Posts Tagged ‘domestic violence’

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I am sure by now you have all heard some, if not all, of the recordings released in which Mel Gibson is allegedly ranting and raving at his baby mama.  While I have never condoned domestic violence and have written many times about it and how it seems to be increasing among celebrities and even amongst the legal community itself, I am having a hard time with what is going on in this matter.

Mel Gibson has so far, remained very quiet about these recordings.  I read today that the police are now opening a case and reviewing the allegations against Mr. Gibson.  Apparently, these recordings were part of a child custody dispute between Mr. Gibson and Oksana Grigorieva and were sealed.  The police have now received a copy of this sealed recording.

As someone who works in the legal field, my question is when and how were these recordings made?  Did Ms.  Grigorieva have a court order that allowed her to record Mr. Gibson or were these recordings made without his knowledge?  Don’t get me wrong, if the recordings that have been released are in fact accurate and if there is domestic violence of Ms. Grigorieva by Mr. Gibson, he should be held accountable, no matter how wonderful an actor he is.  Abusing another human being should never be tolerated!  What should also not be tolerated is illegal recordings of another and then these recordings being leaked to the public.  It will be interesting to see how this matter moves forward and believe me, I will be paying attention to it.

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In 2009, there were several cases that were decided by the California Supreme Court, the appellate courts and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that issued important decisions during the past year that affect family law. Some of those are listed here.

A trial court that failed to consider the factors in Family Code sections 2030 and 2032 erroneously issued an attorney fee order in a custody matter, and made an error of law in issuing a second order in the same proceeding that reduced appellate costs that already were owed to a pro se litigant (In re Alan S.(2009) 172 CA4th 238, 91 CR3d 241);

A nonparent seeking to obtain custody of a child lacks standing to initiate or be joined in a custody proceeding under the Uniform Parentage Act (Scott v. Superior Court (2009) 171 CA4th 540, 89 CR3d 843);

A California court that initially awarded sole legal and physical custody of a 5 month old child to his father acquired exclusive and continuing custody jurisdiction under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), and did not lose jurisdiction despite the child’s and parents’ residence in Pakistan and the parents’ various actions and litigation in Pakistan and California over a 6 year period (Marriage of Nurie (2009) 176 CA4th 478, 98 CR3d 200);

In a dispute between two parents having joint legal custody over where their child would attend school, the court is not required to apply a “strict scrutiny” constitutional analysis (Enrique M. v Angelina V. (2009) 174 CA4th 1148, 94 CR3d 883;

A custody order issued as part of a domestic violence proceeding is not a “final judicial custody determination,” and therefore a parent who seeks modification of that order need not show “changed circumstances,” but rather what is in the child’s best interest based on all the circumstances (Keith R. V. Superior Court (2009) 174 CA4th 1047, 96 CR3d 298);

Although it is improper to impute income formerly earned to a supporting party absent evidence demonstrating the party could still earn it, evidence of present earning capacity in present employment creates no basis to ignore those earnings (Marraige of Berger (2009) 170 CA4th 1070, 88 CR3d 766);

A disabled support obligor who provides proof of eligibility for or receipt of Social Security Disability Income payments is exempt from levy under Family Code sections 17450-17460 (Marriage of Hopkins (2009) 173 CA4th 281, 92 CR3d 570);

A post-separation agreement regarding the distribution of community property is void and unenforceable unless it is in writing or made by oral stipulation in open court (Marriage of Dellaria & Blickman-Dellaria (2009) 172 CA4th 196, 90 CR3d 802);

“Disturbing the Peace,” as used in Family Code section 6320, may include accessing, reading, and publicly disclosing a person’s confidential e-mails; allegations of physical violence are not required to support an application for a restraining order under the Domestic Violence Prevention Act (Marriage of Nadkarni (2009) 173 CA4th 1483, 93 CR3d 723);

A trial court may not reduce spousal support on the ground that the supported spouse has become eligible to access, without penalty, his or her share of retirement accounts that were awarded to that spouse in a marital dissolution (Marriage of Dietz (2009) 176 CA4th 387, 97 CR3d 616).

There are many more cases that were decided and I will add them at a later date.

An upper-crust Long Island housewife accused of hiring a hit man to off her hubby lamented she could only afford to maim him — but then was thrilled to learn she could whack him at a bargain-basement price of just $20,000, authorities said yesterday.

That’s the stone-cold, cost-calculating mentality of sick soccer mom Susan Williams, 43, who allegedly hired an undercover cop this week to whack her husband of 21 years. She was held yesterday on $1 million bail.

