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James C Wing JR
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James Wing’s Answers

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  • What to do about the Wal-Mart Civil Demand letter?

    I'm seventeen, from CT, and was caught shoplifting two necklaces totaling at $5.76 together from Wal-Mart earlier today. My sister (16) was present and it was my decision to steal. I was approached in the parking lot and was brought back to the LP...

    James’s Answer

    First, stealing is wrong and criminal sanctions could have brought you AND your sister to Juvenile Court. If the store elected to call the police you would probably not have been able to keep her out of trouble. Learn from this near miss. Don't steal.

    Second, there is no law in Connecticut that provides for a "civil demand letter." What a store owner in Connecticut has is the right to bring a legal action against you for damages incurred by your theft. So, I suppose they can try and shake you down. But, as you described the incident, the store recovered the items which were of little value. A company is usually not going to file a law suit without an attorney, and we attorneys cost far in excess of anything the store is likely to recover with this fact pattern. You can ignore the letter with some confidence that the store will not act on the claim. In fact, I doubt you will see a letter because paying someone for writing the letter, the cost of the ink, paper, envelope and stamp is apt to cost more than they could recover.

    Third, Walmart is just a store. They are not the government and have no authority to fine you.

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  • I provided False statement by mistake on DMV Connecticut.

    I provided false statement by mistake on DMV Connecticut. The question was 'Have you lived in another state or country during the past five years?' ans i answered No, but i am only 1 year in USA. I am scared because i put my signature on 'I swea...

    James’s Answer

    You need to see a lawyer to get some peace of mind.

    Connecticut General Statutes 53a-157b describes the the crime of Making a False Statement. It provides "a) A person is guilty of false statement when such person (1) intentionally makes a false written statement that such person does not believe to be true with the intent to mislead a public servant in the performance of such public servant’s official function, and (2) makes such statement under oath or pursuant to a form bearing notice, authorized by law, to the effect that false statements made therein are punishable. The crime is a Class A misdemeanor. Accordingly, you could be arrested and charged with this crime if your actions fit the elements of the crime. If you were determined to commit this crime, it could effect your immigration status.

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  • Completed discovery--how do I reflect this to the court?

    Hi. I am in the middle of my divorce from my ex-wife. Her attorney sent me discovery requests for tax papers and life insurance. I just sent her all the documents. How do I reflect this to the court? I want to have all my bases covered. The clerk ...

    James’s Answer

    You cannot have all your bases covered if you do not, at least, seek counsel to review any agreement you make. If child custody or alimony or child support or the allocation of property or debt is important to you, you need an attorney.

    The party alleging that the other party is not in compliance with mandatory or other discovery moves for an order of compliance as described below. There is no requirement that the court receive notice of compliance, rather is incumbent upon the party dissatisfied with her or his opposing parties compliance to seek an order.

    The Connecticut Practice Book Provides in Section 25-32A: "If a party fails to comply with a discovery request or a discovery order in any manner set forth in Section 13-14 (a), the party who requested such
    discovery or in whose favor the discovery order was made may move to compel compliance with the request or order. The moving party shall specify in a memorandum in support of his or her
    motion, the discovery sought and the remedy sought. The party to whom the discovery request
    or order was directed shall, in a memorandum specify why the discovery has not been provided or why such party has not complied with the discovery order. If the party to whom the discovery
    request or order was directed claims that the discovery has been provided or order has been complied
    with, he or she shall detail with specificity what discovery was provided and how compliance
    with the discovery order was made."

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  • How long could it take to get full child custody of my 3 kids ?

    I wasn't notified about court date & the judge gave my child's custody to the dad & now I'm trying to fight back to get my loveable children back.

    James’s Answer

    In other areas of family law you might fail for having to prove that there was change in circumstances to support a modification. Fortunately, child custody is an exception and you need show only that the order made in your absence is not in the best interests of the children.

    However, courts are interested in efficiency and do not welcome the need to rehear cases already scheduled.

    If there was a failure of notice, you need to be prepared to prove it. This new order should not be allowed to remain the status quo, so, you need to get on this quickly. It will be harder to reverse as time passes.

    Having an attorney greatly improves your chances of succeeding in this situation.

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  • Why is it so hard for fathers to get shared custody, when the father has a good plan for after school?

    Mother will not go for shared only wants dad to see kids every other weekend

    James’s Answer

    I do not agree that it is hard for fathers to get shared custody. The issue is what parenting plan is in the best interests of the children. If a father works and mother does not, then courts may favor mother so a parent can have physical custody of the children. If both parties work, then the children will be cared for by someone other than a parent and then will go to one or the other parent's residence overnight. Those overnights can be shared if the parents communicate well and are willing to put the children first.

    Remember that the mother's unwillingness to "go" for your proposed parenting plan does not mean that a court would not order it after a hearing.

    A good lawyer can help you handicap the probability of a particular outcome in consideration of the facts of your case.

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  • I want to leave my boyfriend and take our son- I was told I could jeopardize future custody if I do that.

    what is the correct/legal way to separate when there is a child involved. He is verbally abusive to myself and other children. I want to get video of this, is this admissible during custody cases.

