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Posts tagged "Cuyahoga County"

Pay To Stay In Jail

Many county jails in Ohio have a pay to stay in jail policy. The ACLU issued a report on this practice, stating that this burdens a population that likely cannot afford such fees in the first place.  Potential fees include booking fees and daily lodging fees.  According to the report, the jails in Holmes County, Medina County, Cuyahoga County, Ashland County and Summit County do not charge any of these fees.  The Wayne County jail was listed a charging a $10 booking fee but no daily fees.  The counties that offer work release as an option usually charge daily work release fees.  A work release pay to stay program may not have the same concerns cited by the ACLU because the inmates are being given the opportunity to earn amounts greater than the cost of their stay in jail.   (more…)

Child Custody In Ohio

How is child custody decided in Ohio? These issues are decided by domestic relations and juvenile courts in Ohio.  For disputes between parents, the domestic relations courts in Medina County, Summit County and Cuyahoga County hear such cases.  In Wayne County, Ohio, the domestic relations court hears child custody cases in divorce and post-divorce decree cases.  The Wayne County juvenile court hears child custody cases between unmarried parents.  For purposes of this article, we will refer to all these courts as the Ohio child custody court.   The Ohio child custody court must decide between sole custody to one parent and shared parenting with both parents. The parent who is awarded sole custody becomes the child’s legal custodian and will make decisions about non-emergency medical care, education, religion, discipline and extra-curricular activities.  The sole legal custodian must let the non-custodial parent know about such matters but will make the final decisions.   (more…)

When Can Grandparents Take Custody Of A Child?

When can grandparents take custody of a child? A nonparent can be awarded custody of a minor child if the court makes a finding of parental unsuitability. Parental unsuitability can be determined if the "parent abandoned the child; contractually relinquished custody of the child; that the parent has become totally incapable of supporting or caring for the child; or that an award of custody to the parent would be detrimental to the child.” Parents who are suitable persons have a paramount right to the custody of their minor children.   In other words, parents have a right to care for and raise their children. In order to infringe on that right, someone must first demonstrate that the parent is unsuitable, commonly known as unfit parents. A typical case of parental unsuitability is when the parents leave the children with the grandparents and disappear for a long period of time. In such an instance, the grandparent will likely be able to prove parental unsuitability and may be able to obtain custody of the children.   (more…)

Can Something Be Done To Keep Me Out Of Jail?

When people accused of a crime come into my office, they often ask “can something be done to keep me out of jail?” More specifically, many clients ask if I can promise to keep them out of jail. I guess I am a little too honest. I do not make that promise. Does that mean I cannot do the job? No, it means I do not lie to people. I can promise to defend you with the knowledge and ability that I have accumulated for over twenty-one years of practicing law.   If someone is charged with a fourth or fifth degree felony, Ohio law basically tells the judge to give the person probation (technically called community control) unless there are some specific reasons not to do so. Does that usually mean that the person stays out of jail? Possibly, but the judge may decide to give a short jail sentence. Many of these felonies may qualify for diversion or intervention in lieu of a conviction. However, there may be technical problems with getting into an intervention in lieu of a conviction program and the prosecutor could decide that he or she does not want to offer diversion for a particular case. What if you do not like the terms of the diversion? Perhaps, you feel like the victim is inflating the losses and making you pay much more than they ever lost. You could take it to trial, and try to get your case reduced to a misdemeanor by a jury of your peers. Because the judge cannot send you to prison on a misdemeanor, you got this thing beaten, huh? Not so fast. That judge can still send you to jail on a misdemeanor conviction, especially if he or she thinks the actions that they heard during trial demand a response. Some crimes have minimum sentences. For example, DUIs have minimum sentences starting at three days in jail. Firearm specifications have at least a one year minimum prison term, often triggering a separate and consecutive prison term for the main felony charge.   (more…)

What Do You Do When Pulled Over By The Police?

