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Sue, You helped me before. I've just been served today with…

Hi Sue, You helped me before...
Hi Sue,
You helped me before. I've just been served today with a notice of Emergency Motion for contempt and stating that hearing will be held on Friday in Florida. I live in Tennessee. I have no time to get anyone to represent me. I'm on disability and our daughter, whom dad now claims I am alienating against him, is 17 years old, has 51 college credits and is scheduled to begin the college of engineering in August here in Tennessee. What am I supposed to do to defend myself? If I do nothing, it's like allowing everything he says to stand unchallenged and without context.
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Answered in 6 hours by:
3/15/2018
Bill Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2,803
Experience: Attorney
Verified

Dear Customer,

Thank You for posting your criminal law question this evening. There are criminal and civil penalties for being found in contempt of court so if the accusations are false the motion is best opposed by filing an opposition before the hearing.

Because this is an emergency hearing you don't need to submit a response to the accusations and can just make an appearance. The emergency order will be in place until the full hearing.

Any documents or evidence you have to rebut the allegation should be stored and presented.

I see you have uploaded a number of documents, do you require the pleadings to be reviewed ?

Because this is an extra service I would need to offer a premium review to make this possible which incurs additional charges owing to the time involved; just let me know if you require this service.

In relation to my answer please follow up as required, your positive rating when finished is much appreciated and gives me a credit today for my answer.

You do this by rating 5*****, 4**** or better.

FIVE STARS or your rating is appreciated.

Thanks

Attorney Bill

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
The concern is that since I was not served until nearly 3 pm on March 14 and the hearing is scheduled for 1:00 pm on March 16, they have not allowed me any time to file anything or to make arrangements to be present 700 miles away at the hearing. I am disabled as well. How am I supposed to file any motions to anything? Mail cant get there in one day.

For an emergency motion service of papers and pleadings is usually waived; you will have an option to do this for your full hearing.

Let me make an offer to review your paperwork.

In relation to my answer please follow up as required, your positive rating when finished is much appreciated and gives me a credit today for my answer.

You do this by rating 5*****, 4**** or better.

FIVE STARS or your rating is appreciated.

Thanks

Attorney Bill

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Sue
Sue, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 624
Experience: Family Law litigator for over 35 years
Verified

Hi, sorry I couldn't get to your question sooner.

This order gives you permission to appear by telephone or video at the Friday hearing. Call Judge Pollack's chambers asap at(###) ###-####to tell his staff you do plan to appear by phone on Friday at 1:30 Florida time. Ask what the protocols are for calling in to appear by telephone, and what number to call into the bailiff's station or into the courtroom itself at the time of the hearing.

My suggestion is that you call in 15 minutes early to establish that you are "present" by phone and ready to participate in the hearing. Then call back as directed. If you don't hear anything for ~half an hour, call back, and keep calling back until you are put through to the courtroom.

You're not allowed to discuss the particulars of your case with the Judge's staff, so just stick to how to appear by phone.

Here's the site giving the judges' phone numbers, fyi.

Florida has two time zones, one in the pan handle and one for the rest of the State. Pinellas County is in the Eastern time zone, and just "sprang forward" in Daylight Savings Time. Tennessee is in the Central time zone, isn't it? Be sure to get your time zones sorted out, of course.

Do a little phone book or on-line research in your town in Tennessee to find a notary who can be with you at the time of the hearing. There will be a cost, but it won't be that much.

When the case is called appearances will be given. When it's your turn, the notary can speak up to she s/he has viewed your photo ID and can attest you are X person. Then the notary can leave, and you can continue on with the hearing.

If you cannot hear, interrupt the hearing to tell Judge Pollack you cannot hear.

It's best not to say much at the hearing, except that you were served notice very late, and need time to review the pleadings and prepare your response.

Of course, you'll object to any change in status.

Ask for a continuance for at least two weeks, and for permission to appear by telephone at that hearing.

Decide what your position is on your daughter visiting her father over his Spring Break 3/26 - 3/30, in case the Judge forces the issue. Don't let the father's attorney bully you.

You respond to Judge Pollack's questions and directions, not the father's attorney's questions (unless directed to do so by Judge Pollack)>

That's all you're discussing at this point, the request for Spring Break visit, not a change in custody.

It's odd your daughter's father waited this late to ask for that. You can bring up to Judge Pollack that this is the first you've heard that the father wanted that visitation time, and that you and your daughter would like more notice in the future.

I've written a lot, so let me get this off to you.

Please let me know if you have other questions.

Sue

Sue
Sue, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 624
Experience: Family Law litigator for over 35 years
Verified
Sue and 87 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Can I "hire" you (unofficially) just to review the Parenting Plan and help me prepare a bit more tomorrow for Friday?
Is he asking for custody here? I didn't see that part.

Sure, absolutely.

I think there's an option for reviewing documents, but it may be more $$. If you're OK with that, you can request Document Review from "Premium Services."

If not, you can attach it to your next message.

No, the father is not asking for custody, which is a good thing!

He want's "enforcement," whatever that is, "Make up time sharing," which is silly, and the appointment of a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL). I say it's silly because courts tend to look forward, and your daughter hasn't been gone that long.

For the GAL, he can pay his/her expenses, including travel costs to visit you and your daughter in TN. You'll want to be careful the Court doesn't sign you up to pay GAL fees, which can be expensive.

Also, some GALs will favor the local parent, so you may not want to agree to the appointment of a GAL.

