SIMPLE ASSAULT CONVICTION REVERSAL; SELF-DEFENSE CLAIM HELD VALID

The Court of Appeals in Tamika Parker v. U.S., decided on March 16, 2017, reversed a conviction for simple assault holding in short that the claim of self-defense was valid, credible, and supported by the evidence presented. One of the concurring opinions sums up the facts of the case perfectly: This is a strange case. A man shouts an ugly slur against his neighbor across the street as she is getting into a friend’s car. He then crosses the street with members of his family, calls her a “bitch” (and more), and spits in her face as his family surrounds
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Warrantless Use of Cell-Phone Tracking Surveillance Technology by Law Enforcement

Increasing number of cases involving the law enforcement agencies’ warrantless use of cell phone tracking devices has recently promulgated the need for regulations that would address escalating privacy concerns. Metropolitan Police Department has already signed a non-disclosure agreement with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) enabling the agents to keep all the cell-phone surveillance data private. Commonly known as a Stingray, these detection surveillance devices act as a wireless cell-phone tower broadcasting a strong signal allowing for the Stingray to connect to any cellular device in close vicinity. Consequently, the Department of Justice issued new guidelines preventing the federal agents
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DC RETROACTIVE CHILD SUPPORT: RECENT CASE LAW & APPLICABLE STATUTES

District of Columbia Child Support Guidelines provides the right to the custodial parent to receive retroactive child support payments for a period of 24 months preceding the filing of the petition for child support. The Court of Appeals in Ford v. Snowden decided on September 22, 2016, addressed specifically the issue of whether a custodial parent receiving government benefit (“TANF”) was entitled to child support payments in addition and above the “TANF” amount. Specifically, Fashon Ford challenges the trial court’s order denying her the opportunity to seek child support from Snowden for the period of time during which Ms. Ford
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DC PREMARITAL AGREEMENTS AND ENFORCEABILITY

Premarital agreements can be extensive and can include many provision, however below are some of the main issues that can be legally addressed and enforced through premarital agreements. DC Code § 46–503 provides specific statutory content for the premarital agreements: (1) The rights and obligations of each of the parties in any of the property of either or both of them whenever and wherever acquired or located; (2) The right to buy, sell, use, transfer, exchange, abandon, lease, consume, expend, assign, create a security interest in, mortgage, encumber, dispose of, or otherwise manage and control property; (3) The disposition of property upon separation,
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RECENT COURT OF APPEALS DECISION: EQUAL DISTRIBUTION OF MARITAL PROPERTY NOT NECESSARILY EQUITABLE

The Court of Appeals on April 20, 2017, in Fleet v. Fleet; reversed and remanded the trial Judge’s ruling on division of marital property and award of portion of a retirement account. Mr. Fleet specifically on appeal challenged the court‘s distribution of a portion of the marital home and Mr. Fleet‘s retirement account to his ex-wife, appellee Ericka Fleet. He contended the trial court applied improper legal   presumption of equal rather than equitable distribution of property in awarding 50 percent of the equity of the home to Ms. Fleet. Mr. Fleet also argued on appeal that the trial court did
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RECEIVING STOLEN PROPERTY ELEMENTS; COURT OF APPEALS REVERSAL

The Court of Appeals in Williams v. United States decided on March 23, 2017, reversed the conviction for receiving stolen property and remanded the case to the trial court. The underlying facts were that four men had approached a police office to borrow his phone to and to report a robbery. The next day the same officer detained and searched the defendant who was found in possession of four identification cards that matched the same four men who had approached the officer earlier. The trial court found the circumstantial evidence to be compelling enough to warrant the conviction. Specifically, the
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JURY MISCONDUCT; RECENT COURT OF APPEALS DECISION

The Court of Appeals in Poth v. United States decided on December 29, 2016, remanded the case for further proceeding to the trial court due to jury misconduct. Factually, after trial and conviction, the defendant’s counsel learned that two of the jurors had made material omissions in their juror questioner in that one had not disclosed prior felony conviction, a sex offender — and the other juror had omitted that she was a complaining witness in two separate criminal cases. The defense counsel subsequently filed a motion for a new trial and to set aside the conviction pursuant to Super.
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RECENT COURT OF APPEALS DECISION: 4TH AMENDMENT VIOLATION

The Court of Appeals in Albert Jones v. United States, decided on February 23, 2017, reversed a possession of cocaine charge as the evidence was obtained in violation of the defendant’s 4th amendment rights. Jones was approached by two police officers in a narrow ally common for drug use or sale. The officers had remained in the cruiser while approaching Jones who was on foot with no articulable suspension other than Jones having a Newport container on his right hand and moving it to his back as he was approached by the officers. After few basic questions name address date
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RECENT COURT OF APPEALS DECISION: GOAL CHANGE FROM REUNIFICATION TO ADOPTION NOW APPEALABLE

The DC Court of Appeals in: IN RE TA.L.; IN RE A.L.; IN PETITION OF R.W. & A.W.; IN RE PETITION OF E.A.; ADA-115-09; A.H. AND T.L. – decided on December 8, 2016, opined a significant decision in extending and preserving parental rights in the context of adoptions. Here the parents were adjudicated as neglectful and the children were subsequently placed in a foster home. Approximately within a year of the placement, and during a permanency hearing, the goal was changed from reunification to adoption. The goal change from reunification to adoption and the permanency goal change without affording the
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RECENT COURT OF APPEALS DECISION: CONSTRUCTIVE POSSESSION

The Court of Appeals in Lesher v. United States, decided on December 1, 2016, addressed and highlighted legal elements for constructive possession of a controlled substance in affirming the trial court decision. Lesher was found guilty of attempted possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance (marijuana) (“attempted PWID”) and possession of drug paraphernalia (“PDP”). He argued on appeal that the evidence was insufficient to sustain the convictions and that the trial court erred by allowing the police officer to testify about the results of a field test. The facts were as follows: pursuant to a valid search warrant the
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