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), <http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A156763.pdf>, 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. <https://danielreitman.wordpress.com/2016/07/01/you-can-pursue-child-custody-or-support-out-of-state-without-the-court-hearing-other-issues/&gt;. 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), <http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A161256.pdf>, 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), <www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A157466.pdf>, and Federov and Federov, 228 Or App 50, 206 P3d 124, rev den, 347 Or 42 (2009), <http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A135107.htm>, 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 <https://danielreitman.wordpress.com/2016/08/26/the-consequences-of-legal-snake-oil/&gt;.) 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’s 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), <http://media.oregonlive.com/oregon-standoff/other/2016/08/31/jeffmarklelyronwydenquash.pdf>) 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 »


The Consequences of Legal Snake Oil

August 26, 2016

A few months ago, I wrote about a group of grossly incorrect arguments that some people have attempted to use to disrupt the judicial system. <https://danielreitman.wordpress.com/2016/02/22/dont-fall-for-legal-snake-oil/&gt;. Not surprisingly, some of those tactics have been used in the prosecutions arising out of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge occupation earlier this year. Two weeks before the trial, the judge has now issued an order warning one of the defendants, Ryan Bundy, that he may be forced to have a lawyer appointed for him instead of representing himself. Order to Show Cause as to Defendant Ryan Bundy, United States v. Bundy, No. 3:16-cr-00051-BR-5 (D. Or., Aug. 24, 2016), <http://media.oregonlive.com/portland_impact/other/rbundyjudgeshowcauseorder.pdf>. Read the rest of this entry »


Redirecting Life Insurance – Don’t Use Your Will

August 19, 2016

The proceeds of life insurance can be made payable to a specific payee or to the insured’s estate. If the proceeds are payable to a specific person, then they usually are not affected by any instructions in the will. A recent case from Washington, Estate of Collister, No. 47278-3-II (Wash. App., Aug. 9, 2016), <http://www.courts.wa.gov/opinions/pdf/D2%2047278-3-II%20Published%20Opinion.pdf>, clarifies what happens if there is a conflict between the policy beneficiary designation and a specific bequest of the proceeds in the will. Does the policy or the will direct who gets the proceeds? Read the rest of this entry »


Pet Trusts in Oregon and Washington

August 12, 2016

Some of you have probably read a recent story in the Oregonian about a man who left a trust for his ten cats, whose condition deteriorated to the point that five died and the trustees are seeking a caregiver to adopt the survivors. <http://www.oregonlive.com/living/index.ssf/2016/07/trust_fund_cats_looking_for_a.html>. Most of you probably remember the more notorious trust in favor of Leona Helmsley’s pets. Oregon was a pioneer in the legalization of pet trusts, and if you want your pet taken care of after your passing, it may be a good way to resolve difficulties if you can’t find anyone to take them in. For example, in the Oregon cat trust case, the grantor had no relatives available to take them in after he died. Read the rest of this entry »