June 6, 2006
Case Law Development: Child has No Standing to Modify Parenting Time
An eleven-year-old daughter filed an action to modify her parent's summer parenting time schedule to enable her to participate in certain sports and band programs. Her attorney was employed by her mother and stepfather. The Kansas Court of Appeals noted that parenting time and visitation rights extend only to parents, grandparents, and stepparents and that any expansion of the categories of individuals who have standing to seek visitation rights should originate with the legislature. Thus, the court held that a minor child has no legal standing to file a motion to modify visitation or parenting time in a divorce case.
In re Marriage of Osborn, 2006 Kan. App. LEXIS 522 (June 2, 2006)
Opinion on the web (last visited June 6, 2006 bgf)
Case Law Development: Nonimmigrant aliens can be "residents" for subject matter jurisdiction purposes under divorce statutes
Husband and Wife each are citizens of other countries who hold nonimmigrant visas. Wife filed a dissolution of marriage action in Florida and Husband argues that Wife's status as a nonimmigrant alien prohibited her from claiming that Florida was her "residence" for the six months preceding the date she filed her petition for dissolution of marriage, thus precluding subject matter jurisdiction. The Florida Court of Appeals held that an individual's nonimmigrant status does not preclude her, as a matter of law, from establishing residency in Florida for purposes of establishing subject matter jurisdiction for divorce.
Weber v. Weber, 2006 Fla. App. LEXIS 8599 (June 2, 2006)
Opinion on the web (last visited June 6, 2006 bgf)
June 5, 2006
Kidnapping or Adoption? Woman Offers to Buy Child for $6,000
"A wealthy woman accused of kidnapping a 7-week old baby was adopting him, her lawyer said, but police claim she took the baby after his teenage mother rejected her offer to buy him. Annette Pinkard, a 47-year-old real estate professional from the Dallas, Texas, area, is being held in Texas along with her cousin, Sylvia Nunn, 53. Authorities say the women saw Devon Calloway with his mother, Dominique Calloway, 17, at a store last month and offered to buy the child for $6,000. Calloway said that though tempted, she refused the offer, but let the women drive her home." CNN.com Link to Article (last visited 6-4-06 NVS)
Grandparents Charged with Conspiracy to Murder Grandchildren
"A couple tried to hire a hit man to kill their three grandchildren and daughter-in-law to stop them from testifying against their son in his rape trial, authorities said. The couple, ages 60 and 59, were charged with four counts each of criminal conspiracy to commit murder. They were being held without bond. Police said the pair initially offered $100 to an undercover sheriff's deputy to kill their son's wife, their 10-year-old granddaughter, two step-grandchildren, ages 14 and 16, and the family dog." AP, CNN.com Link to Article (last visited 6-4-06 NVS)
Spanish Court Rules Against Visiting Rights for Dog
"A Spanish court has ruled that dogs should not be treated like children with allocated visiting rights when it comes to divorce cases. A Spanish man was originally given permission by his wife to visit Yako, a golden retriever, when they separated but he appealed to a lower court when she stopped him from seeing the dog. The court ruled in his favor and set up visiting hours. But the provincial court of Barcelona then overturned that decision, saying it set a precedent for pets to be treated like children in divorce cases." Reuters, Yahoo News Link to Article (last visited 6-4-06 NVS)
Woman Marries Snake
"A woman who fell in love with a snake has reportedly married the reptile at a traditional Hindu wedding celebrated by 2,000 guests in India's Orissa state. Bimbala Das wore a silk saree for the ceremony Wednesday at Atala village near the Orissa state capital Bhubaneswar. Priests chanted mantras to seal the union, but the snake failed to come out of a nearby ant hill where it lives, the Press Trust of India (PTI) said. A brass replica snake stood in for the hesitant groom." AFP, Yahoo News Link to Article (last visited 6-4-06 NVS)
Man on Trial for Murdering Wife
"It started out as an afternoon of sun and fun on a personal watercraft in San Pablo Bay, until Corbin and Jennifer Easterling ran into trouble and wound up clinging all night to their broken-down, barely floating machine. Corbin Easterling says that when he woke up, his wife was dead. Authorities say he killed her, and that autopsy results show he covered her mouth and nose and held her head underwater. Opening statements in his murder trial are planned this week." By Kim Curtis, AP, Yahoo News Link to Article (last visited 6-4-06 NVS)
Physical Discipline in Kenyan Schools
"Nicholas K. Kaloki's icy glare and booming baritone are his only legal weapons these days against wayward students, now that Kenya's government has officially disarmed him of his long wooden stick. In forbidding the hitting of children in school five years ago, Kenya joined most of the rest of the world, where physical force against the young is regarded as a cruel form of punishment. But the ban — imposed after some schools took the practice too far, injuring, disabling and even killing some children — has yet to truly take hold.
