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Jeanne M. Hannah
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In these days of Covid-19, being able to serve process upon a defendant has become a difficult issue. Many lawyers express concern about this. Some years ago, I had to achieve service of process in Thailand upon a defendant in a divorce and custody case. I was fortunate to find a then-recent case that explained a process calculated not only to give the trial judge authority to issue an ex parte order authorizing such service of process, but also to provide a framework or process by which the plaintiff could then provide the Court with screenshots showing definitively that service of process had actually been achieved. Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2020 at UPDATES IN MICHIGAN FAMILY LAW
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Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-41 on Wednesday, April 8, 2020. The Order will reduce unnecessary in-person contact, through the use of electronic signatures, remote notarizations, remote witness attestations and acknowledgments, and remote visitations in order to protect the health and safety of Michigan citizens. Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2020 at UPDATES IN MICHIGAN FAMILY LAW
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The Coronavirus, school closures, shelter in place orders bring challenges to families. Parents working from home and children home from school. How can parents keep their children busy, happy, and productive? Art Lessons? Why not art lessons or art projects? Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2020 at UPDATES IN MICHIGAN FAMILY LAW
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The Washington Post published yesterday, as part of its free Covid-90 coverage provided to all, a terrific article/how-to / AND pattern so that people can make their own face masks. The link shows not only the pattern, which you can print on your p[rinter, but also short videos showing the process. Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2020 at UPDATES IN MICHIGAN FAMILY LAW
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Elder lawyers in Michigan and elsewhere been discussing the issue raised so often now during Covid-19. Who gets the ventilator, whose life is worth saving? . . . Who makes the choice? And What makes life worth living? Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2020 at UPDATES IN MICHIGAN FAMILY LAW
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Michigan parents and parents in other states want to know what they are expected to do about custody and parenting time during this critical time of Coronavirus with school closures affecting so many families. They ask: Must I follow the existing parenting time order? As with so many child-related queries, the answer must be: "That depends." * * * What to do with your children to keep them busy while you Work From Home? Free resources! Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2020 at UPDATES IN MICHIGAN FAMILY LAW
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Welfare Checks: How should a court balance the constitutional rights of parents to be free from warrantless searches by law enforcement and child welfare agencies against the needs of children to be safe from neglect and abuse? Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2020 at UPDATES IN MICHIGAN FAMILY LAW
Price. The Price of The Clock is $ 10,000 or best offer. Payment. Within three (3) days of the Agreement to Purchase, all purchases must be paid in full by cash or certified funds made payable to Seller. Bank wire transfers to an account designated by Seller will be accepted... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2020 at Treasure Trove
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It is important for you to know how to perform legal research or any other kind of research. You can readily do research into complex issues even if you don't have Lexis Nexis, West Law, The LawNet, or CaseText (free to members of the State Bar of Michigan). You can do a lot of research just by using Google Legal Scholar. However, to narrow down the search and obtain an answer quickly, one needs to use a keyword search--ideally a Boolean research query. Truly, practice makes perfect. Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2020 at UPDATES IN MICHIGAN FAMILY LAW
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Professor Daniel Pollack, a professor at Yeshiva University’s School of Social Work in New York City is a frequent contributor to this blog. Professor Pollack is also a lawyer. Today he has sent along a link to an article in a journal published online this date: "Text Taunting to Suicide: The Role of Child Protective Services" discusses the role that Child Protective Services workers should play in today's complex world where texting seems to be the most favored means of communicating. Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2019 at UPDATES IN MICHIGAN FAMILY LAW
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Twenty-one children have died from heatstroke in cars since just the start of 2019; more than 800 children have died from this preventable tragedy since 1998. Technology exists to solve this problem. How simple it would be for auto manufacturers to install an alarm to remind a driver that there are children remaining in the car. After all, there are alarms to remind passengers to put on their seat belts. Pending legislation would make installation of a similar alarm when weight on the back seat(s) could mean that there is a child to be removed. Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2019 at UPDATES IN MICHIGAN FAMILY LAW
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As Michigan contemplates modifications to Michigan law regarding surrogacy and A.R.T., the issue raised in a 2013 Kansas case is again questioned. Should a sperm donor ever have any liability for child support for a child or children in an anonymous sperm donor case? Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2019 at UPDATES IN MICHIGAN FAMILY LAW
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The issue arises today in a query from a colleague regarding whether some kind of service of process may be used other than a process server or service by publication. In 2015, this writer had a case involving a defendant who lived in Thailand. Not only did the wife not have a mailbox to which certified mail with restricted delivery could be sent, but also, she was then living with a new boyfriend—and her address was unknown. Thailand was not a signatory to the Hague Service Convention. Husband had access however to her Facebook and he also had two email addresses for her. The trial court allowed service of process by Facebook and by email. Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2019 at UPDATES IN MICHIGAN FAMILY LAW
