Attorney alters child support document???

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Latest post Sat, Jun 18 2016 1:10 AM by Freedom2013. 2 replies.
  • Fri, Jun 17 2016 6:53 AM

    Attorney alters child support document???


    Ok boys and girls.  This is a fun one.  I need your help.  Help me fry this fish.
    My case thus far has been nothing less than an iconic in representing how fubar this system is already, and now this, a most interesting development, in my favor, thank God.
    I’ve had a petition for modification pending based on my daughter reaching the age of emancipation since October 2010.   My ex filed a Rule to Show cause alleging child support arrearage in February of 2011.  I have been to the illustrious Daley center no less than 60 times in the last six years begging for final disposition while my ex has been through 4 different law firms filing 7 different Emergency Motions to delay hearing (and a couple ex-parte requests for the same in addition!) while the State has liened my bank account, revoked my passport etc. based on a false accounting.  Finally in September of 2015, hearings actually began.  But with more absurd delays, the child support hearing didn’t occur until last Thursday.   And look what happened.
    Opposing counsel began the case by handing the judge a one page copy of an accounting from the SDU (State Disbursement Unit) for the period in question (January 2006 thru April 2012) which shows a “due” column and a Payment column that accurately reflects my payments but for the fact that it shows me owing $4,875 due for the first 5 months with no payments made.  She aggressively tries to get me to concede that this represents my total payments, and when I say it does not, she asks me if I object to it’s being admitted as an exhibit, to which I do not object but state I wish to offer further explanation.  I have Contempt, a Purge, and Attorney Fees at stake, mind you.
    Now, quite interestingly, this is the only document she produces for hearing.  Yet, in the February 2011 Rule to Show Cause filing they actually have several exhibits attached which show far more information. (I’m coming to realize a bit late in the game, to my surprise and dismay, that the judge does not read the pleadings and review the attached exhibits--- that he only looks at what is presented at hearing.)  They also filed another Rule to Show Cause that is virtually identical in 2012, and an Amended in 2013, with most of the same more thorough related documents.   She then puts my ex on the stand and reinforces that this is an accurate document, claiming I made no payments from January to June 2006, for a 6,000 shortfall.  Wow.  What balls.
    In my (pro se) cross of my ex, I ask her “is it your testimony to the court that you received no payment between January of 2006 and June 2006?”  She waffles. I ask her to reference her Petition, which she signed,  and go to “B”, which gives a short accounting of 4,500 in payments for that period.  It is not certified, but it is their exhibit.  (Just before walking in, I realized that while I had paystubs from my employer showing the garnished deductions, I actually had no “proof” she received them as the accounting from direct payment to SDU didn‘t start until July, 2006.   Moreover, if I produced this same document, as it is not signed or certified, it would not be admissible as proof of my payments. And the burden is on me to prove my payments.   I lose. However, I realized that they had such exhibits in a couple pleadings, and was prepared to reference them feeling it impossible for the judge to dismiss as it was produced by them as evidence in their pleading. ) 
    Now the fun part.  The judge says “where did this sheet come from?”   I respond, it’s exhibit B in their pleading.   He flips thru the pages of his and says “Well, it’s not in mine”.   Well, it sure is in mine, I respond, it’s in the copy they gave me.  He asks my ex’s attorney if it’s in hers.   She responds, “no, uh, no, it’s not.  But, you know judge, this sort of thing happens all the time,“ she says.  “Oh, there’s several petitions like that.” (There is NOT.  Not one.  This is the only time this has come up in 4 days of hearing).  I say, judge, it’s in their pleading, it is r e f e r e n c e d in their pleading with specificity (and then I go on to read the accompanying language), it’s their exhibit, and it shows 4500 in payments made they just testified did not happen or exist.  Now the judge says some sweet words, looking at the attorney.
    “Well, you have a problem here.  This is a problem.”
    At this point, I am dying to demand some sort of consequence, but think it best to just shut up and let this play out, and the judge moves on to the rest of the hearing, saying nothing more about it.  He has not ruled yet as he is doing an aggregate judgment on several financial issues. (I do always bring someone with me for accounting purposes and as a witness to what’s transpiring who saw exactly how this went down because I am concerned about something like this just “going away“ or being revised innacurrately).
    There can be no question as to what happened here.   This law firm has had a fee petition pending for two years asking for contribution from me alleging my ex cannot work due to some undisclosed medical condition that has not been adjudicated.  This attorney’s boss (partner in law firm) and I had an extremely negative and confrontational deposition in early 2014 as a result, mostly attributable to the fact that he immediately filed asking for 15k in attorney fees from me on taking over her case after her last one was actually fired by her during “final hearing” number four in October 2013 upon getting not-so-pleasing pre-trial recommendations by the judge, and it’s become clear they want to eviscerate me as evidenced from some earlier conscious-less fabrications they have made before today that I won‘t go into. 
    The Rule to Show Cause, if won, wins her Contempt, A Purge, and, most importantly, substantial attorney fees for her and her firm. But without this 5k alleged arrearage, the case for Contempt is extremely weak.  She needs this, so she gambles by not only omitting this document from her presentation, but removing it from the judge’s file stamped copy.   There can be no other explanation, as from the proceedings overall it is abundantly clear she has been through these pleadings with a fine tooth comb.  If she did in fact have such an exhibit missing, she would have read the language that references these payments anyway.  In which case she was representing something she knows full well is a lie---is it then just a coincidence that the key document is missing?  Of course not.  Absurd.  Completely.
    Now what?  I can’t prove she did it, I think.  Unless I’m missing something?   Any ideas on that point???  And what’s the consequence?  Does the judge’s “You have a problem here” mean acknowledgement of an ethical violation that will result in sanctions? How do I proceed on this aspect and in making sure it is on record that she presented a file-stamped copy of this petition to the judge that lacked a most critical exhibit properly crediting me for CS payments without which her self-serving interests of attorneys fees are well served to my absolute and complete undeserved detriment (in addition to being ordered to pay 5k again and with a punitive purge on top!).  Is this sufficient to file with the Bar as complaint on ethical violations? This minimally is gross incompetence but, let’s be honest, it’s a deliberate, planned, and most egregious ethical violation.
    Help me out, please.
    And thank you in advance

