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Is there a current order re: who is responsible for attorney fees?
OK thank you;
The relevant statute is 33-43-4-1: An attorney practicing law in a court of record in Indiana may hold a lien for the attorney's fees on a judgment rendered in favor of a person employing the attorney to obtain the judgment.
Per 33-43-4-2, there is a time frame for this process- not later than 60 days after judgment is rendered.
So case law has been in conflict over the past several decades; for example the Turner v. Woolworth case as far back as 1917 was opposite of the Therous case (1988)
The most recent case (http://www.nycourts.gov/reporter/3dseries/2013/2013_23241.htm) is Piccarreto v. More (2013) which does allow for such charging liens.
However, one should ensure that the attorney has made the proper motion to request the other party to pay attorney fees- if failing to do so will affect the children that will help bolster one's argument.
As for stealing - the courts will generally order the wrongdoing spouse to reimburse the spouse for any money wrongfully taken. And for parties that breach agreements, normally the court will order attorney fees to be paid by the breaching party as a sanction. So if one has not discussed with the attorney a motion requesting attorney fees, that would be a timely motion to make.
The property lien is not like a mechanic's lien- it is a passive lien so they cannot force foreclosure (in re Wilson, in re Makames). And while historically the courts have not allowed an attorney to access child support, since the 2013 Piccarreto case it appears that support orders can be garnished, which is a turn from the past holdings.
You are most welcome.
This case very clearly states that the attorney must file the lien within 60 days after the judgment is entered- so that likely be interpreted to mean that a child support order (which is not a final judgment) would not qualify -so if the support order is not reduced to judgment (and often they are not because they are modifiable), or if the notice is filed before judgment is rendered, then it would presumably be invalid.
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