Articles Posted in Court System

Religious liberty did not grant three rabbis leeway to abduct Jewish husbands to force divorces from their wives, the Third Circuit ruled, upholding their kidnapping convictions. This case seems rather odd and appears to have nothing to do with divorces but more about extortion, robbery and burglary.  I dont understand how the only convictions on these violent men were not more than kidnapping. Normally a divorce can happen without proving anything to the court.  So these Rabbi’s thought it an easy target to threaten innocent men to get a divorce from their wives.

The 38-page amended ruling released Monday rejected a number of challenges by the three rabbis, including that the underlying FBI sting operation constituted “outrageous government conduct” and that their religion gave them the right to kidnap uncooperative husbands in the pursuit of a gittin, or religious divorce.

Mendel Epstein, Binyamin Stimler, and Jay Goldstein were all convicted in 2015 of operating a ring of rabbis and “tough guys” to help multiple Orthodox Jewish women kidnap their husbands to obtain a get, or divorce contract.

In Gutierrez v Gutierrez a Mississippi Supreme Court Case the supreme Court of Mississippi evaluated and ruled upon a very complicated spousal support and property debt and asset division family law case. The first major issue the trial court had to undertake was 2nd mortgage that was taken out soley during the marriage under Clayton Frank Gutierrez’s name.  The trial court laid out three questions it determined. Clay was the sole person who signed for the 2nd mortgage.  Trisha Guterriez did not sign for the 2nd mortgage.  In addtion the trial court ruled that the creditor did not make a claim for the enforcement of the 2nd mortgage.  The chancellor in Mississippi which would be the trial Court in California made each party responsible for the equal payment of the debt thus each spouse would assume joint responsibility for the 2nd mortgage.

Each party on appeal to the Mississippi Supreme court made a different argument based on the 2nd mortgage.  Mr. Gutierrez claimed that since he was soley liable for the note and signed for the 2nd mortgage he should be soley paying for the mortgage and not Mrs. Gutierrez. Mrs. Gutierrez appealed claiming she wanted a lump sum spousal support payment rather than monthly payments.  Each of their argument strongly relied on the outcome of how the debt and payments on the 2nd mortgage would be handled by the Mississippi Supreme court.

Mrs Gutierrez wanted that the 2nd mortgage remained community debt and jointly responsible to the both parties. If so she would gain much more ability to claim more spousal support.  Mr. Gutierrez wanted to claim it as his sole responsibility because then he would have more community debt to claim and thus less income to provide more spousal support to Mrs. Gutierrez.

Often parties to a marriage buy a home and eventually when the divorce comes are trying to split the marital equities and debts.  One of the hardest assets to divide is the marital residence.  Why is it hard to divide? Often there is a dispute as to how to get the highest value for the marital residence after the parties have separated.  herein lies the case of Easley v Easley a Case out of Alaska Supreme Court.  It involves the divorce of the husband and wife who owned a marital home in Alaska.  The parties were divorce in 2008 and had divided all marital assets including the sale of the marital home.  Or so it seemed. As the husband Easley claimed although the sale of the marital home was ordered by the Trial Court the Husband did not sell the home and divide the proceeds.

Why you might ask did he not sell the home back in 2008 when the judge ordered him to do so? The husband sat on his hands for 7 years claiming he was denied his due process rights in the order to sell the family home.  The husband Kevin claimed the legal defense of mutual mistake as to why he did not sell the marital home.  The home had declined in value and of course he did not want to sell the valuable asset at the time it was ordered.  He also claimed that he was denied his due process rights.

Now the argument for Due process violations has as far as I have ever seen in Family Law Cases showed up on appeal claiming that Mr. Easley was denied his notice and opportunity to sell the family home. Mr. Easley claimed there was actual prejudice, However, the Alaska supreme denied the actual prejudice.

The Alaska Supreme Court held that Mr. Easley had numerous opportunities to be heard in Court on the sale of the marital home.  Since the Court ordered sale in 2008 Mr. Easley was in Court in 2009 arguing that the sale could not go through due to mistake of fact. In 2014 he was back in Court arguing that there was no date to sell the home.  In addition, in 2015 he was in Court twice regarding if there was unnecessary delay in the sale of the marital home.  The court at that time found there was a delay and ordered the sale of the home. The further came to the conclusion that there was not due process violation because each time Kevin went to Court he knew that his ex wife wanted her share of the proceeds of the marital home. Therefore the due process argument failed.

