1. The First Amendment is strong, but not absolute.The government generally cannot regulate the content of your protest message. However, it can place time, place, and manner restrictions on how you present your message as long as those restrictions are nondiscriminatory and narrowly drawn. For example, the government may be able to restrict all protestors from picketing within a certain distance of a state courthouse. However, it may not allow protestors to picket in a certain area who hold one viewpoint, and deny protestors to picket who hold a different viewpoint.
2. You may not have a right to protest on private property. The First Amendment restricts government action. Therefore, you are generally free to protest on traditional “public forums” like streets, sidewalks, and parks. However, the First Amendment does not restrict private parties from placing restrictions on private property.
3. You may need a permit. Small scale protests in public forums usually do not require permits. Many different types of protest events do, however. Generally speaking those that do are parades that may block traffic, large rallies that will use some sort of sound amplifier, or rallies at parks or plazas.
In politically charged times you may be out protesting on one side or the other. Whatever issue you are advocating, stay safe and know your rights. If you want to talk to me about your rights I can be reached by phone at (360) 205-2256 or by email at email@example.com.
For almost all family law matters in Washington state a person is required to use the state’s mandatory forms to pursue an action - but not for adoptions (there aren't mandatory forms). So where do you start? The best place to start is purchasing the adoption packet from King County, Washington. You will either have to purchase the packet in-person or mail-in a request with payment. Clark County, Washington has a copy of the packet in their law library (at the Superior Court) to view but you cannot check it out and copies will cost money. Plan accordingly.
For an agreed stepparent adoption (in which you have a stepparent who wants to adopt their stepchild and both biological parents are in agreement), you will need the following documents to begin the proceeding:
1. Petition for Adoption by Step Parents
2. Petition for Relinquishment of Parent-Child Relationship of Father/Alleged Father/Mother
3. Father’s/Alleged Father/Mother Consent to Adoption and Termination of Parent-Child Relationship
4. Consent of Child (if the child to be adopted is 14 years or older)
5. UCCJEA (Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act) Affidavit
6. Confidential Information Form (and an Addendum to Confidential Information Form if needed)
In addition to these documents, you will also need to request the court enter an Order for a Post Placement Report (a pre-placement report is not needed if the child is living in the same home as the step parent already). You make this request by filing the following documents at the same time as all the other documents, as stated above (when you initially file at the courthouse):
1. Motion and Declaration for Post Placement Report
2. Notice of Hearing
There will be a filing fee, so call your courthouse to double check on the amount because the fee is updated periodically. That should get you started. Keep in mind, this is for agreed adoptions where the stepparent is adopting the stepchild. If the facts surrounding the adoption fall under other circumstances, there will be different procedures and documents required.
Questions? Call or email Amber Rush at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-205-2206
If you want to file an appeal from your final order (issued by the Superior Court) in a family law matter, here is how you practically get started:
1. You will have 30 days to file your Notice of Appeal from the date of your final order or order on reconsideration was entered with the Superior court, whichever occurred last.
2. What is needed for a Notice of Appeal?
Here is an example form (in Microsoft Word) that you can use.
You will need the Notice of Appeal form completed, also attach a copy of the written order that you are appealing.
3. Where do you file the appeal? You will file it (Notice of Appeal with the attached copy of the order) at the trial court (if the final order was issued in Clark County, WA, you would file it at the Clark County Superior Court).
4. How much is it? Until July 1, 2017, the filing fee for an appeal is $290.00. You can either call the court or check the statute for an updated fee amount.
5. Do I have to provide copies to the opposing party of all the documents I file? Yes. You have to provide the other party copies of everything on the same day you file at the courthouse.
Questions on this information, or what to do next? Call or email me (Amber Rush) at email@example.com
You think you have a legal issue, and you want to find an attorney to consult with or possibly hire. You follow up on some suggestions from friends, consult with attorneys you may know personally, or find a couple attorneys from the ethers of the internet. You go to one or multiple consultations with attorneys that could potentially help you with your issue, and you are looking to hire. But how do you choose the best attorney for you? Below are a few things to keep in mind while trying to choose the right attorney for you:
Attorney at Navigate Law Group
When looking to divide retirement assets make sure you keep some key things in mind (this is written for the laws of the State of Washington, laws may vary by state):
Is the asset a Defined Contribution Plan or a Defined Benefit Pension Plan? The correct classification needs to be in your Final Order and QDRO (Qualified Domestic Relations Order) for dividing the asset.
If it is a Defined Benefit Pension Plan, you need to consider which accrued benefit you are dividing. Are you dividing the accrued benefit as of the date of divorce or separation, from the date of the employee’s retirement, or some other period of time?
The Washington State Court of Appeals recently issued an unpublished opinion, Venezino v. Chvatal (January 10, 2017), which allowed a legal malpractice claim to move forward on the issue of potential malpractice on behalf of an attorney's advisement on this very point.
