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Introducing Evidence in Custody Hearing - FL

Discussion in 'Alimony & Spousal Support' started by angel4u, Apr 30, 2010.

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  1. angel4u

    angel4u Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I am in a custody modification suit right now. I served my ex interrogatories and explicitly asked for his financial statements and copies of his partnership agreements. He hasn't responded to these and it's been months. Since that time, him and his partner ended their partnership. His partner has all the financial statements that I requested from his accountant. My question is, how can I introduce these into evidence? Can I bring official copies with accountant's stamp by myself or will I need to subpoena his partner to testify and introduce the evidence. I am still very friendly with this person and he does want to help me, as my ex has falsified his financial affidavit.

    Also, do I need to provide the other party with copies of these records or do I just show up to court with them?
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Subpoeana the partner and serve him with a subpoena duces tecum ( produce the business records).

    You won't have anything to give to him (they're his remember), until the partner testifies and you introduce the documents into evidence.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2010
  3. angel4u

    angel4u Law Topic Starter New Member

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    But don't I have to submit a pretrial statement listing witnesses and showing the evidence to the opposing side?
     
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Generally, yes.

    But, you won't have the partnership documents until the ex-partner arrives to testify and brings them.

    You will have your witness list beforehand, however.
     
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  5. angel4u

    angel4u Law Topic Starter New Member

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    what if the opposing party objects? What would be the next step?
     
  6. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    He would have no basis to object to your witnesses or your evidence.

    He might object to pieces of it, but don't worry about what the other side will do.

    Prepare and presnt your case.

    You don't have to satisfy anyone but the judge.

    That isn't going to happen.

    What do you think the basis for an objection would be?
     
  7. angel4u

    angel4u Law Topic Starter New Member

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    He may object as he and his partner are now in a legal matter.

    If partner does produce documents, can they be given to me or will he have to be present at the hearing? I'm sure he will not want to be there.
     
  8. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You subpoena him and his business records he has to give you copies and testify.

    If he doesn't the court will compel him or hold him in contempt. He'll comply.
     
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  9. angel4u

    angel4u Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Ok, so I filed a notice to serve subpoena and oppsing council filed objection, but does not state why. What is my next step? Do I file a response to his objection? File some kind of motion? Do I need to set this up for a hearing for the judge to decide or will opposing council have to because they objected?
     
  10. angel4u

    angel4u Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Now I was served Notice to Produce - State of FL

    To continue my previous reply, the other side has now served me with notice to produce and with interrogatories. My initial petition was filed on 12/18/2009 and our final hearing is on 6/18. The question is, they filed these on 5/17. Attorney asked that I complete in 14 days or they will file a motion. Don't I technically have 30 days to comply? If that is the case, that would be the day before the hearing. Does this make any sense?
     
  11. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    This is what you want to accomplish.

    Records Subpoena Duces Tecum by definition means to Bring with you, a Latin term Commonly called a subpoena Duces Tecum, a type of legal writ requiring one who has been summoned to appear in court to bring some specified item, such as but not limited to; personal records, notes, internal memos, business records, medical records, with him or her for use or examination by the court.

    Most prevalent is the person served with a subpoena Duces Tecum might be required to present documents, such as employee business records or other pieces of physical evidence, for the inspection of the court and for the case at hand.

    A subpoena is an order requiring the attendance of the person named in the subpoena at a specified time and place for the purpose of being questioned under oath concerning a particular matter which is the subject of an investigation, proceeding, or lawsuit. A subpoena is issued by someone authorized by law, usually by the attorney for a party to a lawsuit, but very often issued by someone authorized to conduct an investigation such as the State Attorney General or local District Attorney.

    In addition to requiring the attendance of a person, a subpoena may also require the production of a paper, document, or other object relevant to the particular investigation, proceeding, or lawsuit.

    A subpoena will identify the person who issued the subpoena as well as the general nature of the proceeding to which it relates, although not necessarily the precise subject matter of the proceeding. If you are served with a subpoena, you cannot ignore it. If you do, you risk being held in contempt of court, even if the subpoena was not signed by a judge.


    These folks will help you get it done!
    Hint, hint, hint.
    Don't be so cheap as to NOT spend money to get help!
    This is YOUR case.
    Some of this crap, real lawyers don't do.
    They pay others to do it!
    Subpoena duces tecum (Florida)

    http://www.witnesssubpoena.com/




    I know you think you can do this, but civil procedure is killing you.
    Opposing counsel knows this.
    Opposing counsel is trying to cover you in paper (procedural motions).
    You'll be buried, and you'll lose whatever case you think you have.
    This is not how you try a case.
    Opposing counsel has got you worrying and fretting about civil procedure.
    You can get a civil procedure manual for your state.
    Or, you can hire a lawyer.
    If you don't or can't hire a lawyer, withdraw your case.

    Your only other hope is the judge.
    Some judges will allow pro se litigants great leeway.
    They'll even try to help you cure any problems.
    If you persist, just make sure you know your case.
    Then hope the judge will work with you NOT to let the other lawyer bulldoze you and destroy your case.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2010
  12. angel4u

    angel4u Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you ArmyJudge. My problem is that they filed a counter-suit, so withdrawing is not going to help me much. I really can't afford an attorney. I am presently receiving state aid and my only asset is a $4500 car.
     
