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Jay Bodzin

Jay Bodzin’s Answers

6,975 total

  • I want to sue for faults hope

    I know I can just stop but I keep getting these emails that make me feel like they are going to pick me, I just feel hopeless and I go through this every month and I'm on so many meds now, I'm so depressed on a roller coaster I have a addictive be...

    Jay’s Answer

    In order to sue someone and win anything, you need what lawyers call a "cause of action." This is what normal people would call a "good reason." You need to be able to show that the person you're suing has caused you a cognizable (that is, quantifiable - preferably in terms of a monetary amount) injury, by some unlawful or negligent conduct. Giving someone false hope (I assume this is what you meant) is not a cause of action.

    You can't just sue anyone for a purely emotional reason. The courts do not exist to validate your feelings or resolve personal acrimony. They are there to resolve conflicts that society cannot tolerate being unresolved - and they do it far from perfectly.

    People have this notion that suing someone will be this glorious redemptive process, where their every injury will be avenged and all their feelings validated. This belief is staggeringly wrong. Lawsuits are intensely unpleasant. They force the parties to live through whatever injuries they originally suffered, for months or years. You have to answer tons of difficult questions, over and over again, and if you change your story even a bit, you can be sunk. They rarely go perfectly - the law often produces results that one side or another considers to be unjust, for technical reasons - or just because "justice" is a pretty subjective concept. The other side has every motive, and every right, to attack your honesty, your conduct, and your motives. And, of course, you need to shell out a fairly large amount of money, most of the time. This is true even if your lawyer is working for a contingent fee, where they don't get paid if they win. And it's certainly true if you lose, and you have to pay the other side's attorney fees, which can be huge. So litigation, while an important right, should be your last resort to solve problems, not your first. You don't need a lawyer, you need a therapist.

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  • How do I fix this ?

    My ex husband gets parenting time , everytime her get a chance her cuts my girls hair. Can I do something about This ? He traumatizes them. And does it against their will

    Jay’s Answer

    You can file a motion with the Court to modify your custody judgment, and ask the Court to explicitly prohibit him from doing this. You would need to be able to show that this prohibition is in the child's best interests. You can't personally testify about what the children have said to you, in order to prove what they're saying; ideally, you'd want a therapist or other expert who's seen the children, to offer an expert opinion.

    If the Court made such an order, and your ex-husband violated it, you could file another motion to enforce the judgment. You could ask the Court to order him to pay your attorney fees incurred in the process, or to limit his parenting time to prevent this.

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  • How long will it take for a judge to rule on an emergency temporary custody order?

    My child, age 5, has told my wife and I that his mother slapped him across the face. This resulted in a bruise. He also has several other bruises, 2 on his bottom, that he says are from being spanked with a spoon. DHS has assigned a worker to t...

    Jay’s Answer

    If you have an attorney, you need to take your questions and concerns to them. They're bound to be able to advise you better, knowing all the facts, than we can based only on a few lines of text over the internet. Ethical rules prohibit an attorney from giving advice to someone who's already represented. And you will be sabotaging yourself if you second-guess your attorney or act without her knowledge based on things you read on the internet.

    That said, this is generally how it works: "Emergency custody" is a misnomer (in other words, it's not really a thing). What you can do is file a motion to modify your custody order, and then immediately file another motion for a temporary custody order based on immediate danger to the child. This is typically done as an ex parte appearance, so you may have to give your wife two days' advance notice of your intention to appear at court to present the motion. You (or, more properly, your attorney) can do this by any reasonable means of communication, but it's best to do it in writing (i.e., by email), so you can prove that you did it, in case she later alleges that you didn't. She will have the right to appear and object. When you appear at court, you submit a motion with a declaration or affidavit, explaining why you believe that the child is in immediate danger if left in her care. If you make a 'prima facie case' - that is, if we give you the benefit of the doubt and assume the allegations are true, and those allegations constitute a sufficient risk of harm - then the judge will immediately sign the order. It's effective as soon as it's served on her (so, immediately, if she is present).

    She then has the right to request a hearing, which is supposed to be held within 21 days. At that hearing, the burden will be on you to prove, by clear and convincing evidence, that the child really was in imminent danger of serious physical, emotional, or psychological harm, if left in her care. This is a pretty hard standard to meet. People frequently file 'immediate danger' petitions, but despite that (or, perhaps, because of that) courts uphold them relatively infrequently.

