Q&A Forum

questions and answers

I was put on conditional discharge for possession/paraphernalia under 50 grams and failed my first CD test, going back to court April 11.

In my opinion, the biggest factor involved in answering your question is which municipality you are in. I have handled many violations of the conditional discharge program over the years and I have found that the results ultimately vary based upon the people involved. In general, when faced with situations such as yours, I have searched for the most compelling reasons to explain why you may have failed the test and why, under all of the circumstances, you are a perfect candidate to be placed back in the conditional discharge program to be given a second chance to successfully complete it.

Court Ordered me to sign a release to my X so he can access my SS disability record. The Court Order-“Order For Authorization For Release Of Records”. What will the Court do to me if I don’t comply with the Order?

First and foremost, you are always required to strictly follow the terms of a lawful Court Order. If you disagree with it, there are procedures under the law that you can follow to try to set the Order aside. I urge you to consult with an experienced family lawyer. The consequences of violating the Order can be quite severe, so in the meantime, you need to do everything you can to comply.

I have a temporary restraining order against my husband for domestic violence. Before the hearing for the final restraining order, his lawyer is trying to convert the restraining order to a civil restrain and negotiate.  He also has a criminal case against him for domestic violence. 
Will my changing the restraining order to civil restrain weaken his case for the criminal charge? 
I don’t want to weaken the criminal case, so I am confused on which way to go.

Technically speaking, the decision you make in relation to the domestic violence restraining order should have no bearing on the outcome of he criminal action. Your decision as to whether to proceed on the restraining order or, in the alternative, to agree to civil restraints, should be based upon a thorough evaluation and analysis of all of the factors relating to your specific circumstances, such as whether you are in fear for your safety, whether there are children and support issues involved, etc. These are relatively complex decisions with serious consequences for everyone involved. I urge you to get advice from a lawyer experienced in both family and criminal law.

I had a temporary restraining order. I don’t want it anymore. I thought it would drop off but he didn’t appear in court so he was arrested. I was told I could not come near him. But I never went to the court date. Need clarity in the state of NJ.

In New Jersey final and “indefinite” domestic violence restraining orders never expire on their own accord. Howeve if you never appeared for the the final hearing the TRO should have been dismissed. It seems like you and/or he may have more than just the family court TRO pending since he was recently arrested. I would consult with the domestic violence unit of the county superior court or non-profit programs for victims of domestic violence such as Alternatives to Domestic Violence.

The Intensive Settlement Conference is appointed all day for March 8 and in case no agreement reached to March 9. The case started from August 2014. My lawyer was preparing to file the motion more then a year. Now he is pushing to file the motion …

One of the most important factors involved in developing and maintaining a strong attorney-client relationship is the free flow of communications between attorney and client. Most of all, the client must feel that he or she can freely and openly discuss all aspects of the case without being unfairly judged or ignored. Understandably, many clients hesitate to contact their lawyers to avoid driving up fees. However, most lawyers are sympathetic to this issue and will work with their clients to reach a balance between being fairly compensated and ensuring that they have obtained all the information relevant to the case.

I’m in a custody battle with DFACS and my ex (who has no legal rights to the child) has a judge/lawyer representing him in my case. This same judge is presiding over a domestic abuse case between my ex and myself.

I am not licensed to practice in GA but I can say with confidence that there is no state I could imagine that arrangement would be permitted. It would be a clear violation of judicial ethics to represent a party in a matter with related litigation over which you preside as the judge. I would consult with a qualified lawyer and seek advice regarding the best steps to take in the best interests of you and your child.

I received a letter from attorney to return a statement to them in 10 days. I received the letter 2/17/17. Is the 10th day 2/27/17 or 3/3/17?

NJ Court Rules spell it out:

1:3-1. Computation of Time

In computing any period of time fixed by rule or court order, the day of the act or event from which the designated period begins to run is not to be included. The last day of the period so computed is to be included, unless it is a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, in which event the period runs until the end of the next day which is neither a Saturday, Sunday nor legal holiday. In computing a period of time of less than 7 days, Saturday, Sunday and legal holidays shall be excluded.

So, according to the Court Rules, since the period exceeds 7 days, you should count the weekends and holidays.

I hired an attorney to draft a motion for sanctions against my opponent for failing to file discovery. The judge granted the motion and I filed an affidavit for his services in what I paid him. Now the other side is saying they are entitled to see…

It sounds as though you are representing yourself in this action and that you have engaged the assistance of a lawyer to draft pleadings and other documents, some or all of which have been submitted to the Court. In that context, I believe the following ethics opinion would apply: 
New Jersey Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Professional Ethics Op. 713 (2008) 
Limited Representation is fully permissible as long it follows the requirements of RPC 1.2 (c). Disclosure of limited assistance is not required if part of a non-profit program designed to provide legal assistance to people of limited means, or if it represents an effort by a lawyer to aid someone who is otherwise unable to afford an attorney. Disclosure of limited assistance is required in other situations such as when a used as a tactic to gain advantage in litigation or when a lawyer effectively controls the final form and wording of pleadings and the conduct of litigation. 
In any event, I urge you to discuss this with the lawyer who performed the services for you or another competent NJ litigator. While doing so may adversely impact your ability to minimize legal fees, I believe that without proper advice you risk too much by taking on an adversary who is a licensed attorney.

Went in the next day with proof, but I have to go to court to resolve.

It is possible to negotiate with the municipal prosecutor to waive the fine and pay court costs only. You would need to enter a “not guilty” plea with the court and attend the court date. You would show the prosecutor your insurance card valid during the date of the stop and ask him or her if you could plead guilty but waive the fine, which is $150. Ultimately, it is in the discretion of the prosecutor and judge to waive the fine. If they do, you will probably be required to pay the court costs around $39.

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