Archive | May, 2013

UPDATE ON FOWLER CASE

30 May

12 year old I. Fowler was arraigned yesterday in Juvenile Court.  The Defendant denied the charges brought against him.  The defendant is being charged with second degree murder of his 8 year old sister.  

http://www.isciencetimes.com/articles/5287/20130530/12-year-old-denies-charge-leila-fowler.htm

DUI DEFENSE IN NEW MEXICO

30 May

Probable cause…. car crash due to driver having sex while driving his vehicle intoxicated… 

 

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/drunk-car-sex-crash-785912

Link

Glendora Cold Case

23 May

Glendora Cold Case

Coroner digging up backyard in search of woman missing since 1978

Only in Texas: Morality Clauses in Divorce Judgments

23 May

 

In the county of Collins in Texas, it is standard practice to put a morality clause in the final divorce proceedings between the parties.  

 

A judge has ruled that a North Texas lesbian couple can’t live together because of a morality clause in one of the women’s divorce papers.  A morality clause in the state of Texas is also triggered as soon as the divorce papers are filed and continues to remain in effect until the final judgment.   What is a morality clause anyways?  Here is a good example: 

“Moral Environment: Both parents shall provide the children with a proper and moral environment. Neither parent will have an overnight guest of the opposite sex to whom that parent is not related by blood or marriage while the children are present. Neither parent shall consume excessive amounts of alcohol in the presence of the children, nor shall use of illegal drugs be allowed or tolerated in any way.”

Morality Clauses in California do not exist with regard to having overnight guests.  When custody is in dispute, California does provide for provisions with regard to the presence of alcohol and/or illegal drugs.  Now that does not mean that during a dissolution, especially involving children, that it is a good idea to have people coming and going from your bedroom at all times of the day.  In fact, as a family law lawyer, I would strongly caution against this type of behavior as it can be damaging to your case.  Not only could it potentially cast a shadow on your parental obligations and abilities, but if you are found to be cohabitating with an individual of the opposite sex in California there is presumption that your need for spousal support has decreased.  (NOTE: the law has not been updated to reflect this situation involving same-sex couples).  

Apparently in Texas, the clause is common in divorce cases. While in theory it prevents a divorced parent from having a romantic partner spend the night while children are in the home to protect the children, in reality it is a means for one spouse to control the other spouse’s daily activities.  It should be noted that if the new couple marries, they can get out from under the legal provision of the morality clause, but this leaves same-sex couples stuck in the same position they seem to always be in.  ESPECIALLY in Texas —  marriage is not an option for gay couples in Texas, such marriages aren’t recognized.

For more on the story of the Judge who stated that the same-sex couple could no longer reside together read here:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/texas-judge-says-lesbian-couple-cant-cohabitate-cites-morality-clause-in-divorce-papers/2013/05/21/295ddd70-c26b-11e2-9642-a56177f1cdf7_story.html

Jodi Arias Jury Unable

23 May

Jury is hung over whether to sentence Jodi Arias to death. In Arizona if the jury in a sentencing hearing cannot decide on death unanimously then another panel must be sworn in and a second deliberation will begin.

That is the case in the Jodi Arias sentencing hearing yesterday and today. A second panel will be sworn in. If the second panel cannot reach an unanimous verdict for death then Arias will face lift in prison without the possibility of parol.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/05/22/jodi-arias-speaks-out-about-case-in-jailhouse-interview-as-jury-deliberates-her/?intcmp=trending

Death Penalty is Expected in the Jodi Arias Hearing Today

20 May

Jodi Arias is scheduled to appear in Court this morning for what will hopefully be the last appearance. Today should bring about an end to the sentencing phase of her trial, which is expected to result in a death penalty verdict.

Today is the day where the jury will be deciding whether or not Arias will be executed for the murder of Travis Alexander. The jury is the same jury that convicted Ms. Arias for the murder. Earlier last week, the jury decided the act was sufficiently cruel to warrant the death penalty, now they must decide if that penalty will be given to Arias.

Members of Alexander’s family testified last week about the impact his death has had on their family. Steven Alexander, Travis’ younger brother, told the jury about how he dreams about the slaying often and has developed ulcers requiring hospitalization since the incident, according to Reuters.

Car Seat Laws California

20 May

Mommy Monday 

We are starting a new post on Mondays as a part of our blog series.  As a parent and as family law attorneys we take laws considering children seriously.  Make sure you are always up to date on the most recent legislation.

CAR SEAT LEGISLATION CALIFORNIA’S CURRENT LAWS

Children under the age of 8 must be secured in a car seat or booster seat in the back seat. Our suggestions is to ensure your child’s safety keep them in a car seat as long as possible, but follow the guidelines from the manufacturer on the seat that you buy. 

Children under the age of 8 who are 4′ 9″ or taller may be secured by a safety belt in the back seat.

Children who are 8 years and over shall be properly secured in an appropriate child passenger restraint system or safety belt.

Passengers who are 16 years of age and over are subject to California’s Mandatory Seat Belt law.

Buckling up is the single most effective thing you can do to protect yourself in a crash. Also, seat belts are the best defense against impaired, aggressive, and distracted drivers.

 

If you ever need your car seat checked for safety, you can always stop by any CHP office to have them check it for you.  To find your local office utilize this website: http://www.chp.ca.gov/depts_divs_offs/geodiv.html