Women Children & Family

DO18E-1000934

BERGEN COUNTY - DISCRIMINATION

Representation in lawsuit under NJ Law Against Discrimination (and/or federal discrimination claims)

SA and SA are siblings who were both enrolled in the same high school (the brother, 19, graduated in June 2017, and the sister, 17, was disenrolled by the district for excessive absences in January 2017 during her junior year). The siblings are U.S. citizens of Palestinian background and Muslim faith; there are very few Muslim students in their high school. There have been numerous instances of insensitivity on the part of the district. A guidance counselor with a poster of the Twin Towers on fire and the motto “never forget” said, “We don’t have a lot of your kind” and “What country are you from?” Another student hacked into the brother’s email account and put his name on a terror watch list. The band director only called SA “Mohammed” or “Son of Islam,” and other band members repeatedly made fun of him on social media. When SA and his mother, DO, complained, they were essentially told to toughen up. SA was depressed and traumatized as a result of this behavior. In addition, the sister was repeatedly harassed by another student, became too traumatized to attend school, and was ultimately disenrolled. The family filed a HIB complaint that did not result in a finding of HIB because the district considered the threat (“I hope you bleed out on the floor and die”) to be a falling out among friends. DO is seeking appropriate consequences for the band director in particular, improvement of school climate at the high school for other Muslim students, and monetary damages.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org

UNDER REVIEW

LM18E-1000935

ESSEX COUNTY - BANKRUPTCY

Full representation through Chapter 7 bankruptcy

LM is a 59 year old woman living on a fixed income of Social Security Disability benefits.  She has approximately $35,000 of dischargeable debt, comprised of credit card debt and a defaulted bank loan.  She requires assistance in filing for bankruptcy so that she can have a fresh start and manage her expenses going forward and stay within her limited fixed income.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org

TC18E-1000889

ESSEX COUNTY - SECTION 8, NAME CHANGE

Assistance in relocating out of state with court’s consent; reinstating Section 8 voucher or securing new one; possible name change for client’s son

TC, a single mother of three young children, is a victim of domestic violence, both from her ex-husband as well as many of his family members. She fears for her safety and is seeking to move out of the state. TC needs help obtaining the court’s consent to relocate. TC managed to get a Section 8 voucher in Pennsylvania, but it expired in April and she was unable to get an extension. She is seeking assistance in getting her Pennsylvania voucher reinstated or else obtaining a voucher in another state. In addition, because TC’s son has her ex-husband’s last name, she is concerned that her ex-husband might be able to find him if she does move out of state. TC is also seeking a name change for her son if possible.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org

UNDER REVIEW

WJ18E-1000809

ESSEX COUNTY - CHILD SUPPORT

Representation at the child support and alimony modification hearing scheduled for August 31, 2018. 

WJ is a homeless veteran, who is seeking to modify his child support and alimony obligation due to a recent change of circumstances stemming from WJ becoming homeless and losing his higher paying job. The hearing on his motion to modify child support and alimony is scheduled for August 31, 2018.  

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org

ME18E-1000867

ESSEX COUNTY - SPECIAL EDUCATION

Settlement conference – August 9th

Representation at settlement conference to obtain appropriate placement, IEEs, transition plan, 1:1 aide, and comp. ed.

GE is a 6-year-old who just finished Kindergarten. He has been diagnosed with ADHD and speech articulation deficits. Since preschool, he has had behavioral outbursts and incidents of aggression in school, but has not received sufficient positive behavior supports, an effective behavior plan, or consistent speech-language services. In November 2017, he transferred as a Kindergartener to a charter school, but was only permitted to attend school for five hours a day as a result of his behavior. He was placed on home instruction due to his behavior in January. Despite the fact that his IEP lists counseling and speech services, GE did not receive any while he was on home instruction. In late April, he returned to school, but only for two hours a day. GE’s mother, ME, does not know if her son will be retained. ME filed for due process in April and has a settlement conference scheduled for August 9th. She is seeking an appropriate placement for her son, independent evaluations, a transition plan, a one-to-one aide, and compensatory education.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org

EN18E-1000869

ESSEX COUNTY - SPECIAL EDUCATION

Negotiation with district to obtain promotion to next grade, appropriate IEP or 504 plan, and possible comp. ed.

MK is a 15-year-old who just finished 9th grade. She has chronic migraines, but does not have an IEP or 504 plan, despite the fact that her mother, EN, requested a 504 plan in October 2017. As a result of the migraines, she missed a significant portion of the year. The district was disorganized and uncooperative in providing home instruction, resulting in MK missing weeks of instruction and ultimately receiving failing grades. The district let EN know that it plans to retain MK. EN is seeking her daughter’s promotion to the 10th grade with an appropriate IEP or 504 plan, and compensatory education if appropriate.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org

GJ18E-1000811

ESSEX COUNTY - BANKRUPTCY

Representation in bankruptcy petition, through discharge

GJ is a 62 year old woman living on a fixed modest income of SSA and pension and wishes to get a fresh start by discharging her approximately $14,000 of debt, the majority of which stems from a previous car loan.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org

UNDER REVIEW

TA18E-1000767

SOMERSET COUNTY - SPECIAL EDUCATION/BULLYING

Appeal of district’s HIB findings; negotiation with district to obtain reevaluation, IEP amendments, and comp. ed.

