Women Children & Family

CC19E-1001204

WARREN COUNTY - SPECIAL EDUCATION

Representation in mediation or due process to advocate for initial evaluation, IEP, continued OOD placement, and comp. ed.

TD is a 15-year-old 10th-grader who has been diagnosed with ADHD and ODD. In February 2019, a 504 plan was developed in which he received certain accommodations for his ADHD but nothing to address his ODD. In March 2019, an evaluation planning meeting was held, but the CST determined that testing was not appropriate at that time given TD’s substance abuse issues. The same day, TD was suspended for being under the influence of THC. He was admitted to a residential program for treatment of substance abuse, defiance, and aggressive behaviors. TD was then referred to the Family Crisis Unit, resulting in a court order mandating that he reside at an out-of-district residential placement, where he has been since August. On August 16, TD’s mother, CD, met with the CST to again request that TD be evaluated. The CST concluded that TD did not have a disability which adversely affected his educational performance and was not in need of special education services. The district offered to transport TD back and forth from the residential placement to the high school, but the family judge refused to approve of this plan. Alternatively, the district proposed offering TD 10 hours per week of home instruction at the residential placement, but CD feels this is insufficient. TD is currently receiving no education at all. CD is seeking an initial evaluation of TD, expedited development of an IEP based upon his ADHD and ODD diagnoses, an agreement that the district will pay for TD’s program at the residential placement, and compensatory education if warranted.

To review, email jmoore@vljnj.org

BM19E-1001080

PASSAIC COUNTY - POST-JUDGEMENT DIVORCE MOTION

Negotiate with opposing party and draft motion for change of divorce order

BM is a disabled veteran seeking assistance with a post-judgment divorce matter. BM signed a divorce settlement while was recovering from cancer surgery and starting chemotherapy, which affected his ability to think clearly. His ex-wife was represented by counsel and he was not. He agreed to pay substantial alimony indefinitely and to give part of his pension to his ex-wife. He is now remarried with a new child and struggling to make the alimony payments and to meet the other obligations in the settlement. He wants to challenge the original order based on mental incompetency and/or amend the alimony order based on his changed circumstances.


To review, email kgarcia@vljnj.org

JL19E-1001145

SUSSEX COUNTY - SPECIAL EDUCATION

Representation at mediation, scheduled for October 15, to maintain OOD placement

LL is a 12-year-old 7th-grader who has been diagnosed with Charcot-Marie-Tooth Syndrome, an extremely rare genetic disorder with many severe symptoms, including intellectual disability, language problems, hearing loss, eating issues, and growth problems. His mother, JL, fought to have him placed in an out-of-district placement. The district now claims LL is not making adequate progress academically, but JL believes he is. The district also claims that LL has been excessively absent and tardy, but this is due to his medical issues. The district has proposed an in-district program for LL to address these concerns. JL filed for due process to invoke stay put. JL is seeking an attorney to represent her at mediation (scheduled for October 15) or due process if necessary to help keep LL in his current placement.

To review, email jmoore@vljnj.org

NH19E-1000801

MORRIS COUNTY - SPECIAL EDUCATION

Negotiation with district to obtain OOD placement, comp. ed., and possible damages

JC is a 13-year-old 8th-grader who has been diagnosed with OCD and Tourette’s. He has attended an out-of-district placement since the 5th grade. During the heavy snowstorm on November 15, 2018, JC eloped from the school bus while it was stuck in traffic and was not found until 9:00 PM that night, four miles away. Following the incident, JC became extremely distressed and began engaging in self-injurious behavior; he has also refused to ride the bus again. JC’s mother, NH, sought help from the Child Study Team to get JC to school, but they refused to provide JC with any support. NH also requested a psychiatric evaluation, but the report was not translated into NH’s native language, Spanish, so she was not able to understand it. An IEP generated following the report contains no mention of either the bus incident or the psychiatric evaluation. NH is seeking a different out-of-district placement that does not require such a long bus ride, compensatory educational and/or counseling services if warranted, and possible compensatory damages for any viable tort action arising out of the bus elopement issue.

