Attorney C. Chan, Esq. Affordable Family Law,Strategy-Driven, 4.7/5 Ratings! Free Consultation, Butte county Family Law Attorney C. Chan 530.359-8810

Thursday, July 30, 2020

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. It doesn't necessarily help your case.

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?

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?  [Extremely informative...]  *Includes Signs of Accidental Exposure to Edibles  Another site by attorney C. Chan

What Type of Attorney do You Really Need? Do You Want to Win? You Don't Care ... Affordable Family Law Cases, Is it Possible? Our NEW Maverick Paralegal ...

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

When You Have Beaten Up Your Kid+Pretend It's Not Your Fault?

IF one who has illegally beaten up their own child,  
and has multiple criminal charges pending,
including criminal protective orders,
 expects a court to believe because that one parent 
(who beat up the kid)--
 was formerly involved with the education program 
of the beaten up child...

.....that this means she or he should
 have either joint legal or shared legal custody--

let's just look at that premise for what it's worth?

Anyone who understands legal custody at all,  must know what it means.

And even if one knew what it actually meant, it surely does not mean --- that one who knowingly and willingly beats up a special needs child, --- where that child has a special needs education program, and who regularly is in counseling under either an IEP program or similar--  is somehow --- "entitled" to have legal or even joint legal custody of the child that she or he beat or beats up? 

Why is this even a question?  

This shows sheer stupidity insofar as common sense is concerned.

Same goes for most any mental abuse! Narcissistic Mother, Narcissistic Abuse, Child Abuse Quotes, Trauma Quotes, Verbal Abuse Quotes, Emotional Abuse Quotes, Adoption Quotes, Abusive Parents, Abusive Father

Common sense indicates that if any parent or custodial guardian 
or even a child without special needs----





Health and Welfare,  OR OTHERWISE.

This is both absurd and nonsensical at its lowest level!

In fact, IF it is shown that the child was beaten by one parent, and especially if that one parent is criminally charged with a crime or crimes, that parent is not entitled to legal custody or shared legal custody at all.

One cannot even imagine such an insane belief, especially as to how such nonsense would somehow benefit a child under the circumstances?   If such a parent provided financial provisions for the same, could we use THAT as a reason to allow more harm?  Hardly.  so WHY would fact that one parent who beats up his or her own child, be allowed to make decisions for that child's health or welfare or even education  after he or she has beaten up the kid????  Absurd!!!

IF a criminal protective order is in place (there may or may not be one)--- this is indicative that NO legal custody should be granted.  One doesn't need to be a brain surgeon to understand this.

     One may argue being a devil's advocate--- and claim that the parent who beats up a special needs child is entitled to participate in education choices? OMG?? NO, NO, NO !!!

 But in reality, if that was the case, then people who rape or attempt bodily injury to minor children, incapacitated children, even children without special needs, is somehow entitled to still participate in that child's education??   

Only an idiot would advance that insane theory!!  One must be so seriously off base to even begin to believe that anyone with such an opinion is all there.

But because there are some parents that ARE that far off base---that's pretty much why such parents
 would harm their own kids .....

--by beating them up in the first place?! 

 Most studies have already proven that child molesters, child beaters, murderers, etc.--- all have childhood trauma in their past or brain dysfunction--- or both??

All or nearly all-- it's almost inescapable. 
PTSD, molestation, rape, beatings, left alone most of the time, or inherited psychological problems that affect the brain.....far too many maladies to list. 

The majority of prisoners in prisons indicate that up to almost 70%+ may be affected..........


By the numbers: Mental illness behind bars | PBS NewsHour

May 15, 2014 - Human brain, computer illustration. ... Psychological disorders, including depression, bipolar disorder and trauma-related ... In state prisons, 73 percent of women and 55 of men have at least one ... For many of those inmates, their path to incarceration started in childhoods marked by trauma and poverty.

 It may be a hard pill to swallow,  to own the fact that one is a child beater or a child molester--but there are many of them, and unfortunately, many of such people are so far off base, they actually believe they are doing no harm to kids?

 The harm alone already done is certainly wrong, and it would be a travesty of justice to allow an offending parent, especially where charged with more than several crimes against the child, to be given either access or the right to determine what is in the child's best interests--- because obviously, one does not get charged with criminal actions in most cases, if there is not evidence to support such criminal actions in first place?!!