  13. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    So, what do you care?

    You live in Florida.

    You're judgment proof.

    They can sue you all they want.

    They can't get a dime.

    You don't have a dime to give them.

    But, even if you did, Florida offers homestead exemptions.

    I've forgotten, what were you trying to accomplish?

    What is the counter-suit alleging?

    What damages or legal remedies does it seek?
     
  14. angel4u

    angel4u Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I am trying to get timesharing schedule changed so I can secure full-time employment. Ex has refused to work with me over an extra 35 minutes twice a week. My proposed schedule would actually increase his time from 20% to 35%.

    He is counter suing for a different timesharing schedule (50%) and a reduction in child support.
     
  15. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    He's trying to get more time with the kid or pay less child support.

    More than likely, limit his child support.

    Why not arrange to keep the child for a week at a time?

    Or, even two weeks at a time?

    As I recall, your child is very young, right?
     
  16. angel4u

    angel4u Law Topic Starter New Member

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    My daughter is five. Your suggestion would still not cover the days when I need to pick her up before the close of normal business days. He refuses to keep her OR drop her to an alternate care location.

    I really do appreciate your help.
     
  17. angel4u

    angel4u Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Oops, sorry, your suggestion would work. Unfortunately both him and his attorney do not respond to my offers.
     
  18. angel4u

    angel4u Law Topic Starter New Member

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    After several months of going pro se in my custody modification suit I was able to secure funds to hire an attorney 3 weeks prior to trial. I met with him once, brought him all my filed documents and informed him that I had not provided the opposing side with financial disclosure. He requested I email his paralegal all my financials and I did that two weeks prior to trial and informed her that I did not file with the court the mandatory disclosure form or child support guidelines, nor had my ex done so.

    I tried, almost daily, to get in touch with this attorney and only got his paralegal telling me "not to worry, everything is being taken care of and I'm in good hands."

    The day before the trial I met with him and he informed me that he was filing a motion for continuance to get more financial disclosure from my ex, as we had only received his interrogatories but no bank statements, tax returns, etc. He said based on the fact that he just taken over the case, he was 99.9% sure the judge would approve the continuance and to "rest assured", we had a "slam-dunk" case.

    We showed up to court the next morning and he asked me for my financial disclosure and I told him that I had given it to his paralegal two weeks prior.

    When session began, the judge addressed the motion for continuance and said she had to deny it because my attorney never had me sign the document. ??? So, trial went on.

    From there it just went down hill. OC addressed the fact that I never produced mandatory disclosure so the judge imputed my income. My ex, a bar owner, didn't provide his disclosure either and his statement for monthly income of $1300 was accepted by the judge.

    As I was being grilled on stand, evidence that I had given my attorney to support my case was not presented ... he objected to nothing and my proof just sat in his folder.

    Needless to say, I lost big time. My attorney couldn't even look at me.

    OC was awarded responsibility for drafting up the final order for the judge to sign. This was over 2 weeks ago. I have no idea when this order goes/went into effect, how much my new child support amount will be (if any at all now), and the rest of the details of the 26-page parenting plan.

    I left message after message for my attorney asking for a de-briefing and next steps. I was finally able to set up a meeting with him last week, but when I showed up they said he wasn't available and passed me on to a new attorney in their firm. None of them seemed to know if she would be representing me now or him or someone else??? After promises of getting answers from them the next day, it is now the end of next WEEK and still no one has given me any answers. His paralegal actually told me to call the judge's office myself and see if I could find out why OC hadn't submitted the proposed final order yet since she wasn't responding to them either.

    OK, so now the questions ...

    1. Do I have any recourse on the issue of him failing to have me sign the continuance and financial disclosure not being provided to OC?

    2. How long does one have to wait for this proposed order to get out of the OC's hands? Are there any steps I can take myself?

    3. Is child support just in limbo until the judge signs the new order or is the old amount still in effect? Support was due last week and I have not received anything. Ex has now left the country for 2 weeks.

    4. Is this attorney still legally responsible for closing out this case with me or could it be possible that I never hear from him again? If he disappears, what steps can I then take? How do I go about getting these answers?

    I have not received one answer to any of the above questions from my attorney and I have ZERO communication with my ex.
     
  19. Proserpina

    Proserpina Moderator

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    There would be no guarantee the continuance would have been granted anyway. How much notice did you have of the trial date?




    Unless it was specifically stated, OC usually has around 30 days in which to make an order.


    Technically he's probably in contempt...but seriously, being even a month or two behind is not going to warrant even a slap on the wrist.



    Well, he'll still be your attorney until he either withdraws or the case is finalized.

    Keep trying the attorney. As I'm sure you realize you won't be his only client and this is also the holiday weekend; call again on Tuesday.
     
  20. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    The only other thing you can do, is have the state work the case for you.

    That means starting all over again, if that is even possible at this late stage of the proceedings.

    Whatever child support you get, isn't going to help you all that much in this case.

    The guy claims he only makes $1,300/month.

    If I were you, after all you've been through, I'd worry about supporting the child myself.

    This bum isn't trying to offer you anything to support his child.

    It looks like he's willing to spend a fortune on lawyers to avoid giving his kid a nickel.

    If you continue to wait on him, both you and your kid will starve.

    I wish you and your child well.

    Proserpina's advice should be heeded. She's spot on, again.




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