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Questions Answered by Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Mississippi on
Q: I have been told by two different lawyers, today, that hindering prosecution is a felony in Mississippi,

and is not eligible for expungement. This clearly says it's a misdemeanor. I'm very confused. Can you tell me which it is?

Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin answered on Jul 29, 2021

Hindering prosecution is a felony in Mississippi; however, it is not one of the listed felonies ineligible for expunction once certain elements have been met. You must have paid all fines, assessments, and restitution ordered. You must have served all of the time ordered. Five years must have... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Mississippi on
Q: Talking to a juror after my trial

If I was found not guilty in a trial can I contact a member of my jury to ask questions about how they came to not quilty?

Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin answered on Jul 27, 2021

Why would you want to do that? It is sometimes better to leave well enough alone. It can be viewed as harassment or an attempt to intimidate.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Mississippi on
Q: If I suspect my neighbor picked up my dog and has kept her - what can I do ? Can I take them to court
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin answered on Jul 25, 2021

Yes, you can take them to court. You can contact law enforcement to file criminal charges and/or file a civil action.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Mississippi on
Q: I’m court ordered through DHS to get $160 but I barely get it. If I closed the case & used a lawyer could I get more?

He has like 5 other child support cases but his oldest two kids are grown. My child is 10. He feels like as long as I have him on child support through dhs he doesn’t have to do anything else so he wants me to close my case so that the arrearage won’t add up. He keeps changing jobs and... Read more »

Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin answered on Jul 24, 2021

First, if you drop the case with DHS, the arrearage will continue to accrue. Second, generally, child support is based on a net income figure for the paying parent and any previously court-ordered child support, not the number of children he has. If his older children have emancipated, they cannot... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Mississippi on
Q: Is alimony and child support awarded by the court in Mississippi a public record?

I have a step daughter whom was married and divorced over three years ago to a prominent doctor. They had three children all minors born from the marriage. I continue to support her as she said she receives zero alimony or child support from the ex husband. I have gone by her word in this matter.... Read more »

Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin answered on Jul 20, 2021

The court records are open to the public. Go to the chancery court in the county where the divorce was entered. Give they clerk her name and her ex’s name and ask to see the file. The final Order will be there.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Mississippi on
Q: Using forensic interviews in a trial

What if I was waiting trial and have trials in 2 different counties for the same charges of lustful touching, the police used the forensic interviews to determine what, where and how many times I would be charged for. I've had my trial in 1 County that was 1 charge but judge allowed the other... Read more »

Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin answered on Jul 14, 2021

If the other witnesses have given testimony regarding their individual allegations and the versions are inconsistent, your lawyer can use the different statements to impeach the witness to show that they are lying or are telling different stories as to what happened.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Mississippi on
Q: Using witnesses from another trial in another county.

Ok say you have 1 charge of lustful touching in one county set for trial and 3 counts for 2 different people making same iallegations and 1 is in both counties. Would the 2 from the other county be allowed to be witness saying what their allegations are in the county where there is just 1 count?... Read more »

Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin answered on Jul 14, 2021

The answer to your question is maybe. It depends on whether or not your attorney objects to the witnesses and whether or not you are talking about uncharged conduct, charges that have not gone to trial yet, or charges for which you have been previously convicted. The ultimate decision is for the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Mississippi on
Q: Support emancipation ends in 4 months. (MS) Should I began the process of termination now. Who do I contact to start it.
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin answered on Jul 14, 2021

If the emancipation is due to the child reaching the age of 21, there is really nothing for you to do. If the child support is being taken out via a withholding order and/or DHS is collecting the money each month, you may want to contact that agency to ensure that they are aware that the child is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Mississippi on
Q: How can my boyfriend get his back child support dropped if his children are 34 and 31years old?
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin answered on Jul 12, 2021

Your boyfriend is probably paying off an arrearage in child support. Child support in Mississippi becomes vested once due and cannot be forgiven. However, the courts can give credits against the debt. If it is an arrearage, then he is basically on the hook until it is paid off.

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for Mississippi on
Q: If im found not guilty of lustful touching what are the steps to getting my record expunged and how fast can that happen
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin answered on Jul 12, 2021

A conviction cannot be expunged until five years after the completion of any sentence, probation, and fines.

