RECENT COURT OF APPEALS DECISION: REVERSAL DUE TO ERROR IN LAW

The Court of Appeals in Solon v. US decided on November 29, 2018, reversed a disorderly conduct conviction as it disagreed but the trial court’s statutory interpretation. Solon had intermingled with the Climate Movement March carrying signs in support of the administration and generally causing agitation and stir among the demonstrators. She was ultimately put under arrest and charged with disorderly conduct as well as two assault charges again two individuals. The DC disorderly conduct statute (D.C. Code § 22-1321 (a)(1) provides: in any place open to the general public, . . . it is unlawful for a person to
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DC CHILD CUSTODY JURISDICTION & VARIATIONS

Generally the DC Courts are inclined to confer and extend jurisdiction to litigants rather than declining it. This blog details some of original, continuing, and non-conventional child custody jurisdictional parameters and scope. Initial child-custody jurisdiction District has jurisdiction to make an initial child-custody determination under one of the three criteria: 1 )  The District is the home state of the child on the date of the commencement of the proceeding, or was the home state of the child within 6 months before the commencement of the proceeding and if the child is currently absent from the District, a parent or
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REVERSAL DUE TO FAULTY JURY INTRUCTIONS: RECENT DC COURT OF APPEALS DECISION:

The Court of Appeals in Coley v. U.S., decided on November 15, 2018, reversed several felony convictions due to faulty jury instructions by the trial judge. Initially during the jury polling, one of jurors expressed disagreement with the verdict, which was announced to be unanimous. The trial judge appropriately at that time instructed the jury as such and according to the Jury Instruction 2.603: “[I]n the poll of the jury, it’s become apparent that you may not have reached a unanimous verdict. Now, for this reason I’m going to ask you to return to the jury room for further consideration
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DC TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER (TRO) v. DC TEMPORARY PROTECTION ORDER (TPO): DC FAMILY LAWYER

Although the Temporary Restraining Orders (TRO) and the Temporary Civil Protection Orders (TPO) sound similar, the eligibility, process and enforceability of the orders are vastly different. To be eligible to file for TPO/CPO one must meet either the interpersonal violence, intimate partner violence, or the intrafamily violence criteria. Interpersonal violence is defined as an act or a criminal offense that is committed or threatened to be committed upon a person: With whom the offender shares or has shared a mutual residence; or Who is or was married to, in a domestic partnership with, divorced or separated from, or in a
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CRIMINAL & CIVIL CONTEMPT IN DC: DC FAMILY LAWYER

The contempt powers of the court are divided into both criminal and civil contempt. Generally criminal contempt is reserved where there is willful and blatant violation of court order where as the civil contempt is reserved for non-compliance or neglect of a court order. In another word: Criminal contempt is a violation of the law, a public wrong which is punishable by fine or imprisonment or both. And the Civil contempt: is a sanction imposed by the court to enforce compliance with a court order or to compensate a party for losses or damages caused by noncompliance with a court
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NEAR ACT IN DC: RECENT COURT OF APPEALS DECISION: DC ASSAULT LAWYER

The Court of Appeals in Coleman v. U.S. decided on October 11, 2018, affirmed simple assault convictions against the police officers as well as affirming the trial’s court denial of the self-defense claim. Coleman was questioned by the police officers during a routine traffic stop regarding his tinted car windows. The stop escalated and Coleman both resisted arrest, and assaulted the police officers. He was charged with APO, Assault on Police Officer. The government at trial dropped the Assault on Police Officers (APO) charges to Simple Assault to eliminate the jury demandable offense to non-jury bench trial, which they typically
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ALIMONY PAYMENTS AND THE NEW TAX CODE: DC DIVORCE LAWYER

Tax changes promulgated with introduction of Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”) in 2017 will affect large groups of population, including couples finalizing their divorce in 2019. Beginning January 1, 2019 the paying spouse will no longer be able take deduct alimony, and the recipient spouse will not need to report alimony as income. That is, the alimony payments will be treated same as child support payments. In short, all agreements made or orders entered from that date forward, the party paying alimony will not be able to deduction such payments on his/her tax return. The receiving party will not declare the
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STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS: CRIMINAL OFFENSES:

In all criminal offenses, it is critical to understand and be cognizant of the statute of limitations for the particular offenses.  Particularly if the matter is under investigation or pending indictment or even if dormant. The time in which an offense is committed that starts the clock for the statute of limitations is defined as: An offense is committed either when every element occurs, or If a legislative purpose to prohibit a continuing course of conduct plainly appears, at the time when the course of conduct, or The defendant’s complicity therein, is terminated. Time generally starts to run on the
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RECENT COURT OF APPEALS DECISION: DC FAMILY LAWYER

The DC Court of Appeals in IN RE J.M. & D.M. decided on September 20, 2018, affirmed the trial court findings that the permanency goal change to adoption was appropriate, however clarified to certain degree the procedural appeal when the goal change request is a dual-goal, to both reunification and adoption. The Court’s Decision in IN RE TAL in 2016 required and bestowed on parents in a child abuse and neglect proceedings facing a goal change an evidentiary hearing. Specifically, to justify a goal change from reunification to adoption: …the District “must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that
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PUBLIC CONSUMPTION OF MARIJUANA NON-CUSTODIAL: NEW DIRECTIVE FROM THE MAYOR: DC CRIMINAL LAWYER

The current DC Statute on consumption of marijuana in public is clear and concise categorizing the act as a misdemeanor offense with significant penalties.  However if appears that the Major’s directive issued on September 21, 2018, limits the penalties to a non-custodial arrest and payment of $25 fine for posting and forfeiting. The Statute specifically criminalizes consumption of  marijuana in or upon a public space including: A street, alley, park, sidewalk, or parking area; A vehicle in or upon any street, alley, park, or parking area; or Any place to which the public is invited. For the purposes of this subsection,
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