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Jay Bodzin

Jay Bodzin’s Answers

6,779 total


  • Can I get an annulment and what is the process?

    I have bipolar disorder and fear I may have been experiencing a manic episode when I married my husband. We have been married for two months and I feel the marriage was a mistake. Can I still get an annulment and how do I start the process?

    Jay’s Answer

    Annulments are for marriages that were not valid in the first place - because one party to the marriage was already married, or under the age of consent, or otherwise unable to marry, or because the marriage was entered into due to force or fraud. It can be obtained due to 'lack of sufficient understanding' upon entering into the marriage, which in theory could be based on a mental health issue at the time. But after two years, proving your mental state at the time of the marriage is going to be very difficult. It's also totally unnecessary. You can get a dissolution of your marriage, which will have the same legal effect, and which doesn't require any particular justification. Oregon recognizes 'no-fault' divorces; the only reason that needs to be given is that 'irreconcilable differences have caused the irremediable breakdown of the marriage.' The reason is legally irrelevant. If you and your husband have no minor children together and no substantial property accumulated during the marriage, you can get a summary dissolution, which is quick and cheap. If these issues are present, you should consult with an attorney in private.

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  • I had moved out things from one state & the movers company driver used abusive language and threw the goods at the ground.

    1) I was overcharged 600$ by the company for 3 extra boxes which were not mine. 2) Also, they told me that they will deliver to the apartment even if its first floor. (for first floor its free). 3) The driver did not deliver the goods to the apa...

    Jay’s Answer

    You haven't asked a question here, so it's hard to give an answer. (Please see this Guide: http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/five-tips-for-how-to-ask-for-legal-advice-on-avvocom .) In general, the rule is, you can take legal action against a person or company if their actions have caused you a financial harm, but not for rudeness or "abusive language." So the real question is, what was the financial cost to you of the company's actions?

    In any case, the first step on all of this has to be to contact the company and explain what happened, and ask for a partial refund or reimbursement. If they refuse, then you can consider legal action. But bear in mind that lawsuits are expensive, slow, time-consuming, and stressful. It's only worth doing if really necessary.

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  • Can the person ordered to transport to/from and supervise visits file for a modification to remove supervision?

    I was ordered to supervise my disabled son's visits when his children were very young. It has been years and he no longer needs supervision but doesn't have the money to file for a modification. Since I am court ordered to facilitate the visitatio...

    Jay’s Answer

    No. You are not a party to the case and have no standing to ask the Court to modify its order.

    However, you are also not bound by the court's orders in the case, because you are not a party. So you can tell your son that you refuse to do this any longer. If you do that, then he will have no choice but to ask the Court to modify its order to change the supervision requirement in some way, if he wants to see his child. He can also ask the court to lift the supervision requirement otherwise, and if he does, you could testify about what you've observed while supervising him and why you think supervision is no longer necessary. If he can't afford the filing fee, he can provide proof of his income and expenses and ask the Court to waive or defer the fee requirement.

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  • My child support case is "suspended" ??

    I'm very confused as to why my child support case was suspended. This is money owed to me from my children's father from years ago. He has never paid on it, it's money in the arrears. Now, very recently I am ordered to start paying him child suppo...

    Jay’s Answer

    Without reviewing your case history, no one could say for certain why your case was suspended. If you were ordered to pay him instead of him paying you, that implies that a court has ordered that he have primary custody of your children. You should consult with an attorney in private to investigate - this problem is unlikely to be solved over the internet alone.

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  • Ex boyfriend got a R/O against me. I had to move out of the apartment we rented together. Before this happened

    I gave him 50% of the rent in cash for the next month (he insisted). He refused to give it back. He demanded to remove my name from the lease so he could collect the security deposit $1000 when he moves out. I paid $500 of it. We broke up before h...

