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Excerpts from our Case Digest
Matrimonial, family and immigration law cases

Read excerpts from past editions of our quarterly Case Digest for an overview of the diverse pro bono cases we have available for volunteer attorneys.

From comprehensive Continuing Legal Education (CLE) trainings on matrimonial, family and immigration matters to in-depth coaching on complex cases to basic document review, our legal staff is available to provide substantive and procedural mentoring throughout your representation of an inMotion client.

Learn more about pro bono representation.

Learn more about case placements through our free CLE training programs.

 
    Matrimonial and family law cases
 
Identifying case details have been changed to protect
our clients’ identities
.
 
Contested divorce/motion to consolidate an order of protection and spousal support
Bronx County Supreme Court
May require multiple court appearances

The client, an undocumented immigrant from Ecuador, is a defendant in a contested divorce matter with a return court date scheduled in less than four weeks in the Bronx Supreme Court. The client and her husband, a legal U.S resident, were married in a civil ceremony in the Bronx in 2001 and separated earlier this year. There are no children of the marriage, however the client is pregnant. There is history of severe domestic violence. The client currently lives in a domestic violence shelter. The husband is a drug addict and alcoholic.

The client also has a temporary order of protection with a return court date as well as a spousal support court date in two months. Another organization is helping the client with her VAWA case but is unable to assist with her Family Court and contested divorce cases. After the client was served with a Summons with Notice a few weeks ago, inMotion helped the client prepare and file a Notice of Appearance and a Demand for a Verified Complaint. Her husband is using cruel and inhuman treatment and abandonment as the grounds for divorce. If the client does not appear it may adversely affect her immigration case. The husband has an attorney. The client has no representation for the Family Court cases or the divorce case.

The client wishes to contest the husband’s grounds for divorce and to seek equal distribution of their marital property, spousal support, and a permanent order of protection, all as part of her divorce action.

Special Note: The client speaks only Spanish.

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Order of protection and child custody, with limited or no visitation
Bronx County Supreme Court
May require multiple court appearances

The client, an undocumented immigrant from Peru and single mother, is a petitioner in an order of protection, custody and visitation action. She and the father were never married. There is history of severe domestic violence. The client currently resides in a domestic violence shelter. The client is not eligible for VAWA relief, although the father is a legal permanent resident. Due to the client’s immigration status and fear of deportation, she has never reported the father’s abuse to the police. The client obtained a temporary order of protection (TOP) from the Bronx Family Court which orders the father is to stay away from her and the child, and not to have any third party contact. The father has violated the TOP by having third party contact.

The client is seeking a final order of protection and sole custody of her daughter, with supervised visitation for the father only if he can show rehabilitation from his drug and alcohol abuse; otherwise, she will seek sole custody and termination the father’s visitation rights.

Learn more about case placements through our free CLE training programs.

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Order of protection with exclusive occupancy
Queens County Family Court
May require multiple court appearances

The client is a petitioner in an order of protection case. She is a divorced mother of two children, one of whom lives with her. There is history of severe domestic violence. The parties had been living apart since 2004, with a few exceptions when her ex-husband returned for brief periods of time when he had no where else to go. Earlier this year, the client permitted her ex-husband to stay in her home. However, he became abusive and physically assaulted the client, causing her to be hospitalized. The client has a temporary order of protection with an order excluding her ex-husband from her home. The parties went to court recently; the temporary order of protection with exclusion was continued and her ex-husband was arrested. The father has legal representation from a legal services organization.

The client seeks a final order of protection and wants to ensure that her batterer is permanently excluded from her home.

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Child support
Kings County Family Court
May require multiple court appearances

The client is a petitioner in a child support case. The parties have been married since 1993 and there are three children of the marriage. The client resides with her husband, but due to a history of domestic violence, she has recently sought an order of protection and child support. The client was granted a temporary order of protection after the husband punched and choked her in front their children earlier this year. The client has representation for the order of protection case but needs an attorney for her child support case. The current child support order is for $84 bi-weekly payable directly to the client.

The father is seeking to downwardly modify a prior court order of support. The client is seeking a fair child support judgment.

