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Mark Twombly Lee

Mark Lee’s Answers

57 total

  • Back to Probate and Family Court or Superior Court?

    I now have evidence (financial statements signed by my ex-husband in another matter) showing his true earnings. During our divorce, he hid real estate as well as other assets., including his true earnings. He was being paid under the table and h...

    Mark’s Answer

    The fact pattern here is mind boggling for the sheer stupidity of the different actors. It also does not state whether there was a trial or settlement of your divorce; factually this could be very important if you acknowledged in a settlement that you were satisfied with the discovery completed at the time of settlement. My fellow practioners have identified the two avenues that should be pursued simultaneoulsy in the probate court, Motion to set aside the Judgment under Rule 60(b) and a new complaint to seek division on the assets not disclosed in the divorce - both should be filed at the same time because the facts are intricately intertwined in the event one complaint is set aside, the other remains to proceed upon. The element of Fraud upon the Court should be brought in the Probate Court which heard the original evidence under Rule 60(b) as it is a specific section under the rule. Practice in this area requires counsel and I urge you to seek the counsel of a lawyer who can review the judgment and financials that were filed at the time of judgment and the other evidence you have uncovered.

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  • What happens if i do not show up for my court date today for family court

    my ex wants physical custody of my daughter who is living with him right now

    Mark’s Answer

    Bad things happen to people who don't go to court: I can't imagine what could possibly prevent you or be more important than going to court when someone else being asked to decide who has custody of your child. The court itself will draw a negative inference about you- obviously, which is either you are too unstable to make it to court yourself or simply don't care.

    In any event, if you don't go to court you will guarantee that custody will be placed with your ex and that it might become a permanent order. If custody was only placed with him on a temporary basis, you need to show up and explain why.

    An arrest warrant for you will not issue, now one is going to go looking for you, but actions and decsions will be taken and made against you without any imput from you.

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  • Conflict of interest question

    When there is a conflict of interest that exists between an attorney and a Judge, does that attorney have any responsibility of notifying the opposition of any potential conflict? Now we are talking Massachusetts not the Appalachian Trail wher...

    Mark’s Answer

    The exact nature of the alledged conflict is not stated or alluded to in your question nor do you indicate whether or not the jurist hearing the case has knowledge of the conflict.

    My experience has been that lawyers who were formerly law partners with judges or had other types of relationships with a sitting judge prior to or during their tenure as judges are disqualified from appearing before the judge by standing order of the court and that upon a filing of a complaint or other action by that attorney, the standing order is followed and the case is placed before another judge.

    You question indicates that the attorney has a "potential" conflict with the judge: well if she does, and she thinks the conflict is going to prejudice her client's case or cause the case to "pre-judged" before the presentation of evidence - she has an obligation to request the recusal of the judge by motion. It is then judge's duty to conduct their own investigation and determine whether or not they can render a fair and impartial deicsion in the case: this decision becomes part of the record in the case.

    Your question does not allude to facts that would give rise to an affirmative obligation on the part of counsel to notify all parties and counsel of a potential conflict - the attorney's first duty is to her client and not to all parties in a case to make sure her client has a fair hearing.

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  • I have an open DCF case and pregnant again.. Can DCF in another state get involved?

    I had my son in CT and DCF in CT has a law called predictive neglect (where they can predict that the child will be neglected with no proof). I am 6 months pregnant with my 2nd child and moved to another state. Can that other state get involved be...

    Mark’s Answer

    My own professional experience in other matters between social service agencies between CT and MA is that they do not communicate with each other proactively. A social worker in CT will speak with a social worker in MA if the social worker in MA is alerted by others to an open case in CT but CT will not automatically notify MA about your arrival in this state just because you have an open case in CT. This is not to say that there isin't some protocol or regulation they are supposed to follow where they do notify the new state of your arrival - its just as a practical matter most workers have more cases than they can possibly handle and the refferal just doesn't get made.

    Its also my experience that once you leave the jurisdiction where the open complaint is, the matter is closed because the alledged neglect or abuse can no longer occur there and it becomes someone else's problem.

    Again, my own professional experience with DCF in this state is the agency only has enough power over you as you give them - until they file a care and protection of a minor complaint. There is nothing to prevent your travel unless there is a pending court case in CT so move on and work on improving the decision making that brought about any contact between your family and a social service agency interested in the protection of your children.

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  • Can I trade in my vehicle that has both my ex husbands name and my own on the loan without him?

    I got divorced in 2010, and in the decree it states that the vehicle I have been driving is now mine. Over the last few years I have had problems with getting any info on the car, such as insurance and registration, due to the fact that they have ...

    Mark’s Answer

    When you divorced, your ex should have signed the title over to you - but if there was a loan on the vehicle, I understand why he could not. Notwithstanding that, he had a "good faith and fair dealing" obligation to you to forward mail regarding the insurance and registration.

