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Appeals - Can I have a Stipulated Civil No Contact Agreement set aside

Discussion in 'Civil Court, Procedure & Litigation' started by desertized, Mar 6, 2014.

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  1. KatDini

    KatDini Well-Known Member

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    Why can't you tell those (mutual) friends that they just need to leave you out of any conversations between themselves and ex?
     
  2. desertized

    desertized Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I have for the most part. But there are friends who I can't talk to because they might be more loyal to her. It's good that I am in Cali and she is in Oregon. That helps but this is a delicate situation when it comes to friends. Also, I worry that even if I tell them they might have an argument with someone about this or hear someone disparaging me and stick up for me. There are many that are disgusted by how I was treated and what I endured in all of this and they are passionate about it. So I worry about getting dragged into court and blamed for this stuff. She will take every opportunity to try to do this because any violation of the agreement I owe a thousand plus the winning parties attorney fee's and expenses. It can be a profit center for her if she can get certain people to react. That's why they added that. That's my guess of course but it makes sense. She wasn't getting any settlement money so they came up with a way to generate some and continue to step on me using the courts.
     
  3. desertized

    desertized Law Topic Starter New Member

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    My main contention and reason for appeal isn't centered on that particular part of the agreement, rather it was my mental state at the time of the agreement. My ADHD condition is severe and is classified as a learning disability. My condition doesn't present itself as I sit here and think and write, but when I am agitated, angry, stressed and under duress it presents itself as a near manic state and I lose control of my rational and calm self. I become impulsive, i can't focus, I can't sit still, I pace, my mind wanders and I start to think, believe and react in ways that are not exactly rational. I am not able to think things through with any patience. I react. I can barely read a paragraph without shifting my focus somewhere else, usually back to whatever I am obsessing and stressed about.

    Would the court never allow an appeal if it came to their attention that an autistic man went Pro Se and two days later settled a case? Would that not raise a few flags and perhaps find cause to hear the appeal? You should have seen the amount of emails and things I was saying before and immediately after the settlement. I was all over the place and difficult to deal with. I was incorrect about the law time and time again. I was, as I said, in a near manic mode at that time.

    That's what I think gives me grounds to appeal. I wonder if anyone has ever brought such a challenge. There is a first time for everything, right? I think this qualifies as a "mistake" while under duress. This could be another added ruling to conditions that warrant appeal. Am I crazy for believing this? I do plan to talk to an attorney when I am able to afford it. I might be along on crazy island here but if you knew what I was like at that time you would understand. And I can bring forward an army of people that would testify to what I am like in those moments and what i was like at that particular time.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2014
  4. Proserpina

    Proserpina Moderator

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    Do you work?

    Yes, I'm asking for a reason.
     
  5. desertized

    desertized Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Self employed. In the process of selling my business. I have an unusual job where I make 90% of my money in August and September. I have to sell because I spent it all and then some on my attorney and settlement, etc. I work out of my home and rarely have to talk to clients. I am a sports handicapper.
     
  6. Proserpina

    Proserpina Moderator

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    This right here ^^^^.

    You can't claim that your health problems are the reason you want to appeal, while you're self employed and running your own business despite these issues.

    I get that you're basically wanting to throw everything at the wall hoping something will stick, but you're running on empty here. Sorry.
     
  7. desertized

    desertized Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Well, you have the right to look at it that way, but a condition like mine isn't something that always affects me in all parts of my life at all times. I struggle greatly with lot's of things. The fact I was given this business when my former boss walked away two years ago doesn't indicate I don't suffer from ADHD. As I said, there is an army of people that can go on and on about my condition that have known me since high school. I do have intelligence (not a lot but enough) and that has always been enough to just get by in life. My struggles with money and responsibility and emotional control have always been present. I was misdiagnosed at one point as bi-polar because they can often appear very similar conditions. People with ADHD all have different abilities to cope, just as there are different levels of the condition. I struggled with drug addiction and alcoholism up till I was in my mid 30s as a coping mechanism. I had two DUI's, blew off going to the diversion programs and almost went to jail a few years later for a long time but managed to get back in the 18 month program and I found sobriety. I have never been married and struggled in relationships my whole life, much due to the fact I was physically, mentally and sexually abused by my mother. I saw her many times sleeping with my 13 year old friend when I was 12. She is a pedophile. I left my mother at age 14. I was on the third story deck railing threatening to jump, searching for a sign my mother was loving and cared about me, and she told me to jump and called me a coward and laughed and went inside. I walked out the door and five miles down the road to my fathers and never looked back. I

