Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Orders for Protection Successful at Stopping Domestic Violence

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

Orders for protection are designed to protect individuals from their alleged abusers and these orders are proving to be successful in halting domestic violence within individual households.

It is very important that there is a tool to end domestic violence so that individuals can feel safer and move on with their lives. The importance is due to the fact that domestic violence can eventually lead to death if it is able to continue.

An example of how domestic violence can end in death is the October 2012 case of a man who shot his wife in a sandwich shop to then turn the gun on himself. Although police officers had previously stated that they felt she was at risk of fatal harm, she did not end the relationship. This is common, as it can take several tries to leave an abusive relationship before the victim becomes successful. Usually the success does not occur until after severe injury has been sustained.

The sandwich shop case is just one of many following a trend. In 2011, 34 individuals died as the result of domestic violence. If the protection order was not in place, that number could possibly be higher.

The Minnesota Domestic Abuse Act outlines what steps need to be taken to determine whether or not a protection order is appropriate. The order then relieves the fear that a victim feels and also keeps them from physical harm. The law says that the petitioner does not have to disclose their location, so the court will keep that information secret. The abuser is ordered to stay away from the victim and to not contact them. If they share a residence, the alleged abuser must leave.

If there is immediate danger, then the victim can get a protection order from the court without the alleged abuser being notified and without them being able to defend themselves in court. The accused may be able to answer later, but a protection order typically lasts for two years unless the court feels that it is necessary for it to last longer.

Overall, this is a rather lengthy and complex law, but it is one that is important because it subjects the accused abuser to arrest if the order is violated. If convicted of the violation, the end result is jail time. Punishment can be even harsher if the violation of the order involves a firearm. The law even covers provisions for child support, visitation, pet care, financial support, restitution, insurance, and much more.

Whether you need an order or you have been served with a petition for a protection order against you, it is important to consult with your attorney as soon as possible to learn about the process and your options.


Eagan Parents Allegedly Forced Son to Live in Basement

Friday, December 21st, 2012

Child Protective Services see a number of cases in which children are abused and neglected. While they see it all, there are still some cases that stun them.

In one of the latest cases, Greg and Angela Danner allegedly made their 15-year-old son live in a basement with no lights, leaving him with just a blanket and a pillow. His meals consisted of peanut butter sandwiches and they would make him do hundreds of pushups and run many miles every single day as punishments.

Why did they allegedly do this? Greg Danner told the Star Tribune that it was because the boy would not do anything around the house. He would not help out with chores.

The boy, who has since turned 16, has Asperger’s Syndrome. He is Greg’s stepson, making him Angela’s son. He was removed from their custody by Child Protective Services and has been placed in the custody of his father. Both Angela and Greg are facing misdemeanor charges of malicious punishment of a child and child neglect.

As for how the charges came about, the criminal complaint says boy contacted Eagan police in April and said that his stepfather and mother had removed his lights and his bed from his basement bedroom. He said they also blocked his bedroom window so that no light could come into the room.

The boy continued to tell police that he was sleeping on the floor with just a blanket and a pillow and that his showers were very limited, telling him that he could shower when he visited with his father. The couple also allegedly told the boy that if he wanted to have clean clothes, he would have to ask his biological father to buy him detergent and then wash his clothes in the sink or bathtub.

Police continued their conversations with the boy in April and May and learned that the boy was required to stay in the basement at all times, except when he was to go to the bathroom, exercise, or do chores, according to the complaint.

The boy told officers that it was his sister who would bring him peanut butter sandwiches every evening and he was to leave the plate on the stairs so it could be picked up later. He said a video camera had been installed in his room so he could be monitored. In addition, he was forced to work out every day for a ridiculous amount of time.

It was on May 2 that social service workers spoke with the boy. This is when he told them that he was required to run three miles every day and they called it “discipline” or “therapy.” The charges further state that he had to do military-style pushups every day and that he was so sore he had a hard time sleeping.

In an interview that Greg Danner had with fox, he did not deny that he made an effort to make life difficult for his son, but said a lot of what has been told about him and Angela is exaggerated. He said he did it to the boy to teach him that it would be more worth doing the chores than undergoing the treatment that was inflicted upon him.

The boy’s sister, who is Greg’s biological daughter, is still living at home with her parents. The Danners are currently free pending their future court appearance. If convicted, they could face two years each in prison.

Minnesota Contempt of Court Lawyer

Friday, December 21st, 2012

Sometimes contempt motions have to be made in family law cases and these motions may be filed when one of the parties have violated an order to pay child support, violated parenting time arrangements, failed to pay alimony, relocated out of state with a child without court consent, or withheld property. If any court order has been violated after a divorce, that is contempt of court and it does have penalties.

Basically, contempt is considered “disobedience.” This is a measure that is used to ensure that the parties in a family law dispute comply with court orders. The requirements that must be met include:

  • The party that is filing the motion must show that there were obligations not performed under the court order. They must provide examples of the other party’s failure to perform
  • The court must have jurisdiction over the case
  • The person in contempt must be given the opportunity to prove that they did comply. This is done through a hearing. If they did not comply, they are given the opportunity to explain why.

Each side will testify in a hearing and each party will be given the opportunity to submit evidence.

As for the penalties, there may be a conditional penalty imposed by the court. This could include a fine, time in jail, fees, property transfer, or another type of judgment. Penalties are always conditional and allow the person in contempt to comply with the court order. If the conditions are broken, then a second hearing is held so that the actual penalty can be put into force.

Overall, contempt of court is rather cut and dry. As long as a person complies with the orders, they do not have to worry about being in contempt.

John Burns Law Office

Thursday, December 13th, 2012