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Search Of Abandoned Property Admissible

In State v. Gould, the Ohio Supreme Court held a search of abandoned property admissible when it held that the police can search an abandoned hard drive. The suspect in this case had left a hard drive behind in his apartment in August 2006. When he left the apartment, he stole a truck belonging to his brother, who was also his roommate. He also concealed himself until he was arrested in Michigan in June 2007. The suspect never asked about the hard drive and never tried to get it back. The Ohio Supreme Court ruled that these actions amounted to abandonment of the hard drive. Because the property was abandoned, the police were free to search the hard drive when the suspect’s mother turned it over to them.   (more…)

Ohio Outlaws Debtors’ Prison

The Ohio Supreme Court has ordered Ohio courts to stop reviving debtors’ prison.  In other words, Ohio outlaws debtors’ prison.  In February 2014, the high court indicated that it would not tolerate the court’s imprisoning people who could not afford to pay fines and costs.   What is debtors’ prison?   (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…)

Who Is Entitled To A Child’s School Records?

Who is entitled to a child’s school records?  Under Ohio law, both parents have the right to access their child’s school records.  The schools generally recognize the right of the legal custodian and residential parent’s access to school records.  However, some schools may not always recognize the non-residential parent’s right to access their child’s records.  If this problem arises, the legal custody papers usually contain language stating that both parents have the right to have access to their child’s school records. (more…)

Notice of Intent to Relocate

What is a notice of intent to relocate?  It is a provision that is most likely tucked away within an order allocating parental rights and responsibilities, including divorce decrees, dissolution decrees, and legal custody orders.  It is a provision that is often overlooked.  If a residential parent moves, that parent must notify the court when he or she moves.  If one parent does not know where the other parent lives, they may become anxious about where their children are during that other parent’s parenting time.  This could lead to one parent employing various methods to respond.  Such methods may include methods that may not be permissible, such as withholding visitation.  That parent may also decide to call the police or file a motion in court to have custody changed, all because that parent simply did not know where their children were at during the other parent’s parenting time. (more…)

Medina County Legal Custody Attorney

What does a Medina County legal custody attorney do?  In Ohio, it is usually a request from the court to “allocate parental rights and responsibilities” or when modifying an existing custody order, “reallocate parental rights and responsibilities.”  If a parent is granted custody in a divorce, dissolution, annulment, legal separation or parentage case, that parent is named the residential parent and legal custodian of the child.  If shared parenting is granted, both parents are the residential parents, but one will be the residential parent for school purposes, which means the child will go to school in the district in which that parent resides.  Shared parenting does not necessarily mean equal time or support, but simply means that both parents share equal responsibilities. (more…)

Grounds For Divorce in Ohio

What are the grounds for divorce in Ohio?  Wait, you may have heard that Ohio is a no-fault divorce state.  Ohio does have no fault-grounds, but you still have to prove grounds if you want a divorce and your spouse does not.  If your spouse does not want the divorce, they may be able to stop you.
Ohio Revised Code 3105.01 (R.C. 3105.01) and Ohio Revised Code 3105.17 (R.C. 3105.17) set forth the grounds for divorce.
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More Problems From Online Legal Document Services

I have been hearing more problems from online legal document services.  It is bad enough that there are instances of such documents being thrown out by courts.  See my blog and links to such instances:
Should you use online legal document services?
http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/decisions/2014/sc11-2147.pdf
http://www.flascblog.com/e-zer-said-than-done-court-considers-will-prepared-with-commercially-available-form/
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Can A Child Choose Which Parent To Live With?

Can a child choose which parent to live with?  The wishes of the child is certainly a factor the court must consider in deciding which parent will have custody or will be the residential parent for school purposes under a shared parenting plan.  However, there are many factors that courts must consider in child custody cases.  These child custody factors are set forth by Ohio law.  This article will specifically focus on the child's power to make such a decision within this legal framework.
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Military Issues In Divorce And Child Custody

Military issues in divorce and child custody arise when one or both parents are currently or former members of the military.
The military distributes income in many ways.  While calculating income first appears be simple, not every situation is simple.  We all know that W-2 income earned through an employer is income for support purposes.  We also know that profits earned in a person’s business is income.  This covers direct military pay (base pay) and military contracts.  However, there are many other sources of income from the military.  Other sources of military income include: veterans administration disability payments, GI payments, housing allowance, and pay for training or other types of required drills. (more…)

Medicaid Guidelines for long term care in 2015

The following sets forth Medicaid guidelines for long term care in 2015.  Medicaid is a valuable resource for seniors in paying for long term care, such as care in a nursing home, assisted living, or in-home care.  Under the guidelines, the patient and patient’s spouse can keep specific amounts of their monthly income and savings. (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…)

Medina County Divorce Attorney

What is a Medina County divorce attorney? A Medina County divorce lawyer practices family law.  A divorce for Medina County residents begins in the Medina County Domestic Relations Court, 99 Public Square, Medina, Ohio 44256.

Medina County Divorce Process

  A divorce in the Medina Domestic Relations Court usually starts with the filing of a complaint, affidavits, and a request for temporary orders. This initial process is important as it determines support, child custody and other issues until the final hearing.  The court determines the discovery schedule and trial date in its case management order. (more…)

When Is Consent To Search Valid?

When is consent to search valid?  Generally, if someone gives the police consent to search a house, car, luggage, etc., the police can conduct the search and the court will uphold the search and the items found during the search. However, in order to consent to a search, the person must have either actual or apparent authority over the item or place to be searched.   A roommate has actual authority to consent to search an apartment.  Even if the person does not live in the apartment, if that person led the police to believe that they lived there, they have apparent authority.  This means that the police can believe, in good faith, that the person lives there and has the authority to consent to a search.  However, the roommate cannot consent to a search of someone else’s luggage. (more…)

What Field Sobriety Tests Are Used In OVI Case?

Field sobriety tests in OVI cases can determine innocence, guilt, and even get the case thrown out.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has a manual that sets forth the three major field sobriety tests and sets forth uniform standards for such testing.  The tests consist of the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test, the Walk and Turn test and the One Leg Stand test. The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test (HGN) is often called the "pen test" or "eye test."  The HGN is performed with a pen, but can be performed with any “stimulus,” as long as it is held 12-15 inches away from the person’s eyes.  Contacts, glasses and head injuries can affect this test.  The manual sets forth minimum times for each portion of the test, all of which adds up to at least 96 seconds. The Walk and Turn is supposed to be performed on a flat surface.  It consists of a standing heel-to-toe position during the instructions, nine heel-to-toe steps, a turn and nine return heel-to-toe steps.  Existing leg and back injuries can affect one’s ability to perform this test. The One Leg Stand is also supposed to be performed on a flat surface.  It consists of holding one’s foot six inches above the ground while counting for a minimum of thirty seconds.  Existing leg and back injuries can affect one’s ability to perform this test. These are just a few of the requirements outlined in the NHTSA field sobriety testing manual.  An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help determine whether the police have complied with the manual and challenge the testing procedures in court. (more…)

State Medical Insurance May Have To Be Reimbursed Through Child Support

The State of Ohio provides medical insurance for children of low-income families.  Any such state medical insurance may have to be reimbursed through child support.  This program is called cash medical support.  Unless the person paying child support is also low-income, that person will have to pay five percent of their income towards reimbursing the State of Ohio for providing medical insurance for the children.  Because that person gets a credit for this on support payments, this has the overall effect of reducing the amount of support received. (more…)