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After both the mother and the father properly sign the acknowledgment of parentage and it is filed with the state, the mother has initial custody of the child (including legal custody), without prejudice to the determination of either parent’s custodial rights, until otherwise determined by the court or agreed by the parties. MCL 722.1006. However, this initial custodial grant to the mother does not, by itself, affect the rights of either parent in a proceeding to seek a court order for custody or parenting time Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2018 at UPDATES IN MICHIGAN FAMILY LAW
In today's mobile society where parents and children move from one state to another after a divorce or custody action, the question often arises whether the state that made the initial child custody determination continues to have exclusive, continuing jurisdiction over modifications of custody orders. Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2018 at UPDATES IN MICHIGAN FAMILY LAW
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Domestic abuse is an issue that family lawyers should discuss with clients frequently. This conversation is part of my intake procedure and continues during representation. In fact, the first advice I give someone who is making an appointment by telephone is this: "Set up a new email address that is to be used exclusively for your attorney / client communications. Do not save the password so that this account may be accessed by your spouse or anyone else in your household. Use a unique password and do not leave it around where it can be found. Be very, very careful to erase your history each time you do research on the computer. Password protect your computer and your smart phone." Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2018 at UPDATES IN MICHIGAN FAMILY LAW
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Thank you to Pat Morgan for reaching out to request that I review and post the Campus Safety Guide. This is a very comprehensive guide to help college students stay safe from sexual abuse / sexual violence on college campuses. After Dr. Larry Nassar, after Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's courageous testimony in the Kavanaugh hearings, it occurs to me that ALL college students need to learn more about staying safe on campus. I've reviewed the online campus safety guide. It is comprehensive and contains practical advice about dangers inherent on college campuses. The tools suggested for staying safe are chock full of common sense. Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2018 at UPDATES IN MICHIGAN FAMILY LAW
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When domestic abuse and children are involved, divorce and custody can be the epitome of high-stakes conflict and frustration and all too frequently protective parents lose custody of their child to a named abuser. Domestic Abuse, Child Custody, and Visitation helps mental health professionals, attorneys, and lay readers navigate the judicial process so that decisions are truly made in the best interest of children. Continue reading
Posted Sep 26, 2018 at UPDATES IN MICHIGAN FAMILY LAW
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The Michigan Judicial Institute publishes many benchbooks. These are helpful to judges and other court personnel in case management of family law cases in which domestic violence is an issue. They are also helpful to attorneys working with courts and clients. Domestic Violence Bench. The fourth edition was initially published in 2013, and the text has been revised, reordered, and updated through August 22, 2018. Continue reading
Posted Sep 26, 2018 at UPDATES IN MICHIGAN FAMILY LAW
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Take a look at this wonderful tool to help parents and children decide which films and books are age-appropriate and good choices for kids. Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2018 at UPDATES IN MICHIGAN FAMILY LAW
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When a CPS referral is made and the report comes back in 60 days (or less) as "unsubstantiated," that report may negatively affect a parent's custody rights. If the judge thinks that a parent is making false allegations of abuse, the judge may well rule in favor of the other parent when making custody or parenting time rulings. "Unsubstantiated." What does this term mean in this context? Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2018 at UPDATES IN MICHIGAN FAMILY LAW
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A putative father must establish paternity before he is entitled to notice of child protective proceedings. In re Gillespie, 197 Mich App 440, 443-446 (1992) Since a legal father who is not a party to the proceeding, (i.e., was not cited for abuse or neglect), is in priority position to receive an interim care and custody order during the proceedings, it is essential to establish his paternity / parental status and to get him included in the proceeding and to get his parental status confirmed as soon as possible. This blog post is a guide to tutorial and resources ("The Toolkit") to assist lawyers representing a parent in a child abuse and neglect case to establish paternity and protect paternal rights in the proceedings. Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2018 at UPDATES IN MICHIGAN FAMILY LAW
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Service of Process by Mail: A query was posed whether I'd recommend mailing, by certified mail return receipt requested, a summons and complaint for divorce to a husband in China who, it is thought, will accept service and sign the judgment of divorce. I suggested sending by mail and asking Husband to sign both the Acknowledgment of Service on the back of the Summons and the Consent Judgment at the US Embassy by apostille signature. Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2018 at UPDATES IN MICHIGAN FAMILY LAW
Elizabeth Sadowski calls to my attention today that a NY court has allowed service of divorce documents via Facebook.and comments that perhaps service via social media or email will become the norm? Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2018 at UPDATES IN MICHIGAN FAMILY LAW
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Daniel Pollack and colleagues write recently of a challenging issue facing today's children, families, schools, courts, law enforcement, and communities. The topic is whether multiple foster care placements during childhood should be considered as a mitigating circumstance during sentencing those convicted of crime. The authors posit that considering foster care placement as a mitigating factor "is compelling, particularly if the placements took place during a contracted period of time and during pre-adolescence or adolescence." Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2018 at UPDATES IN MICHIGAN FAMILY LAW