A family in Georgia is in a legal quandary after their 15-year-old son was taken from their custody and control and placed in a group home. A therapist tipped off police that the teen’s parents were supplying and medicating him with marijuana in order to control his frequent daily seizures. Regardless of the fact that pharmaceutical drugs weren’t working, the parents were arrested for supplying the boy with marijuana. They spent six days in jail. Georgia law still prohibits possessing, buying or transporting marijuana.
The teen’s parents report that marijuana kept the boy free of seizures for 71 days. His mother reported that during those 71 days, he was able to ride his bike and lift weights. Then, deputies from the Twiggs County Sheriff’s Department came knocking. The parents were ordered to stop treating their son with marijuana. The parents complied, but within 14 hours, they were rushing the boy to the emergency room with what the mother said was the “most horrific” seizure she has ever seen.
The boy has now been in the group home for more than a month pursuant to a juvenile court judge’s order. He was taken into custody by the Georgia Department of Child and Family Services. He’s been separated from his service dog that is able to smell the seizures coming, and he’s only allowed to communicate with his parents through short personal visits and phone calls. Neither of the parents is charged with possessing or distributing marijuana. They’re both charged with reckless conduct, and they face the possibility of fines and even more jail time. Reckless conduct in Georgia is punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a fine not to exceed $1,000.
Last month, Georgia’s governor signed a bill into law that allows cannabis oil to be used to treat certain conditions, including seizure disorders. What came to issue is that the parents obtained the marijuana for the boy and gave it to him. He smoked it daily. The boy’s mother firmly stated that nothing else was working. She told a local television station “I can’t have my kid dying because “no one wants to listen.” For purposes of hiring an attorney and moving to a state where marijuana use is legal, the parents have started a GoFundMe page.
A couple from Camillus in upstate New York got so tired of their 30-year-old son living with them that they sued him and had him evicted. They had tried giving him cash to move, but he used the money for other purposes. They served him with legal notices, and he still wouldn’t move out. They pleaded with him to start getting on with his life, and wrote, “There are jobs available even for those with a poor work history like you. Get one–You have to work!”
After an order of possession of the parents’ home was granted in their favor and against the son, he was furious. He remarked that it was “really unfair to me and really outrageous.” He told the New York Post that he didn’t really want to stay at the home of his parents. He complained that his parents had stopped feeding him and cut off the family phone plan. When asked if his parents were trying tough love, he replied “I really don’t think trying to destroy somebody is tough love.”
The freeloading son refused to vacate the home after receiving eviction letters that were signed by his parents on February 2 and March 18 of 2018. Another letter stated, “You have heretofore been our guest and there is no lease or agreement that gives you any right to stay here without our consent.” Another letter was dated March 5, 2018. It give the son 11 days to vacate. In their final letter, the parents even offered to pay for repairs to the son’s broken down car so he’d have transportation to move and get work.
Upon the filing of the lawsuit, the son was served. He appeared in court and acted as his own attorney. He moved to dismiss the lawsuit, claiming that the law allowed him six months to leave. The motion was denied, and the parents were granted exclusive possession of the premises. The court characterized the six month contention as outrageous.” The son will be allowed to remain in the house until such time as a formal eviction date will be set.
The millennial stated that he intended to comply with the judges eviction order, so long as he doesn’t have to move within the next 30 days. It’s his opinion that three months is a reasonable period of time. He might be in for another surprise when the sheriff comes knocking.
Why do it. For the children. Jeff Herman didn’t go to law school to become an advocate for survivors of sex crimes. For a number of years, Jeff was a commercial litigation, meaning he represented businesses large in small in negotiations and at trial. He was good at what he did, great even. But he eventually realized that representing corporations was neither rewarding nor fulfilling.
Everything changed twenty years ago. Two parents reached out to Jeff and asked for help. They shared with him every mother and father’s worst nightmare: their four-year old child came home and said “Mr. Dan” touched his “pee-pee.” Mr. Dan was a volunteer at a preschool for autistic children. And, as it turns out, Mr. Dan was a convicted pedophile. He had moved from California to Florida hoping to escape his record, and he succeeded. The preschool in question never completed a proper, simple background check. And as a result, over twenty precious children were abused while he was volunteering.
Jeff Herman found his calling. From that moment on he devoted his professional career to holding institutions accountable for doing the right thing to protect the people they serve. Often these schools, churches, and other institutions have oversights at the regional level which lead to not hiring the highest quality of employee because of lack of options or time and neglect to make the safest choices for the ones who matter most: the children.By filing suit and litigating these matters in civil court, Jeff gives a voice to the victim and helps ensure that this abuse never happens again. And today, he can think of no better way to use his legal training.