Special Note: The client speaks only Spanish.

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Child visitation
Kings County Family Court
May require multiple court appearances

The client is a respondent to her child’s father’s petition for visitation in Kings County Family Court. The father is the client’s ex-boyfriend and there is a criminal order of protection case pending against him for a domestic violence incident earlier in the year where the father choked and hit the client in front of their four-year old daughter. The father then ran outside with child, even though the child was without her coat, socks or shoes and it was 17 degrees. The client called the police and obtained an order of protection in Family Court for herself and her child. The father has a mental illness and the court is considering placing him in a hospital for observation.

The client would like to ensure that any visitation granted to the father is supervised.

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Contested divorce/custody and order of protection
Richmond County Supreme Court
May require multiple court appearances

The client married her husband in a civil ceremony in 2001. The husband was physically, emotionally and financially abusive throughout their marriage. Earlier in the year, the police escorted the husband from the marital residence because of domestic violence. The husband uses drugs, drinks heavily and spends all his earned income on drugs. The husband steals the client’s belongings and sells them for money. The husband has beaten the client on several occasions because she refused to give him money. According to the client, the husband has never provided any financial support. The client had an order of protection from Family Court which recently expired. There is one child of the marriage and no marital assets.

The client seeks a divorce based on cruel and inhuman treatment.

Special Note: The client speaks only Spanish.

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Contested divorce/equitable distribution of marital property
New York County Supreme Court
May require multiple court appearances

The Client is a 59-year-old defendant in a contested divorce action. The parties were married in 1966 and separated in 2001. They have three children together, two of whom have passed away. The husband recently left the client because he wanted to be with his younger girlfriend. There is a history of severe domestic violence. The client suffered a nervous breakdown a few years ago after experiencing repeated physical assaults by her husband. The husband hit the client in the stomach when she was pregnant with their eldest son. Due to the severe abuse the client has suffered throughout her marriage, the client receives on-going counseling from a social worker and treatment from a psychiatrist.

InMotion helped the client draft and file a Notice of Appearance with a Demand for a Verified Complaint. The husband has not served the client with the complaint. The husband continually calls the client, demanding that she stop being an “idiot” and attempts to coerce the client to sign the divorce papers, which make no allowance for equitable distribution. The client gets very nervous when the husband calls her because she does not know how to respond to his threats and insults.

The client is a defendant in a divorce case seeking equitable distribution of marital property. The husband is a retired New York City employee with a substantial pension and retirement accounts.

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Uncontested divorce
Kings County Supreme Court
No required court appearances

The client married her husband in a civil ceremony in 2001. The husband left the marital residence in the spring of 2004 and has not returned. There is one child of the marriage and no marital assets. The client previously obtained a child support order in Family Court for $49/week.

The client seeks a divorce based on abandonment.

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Uncontested divorce
Queens County Supreme Court
No required court appearances

The client married her husband in November 1992. The husband has been physically and verbally abusive to the client throughout the marriage. She has a criminal order of protection following a domestic violence incident earlier in the year. There are no marital assets. There are two children of the marriage. The client has obtained full custody of both children in Family Court. 

Client seeks an uncontested divorce based on cruel and inhuman treatment.

Special Note: The client speaks only Spanish.

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Contested divorce/order of protection and child support
Kings County Supreme Court
May require multiple court appearances
No required court appearances

The client married her husband in a civil ceremony in 2001. The parities have been separated since the fall of 2005, when the client asked the husband to leave the home due to his abuse. In the winter of 2004, during a heated argument, the husband punched the client in the head causing her to become unconscious. The husband verbally abuses her by using profane language and constantly belittles her. She obtained an order of protection against the husband from Family Court in 2005, which will expire in a few months.

The client seeks a divorce on the grounds of cruel and inhuman treatment. The client also seeks child support and a renewed order of protection.

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Contested divorce/ child support, visitation, maintenance, exclusive occupancy and equitable distribution
Queens County Supreme Court
May require multiple court appearances

The client is a 47-year-old woman who married her husband in July 1993. There are three children of the marriage who are 11, 9, and 6 years old. The children reside with the client. After many separations, the husband abandonned the client in the winter of 2003, over the client's objections, and has not returned. The husband has liberal visits with the children; he takes them to his home in New Jersey.

