Posts made in May 2018

How Do I Prepare For A Small Claims Hearing?

You should gather any documentation (evidence) to show the Judge or arbitrator that you are not responsible (liable) for the wrong the Claimant is complaining about. A good way to think about evidence is to treat it as the tool for building the steps in your story. The evidence you bring to court illustrates your side of the story. It establishes the proof of your defense. The following items are all acceptable forms of evidence:

  • Written contracts
  • Letters
  • Leases
  • Emails
  • Receipts
  • Recordings
  • Canceled checks
  • Money orders
  • Warranties
  • Advertisements
  • Estimates in writing
  • Damaged object(s)
  • Articles of clothing
  • Other written documents
  • Or any such evidence that proves you are not responsible

What is small claims court?

Small Claims Court, often referred to as the “People’s Court,” is a place to get relatively quick and simple resolution of a civil (not criminal) dispute without the need for a lawyer. The claim cannot exceed $5,000 and must be for money only (not, for example, to force someone to fix a damaged item, or for pain and suffering).

These are typical types of Small Claims Court cases:

• Breach of a contract, lease, warranty or agreement

• Bounced or stopped check

• Loss of luggage, property, time from work, or use of property

When do you obtain a Criminal Court Order of Protection?

If your relationship to the abuser does not allow you to file a petition in Family Court you must seek relief in the Criminal Court. The procedure for obtaining an order of protection in Criminal Court is completely different than in Family Court. In Criminal Court the District Attorney, based on an arrest must bring a criminal case against your abuser in order for you to obtain an order of protection. The order will be temporary and you will receive it in the mail. If your abuser is convicted of the criminal offense against you, the temporary order of protection can be made “permanent”. For more information about a Criminal Court order of protection contact the Westchester County Domestic Violence & Child Abuse Bureau, or Attorney’s Office at (914) 995-3000. 

For information on serving legal papers visit www.undisputedlegal.com.  Open Monday – Friday 8am-8pm.  “When you want it done right the first time” contact undisputedlegal.com

How Do You Obtain A Family Court Order Of Protection?

In order to receive an order of protection from the Family Court the abuser must either be someone you are married to or divorced from; the parent of your child(ren); related to you by blood, such as a child, parent or sibling; or someone who you are or have been in an intimate relationship with, regardless of whether you have lived with the abuser or whether the relationship is of a sexual nature. Initially the order that you obtain in Family Court is temporary and only becomes effective once the alleged abuser (“abuser”) is served with it. You cannot serve the order of protection yourself. The order of protection must be served by either the police or anyone other than you who is over the age of 18. 

On the same day that you receive the temporary order of protection you will get a future court date. On that date, both you and the abuser will have to go to court to appear before the judge. The abuser may either opt to admit to the allegations in the petition and consent to abide by the order or deny the allegations. If the abuser admits to the allegations in the petition and consents to abide by the order, the order will become “permanent” (meaning that the order will last for a fixed amount of time, usually one or three years). If the abuser denies the allegations a date will be set for a “fact finding hearing”, which resembles a trial. If after the fact finding hearing the court finds that the abuser did indeed commit the allegations in the petition, your order of protection will become “permanent” (meaning that the order will last for a fixed amount of time, usually one or three years). If after the fact finding hearing the court finds that the abuser did not commit the allegations, the case will be dismissed and the temporary order of protection will end. If the abuser is served and fails to appear in court the judge will either adjourn the case and schedule another time for the abuser to appear or will grant your petition in the abuser’s absence. 

What is an Order of Protection?

An order of protection is an order issued by the Family Court, Criminal Court or Supreme Court that orders an abuser to stop committing offenses against you. You can also request an order of protection on behalf of your children which would protect both them and you from the abuser. 

For information on serving order of protection visit www.undisputedlegal.com.  Open Monday – Friday 8am-8pm.  “When you want it done right the first time” contact undisputedlegal.com

What is a Domestic Incident Report?

A Domestic Incident Report is a form that the New York State police use to record information about a domestic incident. The report contains information about the parties involved and the date, time and place of the incident. Also included in the report are the police officers’ observations and a summary of the incident. There is also a space in the form for the victim to write a brief statement about the incident. The DIR is a multi-part form, which allows both the police officers and the victim to retain a copy. If the incident is a serious domestic violence felony, police are required to make an arrest. 

For information on serving legal papers visit www.undisputedlegal.com.  Open Monday – Friday 8am-8pm.  “When you want it done right the first time” contact undisputedlegal.com

What does constructive abandonment mean?

This term is used to describe one spouse’s unjustified refusal for a period of one year or more to have sexual relations with her or his spouse. However, if the refusal is consented to or acquiesced in by the other spouse, it ceases to be a ground for divorce. In addition, a spouse who locks out her/his spouse or whose abuse drives the spouse from the home may have committed constructive abandonment. 

For information on serving legal papers visit www.undisputedlegal.com.  Open Monday – Friday 8am-8pm.  “When you want it done right the first time” contact undisputedlegal.com

Within A Marriage What Constitutes Physical Abandonment?

Generally, the ground of abandonment requires a voluntary separation by one spouse from the other for a period of one year or more with the intent not to resume cohabitation. The abandonment must be without the consent of the other spouse and be without justification. If physical abandonment is with the consent or acquiescence of the other spouse, it cannot be used as a ground for divorce. 

For information on serving legal papers visit www.undisputedlegal.com.  Open Monday – Friday 8am-8pm.  “When you want it done right the first time” contact undisputedlegal.com

Agreements To Share Expenses or Property

Generally, if it is legal for two persons who are not living together to enter into an agreement, it also is legal for the couple living together to enter into a similar agreement. The fact that two people are living together and unmarried does not make an agreement automatically illegal. So, if two people wish to agree about how much each will pay for rent, mortgage, utilities, groceries, auto expenses, etcetera, the agreement can be valid and enforceable. If one party does not keep his or her end of the bargain, that person can be sued. 

If the loss of a large amount of money is involved, a lawsuit or threat of a lawsuit may be worthwhile. If the dollar amount is relatively small, the wiser course of action probably is to walk away, hopefully with some added wisdom for dealing with the next relationship. Similarly, if there is no practical way to collect the amount due from the person who broke a promise if, for example, the person has virtually no assets and no steady source of income a lawsuit is not likely to be worth the effort.