WHAT EVERY PARENT SHOULD KNOW

INFORMATION ALL PARENTS NEED TO KNOW

Dr Ian Hyslop is a lecturer in counselling, human services and social work at the University of Auckland

The Government's proposed reforms to our child protection laws are regressive, myopic and likely to have unfortunate outcomes for children who have been ill-treated in stressed families.

They have been narrowly conceived and signal a return to rescue-based fostercare. This, in my opinion, is a huge step backwards for child protection in New Zealand, particularly for Maori.

Cabinet papers released by Social Development Minister Anne Tolley set out these law changes to support a new "operating model" for statutory social work services within the new Ministry of Vulnerable Children.

But these reforms have involved minimal real consultation with the sector. They are the result of an expert panel review which began in April 2015. I was involved in a practice reference group which provided advice to this panel, nominally.

The outcome, I believe, was largely predetermined.

I worked in state social work for 20 years and witnessed the genesis of the ground-breaking Children, Young Persons and their Families' Act, 1989. This legislation addressed institutional racism (identified in the Puao Te Ata Tu Ministerial Advisory Committee Report of 1988) by making an understanding of Maori values and social structures central to working with Maori children.

The 1989 Act responded to the cultural alienation of Maori children in the care of the state by bringing Maori concepts of whakapapa and whanaungatanga into mainstream statutory social work legislation.

It required that placement of children outside of immediate family be with a member of their whanau, hapu, iwi, or at the very least with someone from the same cultural background. This vision has never been adequately supported or resourced and now, under these proposed reforms, it is abandoned.

http://nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11727000

Fort Worth Star-Telegram2016-10-12 18:25

Gov. Greg Abbott and other state leaders ordered the Department of Family and Protective Services Wednesday to ramp up efforts to protect endangered foster children and curb the backlog of ones waiting for homes.

Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Joe Straus released a joint letter to department Commissioner Hank Whitman directing him to immediately develop a plan to hire and train more special investigators to take up the backlog of at-risk kids who have not had a face-to-face interaction with Child Protective Services. The lawmakers are also calling on the agency to create a hiring and training schedule to get more caseworkers out into the field and to continue working closely with community organizations. The lawmakers also called recent news of children sleeping in hotels and CPS offices “unacceptable."

The letter comes just eight days after DFPS publicly released numbers showing nearly a thousand at-risk children under CPS care were not checked on once over the course of six months. That report also found that caseworkers did not see 1,800 children within 24-hours of hearing reports of alleged abuse or mistreatment.

“The state’s residential providers must be held to the highest standards while caring for our most vulnerable or no longer operate in our system.” The state leaders wrote in a letter

“We also will not tolerate inferior residential foster care operations,” the state leaders wrote in the letter. “The state’s residential providers must be held to the highest standards while caring for our most vulnerable or no longer operate in our system.”

While Abbott and other state leaders are calling on the agency to move forward on a plan regardless of budget concerns, it's unclear how soon the department will step up its efforts with a looming $40 million budget shortfall and already overworked caseworkers.

State leaders also directed Whitman to “reinforce the culture of accountability” by making sure staffers “rise to the challenge” ahead. The lawmakers gave a nod to the department's financial constraints but stressed "we have a responsibility to find and protect these vulnerable Texans as soon as possible."

Whitman said in an emailed statement that he appreciates lawmakers' "acknowledgement of the many difficult issues we face" but added that "protecting children is our highest priority."

"We have to do better," Whitman said. "All of our energies are focused on making this right and putting the safety and welfare of children first, no matter what."

Hours after the letter was released, Patrick called on the Senate Finance Committee Chair Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, to receive the department's plans. Nelson quickly scheduled an Oct. 26 hearing of her committee to take up the issue.

"We need to better understand what investments are working and what improvements are needed," Nelson said in a statement. "We need an action plan that will keep children safe."

"We need to better understand what investments are working and what improvements are needed. We need an action plan that will keep children safe." Senate Finance Committee Chair Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound

State Rep. Four Price, R-Amarillo, chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee for health and human services, said lawmakers will be watching for the agency to make improvements related to caseworker working conditions and retention alongside easing case load burdens. He said "it's premature to speculate" but providing the department with supplemental funding during next year's legislative session is "not out of the realm of possibility."

"I fully believe that the House and the Senate will prioritize the protection of children this upcoming session and if additional funds are absolutely necessary that will be considered by both groups," Price said. "I don't believe for a second either chamber will jeopardize the safety of children at the expense of the budget."

State Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio, thinks the situation at CPS is too dire to wait until next session. He wrote a letter to Abbott on October 5 asking the governor call a special session as "the scope of the problem has eclipsed the agency's ability to adequately remedy the situation without legislative assistance."