    Your question is can you trade the car that court decreed you own. The answer is yes but he is going to have some involvment because presumbably he is still on the title to the vehicle. If the car loan is paid off and you don't already have the certificate of title, you need to request a new one from the registry and obtain his signature on it. If he refuses, you have grounds for a complaint for contempt. If he is not found in actual contempt of court, the court will order him to sign the title.

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  • My wife and i want to give up custody of my 17 year old daughter to my daughter in law. I would prefer to stay out of the courts

    my daughter already lives with her in another state. i live in NH and she and my daughter are in MA she needs custody to get her a ma id. and to enroll her into public highschool since she has been homeschooled

    Mark’s Answer

    If your own letter to the school, as her legal guardian, acknowledging her placement by you with your daughter in law is not enough, your daughter and daughter in law need to go to court and complete the forms for a guardianship of a minor.

    A 17 year old can nominate her own guardian. On the petition form in Massachusetts there is a designation that your daughter can sign before a notary public. Your daughter and daughter in law can fill out the forms at the courthouse. You as parents can sign the document giving your assent. You won't have to appear in court but the proposed guardian and most likely the nominating ward will have to when they wish to make it permanent.

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  • We had month- month verbal rental agreement w/ landlord, we never signed a lease or gave security deposit, do we owe anything?

    Landlord entered our house unannounced w/out us being there several times. We had no water for 2 weeks and never were reimbursed for this, CO2 detector removed from premises after our complaints of gas smell from stove. She gave us 30 days to mov...

    Mark’s Answer

    The standard for a small claims case is "preponderance of the evidence" which means if the magistrate finds 51% for you and 49% for the plaintiff, you win. Do not allow the plaintiff to assume facts not in evidence: if they claim you were a tenant, make them prove that they were your landlord. They don't have a rental agreement - did they cash any rent checks or did you pay them in cash? If you did, they better have receipts to show there was a rent and tenancy established.

    The plaintiff's also need to appear with pictures of the damage and the bills they have paid to get to $3,700.00 in out of pocket damages. It is not enough to appear with an "estimate" of what the damages are. If the plaintiff can show damages they then have to prove you caused them. You will testify you didn't and it doesn't hurt to have some non-party witnesses who can testify what the conditions were.

    Good Luck.

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  • Breaking a monthly rental agreement...

    It ok to give your landlord less than a months notice if they haven't take the proper care of our security deposit as well as numerous other issues with the apartment? It does say in the "monthly rental agreement" that we are to give them 1 months...

    Mark’s Answer

    Observing a thirty day notice requirement and improper handling of a security deposit are separate and distinct issues. If you have paid for the month you vacate and the LL is holding a last month's rent, I don't see the issue. If the LL is not holding a last month's rent and you are vacating in May without notice, perhaps the LL has a claim for the June rent but my feeling is on the subject is more practical - most landlords are happy to recover possession of the unit without being owned rent.
    The law and the case law on security deposits is clear: if the deposit has not been properly held it is to be returned without charge upon it upon request.
    Your habitability claims don't have any traction unless you are suining the land lord to recover rent previously paid or you are defending a summary process eviction.

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  • Collecting ss death benefits fraudulently?

    My husband has a daughter from his first marriage. During his second marriage his daughters mother passed away. He and his wife at the time started collecting SS death benefits for his daughter from her mothers passing. The benefits were sent to h...

    Mark’s Answer

    Is the Ex-Wife continued to recevie the funds as the child's representative payee, she also had to complete a report annually on how she spend the money on behalf of the child. These reports will document the annual amount she received and put her on record as receiving the funds under false pretenses and then lying about their disposistion. Suing the Ex-Wife in a civil suit seems like a waste of time as she is probably judgment proof; your only remedy lies with the social security administration, the district attorney or perhaps the attorney general's office.

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  • Terminate Child support - Child is 22 and still in Comm Colleg for the past 4 years. I can not verify if he has been a fulltime?

    LENGTH: Such child support obligation shall be terminated for a child upon the emancipation of that child. For the purposes of this Separation Agreement, 1/ emancipation" shall be defined as occurring upon the earliest of the following for a c...

    Mark’s Answer

    If you are unable to get the answer on full time enrollment either from your child or the other parent, you or your attorney need to file a complaint for Modification citing the amount of child support you pay and the date of the last judgment/court order that set that amount, alledge that the child has become emancipated and pray the court to determine emacipation and termination of your child support order RETROACTIVE to the date of serivce on your complaint for modification; pay the court filng fee on the complaint and serve the complaint on the parent recieving the child support. I would then draw up a request for production of documents for the adult child's college transcript and any other documentary evidence the custodial parent asserts is proof on unemancipation. Give them thirty days to respond to the complaint and request for production of documents - when you receive nothing, file a motion to "temporarily" suspend child support pending final hearing citing that the complaint has been outstanding thirty days and the defendant's have provided nothing to show full time enrollment.

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