Justice Is Truth In Action – For World Day of International Justice – July 17

For World Day of International Justice – July 17

“It is reasonable that everyone who asks for justice should do justice.”
– Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

CHARLINE MUSANIWABO had a pretty ordinary life, a beloved member of a loving family, until the Rwandan genocide of 1994. She was eighteen and overnight her life plunged into an abyss. Both her parents, and five of her eight siblings, were killed. She fled with the remaining three, but was raped and forced to marry the Hutu rapist who had violated her, conceiving four children to him, suffering constant abuse to him over fifteen torturous years. With the help of a brave woman neighbour, she finally fled him in 2011. A longer version of her story can be read here.

Charline’s story echoes the fact that some injustices have been faced by relatively few. But her story also prompts us that injustice faces us all, not only in the wider world, but as much as anything, for many, within the sanctity of home. No greater oxymoron: violence done clandestinely within what should be the confines of the safest sanctuary.

Just how many women exemplify Charline’s story? How many even in ‘civilised’ countries with best practice legal systems? How many Charlines have we known? And what elements of her story resonate with our own stories?

The atrocities done to Charline are both rare yet contemptibly unremarkable; abhorrent, yet scarily real in the experience of many; too many, when even one case is unacceptable. Scarier still is the fact that we all have the perpetrator and victim in us.

Indeed, countless normal, indeed even gifted, people have instigated injustices. For instance, the biggest ecological disasters in the history of the world. In a former profession as a risk manager, I’d see the list of reported world incidents on a monthly basis, and it amazed me how the world coped with these gargantuan fires, dangerous chemical spills that would fill swimming pools, explosions that levelled entire towns, and toxic gas releases that could kill whole cities. Some of the worst disasters killed hundreds, if not thousands, of people.

In 1976, Bhopal in India was the site of the Union Carbide methyl isocyanate gas release that affected a half million people – and depending on who you read, somewhere between two thousand and sixteen thousand died! Innocent people who lived lives ignorant of the imminence of devastation. But the nuclear incidents are most disturbing. The Chernobyl reactor meltdown in 1986 is still a colossal problem thirty years hence, let alone within the tens of thousands of lives it wrought destruction, initially and subsequently. Then there’s the more recent Fukushima power plant disaster (2011), caused in some part by nature, but with the latent amoral precondition: a sequence to catastrophe at the mere presence of a nuclear power source. Where is the justice for the people killed or maimed by such events; or, those who lost dear ones? What technology should even be contemplated for use when a disaster from the use of that technology can wreak a several-thousand-year fallout? Of course, hindsight is a marvellous paradigm. If only the early governmental leaders had known what was ahead. Most concerning, though, there are many who would rise to power, and who have indeed risen to power, and who have deliberately abused God’s creation, procreating their egotism; a personal melting pot for national calamity. Yet we all have such capacity for wrongness.

We only truly understand justice
when we understand our limits
in procuring and executing justice.

***

Justice, the mystery.

***

Justice is God’s.
It is utterly inscrutable.
We can see it, even touch it, but we cannot control it.
Justice intends that we, the frustrated, come to the end of ourselves.
Then, to God we inevitably fall… and rest.
Then we’re measured; useful, finally, for both God and justice.

We all know that God’s earth needs her justice. We’ve all seen misguided people greedily step onto that idolatrous soapbox for their fifteen minutes of fame. We’ve lamented those who are trying to get ahead by ill-gotten gain. The ingredients of that person are latent within us, too. Justice warns us. We who have ears should listen.

Humanity shares something of a dichotomy with justice. We sense the need to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly, but we struggle to practice it with consistency of purpose and end. We may be healed of our misunderstanding, day by day, when we recognise our need of God’s sanctifying grace, but we’re subject to this putrefying human condition; the irrefutable condition of our torment. Our bodies waste away, and we don’t like it. Our thinking is fraught with dimness. We don’t like that, either. And our wavering hearts are feeble, and such a thing is execrable.

