Divorce

Divorce

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

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS+SURVIVORS AND MEGAN'S LAW....and
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)

https://www.meganslaw.ca.gov/Docs/Survivors_CA_Legal_Rights.pdf

https://www.cityofsacramento.org/Police/News-Alerts/Megans-Law

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)
https://www.womenslaw.org/about-abuse




*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.  

BE VERY VERY AWARE: MEDIATION IS A PROCESS -- 
BUT IT IS NOT NECESSARILY A SOLUTION IN MANY CASES. THERE ARE MANY DIFFICULT SITUATIONS THAT WE HAVE SEEN, WHICH SIMPLY CANNOT BE "MEDIATED" AWAY FOR A RESULT.

         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.