To review, email jmoore@vljnj.org

DB19E-1000857

ESSEX COUNTY - SECURITY DEPOSIT RETURN

Litigation

A fire forced D.B. to leave her apartment. She has tried to get her former landlord to return her security deposit now that she has been displaced. She would representation to file a law suit to return the security deposit with double damages as allowed by statute.

To review, email jchavez@vljnj.org

TH19E-1001140

CAPE MAY COUNTY - DIVORCE

Assistance with pro se divorce

TH needs assistance with her pending divorce matter which was filed pro se as it was originally expected to be uncontested. There are two minor children and marital property. If full representation is not possible, TH would greatly benefit from a phone consultation, mainly to review the spouse’s proposed settlement agreement. TH and spouse are already in agreement on a majority of the issues, but TH needs assistance in negotiating just a few terms.

To review, email jchavez@vljnj.org

MP19E-1001137

BERGEN COUNTY - EXPUNGEMENT

Representation in criminal record clearing for survivor of human trafficking

MP seeks to expunge a 2004 disorderly persons shoplifting conviction. Fines were satisfied in 2004. Although community service was vacated later in 2017, the waiting period for purposes of expungement is arguably satisfied as only “date of most recent conviction, payment of fine, satisfactory completion of probation or release from incarceration, whichever is later” is specified in the statute. Expungement will result in a clear record and will be helpful for immigration purposes including her T-visa application.

To review, email jchavez@vljnj.org

OA19E-1001056

ESSEX COUNTY - BANKRUPTCY

Filing bankruptcy petition

OA is an employed father of two who is experiencing financial crisis with consumer debt of approximately $40,000 and a pending lawsuit. OA needs assistance with filing a bankruptcy petition to enable him to have a fresh start with his finances.

To review, email msmith@vljnj.org

GC19E-1000996

HUDSON COUNTY - DIVORCE

August 30 court appearance with reply brief due August 22

Client GC and her husband obtained a divorce from bed and board in 2015, which divided the assets, gave GC alimony for a limited term, and importantly, enabled the husband to continue health insurance coverage for GC through his employer. GC learned in May 2019 that her health insurance was terminated, causing her to incur more medical bills. She moved to increase her alimony and her spouse filed a cross motion seeking to obtain an absolute divorce, vacate the limited divorce order on the basis of “mistake,” and to modify the terms of the marital settlement agreement, alleging that the court mistakenly believed that he could continue to provide health insurance coverage by obtaining a divorce from bed and board. GC’s spouse is represented by counsel and the hearing for both motions is scheduled for August 30.

To review, email jchavez@vljnj.org

GT19E-1000958

ESSEX COUNTY - CHILD SUPPORT/SPOUSAL SUPPORT

September court date

GT divorced her ex-spouse in 2017 and the court entered a child/spousal support order. The ex-spouse retired earlier this year and has now filed a motion seeking a downward modification of that order based on his retirement and other changes. Ex-spouse is represented by counsel and GT would greatly benefit from also having counsel in order to level the playing field. GT does communicate in English but prefers French Creole, if possible.

To review, email jchavez@vljnj.org

MH19E-1000957

ESSEX COUNTY - DIVORCE

Pro se assistance or representation

MH recently obtained a divorce from her husband in June 2019. Already, her ex-husband has failed to comply with the final judgment of divorce and MH needs assistance in filing a motion to enforce the judgment as quickly as possible. Although MH would benefit from having a family law attorney review her pro se motion packet, ideally, MH would like representation since her ex-spouse has considerably more resources and will likely hire legal counsel.

