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FAMILY LAW TASK FORCE
Senior Attorney Advocate: Margaret Maupin
For a complete list of Family Law Sample Pleadings, click Pleading in the task bar at the top of the page and then, from the drop down list, select Family Law
Family Law Task Force content posted in order of most recent to oldest.
Tshiani vs. Tshiani, CSA, November, 2012: Parties' foreign "proxy marriage" was valid and entitled to comity.
- The evidence supported finding that parties' foreign marriage in the Democratic Republic of Congo was a valid marriage under Congolese law;
- Maryland statutes do not prohibit recognition of a marriage by proxy or by telephone; and
- Foreign marriages by proxy or by telephone are not repugnant to Maryland public policy.
|Tshiana vs Tshiana.pdf||60.04 KB|
Here's your (approximately) weekly update of the proposed legislation related to family law and children before the General Assembly. Most notably, a new bill, SB 101, entitled "Family Law - Grounds for Absolute Divorce - Time Requirements" has been added. It was added this morning, and the first reading before Judicial Proceedings is scheduled for today. There is no synopsis and no actual bill on the General Assembly website yet.
|2013 1-14 Legislation Update.doc||51.5 KB|
Welcome to the 2013 session of the Md. General Assembly! On day one, here's what I found relating to family law. The search function on the state website is pretty bad, so if you know of something I haven't listed, let me know and I'll add it. The good news this year is that there is now a much better bill-tracking function so I'll (allegedly) get up-to-date information in my email every morning.
|2013 1-9 Legislation Update.doc||39.5 KB|
Find this new resource at: http://www.safestartcenter.org/resources/toolkit-court-involved-youth-exposure-violence.php
From the ABA press release and website:
Research shows that most young people entering the juvenile or adult justice system have been exposed to violence and other traumatic events, and often they have experienced trauma multiple times. Research also shows that the greater the degree of exposure, the more likely the child will suffer physically, socially and emotionally, says Howard Davidson, director of the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law.
These factors led to the creation of a free toolkit, available online and intended for use by the justice system. The toolkit, titled “Identifying Polyvictimization and Trauma Among Court-Involved Children and Youth: A Checklist and Resource Guide for Attorneys and Other Court-Appointed Advocates,” is designed to make legal representation of children in delinquency, dependency (abuse/neglect) and other cases more focused on addressing the victimization a child client has experienced, and on how that client has been affected by multiple traumas, Davidson says.
Lawyers can use the toolkit’s checklist to identify and better understand what violence and other distress their child clients have experienced, he says. The checklist provides a vehicle to help lawyers determine whether the youth they represent has one of more than 20 adverse symptoms that may indicate their client is suffering from severe traumatic stress.
“If their client has traumatic stress, there is a flowchart to help the lawyer understand what trauma-informed referrals and services the child may need,” Davidson says.
Accompanying the toolkit is the issue brief “Victimization and Trauma Experienced by Children and Youth: Implications for Legal Advocates.” Among the topics the document covers are: understanding the symptoms of traumatic stress; the role of legal advocates, judges and court staff; screening instruments for identifying past trauma and exposure to violence; descriptions of relevant state and local initiatives; and considerations related to developing a trauma-informed legal practice.
The tools stand to benefit lawyers and their child clients, Davidson explains. “Many children and youth in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems have experienced or witnessed violence or other traumatic events and suffered the fear of ongoing exposure to harm,” he says. “Trauma-informed care and evidence-based mental health treatments are a crucial part of recovery. These tools were developed to increase awareness of these issues among the legal profession, especially court-appointed lawyers for children in juvenile and family courts.”
Davidson encouraged development of the documents and facilitated support for them through the Safe Start Center, a program funded by the Department of Justice. The final products represent a partnership between the ABA, Safe Start, Child and Family Policy Associates and the Chadwick Center for Children and Families.
“I hope that these documents will be widely disseminated and utilized, so that we will truly have trauma-informed legal advocacy for vulnerable children and youth across the country,” Davidson says.
If you are a member of the Task Force, find the GoToMeeting information at:
Be sure to sign in to see the page.
Locations for 2013 meetings are:
Jan. 22 - Baltimore
March 26 -Towson
May 28 - Metro
July 23 - Midwest
Sept. 24 - Annapolis
Nov. 26 - Baltimore
For office addresses, see: http://www.mdlab.org/About%20Us
Washington (CNN) – Supporters of the Violence Against Women Act hope to revive the law in a new Congress after efforts to renew it failed in the last one.
"It is an early priority for us," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, told CNN as the 113th Congress convened Thursday. "Since it passed the Senate last time, with two more Democrats in the Senate, we hope that it will have an easy path there and a doable path there -- and a successful one in the House."