Kate Murphy, senior policy associate for child protection for Texans Care for Children, said in an emailed statement that "caseworker turnover and kids bouncing from one placement to another are challenges the state can overcome." She said while it was good to see state leaders alarmed about the department's challenges, it's also important to look at increasing caseworker pay and foster children access to health services.

"We're glad to see a bipartisan consensus that CPS needs additional funding starting in September of next year," Murphy said. "The Commissioner and state leaders should evaluate whether CPS needs more funding in the next 11 months to boost salaries and hire more caseworkers to start addressing the crisis right away."

Some advocates say workforce education is also going to be critical to fixing the department's problems.

Miriam Nisenbaum, executive director for the Texas chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, said CPS needs a strong workforce with a variety of backgrounds in areas like behavioral health and social work. Yet a recent decision to scale back the agency's caseworker education requirements has undermined that goal.

The letter from state leaders released Wednesday ordered the department to hire more investigators with law enforcement backgrounds.

“I’m not sure a law enforcement background will give you the too

ls you need to work with the families a lot of the CPS workers end up dealing with,” Nisenbaum said.

http://www.star-telegram.com/news/state/article107876942.html

.
Subject: Fwd:
Landlord Lien Rights on Tenant’s Personal Property


Landlord Lien Rights on Tenant’s Personal Property

There are three primary forms of security used for tenant’s payment of rent: a security deposit (in the form of cash or a letter of credit), a personal or corporate guaranty, and landlord lien rights on the tenant’s personal property located within the leased premises.  Most tenants incorrectly negotiate the landlord lien rights provisions in commercial leases.

Standard landlord form leases typically include some or all the following concepts: (1) representations and warranties from the tenant that it owns its personal property free and clear of all liens, (2) the tenant’s personal property is subject to a first position landlord lien that secures the tenant’s lease obligations, (3) the landlord shall have the right to deem any personal property left in the leased premises following termination of the lease as abandoned, (4) the landlord may retain possession of all abandoned personal property and dispose of such property at tenant’s expense, store such property at tenant’s expense, or retain such property without payment to tenant, and (5) the tenant may not remove certain personal property from the leased premises during the term of the lease without the consent of landlord.

If the parties negotiate that the tenant’s personal property will not be used as security, the most common mistake is that the tenant simply requests the deletion of the related provisions.  However, this only makes the lease silent regarding landlord lien rights and the use of personal property as security.  Under A.R.S. 33-362, the landlord has statutory lien rights.  So, if the lease is silent, the landlord still has the rights available under Arizona law.

If it is the intent of the parties that the security not include tenant’s personal property, the lease must include a waiver of the statutory lien rights.  Following is an  example provision: “Landlord waives any and all lien rights with respect to Tenant’s personal property, including statutory landlord lien rights under A.R.S. Section 33-362.”

If the landlord will not give a blanket waiver of its lien rights, the tenant may elect to negotiate that the landlord’s lien will not apply to certain property (for example, computers with confidential or business information).  Most often, the only items valuable to the landlord are items that can be used for future tenants or resold, such as office furniture, appliances and phone systems.

Alternatively, the tenant’s personal property may be subject to an equipment or other lease, or tenant may have obtained financing to purchase the personal property.  In those cases, the terms of the financing agreements or personal property leases may require the landlord to subordinate its landlord lien.  Following is a sample subordination provision: “Landlord agrees to subordinate its landlord lien rights with respect to personal property that is subject to financing and/ or a lease.”

Finally, a landlord willing to grant a waiver of its landlord lien rights should consider how the waiver will impact the treatment of abandoned personal property at the end of the lease.  At worst, the landlord could have asserted its statutory lien and disposed of the property according to the statutory process.  With a waiver, it is uncertain how long the landlord must store the property at tenant’s expense, with a slim chance of recovering the storage costs.  A landlord should consider a lien rights waiver period of ten (10) days following termination of the lease to allow the tenant to remove its personal property from the leased premises.  After the expiration of the waiver period, the statutory lien rights would be reinstated.

Prior to using any language or concepts from this blog entry, consult with an attorney.

Ryan Rosensteel is a real estate and construction attorney licensed in Arizona.  You can contact him at ryan.rosensteel@azbar.org.


https://azleaselaw.wordpress.com/2010/03/15/landlord-lien-rights-on-tenants-personal-property/

Squatter's rights in Arizona are some of the most comprehensive that exist in the United States right now. They are invoked whenever squatters inhabit land or a structure that has been left unused. When enough time goes by, squatters are then allowed to claim that land or structure as their own, against the interests of those who hold the title to the property.