To review, email jchavez@vljnj.org

UNDER REVIEW

DH19E-1000892

BERGEN COUNTY - SPECIAL EDUCATION/BULLYING

Negotiation with district to address HIB, obtain transportation and ESY, and amend IEP

JJ is a 12-year-old 6th-grader who has been diagnosed with ADHD. Since October 2018, he has been bullied because of his race and his disability by one particular student in the class. JJ’s mother, DH, has reported three incidents to the principal, but nothing has been done. In addition, the district has refused to provide transportation to JJ, despite the fact that DH provided a doctor’s note indicating that JJ’s asthma is exacerbated by having to walk to school in temperatures below 40 and above 80 degrees. The district also refused to provide JJ with ESY, instead recommending that DH send him to an expensive recreation camp. DH is seeking representation to address the bullying issues, obtain transportation and ESY for her son, and amend his IEP as appropriate.

To review, email jmoore@vljnj.org

UNDER REVIEW

SO19E-1000741

ATLANTIC COUNTY - SPECIAL EDUCATION

Negotiation with school district to obtain appropriate behavioral supports

TG is an 11-year-old 6th-grader who has been diagnosed with ADHD and has behavioral issues. He is placed in an out-of-district placement. There have been two incidents recently in which TG has been improperly restrained, one on the bus with an aide and the other in school in which a security guard grabbed the back of TG’s neck. Both incidents were captured on video but the school denied the request of TG’s mother, SO, to see the videos. SO believes the school does not have a good plan in place to help TG deescalate. She is seeking assistance in ensuring that her son is provided with appropriate behavioral supports.

To review, email jmoore@vljnj.org

AA19E-1000733

new york - sdny - Bankruptcy

There will be a filing deadline once debtor objects to client's proof of claim.

AA, a resident of New Jersey, was a defendant in a mortgage foreclosure action venued in Ocean County, New Jersey. With the assistance of a pro bono attorney, she had filed an answer and counterclaim but in 2018, the court struck the answer and dismissed the counterclaim, stating on the record that the counterclaim could be filed in the Law Division. Before she could file the claim in the Law Division, the mortgagee filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition in the SDNY Bankruptcy Court in February 2019. Again, with the assistance of pro bono counsel, she filed a proof of claim in March 2019. Her pro bono attorney is unable to continue representation and AA needs an attorney to continue representing her interests if and when the debtor objects to the proof of claim.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org

SB19E-1000724

MONMOUTH COUNTY - SPECIAL EDUCATION

Negotiation with district to obtain out-of-district placement

LB is a 9-year-old 3rd-grader who has a number of diagnoses including autism, anxiety, severe reflux, emotional-behavioral challenges, asthma, severe allergies, cardiac issues, Ehlers Danlos syndrome, dysautonomia, and partial facial paralysis. He is frequently hospitalized for gastrointestinal and other issues. He uses an adaptive stroller and an invasive feeding tube at all times, and his IEP provides for a one-to-one aide and one-to-one nurse at school and on the bus. LB’s mother, SB, does not believe an in-district placement can meet her son’s needs. He has not received any home instruction or services since March 2019, when he was hospitalized for a broken feeding tube. SB is seeking an out-of-district placement which meets LB’s medical, developmental, educational, behavioral, and other needs.

To review, email jmoore@vljnj.org

TH19E-1000317

ESSEX COUNTY - BULLYING

Representation to ensure compliance with Harassment, Intimidation & Bullying (HIB) regulations.

NP is in 4th grade and was video-recorded by another student while using the toilet. That student showed the video recording to several other students during that school day and showed it to NP's sister during an after-school program. NP's mother reported the incident to the assistant principal the following day. While the assistant principal told NP's mother that the student who video-recorded NP had been suspended, the mother has never received any notices that the incident was considered Harassment, Intimidation & Bullying (HIB). The mother is concerned because the district does not seem to have done anything to ensure that the recording was secured. The principal told NP's mother that the district does not secure the recording because that would be promoting child pornography. Instead, the principal said that it was the responsibility of the parents of the student who made the recording to deal with the recording. The parent is seeking representation to ensure that the video-recording of NP has been destroyed and that incidents like this one do not occur again.

To review, email jmoore@vljnj.org