Though no precise records are kept, children's advocates in Kenya report a steady stream of new cases. The illicit caning is often far more violent than the paddling that goes on in some American schools under individual state law, and it occurs with surprising regularity, especially in rural areas like this one in southeast Kenya. And many parents and teachers, Mr. Kaloki most vocal among them, are pushing for a return to the days when students were legally kept in line with a switch." By Marc Lacey, N.Y. Times Link to Article (last visited 6-4-06 NVS)
June 4, 2006
Case Law Development: Ohio Supreme Court Says Child Victims of Sexual Abuse Must Sue Priest’s Employer by Age 20
In a 5-2 ruling, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that Ohioans who accuse Catholic priests of abusing them as children and sue the Diocese are barred from bringing legal action unless they initiate the action by age 20. Specifically, the court held that a minor who is the victim of sexual abuse has two years from the date he or she reaches the age of majority to assert any claims against the employer of the perpetrator arising from the sexual abuse when at the time of the abuse, the victim knows the identity of the perpetrator, the employer of the perpetrator, and that a battery has occurred. The court observed that the statute of limitations does not apply to cases of repressed memory. The ruling contains a fairly extensive review of decisions on this issue from other state courts. A copy of the slip opinion of the Ohio Supreme Court in Doe v. Archdiocese of Cincinnati may be found by clicking here (last visited June 4, 2006, reo).
Indiana Supreme Court to Review Gay Adoption Issue – Some Legislators Push Legislation to Bar Gay Adoption
The question of whether adoption of children by gay parents is legal is being taken to the Indiana Supreme Court by that state’s Attorney General. Last month, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that gays may adopt and that decision is now on appeal. Regardless of the ruling by the State Supreme Court, some legislators are “pushing to ban gays and lesbians from adopting.” However, proponents of banning gays and lesbians from adopting, are not seeking to ban gays and lesbians from being foster parents. Source. Time Evans, Indianapolis Star, courier-journal.com. Please click here for the complete story (last visited June 4, 2006, reo).
President Urges Senate to Approve Gay Marriage Ban
During his Saturday radio address, President George W. Bush urged the U.S. Senate to pass a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. The President said that “Activist courts have left our nation with no other choice. . . . The constitutional amendment that the Senate will consider next week would fully protect marriage from being redefined." Souce. Matt Spetalnick, Reuters, reuters.com. Please click here for the complete story (last visited June 4, 2006, reo).
Commentary: Irish Government Should Not Rush Through Criminal Law in Response to Statutory Rape Decision
A little over a week ago, the Irish Supreme Court ruled that a 1935 law that made it a crime to have sexual intercourse with a girl under 15, regardless of intent, was unconstitutional. After providing an analysis of the case, Kieron Wood, a barrister, suggests that a government law revision committee be established “to ensure that only those who are morally, as well as legislatively, culpable are convicted of serious crimes.” Source. Kieron Wood, The Irish Sunday Business Post Online, sbpost.ie. Please click here for the commentary (last visited June 4, 2006, reo).