In Arizona, Squatters Can Take Adverse Possession Of An Abandoned Property In As Little As Two Years.

There is a color of title statute that is included with Arizona's adverse possession laws. This means they must have some reason to believe that they have a right to possess the property in some way. There must also be a claim that shows that the squatters have as much or a better claim to sovereignty over the property that is up in question. This means there is a notoriety stipulation within Arizona's adverse possession laws. The community at large must know that the squatter's are living in the residence and be able to assume that they have a legal right to be there. It must also have a hostile intent to it as well. This means that squatters cannot have a property owner's permission to be using the property. This means in general terms that the easiest way to stop an adverse possession claim is to simply give permission for the squatters to be there. Every situation, however, is unique and there are several factors that must be passed on both sides for a claim to become resolved.

Squatters.

Land owners have up to 3 years after they receive a cause of action to challenge the adverse possession claim. This limitation includes the ability to take any peaceable actions to recover real property using the color of title that exists. This means that the land owner believes that their right to claim the property is greater than that of the squatter's claims that have been made. If the property is a city lot, then there is a 5 year deadline for action to be taken instead. The total amount of time may equal 7-10 years for the full adverse possession claim to be resolved.

Certain Improvements May Be Recoverable Costs To Squatters, Including Property Taxes That Were Paid.

Squatters can enhance their claim to sovereignty by paying the property taxes and making cultivation improvements to the land in question. They must also openly occupy the land in order for them to be able to file for an adverse possession claim. What makes Arizona law interesting is that squatting is based on consecutive time spent and can involve multiple parties. Once the adverse possession deadline has passed, the squatter in possession at that time can file a claim no matter how many other squatters occupied the land before they did.

Arizona Law Does Have a Size Requirement In Place.

Squatter's rights in Arizona are limited in the size of the claim. Adverse possession prevents the possession of more than 160 acres of land in all circumstances. Even if squatters have been openly cultivating the land, have lived on it consecutively, or used the land for other reasons, only 160 acres can be filed for at most. Because squatter's cannot openly occupy two different land parcels simultaneously, this limits the ability to claim large portions of land. Squatters could win an adverse possession title on 160 acres that they have cultivated, get the title into their possession, and then adversely occupy an adjoining parcel of land to start the process of squatter's rights over from the very beginning.

Have Quiet Title Rights That They May Present Before The Court.

Property owners who are concerned about adverse possession laws may be able to file what is known as a “quiet title lawsuit” in the state of Arizona. This can be done when there are other parties that may feel they have a legitimate ownership claim to specific property. This lawsuit asks the court to confirm that they are the owners of a specific title over a portion of land. The difference in squatter's rights in Arizona is that the process of claiming adverse possession can begin quite rapidly. The amount of time it takes to resolve a claim may take up to 10 years, putting Arizona in line with most other states in how squatter's rights are treated. Take action when necessary and most adverse possession claims can be nullified before they can become valid.

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In a groundbreaking equal rights decision Tuesday, the state’s highest court extended parental rights to people in same-sex relationships who never married, and have no biological connection to a child, but can show that they acted as a parent and welcomed the child into a shared home.

The Supreme Judicial Court decision was in the case of a Burlington woman who sought parental rights of two children that were born to her former partner by artificial insemination. She had been there when the children were born – she participated in the insemination procedure for the youngest – and shared parental responsibilities with her former partner until their relationship ended, after 12 years. The children called her mommy.

In a unanimous decision, the court found that state law granting parental rights to fathers of children born out of wedlock should extend to same-sex parents, under gender neutral standards. The court found that a biological connection should not be the only claim to parentage, that a parent

“Nothing in the language of [the state law] expressly limits its applicability to parentage claims based on asserted biological ties,” Justice Barbara Lenk wrote for the court in the 22-page decision. She added, “The plain language of the provisions, then, may be construed to apply to children born to same-sex couples, even though at least one member of the couple may well lack biological ties to the children.”

sdafA woman can seek parental rights to the child her former same-sex partner conceived through artificial insemination, even though the two women had never married, the state’s highest court ruled Tuesday in a groundbreaking decision.

The unanimous Supreme Judicial Court ruled in the case of a couple who had been in a long-term relationship. One of them had two children through artificial insemination. The other woman sought parental rights after they broke up, even though the couple had not been married.

The court concluded that a state law that gives an unmarried biological father the right to prove he is the “presumed parent” after a couple breaks up must now be viewed in gender-neutral terms.

“The plain language of the provisions, then, may be construed to apply to children born to same-sex couples, even though at least one member of the couple may well lack biological ties to the children,’’ Justice Barbara Lenk wrote for the court. “Nothing in the language of [the state law] expressly limits its applicability to parentage claims based on asserted biological ties.’’

