Nonparental Custody and Visitation Rights in Action

October 16, 2016

In 2000, the Supreme Court ruled that nonparents could only be awarded custody and visitation rights to children if the parents were not acting in the best interests of the children. Troxel v. Granville, 530 US 57, 120 S Ct 2054, 147 L Ed 2d 49 (2000), <>. As a result, Oregon, Washington, and most other states amended their third-party parenting rights laws to conform to the Supreme Court’s mandate. A recent case from Oregon, Husk v. Adelman, 281 Or App 378 (2016), <>, illustrates how these laws are applied in practice. Read the rest of this entry »

Sorry, You Still Can’t Sue Yelp for That Bad Review

October 7, 2016

Federal law protects social media sites and other interactive computer services from being sued for content posted by users. This protection doesn’t apply to services that also create content. A recent case from a federal appellate court, Kimzey v. Yelp! Inc., No. 14-35487 (9th Cir, Sept. 12, 2016), <>, confirms that copying posts from other sites is not creation of content. Read the rest of this entry »

The Difference Between Arbitration by Agreement and Arbitration Under Court Rules

October 1, 2016

All states recognize private agreements to arbitrate disputes, and federal law also gives court fairly strong direction to enforce valid arbitration agreements related to interstate commerce. As a result, many business disputes go to arbitration, and many services exist to provide arbitrators. A private arbitrator’s award is usually binding unless agreed otherwise, and there are only a few ways to escape the decision, such as proving bias. Read the rest of this entry »

When is a Hearing not a Hearing? Can It Affect Whether You Seek a Restraining Order?

September 24, 2016

Oregon’s domestic violence protection statutes include a provision that in a hearing on a request for a restraining order, the judge may order either side to pay the other’s attorney fees. A recent case, C.R. v. Gannon, 282 Or App 1 (2016), <>, explains what a hearing is and when the attorney fee provision comes into effect. Read the rest of this entry »

Child Welfare Protection Requires a Determination of Where the Child Lives

September 16, 2016

I have written before about the importance of determining where children live in custody and support disputes. <;. The same law that requires this determination extends to any case involving the child’s custody. This includes cases in which child welfare authorities intervene. A recent case from Oregon, Department of Human Services v. R.M.S., 280 Or App 807 (2016), <>, underscores that making a proper analysis is important. Read the rest of this entry »

Moving With a Child After Divorce: Sometimes Allowed and Sometimes Not

September 9, 2016

It sometimes happens that after a divorce, one of the spouses wants to move out of the area. In most cases, when there are children involved and the move is more than a distance stated in the judgment (more than 60 miles in Oregon) or out of state, this will require agreement of the other parent or a court order. Two cases from Oregon, Finney-Chokey and Chokey, 280 Or App 347 (2016), <>, and Federov and Federov, 228 Or App 50, 206 P3d 124, rev den, 347 Or 42 (2009), <>, illustrate some of the facts the courts may consider important in deciding whether or not to approve a proposed very long-distance relocation. Read the rest of this entry »

More Things not to Do If You Represent Yourself

September 2, 2016

In the continuing saga of the prosecutions raising out of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation, the judge is probably having second thoughts about her recent decision to allow Ryan Bundy to continue representing himself. (For a discussion of the judge’s threat to order Mr. Bundy to accept his standby attorney, see <;.) Before the judge issued that threat, Mr. Bundy had sent subpoenas to the governor of Oregon, both of Oregon’s senators, and the representative for the congressional district in which the refuge is located. The subpoena against the governor has already been thrown out, and on August 31, 2016, a week before trial is to start, the judge also quashed the subpoenas to the Senators. The representative‚Äôs motion is pending, but that subpoena also is unlikely to survive. A look at the senators’ motion (Motion of Senator Ron Wyden and Senator Jeff Merkley to Quash Subpoenas, United States v. Bundy, No. 3:16-cr-00051-BR (Aug. 31, 2016), <>) shows several basic mistakes by Mr. Bundy that would be sufficient to stop subpoenas to almost any witness, and two other problems specifically relating to these subpoenas.

Read the rest of this entry »