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Questions Answered by Mike Branum
2 Answers | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on
Q: My 8 year old granddaughter has lived with me for 6 years Her mom has mental health issues lives in a group home

She recently started dating a guy that has mental illness as well (Suicidal)and they want to live together the only way she can get an apartment by herself is if she has her daughter with her. How can I prevent that?

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Feb 25, 2020

If you are not already a court-appointed guardian for your granddaughter, you need to be.

This website - https://superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/media/3431/jg1z.pdf - should be helpful if you cannot afford an attorney and cannot find one to represent you without cost.

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Domestic Violence for Arizona on
Q: I was told due to my case I'm not appointed to an free Attorney?? Assualt

He spit in my face aggressively took my cell, I (admit) threw a small wood sign at wall, he then punched me in my mouth..my mouth bloody, (I was 5 months pregnant)I then called 911on home phone he disconnected phone line, State is pressing charges on me??? I cant afford a lawyer. Been with this man... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Feb 24, 2020

If you were charged with misdemeanor assault - DV, you are not entitled to a public defender because there is no jail time associated with the charges. There are agencies in Maricopa County whose mission is to assist women in leaving abusive relationships. Please seek the help of one of these... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on
Q: My daughter recently moved from MN to AZ (<8mos). She lost her 4 kids to Dept of Child Services due to alleged neglect.

I was at her house the day she lost the kids, I flew in that day only hours before. The smallest one (1yr) fell off of the couch and hit her head and became unresponsive. A CT scan showed nothing out of the ordinary but a tox screen came back positive for Amphetamine. Since then the oldest... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Feb 19, 2020

If you are going to remain unrepresented (not advisable, but not everyone can afford to hire an attorney), you may be able to speak directly with the Guardian ad Litem. If that is the case, I would recommend you attempt to do so. Depending on the likelihood of placement with the sperm donor or some... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for Utah on
Q: How much does a Lawyer usually cost for Drug offenses?
Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Feb 19, 2020

I agree with Mr. Cramer and would go a step farther and explain that one of the things that affects the cost is your objective. I have a set fee for prospective clients who are merely seeking the best plea offer they can get and/or do not want to go to court. If your objective is to fight to the... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Family Law, Adoption and Child Custody for Utah on
Q: Can my ex's sister, temporary guardian of our 16 month old daughter, legally restrict my visitation?

She has had our daughter temporarily for 7 months while we have fallen on hard times. We signed over temporary guardianship. He and I broke up and he's now at ODYSSEY house trying to get into the parent program with our daughter. Once she is there, the program will determine visitation. In the... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Feb 17, 2020

I agree with Mr. Wood that your situation is likely complicated by the fact that your husband also consented to the guardianship. My impression is that you are not ready to take back full custody at this time but are Yosemite about the restrictions on your visitation. The other concern I would have... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on
Q: Filed for divorce , ex-husband has lawyered up and I don't understand these papers given to me just that he wants all.

I'm really looking for a pro-bono Family lawyer to assist me if possible with these papers that I have filed and now have a lawyer from Ex sending me. Sorry I don't have any money.

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Feb 14, 2020

https://www.azcourts.gov/selfservicecenter has a lot of helpful information and is easy to navigate. Although it is not your state, https://www.familylawselfhelpcenter.org/ is another great source of information. If you are near Tucson or Phoenix, you can check with the law schools and see if they... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Constitutional Law for Arizona on
Q: What do I do if I request assistance of counsel at my arraignment because I am indigent and the judge refuses?
Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Feb 11, 2020

I am going to venture a guess that you are charged with a misdemeanor and the prosecutor is not seeking jail time. Under those circumstances, the courts have found that you do not have a constitutional right to counsel because your liberty is not at risk.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Adoption for Arizona on
Q: No father present in any aspect of child's life. How to get adopted by stepfather?

My three year old son has never had his father in his life. He is not listed on the birth certificate & he has my last name. Father has never paid a dime in child support or provided any emotional or physical support. I will getting married soon and we are expecting another child. Can my husband... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Feb 10, 2020

Two things could complicate your attempts to have your fiance from adopting your eldest: if you were married to the sperm donor at conception, at birth, or anytime between; or paternity has been previously established. You are still going to have to explain to a judge why the male who was present... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law, Family Law, Juvenile Law and Sexual Harassment for Utah on
Q: can you take 30 year old male relative sending 15 year old niece naked photos from snap chat app, pictures weren’t saved

Niece is 15 and her cousin is 30 he has sent her pictures or his private part but it’s sent from Snapchat and the pictures weren’t saved. The whole conversation is saved but no pictures. In the conversation he does state he’s going to send it and also more than once, he states in one of the... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Feb 7, 2020

The short answer is yes, you can sue. You could file a suit claiming negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, etc. The real question is does the pervy cousin have assets worth the fight? If he owns a home, has a high-paying job, or there is some other asset which may be able to be... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on
Q: I want to file a divorce from my husband of 42 years but can’t afford to hire a lawyer.