Karen Partanen, of Burlington, who had sought the declaration that she is a parent, welcomed the decision.

“My children have two parents...and they should have the right to both of us,” she said in a press briefing Tuesday.

Mary Bonauto of GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), which assisted Parenten in the case, said the court appropriately looked at state law with a gender neutral view.

“Her children are going to know she is their parent, she is not there by the grace of someone else, she’s not someone who visits in a while,” Bonauto said. “The real beneficiaries here are the children.”

The children are now 4 and 8 years old.

The decision also addressed a gap in state laws that determine parental rights where artificial insemination is used. Current laws treat a child born through artificial insemination to a married couple as automatically the child of both parents.

The law also give same-sex couples the right to adopt a child born through artificial insemination or to legally acknowledge parentage.

But no law directly addressed the issue of whether a person formerly in a same-sex relationship who had not been married had legal standing to claim parentage to their partner’s child, the court said.

“Had Jo and Ja [the couple’s children] been born to a married couple using artificial reproductive technology, they would have had two legal parents to provide them with ‘financial and emotional support,’ ’’ Lenk wrote. “We decline to ‘read into the statute a provision’...that leaves children born to unmarried couples, using the same technology, with only one such parent.’’

The court said in a footnote that its ruling can also apply to two men who use a surrogate to bear the child who is fathered by one of the men. “Properly read as gender-neutral...these provisions may apply not only to a child born to two women, but also to a child born to two men through a surrogacy arrangement,’’ Lenk wrote.

The case involved Partanen and Julie Gallagher who were a couple for 13 years, during which Gallagher gave birth to two children conceived through artificial insemination. After the unmarried couple broke up, Partanen sought to be declared a parent, a role Gallagher argued in court papers should be hers alone.

The SJC ruled that Partanen can return to Probate and Family Court and convince a judge that she is a “presumed parent’’ by demonstrating that “the children were born to her and to Gallagher, were received jointly into their home, and were openly held out as the couple’s children’’ even though Partanen had no biological relationship to the children.

Lenk was appointed to the SJC by former Governor Deval Patrick. She was the first openly gay member of the state’s highest court. She wed her partner following the SJC’s landmark 2003 decision legalizing same-sex marriage, the Globe has reported. They have two daughters.

Milton J. Valencia can be reached at milton.valencia@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @miltonvalencia. John R. Ellement can be reached at ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/10/04/mass-high-court-grants-parental-rights-mother-former-same-sex-partner/rrSnSEv5KTp9PyzIvUjJVN/story.html




n a case with implications on the abortion debate, a Michigan court ruled that a pregnant woman who used drugs just days before giving birth to her son did not abuse her child.

The Associated Press reports a Michigan appeals court threw out a conviction against mother Melissa Lee Jones on Thursday, ruling that the state child abuse law does not apply to babies in the womb.

Jones told a court that she used methamphetamine while she was pregnant, the last time being five days before giving birth to her son, the Courthouse News Service reports. Jones’s son weighed less than 4 pounds when he was born full-term in Sturgis, St. Joseph County, Michigan in 2015; and he tested positive for the drug, according to the report.

However, the Michigan Court of Appeals said the state law against child abuse only applies to children who are born. According to the AP:

The appeals court wrote in its decision: “Defendant argues that the first-degree child abuse statute was improperly applied to her because a fetus is not included within the statutory definition of ‘child,’ and she therefore could not have caused harm to a ‘child’ as required by the statute simply by using methamphetamine during her pregnancy. We agree.”

The judges continued, “Because a fetus is not a ‘child’ for purposes of the first-degree child abuse statute, defendant cannot be guilty of first-degree child abuse based solely on the fact that she used methamphetamine while she was pregnant, and the trial court erred by accepting her guilty plea.”

Keep up with the latest pro-life news and information on Twitter. Follow @LifeNewsHQ

Jones reportedly abandoned her son at the hospital after he tested positive for the drug and hospital staff called child protective services; however, that incident was not part of the case against her, according to the report.

The implications of the case are interesting. State and federal laws conflict in regard to rights and protections for babies in the womb, especially in cases of abuse and violence.

Legally, unborn babies up to 20 weeks of pregnancy or later are not protected from the violence of abortion in all 50 states because of Roe v. Wade.

However, many states do protect unborn babies in other circumstances. Currently, 37 states have laws that recognize the unlawful killing of an unborn child as homicide in at least some circumstances, according to the National Right to Life Committee. A federal law also protects babies in the womb who are victims of federal and military crimes. All of these laws include exceptions for abortion.

