Meathead Movers, in California, has long provided free moving services to people involved in domestic violence situations. Partnered with dv shelters since 2000, they have recently began a movement challenging other local businesses to provide what services they can to help. From haircuts to clothing and security, their goal is to find 100 stories of businesses helping through the  #MoveToEndDV tag.

 

Meatheads in name only, we applaud their selflessness and altruism and challenge other small businesses to do the same.

 

The full story can be found HERE at Good News Network.

School District Blames Girl for Rape by Teacher

In California, the Los Angeles Unified School District has blamed a 14-year-old girl after she was molested by her 8th grade teacher.

After discovering that math teacher Elkis Hermida had a sexual relationship with his student, he was sent to prison for his crime.

During the civil trial, the LAUSD asked to have the student’s sexual history made part of  the record, claiming she was sexually sophisticated and could then consent to sex. They also said she  was partially responsible, and that she was more mature due to prior relationships.

An appeal court ruled in favor of the student, and lambasted the school district for, among other things, “ maintain[ing] that a minor student who is the victim of sexual abuse by a teacher bears responsibility for preventing that abuse.”

A 14-year-old child is neither mentally nor legally able to consent to a sexual relationship with an adult, apropos of nothing. It is frightening that a school district, who is supposed to be protecting the children in its jurisdiction, would ever think otherwise.

The full story is available here  at The Atlantic.

Divorce Coping Tip of the Day

HiRes

 

There are many resources for someone going through a divorce, be it family and friends, support groups, books both fiction and non. Now add an app to that list.

Touted as being a kinder, gentler support, it uses poetry, practical tips, humor and encouragement to bring some positivity into the process of separation.

Divorce Coping Tip of the Day4.5/5 Google Play, Android devices

suing the gays

Sylvia Ann Driskell, a Nebraska woman acting as “Ambassador for Plaintiff’s God, and His, Son, Jesus Christ,” is suing all homosexuals in Omaha district court, asking for a ruling whether homosexuality is or is not a sin.

Citing the “boasting” of gay people and the general decay of the nation’s morals, Ms. Driskell seems to be unaware that the phrase “hiding in a closet” is an allegory and wonders “homosexuals know it is a sin to live a life of homosexuality. Why else would they have been hiding in a closet.”

Requests for comments by God have not been returned at this time.

Read her official court document here.

The Notary Public and You

businesswoman stamping document

Question:

What exactly is a notary public?

Answer:

A notary public comes from a long tradition of scribes. Back when only the elite were literate, a scribe filled the important duty of reading and writing for the masses. Now that an education is free for all, this has specialized into the notary. Any person who is approved for a state notary license can claim the title. Duties can include witnessing legal proceedings, validating document copies and swearing in public officials. (These and other duties may vary by state.) The main use, however, is certifying signatures on documents as authentic.

A person utilizing a notary in this manner must present identification and sign the document in his or her presence. The notary will either stamp, sign and date the document itself, or a certificate they attach, using an embossed or ink stamp with their name and license information.

In order to qualify as a notary public, a person must apply and pay for a license, obtain a notary bond (insurance, usually through the licensing agency), supply character recommendations from fellow notaries and sign an oath. Once approved, the most common length of term is 4 years. Again, specific requirements may vary by state.

If the life of a notary appeals to you, there are a number of ways you can begin. Go straight through your state’s Department of Licensing site (in Washington, the application can be found HERE, or choose a full service company to walk you through the steps and fulfill the other obligations such as creating a notary stamp and securing a bond (such as LMI Notary).

Finally, check online for further information. The American Society of Notaries has some good resources, such as notary requirements by state.

Children and Divorce

Father comforts a sad child

Over on Huffington Post, they are running a series on how to help children through a divorce. While every situation is unique, there are some common guidelines for every child.

*Never make your child feel guilty for loving their mom or dad. While there may be fault on one side or other, kids center their world around their parents and sabotaging that love can cause anguish. Never ask them who they would rather live with, or who they love more. They love you both, and want to live with you both.

*Don’t put the kids in the middle of negotiations, arguments or arrangements. They shouldn’t be passing messages or mediating, that makes them take on a mature role in the separation, something that needs to be reserved for adults. Ask a friend, send a text or email, write a note, hire a lawyer instead.

*It’s okay to hide things from the kids. They don’t need to know that a parent behaved badly, or who wronged whom. Their world is already devastated, without adding more negative emotions to the mix. If they ask questions, keep the answers age appropriate, and let them dictate how much information they want.

*Get a routine as quickly as possible. A solid schedule that a child can count on is invaluable in rebuilding a sense of safety and security.

*Let your child’s teacher or caregivers know what’s going on. It might not feel right to air your personal laundry but these are your child’s advocates, and can help give encouragement or watch for common warning signs of stress, such as acting out. Stay neutral and don’t give too many personal details, a brief overview of the split and any new visitation schedules is plenty.

For more ideas and tips, check How to Help Your Toddler Through Divorce and How to Help Children Ages 6-12 Through Your Divorce

Paralegals

paralegal

Question:

My friend is a paralegal, can he help me with my legal problem?

Answer:

No, a paralegal is not licensed to practice law. Instead, they are an assistant, specializing in legal skills including research, scheduling court dates and making sure papers are filed in the appropriate time and place. A paralegal may or may not be certified through a special program, and while quite knowledgeable about the law, is not allowed to give legal advice.

Small Claims Court

Small Claims

If you are owed money or recompense for an amount under $5,000.00, small claims court might be for you.

Small claims is an informal hearing, set before a judge, where you can outline why you believe you are owed money. The judge will hear both sides of the issue, look at the evidence and then make an immediate judgment for monies owed.

A judgment doesn’t ensure payment, however, it shows you have a legal right to payment but does not go after those funds. This may lead to taking collections actions next. Collection action can lead to bank account garnishments or liens on property, but are an added expense and action.

To begin a case, go to your local county courthouse and submit a Notice of Small Claims. You will need to sign the document while there, and pay the filing fee.

Costs are minimal, the filing fee is usually under $30, and you must serve court documents to the other party. While you cannot serve the papers yourself, you can pay a firm or a sheriff to do this, have a friend (not connected with the case) do it for you, or send the papers through certified mail with delivery confirmation. There are also transportation costs, and time taken off work. If a judgment is found in your favor, you can ask for reasonable costs to be added to the original debt.

You may seek an attorney’s advice at any point, but they cannot appear on your behalf at the hearing. Some common advice is to provide as much documentation as you can (emails, photos, documents, bank records), and to always keep calm while talking to the judge.

Check your local state court webpage for more information.

Keeping Divorce Costs Down

court money

The Huffington Post recently listed 10 ways to keep divorce costs down. Their suggestions include limiting or consolidating calls to your attorney, reviewing your invoices carefully and arriving to your court hearings prepared and on time.

For more tips, visit the story at Huffington Post.

Google calendar week

Kid schedules are hard enough to follow without factoring in two or more households, child handovers, visitations and multiple calendars. A good option is to start an online calendar that all parties can access. Appointments can be scheduled with notices and reminders going out via email, and entries can even be color coded as to who is picking up or dropping off the kids.

This is also possibly a good solution if there are contact restrictions or conflict between parents, so scheduling can be solidified without direct contact between the parties. Talk to your attorney or the courts before starting a joint calendar if there is a restraining order or order of protection in effect.

Some examples of the many free online calendars are Google Calendar, Teamup Calendar, and LoCalendar.

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