    Part of your problem will be proving what happened. You can't realistically call your 5-year-old as a witness - some experts consider it child abuse to even bring a child to court, and judges are extremely reluctant to hear such testimony. You can't testify as to what he said - that's hearsay, and is not allowed as testimony. You need to take your child to a facility that evaluates children for possible abuse, and call the examiner as an expert witness, to get this evidence admitted. You cannot count on a DHS case worker to help you - they are notoriously unreliable and unaccountable - although your attorney may want to subpoena them to the hearing - this is really a decision that she has to make. You should take further questions to your attorney directly - as I said, second-guessing them based on answers from the internet will only drive you both crazy.

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  • Can court ordered payments be declared on bankrupsty

    My ex wife was ordered by the court to pau me an amount after the house was sold and loans and liens were paid. I recieved a paper from bankruptsy court that she is declaring this payment on her bankrupsty. lf so, because l am still paying on the ...

    Jay’s Answer

    Domestic support obligations (like child support and spousal support) cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. This means that one still has to pay these obligations even after having successfully completed a bankruptcy; however, owing these debts does not stop one from using bankruptcy to discharge other debts, and to do that, those obligations need to be included in the bankruptcy petition. So the question is whether the money she owes you (which I assume, from your description, is an equalizing judgment in your divorce decree) qualifies as a domestic support obligation. You should consult with an attorney in private about this. It may be necessary to file a creditor's objection with the bankruptcy court. One thing you definitely should not do is just go and take the car without any legal confirmation that it is yours - it's not.

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  • What can i do if my ex won't pay the portion of medical expenses he's supposed to pay for our child?

    our agreement clearly outlines he is to pay 1/2 all out of pocket expenses, yet he simply ignores it. what can I do??

    Jay’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    You can file a motion to enforce the judgment with the Court. You can ask that he also be ordered to pay your attorney fees that you might accrue in arguing the case. If you win, you will get a judgment with a money award, that you can use to garnish his wages and bank accounts until the debts are all paid. You should consult in private with an attorney about this. It may be that just a letter from an attorney will be enough to motivate him to pay.

    If, however, he has no job, no wages, no bank accounts, and generally no assets except those held "under the table" (i.e., working for cash), then there's likely no way you can compel him to pay. No one can take what isn't there.

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  • What can I do if my lawyer lost my case and I feel I wasn't represent good.

    My lawyer didn't do much to defend me.

    Jay’s Answer

    There are two different kinds of potential attorney misconduct: malpractice, and a breach of ethical rules. An attorney commits malpractice when they provide services that are below the standards of competency for the profession, and the client is harmed as a direct result of that substandard care. Malpractice gives the client a cause of action against the attorney - that is, you can sue them. To win such a suit, you must prove that the attorney really did represent you and provide you with representation that was below the standards of minimum competency for lawyers in the area, and that you were harmed as a direct result. (That usually means, proving that you could have won the case, but for the attorney's mistakes.) You also have to prove the extent to which you were damaged - that is, what, in material terms, the mistake cost you. You can only recover what you lost as a result of the mistake.

    Note that not every mistake an attorney makes is necessarily malpractice. Everyone makes mistakes. Malpractice has not happened just because one lost. Every legal case involves some winners and some losers, but most do not involve malpractice.

    All attorneys who practice in Oregon carry mandatory malpractice liability coverage through the Professional Liability Fund. The PLF will pay your damages, if you can prove that malpractice occurred; they will also defend your attorney, if they determine that they don't believe malpractice occurred. So they cannot represent you, but they may be able to help. You need to start by consulting in private with an attorney who specializes in professional malpractice. (Note that you haven't said anything about what happened in your case, so there's no way that we can even begin to guess whether you have a claim for malpractice here. These details are best given to an attorney in private, not posted out on the internet where everyone can see them.)

    The second kind of attorney misconduct is a breach of the ethical rules. Providing services so bad as to be malpractice is itself an ethical violation, but plenty of ethics violations are not malpractice. No harm need be demonstrated, for an ethical breach to be found. Ethical breaches do not automatically create a cause of action. The remedy for an ethical breach that is not malpractice is Bar discipline - that is, a private or public reprimand for the attorney, suspension, or, in extreme cases, expulsion from the practice of law. In other words, you don't get any money automatically just because your attorney was unethical - though if their ethical misconduct caused you a financial harm, you have an independent claim against them, and you can make a claim to the Client Security Fund (online at .). Ethical complaints can be made to the Bar's Client Assistance Office (online at .). Note that any materials you submit in an ethics complaint become public record and are shared with the attorney you're accusing, so you want to be sure not to reveal confidential information in this complaint.