In regard to drug abuse during pregnancy, the Courthouse News Service reports: “Tennessee is the only state with a law specifically criminalizing the use of drugs while pregnant. State high courts in Alabama and South Carolina have interpreted existing child-abuse laws to allow prosecution of drug-using pregnant mothers.”

Abortion activists fight against laws recognizing unborn babies as victims of violence and abuse because such laws affirm that unborn babies are valuable human beings who deserve to be protected. Abortion activists recently succeeded in defeating a Colorado bill that would have protected unborn babies in certain circumstances after the state witnessed a horrific case when a 7-months pregnant woman was attacked and her unborn baby girl was cut out of her womb. As a result, authorities could not charge the attacker with the baby’s death. At seven months of pregnancy, the baby girl was viable outside the womb and may have survived if she had received medical care.



View the original article

In a case with implications on the abortion debate, a Michigan court ruled that a pregnant woman who used drugs just days before giving birth to her son did not abuse her child.

The Associated Press reports a Michigan appeals court threw out a conviction against mother Melissa Lee Jones on Thursday, ruling that the state child abuse law does not apply to babies in the womb.

Jones told a court that she used methamphetamine while she was pregnant, the last time being five days before giving birth to her son, the Courthouse News Service reports. Jones’s son weighed less than 4 pounds when he was born full-term in Sturgis, St. Joseph County, Michigan in 2015; and he tested positive for the drug, according to the report.

However, the Michigan Court of Appeals said the state law against child abuse only applies to children who are born. According to the AP:

The appeals court wrote in its decision: “Defendant argues that the first-degree child abuse statute was improperly applied to her because a fetus is not included within the statutory definition of ‘child,’ and she therefore could not have caused harm to a ‘child’ as required by the statute simply by using methamphetamine during her pregnancy. We agree.”

The judges continued, “Because a fetus is not a ‘child’ for purposes of the first-degree child abuse statute, defendant cannot be guilty of first-degree child abuse based solely on the fact that she used methamphetamine while she was pregnant, and the trial court erred by accepting her guilty plea.”

Keep up with the latest pro-life news and information on Twitter. Follow @LifeNewsHQ

Jones reportedly abandoned her son at the hospital after he tested positive for the drug and hospital staff called child protective services; however, that incident was not part of the case against her, according to the report.

The implications of the case are interesting. State and federal laws conflict in regard to rights and protections for babies in the womb, especially in cases of abuse and violence.

Legally, unborn babies up to 20 weeks of pregnancy or later are not protected from the violence of abortion in all 50 states because of Roe v. Wade.

However, many states do protect unborn babies in other circumstances. Currently, 37 states have laws that recognize the unlawful killing of an unborn child as homicide in at least some circumstances, according to the National Right to Life Committee. A federal law also protects babies in the womb who are victims of federal and military crimes. All of these laws include exceptions for abortion.

In regard to drug abuse during pregnancy, the Courthouse News Service reports: “Tennessee is the only state with a law specifically criminalizing the use of drugs while pregnant. State high courts in Alabama and South Carolina have interpreted existing child-abuse laws to allow prosecution of drug-using pregnant mothers.”

Abortion activists fight against laws recognizing unborn babies as victims of violence and abuse because such laws affirm that unborn babies are valuable human beings who deserve to be protected. Abortion activists recently succeeded in defeating a Colorado bill that would have protected unborn babies in certain circumstances after the state witnessed a horrific case when a 7-months pregnant woman was attacked and her unborn baby girl was cut out of her womb. As a result, authorities could not charge the attacker with the baby’s death. At seven months of pregnancy, the baby girl was viable outside the womb and may have survived if she had received medical care.



View the original article
In a case with implications on the abortion debate, a Michigan court ruled that a pregnant woman who used drugs just days before giving birth to her son did not abuse her child.

The Associated Press reports a Michigan appeals court threw out a conviction against mother Melissa Lee Jones on Thursday, ruling that the state child abuse law does not apply to babies in the womb.

Jones told a court that she used methamphetamine while she was pregnant, the last time being five days before giving birth to her son, the Courthouse News Service reports. Jones’s son weighed less than 4 pounds when he was born full-term in Sturgis, St. Joseph County, Michigan in 2015; and he tested positive for the drug, according to the report.

However, the Michigan Court of Appeals said the state law against child abuse only applies to children who are born. According to the AP:

The appeals court wrote in its decision: “Defendant argues that the first-degree child abuse statute was improperly applied to her because a fetus is not included within the statutory definition of ‘child,’ and she therefore could not have caused harm to a ‘child’ as required by the statute simply by using methamphetamine during her pregnancy. We agree.”

