with minor female kids, kids taken to SCAN clinic in Sacramento, verifying abuse; father ended up with no contact, case was in the newspaper (all data changed for privacy) Father was forcing kids to watch sex videos with him...

                                   Mother was a drug user but able to outfox drug testing; father installed
hidden camera and was able to gain proof, leading to father obtaining the kids legally.

                                   Mother absconded with minor kids to another state; we hired a P.I. and locator to find location from cell phone data. Court ordered the Mother to return with child;
        in another case, Father hid minor children in Bay Area, changed their appearances. We obtained ex parte order for Father to return kids or be arrested. He returned the kids, Mother took back custody.

                                   Father believed Mother was allowed minor kids to be molested by either boyfriend or other male. Hired P.I. to assess Mother's whereabouts and meetups, determined which males were staying with Mother. Then had uninvolved trusted third party query kids and found out which person was the suspect. After this, the kids admitted it was happening. Mother lost custody.
                                   Father was told by minor children, that the Mother was beating up the older child, a female, age 10. Attorney arranged to meet the Father/new wife and both minor children at the local Mc Donald's, (we did not tell the kids that attorney herein was an attorney)...in course of conversation, the 10yr old was quite lucid and revealed in fact that the Mother was abusing her and sometimes the younger brother. The sheriff and CPS were contacted; CPS later stated that in this case, the 10yr. old child was very bright and gave specific details about the abuse. The children were both placed with the Father -- and Mother never attempted to gain visitation (not even 5 years later!)

One of the worst things that can happen to unprepared clients is to ignore the fact that if they are not married, and fail to file a paternity action in court, the other party can simply take the kids and leave the city, county or country, without the other parent knowing. Obviously this is kidnapping on a different level--but it is easier to get kids back if there is already a paternity action filed, because usually the District Attorney (which has government ability) can use their authority to expedite the search, since the paternity filing typically asks extensive background questions as to the parents.  And if the parents had told the truth on the initial documents, the police authority and FBI have more data at hand.
                                  Worst case: this was not attorney's case--BUT--a Father married to a former citizen of a European country, had two sons with the wife. The wife later absconded with both children, and although it was known what country they went to initially, it cost so much money that eventually the Father had to give up. He has never found the kids. [It might be when the kids are adults they might locate the Father on their own..]

                                   Non custody case: Mother and Father owned several houses, upon separation they lived in the separate houses; the court in Butte never got the case to trial, despite the so-called "track" program that had a rule that each party must agree to a certain date; so when parties did not agree, the case went back on the "track." Unfortunately, that system was not really how legal cases should get to trial (there are actually rules)--so the Mother did not get to trial until 7 (yes seven) years after the divorce was filed.
 On the stand at trial, attorney herein caught the Father lying about his bankruptcy petition (we had a copy of it)--and that was when the Father's attorney called time out, and offered us a deal giving the Mother a large sum of cash to end the case. It was a glorious day! 

NOTE: if you and/or spouse intend to file bankruptcy and you will be in the divorce at that time, you should seek counsel from a bankruptcy attorney. Nearly all of the bankruptcy documents are filed online and normally you will need a PACER account to view online data. Attorney has done cases in Eastern District Federal Court (Sacramento), and  is licensed in the following CA federal courts (Eastern District, Southern District, and Northern District; and the State of Colorado Federal District Court.) Attorney is able to answer most questions re filing bankruptcy (which would be in Eastern District, Sacramento.)

Friday, July 5, 2019

Document Services now available

Legal fees and costs of most cases in family law is clearly beyond the reach of  approximately 70%+ of the population in California---where legal fees are  usually fairly high.

Due to this situation, attorney will be working with  legal document assistants (often termed paralegals) in various areas,  and the work is aimed at those who simply cannot afford to hire an attorney.   Locally, we have already established a non profit corporation which specializes in helping those who cannot afford an attorney, with more affordable legal/quasi-legal assistance in common areas such as family law, domestic violence, evictions, and other areas (including animal law related cases.) https://buttestrongparalegalandpets.blogspot.com/

As can be seen, we have done more than our share of trying to help litigants that cannot afford full scope legal help!!