ADHD (just as an example) ---  is classified as a specific disability under federal civil rights law, and because failure to provide needed services to affected students could result in emotional,educational or social harm, it makes sense that a parent who has BEATEN up such a child should NOT be involved with that child's health, education or welfare, especially if criminal charges are pending or eventually proven against that parent, or where there is a criminal protective order in place against that parent?  This is not rocket science.  

Monday, July 27, 2020

Winning in Unusual Way! from 2010, 2015, 2019, 2020

Winning in Unusual Ways! from 2010, 2015, 2019 etc.

For whatever it's worth, attorney has encountered quite a number of cases where we were able to prevail despite the odds against us; this includes family law, criminal law, bankruptcy cases and civil cases. Perhaps in part due to attorney having a high interest in very challenging cases?

While most attorneys tend to pride themselves on knowing the law, our job is to either know it or look it up correctly, as laws change all the time. Therefore, spotting issues will require knowing the law but that's just the beginning. If the law is on your side, it shouldn't be that difficult right?
It's the cases where maybe the law isn't exactly on your side, or could be, or there are circumstances and other facts or excuses which can create a different outcome? How does attorney know this? Because it's been seen plenty of times! (Listed here are just several examples but we have more than this..)

In another instance of trial (family law), after cross examining the other party, the opposing counsel suddenly called a recess.

       After 7 years of never being able to get a dime out of the ex, who had already filed bankruptcy, my client, having previously used 3 different lawyers, [w/o a good result],  ended up contacting attorney herein --- for trial.
      The opposing attorney stopped the trial after attorney herein--- spotten a bankruptcy fraud during the trial, based upon the husband's testimony;  and husband's attorney offered a combo to wife,  of about $23,000 combined cash/property $100,000, and attorney fees of $6,000. This likely meant that if they had NOT stopped the trial, my client would had gotten spousal, but we would have had to chase him forever across the USA to get it. Client elected to take the offer. Because attorney herein cornered the ex spouse on the stand for what appeared to be potential bankruptcy fraud, the rest is history......

       In another instance, a civil case trial by a former wife against former husband and girlfriend, the husband  had already been convicted in a widely publicized case of homicide in Sacramento (and was on appeal, he lost); the case then went to jury on issue on civil liability as to both husband and girlfriend.
      ...Keeping in mind husband was already convicted of first degree murder, the jury decided that husband was only 60% at fault in the civil case. I represented the husband who was already in prison, (and had not represented him during the criminal trial in Sacramento, where he used a public defender...)

      Normally the civil case has a lower burden of proof, so finding the husband only 60% and not 100% evidently meant, jury wanted to punish the girlfriend because they took 40% and assigned it-- NOT-- to the husband. This verdict was reported in Verdict Search, a national reporting source for large verdicts nationwide. Counsel representing the girlfriend was from insurance defense firm.

Currently, the former wife has not been able to collect much on the verdict [of millions] after paying fees/costs and it is anticipated she will not be able to collect in the future. Very interesting case, which also involved animals (pet dogs) owned by the husband/son. Son was stabbed when father went to check on condition of dogs; father claims son ran into the knife by lunging forward.

     Family law and motion--Mediation Report....  Typically, a parent that has had a Domestic Violence TRO filed against her/or her, will not get custody of a child. Client had the DV lowered to just a no negative conduct order, so there was no DV against him. The mediation report was issued about five months after there was no DV, and amazingly, thanks to the parent (my client) keeping super good notes and data, coupled with the bad evidence of the other parent, my client obtained full physical and legal custody!!! He was also allowed to retake possession of the house.  It was the most amazing report in favor of the client. The person benefiting from this is obviously the child!!!

     In a very unusual scenario, attorney was substituted into a case with a client who did not reside locally;  a hearing on an issue Request for Order (presumed to be law and motion).... was set for a date only several days away, at which time attorney believed the hearing could be continued. It seems the hearing was in fact --- a trial (according to Judge) -- and the client was not present and Judge did not want to continue the case.  Attorney went forward on the issue, with no witness or client.
    Using only cross examination, with 4 witnesses, Attorney actually won the trial--much to surprise of  witnesses present and including opposing counsel, who was shocked.......... 


