Questions Answered by Cary B. Hall

Q: With only a verbal custody agreement is my Ex allowed to move my son?

2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Jul 18, 2018
Cary B. Hall's answer
If you do nothing, you will ultimately be unable to cry "foul" on the move! I believe you should file an action with the court now to establish a *written* custody order so that any major modifications (like a geographical move) can go through the courts. He said/she said can get very tangled very easily, and it's in everyone's best interests to literally be on the same page of a custody order so that everyone knows exactly what's happening and when.

I see that you're posing your...
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Q: I am seeking divorce from a woman who is not a US citizen & we haven't been together in almost 20 yrs.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Jul 17, 2018
Cary B. Hall's answer
Then you should hire a family law attorney to discuss your situation and how best to get the result you want.

I do practice in Berks County, so if you'd like to discuss your situation in further detail, please review my profile on here and contact me offsite. Best of luck to you.
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Q: I had punched this girl in the face Tht was 16 maybe even 17 I am 23 n she pressed charges on whn I go to court am

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Federal Crimes for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Jul 17, 2018
Cary B. Hall's answer
No idea - and I just answered a *very* similar question on here. Sounds like it should be a probation case, but you never know and it depends what you're charged with. Aggravated assault is a felony; simple assault is a misdemeanor. Two very different animals, and the punishments for each differ greatly as well.

If you're in the southeastern part of Pennsylvania, feel free to contact me offsite to further discuss your case. You need to talk to a good criminal defense attorney ASAP...
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Q: I had punched a minor am I’m 23 n she was like 16 17 and she pressed charges will I get locked up this is my 1st charge

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Jul 17, 2018
Cary B. Hall's answer
No idea. Sounds like a probation case, but you never know and it depends what you're charged with. Aggravated assault is a felony; simple assault is a misdemeanor. Two very different animals, and the punishments for each differ greatly as well.

If you're in the southeastern part of Pennsylvania, feel free to contact me offsite to further discuss your case. You need to talk to a good criminal defense attorney ASAP to minimize the criminal impact to you. Best of luck to you.
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Q: me and my wife are going to file for divorce and she once half of the settlement that im still going through.

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Jul 17, 2018
Cary B. Hall's answer
Since your injury occurred during your marriage -- and any right to sue about it "accrued" at that time -- any proceeds from personal injury settlements and/or worker's compensation payments *would* be considered marital property. That means she can claim part of it. If you two can't agree how to split the money, the issue will be referred to an equitable distribution master or a judge to decide how to divide it.

If you'd like to further discuss your situation offsite, fee free to...
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Q: I have 50-50 with my ex- I planned a vacation with kids she agreed to and now is saying no- can she do this?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Jul 17, 2018
Cary B. Hall's answer
It depends on what your custody agreement says. Presumably there's *no* language in it that allows one parent to outright "veto" the vacation of the other. There may be language that requires one parent to give the other some kind of notice of the vacation, including dates, location, contact information, etc. There may be a requirement that such notice be given a certain number of days in advance of the vacation. But I've never seen a custody agreement that gives one parent the ability to...
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Q: can a joint spousal checking account in PA be frozen if only one person owes the debt?

2 Answers | Asked in Collections for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Jul 17, 2018
Cary B. Hall's answer
It really shouldn't be. Property owned by a husband and wife is a special kind of ownership in Pennsylvania known as a tenancy-by-the-entireties. This includes money held in a joint checking account in the names of both husband and wife. A creditor of just one spouse cannot seize property owned by both spouses held in tenancies-by-the entireties. So the answer is no -- that joint checking account shouldn't be frozen. And if it is, you would have this defense to release any attachment of...
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Q: I have 50/50 custody but im working out of state and the mother went and filed for full custody but I'm in Maryland

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Jul 17, 2018
Cary B. Hall's answer
It depends in which state the custody order was entered - perhaps. In light of the 50/50 custody split, your custody order may also state which court will have jurisdiction for future modifications if you and the child's mother live in different states. Honestly, it's unclear from your question where everyone is right now (you, your child, and your child's mother).

Regardless, you should file an opposition to the petition to modify custody to preserve your rights, and perhaps you...
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Q: I already have custody agreement but spouse continues to be late on child return to me times, what can I do?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Jul 17, 2018
Cary B. Hall's answer
You asked the same question yesterday, and I'll give you largely the same answer today. You're in a tough situation, admittedly. Is he in violation of your custody order? Technically yes. Does he get the Co-Parent of the Year Award? Absolutely not. But sometimes you have to pick and choose your battles. Only you know if this is one of those battles to pick.

You've added additional details that you *are* keeping track of all of his transgressions -- and that's a good start. As far as...
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Q: If someone is harassing some one through text message calling them every name in the book could he/she file slander cha

1 Answer | Asked in Libel & Slander for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Jul 16, 2018
Cary B. Hall's answer
Slander is a civil action. You're thinking of harassment, which is a criminal charge.

The person receiving the harassing text messages could certainly contact the police department in Florida in the text messager's neighborhood. Will they do anything? No way to know unless you try - but they may contact the texter and tell him or her to knock it off.

