Friday, February 17, 2006
Go Baby Bro
As many of you might already know, my little brother wrote an article for the Spring 2005 Rutgers Law Review, entitled "The New Star Chamber: The New Jersey Family Court and the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act". It was inspired by his client whose life has been thrown in the dumpster because of deliberate and indeliberate abuse of the Act. Well, he was requested to write a little op/ed piece in the NJ Law Journal which was printed on February 13, 2006. You can read it here. It's also been getting some nice buzz around the nation's capital.
The article discusses several problems with the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act including the unconstitutionality involving the PDVA. The act treats the defendent (usually the husband) as guilty until proven innocent. Many judges are likely to approve temporary restraining orders (TRO) without thought ( David Letterman sure wasn't happy about that last year!) since they don't want to be "the judge who let the bad guy go." This freezes the defendant's bank account, kicks them out of their house, and more... it leads to the destruction of a defendant's relationship with his children, the worst possible consequence of a restraining order.
The defendant only has 10 days to prepare a defense against a charge of domestic violence (they usually are not adequately informed of the rights that are at stake and so even if they had enough time...), resulting in the final restraining order. In addition, the defendant is denied a right to trial by jury. And so the verdict is brought down by a family court judge who often has political pressures to choose "guilty."
There's alot more to the article so you should really read it, and pass it on to your friends... I know that lawyers have this reputation for being scumbags but my brother is really trying to make a difference. I love that.