Talking to your children about sex crimes and predators. It’s a difficult topic for any parent to bring up, but one that is equally as important (if not more so) than “the talk.” Many child predators openly admit to taking advantage of children precisely because they have no idea what sex is, and they use this innocence to lure, manipulate, and “groom” their victims. “Grooming” is a strategy often used by predators to get their victims to trust them. This can be done by anything from gift giving to tickling (to desensitize the victim) to asking them simple questions to come off as a friend. When a child is sexually abused, one of two things happen: either the child doesn’t realize they’ve been hurt (and consequently he or she lets the abuse continue) or they recognize what has happened and feel shame, which leads to emotional and behavioral problems.
Even the best parent cannot completely shield his or her child from sexual predators, but families can educate children, keep open the lines of communication, and teach what it means to set healthy boundaries. Below are some more specific guidelines that Jeff recommends.
Keep the conversation at age-appropriate level.Parents should start talking to their children at an early age about their bodies and boundaries, but the littlest ones need age-appropriate language and vocabulary. For example, younger kids can learn the correct terms for their body parts, but they don’t necessarily need to know all the details about sex. They should understand which parts are private and off-limits to others. This, combined with an anatomically correct vocabulary, will help them to appreciate what’s not acceptable and give them a way to discuss things later if something ever happens.
For tweens and teens, the conversation needs to be more mature because this is an age where children are becoming interested in sex and may even be dating. Helping young adults to understand that they do not have to do anything they don’t want to do, and that past permission does not obligate them to future sexual activities, can help prevent a negative sexual encounter.
“No” means “no.”At any age, children should understand that they always have the right to say “no” if somebody is making them feel uncomfortable. Many children are abused because they have been taught to respect adults, and they feel uncomfortable telling them no, even when they are acting inappropriate. Other times, children are abused by a friend, even one their own age, because they felt awkward telling their friend to stop. Children must understand that nobody has the right to touch them or make them feel uncomfortable.
Continue the conversation. Educating children about sexual abuse cannot be a one-time conversation. Instead, preventing abuse means keeping an open-line of conversation with children, engaging in their lives (including their online activities), and reiterating the risks of abuse and the importance of keeping personal boundaries.
The red flags: spotting a predator. It is a sad world that not a week goes by that we do not hear about a teacher, clergy, coach, or community leader being arrested for child sexual assault. Jeff Herman has filed civil lawsuits involving many of them. There are plenty of indicators of sexual abuse, but for attentive parents who may already be uneasy about a specific person in their child’s life, there are some key red flags one should observe.
An adult spending time with your child alone.Children should never be alone with a male non-familiar adult. Period. There are some female predators as well, but coaches, Boy Scout leaders, or teachers should not be spending personal time with children. Parents should demand that this behavior stop and report the offending adult to the pertinent supervisor.
A coach without children.Most adults who volunteer to coach youth sports are genuinely caring adults who enjoy helping children, most likely because their own son or daughter is on the team. It is a serious red flag when a man coach has no children of his own on the team and especially when he has no children at all. Something is not right if this individual wants to give your child “extra” practice sessions.
Gift giving.Gift giving is a classic indication that a child molester is grooming his victim. He does this to obtain trust or keep a child quiet after he or she has been assaulted. Question the motive behind the gift, because it may not be that your child’s math tutor is especially proud of your son.
Social media communication.Sex offenders use social media frequently to contact and prey upon children. It’s important to have the passwords to all your child’s internet activity and know who they are communicating with. Adult figures should not be following, friending, messaging, or liking your child’s internet activity.
You’ve got mail: how the internet is the new playground for sex offenders. Thirty years ago, a pedophile may have fantasized about having sex with children without acting out on these thoughts because he felt no else could understand him or what he was thinking was outside the mainstream. Now, the internet provides websites and online chat rooms dedicated to pedophiles where they can share pictures, grooming techniques, the best places to find vulnerable children, and even share stories of their conquests. This has driven closet pedophiles into full-blown sex offenders because they receive encouragement from equally disturbed abusers across the globe.
Adding to the danger is the prevalence on new social media apps. Most adults are familiar with Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and may have accounts themselves. But new programs are being developed precisely with the purpose deceiving mom and dad. For example, some messaging applications look like calculators or compasses on a mobile device, but in reality they are more like Snapchat, an app that allows a user to send a picture or text that will self-erase after a few moments of being viewed. Child predators and sexual bullies have infiltrated this new, lesser-known apps and now send inappropriate communications with the knowledge that the evidence of wrongdoing will be immediately erased.
