Women Children & Family

KF18E-1000706

ESSEX COUNTY - SPECIAL EDUCATION

Representation at due process hearing to obtain out-of-district placement and possible comp. ed.

VF is a 12-year-old 6th-grader who has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder without impairment in language or intellect, as well as generalized anxiety disorder; she is classified as Emotionally Disturbed. Last year, two teachers grabbed VF by her arms and forced her into a classroom she was refusing to enter. After VF physically resisted, the district sent her for a psychiatric clearance to show that she was not a danger to herself or others. Since then, VF has exhibited school refusal, and has been on home instruction for most of the school year. Her private therapist has recommended in writing and at IEP meetings that VF requires placement in a therapeutic school, but the district has refused. A recent independent psychological evaluation also recommends a significant change in the district’s approach to VF. VF’s mother, KF, is seeking representation at a due process hearing (not yet scheduled) to obtain an out-of-district placement for VF and compensatory educational services if warranted.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org

LC18E-1000709

SUSSEX COUNTY - SPECIAL EDUCATION

Representation at settlement conference to advocate for maintenance of classification and IEP. Settlement conference scheduled for July 12th. 

RC is a 15-year-old 9th-grader who has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, but is high functioning. At the end of the 2016-17 school year, his IEP was developed by his prior district. The new district now disagrees with the IEP, which only calls for door-to-door transportation, an aide for some academic classes, and a few accommodations. The district is attempting to declassify RC because he is doing relatively well academically. However, RC’s mother, LC, believes he needs the IEP for other social, emotional, and behavioral issues, in addition to possible academic support. LC is seeking to maintain her son’s current services and support, and would also like him to be able to attend higher level classes, which she believes he is being improperly denied. She filed for mediation, but the issues were not resolved, and the case has been transmitted for a hearing. LC is seeking representation at the settlement conference on July 12th.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org

MG18E-1000667

PASSAIC COUNTY - SPECIAL EDUCATION

Representation at mediation to obtain out-of-district placement, comp. ed., and/or IEE. Mediation scheduled for Friday, June 29th. 

DG is a 12-year-old 6th-grader who has been diagnosed with Down syndrome and chronic kidney disease. He is on peritoneal dialysis nightly and requires urinary catheterizations. DG is non-verbal, but the district has never conducted an assistive technology evaluation and rarely educates DG on how to use an iPad with Proloquo as required by his IEP. In December 2017, DG began receiving 10 hours of home instruction, as he had progressed to end stage renal disease, and speech therapy 3 times per week. Although DG’s previous IEPs provided him with OT and PT, the district refused to conduct such related services during home instruction. In a March 2018 letter, DG’s doctor stated that DG could return to school in an appropriate setting to meet his many needs, clarifying that he required a school equipped and staffed to handle medically fragile children. DG’s father, MG, requested to look at out-of-district placements for students with similar disabilities. The district, however, drafted an IEP proposing an in-district placement and without nursing as a related service. DG filed a request for mediation to invoke stay-put maintaining DG’s home instruction placement. He is seeking representation at mediation scheduled for June 29th to obtain an appropriate out-of-district placement, compensatory services, and independent evaluations if necessary.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org

DF18E-1000628

UNION COUNTY - SPECIAL EDUCATION

Representation at mediation to obtain IEE, appropriate IEP, and appropriate placement

NF is a 6-year-old 1st-grader who has been diagnosed with lead poisoning and Autism Spectrum Disorder. He is currently in an inclusion classroom. NF’s mother passed away in May 2017. Since the start of the 2017-18 school year, NF has had behavioral issues (spitting at staff, kicking over desks, throwing chairs, chasing another student with scissors, etc.). Pursuant to his IEP, he has a personal aide who his father, DF, believes is not appropriately trained to implement NF’s BIP. NF has been repeatedly suspended from school or sent home early. In February 2018, DF filed for due process to invoke stay-put after the district proposed changing NF’s classification to Emotionally Disturbed and placing him in a behavioral disabilities class. DF signed a settlement agreement in April 2018 in which the district agreed to change NF’s classification to Autism and allow DF to observe the co-taught program at another school. DF did so, but believes the placement is not appropriate given other students’ more severe emotional and behavioral disabilities, and the lack of grade level instruction. DF filed another due process petition in May to invoke stay-put and maintain NF’s placement in his inclusion classroom. DF is seeking representation at a settlement conference scheduled for July 12th to obtain an independent neuropsychological evaluation, development of an appropriate IEP with necessary supports and services including an appropriate BIP and one-to-one aide, and an out-of-district placement if appropriate