The last argument Mr. Easley threw before the Alaska Supreme Court was the allegation of inequitable distribution of marital proceeds of the sale of the house.  Again the Court held that there was no inequity as far as his spousal support payments to his ex wife.  He attempted to claim that the spousal support payments should be credited against the sale of the house.  However, the Court found that the spousal support payments were a separate order for the division of the sale of the house proceeds.

Vaccinating your child has become a hot button issue lately with all the potential negative side effects some vaccines have upon the nuerological development of the childs brain.  And therefore there have been a group of parents concerned about these effects and decided that it is a greater risk to vaccinate than to not vaccinate the child.

According to the Centers for Disease Control: Vaccines can prevent infectious diseases that once killed or harmed many infants, children, and adults. Without vaccines, your child is at risk for getting seriously ill and suffering pain, disability, and even death from diseases like measles and whooping cough. The main risks associated with getting vaccines are side effects, which are almost always mild (redness and swelling at the injection site) and go away within a few days. Serious side effects following vaccination, such as severe allergic reaction, are very rare and doctors and clinic staff are trained to deal with them. The disease-prevention benefits of getting vaccines are much greater than the possible side effects for almost all children.

The California statutes give joint or sole legal custody rights to the parents who chose not to immunize their child as stated in Health and Safety Code section 120370.

Most people who hire criminal defense attorneys are facing jail or some serious caltrans or some penalty that is very egregious that they seek an attorney to get out of the predicament they find themselves.  There are many types of alternative sentencing in criminal courts that offer a somewhat better deal and sentence that going to public jail.  Recently it has become an issue in politics whereby private prison had been being phased out of our communities.  However, now with the new president he wants to privatize prisons and keep them working and functioning in our  society.

private jails in local cities is a great alternative if you have the money to pay for a private jail.  You get your own cell and own clothes and can use the phone.  It provides a safer and more livable environment for those seeking a more appropriate environment for those seeking a safer place to do time.

the other private jails are the ones that get the overflow from prisons who are suffering an overpopulation problem.  Governments have not been able to resolve the issue in house and sought private investors to run the prisons.  These type of private prisons are a profit making machine whereby the owners are making alot of money with little concerns for the safety of the inmates.  This type of private jail is not recommended for the “club fed” type seeking comforts of local pay for stay local jails.

domestic-violence-photo-child-300x243If you have been faced with a charge of domestic violence or a party is seeking a restraining order on you you must be careful about prior acts of domestic violence that can creep up on your during a contested hearing or trial. Often clients feel that prior acts of domestic violence may not have much weight with the Judge , however it is to the contrary. Prior acts of domestic violence can often tip the scale in favor of the party seeking a restraining order. In a civil setting he burden of proof to prove a domestic violence case is preponderance of the evidence. That means it is more likely than not an act of domestic violence occurred. The judge will often give the benefit of the doubt to the party seeking the restraint order.

Now what prior acts constitute domestic violence? It may be very surprising to know that Simple acts that might seem innocuous to our every day relationships with our significant other will be Fuel by the other party to prove up their case.

Acts such snooping through someone else phone even once can be seen as obsessive behavior and look bad upon the court. Also looking through baggage if that person goes on a trip can be viewed as too nosy and appear over controlling if you are looking for something. Stopping. Y uninvited by the other party can also be seen as stalking and shown to be an act of domestic violence.

Under Family law section 7122 The emancipation of a minor can be issued under the State of California enabling a person over the age of 14 years old in the State to the Freedom contract and live a life as an adult who had just turned 18.  The emancipation basically speeds up the legal age of emancipation under the law to the age of 14. Emancipation of a minor is basically a legal process that requires that a minor be financially independent of their parents.  This process is not an easy one as to prove financial independence a person must have a source of income separate and apart from their parents.  It cannot be an illegal means of earning financial support as well.  Often this seems to be the difficult means by which minors are kept from emancipating from their parents. In addition, the minor must have either consent from the parents to gain independence from them or living a life that in the best interests of the Judge would make the Court decide in their favor.

