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STEPS TO START THE DIVORCE ACTION IN NEW YORK

By: Undisputed Legal/Family Court Process Service Department

STEP 1. Prepare an original and two copies of the Summons With Notice (Form UD-1) or the Summons and Verified Complaint (Form UD-1a and Form UD-2).

STEP 2.Purchase an index number at the County Clerk’s Office and file the original of the Summons With Notice or the original of the Summons and Verified Complaint with the County Clerk. Unless you are granted a poor person’s waiver, you will be required to pay $210 for the index number. Check with the County Clerk regarding acceptable forms of payment. Many County Clerks also will require that you fill out an Index Number Application Form at the time of filing, so be sure to bring with you the names, addresses and telephone numbers of all of the attorneys or, if unrepresented, of the parties themselves.

FACTORS TO BE CONSIDERED IN DETERMINING CUSTODY OF A CHILD:

By: Undisputed Legal/Family Court Process Service Department

The general test in determining custody in a contest between parents, is the best interest and welfare of the child. Court decisions set forth several factors which are to be considered in determining best interests. These factors are as follows:

(1) The parent who has been the primary caretaker;

(2) The need for stability and continuity in the child’s life;

(3) The relative financial ability of each parent;

(4) The quality of home environment and the parental guidance each

parent provides;

(5) The ability of each parent to provide for the child’s emotional and

intellectual development;

(6) The relative fitness of each parent;

(7) The length of time the present custodial arrangement has been

in effect;

(8) The desires of the child.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA PROCESS SERVER LAWS AND REQUIREMENTS

By: Undisputed Legal/Process Service Department

The District of Columbia does not have any educational or registration requirements for private process servers. The Superior Court Rule of Civil Procedure (4)(c)(2) provides as follows: 

Service may be effected by any person who is not a party and who is at least 18 years of age. At the request of the plaintiff, however, the Court may direct that service be effected by a United States marshal, deputy United States marshal, or other person or officer specially appointed by the Court for that purpose. Such direction shall be made only (a) when service is to be effected on behalf of the United States or an officer or agency thereof, or (b) when the Court issues an order stating that service by a United States marshal or deputy United States marshal or a person specially appointed for that purpose is required in order that service be properly effected in that particular action. 

Stalking Is Considered Domestic Violence

By: Undisputed Legal/Family Court Process Service Department

Stalking is a crime in New York State. Despite the now commonplace use of the term “stalking,” it is a serious safety risk and should be treated as such. Stalking is one person’s unwanted pursuit of another person. While some stalkers are strangers or acquaintances of those they target, most are current or former spouses or intimate partners who “just won’t let go.” Stalking can occur during a relationship or after it has ended. Many intimate partner stalkers also physically or sexually assault their victims or threaten to do so.

Stalking often involves the perpetrator:

  • following you or showing up wherever you are;
  • driving by or hanging out near your home, school, or workplace, or any other place you normally go;
  • communicating with you or trying to do so after you’ve told them not to, including:
  • calling you on the phone (including hang-ups);
  • texting you or sending you messages via social networking sites;
  • sending you unwanted letters, cards, e-mails, or gifts;
  • asking your family, friends, co-workers, children, or others to leave messages for you or to find out information about you;
  • monitoring your phone calls or computer use;
  • damaging your home, car, or other property (or threatening to do so);
  • accessing your online accounts and other secure personal information; or
  • taking other actions that control, track, intimidate or frighten you.

While some of the stalking behaviors listed above may not seem dangerous or threatening to an outsider – and may not be illegal on their own – a pattern of stalking is serious and should be treated that way. If you are being stalked, it is important to keep a record of what is happening. This can become useful evidence if you decide to get help from the police or court. Every time something happens, you should record:

  • the date, time and location of the incident;
  • a description of the incident, including photos, if relevant;
  • any witnesses, including their names, addresses, and phone numbers; and
  • any police or legal assistance you seek and the documentation and outcome of that service.