The judges continued, “Because a fetus is not a ‘child’ for purposes of the first-degree child abuse statute, defendant cannot be guilty of first-degree child abuse based solely on the fact that she used methamphetamine while she was pregnant, and the trial court erred by accepting her guilty plea.”

Keep up with the latest pro-life news and information on Twitter. Follow @LifeNewsHQ

Jones reportedly abandoned her son at the hospital after he tested positive for the drug and hospital staff called child protective services; however, that incident was not part of the case against her, according to the report.

The implications of the case are interesting. State and federal laws conflict in regard to rights and protections for babies in the womb, especially in cases of abuse and violence.

Legally, unborn babies up to 20 weeks of pregnancy or later are not protected from the violence of abortion in all 50 states because of Roe v. Wade.

However, many states do protect unborn babies in other circumstances. Currently, 37 states have laws that recognize the unlawful killing of an unborn child as homicide in at least some circumstances, according to the National Right to Life Committee. A federal law also protects babies in the womb who are victims of federal and military crimes. All of these laws include exceptions for abortion.

In regard to drug abuse during pregnancy, the Courthouse News Service reports: “Tennessee is the only state with a law specifically criminalizing the use of drugs while pregnant. State high courts in Alabama and South Carolina have interpreted existing child-abuse laws to allow prosecution of drug-using pregnant mothers.”

Abortion activists fight against laws recognizing unborn babies as victims of violence and abuse because such laws affirm that unborn babies are valuable human beings who deserve to be protected. Abortion activists recently succeeded in defeating a Colorado bill that would have protected unborn babies in certain circumstances after the state witnessed a horrific case when a 7-months pregnant woman was attacked and her unborn baby girl was cut out of her womb. As a result, authorities could not charge the attacker with the baby’s death. At seven months of pregnancy, the baby girl was viable outside the womb and may have survived if she had received medical care.



View the original article


http://www.lifenews.com/2016/10/03/moms-drug-use-during-pregnancy-is-not-a-crime-against-her-unborn-baby-court-rules/

Involuntary Commitment for Addiction

Helplessness and Addiction

Watching a loved one self destruct is one of the hardest things that any human has to face. This is what happens when one individual falls into the hell of addiction – they will usually take their family with them. Those people around the addict may feel completely powerless to resolve the situation. The addict denies they have a problem and refuse to consider any suggestions that they get help. The family then have to choice of watching this person slowly kill themselves or they can try to disengage. They may even consider the possibility of having this loved one committed to treatment against their will. This drastic step will appear appealing when there appears to be no other option to save the addict.

Involuntary Commitment Defined

To say that an individual has been subject to involuntary commitment means that they have been court ordered into treatment for a mental health problem. Before the individual is committed they may be first put into a psychiatric institution for assessment – this can last for as long as 72 hours. Involuntary commitment is usually only used as a last resort for addicts when they appear to be putting their own life in imminent danger or they are a risk to other people.

Autonomy and Involuntary Commitment

Autonomy is an ethical principle that most humans feel strongly about – particularly in western countries. It can be defined as a state of being self governed. In practice it means that the individual is given the right to manage their own affairs according to their own motives and affairs. Autonomy is particularly important in regards to any type of medical procedure. It is now expected that the individual needs to give their informed consent before commencing any type of medical treatment. Even taking a person’s blood pressure measurement could be considered assault if the person has not given their permission – in practice consent is often implied.

The importance of the individual’s autonomy runs counter to the idea of involuntary commitment. In previous centuries there was far less concern about the individual’s personal autonomy and anyone could be committed to an asylum on the say so o their family or a medical professional. In modern times interfering with a person’s autonomy is a step that is not taken lightly. This is why taking away a person’s autonomy only occurs if it is felt that the individual is incapable of making rational decisions, and they are a real danger to themselves or other people. The goal of involuntary commitment is to protect the individual and society. As soon as they are well enough to make rational choices their personal autonomy will be restored.

Involuntary Commitment for Addiction

It was once quite common for those trapped in addiction to be committed involuntarily for treatment. Relatives could alert the family physician about what was happening, and this professional would arrange for the commitment to hospital. This happens far less these days because of a number of factors. Since the 1960s there has been a growing concern for civil liberties. It became obvious that people were being committed to psychiatric units far too easily – sometimes just on the say so of a relative. The fear of infringing on civil liberties means that that the professionals these days are far less willing to get involved with this type of action. A legal case involving Addington v. Texas led to changes in the interpretation of the law. The burden of proof now needs to be far higher before it is reasonable to interfere with the individual’s autonomy. Another reason for why enforced addiction treatment is rare is a lack of funding. There are just not enough financial resources available to manage all the requests for involuntary commitment.