But the news is not entirely bleak. While the internet has made today’s child more vulnerable to sexual abuse, it can also serve as a tool for investigators to catch molesters and prosecute them. What goes out on the internet is never truly ever erased or deleted, as every action leaves a “digital footprint” allowinglaw enforcement the opportunity to recover evidence of abuse from social media service providers. In other words, if a child has been contacted by an adult, the very technology used to make contact may be precisely the proof needed for the police to arrest them and for Jeff Herman to file a civil damages lawsuit.
The best way for parents to protect their children online is by having regular access to all their electronic devices and monitoring their interactions and messages. No adult should have electronic contact of any kind with a child without a parent being copied on the correspondence. This is not about privacy, this is about safety.
Theme parks and cruise ships: how to protect children at play away from home. A family preparing to visit a theme park or take a cruise should be concerned about keeping the children safe from predators. Theme parks and cruise ships do not just attract families looking for an adventure. They attract child predators, too. Not only do these place attract potentially dangerous visitors, they also attract predators and molesters who seek employment as a way to have regular and easy access to unsuspecting children. Background checks are notoriously lax at these accommodations, but families can still make happy memories, so long as parents take a few extra, simple steps.
Talk to your children.Communication is key. Talking to children about the dangers of sexual predators – think “stranger, danger” – should be part of the vacation checklist. Discuss personal space, inappropriate contact by workers and visitors, and remind children to stay by a trusted adult. Also remind children to be cautious about being approached by an unknown adult when alone. Some predators initiate casual conversations with older children, get their name, and find them on social media later.
Emergency and first aid.The family should locate the emergency and first-aid centers together and instruct children to go there if they get lost or separated. Many parents know it is not difficult to lose a child in overcrowded and chaotic environment. It’s a good idea to snap a quick photo of all children in attendance when they arrive at the park or on the ship. This way, patrons and employees know what the child looks like and what he or she is wearing if something happens.
Restrooms.One of the most dangerous places for a child is a public bathroom. Predators often stalk their victims here and sometimes take pictures. Others are bold enough to initiate physical contact. It’s important to not let a child go to the bathroom alone; waiting for them outside the stall by the sink is a good safety precaution.
Cruise ship cabins.Parents need to remember that cabin attendants have key cards to guest rooms. Cruise ships, with a “free-range” attitude, often encourage parents to leave their children for the night as they enjoy a casino or a bar. It is easy for a crew member to slip into a cabin when the children are alone, and parents should be mindful of this as they plan their evening activities.
Suspected abuse: when the unthinkable happens. If a parent suspects an adult in their child’s life has acted inappropriately, it is important to take action immediately. Jeff Herman knows that ignoring intuition can put a child at risk of future harm.
But identifying abuse can be tricky because predators are clever and children are impressionable. First, at an early age little ones are taught that teachers, members of clergy, and coaches are supportive and safe. They should not be questioned. But this atmosphere makes it too easy for sex offenders masquerading as protectors to prey upon, groom, and abuse boys and girls. Psychologists have studied this extensively and, while the reasons are complex, because the child is embarrassed and feels ashamed about what has happened, they often have trouble sharing their discomfort with their parents or other family members. In their mind, they feel they have “consented” to the abuse. And of course legally no child can “consent” to sex with an adult.
Observant parents need to be on alert for warning signs that often manifest themselves as behavioral and physical clues.
Behavioral and emotional signs. These types of warning signs vary slightly by the age of the child, but the core remnants are still the same. First, if the child is acting out in any way that’s out of character, especially if it’s after spending time at a place of worship, then it could be an indication that something is going wrong. Parents should be mindful of the following maladaptive behaviors:
aggressive or cruel behavior towards family members or others
promiscuous behavior or excessive masturbation
acting out or disrespecting authority figures
using drugs and alcohol
running away from home
noticeable changes in eating or sleeping habits
withdrawal from loved ones and social activities
regression or depression
mood swings and sensitivity
Physical signs. Some sexual abuse consists of exposure, masturbation, or sexual comments, and as a result, there really will not be any physical injuries. Other times, though, sexual abuse is more physical and could leave marks that cannot be ignored.
Pain or soreness in their private areas
bloody or stained underwear
trouble sitting or walking
bedwetting or other involuntary urination
self-induced injuries or suicide attempts
If a child displays any of the above behavior or physical signs, they should see a doctor immediately. And if sexual abuse is suspected, then the crime should be reported to authorities.
