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HOW NEW YORK STATE HANDLES SEXUAL ABUSES OF CHILDREN

A person who sexually abuses a child under 18, can be punished in different ways in the courts. In a criminal case, the People of the State of New York charge the abuser with crimes to punish and possibly imprison them. In a civil case, the victim sues the abuser for money to make up for any harm caused by the sexual abuse.

There are laws that say how long after an event, a court case can be started based on those events. These laws are called Statutes of Limitations. Under the Child Victims Act, child sex abuse victims now have more time to seek justice against their abusers. CPLR 214-G, CPL 30.10(3)f.

Time Period for Starting Cases-There are different time periods for starting cases against the child sex abuser or the institution that covered up or was involved in the abuse. The time period depends on the type of case.

HOW TO GET A COPY OF A DEATH CERTIFICATE

A death certificate is a paper that records the official date and location of a person’s death. The funeral director usually purchases several copies for your use.

In some cases, you might need a “certified” copy of the death certificate. A certified copy has security features that proves that the document is genuine. Depending on where the death certificate is from a certified copy can have a watermark, a raised seal, micro-printing, multi-colored background, heat sensitive ink, etc. A certified copy is good for legal purposes such as settling an estate or claiming insurance benefits.

Person Died In New York City- If the person died in New York City (Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island), you can order a certified copy of the death certificate online or by mail from the Office of Vital Records.

PROPER COURT TO ISSUE WARRANT – NEW YORK

The application must contain the name of the court (CPL 690.35 [3] [a]). Search warrants are issuable by local criminal courts (CPL 690.35 [2] [a]). A superior court (a supreme court or a county court) may issue a search warrant, but when those courts do so they sit as “local criminal courts” (CPL 690.20 [1]; CPL 10.10 [1], [2]). Under CPL 690.20 (1), a search warrant of the Supreme Court, County Court, District Court, or the New York City Criminal Court may be executed anywhere in the State.

The language authorizing “a local criminal court” to issue a search warrant comports with CPL 10.10 (3) (f) and (g), which contemplates supreme court justices or county court judges sitting as local criminal courts. The New York City criminal court is a local criminal court (CPL 10.10 [3] [b]), as is any district court (CPL 10.10 [3] [a]). Thus, in People v Carson (216 AD2d 965 [4th Dept 1995]), the appellate division upheld a search warrant issued by the county court sitting as a local criminal court even though the warrant did not say so. In People v Johnson (165 Misc 2d 227 [Rochester City Ct 1995]), the court invalidated a search warrant (issued by a county judge) because it did not indicate that the court was sitting as a local criminal court. This decision was rejected, correctly, in People v Rhoades (166 Misc 2d 979 [Sup Ct, Monroe County 1995]).

Collecting a Money Judgment In New Jersey

If money is owed you because you have been awarded a judgment in the Special Civil Part, you are a judgment creditor. You should contact the person who owes you the money (the judgment debtor) to discuss payment. Payments sometimes are made on the day of the court hearing or over time. If you do not receive the money that is owed you, there are several ways the court can help you collect it.

Although the court will try to help you collect the money owed to you, it cannot guarantee your debt will be paid. The forms for the different methods of collection outlined in this brochure are available in any New Jersey Special Civil Part Office. A complaint packet and an answer packet for self-represented litigants, with accompanying instructions, is available in any New Jersey Special Civil Part Office and is available at njcourts.gov.

Things to Think About Before You Represent Yourself in Court

Try to Get a Lawyer

The court system can be confusing and it is a good idea to get a lawyer if you can. The law, the proofs necessary to present your case, and the procedural rules governing cases in the Law Division, Civil Part are complex. Since valuable claims or potentially heavy judgments may be at stake, most litigants appearing in the Law Division, Civil Part have a lawyer. If you are being sued, please contact your insurance company to see if they might provide a lawyer for you. Most likely your opponent will be represented by a lawyer. It is recommended that you make every effort to obtain the assistance of a lawyer. If you cannot afford a lawyer, you may contact the legal services program in your county to see if you qualify for free legal services. The telephone number can be found online or in your local yellow pages under “Legal Aid” or “Legal Services.”

