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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 117360
Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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My sister was representing me in Maryland DV and divorce

Customer Question

My sister was representing me in Maryland for my DV and divorce cases. She missed my final hearing and my case was dismissed and my husbands order was granted with the discription of the abuse being that I fussed, cursed, and verbally threatened him. I was ordered to vacate our home (which he had put me and our infant daughter out of months prior) not given any type of financial support although I was a stay at home mom, denied access to get any of my property, and I was orders to drive our daughter to his mothers house over an hour away, every Monday where he would keep her until I picked her up on Wednesday evenings. After she missed my hearing, she filed an emergency motion for child support; denied, and a motion for reconsideration; denied because she didn't include an affidavit. I found out that her license was actually suspended during the period in which she entered her appearance on my behalf and subsequently did not show. She then took my children and I into her home because we were now homeless as a result of her failure to show up to court. I have been trying to get information about my case from her but she would never really discuss any strategy with me. After calling the courthouse to get a status on my case, I was informed that my husbands attorney had filed a motion to modify his protection order but sister didn't file an answer on my behalf, in fact, she lied and told me that she had filed a 7 page answer to the denial of the retrial a month earlier but the court has no record of it. She has since thrown my children and I out of her house and is now threatening to contact my husband and give him ammunition to take our daughter because we are living in a motel. What can I do because had she shown up to court and had I been allowed to present my case or even a defense to his frivolous accusations, I would not be homeless.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

If your sister is an attorney and missed a court appearance, that is the basis for a complaint to the MD bar for violation of the rules of professional conduct. It is also a potential ground to sue her for malpractice for failure to appear and the damage it caused you.

So, you have grounds to seek to file a complaint against her with the MD bar and also to sue her for the damages her failure to properly represent you caused. You also need to obtain another attorney who can seek to go to court, since it is obvious this judge is not happy with your sister's failure to appear or reply to court pleadings, and seek to argue that the orders need to be modified based on your prior attorney's negligence, which (unlike in a criminal case) is something that would then be at the discretion of the judge.

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