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Neglect Finding On Consent Not Admissible As Proof Of Neglect In Another Case

child advocate attorneysThe Administration for Children’s Services (ASC) brought a proceeding in the Family Court in Kings County claiming a child, William, had been neglected by both his mother and his father because they had smoked marijuana while the mother was pregnant. Judge Ann O’Shea sitting in the Family Court in Kings County took the position the finding of neglect entered on consent in one case could not be considered proof of child neglect or child abuse in an another case. She further found it could not be used as evidence in another case to support a finding of neglect concerning a different child at a later point in time.

Consent Finding

The Court held that there is a difference between consent findings of child abuse or child neglect and an admission of inappropriate conduct constituting child abuse or child neglect. The Judge compared the consent finding of the child abuse or child neglect to a plea of nolo contende (not contesting a criminal charge) in a criminal prosecution.

Since the only evidence in this case had been the prior consent finding of neglect, the Judge held this finding was inadmissible as evidence in the current case. The court also found ACS had not proved by a preponderance of the evidence the parents had neglect William. The petition by ACS was dismissed.


ACS in the City of New York and Child Protective Services (CPS) in Nassau and Suffolk Counties are very aggressive with regard to bringing proceedings against parents concerning allegations of child abuse. Just because an investigation is started does not mean the parents are guilty of child neglect or child abuse.child advocacy and  assistance

New York’s Alimony Laws Are Changing

matrimonial attorneysIn 2010, the State Legislature in New York passed laws with regard to temporary spousal maintenance which is more commonly referred to as alimony. Since then, many divorce and family law attorneys as well as Judges have been upset about these new laws. The temporary maintenance formula is intended to provide a greater level of consistency in all awards made by courts, concerning families involved in divorce litigation. The 2010 amendment to the alimony laws in New York was supposed to alleviate concerns high income families had over issues such as one-time bonuses and mortgage payments.

State Legislature Appoints A Commission

After the temporary alimony law was passed in 2010, the State Legislature organized a commission to evaluate the effectiveness of this new law. The commission made a recommendation that the formula for alimony enacted in 2010 should only apply to people earning up to $136,000 per year. In a divorces involving couples with income greater than $136,000, judges would be given discretion to determine what, if any, alimony is to be paid based on a specific set of factors.

The $136,000 threshold was picked by the commission because it works in conjunction with the same threshold amount that is part of the Child Support Standards Act which is enforced in all 50 states.

Uncertainty About Alimony Awards

Divorce lawyers are concerned that changing the law will bring back uncertainty into the process of determining how much, if any, alimony is to be paid in a divorce. Since approximately 85% of all families getting divorced in New York State make under $136,000 the uncertainty will only exist, if it exists, with regard to a small minority of the families involved in divorce litigation.

Equitable Distribution Of Licenses And Degrees

There is a famous Court of Appeals decision in New York in the case of O’Brien vs. O’Brien which basically stated that professional licenses and degrees from universities are property subject to equitable distribution. The manner in which this type of equitable distribution matter is handled today is forensic experts are hired to determine the value of the professional licenses or degrees and the courts give an award of a percentage of said license or degree to the spouse. This principle is called Enhanced Earning Capacity. The commission appointed by the legislature has recommended abolishing this legal precedent. They feel licenses and degrees should not be subject to equitable distribution.


The divorce laws on New York State need to be modified pursuant to the commission’s recommendations. It is now up to the State Legislature to pass these changes to the divorce laws in New York.divorce assistance

Permanent Revocation Of Driver’s Licenses – Part II

criminal defense attorneysSerious Driving Offense

Under the new regulations, a “serious driving offense” is defined as: a fatal crash; driving related penal law conviction; accumulation of 20 or more points assessed for driving violations within the last 25 years; or having two or more driving convictions each worth five points or higher.

If, during the lifetime review, there are three or four drug and/or alcohol related convictions, even if there are no serious driving offenses in the last 25 years, the DMV can either deny a reinstatement for 5 years beyond the original statutory revocation period (in the event the driver’s license was revoked for a drug or alcohol offenses) or 2 additional years (if the driver’s license was revoked for a reason other than an alcohol or drug related offense). Revocations related to misdemeanor charges which, in the past, had been for as little as six months can now be extended for five years. This is the same for felony charges, which would have caused a loss of a driver’s license for one year, can also be extended for a 5 year period.

