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February 2017 Archives

Master Calendar Hearing

MasterCalendarHearing.jpgA master calendar hearing is a short case that has to do with immigration . These meetings are usually the start as a way to remove an immigrant from the United States. The judge will schedule dates in which your defense, claims, or documents will be discussed in detail. You meet with a judge and a government attorney at this master calendar hearing. With a matter that is so serious, you are going to want to get an attorney. Your attorney will attend this meeting, and be there to answer most questions for you.
If you are placed in a situation where you have a master calendar meeting, it is important to make sure that you are fully prepared. You will first receive a notice to appear which will let you know the specific time, date, and place you need to be. If you want, you are able to bring family members to court with you. You must make sure that any family members that you bring are legal immigrants. It is always a good idea to make sure that you appear your best! How you dress is important. Do not be absent and do not arrive late. This will only hurt you in the long run. In a situation like this, a judge might deny your legal claim/ defense. It's not just about looking the part and making sure that you are there on time. It's especially important to make sure that you have any documents and paperwork that you need. ( Some of these might include your driver's license, passport, and NTA notice) Remember that this initial court case is usually very short.
You are definitely going to want to know what you can expect when you get there. When you get to court, you are not going to be the only one who is there for your master calendar hearing. There will be other people there as well. Their court time will be scheduled in the same time block as yours. When the judge is ready for you, you will be called by your alien registration number. You will then speak to the judge, or your attorney will. If you are in need of any interpreter, you will have that option. You will be asked about your basic information, such as name, address, about your language, etc. If you do have a lawyer, they will represent you. The judge will review any charges against you. You will have to either admit or deny these charges. You need to really read and fully understand everything in your NTA before going to court. If any of the information in your NTA is incorrect, then you have to make that known. 

Deciding Child Custody

DecidingChildCustody.jpgWhen a state is trying to decide who should have custody over a child, they are always going to want to consider what is in the best interest of the child. They often want to keep a family together, but they want to make sure that the parent is fit to provide for the child. There are many factors involved that you can expect a court to judge in order to come to the best solution.
One factor that a court will consider when making a decision is the age of the child. Although the viewpoint that a younger child should live with their mother is outdated to some degree, it still holds true in court. If the mother has been the primary caregiver, then they may want the child to live with the mother.
The court will also consider the living situation of each parent. Sometimes in a case the parent that stays in the family home is granted custody. The family home can be viewed as a space of stability for the child. It will also allow a child to go about their daily lives the same way that they were doing. In some situations the parent that has custody over the child is awarded with the family home. If your living situation is not ideal while you are trying to get back on your feet after a divorce, then you will not receive custody of your child. The court wants your child to be living in an ideal, safe , and stable location. How far away your home is from your spouse will also make a difference in the court's decision. The court will want the child to be close to their school and regular activities. 

No-Fault Divorce VS Fault Divorce

No-FaultDivorceVSFaultDivorce.jpgIt is always an unfortunate scenario when a marriage ends in a divorce. With the divorce rate being so high, there are more and more court cases granting divorce. There are two different ways in which you can file for divorce. One of these ways is with a no-fault divorce, and another one of these ways is with a fault divorce. It's important to consider the differences between the two, so if you file for divorce, you can make the process as easy and painless as possible.
A no-fault divorce allows a couple to go through the court process without including personal details involved in their separation. The couple involved will not have to dish out their dirty laundry, and reveal any of the heartbreaking, rough details about why their marriage did not work. A no-fault divorce does not put fault on either person involved. It simply is like stating that the couple could not get along for one reason or another, and there is no way for them to move past it in order to keep the marriage going. This will keep your personal business private. If you file for a no-fault divorce, the court will not consider any private information revealed such as if your spouse engaged in a bad behavior. Most states have laws allowing you to have a no-fault divorce. There are still some states that do not consider this a proper proposal of why your marriage should lead to a divorce. If there is a state that views it this way, then you can still be granted a divorce based on the grounds of "separation". This is a way to avoid resorting to fault.
A fault divorce is when a spouse may say that the action of the other spouse is what lead to this divorce. About two thirds of the U.S. still allow for couples to engage in a fault divorce. Some of the actions that one spouse might have committed that has lead to this fault divorce is adultery, abandonment, substance abuse, or felony. A fault divorce can provide the court with factors as to why a couple should be granted a divorce. Fault can also be a factor that can help the courts to decide how to divide property. The court may reward the spouse who did not take part in detrimental behavior in this case. Fault can also be used as way to award alimony. Alimony is spousal support. When there is a fault divorce, there are also defenses involved in order to prove that you are not at fault in this case. The defenses for these cases are collusion, condonation, connivance, and recrimination. 