Sue

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Sue, the premium review offer is attached to another person's name on here so I am afraid to accept that one. Please let me know what I owe for this review or please send me the offer attached to your name so I can accept it. I truly appreciate you taking a peek at this.
I have attached dad's pleadings and the Relocation Agreement/Parenting Plan from 2017.
Do judges generally order GALs for 17 year olds who are five months away from attending an engineering university on scholarships and have 51 college credits already? I have a real problem with appointing a GAL for a child this age at her advanced maturity level.
Please note: The agreement repeatedly and specifically states throughout that our daughter's wishes, needs and voice will be "given considerable weight and priority" in several places throughout the agreement. Namely, Section 2, 1, B-D on pages 2-3 ;Section 2 B. 1-2. and Section 2 C 2; and continues throughout each and every section and subsection, repeatedly stating that the MINOR's schedule, needs, medical, educational, etc will be followed and prioritized over that of either parent. I just wanted to give a very quick synopsis so you can hopefully scan through faster.
Thanks again and please send me a Review of Pleadings attached to your answer so I can accept and pay you timely.

Donna,

When Bill Attorney answered he may have offered Premium Service, so that could be why someone else's name appears when you tried to select Review of Pleadings.

I tried but am not able to offer you Premium Service for document review from this thread. I'll try to sort this out later with the JA Moderator.

Nevertheless I read all your attachments.

I think it would be very unusual for a judge to appoint a GAL for a 17+ year old child, especially one as accomplished as your daughter. You reasoning is cogent and convincing.

Since I no longer have access to our original conversation, and I'm a little concerned, can you remind me why your daughter didn't see her father the three times counsel says he came to TN in the past several months?

I'm going to have to go teach a class shortly, so I'll look for your response here within the next 45 minutes.

If you can't get back to me, I'll check back with you in a few hours, but definitely today.

Sue

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Donna, I've got to run.

Will check back with you in a few hours.

Sue

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Our daughter has told dad repeatedly in counseling sessions, in text messages, in emails and on the phone, that she is not comfortable alone with him due to privacy and boundary issues. Dad has not exercised six nights a week overnights for five years for this reason. I had been, however, forcing her to go on visitations every other weekend for the past five years and just sending clean bedding, towels, pliers for her shower handle, tilex, food, bug spray, etc for her to take with her. She began to refuse to shower at his home because of the filthy conditions but I did not file anything against him or refuse every other weekend because I knew he would immediately try to bring alienation claims again and that most likely, she would still be too young to be taken seriously at all.
Dad had timely notice of our daughter's rheumatologist appointment scheduled on December 27th in Knoxville, minutes from where he was staying during his Christmas visit, but he refused to attend citing that he "does not feel comfortable" being around me. That would have been a perfect opportunity for him to have witnesses and to see his daughter and speak directly to her doctor about any medical concerns.
For November, he scheduled his visitation deliberately during what he knew to be my rotation for Thanksgiving and my oldest daughter was visiting from Florida. Our daughter was also having a flair with arthritis in her feet making it very hard for her to walk. She had been to the doctor about this and had another appointment scheduled. Dad knew about the arthritis as I notified him timely, but he still continued to insist that I "drop her off" at amusement parks at 10 am and "pick her up" in church parking lots at 9 pm.
Anything our daughter says that is perceived negative about dad, it immediately gets cast that I am manipulating her. If she cannot be heard at age 17 and taken seriously, that is really discouraging.
Here is a text message she sent to him on August: August 27, 2017Copy of text message follows:I was hoping to avoid having this conversation, I just wanted to keep the peace. I've tried just being nice for a long time, hoping you'd see me genuinely trying to work with you and would take my wants into consideration. But I can't keep quiet anymore. It really hurts me how you never asked me whether or not I am able to do all these things over this upcoming weekend, or if I even want to. You know I just started fall semester, but you never asked about my workload. I have a major exam for macroeconomics this upcoming week, and plenty of reading and essay assignments for comp 2. You wouldn't have known, for you don't ask. Sometimes I wonder if you even care. School aside, you seem to have forgotten the many talks we've had in Dr. Rahman's office. We had a talk about me being uncomfortable spending time alone with you, and the reasons as to why. You refused to acknowledge my feelings, and called me a liar instead. It hurts me that you don't respect my privacy and feelings, and instead act as though those discussions never happened. I didn't want to have this talk, but being nice and just going along with you isn't working. You continue to step on me and treat me as though I have no voice. I wanted to work with you so many times in Dr. Rahman's office, but you would not work with me. You did not attend for nearly a whole year, despite Rahman encouraging you to come. That sends a strong message to me that you don't care about my treatment, and don't want to be involved. I've tried for a long time, and I'm tired of trying. I'm tired of being disrespected when all I've ever done is tried to be nice to you and do the right thing. You can come up here, but I will not see or spend time with you until I can feel comfortable around you. That would mean settling the things we've talked about in Rahman's office, as well as the hurtful things only you and I know about that I've kept silent about for so long. I am almost an adult, and I deserve to have a voice.

Donna, your and your daughter's experience with her dad is heartbreaking.

Thanks for reminding me of the problems with visitation.

How else can I be helpful?

Sue

Ask Your Own Family Law Question

I'm sorry I cannot accommodate a phone call.

Your phone call is now open to all experts.

Please let me know what else I can do, if you still want to work with me.

Sue

Ask Your Own Family Law Question
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
It's ok. Youve helped me more than you can ever know. How can I at least leave a tip for you? You did a lot for me and I want you to be compensated accordingly.
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Sue, I'm going to open up a new question and request you so that I can provide you additional compensation.

Donna, you are so kind.

Sue

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