Restricted Driver’s Licenses

After the driver has served the additional five year suspension of his or her driver’s license, the DMV can restore the license as a restricted driver’s license that would allow the driver’s ability to drive for such purposes as travel to and from work, school or doctor’s offices. This is similar to the “hardship license” that presently exists and and is currently granted by courts during the pendency of cases. In addition, the DMV can also impose conditions requiring interlock ignition devices for a 5 year period. Individuals who are convicted of a third drug or alcohol criminal offense, beyond the standard revocation for a minimum of six months on a misdemeanor and one year on a felony, are currently facing the potential lifetime revocation of their driver’s license, or at best, an additional five year period with no driving privileges. In addition to the five year suspension period, they may also face a five year period with ignition interlock requirements on their vehicles.criminal law assistance

Permanent Revocation Of Driver’s Licenses – Part I

criminal defense lawyersAt the request of New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has issued new regulations that will require the permanent revocation of driving privileges in the State of New York. In addition, the Department of Motor Vehicles can also set up a re-licensing procedure that takes a very long time for an individual to receive his or her driver’s license back. The new re-licensing procedures may have restrictions relating to drug and alcohol driving convictions. New York’s re-licensing policy is among the strictest in the country.

Changes In The Law

In the past, an individual convicted of driving while impaired by alcohol or driving under the influence of alcohol would lose his or her license from 90 days to six months. At the most, the loss of the license would be for one year. These individuals were eligible at the end of their sentence to reapply for their driving privileges from the DMV in the State of New York. In the past the DMV made a determination and, if they were eligible, their license privileges would be restored.

Lifetime Review By The Department Of Motor Vehicles

The new driving regulations give the Department of Motor Vehicles the authority to conduct a lifetime review of all drivers who want their licenses reinstated. After the review, the DMV will render a determination as to whether these drivers are eligible to have their driving privileges to reinstated.

The new regulations give the DMV the authority to conduct lifetime reviews anytime a driver seeks to have a driver’s license reinstated after a revocation. In the event the DMV denies the reinstatement, the driver will end up with either a lifetime revocation of his or her driver’s license or a delay in the reinstatement of driving privileges for a period of five more years beyond the original period of the revocation. Should the DMV find five or more drug or alcohol related driving convictions during the driver’s lifetime all applications for reinstatement of driving privileges can be forever denied. Should the DMV find three or more drug or alcohol related convictions during the last 25 years plus one other serious driving infraction during the same period, the DMV can also deny reinstatement of driving privileges for the individuals lifetime.assistance in criminal matters

United States Supreme Court Limits The Use Of Drug Sniffing Dogs

criminal defense lawyerIn a decision of first impression, the Supreme Court of the United States has recently ruled police officers cannot take a drug sniffing dogs onto the property of a potential suspect without a search warrant. Police organizations are concerned this will limit their ability to use drug smelling dogs to locate illegal narcotics.

Evidence Seized, Thrown Out Of Court

Justice Antonin Scalia, in the Supreme Court’s ruling, stated the Fourth Amendment of the United States constitution guarantees Americans the right to be free of government intrusion into their homes and in the areas surrounding their homes. He further stated “the police cannot, without a warrant based on probable cause, hang around on the lawn or in the side garden, trolling for evidence and perhaps peering into the windows of a home.”

Supreme Court Justice Scalia went on to say it was not the dog that was the problem “but the behavior here that involved the use of the dog.” “We think a typical person would find it is a cause for great alarm to find a stranger snooping on his front porch with or without a warrant.”

The case involved Miami-Dade Police Department and Federal DEA agents investigating a marijuana growing operation in Florida. The defense counsel for the individual charged with possessing marijuana plants argued the dogs sniffing outside the door of the home where the marijuana plants were located was an unconstitutional intrusion by law enforcement officers into the home without a search warrant. In this case, the United States Supreme Court agreed.

About The Author

help in criminal courtElliot S. Schlissel, Esq. and his staff of criminal attorneys have been representing individuals charged with crimes, investigated regarding crimes and arrested for more than 35 years. The office offers free consultations to prospective clients. The office phones are monitored 7 days a week and the law firm can be reached at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.

Parental Alienation of Children

divorce attorneysParental alienation of children is now recognized by the Courts in New York to be detrimental to the best interest of children. When one parent alienates the children from another parent he or she is simply hurting the children. Each child has two parents and each of the parents adds to the quality of the human being the child will become.