HOW TO FILE A SMALL CLAIMS LAWSUIT IN NEW JERSEY

Small Claims Court

Small claims are lawsuits for $3,000 or less. Renters can file for a return of a security deposit of $5,000 or less in small claims court.

Examples of small claims:

  • A person or company failed to comply with a written or oral contract.
  • Your car was damaged in an accident.
  • You paid money as a down payment and want it returned .
  • Your property was damaged or lost.
  • You bought a product that doesn’t work.
  • Work you paid for was faulty or not completed.
  • You want to be paid for work you did.
  • Someone wrote you a bad check.
  • You gave a landlord a security deposit that was not returned. NOTE: The limit for security deposit returns is $5,000 in small claims court.

HOW TO OBTAIN DIVORCE RECORDS IN NEW JERSEY

In New Jersey, divorce cases (termed “dissolution cases” by the courts) are filed and heard in the Family Division of the Superior Court at the county court level. After a case is completed and a judgment of divorce issued, the case is closed. Records for closed divorce cases are stored and archived by the Superior Court Clerk’s Office at our warehouse in Trenton. The number of years between the time a case is closed and the time the case records are transferred to the Superior Court Clerk’s Office for archiving varies from county to county.

In many circumstances it may not be necessary to obtain a copy of the actual Judgment of Divorce. The Superior Court Clerk’s Office can prepare a Certificate of Divorce for a nominal fee. The certificate contains the county of venue, docket number, names of the parties and date of the Final Judgment of Divorce, and is stamped with the Seal of the Superior Court.

How to remove your criminal and/or juvenile record in NJ

What is an Expungement?

An expungement is the removal and isolation of all records on file within any court, detention or correctional facility, law enforcement, criminal justice agency or juvenile justice agency concerning a person’s apprehension, arrest, detention, trial or disposition of an offense within the criminal or juvenile justice system. Unless otherwise provided by law, if an order for expungement is granted, the adult arrest, the record of law enforcement taking you into custody as a juvenile, conviction, adjudication of delinquency, disposition and any related proceedings are considered not to have occurred. See the section on Comparison of Adult and Juvenile Terms for a glossary of terms that are specific to juvenile court.

The New Jersey expungement law states in detail who is eligible for an expungement. 

WE FIGHT AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, DO YOU NEED HELP?

What is domestic violence?

A person who has experienced domestic violence may ask the court for a restraining order.

  • What is domestic violence?
    • Domestic violence includes crimes by people who are, or were, in a family or romantic relationship or have ever lived together.
  • Who can get a domestic violence restraining order?
    • In general, people who are or were married, living together, or dating, and people with a child together, can qualify for a domestic violence restraining order.
  • What is a restraining order?
    • A restraining order bars someone from having contact with you and can provide other relief.
    • A “temporary” restraining order (TRO) is in effect until a court hearing can be scheduled for the judge to talk to both of the parties.
    • A “final” restraining order (FRO) is in effect permanently unless a judge grants the victim’s request to vacate the order.

Requesting a Restraining Order

  • Emergency: Call 911
  • During court hours: Go to the Family Division Office of the Superior Court in the county where you live or are staying, where the domestic violence happened, or where the other person lives.
  • When court is closed: Go to the police department where you live, where the domestic violence happened or where the other person lives.

To file a criminal complaint, in addition to requesting a restraining order, you must go to the munIcipal court or the police department where the act of domestic violence happened.

Divorce And Deciding Whether To Go To Trial

By: Undisputed Legal/Divorce Process Service Department

The decision of whether or not to go to trial and to have a judge decide contested issues often involves a cost-benefit analysis. If the financial benefit that may be received from going to trial is high compared to the cost of going to trial, it may make sense to go to trial. For example, if wife and husband dispute the value of a business started by the husband during the marriage and the difference in their valuations is substantial, then it may make sense to let a judge decide the issue rather than give in to an unreasonable valuation by the other side.