Injustice occurs on so many levels and in myriads of contexts: personally, interpersonally, maritally, occupationally, communally, internationally, and globally. If we would let it, it would subsume us. The presence of injustice in the world is always an enigmatic paroxysm to us. Injustice bursts in our lives, shocks us, and takes us on a much unanticipated course. But we’re reminded, that in the midst of it all is a sovereign God, and His purposes will be made known. This doesn’t excuse God or the injustices, but it does help us to keep stepping by faith in the interim. The interim are the days of our lives. And if the worst can be experienced by anybody, the worst can make its home in us, also. Oh, what an unbearable thought!

It’s the maker and breaker of life: justice. It makes life all of what life is. But when justice capsizes, lives are broken and hope is fallen like a mighty oak.

Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881) said that “justice is truth in action.” I have often said that love is truth in action. And that’s where love and justice and truth all coalesce – in action. That action begins with each of us; what we allow and disallow; how we respond to the issues that confront us; how we advocate according to God’s will, and the discernment thereof. And experience teaches us, it’s not our passion as much as our wisdom – our prudent diligence; our diligent prudence – that blesses the situations of our advocacy. To add value, and not make situations worse.

Justice is a visible thing. It’s a thing of truth and love; the way things should be. The way we expect goodness to flow. Where there are only winners and there are no losers. If that isn’t a panacea.

World Day for International Justice is a time to mourn with those who mourn, and rejoice with those who rejoice. It’s a day when we thank God for the advocates of past, present, and future, and not least for His resonating grace. It’s a day when we implore Him: “Come, Lord, come today; to this dying world! Revive and restore justice to unjust situations, everywhere.”

It’s a day when we pray for Him to convict us in the commitments and recommitments we need to make.

It’s a day for planning each day forward, so each day is marked by a faith that walks by truth in action.

From this moment onward, evermore, into the chasm of eternity, when that time comes.

© 2016 S.J. Wickham.

Steve Wickham is a pastor who holds Degrees in Science, Divinity, and Counselling. Steve writes at: http://epitemnein-epitomic.blogspot.com.au/ and http://tribework.blogspot.com.au/

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Steve_Wickham/145110

 

2013 Cincinnati Court of Appeals Decisions

In reviewing the 852 appeals filed in 2013 in the First Appellate District of Ohio, covering Cincinnati and Hamilton County, several results are noteworthy.

As in prior years, the number of involuntary dismissals was striking. Almost 36% of all civil appeals were dismissed involuntarily (112/313 total civil cases), and a further 13.1% of civil appeals were voluntarily dismissed (41/313), yielding a total of 153 dismissals out of 313 total civil cases. Thus a total of 49% of all civil appeals were dismissed.

Because of a juvenile court judge who has since been removed from the bench, twelve extraordinary writs were granted, including eleven mandamus orders to do her job, one prohibition order that she not restrict the press improperly, and one finding the judge in contempt of the court of appeals for disregarding its instructions. Another 14 juvenile delinquency findings by that judge were reversed on appeal.

In criminal cases, the trial court’s decisions were affirmed in 57.5% of all appeals filed in 2013 (273 affirmed of 475 filed). 18.5% were involuntarily dismissed (88 of 475) and 7.4% were voluntarily dismissed (35 of 475), for a total dismissal rate of 25.9% (123 of 475).

Reversals or modifications to the trial court decision in criminal cases were granted in 79 of the 475 total (16.6%). That is up from the percentage of criminal reversals in 2006 & 2007, when the rate was 10.5% and 10.7% respectively.

Civil appeals filed in 2013 resulted in reversals or modifications to the trial court in 45 of 313 civil cases (14.4%). The trial court’s decisions were affirmed in 35.8% of civil cases. Voluntary dismissals amounted to 13.1% (41/313), and involuntary dismissals were 35.8% (112/313), for a total dismissal rate of 49% (153/313).

There were a total of 63 applications for extraordinary writs – 3 habeas corpus (all unsuccessful), 22 mandamus (one granted), 31 procedendo (11 granted), 6 prohibition (one granted), and one contempt (which was granted).

