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Thread: Any ideas? Need help. Please read.

  1. #1
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    Any ideas? Need help. Please read.

    I am requesting assistance in a possible lawsuit. My fiance has been engaged in a nasty custody hearing for two years with his ex-wife in Montana. There are many reasons mostly all centering around the various forms of child abuse. My father stated once that she was the worst mother he had ever heard of (a practicing attorney in GA for 15 years). Nevertheless the judge passed a final ruling in February not only stating that my fiance not receive custody, but actually reduced his visiatation time. He lists in his findings of fact the issue that we carry and even worse openly carry "for almost every waking moment". Additionally, once while being harassed by his ex-wife, we had the audacity to tell the cops she called on us that we were not going to disarm ourselves on our own property. Which of course is our legal right, but was also used against him. We are licensed in the state of GA to do so. My fiance, a non-active marine with no criminal history, a business owner, and a contributing/upstanding member of our community was penalized for this and given 3 weeks visitation per year. Ironically the judge even told our attorney that he purposefully did so "off the record" of course. Further, they penalized him for allowing his 8 year old daughter to shoot some of the smaller weapons even though we had photographic evidence that he was physically holding the guns with his arms wrapped around his daughter and she was only pulling the trigger. We live on 7 acres in the country where it is legal to shoot on your property and have further made the area safe with a 7 foot tall 5 foot thick backstop to the target range made out of logs and 3 packed loads of dirt. Needless to say we were shocked and enraged to see our 2nd amendment rights held against us. Especially since we were under the impression Montana was more open minded towards gun control than GA. We have already appealed the decision. The appellate judge simply took 5 minutes out of her busy schedule and rubber stamped the ruling previously made. We are not sure how to proceed. The town is not large, and unfortunately there are not many judges and lawyers to choose from. Nobody seems willing to fight this issue being as his attorney and his ex-wife's attorney fish together, and our attorney and the District Court Judge go hunting together. We know there is the option of a Supreme Court hearing but are unsure the process in a civil case on how to get there. Plus we would need counsel willing to do so. We want to know if there is any way to appeal this in a GA court where our state laws would not be used against us as a judge here would be more familiar with them. If not, is there a lawyer in Montana that would be willing to take the appeals case or lawsuit for infringement of rights and not be scared to piss people off. We have already sunk 12,000 into this only to lose more time with his daughter each time we go to court. We would be happy to change counsel and spend our money more wisely if we could.

  2. #2
    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    I can tell you that appeal to the state SC is possible, but unlikely in states that have an intermediate appellate court. And when possible, it is a determination of law, not facts, that the SC decides. The judge's decision was based on applying the law to the facts as he saw them. It is in the discretion of a judge to do so, needless to say. You could possibley petition in GA for jurisdictional change to a court in that state, your father being a member of the bar should provide help in the process. I don't think it's likely to turn out favorably, however. Full faith and credit comes into the picture: one state's legal decisions are given standing in all states.
    All states have a mandatory one level above appeal route. Beyond that, unless of compelling interest to the SC--constitutional question or egregious error by the lower court, review is unlikely--especially in a matter of Family Law. Sounds like you're getting the shaft and wish I could offer more suggestions outside of get an attorney from out of town that isn't painted the same color as the other participants. Even in gun country, a lot of judges are liberal ******** based on where they went to Law School. Good luck.

  3. #3
    Regular Member Thundar's Avatar
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    Scroogle the Judge

    IANAL

    1) Do judges stand for election, or are they confirmed by the state senate? If so I would unleash a torrent of protest against the hopolophobic and misguided Montana Judge. In Montana legally possessing and carrying firearms is not a rational basis for harming a parent child relationship.

    2) Family Court rulings are always subject to new proceedings if circumstances change. Document the abuse and file when the evidence is clear that she is abusing the child.
    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

    The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us....There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! ...The war is inevitable–and let it come! I repeat it, Sir, let it come …………. PATRICK HENRY speech 1776

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    Thank you for your advice. Unfortunately her abuse is hard to prove. Most of it's highly emotional and mental. There is some phsical but it's hard to trap her into an evidence. She is in the Airforce so we can't call civilian cops for welfare checks or DFCS. Calling the base mp's do no good as it's all small force and she's a detective. Not to mention she's slept with most of them so we usually get our asses handed to us. Last time we went for visitation she locked her daughter in a room at the visitors center with 3 armed guards standing by the door so we couldn't see her if that gives you an idea of how well she gets away with things. Without testimony from his daughter who's only 8 we wouldn't get anywhere. And although she tells us stuff when she's with us she behaves differently around her mom and won't tell other people. She even lied to a psychologist out of fear her mom would find out if she said anything. Oh well. I guess we will keep fighting in our corrupt system and get nowhere.

  5. #5
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    Sad tale

    Sorry to hear the decision.

    Wait until she's deployed - that's a material change in circumstances that warrants a review as to custody.

    Beyond that, unless you shell out for a SC review, you're going to have to live with the ruling, for now.

    Best wishes,

    DCR

  6. #6
    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslinger
    Full faith and credit comes into the picture: one state's legal decisions are given standing in all states.
    No they're not. Marriages & recognition of civil rights (carrying for self-defense) are 2 examples.

    For the OP - next time the girl is with you, get her on audio &/or video explaining how her mom abuses her. Use the recorder you carry with you while OCing, or buy one off Ebay - there are lots that are small, don't look like cameras (I have a pen camera), & do decent quality recordings.
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    Regular Member Beretta-m9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MKEgal View Post
    No they're not. Marriages & recognition of civil rights (carrying for self-defense) are 2 examples.

    For the OP - next time the girl is with you, get her on audio &/or video explaining how her mom abuses her. Use the recorder you carry with you while OCing, or buy one off Ebay - there are lots that are small, don't look like cameras (I have a pen camera), & do decent quality recordings.
    or about any cell phone now days do great video.

  8. #8
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    Malmstrom

    I am retired from the AF living in Great Falls. Please contact me at dlc128@juno.com

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  9. #9
    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MKEgal View Post
    No they're not. Marriages & recognition of civil rights (carrying for self-defense) are 2 examples.

    For the OP - next time the girl is with you, get her on audio &/or video explaining how her mom abuses her. Use the recorder you carry with you while OCing, or buy one off Ebay - there are lots that are small, don't look like cameras (I have a pen camera), & do decent quality recordings.
    All legal decisions which have standing in either state are fully credited by both. If one state has a contradictory statute, obviously decisions in that respect have no standing. And equally obviously would never factor in a trial or legal proceeding. If you can't pollute the ocean off the New Jersey coast, I doubt it would come up in Montana.
    Last edited by Gunslinger; 02-03-2011 at 04:08 PM.

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