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

CC18E-1000511

ESSEX COUNTY - EXPUNGEMENT

Case review and representation in expungement petition

CC has a master’s degree and recently had a lucrative offer of employment rescinded because of an arrest record.  CC was recently arrested for an alleged violation of a TRO (for mailing divorce papers to her wife). The charge was downgraded to family court but an arrest in criminal court seems to be blocking her employment opportunities. Prior charges are a DUI in New York in 2010, which did not affect her employment previously, and a 2005 marijuana possession charge in JAG court. Both of these would be disclosed in the petition for expungement but not expunged. The arrest record relating to the TRO should be eligible for expungement immediately.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org

UNDER REVIEW

JG17E-1001470

SALEM COUNTY - CHILD SUPPORT/ALIMONY/PARENTING TIME

Consult

JG is a high ranking active military servicemember set to deploy to the Middle East  next month.  Before he leaves, he urgently needs a consultation with a family law attorney who can provide him with advice regarding his pending child support/alimony matter. 

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org

UNDER REVIEW

NF17E-1000160

UNION COUNTY - ESTATE PLANNING

NF is 45-years-old and disabled. NF has one son, and is worried about not having her wishes documented in the event her health worsens. NF has no assets, and a about $3000 worth of debt. NF is seeking to have an attorney draft her will, along with medical care directives and power of attorney documents. 

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org

UNDER REVIEW

KP18E-1000364

BERGEN COUNTY - SPECIAL EDUCATION/BULLYING

Representation at due process hearing to address bullying issue, obtain appropriate IEP, and possible comp. ed.

IM is an 11-year-old 6th-grader who is originally from Albania and is eligible for special education services under the category of Specific Learning Disability. During the 2016-17 school year, IM’s peers called her a lesbian, purposely mispronounced her last name, left notes on her desk saying they hated her, and posted mean messages on social media. IM’s mother, KP, reported the bullying and the district found it to violate its HIB policy. KP asked the school not to place IM in classes with two of the girls who had bullied her, but at the beginning of the 2017-18 school year, IM was placed in a class with one of them. KP complained but was told that it was too expensive to move either girl. IM has experienced anxiety and a loss of self-esteem and does not want to go to school as the other girl continues to provoke her. KP filed for due process; mediation and a settlement conference have been unsuccessful. KP is seeking representation at a due process hearing (not yet scheduled) to request an out-of-district placement for IM for 2018-19 (as the district only has one middle school) or at least to request that IM and the other girl are in separate classes; development of an appropriate IEP for the 2018-19 school year; and compensatory education if warranted.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org

UNDER REVIEW

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

UNDER REVIEW

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

MD18E-1000003

UNION COUNTY - SPECIAL EDUCATION

Representation at due process hearing to obtain out-of-district placement, IEEs, and comp. ed. Client speaks Portuguese.

HD is a 9-year-old who has been diagnosed with autism and has behavioral issues. He has recently been coming home with his ears red or swollen and welts on his back. HD’s mother, MD, spoke with her son’s doctor, who advised her not to send him back to school and instead to take him for X-rays and to see a neurologist. MD filed for due process, requesting an out-of-district placement. After several months on home instruction, HD was placed in an out-of-district placement. However, after just 2 days in the new school, HD came home with bruises. District staff claimed he got out of his harness on the bus and needed to be restrained. The district has now placed HD on home instruction again – indefinitely – claiming they cannot sufficiently transport him. MD is seeking an attorney to assist her in resolving the transportation issue so her son can continue at the out-of-district placement.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org

JL17E-1001628

ESSEX COUNTY - ADOPTION

Representation in the process of adopting his nephew

JL gained full legal custody of his 13-year-old nephew, AS, in 2015 after AS’s mother (JL’s sister) began struggling with drug addiction and could no longer care for him. AS has been diagnosed with ADHD, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. JL has advocated for his nephew in school, helping him get into an out-of-district private school that serves children with behavioral difficulties, where he is doing well, and taking him to psychiatrist appointments regularly. He also moved into a new apartment so that AS could have his own room. Now JL is seeking to adopt AS. He is looking for an attorney who could represent him in the adoption process.

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