What do you do when pulled over by the police?  This really depends on the situation, but there are some tips that work for traffic stops, especially those where the officer suspects a DUI or OVI.   Be aware that the officer and perhaps his video camera is watching your every move.  Signal and pull over right away, but do so smoothly, safely, and completely.  Put the car into park or, if you have a stick-shift, move the gear to neutral and set the parking brake.  Have your license, registration and insurance in hand as quickly as possible.  Keep your seat belt on.  Turn off the radio and roll your window down.  When the officer approaches your vehicle and asks for your driver’s license, registration and insurance, hand them over.  If you still have not located these items, ask the officer for permission before going to retrieve them.  This will alert the officer that you are merely trying to comply with his or her request and that you are not retrieving a weapon.  The officer will be noting whether you are having difficulty finding these items, especially if it looks clumsy.  The officer may ask questions.  You should either politely decline or keep your answers short and true, without admitting anything.   (more…)

What Do Those Words In My Child Support Order Mean?

There are a lot of technical terms in a child support order that can lead a parent to ask, “What do those words in my child support order mean?”   Ohio Revised Code 3119.01 (R.C. 3119.01) defines a substantial number of these terms.  Lets take a look at some of the terms.   Obligee means the person who is entitled to receive the support payments under a support order.   Obligor means the person who is required to pay support under a support order.   Extraordinary medical expenses means any uninsured medical expenses incurred for a child during a calendar year that exceed one hundred dollars.   (more…)

What Factors Does A Court Use To Decide Child Custody?

What factors does a court use to decide child custody and parenting time?  The following from Ohio Revised Code 3109.051 (R.C. 3109.051) sets forth the factors:  
  1. The prior interaction and interrelationships of the child with the child’s parents, siblings, and other persons related by consanguinity or affinity, and with the person who requested companionship or visitation if that person is not the parent, sibling, or relative of the child;
  2. The geographical location of the residence of each parent and the distance between those residences, and if the person is not a parent, the geographical location of that person’s residence and the distance between that person’s residence and the child’s residence;
  3. The child’s and parents’ available time, including, but not limited to, each parent’s employment schedule, the child’s school schedule, and the child’s and the parents’ holiday and vacation schedule;
  4. The age of the child;
  5. The child’s adjustment to home, school, and community;
  6. If the court has interviewed the child in chambers, pursuant to division (C) of this section, regarding the wishes and concerns of the child as to the parenting time by the parent who is not the residential parent or companionship or visitation by the grandparent, relative, or other person who requested companionship or visitation, as to a specific parenting time or visitation schedule, or as to other parenting time or visitation matters, the wishes and concerns of the child, as expressed to the court;
  7. The health and safety of the child;
  8. The amount of time that will be available for the child to spend with siblings;
  9. The mental and physical health of all parties;
  10. Each parent’s willingness to reschedule missed parenting time and to facilitate the other parent’s parenting time rights, and with respect to a person who requested companionship or visitation, the willingness of the person to reschedule missed visitation;
  11. In relation to parenting time, whether either parent previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to any criminal offense involving any act that resulted in a child being an abused child or neglected child; whether either parent, in a case in which a child has been adjudicated an abused child or neglected child, previously has been determined to be the perpetrator of the abusive or neglectful act that is the basis of the adjudication; and whether there is reason to believe that either parent has acted in a manner resulting in a child being an abused child or a neglected child;
  12. In relation to requested companionship or visitation by a person other than a parent, whether the person previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to any criminal offense involving any act that resulted in a child being an abused child or neglected child; whether the person, in a case in which a child has been adjudicated an abused child or neglected child, previously has been determined to be the perpetrator of the abusive or neglectful act that is the basis of the adjudication; whether either parent previously convicted of or pleaded guilty to a violation of section 2919.25 of the Revised Code involving a victim who at the time of the commission of the offense was a member of the family or household that is the subject of the current proceeding; whether either parent previously has been convicted of an offense involving a victim who at the time of the commission was a member of the family or household that is the subject of the current proceeding and caused physical harm to the victim in the commission of the offense; and whether there is reason to believe that the person has acted in a manner resulting in a child being an abused child or a neglected child;
  13. Whether the residential parent or one of the parents subject to a shared parenting decree has continuously and willfully denied the other parent’s rights to parenting time in accordance with an order of the court;
  14. Whether either parent has established a residence or is planning to establish a residence outside this state;
  15. In relation to requested companionship or visitation by a person other than a parent, the wishes and concerns of the child’s parents, as expressed by them to the court;
  16. Any other factor in the best interest of the child.
  (more…)

Can I Record My Child’s Wishes?

