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Carina Castaneda

Carina Castaneda’s Answers

16 total


  • Renewing restraining orders and criminal protective orders?

    After a DV incident, civil DVRO was issued which was violated. Since he was on probation for an unrelated case, his probation was revoked and he was sent to serve a term in state prison. I was added to that case and granted a Criminal Protective O...

    Carina’s Answer

    Since he has prior violations, the likelihood that the court will grant you a new DVRO and CPO extended is pretty good.

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  • Push back trial date

    How do I push back a trial date for custody? If I'm not ready. Is there paper work,

    Carina’s Answer

    Request if the opposing party will grant your request to continue then simply file a "stipulation to the effect with the court." But this is if the court allows a continuance. If you are not represented by an attorney, it may be incumbent upon you to request a continuance to allow you to get an atty. since this is a critical hearing.

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  • Pursue a property lien or file for contempt of non-support for past-due child support? Old case with father in TX and me in CA.

    Minor is now an adult and this case is for court ordered child support back from 1976. Father paid about $300 during the 18 years. He paid while he was in prison because they garnished his half-way house paycheck. He owns real and personal prop...

    Carina’s Answer

    It is too bad this is only an arrears case only now. I had prosecuted cases involving child support cases when the Dept of Child Support in CA was within the DA's office in LA County. The state department will not enforce a valid order if it is only arrears. In recent years, I have been successful in getting a stipulation and agreement between parents pertaining to arrears even outside of the US so that is an avenue to pursue. You may not get the full amount of arrears but you may get a lump sum in exchange for a waiver of some of the arrears.

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  • California only: Can a minor child be forced to testify at a contempt trial without being subpoenaed?

    Trial set for next Wednesday. Attorney just filed a witness list (today) with minor children on it - 7 days before trial. Court orders already in place prohibiting minors from knowledge of court disputes between parents. 730 expert already denied...

    Carina’s Answer

    Since contempt is punishable by jail amongst other things, the court will need to weigh the evidence that could be provided by the witness (even a minor). Under Evidence Code 403 standard (probative v prejudicial). The issue is not going to be whether a party was subpoenaed esp. if they are already present but whether the testimony will be relevant, probative and of course, if we are talking about the minor who are issue, the court's review will take consideration of the child's interest. You need to object if you have valid grounds then opposing party must show they have good cause and can not get this evidence in an alternative way. Bottom line, in criminal cases, judges make 403 decisions in all evidence- documentary and testimonial

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  • Who pays for the attorney in contempt when one cannot afford it. The judge appointed one.

    When a person enters a court and faces charges of contempt and states they cannot afford an attorney, the judge then appoints one to them. Who pays for this attorney? How much money can be spent to defend this person? Who pays for all the peopl...

    Carina’s Answer

    Since contempt is a "quasi" criminal action, you have the same constitutional rights as you would if you were a criminal defendant, including the right to a court appointed atty. Note, since I was a DA for 10 years in LA County, you may qualify for a public defender or even an alternate public defender (if you had used the services of the PD) before. The court can assess fees to be paid -- it is not always free.

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  • How can you close and expunge a Restraining Order after it expires?

    The Restraining Order expired on 4/6/2012 and I checked online through the Superior Court in which the case was out of and it said the case was still open. What do I have to do to close that? Can I have it expunged? Also the plaintiff passed away ...

    Carina’s Answer

    The restraining order is expired but the case may still be open. Not clear if you are talking about a criminal case or a family law case. Expungements are only applicable to criminal convictions. If your case is "open" there may be outstanding issues with your probation that needs to be completed. Depending on the type of case, criminal cases can be expunged and some can even be done through a certificate of rehabilitation in California.

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  • Vindictive use of restraining order...what are my options?

    My husband got a TRO for harassment served to me. I found out about deception and said our marriage was over. 3 days later I cut off all contact with him then got the TRO for harassment. How is it harassment if I had no contact for 5 days befor...

    Carina’s Answer

    Who issued the TRO? Family or criminal court or did the police issue an emergency protective order. Question needs clarity. If a restraining order was filed and it is meritless, then you must file a response and appear in the subsequent hearing prepared with evidence, testimony, and even witnesses. A skilled attorney should be able to assist you in fighting for this. I have been successful as well in getting sanctions against a party for attorney's fees if the claim was meritless and frivolous.

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  • Do I need an attorney to defend myself from a DV?

    I filed a DV against my ex boyfriend for Harassment/ stalking. He is an ex felon from over 10 years ago with a few DV's on his record among other things. I filed and got a TRO pending the hearing. He showed up with attorney and requested a pos...

    Carina’s Answer

    You can not file a domestic violence on an individual only prosecutors files a domestic violence case. It appears that your question is involving filing a restraining order that could be based on a DV case pending or already resolved (not clear). I always advise individuals esp. if the other party has an attorney, you too should be adequately represented. Note, that a hearing will comprise of taking testimony (direct, cross, re-direct/re-cross) and submission of documentary evidence. You can also bring in witness to corroborate your position. Clearly, an experienced atty. will benefit you.

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  • If my girlfriend's request for a restraining order on me is granted, will I be forced to move out of our home, if so, how long?

    I have a temporary RO against my girlfriend. There was a police report made and she was arrested as a result of the assault. In her response she admits to pushing me over a rail in a past and sepetate issue stating she was very distraught and upse...

    Carina’s Answer

    Note, you have a right to respond to the restraining order in writing. This is your opportunity to request any affirmative defense coupled with responding to all her allegations. A restraining order hearing is taken seriously by the family courts and testimony from both parties will be taken. As such, if you are not comfortable in doing direct, cross, and re-direct or re-cross, of witnesses, you need to hire an attorney. You may also present both documentary and testimonial evidence.

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  • I stoped going to my domestic violence classes due to I was layed off but I have a job now and can continue.

    This is my first time that I stopped appearing to classes but when I was going I had a great progress report what can I do or say on my court date coming up?

    Carina’s Answer

    I am assuming you have a progress report court date. Note, if you do not have a private attorney in a criminal case, you have a right to speak to the public defender. But in my 10 years as a DA in LA county, this may not be necessary. Simply advise the judge you lost your job and could not pay the DV fees required for each class. Bring your progress report which shows that you were doing well in the program. Advise the judge as well that you now are employed and can resume going to classes. Ask for an extension to file your proof of completion and the judge should grant it to you.

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