     

  • Fri, Jun 17 2016 11:49 PM In reply to

    Re: Attorney alters child support document???

    There is nothing to do about it. First, I disagree with your contention there “can be no other explanation” for  the failure to attach it to the copy submitted to the court other than it was deliberate. There are other potential explanations, including that they just made a mistake and missed it. You likely have nothing to show it was deliberate and making the accusation of that without proof to back it up is the sort of thing that will not endear you to the judge and undermines your credibility. Most judges in my experience don't like parties tossing about unfounded accusations about the opposing party.

    Second, if you did it right (and I wasn't there to see it) you got the information you wanted before the court so that the judge can consider it in making his/her ruling in the case. It is your responsbility to put into evidence the payments you made when those payments are at issue. If you didn't do that, that's on you. That being the case, you haven't been harmed by what transpired here.

    Finally, as an aside, your post was rather long to reach the essential point of what you were asking. You'll likely get more responses if you can keep the post more brief and to the point.

  • Sat, Jun 18 2016 1:10 AM In reply to

    Re: Attorney alters child support document???

    ty.   i thought the context too important not too include more fully, but i get your point.   i was concerned about the length too.   while i may not have been "harmed" in that i got my evidence in, it seems far too apparent that this was intentional whether i can prove it or not.  no third party, if i were to more fully present the situation and context could conclude otherwise.   and if that is the case, this is completely unethical as it is a deliberate misrepresentation of fact in order to collect fees otherwise possibly uncollectable from her client.   thank you for chiming in.

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