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Need help for custody case with ex-wife (pro se)

Discussion in 'Child Custody & Visitation' started by Julius, Oct 30, 2018.

  1. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    I hope it has finally dawned on you that NOTHING you do, say, find, or show is going to get THAT judge to change anything.

    To get your case to another judge or a higher court is going to take an attorney. If it takes you 6 months to a year to come up with enough money, you are just going to have to live with the status quo and stop spinning your wheels.
     
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  2. Julius

    Julius Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Yes, that is something that has become painfully obvious. The main thing I was hoping for was to at least find that supreme court case where the judge is required in these circumstances to provide specific conditions that must be met in order for me to have overnight visits. I figured if I could at least find that supreme court case and cite it in another motion for modification of parenting plan, the judge would have little choice but to take action. If he didn't, I feel the appeal for that should be clear-cut enough for me to be able to handle it, though I could of course be wrong.
     
  3. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Yes, you would be wrong. Appeals are complicated and expensive. One significant expense is the purchase of a transcript of all the trial proceedings that occurred during your litigation. You buy that from the court reporter and, trust me, they aren't cheap. You'll end up with several hundred pages at dollars per page.

    I could go on and on about the requirements for an appeal but you can get a good idea of the difficulty by reading the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure:

    https://www.floridabar.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Appellate-Court-Rules-10-01-17.pdf

    Before you go filing additional motions that you think are appealable understand that, once the decision is made, you have a limited amount of time to file your notice of appeal, pay your fees, possibly post a bond, buy your transcripts, and prepare your first brief. If you miss any of those deadlines your appeal gets dismissed.

    Also understand that you don't get to raise new issues or present new evidence. An appeal is based on whether or not the judge erred in applying the law contrary to established case decisions.

    You might want to read appellate decisions on Google Scholar and see how minutely the judges analyze the briefs.
     
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  4. Julius

    Julius Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you for all the information. I greatly appreciate it. I do feel that one thing that may work in my favor here is that when the modification first started, I was found indigent (full-time college student, part-time work). As such, I don't believe I would incur all of those fees.

    I have looked into everything that would need to be filed, as well as the deadlines for each. I assumed a while back that an appeal was going to eventually be necessary. I will definitely double check the link you provided, as well as do more research on Google Scholar. I really appreciate the suggestions.

    I do think it would be in my best interest to hire a court reporter for the next hearing (yes, I am aware of the cost and could cover it). I plan to ask the judge to specify the concerns that he feels support the need for restricted and supervised visitation currently. Then, I plan to request he include criteria in the parenting plan that specifically stipulates the conditions I must meet in order to resolve those concerns, thereby eliminating the current restrictions. I am hoping by then, I will have found that supreme court case stipulating the overnight conditions topic and can cite that in the motion as well.

    Maybe a part of my problem here is me making assumptions on what the judge's concerns are rather than flat out asking him, along with finding out what it is that he would personally like to see here. While it may not make much difference, I think getting that information transcribed would be a step in the right direction at least, especially for an appeal. Does that sound like a reasonable approach at this time?
     
  5. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    You might be right. But it looks like you have to re-apply. See Appellate Rule 9.430 at the link I provided earlier.

    I think that applies to filing fees and not transcript fees.

    You shouldn't have to if the proceedings are already being recorded. Check that and check with the court reporter as to costs.

    That's not what judges do. The judge won't tell you what his concerns are. He will rule on what you present by way of testimony and evidence. He's not going to give you legal advice. He will expect a pro se litigant to know everything about what he is doing just like a lawyer would. Obviously, you don't, so you are handicapped going in and that's why you've been shot down so many times.

    Look, I really don't have the time or inclination to write pages upon pages analyzing what you are doing, nor am I allowed to give specific legal advice.

    If you can't afford to hire a lawyer, at least get a consultation where a few hundred will get you a review of what you have done to date, and get you some pointers on how to correct all the mistakes you have already made (yeah, lots of them).

    Better yet, wait until you have the money to hire a lawyer. The more mistakes you make at the trial level, the possibility of success on appeal is less and less likely.
     

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