The issue in that matter was whether an attorney breached their standard of care because they did not advise on the time rule for division of a pension plan. Apparently, the attorney only advised on dividing the asset as a fixed percentage from the current date. The court discusses an additional method of dividing retirement accounts: the Bulicek formulation (the time rule). The attorney in this case apparently had only advised on dividing the asset based on fixed percentages (the "subtraction method") from when the Decree was entered. The Bulicek formula multiples the non-participant’s percentage share times the plan participant’s final wage. Whereas the subtraction method divides the asset from a certain date (date of decree or separation) on a percentage basis (like 50% to each spouse). In this case, it appears the time rule would have been more beneficial to the party, and that client should have be advised accordingly.
Bottom line, these are not the only two methods for dividing a retirement account. You need to know there are many ways to divide retirement accounts, and if you are an attorney you need to make sure clients are advised on those options.
Questions? Call or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-205-2206
A brand new study from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) revealed some surprising insights about consumer debt collection practices in America. The bureau found that 75% of people who request collectors to stop calling are ignored; 53% of respondents said at least one of the debts a creditor was attempting to collect was either for the wrong amount, the creditor had the wrong person, or the debt was not even owed; that one in seven consumers contacted about a debt end up being sued; and that 75% of people who are sued for a debt do not show up to court.
If a consumer is sued for a debt and they ignore the issue a default judgment will likely be filed against them. This makes the situation worse because now the creditor or collection company can garnish the consumer’s wages or file a lien on their property to collect the amount. This is particularly troublesome when 53% collection efforts involve a major error!
If a creditor or collection company has contacted you or you have been sued for a debt there may be things an attorney can do to help. If you would like to talk with me about debtor defense issues I can be reached by phone at (360) 205-2256 or by email at email@example.com.
Attorney at Navigate Law Group
The Vancouver/Portland weather has recently had historic levels of snow. Conditions have been so bad that most schools and public buildings have been closed for at least a couple of days. Weather this cold and unpredictable will definitely lead to hazardous conditions that send people to the hospital. Hopefully this does not apply to you or anyone you know. However, I thought it was timely to follow-up on a recent post about Washington’s charity care laws. If you or someone you know ends up needing hospital treatment make sure to apply for the hospital’s version of charity care. It is also important to remember that if you have insurance, the charity care deduction can apply to your deductible or co-pay. A 50%, 60%, 80% or possibly 100% reduction of a high deductible is well worth the time to fill out a form.
Attorney at Navigate Law Group
The federal minimum wage is $7.25, which went into effect on July 24, 2009. The Obama administration was in favor and pushed to increase the minimum wage.
The below New York Times article about Trump’s new pick for the Secretary of Labor suggests that Andy Puzder, Trump’s appointment for Secretary of Labor, may ‘rationally’ raise minimum wage. Other commentators feel that as an executive in the fast food industry, he may strictly oppose raising the minimum wage.
At Navigate Law Group, we work with both employers and employees to ensure that state and federal minimum wage laws are being followed in the workplace as well as monitor trends in wage and hour law. For example, in November 2016, US District Court Judge Amos Mazzant blocked the Obama administration’s signature overtime rule from taking effect. Judge Mazzant ruled that the change, which boosted overtime pay to an estimated 4 million employees, was unlawful and granted a motion for a nationwide injunction, concluding that it was arbitrary.
If your company is concerned about whether or not you are following the ever-changing and complex wage and hour laws, or you are an employee and feel that your employer is not paying you the wages that you have rightfully earned, contact me by phone at (360) 205-2249 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Attorney at Navigate Law Group
It’s not just a show: Tips and tricks for real life.
If 2016 was a rough year for you, you are not alone. The aftermath of divorce looks different for every family, but it is never easy. In the moment it can be raw, emotional, unbearable and tragic. It can be hard to think straight and objectively. If you have children, you and your ex-spouse will always have a connection and you cannot simply part ways. It is during these times that you need to remember your children love you both, they are trying to please both of you at all times, and they are now trying to figure out how they fit in this new reality. It will never be the correct decision to talk about the details of your divorce with your kids (yes, even if your ex is telling them stuff - don't engage). It will never be the correct decision to say negative things about the other parent (even if it is deserved) or tell them the "truth" about the horrible things the other parent has done to your family. Doing either of these will only cause long-term and short-term damage to your children on an emotional and psychological level. If you feel yourself about to do either, take a deep breath, and choose to take the higher road. You have a choice. Let your kids be kids (even if they are teenagers or almost young adults - you should not be discussing these topics with them). Be their rock, let them concentrate on developing their own lives - not living in the past of yours. It may seem impossible, but time will heal the grief. Your children may even get angry at you for not "involving" them in conversations about your divorce, that's okay. They are grieving the loss of their family and grief is a process, they will be angry at times. You are their parent first, and that is the only way to have a healthy friendship later. The New Year is about moving onward and upward. Take the higher road and be actively involved with helping your kids move forward in their lives, it will undoubtedly help you move on in yours.
If you need to talk or need advice, I would be happy to chat.
Amber Rush, Navigate Law Group
email@example.com or 360-205-2206
Every legal issue is very unique. Accordingly, the information in this blog is intended as general education material and not as legal advice. If you think you may have a legal issue you should consult an attorney.
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