Who Needs a Lawyer at an Evidentiary Hearing After a Temporary Injunction?

Answer:  Both sides.  A Temporary Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence separates the two parties until they can both appear before a judge at an evidentiary hearing.  That hearing is like a mini-trial.  While you can represent yourself in court, this is a situation where it is advantageous for both parties to have competent legal representation. The law is technical, and from a technical standpoint there are things you can mess up that will hurt what you are trying to accomplish.  Judges have to make tough decisions in these matters, and they generally want to err on the side of not getting somebody hurt (or worse).  The judge will have better evidence to make a proper decision if you have counsel.  While you have the absolute right to represent yourself, without legal training and experience, you can unnecessarily change the outcome of the hearing, sometimes with disastrous results.  Do not put yourself in harm’s way by making an ignorant mistake in court. Also, an attorney can reframe the situation so you can objectively evaluate your legal choices and the consequences of those choices. Read More

Sleeping with the Enemy

Most good legal stories start with a woman.  The first case I ever had started with a woman.  In the Bible, what happens to man?  Woman.  God asks Adam, “Who told you you were naked?”  Eve.  King David?  Bathsheba.  Sampson?  Delilah.  Do not go to an Evidentiary Hearing after a Temporary Injunction unprepared—bring legal representation. In a Temporary Injunction, fifty percent of the time the affidavit against the defendant is lies.  Say the right thing on an affidavit and hubby cannot come home, get his stuff, or even write—it does not matter if he is the homeowner or pays most or all of the rent.  A Temporary Injunction takes the defendant out of the home fast and without warning.  Hubby leaves only with what is on his back as far as personal belongings go. The Evidentiary Hearing is like a mini-trial; both parties appear before a Judge and are subject to the complex details of the law, the rules of court, and the rules of evidence.  You have the absolute right to represent yourself in court, but without legal training and experience, you can unnecessarily change the outcome of the Hearing, sometimes with disastrous results.  If you sleep on your […] Read More

Proper Legal Representation in Domestic Violence Cases

I graduated from Palatka High School and I do not remember domestic violence being part of the curriculum.  Nevertheless, cases involving domestic violence show up in the Putnam County courts, and often unprepared. Putnam County is the poorest county in Florida.  Furthermore, unlike St. Johns County or Duval, Putnam does not have a Legal Aid branch.  Thus Putnam lacks that legal resource for justice for the poor, the elderly, and the disabled.  Cases involving domestic violence are sometimes where a poverty of justice appears. In cases of Domestic Violence, you can get a Temporary Injunction separating yourself from a potentially dangerous situation until both parties appear before a judge at a hearing.  That hearing is like a mini-trial.  You can represent yourself in court, but those who do often bring affidavits that are not admissible, or they want to phone a friend.  The hearing is not a game show and it is not Judge Judy.  The Judge can only call balls and strikes—he or she cannot rule on conjecture. The law is technical, and from a technical standpoint there are things you can mess up that will hurt what you are trying to accomplish.  Do not put yourself in harm’s […] Read More

Do-It-Yourself Divorce

The Florida Supreme Court has do-it-yourself divorce forms available online, but that may not be in your best interest.  The law is technical, and from a technical standpoint there are things you can mess up that will hurt what you are trying to accomplish. In cases of Domestic Violence, you can get a Temporary Injunction separating yourself from a potentially dangerous situation until both parties appear before a judge at a hearing.  That hearing is like a mini-trial.  You can represent yourself in court, but those who do often show up with affidavits that are not admissible, or they want to phone a friend.  The hearing is not a game show and it is not Judge Judy.  The Judge can only call balls and strikes—he or she cannot rule on conjecture. Divorce is not rocket science, but it is not basket weaving either.  Do not put yourself in harm’s way by making an ignorant mistake in court.  Competent legal counsel can properly represent your case…and also take the emotion out of the situation so you can move forward through the process. Read More

Monopoly in Temporary Injunction

A Temporary Injunction brings immediate consequence.  As a defendant, you do not get to pass GO, you Do Not Collect $200 (you do not even get to collect your clothes or personal belongings), and you do not get so much as a phone call to the plaintiff (not even flowers).  A temporary injunction usually favors the plaintiff with a monopoly on the property, and leaves the defendant paying hotel rent on someone else’s space. In the new Monopoly, you cannot Iron out your problems the way you used to, and the Cat can get your tongue (and everything else).  Often the plaintiff has the home advantage, as well as the judge’s sympathy.  It is a roll of the dice what is going to happen in court, and the Chance Cards are not stacked in your favor.  Bring an attorney.  Seek competent legal representation to ensure your rights are properly asserted. Read More

‘Injunctivitus’

If ‘Injunctivitis’ were a real condition, it could mean the propensity to nail your spouse with Temporary Injunctions.  It might refer to false accusations of domestic violence just to get the defendant out of the house and disallow that person any further contact.  ‘Injunctivitus’ could be a handy way to get rid of somebody you are mad at.  As the defendant, though, it could be enough to make your eyes red, itchy, and irritating…if ‘Injunctivitus’ were a real word. In a Temporary Injunction, fifty percent of the time the affidavit against the defendant is lies.  Say the right thing on an affidavit and hubby cannot come home, get his stuff, or even write—it does not matter if he is the homeowner or pays most or all of the rent.  A Temporary Injunction takes the defendant out of the home fast and without warning.  They leave only with what is on their backs as far as personal belongings go. Sometimes that is necessary.  I have great compassion for trial judges who have to make decisions in cases of domestic violence.  They have to make tough decisions and err on the side of not getting somebody hurt (or worse). If you are […] Read More

No Hitting

The ‘Klingon Sex Defense’ does not hold up well in court.  The Judge is not going to rule that you are a space alien entitled to your cultural violent mating rites.  You and your spouse should not be hitting each other.  You can lose your rights as well as your marriage. A Temporary Injunction means the defendant cannot come home from work that day.  Without notice, the defendant cannot come home, cannot get belongings even if the defendant owns the home or pays rent on the apartment.  Furthermore, the defendant violates the injunction by phoning the spouse, sending flowers, or any contact. Fifty percent of the time the affidavit against the defendant is lies.  Say the right thing on an affidavit and hubby cannot come home, get his stuff, or even write—so much for his rights!  Why do we do that?  Because we want to make the mistake on the side where someone does not wind up dead. I have great compassion for trial judges who have to make decisions in cases of domestic violence.  They have to make tough calls, erring on the side of someone not getting hurt. If you are a defendant in a domestic violence case, […] Read More