    Jay’s Answer

    The presence or absence of a restraining order doesn't mean that you're not entitled to reimbursement of rent - if in fact you are so entitled. In this case, I see two immediate problems: first, if you paid him in cash you have no proof beyond your own testimony that you paid him at all. Your own testimony is evidence; but it's always good to have corroborating documentation if possible. (For that reason, for future reference, you should NEVER PAY RENT IN CASH, or if you do, ALWAYS GET A RECEIPT.)

    The second problem is whether your payment to him was refundable. It's not clear from your description what you paid - you said you paid $500, half of the $1,000 security deposit; but then you said you wanted $830, so I'm not sure where that number comes from.

    You should consult with an attorney in private, both about the restraining order (you have 30 days from the day you were served to file a request for a hearing to contest the order), and the rent part. Note that the two questions are legally distinct, so you could prevail on one claim but not the other.

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  • How can you prove that one parent is unfit versus the other?

    For instance, woman files for child support, man in another state threatens to file for full custody in retaliation. How would the mother protect her child from this kind of spiteful abuse? What steps does the father need to take in order to go ab...

    Jay’s Answer

    For the most part you don't need to worry about trying to prove your co-parent "unfit." The threshold for fitness is pretty low, and that's not how most custody cases are decided. Likewise, judges generally don't see parents trying to assert their rights as "spiteful" or "retaliatory;" we give everyone the benefit of the doubt as far as we can.

    Under Oregon law, decisions about legal and physical custody are made according to the best interests of the children. Obviously that's pretty vague; but the law sets forth some standards for evaluating what is in a child's best interests:

    The most commonly followed guiding principle is that a child should remain with the parent who spent most time with them before -- the 'primary custodial parent'. To that extent, it is quite unlikely that a parent with no current relationship with the child will get primary legal custody. This is especially unlikely if the father resides in another state. Oregon courts are very unlikely to order a child removed from their primary custodial parent to go live with another parent in another state, unless there really is very compelling evidence that that parent is unfit in some way. Such evidence might include ongoing trouble with the law, but might also involve a professional custody evaluation.

    However, the law also presumes that it is in the best interests of the children to have an ongoing relationship and continuing contact with both of their parents. This means that the father is likely to get the right to some regular parenting time, if he wants it. In close cases, if the court must decide which parent is awarded primary legal and physical custody, it is more likely to grant it to the parent who has shown that they will encourage an ongoing relationship between the children and the other parent. Parents should not try to keep their children away from each other, unless one parent has clearly been abusing the children.

    Oregon law explicitly does not consider the lifestyle choices of each parent in child custody decisions, except as it affects the welfare of the children. Judges do not want to hear parents attacking each other in court; the focus is on the children, not on each person's faults.

    Neither parent gets to unilaterally dictate what happens with their child, or the other parent's relationship to the child. Courts tend to order some kind of compromise, but it generally involves as much stability and continuity for the children as is compatible with a relationship with both parents.

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  • Can my child's father get a restraining order, no contact order or anti-harassment order on me?

    My child's father moved to Seattle, WA. He wanted to work things out financially for our child outside of court. Its a process in which there are a lot of heated arguments between the two of us. He gets very controlling and verbally abusive. As a ...

    Jay’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    He could try, I suppose. If you live in Oregon and haven't been to Washington yourself, he would have to do this in an Oregon court, as Washington wouldn't have jurisdiction over you.

    Under Oregon law, there are two main kinds of restraining orders that a private person can seek: Family Abuse Prevention Act orders (FAPA orders), and stalking protective orders. You can ask the court for a FAPA order if, within the previous 180 days, you have been physically harmed, threatened with physical harm, or forced to engage in sexual acts against your will. The perpetrator can be any person in your family or any person with whom you've had a sexual relationship in the past two years, or any co-parent of your child.

    You can ask the court for a Stalking Protective Order against any person who has repeatedly (two or more times) had contact with you that made you fear for your safety, or the safety of a family member. That fear must be objectively reasonable, as determined by a judge.

