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mmdesq, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 518
Experience:  Attorney with 13 years experience.
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I am in court to obtain a restraining order from the

Customer Question

I am in court to obtain a restraining order from the biological father of my eldest child. He abandoned her, never wanted to even meet her, signed away his rights and now my husband has adopted her 2.5 years ago. She is 5 years old. He recently threatened to contact her and my other child that is not even his. Without getting into too much detail, the judge set a hearing for two months from now and I received a packet from his lawyer for discovery and inspection and interrogatories. The whole point of the restraining order is to keep him out of my life. The discovery is asking for all my personal phone records and communications with the mother of his other child dating back to 2012. Names, numbers, employer info, phone numbers and addresses of any witnesses, of which some are family members including my husband. The paperwork he is asking for is vast will take days to prepare. I am pro se because I cannot afford to use my money for a lawyer as I am in the middle of planning to buy a place to move for my family and using my savings for this case would greatly hinder that. I work full time away from home 13-14 hours average a day (my job is non stop) and a mother of two small children. I just want to be protected and my kids protected. This situation has become an extreme burden not to mention the stress it has caused. How do I go about asking the judge to limit the discovery and inspection and interrogatories to the present situation and only use some text messages from the last time he was harassing me a few years ago to show his pattern of behavior? I have phone records, e-mails and text messages how do I go about getting these authenticated so I can submit them as evidence? Re: phone records, I don't want to submit the entire phone log with all of my families numbers how can I submit with that information redacted?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This is in Westchester County, NY
Expert:  mmdesq replied 1 year ago.

Good Morning,

I will try to best answer your question.

You can file objections to the interrogatories and request for production documents on the basis that they are overly broad, burdensome and intentionally invasive. The information sought is also not recent, probative or relevant.

In addition to the objections, a second backup strategy would be to use the discovery packet sent to you as a template to modify and send the same discovery questions back to your ex. You will need to modify so that they are directed toward your ex as opposed to you. One strategy would be you both end up withdrawing your discovery requests and neither responds or both discovery requests get reduced to something more reasonable and relevant.

In order to authenticate evidence you need to lay a foundation. The foundation is laid by a witness who can testify as to what the document purports to be and why it is relevant to the issue before the court. Ie this is an email that I received from my ex on January 15th 2013 discussing ...

The same basic foundation would need to be laid for text messages. If you intend to present any criminal records you will need to have certified copies of criminal records from the court.

Based upon the fact you stated I don't see how your ex has any legitimate basis to contact you or either of your children. At this stage he is a stranger even to his biological child. There is no basis for him to have any contact whatsoever. I think that is your strongest point and clearance undisputed point. I would focus on this point as this case is not about custody or any other issues of dissolving a relationship.