 ---  Attorneys  willing to do what is known as "Limited Scope" cases,  means an attorney can be hired only for as little as one type of issue [i.e.--setting spousal, handling return on mediation,etc.]

   See the CA judicial council form  here: Notice of Limited Scope    https://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/fl950.pdf

   For Family law, California   https://ceb.com/Content/Images/uploaded/jcforms/fl950.pdf

   For civil cases:  https://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/civ150.pdf

 The statutory law for legal document assistant preparers: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?lawCode=BPC&division=3.&title=&part=&chapter=5.5.&article=2.

Many individuals are unaware of the Limited Scope from that is available for attorneys to only handle a certain issue.
 Some attorneys are not going to be interested in this type of representation because they want to earn more money and not bother with something like "Limited scope."

We believe there is nothing wrong with Limited Scope cases and encourage clients to use this method if possible, as compared to having no representation at all.

Our goal is to mainstream Limited Scope cases to help clients and to save court time for the judges. Anything done by attorney is usually faster than without attorney, since at least the judge will understand what is being done fairly quickly. The last thing anyone wants is to have Judge ged mad at them, right?

Contact us today if you or someone you know needs this type of help. We are down to earn, realistic people that do not think we are above other people, or  that only rich people should be represented?

**Attorney has social work degree with much volunteer experience, in  both Sacramento and San Diego; attorney also has experience in bankruptcy law, animal law [over 13+years], years of experience with animal rescue, and with  federal case law, usually based on constitutional issues, improper search and seizure, PC 597 and PC 597.1 [partially illegal as applied]and criminal law; anti-slapp litigation and civil/criminal law involved.
In Denver Federal District Court, attorney represented the dog owners' interests against  breed law restrictions,in 2007,which employed breed restrictions without considering the canine's actual behavior. we did not win on that issue and no other attorney has managed to topple that local law as of today's date. They keep trying, but the federal court is using rational basis and so "any" basis is considered.
Attorney also has a 1993 CA State Personnel Board Precedent sexual harassment case which is still used today in the CA SPB published case files; attorney also prevailed in animal law post seizure hearing in Hollywood, CA several years ago, one of the few post seizure hearings ever won in that area. Attorney was also hired to represent owner of some of the Friskies cats [from tv commercials] after finding that the trainer was treating young kittens inhumanely. 

Attorney  guarantees the best rates because many of our cases are poverty law based, therefore, we aim to try and help those who do not have the highest incomes.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Mediation-- Don't Wreck Your Chances

Most clients who have never been to mediation are not prepared and just argue over everything.

That is exactly what NOT to do.  Attorney has many years of time in on how to approach mediation, and can help guide clients before mediation so they do not  make catastrophic errors. Overly emotional parents tend to fare worse than logical parents as a general rule. Parents that are dead set on certain conditions, times and places, and not being flexible, often do not help. Each case is judged on the merits and pitfalls of everything involved (assuming we know what is really involved...)

It is true that some parents come to the table with facts that are not exactly great, but some parents  may lie in order to get what they feel is fair. Mediators have heard many stories over the years and hopefully the mediator you get won't be one that  rushes to judgment.

If you have never been to mediation or have already lost in mediation, and wish to change your status or change the parenting, call attorney today for consultation. 530.359.8810

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Parents, Marijuana Use and Custody in California

Could you lose custody of your children due to smoking marijuana?

[This post has over 1,851 views so apparently parents are concerned!]

Most county employed mediators have standard provisions that parents should adhere from smoking in presence of children, or sometimes even when the kids are under the control of that specific parent. Further, even if smoking is allowed in certain areas, many mediators don't want kids near second hand smoke, period. EVEN if it's inside the house in another room...EVEN if it's anywhere near where the kids might be, play, or access? Like outside?  **Note: in one mediation case, a mediator told a client that because MJ smoking is legal, to drop the issue...quite frankly, the actual smoking or use of the drug (even where legal) is not necessarily proper inside, where kids are, or in cars and other certain places? or where kids have any type of respiratory issue/other ailments? In any event, despite the mediator, it is NOT a good idea for MJ to be used around kids, period. Don't care if it's legal.