Parental alienation syndrome involves one parent, through subtle and not so subtle means, encouraging denigration, bad feelings, a lack of love and a sense of animosity to the other parent. When one parent motivates the children in this negative manner regarding the other parent, the children become “alienated” from the other parent.

Parental Alienation And Changing Custody

In some cases, the Courts in New York have removed the children from the home of the parent who caused the children to be alienated from the other parent and given custody to the other parent. In these cases, the Courts in New York have found it in the children’s best interest to have custody changed.

It is the obligation of the residential custodial parent to foster visitation of the children with the nonresidential custodial parent. Visitation, which is now referred to as parenting time, is important for the development of the relationship with the children and the nonresidential parent.

In the case of In re Jeffrey Doroski v. Nancy Ashton, the Appellate division (an appeals court), in its decision, stated “parental alienation of a child from the other parent is in fact so inconsistent with the best interest of the children as too, per say, raise a strong probability that the [offending party] is unfit to act as a custodial parent.”

Action To Be Taken To Avoid Parental Alienation

The first thing a parent should do when presented with the situation of parental alienation is to speak to the other parent who was alienating the children. Try to educate the other parent that he or she is simply hurting the children by taking this action. Discuss family counseling with the other parent to deal with this situation.

child advocacy and assistance for parentsIf the alienating parent continues with his or her destructive behavior regarding the children, immediate legal action is necessary. It is important to nip parental alienation syndrome in the bud. The longer the alienating party has to turn the children against the other parent, the more difficult it is to undo this negative conditioning. Issues concerning parental alienation in the State of New York are handled either in the Supreme Court or in the Family Court.

Looking for a Loan Against Personal Injury Case? Know About the Things to Watch Out For

personal injury attorneysIn case you have met with an accident and are suffering from injuries, for which somebody else is responsible, you have a personal injury claim at hand. In an ideal situation the person who is responsible for the accident should compensate you for the damages caused (damages here imply physical injury, damages to your car in case of a car accident etc). However, in most of the cases that does not happen. The insurance company representing the person, who has caused the damage, will try its best to push its profit margins by under compensating the injured. However, if you want to ensure that you end up getting the rightful compensation then you should seek legal help. It will not really be possible for you to understand or to have a thorough knowledge of the vast scope of personal injury. Only a well trained, reputed lawyer will be able to guide you through the complicated legal process-starting right from the negotiation to presenting your case. However, you might not always have the sufficient funds to afford legal help. There are companies that will provide you a loan against personal injury case. However, you have to consider a few things before you seek their help.

Please remember that a lawsuit loan will come with a high fees attached, as it goes without saying that the companies will not really be interested in putting their money at stake (on your case) for low rates.

Usually the companies are only interested in cases that have merit, where the plaintiff is likely to win. Thus, they will be studying the relevant documents (here, your claim) very carefully. They will establish due contacts with your lawyer to go through the papers. They will require the copies of both your legal and medical papers.

What you should do

Please shop around a bit to know who the reliable lenders in the market are and check out the service fees offered by each of them. At times, you might even come across lenders who charge such high fees that you are left with nothing from the settlement, after paying your lawyer and these companies. Do check out if you have to pay extra fees for periodic contacts established between your attorney and the lending company.

If you have friends and acquaintances who have availed similar services, you can ask them to chip in with valuable suggestions.

Whatever is the situation, it would only be wise to take help of these loans to ensure that you are financially in a good position to fight your case. It might happen that you are not being able to work owing to the physical injuries on your body. This may take a toll on your earning and you might have to face difficulties to secure a fair settlement in the personal injury case. Thus learn more about these companies online, today and seek their help whenever you feel that is necessary. Keep the points, mentioned above, in mind. But do not stay under compensated.

Marie Nelson has been writing about the deep rooted socio-economic problems plaguing World Economy for quite a long time. She is equally well versed with a plethora of legal and financial aspects including personal injury cases, employment laws, loans etc. If you want to find out about loan online you can refer to some of her articles as well.

Foreclosure And Your Credit Score

foreclosure defense and bankruptcy attorneysIf your home goes into foreclosure it will have a negative impact on your credit score. However, the nature and extent of the negative impact may be different than what you believe it to be. When a financial institution brings a foreclosure lawsuit related to a mortgage default, the institution will normally report to the credit agency there is a foreclosure or a home has been foreclosed upon. This information on your credit score will not necessarily impact on the outstanding balance it shows you owe on the mortgage. The credit report will most likely continue to show the entire outstanding balance of your mortgage being due and owing on your credit report. This negative credit material can stay on your credit report for seven years.

