Tuesday, June 10, 2008

New Column at Anderson Free Press

I finally found time to write The Law and You – Part Three: Dealing With Lawyers for the e Free Press.


jamie davidson said...

how about a dead bead dad whos never paid me support has been een arressed & court order many times and still has a acctive warrant and on parole but i still cant seem to get any help at all

Sam Hasler said...

Frankly, this is more of a rant than the start of a conversation. On the other hand, this comment is an excellent example of what family law attorneys have to deal with - the emotional content.

Facts. People, decisions are based on facts. What we know from this is that the fellow was arrested, but I have no idea for what. That he has been in prison ("and on parole"), but no idea for what or for how long. If for for felony non-support, then good question why his parole has not been revoked for non-payment. No idea what the "active warrant" is for - criminal, contempt? - and if criminal then it is another good question about why he remains on parole.

This short comment may also be a good example of confusing contempt (civil) with criminal. If he has a warrant for failing to appear for a child support hearing (and here I have to assume that Ms. Davidson is using the services of the child support enforcement prosecutor), then the criminal side is not likely to violate his probation for a civil matter. (Again, that depends on why he is on parole). Nor are the police likely to go hunt him down for a civil warrant. Our sheriffs worry over our jails being overcrowded leading to federal lawsuits. They want criminals and not people being held for civil matters.

The short comments also shows another thing that family law lawyers contend with when dealing with clients - the client's goals and expectations. (Actually something all lawyers need to deal with and one of our hardest tasks). The dad is a convicted felon. I doubt he has a job long enough to get an income withholding order. So not a very good job prospect, one not likely to obey the civil law (he did not obey the criminal law), and all that means the civil remedies are pretty much worthless. Does she want him back in jail? That means no hope of child support.