I found out that he is having an affair with the wife of my cousin. He admitted the affair started either 1985 or 1989 and continued on till November 2019 but I know they are still talking Jan 17, 2020

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Jan 23, 2020

If you and your husband have no minor children and your assets are not complex, you may be able to navigate the process without an attorney. Visit https://www.azcourts.gov/selfservicecenter for all the forms you will need to file. If you open a business or have substantial assets, the process will... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Arizona on
Q: I have been charged with a criminal misdemenor. I plead guilty and now will attend a pre-trial conference. I am canadian

My fear is that I won't be able to cross the border if convicted of a criminal charge. I was riding my Off road vehicle in the desert - there was a wash out on the trail so I took a well used trail around it. But as I took the trail I observed someone waving to me. I approached them. It was a Fish... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Jan 16, 2020

It is highly unlikely that a nonviolent misdemeanor conviction would have any effect on your admissibility into the US. 8 USC 1182 lists the factors which may make a non-citizen inadmissible to the US. The two sections which most closely relate to your question are (2)(A)(i)(I) crime involving... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for Utah on
Q: My best friend is about to have a baby and the babies father got arrested last night. Is there any way he can be release

For the birth of his child

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Jan 16, 2020

I would go one step farther than Mr. Wood: this question is IMPOSSIBLE to answer without further information. (I also would not refer to someone who has, to date, merely impregnated someone as a "father." You have to earn that title.) Misdemeanor? Felony? Ties to the community? Criminal history?... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Family Law, Personal Injury and Juvenile Law for Arizona on
Q: I have a dcs case in arizona and it's super complicated...

I gave birth at home. It was planned, my second all natural birth. She came at 37 weeks just like my previous daughter. She was pink she cried she nursed she pooped. We went to sleep when I awoke she was not breathing. Called 911. Was told at hospital she had died. Then I was held in the room where... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Jan 14, 2020

First, I cannot imagine what you are going through. I wish you the strength to weather this storm, the patience to deal with the government bureaucracies, and the resiliency of spirit to bounce back from this ordeal when you reach the other side.

Unfortunately, unless you can afford an...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Juvenile Law for Arizona on
Q: I’m dating a 18 year old and I’m 17 and my parents want to put him in jail can they do that?

Me and my boyfriend were dating for three months prior to him turning 18. Recently, we were at my house and were messing around play fighting and he accidentally damaged my room causing my mom to believe that he hits on me. I dismounted the allegations and she now wants to end my relationship and... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Jan 9, 2020

First, if he ever DOES physically, emotionally, or mentally abuse you; leave and do not look back. You deserve better. Period.

You ARE considered a minor in Arizona, but the fact that he is less than 2 years older than you and under the age of 19 makes it almost certain the prosecutor would...
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2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for Utah on
Q: how much time will my fourteen-year-old daughter get in Utah for allegedly assaulting an officer
Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Jan 7, 2020

If she received a single charge and she has no previous juvenile history in Utah, she has virtually no chance of being placed in a juvenile detention facility. If you look at Form 1 in the Utah Juvenile Sentencing Guidelines... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Arizona on
Q: Do I have the right to get a public defender appointed to me on a first degree drug paraphernalia charge in state of AZ

I have no income and the Court would not give me a appointed attorney unless I pleaded guilty. but am pleading not guilty and now have a bench trial with no public defender for a first degree misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia/use in the pinal justice court my question is that am I being... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Dec 26, 2019

If the Court is not going to give you jail time, they are not required to appoint counsel. Representation is only guaranteed where the defendant faces a "loss of liberty."

3 Answers | Asked in Family Law for Utah on
Q: If i file for visitation, do my children get a say in the matter?

I lost custody due to a very short-lived drug issue. I have been clean for over 3 years and completed all the requirements from the court. My ex husband wouldnt even let me talk to my kids until early this year. I got him to agree to let me see them every other weekend while he supervised. I want... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Dec 26, 2019

Mr. Craig, in my opinion, is spot on. I believe any trial judge would likely award you more time; two hours supervised every two weeks is a very long way from equitable. If you can prove you have been clean for three years, had a good relationship with the children prior to the issues which caused... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Arizona on
Q: I was stopped, got charged with narcotic sales and, they Took ma car in as evidence, When do I get it back? In Arizona
Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Dec 13, 2019

Maybe never. If you plead guilty to or are convicted of trafficking and the vehicle was used in the process; the state could take the vehicle under asset forfeiture. You might have to buy it back at auction. Regardless, you should arrange for another means of transportation to make your court... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on
Q: I’m a minor who married in California. Does me being married make me emancipated? Is my marriage valid in Arizona?
Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Dec 3, 2019

The answer to both your questions is most likely yes. I would advise you to speak with a local family law attorney knowledgeable in emancipation to clarify the specifics of your situation, but, generally minors are considered emancipated once they marry and Arizona law requires recognition of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Utah on
Q: Can my ex deny visitation with no court orders for visitation?

I pay child support and we have never gone to court for custody or any visitation orders. No restraining orders or anything. We were never married. She even changed my son’s last name without my consent, even though I am on the birth certificate. I haven’t seen my son in 3 years. Can’t... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Nov 8, 2019

Unfortunately, you have little recourse without an order from the Court. I presume the child lives in Utah with the other parent. If you truly cannot afford the court fees, you can request a waiver. I would refer you to utcourts.gov and look at the self-help section for family law.

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