Reporting child sexual abuse: the criminal case. Sexual abuse is a traumatic event for everyone who has experienced it. But the devastating reality is that it often goes unreported. But this crucial first step is necessary for emotional well-being and legal justice.
An official criminal complaint is required to prosecute the sex offender. No private attorney can bring charges on behalf of the victim or the state. Reporting the crime also validates that one was committed and serves as a foundation for a civil lawsuit seeking money damages.
While speaking to a police offer or detective can provide some initial relief, many victims and their families face frustration and anxiety afterwards. It is not easy to give a statement accounting for a graphic, painful act. And because charges are brought on behalf of the people and not the child, once a statement has been given, the victim has little say in the direction of his or her case. Instead, the victim’s only role is that of a witness. He cannot chose to charge, make a deal, or dismiss.
It’s a sad fact that most sexual abuse cases will not get criminally prosecuted because of the class “he said, she said” scenario. When the burden of proof is “beyond a reasonable doubt” and when there is typically no evidence other than a victim’s statement, it often difficult for jurors to believe one story over another.
A money damages remedy: the civil case. Because of the way the criminal system works, civil litigation is often the only way a sex-abuse victim can have justice. While a prosecutor must prove her case beyond a reasonable doubt, a plaintiff in a civil suit has a much lower burden. This “preponderance of evidence” standard means that the evidence is just barely greater than 50%.
In a civil case, most often the institution employing the perpetrator is sued for negligence, or doing something (or not doing something) that allowed the child to be sexually abused. While negligence laws vary state-by-state, in general, when courts consider negligence action, they look to whether a crime was foreseeable or reasonably foreseeable such that the institution knew or should have known that the abuser was dangerous.
From surviving to thriving. Support for the victims and their families is crucial for recovery. This support ranges from professional help to informal support from family and friends. Therapy is important, particularly at the beginning of a case, since it provides the opportunity to explore the healing process with the guidance of an experienced therapist. Professionals assist victims to work through the event itself and the negative emotions associated with such an event. A victim’s family and friends can also assist by providing assurance to the victim and helping recovery in any way they can. This provides added support from those who are very close to the victim, giving the support a much more personal touch than can be received from professional help.
Jeff Herman is a nationally recognized trial lawyer and advocate for survivors of rape, sexual abuse and sexual exploitation. His law firm is dedicated to helping victims of horrible crimes heal the wounds of their abuse by empowering them through the legal process. Jeff Herman is the voice for victims. He is your child’s champion.
Seth Rich was thoughtlessly murdered in his own neighborhood – one of many crime-heavy Washington, D.C. areas – on July 10, 2016, for seemingly no reason. Local police haven’t been successful in their efforts to find motives that fuelled the killing, or any suspects of interest.
The young, 20-something Rich’s parents, Joel and Mary Rich of Omaha, Nebraska, are riding on the coattails of an unresolved legal suit brought against Fox News by those innocent parents. Joel and Mary claim they were traumatized by Fox News’s “sham story,” causing both of them pain, shame, and suffering.
As alleged, Fox News on-air personalities Malia Zimmerman and Ed Butowsky, both listed as defendants alongside Fox News in the suit, conspired to fuel a totally false theory about Rich’s death.
Here’s what Zimmerman and Butowsky asserted, more or less: Republican and right-wing groups – in America, those two terms are essentially the same – had touted a false theory that Seth Rich was murdered in response to allegedly passing on thousands of Democratic National Committee emails to WikiLeaks roughly two years ago. Since the emails unarguably harmed Democratic candidates’ chances of winning, the false theory circulated as fact that Rich was killed in retaliation to betraying the DNC could have made sense.
You likely already know about this issue, as it’s been circulated throughout news media outlets across the past year-plus, but you might not understand the oddity that is the basis for the Rich family’s claim.
IIED serves as the grounds for the case in question, which states that on-air personalities – Zimmerman was a full-time anchor, whereas Butowsky was a less-frequent contributor – Butowsky and Zimmerman, alongside Fox News, purposefully exploited the murder of son Set “through lies, misrepresentations, and half-truths.”
Joel has allegedly suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, whereas Mary has been weighed down by the symptoms of social anxiety disorder, both of which purportedly stem directly from Fox News’s coverage.
Traditionally, courts often don’t side with claimants that point their proverbial fingers at media members’ liability. Experts believe the case is strong for the Rich family, supported strongly by the fact the plaintiffs were subjected to invasive, confrontative, and aggressive methods of news reporting.
Many people do not care when celebrities decide to end their marriage. It happens so often that many people do not pay attention to it. However, many people are curious to know about what will happen after they get divorced. They want also want to know what caused the divorce.