AC is a 13-year-old 7th-grader who has been diagnosed with ADHD, as well as Autism Spectrum Disorder and Tourette’s syndrome (though only the ADHD is documented in her IEP). AC has been bullied for years, particularly by one girl, and repeatedly called names like “ugly” and “retarded.” In January 2018, students on the bus pulled off the wig AC was wearing, video-recorded the incident, and posted the video on social media. In a separate incident, other students told AC to put lotion on her face, and when she did, laughed at her for having “ejaculated semen” on her face. AC’s mother, TC, reported both incidents, but neither was found to be HIB. TC requested a hearing before the BOE, and a date was scheduled in April. When TC arrived, she was unable to get into the building. The district claimed that she failed to appear and affirmed its findings. AC has also not had a reevaluation since 2012. In addition, her IEP does not include counseling or social skills instruction. TC is seeking a possible appeal of the district’s HIB findings, a thorough reevaluation of AC, compensatory educational services if warranted, and development of an IEP that addresses all of AC’s unique needs.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org

UNDER REVIEW

AB18E-1000198

MERCER COUNTY – HUMAN TRAFFICKING 

Municipal Defense Litigation

AB is a survivor of human trafficking having battled and overcome severe physical, emotional and mental abuse, drug addiction, and homelessness. She faces an open prostitution charge in Trenton Municipal Court as a result of sex trafficking. It has been pending since August 2016, and since then, AB has worked hard to rebuild her life, secure stable housing, pursue her education, support her young daughter, and complete extensive therapy. She would like to advocate for dismissal and automatic expungement so that she can put her traumatic past behind her and continue making tremendous strides. 

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org

UNDER REVIEW

BS18E-1000711

ESSEX COUNTY - CONSUMER

Negotiation and possible litigation

BS is 19 years old and has been largely independent since her mother suffered a stroke 3-4 years ago. Her mother has been unable to work and lives in a nursing home. BS applied to college and was accepted with a substantial financial aid award. The college later rescinded the award due to an inaccuracy in her FASFA regarding her mother. Once the college rescinded the award, BS could not continue to pay her tuition and she withdrew from the collge. The college is demanding unpaid tuition. Thus far, the college has refused to forgive the debt after several phone calls.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org

AJ18E-1000769

BERGEN COUNTY - EMPLOYMENT LAW

Case review and merit assessment, brief consult with client regarding findings

AJ is a 55-year-old, father of 2, with severe cancer. Before becoming permanently disabled, AJ was employed as head of quality assurance at a major electronics company. In 2016, AJ was approached by a head hunting firm and was offered an opportunity after several rounds of interviews from August to December 2016. After receiving an offer letter, AJ resigned from his then-current position. Shortly thereafter, AJ’s offer was revoked with the new company and he concurrently fell very ill, becoming disabled. AJ and his family now live off a nominal budget, and in his current state of health, he wonders if he has any merit to pursue a legal claim with the employer.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org

ME18E-1000606

ESSEX COUNTY - DIVORCE

Client is Spanish-speaking. Case Management Conference to be scheduled for June.

ME is a Spanish-speaking victim of domestic violence. Her wife filed a divorce complaint, which ME answered and counterclaimed on May 22, 2018. The parties have no children together. ME is seeking legal representation in her divorce matter to address alimony and equitable distribution of property.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org

ZB17E-1001672

ESSEX COUNTY - EMPLOYMENT MATTER

Seeking representation in lawsuit against employer

ZB is a 28-year-old single mother of two young children.  In September, she was sexually harassed at work.  She reported the incident, and her employer has promised her that they will transfer her to a different position in February.  Since the incident, however, ZB has been having severe anxiety and panic attacks, and has been self-medicating with alcohol.  In November, ZB’s employer put her in a mental health program to address anxiety and substance abuse.  She is currently receiving worker’s compensation but is unable to receive short-term disability benefits.  ZB is unsure if she will be compensated when she begins a new position in a few weeks.  An attorney who did a consultation with ZB determined that she had enough information to go to the EEOC with her complaint.  ZB is now seeking an attorney who could represent her in a lawsuit against her employer.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org

RN18E-1000000

ESSEX COUNTY - DIVORCE

Representation in Divorce proceedings. Client speak limited English, but is fluent in Hindi.

RN is a 46-year-old mentally impaired Pakistani woman. She is seeking divorce from her abusive husband, who married her in order to obtain a U.S. citizenship. RN requires assistance with filing for divorce, serving her husband, who is a citizen of Pakistan, and representing her in all subsequent divorce proceedings.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org

MI17E-1001540

ESSEX COUNTY - DIVORCE

Client is seeking full representation in divorce matter. Please note client is Spanish-speaking. 

MI is a Spanish-speaking 58-year-old disabled woman. The parties married in 1997. She has limited English proficiency. Due to her disability, which she sustained during employment, MI has been unemployed for the last 17 years.. The parties jointly own a 3-family home. The parties reside in their marital home and occupy one of the floors, and the other two they rent out to their two tenants. The house was in foreclosure because the former tenant was not paying rent.  Presently, the parties entered into a modification agreement with the bank in order to avoid foreclosure. The husband is employed full-time but has not contributed to any household related expenses and does not provide any financial assistance to MI The husband was in a car accident and has reached a settlement, the amount of which is unknown to MI  MI is seeking divorce, alimony, equitable distribution, and any other relief she is entitled to.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org