INTERNATIONAL CHILD SUPPORT: FORUM NON CONVENIENS

Generally the DC Corporation Counsel will file and prosecute a child support action on behalf of a DC resident and when both the child and the principles are DC residents. However Under 42 U.S. Code ξ 654(4)(A)(ii), the District may bring a child support action on behalf of a non DC resident, a non US national and from a country which has not signed into Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (“UIFSA”) or any other treaty governing terms, that is, a non reciprocating and a non treaty nation. According to the statute, the DC government has the discretion to bring an
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DC DUI/DWI LAWS: LEAVING THE SCENE AFTER COLLIDING

The pertinent DC statute addressing driving a motor vehicle while under the influence also addresses leaving the scene of an accident after colliding because often drinking and driving results in accidents. Thus this blog addresses both of these offenses in detail enumerating the statutory/legal elements for both offenses separately. Specifically, the statute criminalizes damage to property as well as damage to an individual and also a domestic animal. That is, any person operating a vehicle that causes “substantial damage” to another property (vehicle) and leaves without either giving assistance or without leaving his name, place or residence, and identifying information
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RECENT COURT OF APPEALS DECISION: DISCLOSURE OF JENCKS/DISCOVERY

In Hernandez v. U.S. decided on January 14, 2016, the DC Court of Appeals affirmed the assault charge but remanded for further review by the trial court on the issue of non-disclosure of the Jencks material and whether a new trial would be warranted. Factually, Hernandez was charged with domestic violence assault against his girlfriend. Although she had technically denied the assault, due to some language barriers and other significant independent evidence — the trial court’s findings were affirmed on that issue alone. Specifically, an independent witness had seen the defendant choke Ms. Argueta-Avila/the complainant and then saw her fall
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Justice Department v. Apple Computer: IPHONE SEARCH AND SEIZURE

In an ongoing criminal investigation, the Justice Department in the Eastern District of NY, on October 9, 2015, requested an order pursuant to all Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651, to compel Apple to “disabl[e] the security of an Apple device that the government has lawfully seized pursuant to a warrant.” This case has brought to the forefront once again the balancing act between the need from the law enforcement to decode encrypted devices (the going dark problem), prevailing privacy issues, and the lack of Congressional authority to compel third party private manufacturers to cooperate with the government or to
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RECENT COURT OF APPEALS RULING REVERSING TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS (TPR) —

In the recent opinion issued by the Court of Appeals in IN RE D.M.; T.M., (March 13, 2014), the Court once again articulated that when a biological parent is unable to care for his or her child, her choice of a fit custodian must be given a weighty articulated consideration by the trial court. T.M., the biological mother of D.M., appealed successfully her termination of parental rights by the trial court.   She argued on appeal that the lower court erred by “failing to give weighty consideration to the third-party custodial arrangement” she set forth as a placement option and in
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DC ADOPTION PROCEEDINGS

In the District, Child and Family Services (“CFSA”) involved adoptions are both complicated in legal requirements as well as in procedural steps needed to reach finalization.  The legal process starts with filing of an adoption petition, which would generate show cause orders to be served on parents.  Upon service, the parents may either enter a written consent, or contest the proceedings. The adoption petitioner then in a contested proceedings has to prove by clear and convincing evidence that either the biological parents have abandoned or failed to provide financial support for the child for a period of six months preceding
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