This is very uncommon, but imagine how your case might work out if attorney can do this, without even having a client or a witness?

Attorney thinks it's fair to say, you would be in fairly good hands. Especially if other attorneys have failed in the past on your case.

Note: All of these scenarios are actual cases but by no means are such outcomes considered standard. Each case has different facts and various laws which will apply; each case can vary tremendously, and attorney is not representing that such outcomes are common. However, attorney does have a very high percent of cases that prevail, settle or result in what the client wanted.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Bankruptcy and Divorce Proceedings..Potential Problems

Since bankruptcy is federal law, the main differences for cases would involve the state laws likely tied to exemptions, the amounts, and the ability to file without jeopardizing the community division in California.  Also some civil law issues may come into play in divorces.

Since not all family law attorneys have practiced bankruptcy, it should be known that bankruptcy is considered not only legally complex, but technically as well.  It rivals the USA Tax Code, and it is routinely changing as well. Debt can be categorized as secured, unsecured or partially one or the other, and a means test is required at the outset just to see if one is qualified to file at all, in theory.
If the hurdle is passed, there are many other considerations, such as the dates of payments, property actually owned or not owned, and countless other questions.  The typical paperwork in a Chapter 7 liquidation is now running about 100 pages (the same filing documents are used, with possible additions, depending on circumstances.)  A Chapter 13 case (repayment plan) may be something that is filed after a Chapter 7 is completed, or it can be filed alone, depending on the debtor's circumstances.
In some instances a Chapter 13 may be the only viable thing available to save a property from foreclosure. Clients that enter into a bankruptcy (separately or together) and do NOT inform their attorneys BEFOREHAND--are plausibly creating huge legal problems for the entire case, as bankruptcy rules have fairly strict procedures, and failing to let the civil court know what you are doing ahead of time is a huge issue, since what one does in bankruptcy court can have huge ramifications down the line in certain instances. Lack of knowledge in this area means you could be in big trouble if you ignore this?

Attorney has first hand knowledge of these scenarios within divorce litigation, including the law and motion hearings in federal court.  Some spouses misuse or attempt to misuse the process to get out of paying support. Rest assured, all support is considered a priority debt and will not be affected adversely unless there is wrongdoing by the non filing party. In fact, attorney fees spent for spousal support in bankruptcy should be claimed in the divorce.  There are so many situations that can either affect, conflict, or ruin a bankruptcy filing that listing them here would not be prudent.  However, the fact that parties in a divorce may face bankruptcy filing while in the divorce, is somewhat dangerous.

All bankruptcy filings are normally public record. The location makes no difference if it is in the USA for the most part. You can access PACER online if you sign up for an account and it is free but you must pay for the copies you make, normally quarterly. If a spouse finds that their other half has filed bankruptcy without notifying them, they should inform their attorney immediately. Attorney has seen a case where the wife racked up over $100,000 of unsecured debt without the husband knowing it; then when he found out, the community property house was stuck in the Chapter 13 they filed.

Further, the wife left the husband and not only kept the house, she got rid of all the debt and likely kept her pension, and she earned about 3 times what he earned yearly.   Attorney refused to settle the case on the unbelievable grounds just stated,  but the husband cracked under pressure and succumbed to family pressure-- but only after attorney forced client to terminate her as attorney.  Attorney does not knowingly allow clients to lose most of their savings, the house, and credit, simply because someone can get away with it.
That was one of the worst cases ever seen, there was no even division of property or anything else actually. The husband just walked away with very little, and had no problem for another attorney helping him draft the deal. Attorney finds such an uneven split (while under emotional upheaval) to be both wrong, and rather oppressive, and would never agree to help a client execute something like that. 

Divorce Lawyer - Chico, CA l Family Law

C, Chan is both experienced and a tough representative for those that want to
win their cases, focused primarily on litigation
Chico Family Law Attorney C. Chan 530.359.8810 ... Win Your Case! ..... Not all Family Law attorneys know Bankruptcy law or its ramifications down the line.

Chico, California Family Lawyers. Claimed Lawyer ProfileSocial Media. . Carolyn J. Chan. Chico, CA Family Law Attorney with 27 years experience.