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Questions Answered by Mike Branum
2 Answers | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on
Q: after a 15 year relationship but not married, do I need to do a legal separation, or do I need to do anything.
Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Dec 30, 2020

Only if the two of you have acquired real estate or other items of substantial value that you need to ensure are divided equitably. Barring that scenario, take with you the good memories and, hopefully, some lessons learned and move on. Leave all the bad memories and any resentment behind.... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Arizona on
Q: Can I write something out myself, giving my son's father sole custody, and then have it notarized, and give it to him?

We have an equal joint custody agreement in the state of Arizona.

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Dec 30, 2020

There are a lot of things one CAN do and then there are the things one SHOULD do. You should file a joint petition with the Court (assuming the child's father agrees to his having sole custody) and have the Court issue a modified child custody order. Changing child custody and parenting time... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for Arizona on
Q: Under what ground are you not assigned a lawyer in pinal County

I was long formed for shoplifting given a court date I went in and told the judge not guilty they assigned me another telephonic court date in which the County attorney presented information to me and gave me options one would include a plea and I don't understand any of it and I asked if a... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Dec 28, 2020

It is not uncommon in misdemeanor prosecutions for the Court to refuse to appoint counsel. You always have the right to counsel. You do NOT always have the right to court-appointed (and, therefore, paid for) counsel. Most states will not appoint counsel for a misdemeanor offense.

If you are...
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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Civil Rights for Arizona on
Q: How to make sure my last wishes (to have sexual relations with my husband or others) (notarized in will) legal?
Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Dec 28, 2020

Your question does not make sense. If you have a legitimate question, I would suggest you attempt to express it in such a way that the attorneys on Justia are able to provide you with a response. Have a great 2021!

3 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for Arizona on
Q: How do I go about getting a court appointed lawyer after receiving a citation?
Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Dec 21, 2020

Unless you are charged with a crime for which you could be sentenced to 366 or more days, you don't. The right to counsel attaches when the defendant faces more than a year in jail/prison. This is NORMALLY reserved for felony charges.

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Arizona on
Q: If I get a copy of my criminal record and then share it with a potential employer, is that an offense of any kind?
Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Dec 16, 2020

Sharing a copy of your own criminal record is not an offense of any kind.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Utah on
Q: I haven't had contact with my daughters bio father in almost 5 years.

custody is not established. When she was a baby I did have an open ORS case and recieved child support. I closed the case over 3 years ago- and have not had contact with bio father almost 5 years. What do I need to do to next? Is this considered abandonment? Is terminating rights possible at this... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Dec 15, 2020

You should have a very strong case for abandonment and termination of parental rights if the sperm donor knew where the child was, had the ability to make contact, and merely failed to make an effort to maintain contact. If he can demonstrate attempts to communicate or show that you interfered with... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Tax Law for Arizona on
Q: if you have OOP Against another parent and they cant come in contact of you and child can they claim the child on Taxes?
Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Dec 15, 2020

That would depend on the current court order regarding which party is entitled to claim the child on taxes. If the order grants the parent who is subject to the OOP the right to claim the child on taxes, then yes - until the order is modified by the Court or the parties agree, in writing, to a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on
Q: In a divorce, does the consent decree parenting plan have to look identical to the original petition parenting plan?
Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Dec 14, 2020

No. As long as you both agree and affix your notarized signatures, it does not have to match the original petition.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Domestic Violence and Family Law for Utah on
Q: Can you petition for an ex parte child protective order in UT, for an (unrelated) child who recently moved out of UT?

Child was in utah for years before leaving with mother to flee domestic violence. no custody orders on child have ever been filed. Petitioner was the perpetrator of domestic violence, and is not at all related to child and has never lived with child. Does Utah allow for people to petition for a... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Dec 14, 2020

UCCJEA questions are never simple and this forum allows for very few details so remember that this answer is NOT legal advice. That being said, you can FILE for a lot of things; whether or not the Order is enforceable is another matter. It is incredibly difficult to get orders of this nature... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Arizona on
Q: I would like to know if the following situation is considered a conflict of interest in Arizona.

One of the detectives on a murder case is the blood related first cousin of one of the suspects or persons of interest. They have conversations regarding said case, some on the record some off. Is this a conflict of interest because of the family relation? Thank you in advance!

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Dec 14, 2020

"Conflict of interest" in the legal sense is different from the common way the phrase is used. I presume what you really want to ask is "can I get the detective in trouble / thrown off the case because I think their cousin killed my friend?" The short answer is probably not. The... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Domestic Violence and Family Law for Arizona on
Q: A couple of months ago my niece told my daughters she was being abused by her Dad.

