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Alex J. Esq.
Alex J. Esq., Attorney at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 12903
Experience:  Licensed experienced Attorney
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Alex Esquire: Are you familiar with address confidentiality

Customer Question

Alex Esquire: Are you familiar with address confidentiality programs (ACPs)? If so, I'd be very grateful if you could answer this question. If not, I'd appreciate if you could pass it along to other experts who might be. Thank you.

I haven't been able to find anything about any reciprocity between states as regards XXXXX XXXXX It seems to me that each state that has enacted statutes regarding ACPs have adopted their own rules regarding them.

I guess this is pretty much an opinion-based question. Should (or is it required) that a family law court in FL recognize the ACP status in MD of a litigant who is a domestic violence victim and who fled from FL because of the abuse she endured from her husband? Or, could they simply refuse to acknowledge that the victim was a victim, even though she has an injunction for protection, and that her address and location should be kept confidential from the abusive husband? Is it then acceptable that the court would order her to reveal her home address, location-identifying information on her bank/credit card statements, and her employer and employer's address to her abusive husband as part of discovery, and when she refuses, hold her in contempt and strike her pleadings?

Finally, do you know of any case law in regards XXXXX XXXXX subject?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be happy to answer your question.

I am very familiar with the issue at hand with ACP, as I do practice family law in Florida on the regular basis.

Unfortunately, when it comes to court rules/rules of family law procedure, they do vary from state to state and Florida court would not be bound by any procedural rules that MD might have and if the Florida court has the jurisdiction over the matter/case it would proceed according to the Florida Rules of Family Law Procedures and the litigant would have to make a request to Florida court to keep the address / contact information confidential.

Unfortunately, I cannot conduct legal research within the scope of this service in order to provide you with some relevant case law, as not only it would constitute legal service (which we are prohibited from providing and can only provide general legal answers), but also online legal research websites do charge up to $200 an hour or more and can be very costly.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

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?

Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your follow up.

Even if the Request for Confidential Filing of an address is filed and approved by the Florida Court, the judge still has the authority to order the party to reveal the address/other contact information, at the judge's discretion and if the litigant does not comply with the court order, the litigant can be held in contempt of court.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

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?

Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your follow up.

Unfortunately, the judge does have authority to do what he did, but you also had the right to demonstrate to the court your position as to why your address and other contact information should have remained confidential.

If course, I am only able to provide you with a general legal answer based on the limited facts you have stated and it is absolutely clear that your divorce case is extremely complex and a legal opinion could only be given to you by a local attorney who can review your entire court file and also all the relevant facts in your case.
Alex J. Esq., Attorney at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 12903
Experience: Licensed experienced Attorney
Alex J. Esq. and 12 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

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.

Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your kind words they mean a world to me, as I try to help people to the best of my ability at all hours of the day and night.

I am pretty sure that you might have already obtained restraining order against your ex and also reported any and all his threats to the law enforcement agencies and I would suggest that you keep doing everything that you can to keep yourself safe and also keep on reaching out to the Florida state bar and also to many domestic violence groups and hopefully you will be able to find a way to obtain legal representation one way or the other.

I wish you the best of luck and please keep in mind that you can request for me to answer your future new questions by starting your question with "This is a question for Alex Esquire".

I wish you all the best and GOD bless you!

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