    I only tell you these things to illustrate that using my current employment status as evidence I don't suffer from a learning disablilty and during emotional times lose control of how I think and react is maybe a little simplistic. My condition when combined with severe emotional issues related to childhood trauma has caused me great problems. I have struggled every step of the way. I am a good person and I keep trudging and fighting in life, but everyone that knows me understands I suffer from my condition. I am in therapy and trying to avoid going down the medicated route because what they give people like me is speed. I can't use speed. I used exctacy and speed in my late twenties and early thirties and I am an addict in recovery. The last thing I need is Adderall. I won't be able to get enough of it. Trust me. I can't go there.

    I'm not throwing things against the wall. I know, as others do, that I was not in a good place at that time. I have lots of proof of this. One thing I am is I am honest.
     
  8. Proserpina

    Proserpina Moderator

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    I know you're frustrated. But that doesn't change the legalities and the very last thing we want you to do is send you on a wild goose chase with no chance of success. If I may, I'd like to try and boil it down again.

    1. You and she filed a stipulated agreement with the court.
    2. You now want to appeal
    3. Unless the agreement says otherwise, you cannot appeal a stipulated agreement.
    4. If you could appeal, you know that she and her attorney are going to argue black and blue that there was no issue with you being competent. The burden of proof would be on you to prove that you were indeed under duress.
    5. And they're also going to say something along the lines of "If he knew he had limitations, he should have had an attorney or other third party check the agreement".
    6. Unfortunately, they're right. It's a double edged sword. If we say "Yes, he was too stressed out to know what he was signing", we also need to consider "If he was too stressed, he shouldn't have signed. He knew his limitations but went ahead anyway".
    7. Worse than that though? You have no evidence that at the time of signing you were not fully aware of the repercussions or were too stressed to really understand.

    I'm sorry - truly. I sympathize where you're coming from, but at this point we're sort of going around in circles.
     
  9. desertized

    desertized Law Topic Starter New Member

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    All good points and I understand your perspective, and it's probably the correct one to be sure. But let me add this...

    1. Correct
    2. Correct. Well, I wanted to amend the agreement within an hour of signing it. I threatened to not pay. It's not just recently I wanted to do this. I'm only now coming down off my emotional roller coaster.
    3. You can under certain situations. It's unlikely to succeed, but it's possible to appeal in certain circumstances such as duress. But this doesn't fit the current definition of duress, I get that. Sometimes it just takes the right circumstances and challenge to expand the grounds appeals can be brought forth. Remote chance at best, I get that.
    4. That would be a hard argument. There is evidence I didn't know what was going on. I sent a TON of emails to her attorney both before and after that make my incompetence abundently clear as well as point to my manic state of mind.
    5 & 6 This is where my condition matters. You don't know what you don't know when in the state I was in. If I had the ability to think clearly, I wouldn't be talking about my ADHD condition. When in this state you don't think clearly. That's the whole point. I didn't have self awareness. I was reacting and not thinking. And I tried to leave to review and she said I couldn't because the notary was here and that if I left the deal was off. That's why she put me on drop dead deadline that afternoon. She had me where she wanted me. I couldn't afford an attorney. A PD wasn't available to me for the civil matter. I was stuck with myself.
    7. Would testimony of friends and family and expert psychiatric opinions count as evidence? How about a flurry of emails that demonstrate how out of touch I was an emotional I was both before and immediately after signing the deal? I sent dozens of emails after signing that and she responded to like one saying she can't give me legal advice. To me, there is an abundance of evidence available.