Note: If you have texts or e-mails from the stalker on your phone, save them. If you goto the police, they may want to take photos of the messages as evidence.

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

Lease Agreement What You Should Know

By: Undisputed Legal/Eviction Service Department

A lease is a contract between a landlord and a tenant, containing the terms and conditions of the rental. It cannot be changed while it is in effect unless both parties agree. Leases for apartments which are not rent stabilized may be oral or written. To avoid disputes, the parties 

may wish to enter into a written agreement. A party must sign the lease in order to be bound by its terms. An oral lease for more than one year cannot be legally enforced (General Obligations Law § 5-701). 

If the Employer Finds Something Negative in Your Background 

By: Undisputed Legal/Skip Trace Department

If your background report has some negative information, be prepared to explain it — and the reason it shouldn’t affect your ability to do the job. Here is a description of your rights, depending on what type of negative information the employer finds: 

Criminal History or Other Public Records: 

If you don’t get hired or promoted because of information in your criminal history or other public records, the employer must tell you orally, in writing, or electronically: 

Beware of Debt Help Scams

By: Undisputed Legal/Court Service Department

Many companies send offers to help you solve all of your debt problems quickly for a low fee. 

Sounds like a good offer, right? 

WRONG. Unfortunately, if an offer seems too good to be true, it usually is. Many of the companies promising to help you with your debt problems will actually cause more grief in the long run. Learn how to spot the signs of a scam. 

Signs a “debt help” company is trying to “scam” you: 

It promises to remove all of your debt. Debt does not disappear unless you pay it off. Any company that says it can get rid of your debt is trying to rip you off. 

Do I have to have a lawyer to write my will?

By: Undisputed Legal/Court Service Department

No. If your will meets the legal requirements established by the law of your state, it is valid, whether or not you wrote it with a lawyer’s help. However, a lawyer can help ensure that your will is more than just valid. Your lawyer can make sure that the will does what you really want it to do. It is for this reason that more than 85 percent of Americans who have wills worked with a lawyer. 

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

Sixth Amendment Right to Counsel

By: Undisputed Legal/Court Service Department

A. When Right Attaches 

1. The Sixth Amendment provides that “in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right . . . to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.” 

a. State constitution, Const. art. I, § 22, is co-extensive with the Sixth Amendment. See generally State v. Medlock, 86 Wn. App. 89, 97-935 P.2d 693, review denied, 133 Wn.2d 1012 (1997). 

2. The Sixth Amendment right to counsel does not attach until a prosecution is commenced, that is, at or after the initiation of adversary judicial criminal proceedings, whether by way of formal charge, preliminary hearing, indictment, information, or arraignment. McNeil v. Wisconsin, 501 U.S. 171, 175, 115 L. Ed. 2d 158, 111 S. Ct. 2204 (1991). 

a. A defendant’s custodial status is irrelevant to the determination of whether the Sixth Amendment right to counsel has attached. 

Delaware Process Server Laws & Requirements

By: Undisputed Legal/Process Service Department

The requirements for process servers in the state of Delaware vary by court. The Court of Chancery, the Court of Common Please, and the Justice of the Peace Courts all require registration for special process servers. 

Court – Requirement

Court of ChanceryAnnual registration requirement/No education requirement

Superior Court -No Requirements

Family CourtDelaware Family Court Civil Rule 4(c) requires that “[s]ervice of process shall be made by the sheriff to whom the writ is directed, by a sheriff’s deputy, by a deputy designated and sworn by the Chief Judge, or by some person specially appointed by the Court for that purpose. . . “

Court of Common PleasAnnual registration requirement. The court has developed a packet with guidance for applicants. There is no separate court order outlining the process.

Justice of the PeaceAnnual registration process. The court has developed a packet with guidance for applicants. There is no separate court order outlining the process. Process servers must complete an application and undergo a criminal justice background check.