Understanding Product Liability

UnderstandingProductLiability.jpgEvery year there are thousands and thousands of people who get hurt from products that were defective or dangerous. These may leave people with medical expenses, painful injury, or even be life threatening. There are laws set up for individuals who may experience a situation like this in order to protect that person.
Product liability laws help someone who was injured due to a defective or dangerous product earn compensation for the damages they received. In a case like this, the manufacturer or seller is viewed as responsible for the consumer's injury. The product must meet a certain criteria in order to be distributed in stores.
There is no federal product liability law according to Find Law, but typically a claim is based on state laws. In a situation like this, a defective good must have been purchased. A person might purchase the defective good for themselves, or they could have made this purchase for someone that they know. It doesn't matter who received the purchased item. If this item did damage to whoever received it, then the party involved is liable. These parties could include the product manufacturer, a manufacturer of component parts, the party that assembles the product, the wholesaler, or the retail store that sold the product. 

Understanding The Process Of Foreclosure

UnderstandingTheProcessOfForeclosure.jpgForeclosure is the action of taking possession of a mortgaged property when the mortgagor fails to keep up their mortgage payments. It becomes a reality more and more for homeowners that they might lose their home to foreclosure. This could be a very scary thought and process, so it's important to have an understanding of your rights as well as what to expect.
Usually when individuals go through the process of getting a mortgage, they sign a promissory note. A promissory note basically is you agreeing to pay this loan, as well as the terms for repayment, such as the time period in which you must pay by. 

Social Security Benefits

SocialSecurityBenefits.jpgWhen it comes to claiming disability many people may expect to be accepted and receive benefits. This is not always the case. Many people are denied and some of the reasons why you are denied are out of your control. There are some ways that you maybe be able to avoid receiving denial.
SSDI(Social Security Disability Insurance) and SSI(Supplemental Security Income)are both federal programs that provide cash payments to people who meet the definition of "disabled". Both programs are very different though. Each has its own set of requirements that you need to meet in order to receive these benefits. SSI is meant to meet the needs of individuals who struggle with blindness, who are elderly, or who are disabled. It has very strict financial requirements. SSDI is a program that is available to any individual that has paid into the Social Security System. They must have been doing this for the last 10 years.
One reason why many people are denied SSDI or SSI benefits is because they earn too much income. You are able to work a small amount when you apply and collect SSDI, but you can not earn over a certain limit. This number of how much you are allowed to earn is changed every year. According to NOLO, in 2017, you are able to make up to $1,170 per month. 

CommonDefensesToCriminalCharges.jpgCriminal law involves prosecution by the government of a person for an act that has been classified as a crime. Civil cases, on the other hand, involve individuals and organizations seeking to resolve legal disputes. In a criminal case, the state, through a prosecutor, initiates the suit, while in a civil case the victim brings the suit. Persons convicted of a crime may be incarcerated, fined, or both. However, persons found liable in a civil case may only have to give up property or pay money, but are not incarcerated.
To convict a criminal defendant, there must be proof that they are guilty. The defendant will be able to have the opportunity to try to prove otherwise. There are many defenses that are used in cases like these. Some of these would include, "I didn't do it", or " I did it as a means of self-defense".
The most common defense used is, " I did not do it". Those individuals claim that they did not do the alleged act in question. Everyone who is presented with a court case is considered innocent until they are proven guilty. The prosecution must convince the jury of the defendant's guilt. The defendant in question may choose to stay quiet and not provide any witnesses. According to NOLO, in practice, defense attorneys often present their own witnesses in order to counteract the government's case. 

What You Will Receive In Compensation For Personal Injury

WhatYouWillReceiveInCompensationForPersonalInjury.jpgPersonal Injury cases are happening all of the time. Some people may question whether or not it is worth it to go through the process of getting a lawyer. There are different types of compensation available depending on the severity of your accident as well as other factors. There are multiple aspects to consider when evaluating your accident or injury case. Whether you are filing for personal injury because of a slip or fall, car accident, or any other injury, it really will come down to the damages done.
A person who files for personal injury is looking to obtain money as a result of the damage done. They are expecting fair compensation from the company who is found legally responsible for their injury. A settlement is negotiated between both parties, insurance companies, as well as their attorneys. The compensation earned will be able to pay medical bills and reimburse property damage. 

Why Young People Need To Think About Estate Planning

WhyYoungPeopleNeedToThinkAboutEstatePlanning.jpgA lot of young people do not think about estate planning, but it is important to recognize that you have assets that need to be protected. Not only do you have assets that need to be protected, but you also need to protect yourself. You may want to learn about the different legal actions that you can take in order to protect what you have or protect what happens to your health or even business. This is always especially important to consider if you have children. You will want to make sure you turn to a lawyer that you can trust, as well as avoid making any mistakes throughout the process.
You may want to learn more about wills, trusts, healthcare proxies, power of attorney, and more. Check out our previous blog posts for an in depth explanation of the following. Even if you are in your 20's and 30's, you may want to make an estate planning checklist!
Many people do not want to think about them becoming unable to make their own decisions with their body. It is definitely very important for you to think about who you would trust to make your medical decisions for you if you were to become unable to. A healthcare proxy is an absolute must! Not only does the agent appointed get to make medical decisions if you cannot, but they also will have access to your medical records. This is also known as HIPAA authorization. 

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