The "smoking" will generally cover most forms of tobacco and possibly edibles.... (cigar, cigarette, vape, medical MJ, etc...)  And many times, smoking by third parties in the home may not be a good idea due to secondhand smoke. VAPING is almost worst because it is becoming well known, that the nicotine involved, is fused with scents (i.e. cherry,etc) that the teens are running to buy/try?   https://vaping360.com/how-old-to-vape/

In Butte County, a jury has previously returned a guilty verdict over an issue of whether medical marijuana is a defense (to child endangerment charges)--- the long contested case of  Daisy Bram, where allegedly, the lesser count of misdemeanor child endangerment was found (as opposed to child endangerment likely to cause great bodily harm)... Judge Glusman ruled that no valid evidence was presented as to the certified use of medicinal marijuana and thus it was not available as a defense. Ms. Bram was not represented by counsel, which obviously hindered her defense.


Child Endangerment in California...

Under Penal Code section 273a  there is a possibility of criminal prosecution whenever a child is under your care or custody and you:
  • Willfully permit the child to suffer;
  • Inflict unjustifiable physical or mental pain upon any child; or
  • Willfully endanger the health of a child.
If the prosecuting agency in your county believes that you are “endangering the health of your child” by smoking marijuana or growing it in a home where your children reside, you may face criminal charges....

These charges may be filed as a misdemeanor or as a felony. Of course, if the court order stated that any type of smoking or use of same is not allowed while child is under your care, a violation might be a contempt charge potentially, if the other spouse or another was to bring that claim forward?
If convicted of felony child endangerment, you could be sentenced to up to six years in prison and ordered to pay a maximum $10,000 fine. A misdemeanor conviction is punishable by up to one year in county jail, up to a $1,000 fine, or both.

Why is Alcohol Allowed But Not MJ?

Generally, no courts like the idea of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, edibles, cigarettes, cigars, etc. when it comes to kids. Although there are tons of rules regarding drunk driving, there are not tons of rules for intoxication at home due to getting high on drugs, including legal marijuana and the like. While the hearsay out there is that MJ will be used, consumed and grown by large business, including beer companies, and that the feds will be changing those laws, it is a possibility, but we wouldn't bet your life on it happening super soon. The banks and other super duty corporations always want to benefit themselves first. BUT if they manage to do it, we can be assured that they will have already thought of safer ways to tone down common marijuana so that it would be as common as alcohol, and treated closer to the way alcohol is regulated.

OTOH, the presence of nicotine in the vaping formulas which are targeting teens (and apparently succeeding)-- is something that relies on curiosity and being popular, because "everyone" is trying it. However one is supposed to be 21 to be "vaping"....well, we are sure that plenty of people are ignoring that there law?? LOL
Parents that are smoking or vaping, your kids are watching you.

Note:  //The courts generally do not favor the smoking of MJ, even if it is medically prescribed. People with chronic anxiety often resort to marijuana use, or prescription meds. The meds only do so much, the overly anxious client will still be overly anxious, but somewhat better than with no meds at all.//
NOTE: JUST BECAUSE MARIJUANA HAS BEEN LEGALIZED TO SOME EXTENT, DOES NOT MEAN THAT OTHER MEANS OF USING MJ ARE LEGAL; FOR EXAMPLE, "SHATTER" IS NOT LEGAL? Using a huge commercial sized bong to ingest shatter is not legal? and certainly doing it with minor children in home is simply insane?  It becomes expensive to prove that one parent is an addict, especially on drugs which can be legal. Obviously that is due to fact that the parent who formerly witnessed such actions, is not living in home where it is presently being done?

https://www.childrenscolorado.org/conditions-and-advice/marijuana-what-parents-need-to-know/safety/  [Extremely informative...]  *Includes Signs of Accidental Exposure to Edibles

https://buttecountyfamilylawlawyer.blogspot.com/  Another site by attorney C. Chan