Many people would be surprised to know that celebrities are not that different from us. Laura Wesser is an attorney whose practices focuses on family law. She has represented Jennifer Garner, Kim Kardashian and Angelina Jolie in divorce court. She stated that the top reason that celebrities get divorced is because they grow apart.
On people.com, Laura stated that celebrities do not always admit this, but this is the top reason that people split up. Money problems and adulterous affairs are some of the things that contribute to divorce. However, the underlying cause is that the couple is no longer on the same page.
Laura stated that the natural evolution of the couple is the reason that they grow apart. In many cases, a breakdown in communication is one of the reasons that couples split up. She stated that in order to maintain a successful relationship, you have to communicate with your partner.
Laura stated that even if you do not have a prenuptial agreement, there are things that you need to discuss with your partner. What religion will my children have? Will your parents live with us when they get old? When will we retire? Are you going to go back to work after having children? Will my children go to private or public school? Those are important things for people to discuss.
Laura also has advice for people who are going through a divorce. She stated that you should look at divorce as a business relationship. You have to leave the emotions out of it. You also have to figure out what is best for the both of you.
Laura Wesser is a 49-year-old divorce attorney. She had worked with several celebrities including Kim Kardashian, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Garner and Brittney Spears. She had also handled a lot of divorce drama including fights and water glasses being thrown. Laura has also created her own website called itsovereasy. This website is focused on helping people get over their divorce.
Laura also shared the details of the craziest divorce she has ever had to deal with. There was a divorcing couple whose children were all grown. However, they shared a cat. After the couple split up, the wife moved into a lavish condo. When the couple split up, they shared custody of the cat. The cat spent was with the mom for three days. After that, it was with the dad for three days.
However, things changed when the mom started dating again. The husband was obviously not happy about the wife having a new boyfriend. The ex-husband gave the cat a laxative, and it ended up having diarrhea. Laura she stated that she felt bad for the cat. She also stated that she now understands why the wife left the husband.
One of the reasons that Laura is a sought-after attorney is because she tries to make it easier for people to go through a divorce. Her goal is to keep the divorce out of court and help it go smoothly. Additionally, mediation is the preferred way to handle a divorce. Laura said that mediation makes sense because it saves time and money.
Laura hopes that the tips she has on her website will make her job easier. She stated that people date online, shop online and bank online. It just makes sense for them to go online to look for legal advice. Laura’s website also guides people through the legal steps involved in getting a divorce.
A lawyer in Dover is helping homeless people get the legal help that they need. Alfred Cataflo III is giving free legal assistance to homeless people. Anyone who is staying at the homeless shelter located on 106 Brock Street in Rochester. Last week, the shelter asked for help from attorneys, auto mechanics and landlords. Alfred was one of the people who responded to the call.
Many homeless people have had legal issues with their landlords. They have not been able to get those issues resolved because they cannot afford an attorney. Most homeless people spend all of their money on trying to survive. Alfred said that he feels compelled to help. He stated that he hopes that he will be able to help these people get back on their feet.
Alfred comes to the shelter every Monday to meet with people. He also meets with people on the weekend. He stated that people have to be willing to help sometimes. He also stated that he is happy to help.
The Rochester Community Center is a temporary shelter. It opened in response to the record low temperatures. The city experienced a 10-day cold snap where the temperatures dropped to the single digits.
Alfred is hoping that other attorneys will respond to the call. He is also hoping that more resources will become available for the homeless people. The cold weather has brought attention to the homeless crisis. People’s lives are at risk. However, Alfred is hoping that people do not ignore this issue now that the cold snap is over.
Alfred stated that any homeless person who is interested in getting legal help should get in contact with him. They can call him at 742-7558. They can also email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He looks forward to handling several legal cases involving housing and criminal issues.
A federal judge in the state of Texas has issued a ruling stating that the state’s new abortion law is unconstitutional. The law in question involved the right of women to carry out the second-trimester abortion which is very common in America. He said that the current law adds on women an undue burden. The decision was referred to as a complete victory by a lawyer representing the plaintiffs. However, officials in the state issued a statement saying that they would not hesitate in filing an appeal. Should this happen, it means that the case is likely to appear before the Justices of the United States Supreme Court. The law has been referred to as the Senate eight bill, and it was passed at the beginning of spring.