    James’s Answer

    I agree generally with counsel who have commented in response to your question, but I was concerned that you perhaps understated the troubles you are having with your boyfriend. I wanted you to know that you can leave and seek a restraining order if you need to do so to protect yourself or your child from "a continuous threat of present physical pain or physical injury, stalking or a pattern of threatening" from the boyfriend.

    As the father of the child, he likely will have access to parenting time with the child. There will be a parenting plan ordered by the court, by agreement or after a hearing, which is designed in the best interest of the child.

    Verbal abuse is not appropriate and if the father does not stop, it will jeopardize his future custody.

    A good attorney will make the process easier for you and is likely to result in your having a more favorable outcome.

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  • Is sole custody with visiting rights but no over nights and no taking out of state is that reasonable to do by ur self in court

    I want sole custody of my son I want the most say in everything I don't trust the grandparents with my son at all I do not want over nights I want my son to be back to me at end of day and I dont want them to be able to take my son outs state? Is...

    James’s Answer

    Every case is different, so no one can tell you what is fair in your case without more detailed information. For example, you don't mention the other parent, just grandparents?

    A good rule of thumb would be to ask yourself whether the outcome you want is what is best for your child or is something you want for yourself. If there are reasons why you should have the decision making power, the majority of parenting time and the child sleeping at you residence every night, then the demand you wish to make may possibly become the court's order. I think courts favor arrangements where to able parents share parenting of their child, for the child's sake. You should be prepared to prove that more time with the other parent is not good for your child.

    The more one sided your desired outcome, the greater the probability that the opposing party will refuse to agree and that you will have to ask the judge to decide the outcome. Under these circumstances, an attorney increases you chance of winning the outcome you want.

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  • CAN A PARTY USE A 2ND LOOK PROVISION TO TERMINATE LIFETIME ALIMONY?

    5 YRS AFTER DIVORCE I TURNED 65. I AGREED TO LIFETIME ALIMONY WITH 2ND LOOK AT 65. IS THIS A FRESH LOOK AT THE PARTIES OR IS IT LOOKED AT AS A MODIFICATION, WHERE THE LIFETIME AGREEMENT COMES INTO PLAY? WOULD LIKE TO END MY OBLIGATION AND NOT MOD...

    James’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    It depends on what "lifetime" alimony is defined to mean in the agreement or memorandum of opinion that dissolved your marriage. I have seen some agreements where the alimony is non-modifiable as to both time and/or amount. The "fresh look" language suggests that there is not provision prohibiting the modifiability of the orders as to time. But, even if the language makes lifetime alimony non-modifiable as to time and it can't be terminated, perhaps it can be reduced.

    Usually, a material change in circumstances is necessary to form the basis of a modification, a "fresh look" may be an agreement to have the court consider modification with a less significant change in circumstances. I do not think the basis stated in the motion (whether "fresh look" or change in circumstances) is as important as the equities that can be introduced to support the request for change.

    Perhaps the idea at the time of dissolution was that you would be retiring at age 65, a birthday significant for Social Security and some other benefits. If that was the case, the court might review the case to see if alimony continues to be equitable. For example, if retirement assets had been divided in the divorce such that you and your spouse are receiving approximately the same retirement income, alimony might not be appropriate any longer. However, if you are continuing to work and your earnings or earning capacity are greater than your former spouse, alimony may continue.

    Get an attorney to review the Separation Agreement or Memorandum of Decision and she/he can help you decide how to proceed.

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  • Can you sue a school for telling personal information?

    I'm currently in a custody battle with the Department of Children and Family service. And I found out today that my child school had conducted a locked down and advise the students to stay in the class room because my son had came to school with h...

    James’s Answer

    I read the question as asking if the school district or town can be made to pay money damages for the school's disclosing information to other students about the questioning person's child.

    Federal law mostly controls this area of the law and the appropriate law is the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act. FERPA makes a distinction between different types of information. If the school disclosed protected information inappropriately the school may be liable, but courts have ruled that aggrieved persons may not have a private right of action against a school pursuant to a FERPA violation. The parent can complain to the Department of Education and the school may forfeit federal funding if a violation is found after investigation.

    For the parents to collect damages from the school district, there would need to be a state law allowing monetary damages for the disclosure of private information. An education attorney could research whether such a case can be brought in Connecticut under state law.

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  • Prior to being served divorce papers, spouse removed property from marital home - inclusive of but not limited to valuables.

    Was served papers two days ago. Sometime prior, wife removed all financial records and valuables. What recourse, after the fact, do I have to retrieve documents and have removed valuables returned and / or considered in the division of property? C...

    James’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    This unfortunate and aggressive beginning to your divorce makes it vital that you are represented by a good lawyer as quickly as possible. You may have a claim to make pursuant to the Automatic Orders and should be looking for an accounting of all the items taken. You also need to address the issue presented by commonly owned accounts where either party can withdraw or transfer assets so additional assets are not removed..

    Filing a criminal complaint will probably escalate the hostilities even further. Getting the police to apply for search search warrants begins with your persuading the police that you had property stolen from you. If the property is jointly held, it is not likely that the police are going to treat he case as a theft. You need probable cause suggesting that your wife's parents and siblings are holding stolen items for a search warrant. Expect that the opposing party will claim that the items are either all hers, or that it was necessary to take possession of them to keep you from selling the items.

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