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Chris T., JD
Chris T., JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4827
Experience:  Experienced in both state and federal court.
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Our adult son has crossed the law by not paying child support,

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Our adult son has crossed the law by not paying child support, for which there is a federal warrant for him. Upon his self-surrender to U.S. Marshal's Office wed 6/26/13, I signed a surety bond for his release until court date of 7/10/13
I am being required to remove my firearms (a very extensive antique collection, plus 5 or so personal-use firearms) Under court order by 12pm monday 7/1, even though my son is NOT in our household any longer and with his probation officer's knowledge.
The court is requiring all makes, models & s/n's of our firearms and making us sign papers surrendering them, although not requiring us to do anything but remove them from our property (a herculean task, logistically speaking with regard to the time constraints imposed by the court!) but IF we sign them, we have effectively given them the permission to take them. We are beside ourselves and all were purchased legally by my late Father-in-law or us over the years. We are feeling that our civil rights are being violated & do not know where to turn! We reside in Florida

TexLawyer :

Good morning. I'll be assisting you with your question.

Customer:

Thank you!

TexLawyer :

First off, this is not a violation of your civil rights, but that does not mean that there isn't anything you can do.

TexLawyer :

Where is your son supposed to be living/?

Customer:

He was released to my custody on a 50,000.00 surety bond to live at our home. As per his P.O., he has been relocated to his friends' home until tuesday when his P.O. can get him into a halfway house until his trial when he will be extradited to South Dakota. This was done as our son has burned his last bridge with us. We need to know, can they require us to give full documentation of our possessions with s/n's, types, descriptions when WE have done nothing wrong and our son is now out of our home. The document they want us to fill out with the above info clearly states "surrender above-listed firearms, though they stated that "is just a technicality"?

TexLawyer :

If he is going into custody in a halfway house

TexLawyer :

Sorry. If he is going into custody in a halfway house, are you off his bond?

Customer:

I called & asked for his bond to be revoked yesterday. His court appointed defense atty called ME yesterday & stated.."REALLY, Mrs. Glasgow? Your firearms over your SON?" It is NOT all about this collection. Our soin is verbally abusive to me anymore even with all we've done (spent $ for fines, lawyers (prior). Long story short, I have to go to the federal court monday a.m., HOPE to be seen (!) and ask to be removed from the bond, making HIM solely liable for himself, as a 26 y/o adult.

TexLawyer :

If you go off his bond, the court no longer has any authority over you. As such, they can't make any requirements regarding your guns.

TexLawyer :

The other option is to petition the court to modify the conditions, which the court has the authority to do.

TexLawyer :

Or, you can at least petition the court to allow you to move the firearms to a 3rd party location (out of your custody, but you don't have to surrender them to the government).

Customer:

How can I guarantee I can be seen in a timely fashion Monday at fed. ct, or CAN I? The court gave us until 12pm monday to remove them...not logistically possible until tues. Can they require an full accounting of our possessions including serial #'s if I CANNOT get off his bond before noon monday? We don't mind moving them so much as we feel it is none of their business, as we are law-abiding, legal citizens with no restrictions on our rights to possess firearms.

TexLawyer :

However, if you just want off the bond, the court can't stop you from getting off.

TexLawyer :

If it isn't possible, then it just isn't possible. If you didn't get them removed, the worst thing the judge could do is find that you are not a suitable surety and revoke his bond, which you already want to do.

Customer:

They ARE giving us that option & have stated "you are not surrendering them, just temporarily removing them. The sticking point is the legal document they are requiring us to give s/n's on...it clearly states "surrender" and they SAY we are NOT, but SIGNING this doc. feels like we are sending ourselves 'up the proverbial creek'

Customer:

As in, "You signed a legally binding document"

Customer:

Do we need an attorney to protect OUR legal rights as private citizens?

TexLawyer :

I've seen this sort of bond condition before and they always give the firearms back. You are not transferring ownership, just temporary custody. Once the bond is no longer in place, that order you are signing is meaningless.

TexLawyer :

That depends on what you want to do. If you want to challenge the bond condition, you probably would be best served by hiring a lawyer.

TexLawyer :

If, however, you just want to get off the bond, you don't need a lawyer for that.

Customer:

BotXXXXX XXXXXne do we HAVE TO, BY LAW, give them the s/n's, makes & models?

TexLawyer :

If you want to stay on the bond as it is currently written, yes.

Customer:

We feel it is no one's business if we have one or twenty

TexLawyer :

Like I said, you can challenge that bond condition (either by asking the judge to completely remove it, or modify it to allow you to store your firearms with someone else), or you can ask to be take off the bond altogether.

Customer:

I do NOT want to stay on the bond and in fact our son called me "stupid & f**king ignorant" for signing HIS BOND without representation by an attorney

TexLawyer :

If you want off the bond, you don't have to do anything regarding your firearms. Just inform the court Monday morning that you no longer want to be on it, and that should be it.

Customer:

Thank you for your time.

TexLawyer :

Glad to help.

TexLawyer :

Can I do anything else for you?

Customer:

In general, then, they CAN require the full accounting IF we are remaining on the bond, but otherwise, as private citizens, NOT on the bond, we have to disclose nothing to them or anyone else, do I understand that correctly?

TexLawyer :

Yes. The judge has very wide discretion in deciding appropriate bond conditions, so an accounting of all the firearms in the surety's home would be withing that discretion. Just as as the judge has the discretion to make that requirement, he also has the discretion to remove or modify that condition.

Customer:

ok. so I will be at the fed. cthse monday 1st thing to be removed from the bond.

TexLawyer :

It is certainly your right to be removed from the bond. The judge can't require someone to be a surety against their will.

Customer:

Thank you.

TexLawyer :

Glad to help.

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