Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.
Thank you so much. You are wonderful.
Just one point of clarification (sorry to bother you again): I asked you in another question about the request to Florida court to keep the address confidential, and you answered that then, the court should keep that information confidential. So, that was done.
But I think you're saying here that just because I'm in a MD ACP, FL would have no obligation/duty to recognize that, even though FL has its own ACP? Did I understand you correctly?
Thank you so much. That's basically what happened. In an ex parte order (I'd responded to the motion but opposing counsel didn't tell the judge that I had, and because I live so far away, it got there hours after she ruled on it), I was ordered to comply with discovery (which I'd never received). Opposing counsel refused to provide me with it. Then, he filed a Motion For Contempt. By the hearing date, I had complied, but I had redacted information that would allow my husband to locate me (for example, I sent my lease, but redacted the address. I sent my bank/credit card statements, but redacted identifying stores or rental payments which gave away the name of where I lived. I redacted the name of my employer.) At the hearing, I was given 10 days to close my accounts and provide the account numbers or I was told my pleadings would be stricken. I could very briefly afford an attorney and she filed a motion for protective order. The judge denied it -- even knowing about the injunction for protection. I complied again with discovery, but still redacted my residential and work address, and any store identifying information on credit cards or my lease. If I did not do so, my husband would have killed me. His attorney then moved to strike ALL my pleadings and the judge granted it. She also barred me from participating in my own divorce. Then, my husband went to a final hearing and got awarded ALL the assets, plus $10,000 in attorney's fees, plus an additional $10,000 in "equitable distribution" that was completely fraudulent since he excluded the family business from his table. Now, he has the right to track me down to collect on the judgment. I'm appealing, but that could take years.
If I've understood everything you've said correctly, then the judge had the right to strike all my pleadings and bar me from participating in my own divorce, just because I wouldn't give up my home/work address. Even though to do so would have meant death for me! Do I now have it right?
You are AMAZING. I can't thank you enough.
I only wish I could hire an attorney, but I don't have the money to do so, and as I said in my other question, I've tried everything to find one, but Pro Bono in FL is very very rare and not mandatory. Since we have no children, Legal Aid would not help. And there's no one else in Palm Beach County. No law schools could help either because they only help in the general vicinity they are located in. I continue to beg for help. The MD Secretary of State and Attorney General have submitted an amicus brief to the appellate court, and many other states and domestic violence agencies may be joining. Perhaps that will help. Meanwhile, my life is in serious danger and there's nothing I can do about it. I'm doing all I can! Many many thanks again. There's no need to waste more time responding. I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate you.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).