Three class action cases are all stayed pending a decision by the Ohio Supreme Court. Disregarding one sealed case for which no information is available, of the 851 appeals filed in 2013, the following statistics are noteworthy:

CIVIL

A. No reversals were obtained by any appellant in the following types of cases:

1. Tax appeals – of four cases filed, one was affirmed, and three were dismissed (two voluntary and one involuntary)

2. Civil service appeal – one case affirmed

3. Declaratory judgment – one case affirmed

4. Two attempted delayed appeals, both dismissed involuntarily, as Ohio does not allow late civil appeals

5. One easement case, affirmed

6. Two forfeiture cases, one affirmed and one involuntarily dismissed

7. Four injunction cases, one affirmed, one voluntarily and two involuntarily dismissed

8. Nine probate case appeals resulted in two affirmed and seven involuntarily dismissed

B. Noteworthy civil reversals include:

1. In a 60(B) case, the trial court had vacated a three-year old judgment; the attorney successfully secured a reversal of that decision based upon the judgment having been more than one year old and thus not eligible for relief.

2. One arbitration provision originally denied by the trial court was enforced on appeal.

CRIMINAL

A. No reversals were obtained in the one death penalty case appealed in 2013, or in the four criminal cases in which the appellate lawyers stated that they could find no error. Two expungement appeals were both involuntarily dismissed.

B. Of 38 delayed appeals filed in criminal cases, 9 were allowed but all ultimately were unsuccessful.

C. Noteworthy criminal cases were:

1. Contempt case against attorney was reversed, with the court finding that the trial court abused its discretion in finding the attorney in contempt where his conduct did not constitute an immediate threat to the administration of justice.

2. In a very odd exhibit issue case, the attorney secured a reversal and discharge of the defendant where a key exhibit had not been made part of the record. Where a video was in three parts and the key portion had not been made part of the record in appeal because it lay undisclosed in the city prosecutor’s file until oral argument, despite the attorney’s attempts to secure it, the Court of Appeals held that, “The city, “knew that the DVD was missing and that [defendant’s] counsel was making every effort to make the DVD a part of the appellate record.” It thus limited review to the record before it, held that there was insufficient evidence, and discharged the defendant from further prosecution.

3. The State of Ohio successfully appealed the modification by the trial court of a sentence on remand from the court of appeals. The remand had been limited to notifying the defendant of post-release control, but the trial court changed consecutive sentences to concurrent sentences, effectively reducing the defendant’s 20 year prison term to ten years. The Court of Appeals held that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to modify the sentences, and remanded the case.

4. Sr. Assistant City Prosecutor secured the reversal of a Municipal Court decision allowing withdrawal of a no-contest plea and retroactively applying the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Padilla v. Kentucky, 559 U.S. 356 (2010). Trial counsel had allegedly failed to advise the defendant of the immigration consequences of conviction, but the Court of Appeals held that the trial court erred in allowing the plea withdrawal, as the Padilla decision was not retroactive.

5. One attorney secured the reversal of an order denying a motion for new trial without an evidentiary hearing. His client was convicted of felony murder in 2007; he now moved for a new trial based upon newly discovered evidence. He had been unable to timely discover evidence that part of the hospital report, emergency run medical report, and impeachment evidence had not been disclosed by the prosecution, and was entitled to a hearing on the new trial motion.

6. Another attorney secured a reversal where the trial court failed to merge aggravated menacing and domestic violence convictions, as they are allied offenses of similar import.

7. The Ohio Public Defender’s Office secured an order permitting a hearing on withdrawal of a guilty plea of a sex offender who had been convicted of violating Ohio’s current registration law (Adam Walsh Act) when he should have been charged with violating the former law (Megan’s Law).

8. One pro se appellant secured a delayed appeal which resulted in a decision that the trial court erred in not suspending the his driver’s license and not notifying him of post-release control, but those errors were moot because he had been released from prison and was not placed on post-release control.