The Senate voted to renew the act for a third time in April, barring agencies that receive funding under the law from discriminating against gays and lesbians, allowing immigrants who face domestic violence to seek legal status and giving tribal authorities new power to prosecute cases on Indian reservations.
For the whole story, click Backers hope to revive VAWA, CNN, 1/4/13
From the Baltimore Sun:
MD gets $36.5 million for improving children's access to health insurance
By Andrea K. Walker
December 19 2012, 5:49 PM EST
The federal government has awarded Maryland $36.5 million for its success at getting children enrolled in government subsidized health programs.
The complete article can be viewed at:
|Miller vs Matthias.pdf||75.18 KB|
|Sumpter vs Sumpter.pdf||57.59 KB|
Judge Bruce Lamdin Investigated for Inappropriate Remarks to a Domestic Violence Victim During a Protective Order Hearing
Here is my question:
We concluded a divorce hearing on July 6, 2012 in which client received an absolute divorce, rehabilitative alimony, child support and the court also ordered that the husband continue to provide medical insurance for Client and Child through his employer provided group insurance plan.
On Friday, August 1, 2012 , my client found out from Husband's employer, a large hospital, that the Husband allowed his insurance to lapse as of June 30, 2012, just before our divorce hearing. Husband, who is pro se, denies this and claims he he renewed the insurance. No notice was given to my client of the lapse.
To be brief, the employer reinstated the Child on the insurance policy, but refused to reinstate Client. The employer is claiming that she is no longer a beneficiary. I know that under MD Code Insurance § 15-408, allows for a divorced spouse to continue to be covered on the other party's health insurance.
What is there any way to compel the insurance company to reinstate her?
From the Women's Coalition for Health Care Reform:
The Supreme Court affirmed Maryland's implementation of the Affordable Care Act, now it's time to get it right for women of color! Join Mildred Thompson, Director of PolicyLink Center for Health Equity and Place, and other dynamic speakers who will lead lively discussions on health care reform and it's impact on women of color and their families.
This conference is for you if you are:
- Health care and public health professionals and students;
- Community-based leaders, outreach and education workers and advocates;
- Working on minority health and health disparities, cultural competency and health literacy issues, health policy; or
- Tasked with implementing health care reform and monitoring its impact on communities of color in Maryland.
The conference flyer is here: http://www.mdhealthcarereform.org/storage/pdfs-and-docs/WOC%20Conference%20Flyer_7.26.pdf.
Click on the link below to register now! The cost* is $25 for individuals, $10 for students, or organizations can purchase 5 tickets for $100. Cost includes a continental breakfast, lunch and afternoon break. For full conference details as they become available, please visit our website.
*A limited number of scholarships to cover the registration fee are available. If you need a scholarship, contact us.
|Pedersen vs OPM - USDC District of CT.pdf||283.34 KB|
- The trial court could consider doctor's report for the purpose of evaluating the validity and probative value of opinion of psychologist, who relied on doctor's report in reaching her conclusions;
- The trial court did not improperly consider as substantive evidence doctor's report;
- The evidence was sufficient to support trial court's finding that material change of circumstances had occurred, so as to warrant change of custody; and
- The trial court did not abuse its discretion in modifying joint physical and legal custody so as to grant significantly more access to ex-husband than ex-wife and to grant ex-husband tie-breaking authority in the event of an impasse.
|Gillespie vs Gillespie.pdf||93.3 KB|
- The father's due process rights were not implicated by the trial court's consideration of the Japanese guardianship decree in the limited context of determining whether an exception to the application of the UCCJEA applied;
- The UCCJEA's “vacuum jurisdiction” provision did not apply so as to permit trial court to exercise jurisdiction over father's complaint; and
- The appointment of the child's grandmother as the child's guardian pursuant to Japanese decree did not implicate fundamental principles of human rights, as the appointment did not sever father's right to custody of child, and, thus, the exception to application of the UCCJEA allowing for a trial court to exercise jurisdiction over a child custody proceeding in a situation in which the child custody laws of a foreign country violate fundamental principles of human rights did not apply so as to permit trial court to exercise jurisdiction over father's complaint to establish custody of child under the UCCJEA.
|Toland vs Futagi.pdf||54.37 KB|
Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the United States House of Representatives v. Nancy Gill, et al.
On July 3, 2012, Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the United States House of Representatives v. Nancy Gill, et al., was docketed in the United States Supreme Court, seeking review of Massachusetts v. HHS.
In Massachusetts v. HHS, the 1st Circuit held that DOMA was not adequately supported by any permissible federal interest, and therefore violated equal protection principles.