Reasons for Committing an Individual for Addiction Treatment

There are a number of reasons for why involuntary commitment might seem like a good idea:

* Family members have tried every other option, and they feel powerless to help their loved one who is in decline. They may seek involuntary commitment because they feel there is no other option.
* The extent of the substance abuse means that the individual is putting their own life in danger.
* The addict is a danger to themselves or other people when they are intoxicated. Some people can get completely out of control when they are under the influence.
* The substance abuse is exacerbating another mental health problem, and this is putting that person (or those around them) in danger.

US Laws for Involuntary Commitment

The laws for involuntary commitment vary between states in the US. In 1975 the Supreme Court ruled that involuntary hospitalization or treatment violates the individual’s civil liberties. This violation can only be justified in extreme conditions – usually because a person has become a danger to themselves or other people. It is considered unconstitutional to keep a person in hospital against their will if they are not an imminent threat to themselves or others. Different states will interrupt laws concerning involuntary commitment differently, but the individual will usually continue to have certain rights even after they have been hospitalized against their will. For example, in Florida the person who has been committed will have the right to contact people outside and to have their case reviewed every six months.

Alternatives to Involuntary Commitment

It can be terribly frustrating to watch a loved one slowly kill themselves with alcohol or drugs. It may not be possible to have that person committed, but there are still things that can be done including:

* An addiction therapist is trained to help addicts develop the motivation to quit. This professional can help the individual see beyond their denial into the reality of their situation.
* The substance abuser is likely to have times when they are more open to the idea of addiction help. This can be at times after they have behaved particularly badly or when they are feeling ill because of the substance abuse.
* The most common reason for why people are able to walk away from addiction is that they have hit rock bottom. It is not necessary for the individual to lose everything before they reach this point.
* It is common for relatives to try to protect the individual from the worst consequences of their behavior. This might not be such a good idea because it may be enabling the addict and preventing them from hitting rock bottom.
* The addict may resist any direct suggestions that they get help for their addiction. It can be a better idea to leave recovery literature lying around the home.
* Groups such as Al-anon and Alateen can help family members cope with the behavior of the addict. They will also be able to get advice and support in dealing with the situation.

http://alcoholrehab.com/addiction-articles/involuntary-commitment-for-addiction/


Copyright 2016 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - It's not the kind of anniversary any family wants to celebrate.

"It's just another day that we don't know anything," said mom Monica Button, "every day I wake up and I think about my son."

Her son Nieko Lisi was 18 when he went on a road trip from their home in New York to Franklin, Tennessee, where he went to 11th grade.

Police say his cell phone last pinged off a tower near Flintlock Drive and he hasn't been seen since. Friday it had been five years to the day since his family lost contact.

"I wonder where he is," Button said from New York over FaceTime, "whether he's okay, if he's not. If it's raining, is he cold, is he wet, is he eating and then I jump to the other conclusion that what if he's gone?"

His mom has been in agony, comforted only by the fact that New York State police renewed their search efforts this summer. Investigators traveled to Franklin and partnered with local police.

Their time in Middle Tennessee brought a major breakthrough. Just a day after they held a press asking the public for help, tips led to the truck Nieko was driving five years ago. It was stripped down and locked in someone's garage.

The truck and other items are in a lab getting tested for DNA evidence. And now all eyes are on the neighborhood he was last seen.

"I do believe that those people know something on that street," Button said.

Desperate for answers, she's preparing herself for the worst.

"I have friends who have lost their child and I've always said 'I want to be there, I don't want to be in their shoes,' but the agony of not knowing may be worse than that," Button said.

She's just hoping that a year from now, there won't be another
anniversary like this one.




http://www.newschannel5.com/news/five-years-since-family-lost-contact-with-missing-teen

BY ASSOCIATED PRESS | September 23, 2016 @1:56 am

[image_1
FILE - In this May 19, 2016 file photo, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery speaks during a news conference in Phoenix. Statements from the Arizona Supreme Court in equating diaper-changing to child molestation have left parents nervous that one day they will need an attorney more than a nanny. In Sept. 2016, Montgomery said prosecutors can distinguish between a possible molestation case and an adult providing care. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)


PHOENIX (AP) — Statements from the Arizona Supreme Court equating diaper-changing to child molestation and the provocative social media headlines that followed have left parents nervous that one day they will need an attorney more than a nanny.

A recent court opinion on a Tucson man’s appeal of child molestation and child sex abuse convictions criticized the law as too vague. Two dissenting justices wrote that the criminal statute says any kind of deliberate sexual contact is considered child molestation and does not require proof of sexual intent.

That means parents literally commit a felony every time they bathe a toddler or change a diaper, the dissenting justices said.