Sales Of Homes In Foreclosure

At the end of the foreclosure process, if the bank is a successful, your home will be sold. In the event the sale of your home at the foreclosure sale does not pay off the entire outstanding debt due in owing on your mortgage, the remaining balance may be shown on your credit score as a “deficiency “. The financial institution may be able to bring a proceeding to collect on this deficiency amount. If they do not take action to collect this deficiency they can report it to the Internal Revenue Service as a forgiven debt. This will cause you to receive a 1099 showing the deficiency as income to you in that tax year. This will cause you to pay income taxes on this deficiency debt!

Foreclosures On Second Mortgages

When the financial institution forecloses on a first mortgage, the second mortgage may continue to be maintained on your credit report by the credit reporting agency. The second mortgage will not show it was foreclosed on because it is a separate and distinct financial obligation.

Bankruptcy And Foreclosure

It may be necessary to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy to eliminate deficiency judgments related to first mortgages and the personal obligations on a second mortgage. To better understand the inferences and long-term impact on your credit score it is strongly suggested to contact either a bankruptcy lawyer or foreclosure lawyer.foreclosure and bankruptcy  assistance

FHA Rescues Homeowners

The Federal Housing Authority (FHA) is coming to the rescue of more than 3000 homeowners whose homes were damaged by Superstorm Sandy. Under a new program, the FHA is allowing these homeowners whose homes were damaged by Superstorm Sandy to apply for mortgage loan modifications. The purpose of this program is to help reduce the monthly mortgage payments of homeowners whose homes were damaged by Superstorm Sandy.

Mortgage Moratorium Ends

Initially, after Superstorm Sandy hit the northeast, there was a mortgage moratorium program established. That program is coming to an end. However, homeowners whose homes have never successfully been repaired are still entitled to the moratorium under this former program. At a news conference which took place at New York Senator Charles Schumer’s Manhattan office, United States Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan stated “this will give homeowners the breathing room and they need.” “Many are still struggling and it is heartbreaking to know that people who lost their homes because of this natural disaster can now lose their homes from a man-made disaster: a foreclosure.”

Loan Modifications

A new loan program will now allow more than 1/4 million New Yorkers to obtain “stream lined loan modifications.” This program will apply to areas affected by Superstorm Sandy.

Additional measures to help families of damaged homes are being considered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. New York Senator Charles Schumer is also urging private financial institutions to develop programs of a similar nature to assist homeowners whose homes were damaged by Superstorm Sandy recover from this difficult situation. Senator Schumer specifically stated “it is time for the banks to step up and assist homeowners who have been doing the right thing all along.”

About The Author

foreclosure assistanceElliot S. Schlissel is the former President of the Commercial Lawyers Conference of New York. He has more than three decades of legal experience litigating foreclosure related cases, dealing with predatory lending issues and foreclosure related bankruptcy problems. Elliot and is dedicated staff of attorneys are available seven days a week to talk to prospective clients. Call for a free consultation at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 and 718-350-2802.

Evidence Found after Questioning a Suspect Without “Founded Suspicion” Inadmissible

criminal defenseA man had parked his car illegally. A Police officer walked up to the car. He asked the man if he should be aware of anything in the car. The man consented to a search of the car. The police officer found a handgun in the car.

The issue presented to an Appellate Court in upstate New York was “[did the police officer have] reasonable suspicion to make the inquiry?” The Appeals court found there was none. The Court said the police must have “founded suspicion” of a crime before asking a motorist if he or she has a firearm. As a result, the Appeals Court threw out the search for the handgun. The handgun could not be used as evidence of the illegal possession of the weapon.

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution establishes a standard police must meet before intruding into the personal space of Americans. The Fourth Amendment specifically protects Americans from unreasonable searches and seizures.

The court’s decision specifically stated while the police officer had an “objective credible reason” for approaching the illegally parked car he was not justified in making an inquiry about the contents of the vehicle without a “founded suspicion that criminal activity is afoot.”

About the Author

assistance in criminal mattersElliot S. Schlissel, Esq. and his associates provide criminal defense legal services for individuals being investigated and charged with crimes throughout the metropolitan New York area. Our law firm is available seven days a week to assist our clients. Call for a free consultation.

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