Allegedly, Ms. Williams managed to turn the couple’s four children, ages 19-11, against their father. She alleged domestic violence during the marriage, not only against her but the children. She also alleged that her husband forced her to have deviate sex. Seems Ms. Williams also admitted having an affair with her boss during the marriage and allegedly stole marital assets. According to the husband, Peter Williams, a fence business owner, Ms. Williams lied about the couple’s finances during the marriage and received an order for spousal support and child support of $11,000 a month. Mr. William’s admits that he stopped paying the support to his ex because he simply couldn’t afford to pay it. Mr. Williams is now working on trying to get custody of the parties’ children while Ms. Williams sits in jail with the $1 million bail.

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For more on this story, you can see it at the New York Post.

The New York State Senate on Tuesday night expelled a senator convicted of assaulting his companion, the first time a member of the Legislature was forced from office in nearly a century. Hiram Monserrate, a Democrat from Queens, was convicted last fall of misdemeanor assault after a fight with his companion, Karla Giraldo, that left her with a deep gash on her face, though he was acquitted of more serious felony assault charges.

I have to say that I had not heard about this assault that occurred in December 2008. As I have blogged about many times in the past, domestic violence seems to be increasing in our society, including among well known public figures.

Mr. Monserrate’s attorneys are drafting a restraining order seeking to have him reinstated. It looks like this could be a long fight for the senate and Mr. Monserrate.

You can read more about this by clicking here.

Former child actor Gary Coleman was arrested in Utah on warrant for a failure to appear, but not on domestic violence charges after Santaquin police responded to a dispute at the home of Coleman and his wife.

He may be all grown up now, but this is not the first time that Coleman or his much younger wife have faced legal trouble.

In a domestic dispute last July, Coleman’s wife Shannon Price was charged with disordely conduct and suspicion of domestic violence after the couple became embroiled in a heated dispute.

Coleman and Price secretly wed in 2007.

Gary Coleman Mug Shot

One year later the couple shared their martial troubles on national television when they appeared on two episodes of Divorce Court:

This article was found at blogs and was written by Joel Zand.

I am posting this article to bring attention once again to the growing allegations of domestic violence. While Mr. Coleman was not arrested for the alleged domestic violence as stated in this article, the police were called to his home for a domestic dispute. You can find more on this article, as well as other at

Domestic violence is no stranger to any class of people as I have previously stated in this blawg. This month a senior judge in Pennsylvania was charged with choking his wife during an alleged alcohol related incident. C. Joseph Rehkamp, 61, later turned himself in after being charged with domestic violence. A former president judge of Perry County, he is now a senior judge doing much-needed fill-in work in Luzerne County, where the bench has been depleted in a stunning series of corruption scandals.

Initially, he was taken off the Luzerne bench for this week, while administrators considered his future. According to Luzerne County President Judge Thomas Burke Jr. “There’s no question but that we are in dire straits with regard to our staffing of the courts.” Judge Rehkamp has since been removed from hearing cases by the state supreme court’s chief justice while he resolves the domestic violence charge.

A more serious domestic incident in Connecticut earlier this month left a former White House lawyer in jail facing an attempted murder case and his wife, who works for a major law firm, in the hospital after he allegedly beat and choked her.

John Michael Farren, 57, was in jail in lieu of $2 million bail and state attorney disciplinary authorities were seeking to suspend his license to practice law. In Stamford Superior Court last week it was stated that Mr. Farren represents a “substantial threat or irreparable harm to his clients or to his prospective clients,” and the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel is seeking both to lift his license and to have Mr. Farren appoint a trustee to wind up his law practice.

Both of these articles were reported in the ABA Journal this month and are quite disturbing. I will keep a watch on these two cases and report any updates here.

The following link takes you to a heart wrenching video of a young 8 year old boy who’s father caused brain damage that has left scars of a lifetime. It is hard to watch but important to see what abuse can do to the children and the rest of the family as well.


As previously reported, Charlie Sheen was arrested for domestic violence on Christmas Day.  One of the two felonies for which Charlie Sheen was arrested is felony menacing — a threat involving a deadly weapon.  Law enforcement sources say Mueller told cops Charlie was in possession of a knife and threatened her with it.

As was first reported, Mueller has recanted much of her story … so her credibility has clearly come into serious question. In addition, as was also first reported, Mueller was legally drunk with a .13 blood alcohol level.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ when cops arrived on scene they observed marks on Mueller’s body, but they do not know if the marks were related to any scuffle with Sheen.

It was also reported that Charlie Sheen was not drinking that night.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out for all involved.

Charlie Sheen arrested in domestic dispute, police say –

Not much is being released about this arrest, although the news reported today that the dispute may not have been between Mr. Sheen and his current wife.  It is sad that domestic violence continues to occur and especially sad that it occurred on Christmas Day.  We will watch and see how this story plays out.  For more information, see the link below.

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Chris Henry died this morning due to injuries he received from an alleged domestic violence incident.  He was 26 years old and leaves behind three children that he and his fiance were raising.

The 911 tapes have not been released yet and the investigation is ongoing by homicide detectives, but no charges have been filed.

To see the full story click here.  To see the video announcing this tragedy, click here.