Category: TEXAS

Case Dismissed

TEXAS MOTHER ABSCONDS WITH KIDS TO OKLAHOMA AND GETS PROTECTIVE ORDER

Case: Crow v. Crow [PO-20-08][Choctaw, OK] and [Cause FM20-00269][Van Zandt]
Result: Dismissed with prejudice and Mother ordered to pay Dad’s attorney fees

Oklahoma State Courts Network

Haslam represented this father of two young boys whose mother absconded with them to Oklahoma – in direct violation of a Texas court order issued when she filed for divorce the day she left Texas. On top of that, once she got to Oklahoma, she sought an ex parte victim’s protective order [VPO] against the father seeking to forbid his contact with the boys and her.

Ex parte VPO’s are among the most abused legal tools – they permit the filing person to get legal relief against the accused without his presence to defend himself: just one product of decades of successful lobbying by our culture’s Feminist-Victimist Complex.  Here, the mother filed for divorce in Texas and made all kinds of claims about Dad to an Oklahoma judge before Dad even knew she’d moved out of their Texas house.  Remarkably, this judge heard her claims and granted her VPO without a court reporter present to record her allegations, leaving Dad unable to challenge those oral allegations later.

Once Dad hired Haslam, he quickly succeeded in removing this judge from the case.

Licensed in Oklahoma and Texas, Haslam urged Oklahoma motions to return the VPO to Texas per the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act [UCCJEA]. After cross-examining the mother under oath in Oklahoma, the new Oklahoma judge dismissed the VPO “protecting” father’s two sons  and agreed to return the surviving VPO “protecting” mother to Texas: Haslam wanted the Texas divorce court judge to know exactly what she’d been up to. Crucially, Haslam also persuaded the Oklahoma Court to make a finding that mother had behaved inappropriately in removing the boys to Oklahoma.  This finding of “inappropriate conduct” as defined in the UCCJEA is a way to obtain legal fees and costs down the road….

With the VPO now before the Texas divorce court judge, Haslam persuaded the judge to dismiss the remaining VPO forever.  THEN, Haslam persuaded the Texas judge to award Dad $17,000+ in attorney fees and costs! Not only does this restore Dad financially, it educates the Texas divorce judge about the mother’s months of falsehoods and violations of Texas orders, setting Dad up well as his divorce lawyer fights for custody and child support before that very same Texas judge.

1-22-2021 Filemarked Order Dismissing with Prejudice and Awarding Fees

 

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Settlement

TEXAS MOTHER ABSCONDS WITH SON TO WASHINGTON STATE – HASLAM RETURNS HIM TO DAD AND COURT GIVES HIM CUSTODY, CHILD SUPPORT AND ATTORNEY’S FEES

Case: ex parte G.J.M., a Child [Cause 83618] [Lamar, TX]
Result: Son stolen by mother returned to Dad


Stealing a child – even by a parent – is often one and likely two distinct felonies in Texas. Kidnapping and interference with child custody are separate offenses and not precluded by double jeopardy jurisprudence.

Here, a mother absconded with her young son from Lamar County [TX] to a remote area of Washington State. As in almost all paternity orders and divorce litigation, the Lamar County paternity order governing the home of this child had a 75-mile geographic limitation on how far away either parent could move him. When Dad would not agree to her taking the boy to WA state to live – she just took him.  Didn’t tell him she was leaving or where she was going.  At least as importantly, she didn’t go to court first….

After months of investigation, the family located her in a remote area near Tacoma and hired Haslam. Haslam succeeded in obtaining a writ of habeus corpus and an order to enforce possession and access to the child from the Lamar County court, sent the papers to local WA authorities and prepared to seize the child for his return. Wisely, the mother delivered the boy to them and he was returned to Dad as litigation began.

After hearing the evidence, the Lamar County judge ordered a switch in primary custody to Dad back in Lamar County, ordered mother to pay Dad’s attorney’s fees and costs and ordered mother to begin paying dad monthly child support.

Case Dismissed

AGGRAVATED ASSAULT with A DEADLY WEAPON

Criminal Charge: Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon
Case: State of Texas v. X [Collin]
Result: Dismissed with Prejudice


Because this long-time military veteran’s felony case was dismissed with prejudice [meaning it can never be refiled] by the Collin County DA, his felony arrest will be expunged from his record and his name is omitted here. Likewise, the companion misdemeanor case will be expunged after the deferred adjudication probation period has ended.

This gentleman was originally charged with Class A misdemeanor deadly conduct when his rifle laser strayed into a neighbor’s window while bore-sighting it on his own backyard fence. The prosecutor, however, trumped up the thin racial dimension of the allegation and managed an indictment for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a second degree felony carrying up to 20 years in prison. The County even refused to admit him – a veteran with no criminal history and an honorable discharge – to its Veteran’s Court program.

The Defendant hired a former local prosecutor to defend the case, but fired him after a few month’s work.

Haslam’s first motion was a writ of habeus corpus to remove the expensive leg monitor imposed on him. With the monitor removed, Haslam moved to suppress the police’s illegal entry and search of the Defendant’s home.  The Court agreed and excluded certain evidence and testimony that eroded the strength of the case.

As the weakened felony moved to trial Haslam forced another, related misdemeanor to trial first in order to have a less risky opportunity to cross-examine the complaining witnesses. In the course of this effort, he moved for the production of their criminal histories  – a motion the State and the Court remarkably refused. Texas law requires the production of this material under circumstances that existed here, yet a myth persists it can’t be done. This is what is known as “building error” into a case: it’s a ready-made appeal in the event of a trial conviction.

Weeks later, the day before the misdemeanor trial, the prosecutor announced she was dismissing the felony and offered a 2 year deferred adjudication on the related misdemeanor. She tried to quietly preserve the right to refile the felony; however, Haslam negotiated a dismissal with prejudice – meaning the felony can never be refiled.  Remarkably, despite the express agreement to dismiss the felony with prejudice, the prosecutor presented her order dismissing to the trial court that omitted this language.  Haslam filed yet another motion and proposed order [a so-called order nunc pro tunc] to enforce the agreement to dismiss with prejudice and the trial court quickly signed it. After two years of misdemeanor probation, this defendant will walk away legally unscathed.