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Amanda Bowden Houser
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Amanda Houser’s Answers

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  • My husband & I have been separated for 2 months, we are planning to spend the weekend together to see if we still have feelings

    My husband & I have been separated for 2 months, we are planning to spend the weekend together to see if we still have feelings for each other & to talk. I do not want a divorce, he won't tell me his thoughts just yet. I understand that the date ...

    Amanda’s Answer

    The answer to your question is NO. Under the circumstances you describe, this would not reset the separation date. The primary purpose of the one year separation period is to ensure that the marriage is not salvageable. North Carolina case law has repeatedly held time and again that brief isolated instances of cohabitation for the exact purpose you describe and / or sexual relations do not reset the separation period. Should you cohabit and resume your marital relationship to the point of holding yourselves out to family and the public as a married couple for a much longer period than a weekend puts you in the 'depends' area.

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  • Can the father of my 1 year old get her hair cut?

    I have primary custody of my one year old daughter and her father has visitation. This past weekend he took her to get her hair cut after I asked him not to. Is he allowed to do that?

    Amanda’s Answer

    Normally, I would answer a question like this with 'probably' or 'most likely'. It is rare that I slap down a hard, definitive yes or no but in this case, the answer is a resounding - YES! (even added the little exclamation point for added effect). Even if he wasn't allowed to - seriously? What's the big deal? The child is one, the hair will grow back. Even if there was a religions or some other quasi-legitimate reason, this is a very petty thing to be attempting to control. In fact, I would venture to speculate this is your own fault. Men are often simple creatures and it is very likely he only did it because what you characterize as 'asked' he characterizes as being 'told'. People don't like to be told what they can and can't do - especially by an 'ex'. So it's possible this was an open act of defiance and / or a non-verbal way of slapping you in the face with a constant but temporary reminder that he won't allow you to dictate how things will be during his visitation. If so - good for him. If the child is one and you two are bickering over things like this - its gonna be a long 17 years and the child is likely to be the one to suffer for it - usually in the mental / emotional development area. There are a lot of things involving the child like this (your imagination is the limit) that you and the father can legally do to frost each others butts. However, its not a good idea to use the child as a 'battle field' for an on going passive aggressive pissing match. Just hand over the child and let dad do his thing - if the child comes back with a confederate battle flag tattooed on her forehead - then maybe you have a legitimate complaint. Best of luck!

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  • Spousal abuse victim, 2 sons that are his, child support given, no alimony.

    Separation agreement stated joint custody, weekend visits, both sons lived with me, until they got into a fight, and I asked him to take the younger son until things were calm. I called two days later to have him brought back, and he said he would...

    Amanda’s Answer

    Without a lot more information, which isn't feasible in a forum like this, you really don't present many issues that based on the information present aren't 'so what?' issues. For example, with out more information, the fact that he won't bring the child back is - so what? - you have joint custody. He denies paying alimony - so what? .You are disabled - so what? And so on. With more information, these facts may be relevant but as is the whole lot of them don't add up to much. So your best bet is to sit down with a local attorney you are comfortable with who can take the time to get more information from you and determine what claims you may have. Best of luck to you!

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  • If a couple owns a house together. Can one ask the other to leave the home?

    One child Wife wants husband to leave the home. Is this legal

    Amanda’s Answer

    Of course you can ask and that is perfectly legal - of course if it asks it might get the hose again! In which case, you will need to consider filing a divorce from bed and board. Be careful though, the one who files ain't always the one packing a bag. Best of luck!

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  • Public offender or Paid attorney

    My husband was charged with felonious assault , and felonious assault on a female towards me. This happened almost 2 years ago. My husband, and I are still together, and the prosecutor has tried for 2 years to get a hold of me to testify.The publi...

    Amanda’s Answer

    The amount of incorrect information in your question is staggering - virtually nothing is correct! Jacksonville does not have a Public Defender much less an 'offender' - we have old fashioned Court Appointed attorneys which are the same private practice attorneys that can be hired by the general public - so usually you can not really hire an attorney that's necessarily 'better' than your court appointed one. Your husband's attorney recommending avoidance of service of process for a subpoena is likely a violation of ethics rules and Superior Court dockets are not a lottery! There are things the attorney could do to move a case along. Despite North Carolina's many attempts not too, we do somewhat adhere to the constitutional right to a speedy trial and Motions to Dismiss for cases dragging are not unheard of. All that said, basically, you are just going to have to deal with it. It is likely you wouldn't be dealing with it at all had law enforcement not been called or a warrant taken out.

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  • I've been charged with Simple assault on my boyfriend, 1st off. I have P.defender. will I be charged???

    I've got charged with Simple assault on bf. I was pregnant at rhe time so it was self defense, I was in jail for 2 hrs, I have public defen. 1st time we went to court he didn't show( he pressed charges) have court next week, what will happen?? and...

    Amanda’s Answer

    The fact that you were pregnant does not make it self-defense. Reasonably defending yourself against his attacks is what makes it self defense! As to what happens next week - who knows? Heck, the world could end and then none of this matters but more realistically, it could vary from he shows up and you get convicted to he doesn't show up and the case gets dismissed. Regarding coming off your background - NEVER! Even if you are found not guilty or the case gets dismissed there will likely be at least a record of arrest. So the charge alone is enough to screw you over job wise.