    Don't be sorry though. I will be fine if I can't appeal. I have come out of the bad place I was in and I can accept it being over. I just honestly think there is an chance that a good and creative attorney could make a case here.
     
  10. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Attorneys don't make cases, fabricate cases, or invent the law.
    Attorneys use the facts at hand, and argue the existing law to best represent the interests of their client.
    It isn't magic, and smoke and mirrors aren't permitted.

    As extreme as that may sound, its far more extreme in the appellate setting.
    In fact, its so extreme that most attorneys don't handle any appeals.
    Appellate law is so unique, that it is its own area of specialization.

    Proserpina summarized appellate law rather well in one of her previous responses.
    Appellate cases look at very specific things.

    This website summarizes it better than I can:

    http://www.appellatelaw.net/g-appellatelaw.htm
     
  11. Proserpina

    Proserpina Moderator

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    OP, you can try to convince an attorney. But as AJ said, the attorney cannot make law and an attorney cannot force the court to revisit the statute.

    If you had been ordered by the court, rather than submitting to a stipulated agreement, I honestly think that you may have had recourse. But that's not what happened.

    The appellate court can and will only look at the original case. There's a good reason for this. If you were able to appeal something simply because you don't like the result, it would just be a chaotic mess. That's why the appellate courts are limited in what then can and can't do. Unless there has been an error of law - and I'm going to give you a real world example in a sec - the appellate court can't overturn or vacate the judgment.

    Real life example:

    A young Mom has basically kept her mouth shut about the parentage of her child; legally it's her ex-boyfriend who is the father, and he was fully aware that he wasn't the biological father when they signed the paternity papers. Fast forward 4 years or so. Mom is now back with biological Dad. They did a home paternity test and yippee! There's the proof! Bio is indeed the biological father and everyone is happy (except for the "someone else is on the paperwork" issue).

    Alas, Mom & bio split up.

    Bio then files to disestablish legal Dad's paternity, and to get his own self established as Dad.

    It goes to court.

    Mom brings with her a copy of the child's birth certificate (Legal is still on there as Dad), and wants to use the state's statutes to show that Bio is time-barred from a paternity action, since there is already an established father and the statutes do support her decision

    Now is that "right"? Not necessarily. But is it legal? Yeap. She is 100% correct, legally speaking.

    So next is the hearing. Mom goes in firing from both barrels. The commissioner though rules against Mom and allows Bio to go ahead, and a temp order was entered. Now the child has two fathers - she has the "presumed father" (bio) and she has her legal father.

    Mom has the most "appealable" case I've ever come across. This wasn't just a little error. This was an obvious and grossly incorrect application of the law. But Mom couldn't appeal simply because she couldn't afford to appeal.

    See where I'm going with this?
     
  12. Proserpina

    Proserpina Moderator

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    And to continue...

    Reports of past psych issues don't mean much at all. You'd need actual evidence. Such as, did you immediately contact your providers to inform them that you weren't feeling quite right?

    Emails to and fro are not proof of what you were feeling at the time.

    The court has its hands tied. An appeal is only an appeal when the appellant actually has standing. You don't have standing. Again, don't misread or misunderstand what you may have found online. You'll see a lot of things pertaining to appealing a judgment. Unfortunately we're not dealing with that situation - we're dealing with a stipulated agreement and that brings us all the way back to when you can and cannot appeal.

    This is what we're dealing with:

    A party to a stipulated judgment may appeal from the judgment only if:
    (a) The judgment specifically provides that the party has reserved the right to appellate review of a ruling of the trial court in the cause;
    and
    (b) The appeal presents a justiciable controversy. [Formerly 19.020; 1999 c.367 §1; 2001 c.541 §1]

    Neither of those are present, and you need both. You're sunk by (a) before we even get to (b).

    I'm sorry - I'm not sure what else to tell you.

    AJ can confirm that the appellate courts are different planets when compared to district or family court.
     

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