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Mississippi on
Q: Suing for false allegations if you have been found not quilty in 1 County but have charges in another awaiting trial

Suing for false allegations if you have been found not quilty of lustful touching in 1 County but have trial for same allegations with same people for same thing in another County. Can you sue even tho you haven't had trial yet in the other?

Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin answered on Jul 12, 2021

The second charge in the second county would be due to an act that took place in that county. If there are allegations of crimes committed in different counties, each county can bring charges against you, even involving the same crime and same victim. An acquittal in one county does not... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Adoption, Child Custody and Family Law for Mississippi on
Q: My husband had a child with someone else but the child was taken by CPS because she failed a drug test after childbirth.

CPS ended up giving him custody and she signed her parental rights over to him. A year later he asked me to watch him while he went to rehab. He ended up leaving it early but he let me continue to watch him. Almost a year after he came back the birth mom was incarcerated and he committed suicide... Read more »

Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin answered on Jul 1, 2021

If her parental rights were terminated, then she cannot come back and reclaim custody. The best thing you can do is to hire an attorney and petition the court for custody yourself. You do not say whether or not there are other family members available for the child. This, of course, may complicate... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Mississippi on
Q: My daughter is afraid he will take her son and ran because he has made threats to do so and he has the means to do it.
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin answered on Jun 24, 2021

I’m not sure what the question is, but I will tell you that steps can be taken to prevent him from doing so. If after that, he does, then your daughter will have recourse to retrieve her son and punish the ex.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Mississippi on
Q: During a mod of custody battle, does the other side have right to phone and text records?

Can my ex husband request my phone or text records as a way to prove I was cheating on my current husband? Or to prove where I was at certain times?

Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin answered on Jun 24, 2021

The short answer is yes. Each party has the right to request documents and other things through subpoenas. However, your attorney can file a motion to quash the subpoena if it is not relevant to the issues pending or if the other party is on a fishing expedition.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Child Support for Mississippi on
Q: I have full custody of my daughter and now she wants to live with my mother

I have been to court with her biological father 4 times he has never been on thebirth certificate And we are waiting on the district attorney To pick up a felony charge for the $43000 back child support he owes now at 7 the child wants to live with my mom Does that mean at that point that my mom is... Read more »

Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin answered on Apr 6, 2021

Once the back support becomes due, it is vested. It cannot be forgiven or waived. You would still be entitled to the back support if he was ordered to pay you in the court order. If you allow your child to live with your mother, she should receive it because you would no longer have the child and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Mississippi on
Q: My neighbour’s dogs keep coming in my yard and I have two cats outside that I’m scared the dogs will attack and hurt

What can I do to protect my pets? I have a camera outside showing their dogs in my yard even on my front porch!

Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin answered on Apr 6, 2021

The first thing to do is to read the county or city ordinances (depending on where you live) to find out about your remedies. If your local Sheriff’s Dept or city has an animal control division, call them and report the loose dogs and your fears. The video will be your best evidence.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support and Family Law for Mississippi on
Q: i just need to know how where and what to do to get a child modification in mississippi..

they are going off of my income from YEARS ago. and i no longer work due to health problems. i was counting on the stimulus to pay my bills but i got a paper saying they took my taxes due to child support. when i look on the website it doesnt give me any answers just more run arounds

Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin answered on Apr 5, 2021

You need to file for a modification of the last court order requesting a decrease in your child support amount. You will have to show a decrease in income since the entry of the last order that was caused by circumstances beyond your control. In other words, you didn’t voluntarily quit your job... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Mississippi on
Q: My friend’s mother filed for custody of her daughter. She was awarded based on lies. How can she get custody back?

My friend was with a man who her mother did not approve of. Her mother would keep her most of the time while my friend worked. Her boyfriend at the time went to jail. Her mother filed for emergency custody, lied and said she brought her daughter to the jail for visits, again lied and said she was a... Read more »

Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin answered on Apr 5, 2021

Your friend will need to hire an attorney for this one. She will have to file for a modification of the present order and request custody. She will have an uphill battle and may be successful in only gaining incremental gains over time. In other words, it may take more than one filing over time.... Read more »

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