According to the details of the bill, state doctors were required to ensure that the heart of the fetus is stopped before they can carry out the dilation-and-evacuation abortion. The only exception would be a medical emergency. For starters, these abortions are commonly abbreviated as D&E abortions. The doctor begins by dilating the cervix of the patient. This is then followed by removing the fetus, which in most cases comes out in pieces. Medical professions argue that this is the safest form of abortion in this state. However, critics often argue that the abortion is barbaric. The SB8 law was permanently blocked by Judge Lee Yeakel. He had earlier issued a temporary injunction preventing the law from going into effect during its trial period. The judge said that he followed the precedent of the Supreme Court in making the decision. He said that the Supreme Court had earlier stated that there is no way that a state can add a medical procedure to this type of abortion.
The procedure can only be added if it’s necessary. He said that if the state implements the law, it will be interfering with the rights of the woman. The plaintiffs were represented by Alex Lawrence. Some of the plaintiffs were Planned Parenthood and Whole Woman’s Health. However, the victory didn’t last an hour before the attorney general’s office in Texas issued a statement saying that it would go to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to try and overturn the verdict. Ken Paxton is Texas attorney general. He said that they had demonstrated to the court using expert witness testimony as well as extraordinary evidence that the new bill was lawful.
On Thursday, US District Judge Myron Thompson nullified two abortion laws in the Middle District of Alabama. The two laws SB 205 and SB 363 required all clinics within 2,000 feet from K-8 public schools be shut down and ban doctors from performing the fetal-demise (dilation and evacuation) abortion procedure from the second trimester. In 2016, the same court had provisionally blocked both laws through a preliminary injunction and the appeal verdict was pending under the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. ACLU Alabama had appealed for the two laws on behalf of two women’s clinics in Alabama claiming that abortion providers were being subjected to strict legal requirements.
The judge claimed the two laws were undemocratic and bade the state from enacting the procedures, which had been signed into law in 2016 by former Republican an Alabama Governor Robert Bentley. In his ruling, Thompson claimed that the school vicinity law, which was only of a kind in the United States, and the fetal-demise law placed a superfluous gratuitous burden on a woman’s ability to opt for an abortion. He added that it would lead to a closure of two of the five abortion clinics in Huntsville and Tuscaloosa where 72% of the state’s abortions are conducted. This would create long trips for women seeking abortion services and devastate the low-income earners.
The decision adds to other 41 abortion restriction laws enacted by the state legislatures in the US in the first half of 2017. Last year, the Supreme Court also annulled a law in Texas requiring clinics to meet hospital-like standards and clinic doctors to have admission rights at nearby hospitals.
However, the ruling was a huge blow to pro-life activists in Alabama and conservatives in other states. They claimed the verdict undermined the US Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion in the case of Wade vs Roe 1973. The American Civil Aviation Liberties Union in Alabama supported the judgment claiming that the laws would have imposed a climate of hostility.
The UK’s Ministry of Justice has expressed its deep apologies to Liliya Breha, the mother of a boy who was murdered by her former partner. Probation services did not warn Breha that her partner was involved in a series of convictions for violent behavior against children and women. To make matters worse, Liliya Breha now faces deportation because she has no family ties in the UK.
Events That Led to The Murder
Alex Malcolm, the 5 year old boy, was beaten to death by Maryyn Iheanacho, Breha’s partner. The beating was related to the boy losing his trainers in a park. The court found Iheanacho guilty of murder. During the sentencing, Breha, who is 30 years old, was horrified by Iheanacho’s previous crimes against children and women.
The Ministry of Justice suspended two officials who were charged with supervising Iheanacho. In a statement, a spokesman of the ministry stated that they had put in place measures to prevent a repeat of tragic events like this.
The terms of Iheanacho’s license stated that he was forbidden from having unsupervised access to children who were below 16 years and that probation officers were required to monitor any new relationships he had with women.
Iheanacho’s Criminal Record
Iheanacho’s previous crimes include spanking a former girlfriend with a belt, breaking the jaw of a former partner, and attempting to strangle a 13 year old boy. Before the day of the attack, Breha was not aware of her partner’s predisposition to violence.
It was after the incident that she learnt that the probation service, which was keeping an eye on Iheanacho, should have informed her about her husband’s criminal record. Breha knew that her husband was fresh out of prison but she knew nothing about the licensing terms related to children and women. In fact, Iheanacho occasionally used Breha’s phone to communicate with his probation officer and Breha also spoke to the officer a few times.
Breha’s Immigration Status
Shortly after the incident, Breha learnt that she may not be able to live in the UK after she updates her immigration status in June. This is because she no longer has a child; therefore, she has no family ties in the UK. Breha arrived in the UK 10 years ago. She came on an exchange programme while studying at the “National University of Water Management and Nature Resources Use” in Ukraine.