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  • My brother has supervised visitation at my house. I am the supervisor. What would it cost for us to get it unsupervised.

    My brother had custody for his daughter the mom took the daughter and got custody because of things my brother was doing at the time. Drugs, bad choices then. He has supervised visitation with me every weekend from Friday -Sunday. She has to be wi...

    Amanda’s Answer

    A lot - is likely the best answer you will get because it is near impossible to get you a specific figure on the facts you presented. But basically, you need to realize this isn't something you can just buy (at least its not supposed to be but we are in good 'ol boy hillbilly North Carolina where often you get as much justice as you can afford - so you never know). You would need to convince a Judge to modify the current order and even if you paid - a lot, there would be no guarantee. I know this is a depressing answer but it is likely the best that can be done without more detailed information from you. Best of luck!

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  • What can happen if you we're not read your rights and signed the rights paper?

    arrested and not read rights or signed rights paper what can heppen

    Amanda’s Answer

    Contrary to popular belief - law enforcement is not required to 'read you your rights'. My stock response to people who ask about not being read their rights is - so what! However, if you are not read your rights anything you say will likely not be admissible in Court but it doesn't necessarily mean the case against you will be dismissed or that the state can't prosecute you with other admissible evidence.

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  • How do I prepare divorce paperwork when my spouse is no longer in the country and I have no address?

    I believe I know which country but I don't have a phone number or address for him. Now what?

    Amanda’s Answer

    You prepare the divorce paperwork in the same manner in accordance with state law and local Court rules - what changes in your situation is how the defendant is served. If you have to ask the how then you don't know what you are doing and should hire and attorney. This does not mean you are stupid it simply means you don't know how to do it. Doing your own legal work when you don't know what you are doing is like trying try to repair your transmission and you are not a mechanic - it simply isn't going to get done right. Aside from the fact that you MAY need to do a legal publication - (which you likely won't be able to successfully do on your own because of the specific ad requirements as well as selection of newspaper), you need to be aware that if you know the defendant to be out of the country, you may need to serve them in accordance with the Hague Convention. The Hague Convention is an international treaty that governs service of process on defendants who are residents of member countries. It is suppose to make service of process easier but in reality actually makes it much harder, more complicated and more expensive.

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  • I got a ticket for Move Over law I was told even if i paid ticket before court date i still would be charged court c

    How can u be charged court cost if u do not go to court I have never had but one ticket in 30yrs i am 68yrs old the police officer was in his car

    Amanda’s Answer

    When an officer is pulled over on the side of the road in the car or out - you have a duty to move over one lane at least to the left if possible and if not to slow down considerably - if you didn't - you broke the law simple as that. Court cost are NOT assessed on every ticket! For example, if you are found not guilty or not responsible, guess what - no court cost! Tickets that are dismissed have no court cost and Judges have the power to waive court cost (they rarely do it but they can if they want too) but I think you have the wrong idea about court cost. Court cost isn't a fee for you to attend court like an admission ticket for you to go to the movies. Court cost are what it cost for the state to do its business and the $188 is actually broken down into several small fees that are distributed according to state statute. So basically, when you screw up and get a ticket, the court charges you for what is costs to prosecute you: the officers time, the clerks who process the ticket, the infrastructure and maintenance, ect. Here's the current break down if you are interested:
    CRIMINAL COURT COSTS
    G.S. 7A-304, unless otherwise specified AMOUNT DISTRICT COURT (including criminal cases before magistrates)
    General Court of Justice Fee.G.S. 7A-304(a)(4).
    General Fund 127.05
    State Bar Legal Aid Account (LAA) 2.45
    Facilities Fee. G.S. 7A-304(a)(2). 12.00
    Phone Systems Fee. G.S. 7A-304(a)(2a). 4.00
    Misdemeanant Confinement Fund Fee. G.S. 7A-304(a)(2b). 18.00
    LEO Retirement/Insurance. G.S. 7A-304(a)(3) & (3a). 7.50
    LEO Training and Certification Fee. G.S. 7A-304(a)(3b). 2.00
    Chapter 20 Fee. G.S. 7A-304(a)(4a) (for conviction of any Chapter 20 offense). +10.002
    DNA Fee. G.S. 7A-304(a)(9) (criminal offenses, only; does not apply to infractions). +2.00
    Plus $5.00 service fee for each arrest or service of criminal process, including citations and
    subpoenas. G.S. 7A-304(a)(1). +5.00
    SUPERIOR COURT
    General Court of Justice Fee.G.S. 7A-304(a)(4).
    General Fund 152.05
    State Bar Legal Aid Account (LAA) 2.45
    Facilities Fee. G.S. 7A-304(a)(2). 30.00
    Phone Systems Fee. G.S. 7A-304(a)(2a). 4.00
    LEO Retirement/Insurance. G.S. 7A-304(a)(3) & (3a). 7.50
    LEO Training and Certification Fee. G.S. 7A-304(a)(3b). 2.00
    Chapter 20 Fee. G.S. 7A-304(a)(4a) (for conviction of any Chapter 20 offense). +10.00
    DNA Fee. G.S. 7A-304(a)(9) (criminal offenses, only; does not apply to infractions). +2.00
    Plus $5.00 service fee for each arrest or service of criminal process, including citations and
    subpoenas. +5.00

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