One may ask, “Can I record my child’s wishes?”  The answer is no.  Ohio Revised Code 3109.04 (R.C. 3109.04) specifically prohibits the court from considering such evidence:   “No person shall obtain or attempt to obtain from a child a written or recorded statement or affidavit setting forth the child’s wishes and concerns regarding the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities concerning the child.  No court, in determining the child’s best interest for purposes of making its allocation of the parental rights and responsibilities for the care of the child or for purposes of resolving any issues related to the making of that allocation, shall accept or consider a written or recorded statement or affidavit that purports to set forth the child’s wishes and concerns regarding those matters.”   (more…)

Child Support Deviation

When does a court consider a child support deviation?  Normally, child support follows a specific formula as set forth in Ohio Revised Code 3119.021 (R.C. 3119.021).  However, a court may deviate from the usual amount of child support if the court determines guideline child support would be unjust, or inappropriate, or not in the best interests of the child.   Ohio Revised Code 3119.23 (R.C. 3119.23) sets forth a number of reasons for a court to deviate from the guideline child support amount:   (more…)

Parental Rights

I often get asked what parental rights parents have when they are married, unmarried or have a child support order in place.  These are the common questions and the answers to those questions.   What is a putative father?   A putative father is a man who may be a child’s biological father but who is not married to the child’s mother at the time the child is born or who has not established paternity of the child in a court or administrative hearing.   Does a putative father have parental rights?   (more…)

How Does A Court Decide Spousal Support?

How does a court decide spousal support?  The court considers a list of factors set forth in Ohio Revised Code 3105.18 (R.C. 3015.18):
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Property Division In Divorce

This article will discuss property division in divorce.  What is property?  Property can be real property, otherwise known as real estate.  Property can also be personal property, which includes cash, financial and retirement accounts, vehicles, and household goods.
Under Ohio Revised Code 3105.171 (R.C. 3105.171), there are nine factors that govern only the division of property: (more…)

What Should You Do If You Are Involved In a Traffic Accident?

What should you do if you are involved in a traffic accident?  If you get involved in a traffic accident on a public road, you are required to do a number of things.  First, you must stop and remain at the scene.  You must also give your name, address, vehicle license plate number, and name and address of the vehicle owner to the police, persons injured in the accident and to the operator, occupant, or owner of the damaged vehicle.  If he injured person is not in a position to understand or receive this information, you must immediately notify the nearest police authority of the location of the accident, your name and address and your vehicle license plate number.  You must also show your driver’s license to anyone who requests it.  You must also remain at the scene until the police arrive, unless you are transported to another location by ambulance. (more…)

Landlord Duties And Tenant Duties

There are landlord duties and tenant duties that landlords and tenants need to follow.  The law provides remedies for failure to follow such duties.  There are duties under Ohio landlord-tenant laws and under the lease.
A lease creates rights and obligations for both landlord and tenant.  A lease cannot create rights and obligations prohibited by Ohio law.  For example, a landlord may not require a tenant to pay attorney fees unless specifically permitted under Ohio’s landlord-tenant laws.  The side that prepares the lease will have any confusing provisions decided against that side; because the landlord usually prepares the lease, this usually means such confusing lease provisions will be decided against the landlord and for the tenant. (more…)

Can You Force Your Spouse into a Divorce?

I am often asked: can you force your spouse into a divorce?  Many parties get divorced by agreement, otherwise known as a dissolution.  While getting divorced by agreement can be less expensive, save time, and be less emotionally draining, sometimes the parties cannot reach an agreement or one spouse refuses to get divorced.  While most divorcing couples would simply agree that they are incompatible, otherwise known as stipulating to incompatibility, Ohio provides for a number of grounds for divorce. (more…)