Archives for Uncategorized

DC DIVORCE DURING THE PANDEMIC : ABC7 INTERVIEW

Divorce during COVID: D.C. attorneys see uptick in cases of couples wanting to separate by Daniel Miller, ABC7 Saturday, October 17th 2020 AA FILE PHOTO: The D.C. area has seen a rise in divorce cases during COVID-19 as local attorneys share their legal expertise on factors that lead couples to opt for separation. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images) WASHINGTON (ABC7) — The COVID-19 pandemic has placed a tremendous amount of stress on married couples in the D.C. area as they attempt to adapt to this new normal. Isolation, stress, and balancing work, finances, and family has become so overwhelming for some that
Read More

MOST RECENT DC SUPERIOR COURT ORDER PERTAINING TO DRB & FAMILY MATTERS:

SUPERIOR COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA FAMILY DIVISION DOMESTIC RELATIONS BRANCH On May 14, 2020, the Chief Judge of the Superior Court issued an order further altering court operations in light of the current coronavirus pandemic. All in- person hearing and trial dates for Domestic Relations* matters set for June 1 through June 19, 2020 are VACATED. You are receiving this notice because you have a Domestic Relations matter with a court date during that period. You do not need to come to court on the June date, and your matter will not be dismissed. We will provide you
Read More

DC SUPERIOR COURT CASE HEARING DIRECTIVE & SCHEDULE AS OF 3/15

The court has posted a detailed plan for adjustments in operations for all  case types on its website in light of the current public health emergency.  For  more information, counsel and parties are asked to review the plan. The court is limiting the matters it will hear before May 1, 2020.  A  summary of the plan is as follows: The court is not closing and is open for all new filings and  pleadings in any Division.  Electronic filing will continue. All jury trials in progress shall proceed as scheduled – jurors in  those trials should report. New jury trials in criminal cases including those with detained defendants are deferred until at least March 30 and may be  extended beyond then – all persons summoned for jury duty  from March 16‐27 should not come to the courthouse. The court will only hear emergency matters in the Civil, Family Court, Probate and Tax Divisions and Auditor Master – in  general all other matters are continued but counsel and  parties should review the plan to be certain. All evictions including those involving foreclosed homeowners  are stayed. All Stay Away Orders and all Protection Orders in Domestic  Violence cases are extended until May 1.  Petitioners seeking  new protection orders will have access to the court processes. The court will conduct hearings in the following matters in  criminal cases: Drug Court and Mental Health Community Court Extradition matters Presentment of indictments and other grand jury  matters : Presentments, arraignments, preliminary hearings  and status hearings for detained defendants  Pretrial and Probation show cause hearings   Motions to review conditions of release The Family Court will conduct hearings in the following  matters: Juvenile cases: initial hearings, trials with detained  respondents, petition for writ of habeas corpus and  JBDP and HOPE court hearings for detained  respondents. Mental Health Commission hearings for inpatient  respondents Mental Health (MHE) Probable Cause hearings Abuse and Neglect Cases: New removals/initial  hearings and all trials to achieve permanency, unless  continued by consent of all parties.  The Marriage Bureau will be open to issue marriage licenses. Wedding  ceremonies previously scheduled will go forward, please limit the  numbers of attendees.  If you wish to reschedule your ceremony, please  contact the Marriage Bureau at 202‐879‐1212 .  No additional weddings  will be scheduled. FOR MORE DETAILED AND UP TO DATE INFORMATION: DC SUPERIOR COURT
Read More

DC CIVIL PROTECTION HEARINGS/TRIAL AND DISCOVERY

The Civil Protection filing and litigation although has an expansive reach in enforcing a range of orders, has a limited scope with regards to witness statement under the Jencks Act and generally discovery before the hearing. Moreover, the threshold burden of proof is rather low.  Specifically, the Statute provides: If, after hearing, the judicial officer finds that there is good cause to believe the respondent has committed or threatened to commit a criminal offense against the petitioner or against petitioner’s animal or an animal in petitioner’s household, the judicial officer may issue a protection order that: Directs the respondent to
Read More

UNSEAL ADOPTION RECORDS: DC COURT OF APPEALS

The Court of Appeals in In re G.D.L., decided on January 2, 2020, addressed the legal criteria to have the adoption records unsealed. The appellant who was no longer a minor sought a court order release of his adoption records, original birth certificate, and biological parental information. The trial court in balancing all interests  involved in deciding the motion for disclosure ordered to protect G.D.L.’s birth father’s information and directed the child-placement agency to give G.D.L. redacted copies of the original birth certificate and adoption records.  The biological mother’s information was already known to the appellant and not subject of
Read More

UNLAWFUL DISCLOSURE OF SEXUAL IMAGES:

The Court of Appeals in Roberts v. U.S., decided on September 26, 2019, reversed multiple unlawful-disclosure convictions due to erroneous jury instructions. The unlawful disclosure, a relatively new statute in DC renders unlawful disclosure of certain graphic photographic or video materials.  In this day and age of electronic capture, transfer of data and images, the statute has become more and more relevant and applicable. Specifically, the unlawful-disclosure statute provides in pertinent parts that it shall be unlawful for a person to knowingly disclose one or more sexual images of another identified or identifiable person when: The person depicted did not
Read More

DC DUI RECENT CASELAW: WITHDRAW GUILTY PLEA

The Court of Appeals in Maddux v. D.C, decided on July 25, 2019, considered whether the defendant should be allowed to withdraw his guilty plea to DUI after sentencing. Before sentencing the burden on the defendant is “a fair and just reason” while after sentencing the burden elevated to “to correct manifest injustice, that is, justice demands withdrawal in the circumstances of the individual case. Maddux’s central argument was that the Magistrate Judge pushed and coerced plea bargaining by threatening to detain him pending trial and pre-trial while making clear he would be treated as a first-time offender with a
Read More

TRI-PARENTING; LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS: DC CHILD CUSTODY LAWYER

The concept of multiple parents finds its support amongst many as the vocation of parental duties expands in families undergoing separation as well as homosexual families undertaking a journey to having a child. On March 8, 2017, the Supreme Court Judge of Suffolk County, NY, in the case of Dawn M. vs. Michael M., awarded a legal custody of a 10-year old boy to three parties. A married couple, Dawn and Michael, began a relationship with Dawn’s best friend, Audria. Dawn was unable to have a child, and under the circumstances, all three parties agreed that Michael and Audria would
Read More

INTERNATIONAL CHILD SUPPORT: FORUM NON CONVENIENS: DC CHILD SUPPORT LAWYER

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
Read More