The client has not worked since 1992 upon agreement of the parties that she would be the stay-at-home caretaker of the children. The husband has always been the financial support for the family and presently pays the rent, utilities, cable and telephone for the apartment where the client and the children reside and an additional $200 per month in personal expenses directly to the client. Neither the children nor the client currently have health insurance. The husband has been working at a securities corporation for about two years and earns over $80,000 per year.

The client seeks a divorce based on abandonment. She would like to retain custody of the children and for the husband to visit with the children in New York. The client seeks child support, maintenance, equitable distribution, health insurance and exclusive occupancy of the apartment.

Special Note: The client speaks only Spanish.

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Contested divorce/ child support/ equitable distribution
Queens County Supreme Court
May require multiple court appearances

The client and her husband married in India, her native country, in 1985. The client suffered severe abuse throughout her marriage. She fled to a shelter in 2005 to escape the husband’s abusive behavior. The client obtained a three-year order of protection from Family Court, which expires in 2008. The husband was openly unfaithful and controlled the client's access to friends, money and the outside world. The client was confined to her home and not even allowed to open her own mail. She discovered later that her husband obtained credit cards in her name and destroyed her credit by not paying off the debt. There are three children of the marriage; client obtained a custody order from Queens Family Court in 2005. There is no Family Court order for child support. The husband is self-employed and owns a restaurant.

The client seeks a divorce based on cruel and inhuman treatment. She would like to pursue equitable distribution of the credit card debt and marital property. The client also seeks a fair child support judgment.

Special Note: The client speaks only Hindi.

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    Immigration law cases

Identifying case details have been changed to protect
our clients’ identities
.
 
Amendment to a VAWA self-petition
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
Accompany client to interviews with USCIS authorities
No required court appearances

The client is an undocumented immigrant from Poland and a victim of severe domestic violence and financial abuse. The client contacted inMotion when the USCIS notified her that the VAWA self-petition she had hired an attorney to file on her behalf did not include sufficient documentation of abuse; the USCIS gave the client 60 days to amend the application. InMotion obtained a three-month extension and is looking to place the client’s VAWA case with a volunteer attorney.

The client came to the United States in 2000. She met and married her husband, an American citizen, in 2001. Less than a year into their marriage, the client’s husband began a long downward spiral into drug abuse and alcoholism. He stopped working and became increasingly abusive and violent. Unemployed throughout most of their marriage, he took what little money the client earned to buy alcohol and drugs.

The client is seeking permanent residency. The client also wishes to file additional immigration applications for her two children in Poland, who are eligible beneficiaries of her VAWA self-petition.

Special Note: The client speaks only Polish.

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VAWA self-petition for legal residency
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
Accompany client to interviews with USCIS authorities
No required court appearances

The client is an undocumented immigrant from Colombia. Her husband is a U.S. citizen and has been physically, verbally, and emotionally abusive throughout their six-year marriage. The husband is extremely jealous and controlling. The parties have no children together.

The client is seeking permanent residency. The client has two children from a previous relationship who live in Colombia. She wishes to include her children in her VAWA self-petition as derivative beneficiaries.

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VAWA self-petition for legal residency
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
Accompany client to interviews with USCIS authorities
No required court appearances

The client is an undocumented immigrant from Haiti. Her husband is a U.S. citizen who has been physically, verbally, emotionally and financially abusive to the client. The client obtained an order of protection from Family Court in the fall of 2006. The client currently lives in a domestic violence shelter. The parties have no children together.

The client is seeking permanent residency.

Special Note: The client’s native language is Creole; she speaks very little English.

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VAWA self-petition for legal residency
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
Accompany client to interviews with USCIS authorities
No required court appearances

The client is an undocumented immigrant from Jamaica. Her husband is a U.S. citizen and has been physically, sexually and financially abusive to the client through out their six-year marriage. The client called the police twice and has two separate police reports. The parties have no children together. The client currently resides in a domestic violence shelter.

The client is seeking permanent residency.

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Last updated 10/25/2010
 
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