Despite the jury finding him guilty, Adam Frasch says that he didn’t kill his wife. The case is posing new questions as allegations arose at sentencing that the district attorney in the case failed to disclose evidence that worked in Frasch’s favor. Frasch and his attorney say that they’ll use the evidence to ask for a new trial.
Fransch was tried and convicted of murdering his wife and the mother of their two young children. She was found at the bottom of her swimming pool. The medical examiner couldn’t say how long she had been there. There was testimony that she had head injuries, but the medical examiner also said that those injuries weren’t consistent with the golf club that police say Frasch used to kill his wife.
The district attorney relied on the evidence of a jail house informant. They say that Frasch told the informant that he hit his wife in the head with a golf club. Police say they used that information to find the golf club in Frasch’s house.
Frasch says that the informant received leniency in his own case from the district attorney in exchange for his testimony. They say that the police finding the golf club in the house is both too convenient and scripted. They say that the golf club belonged to the victim.
Frasch plans to ask the court for a new trial based on the statement from the victim’s mother. At sentencing in the case, the district attorney read a letter from the victim’s mother. In the letter, the mother reported a prowler around the home in the days before the victim’s death. Frasch and his legal team say that this is exculpatory information that the district attorney had an obligation to give them ahead of the trial.
The district attorney says that she didn’t know about the contents of the letter until she read it in court. This is despite having to get the letter translated in advance of the hearing. Whether the district attorney purposefully failed to disclose the contents of the letter may not ultimately make a difference. If the courts find that the evidence is substantial enough that it may have caused a different result if it had been presented at the trial, they can throw out the conviction against Frasch. This may be the result even if they find that the district attorney’s actions in failing to disclose the contents of the letter were not intentional.
Immigrant groups on Thursday filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration for its efforts to terminate a program that protects the youth who come into the U.S. illegally. According to a report by abajournal.com, CASA de Maryland, flanked by eight other groups and over a dozen individuals presented their claim to a Maryland federal court. The main targets of the lawsuit were President Donald Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and four government agencies- the agencies involved with immigration, citizenship, customs, and homeland security.
The Issues Presented in the Lawsuit
The lawsuit against the Trump administration argues that terminating the “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” program was against the legally stipulated procedures and an act of discrimination against Central Americans and Mexicans. Furthermore, the lawsuit claims that the Trump administration has offered no guarantees that it will not use private information contained in DACA applications for enforcement purposes. This is tantamount to a violation of the equal protection and due process clauses enshrined in the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. constitution.
Rescinding the DACA program will cause about 800,000 immigrants to lose their work permits and protection. The suit continues to say that the decision to withdraw the program is a double cross. It is unjustified, arbitrary, capricious, and offensive to the law and basic values of the U.S.
Termination of the DACA Program
The DACA program affects thousands of youth across the country. These young people have commonly been referred to as “Dreamers”. Many of these dreamers came to the U.S. unlawfully as young children while others came legally but remained even after their visas had expired. On Sept 5, the U.S. Attorney General announced the termination of the DACA program. However, the Trump administration promised to continue renewing existing 2 year work permits for six months. This additional time has been created to allow Congress to pass a replacement program.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit include states where DACA participants range from hundreds to several thousands. These include Hawaii, New York, Washington, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Delaware, Iowa, Illinois, North Carolina, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Vermont, Rhode Island, the District of Columbia, and Virginia. Besides CASA de Maryland, this latest suit also includes lawyers from the Howard University law school, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer, Willke Farr & Gallagher, and the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs.
The world will be watching the Trump administration keenly to see how they react to this lawsuit. Will they back down to pressure or will they add more time for the dreamers? It will also be interesting to see the initiative that Congress will introduce as a replacement of the DACA program.
In Michigan, a private adoption agency can turn away same-sex couples that want to adopt. Under Michigan law, adoption agencies can rest on their religious beliefs in order to deny assistance to same-sex couples looking to adopt. But the ACLU has brought a lawsuit to change that.
The controversial law has been on the books since June, 2015. Sitting governor Rick Snyder signed the bill. Under the bill, each agency that facilitates adoptions can decide their own policies based on their religious beliefs. If those beliefs prohibit helping a same-sex couple with an adoption, the agency can refuse to help. However, as the law is right now, if an agency chooses to discriminate against a couple, they must refer the couple to another agency. If an agency declines to work with a couple and refers a couple to another agency, the second agency doesn’t have to be within any reasonable distance of the couple’s residence.