A week ago she attempted suicide and no one told the people caring for her about this. Im not sure what I can do I feel like if I call CPS or even the police my family may lie. This maybe her only chance to get help and I feel like they will try to discredit me.

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Dec 11, 2020

If something happens to her and you did not report it, you will have to live with that. If you believe your daughters are being truthful and if you believe they will share what your niece told them with investigators, then I feel you have a duty to report the situation and let the chips fall where... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Arizona on
Q: Can the state still place a restitution registration lein on a vehicle if it already has a lein holder on it.

If the vehicle has a lein holder but registered to the person that owes the restitution can they stop them from being able to register the vehicle.

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Dec 10, 2020

A criminal restitution order can absolutely be used to place a registration lien on a defendant which will prohibit the registration of a vehicle until the restitution is paid.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights for Arizona on
Q: My son is SMI. He offered his cousin 4000.00 and she promised they'd be roommates. She spent his $ & got another roomate

Can we sue her? He is incapable of making financial decisions. He wanted so badly to live with her. She lied to him and knew he was mentally ill.

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Dec 8, 2020

If your son is a minor or if you are his legal guardian as an adult, you can and should file suit against the person who relieved him of his money. You should also contact the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction because there are criminal penalties for taking advantage of vulnerable adults.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on
Q: Jurisdiction challenge, no home state but I started the Parental Suit, now I want to challenge jurisdiction.

Weren't married, moved in together 3.5 months prior to birth. My son was born in Phoenix Az. We met, dated and he was conceived in California. At the time of his birth I was and continue to be a resident of California, mom can be argued that she had residency in AZ because of acceptance of... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Dec 2, 2020

What an enormous disaster of a jurisdictional issue. Arizona no longer has any jurisdiction over the child because neither you, the child's egg donor, nor the child live in the state. Arizona courts should and most likely would dismiss any case you filed there for lack of jurisdiction.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Constitutional Law for Arizona on
Q: I was convicted of misdemeanor possession of offensive weapon in NYS in 1992. Will this prevent me from purchasing a

Firearm in my now residential state of Arizona. The p.o.w. charge was for a knife with knuckle holes laying in the back of my truck. Said knife is not illegal in Arizona so would that fall under state misdemeanor?

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Nov 18, 2020

It sounds like you are referencing a fourth degree weapons charge. That is a class A misdemeanor in New York, punishable by up to 364 days in jail. Since the crime you were convicted of does not carry the potential for incarceration over one year, you should be able to pass a background check. If... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on
Q: My friend got put in jail for not paying child support. She hasn't gone to court yet for sentencing and the jail won't

The jail won't let me bail her out. They didn't give her a lawyer or anything. And Im trying to help her but can't afford a lawyer. The jail is telling me she needs to go to court and bail needs to be posted there, but she won't be released until the court date. I am honestly... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Nov 2, 2020

Unfortunately, until she is arraigned before the Court, there is nothing for you to do. She should have a court appearance this morning and bail will be set. Only then will there be anything more for you to do short of saying a prayer for your friend.

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on
Q: My court papers say holiday time takes over regular scheduled time. What happens if its my weekend and my holiday?

My parenting time is from 4pm Friday to 5pm Sunday. Holiday is from 6pm Friday to 10 am Sunday. Do I get my child late and return him early or do I just do my normal parenting time even though the holiday falls through my weekend?

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Oct 23, 2020

The BEST approach is always to resolve any dispute with your co-parent. The fact that you are on here asking this question leaves the impression that you and your child's other parent are not successfully communicating regarding custody issues. In the absence of the ability to treat each other... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Arizona on
Q: How can a person be found guilty in trafficking in stolen goods when they didn't know it was stolen?

I found jewelry in trash found at curb. (I find so much on curbs and make money selling it on FB marketplace) Took it to coin shop to see if it was gold. I got $182 for it. Fast forward. I took it to trial and was found guilty by jury. Gods honest truth I did not steal it nor did I know it was... Read more »

Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Oct 18, 2020

You can be CHARGED with anything. The State will still have to prove your guilt. If you were in possession of stolen goods, the prosecutor will assume you're guilty. Only the COURT offers you the presumption of innocence, the prosecutor is not so bound.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Arizona on
Q: How do you get your public defender changed?
Mike Branum
Mike Branum answered on Oct 13, 2020

Hire a private attorney.

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