    The procedures for both types of restraining orders are similar. The petitioner (person seeking the order) must submit a petition to the court, describing the conduct that justifies the restraining order. The local county courthouse has forms available for this purpose. A judge reviews the petition, and, if the description meets the requirements, taking for granted that the claims are all true, signs the initial order. It must be then served on the person being restrained. Once it's been served (delivered), it's in effect immediately. The respondent then has the right to request review of the order, by filing a request for a hearing with the court, within 30 days of being served.

    At that hearing, the petitioner must prove that their allegations are true and that they have a reasonable fear of future abuse or stalking without the order. But they must only prove this by 'a preponderance of the evidence' - that is, a better-than-50%-chance. In practice, it can feel like you have to prove your innocence. Still, you can present evidence to discredit their claims, and the more false the claims, the easier that should be.

    One possible wrinkle to be aware of: Oregon law makes it a crime to contact someone by telephone if they've asked you not to do so. So if your co-parent told you not to /call/ specifically any more, you should not; that could conceivably be viewed as 'stalking.' However, you are free to communicate in other ways, for example by email or letters.

    Ultimately, the take-away is this: don't believe what your co-parent says about the law, and don't let him intimidate you. It seems clear that 'working things out outside of court' is not working for you, as this lets him ignore the actual rules and dictate terms to you. You need not let him. Consult with an attorney in private for assistance with this problem.

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  • If I got arrested for duii when I was taking medications that were just given to me, am I liable?

    I went to the dr to undergo a procedure. Things did not go according to plan. Instead of keeping me there, at the office for observation, the dr gave me four new medications, which I had never taken. I went home, took the medications, & woke up in...

    Jay’s Answer

    Yes. DUII is a 'strict liability' crime, meaning that your state of mind and intentions - whether you meant to do it - are irrelevant. You need to consult with an attorney in private immediately. Do not discuss this with anyone else until you do. Do not post more details on the internet.

    Note that the DUII issue relates to the criminal charge against you by the state. Whether you have a claim against the doctor for an inappropriate procedure is another question, but you shouldn't attempt any civil lawsuits while a criminal case is pending.

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  • My ex has supervised visitation. My ex moved 1,500 miles out of state without notifying me. What happens now?

    I am the primary custodian of my daughter. My ex-wife was granted supervised visitation (she must be living with her parents in order to have visitation). She moved 1,500 miles out of state without notifying me and without requesting a custody mod...

    Jay’s Answer

    Both parties to a custody judgment are required to comply with that judgment's terms until and unless it is modified. If one party's decision to move makes compliance impossible, though, then the other may reasonably say that they've forfeited their rights to enforce the existing terms. Generally supervised visitation is understood to mean, not visitation requiring air travel, and it is generally ordered only when a parent has some pretty serious issues.

    The point is this: your judgment, as you will note, is not 'self-enforcing.' No one from the court comes by to check to see whether you're following it. The only way its is enforced is if one parent files a motion with the court, alleging that the other parent is in violation. If you refuse to send your child out of state to have these visits, your ex-wife's only recourse would be to file a motion to enforce the judgment, and you could most likely assert her move as a defense in that case. We'd have to see the language in the actual judgment to say more definitively, and know more of the facts (for example, does the judgment say what happens if she moves? Sometimes they do. For another example, you said that the requirement is that she live with her parents in order to receive visits. Did she move with her parents, or away from them? These are things a court will look at. In general, though, I think it's safe to say that you're not required to follow an in-town parenting plan when the non-custodial parent moves out of town; and in order to address this uncertainty, one of you will have to ask that the parenting time provisions of your judgment be modified.).

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  • Do I have to give attorney 10 day notice to file or default papers will be filed?

    I filed small claims, defendants response was jury trial. Formal statement was filed, defendant was served. 1 day before his 10 period expired, he hired a lawyer. 10 more days were given. It has been now 20 days past and no response. I want to ...

    Jay’s Answer

    You are not correct - you need to give notice, in writing, to the defendant (through counsel), and provide a copy of that notice to the Court. Note that this is a duplicate thread; this question was asked and answered in more detail here: http://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/do-i-have-to-give-attorney-10-day-notice-to-file-o-2242225.html

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