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Brandon M.
Brandon M., Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 12573
Experience:  Attorney experienced in all aspects of family law
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Anybody know the in and outs of non parental custody in washington

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Anybody know the in and outs of non parental custody in washington state. I already have temp. custody need to know how to get full custody.

Brandon M. :

Hello there.

Brandon M. :

Thank you for that information. I understand the basic situation. How might I help?

Customer:

Anybody know the in and outs of non parental custody in washington state. I already have temp. custody need to know how to get full custody.


Optional Information: State (if USA): Washington What have you tried so far?: Have jumped through all the hoops to get temp custody and thought we had permanent all sewed up but the judge said we didn't do it quite right?? not sure what he meant and he wouldn't say
Brandon M. :

I do know the ins and outs. How can I help?

Customer:

WE don't know what we have to do to get permanent custody of a 4 year old little girl that we have had full time since the age of 10 months . went to court and got temp.custody , dad has signed off but not mom. the court ordered visitation for both parents , mom missed 85 % in six months dad was a little better neither one showed up for the last court hearing judge continued temp custody but told we had not done some thing quite right but wouldn't say what

Brandon M. :

Was the temporary custody awarded in the form of a guardianship, or something else?

Customer:

the word guardianship was never mentioned

Brandon M. :

What form did you use to apply for temporary custody?

Customer:

when we were awarded temp custody judge stated he did that because of the lack of prof. reports . we got several of those and turned them in

Customer:

nonparental custody petition

Brandon M. :

I see. Ok, let's take a step back really quickly. The judge is saying that you "didn't do it quite right". There are usually two areas where a petitioner will make a mistake. One is where the petitioner fails to file the right form. The other area is usually an inadequate service of process. Let's start with the forms that you filed. If you don't mind, please list for me every form that you filed in this case.

Customer:

mom seems to have lost all intrest in her since she lost her dshs benifits

Brandon M. :

That's really sad, if I may say. I've handled hundreds if not thousands of custody cases, and the saddest are the ones where the parents simply don't seem to mind losing their kids.

Customer:

hearing for adequate cause, motion for order, lots of declarations, cps background checks , washington state criminal checks, sealed med. temp. custody order, finding of fact and conclusion of law, residential schedule, summons for nonparentalcustody proceeding. I think that covers it , plus serving papers and return of service

Brandon M. :

How did you have the documents served?

Customer:

The first one were served by one of my sons and he had them sign for them The second time I did it and had the sign, was told I could do the 2nd one because it was a continuation of the first case, and I wanted to try and talk mom into just signing off

Brandon M. :

Served in person?

Customer:

yes

Brandon M. :

You said that you served "the second time" and that you were told that you could serve the second time. Who told you that you could serve the second time?

Customer:

the court facilitator

Customer:

mom had told us she had a doctor app.at the same time and couldn't change it, dad has a warent out and didn't want to go near the court

Brandon M. :

What was included in the second service? I ask because even for matters of continuance, it is normally not possible for any party to effectuate service of process themselves. I could easily see a situation where a court refuses to grant the relief requested because there was not proper service and the parties served do not show up.

Customer:

not sure what your asking . We used the proper form presented them in person and had them sign and date them in there handwrighting

Customer:

what state are you in??

Brandon M. :

You said that "the first one were served by one of my sons and he had them sign for them The second time I did it and had the sign, was told I could do the 2nd one because it was a continuation of the first case".... You're talking about "the first one" and "the 2nd one". What is "the 2nd one?" You did the second one yourself, but I don't know what that means.

Customer:

The first time we took her to court we were given temp. custody, we waited six months to take her back to court to get full perm. custody in that six mo. we gathered all the prof. reports and several declatations, even one fron her parents we also tracked there visits and turned that in

Brandon M. :

It comes down to this--if you have heard of "due process", that term refers to a person's right to notice and a hearing before being deprived of life, liberty, or property. A court cannot take custody away from a parent unless the parent has been given their due process--notice of the hearing and a chance to be heard. It does not count as "notice" unless all of the proper forms have been given to the parents in advance of the court hearing and given to them in a procedurally correct way. it is not procedurally correct for the person requesting custody of the child to be the one giving notice to the parents. Someone else has to do it. This is true regardless of whether it is notice of the first hearing or notice of a continued hearing. Unfortunately, since I am not able to view the case file or review any of the documents, it is technically impossible for someone in my position to see what the court has seen, or even to assess whether the court made an error (judges are capable of error). So when someone asks "the court said I did it wrong, what did I do wrong?" the process has to be examined, based on the customer's description, to look for areas of potential weakness. This information may be incomplete because it could be something as simple as you forgetting to fill out the child's name, it could be something procedural like a failure to properly serve the documents, or it could be something completely different like a judge's error. So the only way to ensure that the process is handled correctly is to have an attorney represent you i court.

That said, I can tell you once again that service of process must be effectuated by a non-party. If a party serves notice of a hearing, including notice of a continuance, the service will not be valid. If I was investigating what went wrong in your case, that is exactly where I would start.

Customer:

You could be right, that being the case though the best move they could make is to not show up

Customer:

I know your correct I need to go and see an atty. and at least have everythin reviewed Thank s for your thoughts

Brandon M. :

They certainly have the right to not show up, but a court would typically not take away a parent's custodial rights if there was defective service of process because it would be ripe for getting overturned on appeal (plus, who wants to take away a parent's kid if the parent didn't receive proper warning of the possibility?).

Brandon M. :

I will give the court credit for continuing the temporary custody in your specific--that was the right thing to do under the circumstances.

Customer:

O K thanks again need to put somebody to bed you get a big smile

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