The ACLU says that’s not fair. They say that if a private agency accepts taxpayer dollars, they should lose their ability to pick and choose to help some but not others. Their purpose for bringing the lawsuit is to ask a court for a ruling that says these agencies are breaking the law each time they discriminate.
The ACLU says that the law in its current state prevents children from finding their forever families. They say that children should have as many options as possible. In a world where there are more children needing parents than there are willing adoptive parents, agencies shouldn’t be allowed to turn parents away because of their same-sex status, the ACLU says.
Supporters of the bill in its current state say that the U.S. Supreme Court takes their side. They say that the Hobby Lobby and Trinity Lutheran cases are in favor of the organization’s right to choose their own criteria for adoptions. They say that without these exceptions, there’s going to be a critical shortage of adoption agencies, and the family shortage is going to get worse.
Opponents say that there are too many children in foster care. They say that same-sex couples are significantly more likely to pursue adoption than opposite-sex couples. Supporters say that requiring faith-based agencies to assist same-sex couples with adoption isn’t necessarily going to increase the numbers of prospective adoptive couples. Michigan is one of a handful of states with religious exemptions for agencies that assist with adoptions.
Sam Dalton was a lawyer who recently passed away at the age of 90. He practiced law for six decades. He was known for adamantly opposing the death penalty. He was also known for representing people who could not afford to hire an attorney. Moon Landrieu is the mayor of New Orleans. He is a graduate of Loyola University Law School. He stated that Sam was a good lawyer. He also stated that Sam was also a good person.
Moon also talked about his favorite memories of Sam. He stated that he remembers when Sam would come into the courtroom with lunch stains on his suit. He was totally committed to helping people. In 1992, Sam was given the Benjamin Smith Award. Mary Howell is another attorney who practices in New Orleans. He stated that Sam was the attorney who fought for the little guy.
Sam was known for challenging the 2 percent handling charge. This is a fee that is added to the cost of bail bonds. Sam was opposed to the fee because he stated that it victimized poor people. He has handled over 300 capital cases.
Walter Koon is one of the people that was spared from the death penalty because of Sam. He faced the death penalty after he killed his estranged wife. Sam stated that did not receive the proper counsel at the trial court level. Walter was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of the parole.
Sam stated that he never wanted to portray Walter as the model sinner. However, he still felt that the death penalty was inhumane. Sam was married with children. When he was not working, he was spending time with his family. Sam’s funeral arrangements will be handled by Garden of Memories Funeral Home. A date has not been set yet.
The Texas Supreme Court recently released a favorable emergency order that allows out-of-state lawyers to provide pro bono assistance to victims of the fatal Hurricane Harvey. The order has been enforced for the next six months and is applicable in two main ways. First, legal practice is legalized through a pro bono program that provides crucial services to Hurricane Harvey victims. However, interested lawyers must fill a temporary registration form outlining their intention to the bar.
Secondly, licensed lawyers are allowed to provide legal services to Texas if residents are displaced from their native home due to Hurricane Harvey. The Texas Supreme Court also enforced two other orders in line with Hurricane Harvey. The first order allows for radical changes to procedures and deadlines to courts adversely affected by the Hurricane. The second order focuses on suspending limitation in civil cases in the event claimants can prove catastrophic conditions resulting from Hurricane Harvey. In relation to this, Saundra Brown, a prominent manager at the disaster response unit at Lone Star Legal Aid, insisted that the legal assistance would be beneficial to thousands of victims in need.
While most lawyers from the firm work remotely, senior members from the team are stationed at Texarkana after the company’s Houston headquarters had been damaged in a deceptive fire explosion. In such a situation, lawyers have been tasked with reporting for disaster appeals with FEMA to ensure that people secure income for home repairs, deal with insurance claims and obtain temporary housing.
According to Saundra Brown, the newly drafted lawyers can play an integral role in assisting with the FEMA appeals, while also providing legal assistance to victims at the National Disaster Legal Aid Resource Center. To promote service delivery, the Division has provided hotline numbers for both Louisiana and Texas as follows (800)504-7030 and (800)310-7029. The relief webpage contains precise information regarding volunteer recruitment.
As the Director of YLD’s Disaster Legal Service Program, Andrew VanSingel is tasked with selecting competent lawyers from the vast list of emails that has flooded his inbox. Each lawyer selected will be brought up to speed on how they should assist Hurricane Harvey victims.
Before selection can be done, interested lawyers must be referred to the State Bar of Texas to uniquely present their proficiency in handling pro bono legal aid. Furthermore, interested out-of-state lawyers can also donate money to groups such as the Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid and the Lone Star Legal Aid.