Older Americans Month + Foster Care Month Should = Support for Grandparent Guardians

Before leaving the month of May behind, this Salt Lake Tribune article notes the intersection of Foster Care Month and Older Americans Month in May.

And aptly acknowledges that for many children, the only route out of foster care, short of “aging out”, is permanent placement with a legal guardian – typically a grandparent.

Yet guardians currently receive far less financial support than foster parents or adoptive parents.

The article advocates better allocating financial support resources among the three channels to permanency, by supporting seniors and elders serving as legal guardians to keep their young relatives together in a familiar, loving home.

Posted in Uncategorized

Save the Internet Now: Act to Preserve Free Speech and Equal Access

Certain large telecommunications corporations are reportedly agitating to change how the internet works, has been working, since its inception.

These media enterprises want to regulate and control who gets to publish on the internet and, by extension, what gets published on the internet.

Look back on the (d)evolution of much of the traditional print media.

The internet is the last communications medium offering equal access to free, independent speech.

If you support those core values, as this site does, please visit the homepage for the Save the Internet campaign and consider signing the non-partisan petition to preserve network neutrality, free speech on the internet and equal access to the internet’s publishing infrastructure.

If you don’t act now, many of the websites that you now visit for free, independent legal (and other) information that you can’t get anywhere else – just may get shut down or virtually crippled in the near future.

Let your voice be heard.

Please Save the Net.

Before it’s too late.

Posted in Uncategorized

Study: When It Comes to Domestic Violence, An Ounce of Prevention Will Cost Far Less Than a Pound of Cure

The Seattle Post Intelligencer offers a thoughtful yet action-oriented editorial aptly titled Domestic Violence: Smart Spending.

The piece points to research findings that an appalling forty-four percent of women have been victims of domestic violence of one kind or another at some time in their lives.

The research cited emphasizes the role of domestic violence on escalating health problems and costs. The impact goes well beyond immediate physical injuries resulting from the violence, to long term psychological and physical effects on the victim and other members of the victim’s family.

The key message of the editorial is that increased spending on education, counseling and prevention now will surely save a great deal of money in health, social services and law enforcement costs in the long run.

That sounds like money well spent indeed.

Posted in Uncategorized

Paternity Challenged After Child’s Death But Before Wrongful Death Suit

An Orlando man is challenging a years old paternity determination concerning a 16 year old boy shot by a police officer. The man reportedly had little contact with the dead boy during his lifetime.

Another man was present for the boy’s birth, gave the boy his last name, signed his birth certificate, paid support for the boy, raised him and has other children with the boy’s mother. He really has no interest in the DNA test results.

Normally, a Florida court’s initial determination of paternity would be the final word on paternity. In this case, the determination was entered on a default. That is, the man sued for support did not participate in the court proceeding.

Why is paternity being re-visited now? Because the boy’s father shares the legal right with his mother to prosecute a wrongful death suit against the city of Delray Beach.

Damages could run into the millions, so the stakes are very high.

Read more in this Sun Sentinel article.

Posted in Uncategorized

Boy Ordered Returned to NZ under Hague Convention Even Though a Restraining Order Prevents Him From Living With His Father There

It has been ordered that a five-year old boy leave his mother and sister behind in Sweden to return to New Zealand, in accordance with the terms of the Hague Convention, pending a custody determination there.

The boy’s father is reportedly subject to an order of protection, however, so the boy likely will not be able to live with his father if it is determined that he must remain in New Zealand permanently.

A Swedish newspaper reported that the boy may end up growing up in a New Zealand orphanage, but the boy’s father insists the boy could live with other relatives in New Zealand.

This case arose because the boy’s mother fled New Zealand, without the father’s permission, after securing the order of protection for herself, the boy and his sister.

The boy’s older sister was deemed mature enough to decide for herself where and with whom she wants to live. Therefore, she was permitted to remain with her mother in Sweden.

No such luck for the little boy, whose fate is now in the hands of the New Zealand courts.

The boy’s father is a political activist in New Zealand.

Read more in this New Zealand Herald article.

Posted in Uncategorized

Paralegal Disqualified from Court Internship Over Alleged Polygamous Relationship With Litigant

A Utah paralegal has reportedly been disqualified from a court internship due to the appearance of a conflict of interest.

The paralegal was on a legal team involved in an ongoing child custody case between the father and the mother of the child.

Further, testimony heard in the case suggested that the paralegal was another one of the allegedly polygamist father’s wives.

The paralegal denied that allegation though. Instead, she described the two of them as being in a “committed relationship” with common children, and described herself as being merely “one of the ladies in his family”.

Read more in this KSL (Salt Lake City) TV article.

Posted in Uncategorized

Victims of Domestic Abuse Confide in Computer More Readily Than a Doctor

Bedside manner of physicians may be overrated.

A new study finds that victims of domestic violence are more likely to report their abuse in a computer-based medical interview than they are talking to a real live doctor.

Interestingly, the study found that, after the “ice was broken” with a computerized questionnaire, victims were more likely to discuss the abuse, when probed by physicians tipped off by the computerized interview results.

The study suggests that widespread use of computer-based surveys of patients would allow physicians to better recognize the handiwork of domestic abusers and to refer victims to appropriate intervention services.

This somewhat surprising outcome may have far-reaching implications for emergency medicine facilities, both in terms of reducing costs of delivering services and of enhancing care.

Read more in this Forbes article.

Posted in Uncategorized

Residential Placement Du Jour

A little boy is in search of a lasting home.

At just five years old, he is reportedly on his third change of residential placement – at least.

Born to unmarried parents, the boy’s biological mother (presumably) had physical custody of him after his birth.

Later, for reasons not reported, he was placed with a Florida couple for several years.

Thereafter, also for reasons not reported, the boy was returned to his mother’s custody.

After the mother remarried, allegations surfaced that the mother’s new husband abused the boy. Then the boy was placed with his biological father – on a temporary basis.

Will this boy get a place to call home for good?

Maybe. A guardian ad litem reportedly favors making the placement with his biological father permanent.

The mother’s position on this was not reported.

Read more in this First Coast News article.

Posted in Uncategorized

Internet Adoption Scam Busted

A Texas woman allegedly surfed the internet to connect with prospective adoptive parents for her expected baby and to solicit financial assistance for her specially prescribed diet and medications.

There’s just one catch. The woman isn’t pregnant.

The woman reportedly defrauded half a dozen couples (including one or more couples here in Florida) and netted thousands of dollars.

According to media reports, the woman has been charged with mail fraud and wire fraud, both federal charges carrying hefty penalties.

Read more in this Houston EyeWitness News article and this Corpus Christi KRIS TV article.

Posted in Uncategorized

Divorce in PA in Limbo After Death of a Spouse

Can you get a divorce after you die?

Or, more specifically, can final judgment of divorce be entered after a spouse’s death, where the divorce action was started while both spouses were alive?

That is the question a Pennsylvania judge is reportedly grappling with.

In the case she is presiding over, a dentist was allegedly murdered the day before he was expected to sign a settlement agreement, following years of hostile litigation. His wife had already signed the agreement.

Interestingly, the judge apparently adopted the only partially-executed settlement agreement.

But the judge is waiting for the parties’ attorneys to furnish applicable legal precedents before deciding whether to grant the divorce.

Read more in this Pittsburgh Post Gazette article.

Posted in Uncategorized