Is that person following me? Why am I being called up to the personnel office? You hope against hope that it is not a package from 1) the IRS, or 2) an attorney. The person may be a plain clothes process server you have never seen before or even a sheriff’s deputy or constable. What do you do? Run? Scream? Invoke the Castle Doctrine? No.
Breath. Take the papers. Be polite to that person, as they may later be a witness.
What to do When you get Legal Papers?
1) Take the papers.
2) Review the papers.
3) Make a copy.
4) Take them to an attorney.
“Okay. I took the papers. What next?” Call your lawyer. DO NOT IGNORE THE PAPERS! Do not put them in the car to be forgotten. Do not pile them up with your junk mail.
In most instances the moment you received those papers a potentially critical deadline began to run. That deadline can be from 2 days to 7 to 30 or 45 days, but nonetheless a clock is now ticking.
On numerous occasions I have had a potential client call and say that they have Court on Wednesday. I think, “well…today is Monday they can’t do that.” My next questions is when did you get the papers? “About 2 months ago” Yikes. Don’t do this.
Think of all the anxiety they have put themselves through with the weight of those legal papers on their mind. If you get papers take them to an attorney. Have them reviewed, know what they mean and how you need to respond to them.
Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney. “Leave the drama, take the papers.” (apologies to the Godfather).
Memorial Day is a day to remember and honor those who have died in service to this Country.
On Memorial Day, the flag of the United States is raised briskly to the top of the staff and then solemnly lowered to the half-staff position, where it remains only until noon. It is then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day.
The half-staff position remembers the more than one million men and women who gave their lives in service of their country. At noon, their memory is raised by the living, who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their stead and continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.
Last year we spent the day at Arlington National Cemetary. It was a remarkable experience. The day is not about BBQ and getting off work. Happy Memorial Day? No. Honoring those who sacrificed ALL on Memorial Day? Yes.
One of the “rules” of Family Law is when you don’t know what the right legal answer is, do what is RIGHT and you will probably be okay.
Doing what is right is not always easy, nor fun. On several occasions I have had client’s faced with seemingly tough decisions or circumstances. One client suspected the spouse of abusing illegal drugs. They did not have direct proof, but knew of drug abuse in the past and had knowledge of very suspicious behavior lately. Their idea was to create a circumstance where they would have the spouse under surveillance when the spouse was out buying drugs. The problem was the suspected spouse would also have the child during that time. I told them that you cannot put your child in that situation…
In other instances, parties have had the other spouse served while they had the children. The problem with this is that it is scary and stressful for the child. Sometimes, it seems, having them served in this manner just cannot be avoided, but if it can, it should be. (See my prior blog on service of process.
Think about your child,what they are experiencing and what they “SEE” before you go and do something to your soon-to-be ex-spouse.
Matthew Thompson is a Child Custody Attorney in Mississippi reminding you to SEE things through the eyes of your child.