    If you're talking about a criminal defense case, you may have an additional remedy, in a claim for post-conviction relief based on ineffective assistance of counsel. This is also something you need to discuss in private with an attorney who specializes in this field.

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  • My ex is moving out he is on lease.he says we both have to go. I have kids and have no reason to move

    He is also bi polar and I might get a restraining order on him to keep him away

    Jay’s Answer

    This appears to be a duplicate thread to some extent. See also the answers in this thread:

    It's a bit hard to understand your account of events here, and you haven't asked a question, so it's hard to give an answer. (Please see this Guide: .) You can only get a restraining order against someone if they've harmed you, threatened to harm you, or sexually forced themselves on you (see the thread linked above for more information about that). I guess the real question is, do you want to stay in your home even if he moves? You can't force him to stay with you - though if you have a lease for a set term and he breaks the lease, you could have a claim against him for the rent he'd owe. But that only works if you're both listed on the lease and have a lease for a set term. If it's month-to-month, he can give notice of his intent to leave any time. You may want to talk to the landlord about assuming the lease yourself, if you can afford it.

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  • My ex is on the lease he is clearly bipolar . He is an alcohol in and I need to get him out ..I have kids and need to stay.

    I have kids in house plus my dog..All stuff in house is mine. He drinks and smokes to extremes. But his weekend while I was away he packed up house and said we will leave together. Then unpacked and asked for forgiveness. I should get a restraini...

    Jay’s Answer

    You can only get a restraining order against someone if, within the previous 180 days, they have: physically injured you; placed you in fear of imminent bodily injury; or subjected you to sexual contact by force or threat of force. If your ex-whatever has done any of these things, then you should seek a restraining order against him, and you should consult with an attorney in private for assistance. (The advice given by victims' advocates or court facilitators about restraining orders is, in my professional opinion, totally inadequate. They sometimes don't even tell people that the person being restrained has the right to request a hearing, and that you have to prove to the court at the hearing that the abuse really did occur.)

    If he has not done these things, then you cannot get a restraining order against him - you can't get a restraining order just because you want someone gone. If he's listed as a tenant on the lease, you have no right to evict him. You can, however, move to a new place yourself.

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  • Registered sex offender trying to get parenting time

    My wife has two kids by registered sex offender and he was very abusive for last four and a half years to her almost made her miscarry their son and his po said he is not even ready to be of a safety plan but that spin about 9 years ago and she al...

    Jay’s Answer

    I'm afraid it's difficult to understand just what you're saying here (please see this Guide: ), and you don't seem to have asked a question, so it's hard to give an answer. But I can tell you this: The fact that someone has been convicted of a sex offence does not automatically mean that they don't have the right to pursue parenting time rights with their children. They do. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that parents have a constitutional right to involvement with their children, and Oregon courts therefore will very rarely deny a parent any access to their children at all. So the father is likely to get /some/ parenting time, if he pursues it. However, you can certainly ask the court to order that this contact be limited based on the parent's limited prior contact with the children, and constrained as necessary for the child's safety. For parents who have a history of sexual conduct towards children or other abuse, courts can order that parenting time be supervised - ideally by a professional (who the at-fault parent can be required to pay for), or, less ideally, by a family member you trust.

    Your wife should consult in private with an attorney if she's received papers from a court or legal correspondence. The internet really cannot be an adequate substitute.

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  • Can my sister in law keep guardianship of my child if she gave her back to me since the court order?

    My mom and my brothers wife went behind my back and served guardianship papers to me for my daughter. My family told me not to worry about the court date because they would never keep her from me--- I didn't go to court. Since then I was given my ...

    Jay’s Answer

    Guardianship is not automatically voided just by leaving the child with the biological parent for a period of time. You need to consult in private with an attorney to see what legal action must be taken. You can call the Oregon State Bar for a free referral at 503-684-3763. Ask about the Modest Means program. Attorneys in this program agree to charge clients a limited fee ($60 to $100 per hour, depending on income) in exchange for referrals. Considering that the standard fee attorneys charge around here is $200 to $300 per hour or more, this is quite a bargain. You can't do anything (legally) without "going back to court."

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