The Courts also look to see if the minor was living separate and apart from their parents at the time of the petition to emancipate. Living separate and apart does not mean living with a boyfriend or some friends house.  Living separate and apart means that they are financially independent and on their own without their parents financial support.  They also cannot be supported by some illicit means by someone else.  They must be independent as in on their own two feet.

Once they gain their independence with the Court they can apply to the Department of Motor Vehicles for their own licence that will declare them independent.  In addition, the emancipated minor is held out as an adult for many purposes such as medical, dental and psychiatric care without the parents becoming liable.  Furthermore, they can buy, sell, lease, encumber, exchange, or transfer an interest in real or personal property including buying and selling shares of stock. In addition, the minor loses all legal right to support by the parents.  And visa versa the parents cannot earn anything from the minor nor do they have any control of the minor.

Often parties find themselves involved in a long term relationships and acquire a lot of real and personal property together.  They cannot file divorce petition with the court and go to Family Court however, they may seek an alternative approach and head to Civil Court to resolve all there property issues.  If the parties head to Civil Court the law that would apply is that of Contracts.  There can be several different methods to prove a case under Marvin v Marvin case law.  There are express contracts and there are implied contracts.

The Family Law Code does not apply therefore the parties must head to court and find other means to go to Court and resolve all property disputes.  One such way is through a legal term call “quantum meruit.” This can be considered an implied contract.  To prove that quantum meruit exists the parties must prove that Action there were reasonable services rendered during the relationship.  Often it is argued there must be sexual relationship involved to recover under quantum meruit but the Courts have stated that it is not necessary as long as the person gave certain services to the other party during the relationship.  Once it is proven that the party gave services to the other party the Court must then look at what services and support the other party returned in favor such as the reasonable value of support received. Courts have gone further to explain that the parties need not have lived together however, in order to prove a case in Court based on a Implied or Express contract there would be no consideration found if the parties did not live together.

The act of Consideration is the key element to proving a Marvin case in the state of California.  Because often there is no consideration and the party seeking monetary compensation for living with the other party will fail in court. A big hang up the party will find in Court is that just because they had meretricious relationship it does not mean that they can get compensation for that alone.  That means that sexual relationships alone cannot be the single factor for going to Court to get a financial reward in a Marvin case.  There has to be some sort of services rendered in the relationship to warrant a financial payment as a result.

Just recently I came upon a case where in I represented a client in a child custody dispute in Family Law Court.  Once we got to the Court for our Custody Hearing the Judge informed me and my client that since he was an American Indian all Custody disputes had to be heard through the Indian Nation that he was from. Herein lies the division between the American Indian jurisdiction within the Family Court judicial system.  The Indian Child Welfare Act determines the jurisdiction of which court system will hear cases regarding custody disputes in the judicial system. Anytime custody of an American Indian Child is at issue in the California Judicial System the Indian Child Welfare Act comes into play.

The reasoning behind the Federal Governments deference to the American Indian Tribal system is very clear because “an alarmingly high percentage of Indian families are broken up by the removal, often unwarranted, of their children from them by nontribal public and private agencies and that an alarmingly high percentage of such children are placed in non-Indian foster and adoptive homes and institutions; and …… the States, exercising their recognized jurisdiction over Indian child custody proceedings through administrative and judicial bodies, have often failed to recognize the essential tribal relations of Indian people and the cultural and social standards prevailing in Indian communities and families.”
25 U.S.C.A. § 1901 was enacted by the Federal government in  to preserve the family unit with the American Indian. Over the years the American Indian family has slowly eroded as a result of modern times and the loss of children to other outside the Indian Tribe relationships.  Therefore, the United States Government has made it their purpose to preserve the sanctity of the American Indian Family by enacting legislation such as The Indian Child Welfare Act to give the Indian Tribes the right to hear also custody disputes involving members of their tribe.  That does not mean that they can refuse to hear the child custody case if they wish.

Jesse James’ child custody battle, which originated in Orange County, has been moved to Texas, where the star lives. At the time of the original filing, jurisdiction was established in Orange County family law court because Lindemulder was living in Costa Mesa and James was living in Sunset Beach.

Last week, Orange County Superior Court Judge David Belz, issued the order.

For about a year now, James has been fighting to have his legal matter moved to a court in Hays County, Texas, which is closer to where he lives in Austin with his 7-year-old daughter Sunny.