Can't the person receiving simply block the texter's number? That's certainly another option.

Best of luck to you.
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Q: I already have custody agreement but spouse continues to be late on child return to me times, what can I do?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Jul 16, 2018
Cary B. Hall's answer
You're in a tough situation, admittedly. Is he in violation of your custody order? Technically yes. Does he get the Co-Parent of the Year Award? Absolutely not. But sometimes you have to pick and choose your battles. The only person that knows if this is one of those battles is you.

Perhaps you do start keeping track of everything within a daytimer (and if you don't have one, get one), and after several more consistent transgressions, file a petition for contempt. At worst, it...
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Q: A contract for people to log some land but never agreed on an end date. They refuse to amend contact with end date.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Jul 16, 2018
Cary B. Hall's answer
You'll need to have an attorney review the actual contract to give you an answer, unfortunately. Live and die by the words on the paper . . . .

If you'd like to discuss your situation offsite, feel free to contact me at your convenience. My contact information is on my Justia profile here. Best of luck to you.
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Q: Driving at night without headlights on, car has standard running lights. Worth fighting a cite for driving w/o lights?

2 Answers | Asked in Car Accidents and Traffic Tickets for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Jul 15, 2018
Cary B. Hall's answer
I think so, unless your running lights are that much dimmer than the full-on headlights. I know my car (a Saab) has its lights on all the time, and I never have to turn them on at all -- day or night.

Best of luck to you.
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Q: I haven't had a DUI since 2004 but got one last week will this be considered my first again?

1 Answer | Asked in DUI / DWI for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Jul 15, 2018
Cary B. Hall's answer
For purposes of ARD, yes, because it's been 10 years since your last one. Still, ARD is never guaranteed and anyone charged with DUI should hire a good lawyer to minimize the damage to both your criminal and driving records.

If you'd like to chat about your current charges, feel free to contact me offsite. Best of luck to you.
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Q: If I get a public defender for a F3 retail theft charge, what are the chances a magistrate Judge will give me probation

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Jul 14, 2018
Cary B. Hall's answer
No way I can answer this -- if I had a crystal ball, I'd be picking the winning Lotto numbers and not practicing law.

If by "magistrate judge" you mean a magisterial district judge (MDJ), the chances are zero: an MDJ only has jurisdiction to sentence on "summary" offenses, not misdemeanor or felony charges. Those more serious charges must get transferred to the Court of Common Pleas -- the main trial court in the county seat. THAT court has jurisdiction for trials, pleas and sentencing...
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Q: If I get a public defender for a F3 retail theft charge, what are the chances a magistrate Judge will give me probation

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Jul 14, 2018
Cary B. Hall's answer
No way I can answer this -- if I had a crystal ball, I'd be picking the winning Lotto numbers and not practicing law.

If by "magistrate judge" you mean a magisterial district judge (MDJ), the chances are zero: an MDJ only has jurisdiction to sentence on "summary" offenses, not misdemeanor or felony charges. Those more serious charges must get transferred to the Court of Common Pleas -- the main trial court in the county seat. THAT court has jurisdiction for trials, pleas and...
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Q: My son was issued a ticket for running a red-light. He didn't run the light-his front tires crossed the white line.

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Jul 13, 2018
Cary B. Hall's answer
Yes, I think you should fight it. At worst, I think the Magisterial District Judge will have the cop amend the charge to a violation that carries no points -- or may simply dismiss the ticket altogether. If that option isn't presented to you, make sure you ask for it! It's definitely worth a shot.

Best of luck to you and your son.
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Q: I had a child support hearing last Friday, and was rewarded a reduction in child support. I haven't gotten the reduction

2 Answers | Asked in Child Support for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Jul 13, 2018
Cary B. Hall's answer
Contact your local Domestic Relations section and ask. But if you're having child support taken directly out of your paycheck (like most payors do), you can give a copy of the new support order to your employer directly. Presumably they'll start deducting the corrected amount immediately.

Best of luck to you.
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Q: Officer wrote an address, different than the one on my license for a failure to stop at a traffic light.

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Jul 11, 2018
Cary B. Hall's answer
Not to my knowledge. What you can do instead is file an appeal of your traffic ticket in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, and ask that your appeal be granted retroactively, or "nunc pro tunc," to treat it as if it were timely filed. If granted, you'll finally have your hearing and any action by PennDOT to suspend your license should be stayed until you have your hearing.

Best of luck to you.
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Q: I moved for work, and broke a land contract due to non-pay. What do I owe the person who still owns the property?

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Jul 11, 2018
Cary B. Hall's answer
From your short description, I can't tell exactly what kind of "land contract" you mean. To purchase, say, a house? And when you say "non-pay," I'm presuming you mean you didn't do something you were supposed to under the contract?

Usually real estate contracts spell out what happens when a party defaults on contractual obligations -- the standard sale-of-a-residence contract in Pennsylvania does (the one suggested by the PA Board of Realtors). I suggest you get out your magnifying...
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