Law experts, however, say it’s doubtful any prosecutor would go after a parent, baby-sitter or doctor for a standard child-caring task. But that hasn’t stopped anxiety-breeding headlines that bath time could lead to jail time.

Here are key things to know about Arizona’s child molestation law and the reaction to it:

_

PARENTS CRITICIZE LAW

For many parents, the law as written would criminalize the assistance they count on from baby-sitters and day care providers.

Arizona criminal statute defines child molestation, a felony, as an act by an individual who “intentionally or knowingly” engages in or causes someone to engage in any sexual contact with a child under 15. It does not mention whether the contact is sexually motivated.

Tabitha Schmaltz, an accountant and mother of four from the Phoenix suburb of Gilbert, sends her youngest child to day care and considers the staff an extension of herself. They are expected to be the parent, feeding and diapering her 1-year-old son.

“If I have to choose between my sitter abiding by the legislation and neglecting my child out of fear, or ignoring legislation and caring for my child in a way I know he’s not being neglected, I would happily let my sitter violate this legislation,” Schmaltz said Thursday.

Nikole Fletcher, a Phoenix mother pregnant with her second child, said that when she first put her 4½-year-old son in day care, she chose a facility that would assist with things like potty training.

“This law, the way that it’s worded, is calling those day-to-day situations that you kind of chuckle about as a parent, they’re calling them into a very serious light,” Fletcher said.

_

PROSECUTION FOR CAREGIVING?

The Arizona Supreme Court acknowledged that in crafting the law, the Legislature likely was not setting out to criminalize bathing or diaper-changing. But that did not stop an outcry across social media about parents or baby-sitters possibly facing arrest in an innocent situation.

That led Phoenix’s top prosecutor, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, to try to ease people’s concerns in a statement earlier this week.

“It is incredibly insulting to believe any prosecutor reviewing a case for charging would not be able to tell the difference between an adult taking proper care of a child and the molestation of a child victim,” Montgomery said.

___

WHAT EXPERTS SAY

Paul Bender, a longtime professor at Arizona State University’s College of Law, said the law’s wording should be clearer.

“I doubt very much whether there are going to be many unjust prosecutions under that interpretation, but it could happen,” Bender said. “Because people are nervous about it, it’s a problem.”

He said the law is also problematic because it puts the burden of proving any sexual contact was innocent on the defendant.

“If you’re going to accuse someone of a bad thing — of a criminal act — you should have to prove all the things that are necessary to make it a criminal act,” Bender said.

Fletcher, the parent, said protecting children should always take precedence, but the law opens up the possibility of an erroneous judgment that could ruin someone’s livelihood.

“Who is making the decision of who gets labeled or pulled in or decided against? We all think it should be sexual predators who are actually committing sexual molestation,” Fletcher said.

http://ktar.com/story/1286457/diaper-change-as-molestation-experts-doubt-arizona-charges/

Please Make Note

Please make note that I, Jessica Lynn Hepner the creator of What Every Parent Should Know, is not giving legal advice. I am not a lawyer. I am giving you knowledge via first hand experiences.

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Save A Life by Angie Kassabie

Save A Life by Angie Kassabie
I URGE ALL MY FRIENDS TO READ & SHARE THIS; YOU COULD SAVE A LOVED ONES LIFE BY KNOWING THIS SIMPLE INFORMATION!!! Stroke has a new indicator! They say if you forward this to ten people, you stand a chance of saving one life. Will you send this along? Blood Clots/Stroke - They Now Have a Fourth Indicator, the Tongue: During a BBQ, a woman stumbled and took a little fall - she assured everyone that she was fine (they offered to call paramedics) ...she said she had just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes. They got her cleaned up and got her a new plate of food. While she appeared a bit shaken up, Jane went about enjoying herself the rest of the evening. Jane's husband called later telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital - (at 6:00 PM Jane passed away.) She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ. Had they known how to identify the signs of a stroke, perhaps Jane would be with us today. Some don't die. They end up in a helpless, hopeless condition instead. It only takes a minute to read this. A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke...totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough. >>RECOGNIZING A STROKE<< Thank God for the sense to remember the '3' steps, STR. Read and Learn! Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke. Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions: S *Ask the individual to SMILE. T *Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently) (i.e. Chicken Soup) R *Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS. If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call emergency number immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher. New Sign of a Stroke -------- Stick out Your Tongue NOTE: Another 'sign' of a stroke is this: Ask the person to 'stick' out his tongue. If the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other that is also an indication of a stroke. A cardiologist says if everyone who gets this e-mail sends it to 10 people; you can bet that at least one life will be saved. I have done my part. Will you?

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