9. Another pro se appellant won a reversal of his conviction where the trial court had erred in failing to determine that his waiver of counsel had been made knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily.

Paul Croushore
http://paul-croushore.com
Master of Laws wins 45.0% of career direct appeal cases, compared to 7.3% national federal court reversal average in 2014.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Paul_Croushore/89157

 

Lien Stripping – 522(F) – Motion to Avoid Liens in Bankruptcy

One of the primary objectives of the United States Bankruptcy Code is to enable Debtors to obtain a fresh start and return to good financial health. Towards that end Congress recognized the needs of Debtors in maintaining certain basic assets enabling them to function comfortably. Exemptions were established under the United States Bankruptcy Code permitting Debtors to retain basics, housing, household furnishings, personal effects, tools of the trade, etc.

U.S. Code §522(f) empowers debtors to strip judgments and certain liens from the title of the Debtor’s real property and personal property thereby further protecting certain basic assets deemed necessary towards Debtor’s return to good financial health.

HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION

To the extent Debtors have equity in their homes, that equity is protected from the creditor claims up to certain limitations. This is known as the Homestead Exemption.

The Federal Homestead exemption is limited to $23,676.00. Debtors, however, can opt for using home state exemptions instead of the federal exemptions. This decision must be carefully evaluated because sometimes it is more advantageous for Debtors to choose Federal Exemptions over State Exemptions to protect other important assets of the debtor. This requires careful analysis by your bankruptcy attorney.

The New York State Homestead Exemptions are set forth under Debtor and Creditor Law §282. Under the New York statutory scheme the Homestead Exemptions are as follows: $165,550 if the property is in the counties of Kings, Queens, New York, Bronx, Richmond, Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland, Westchester, or Putnam; $137,950 if the property is in the counties of Dutchess, Albany, Columbia, Orange, Saratoga or Ulster; $82,775 if the property is in any other county in the state. The Homestead Exemption also covers condominiums, co-op apartments and mobile homes.

The New York State Exemptions also permits married couples to double their homestead exemption, allowing each spouse to claim the full exemption amount for each on the property. Therefore, a married couple can exempt up to $331,100, $275,900, or $165,550, depending on which region of the State the debtor resides in.

HOW TO STRIP JUDGMENT LIENS FROM DEBTOR’S HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION

Debtors may avoid judicial liens i.e. judgments, to the extent such liens impair the Debtor’s homestead exemption. Debtors must file a §522(f) motion to take advantage of this opportunity. The procedure requires Debtor establish that there is no unprotected equity in their home on which the judgment creditor can secure its lien. A valuation of the debtor’s home must be presented to the Court and the Debtor must provide the Court proof of any mortgages on the homestead. Therefore, Debtor must provide a recent appraisal of their homestead and copies of filed mortgages establishing valid mortgage liens on the property.

The Court will ascertain whether there is any equity securing the judgment liens on the homestead. If there is no equity securing the liens, the Bankruptcy Court will order the judgment liens stripped from the title of the homestead and those judgment creditors will be treated as general unsecured creditors.

Note: this procedure is not available to IRS Tax liens or State Tax liens. Only liens of judgment creditors can be stripped from the title of Debtor’s homestead.

STRIPPING LIENS FROM PERSONAL PROPERTY

The Bankruptcy Code also permits Debtors to strip nonpossessory, nonpurchase-money security interests in any household furnishings, household goods, wearing apparel, appliances, books, animals, crops, musical instruments, or jewelry that are held primarily for the personal, family, or household use of the debtor or a dependent of the debtor; implements, professional books, or tools, of the trade of the debtor or the trade of a dependent of the debtor; professionally prescribed health aids for the debtor or a dependent of the debtor. (See 11 U.S. Code §522(f)(B).

This enables Debtors to strip all encompassing security interests in protected or exempt personal property assets. Often these types of liens arise when the Debtor obtains a loan from a finance company and the lender places a lien on all of the debtor’s assets. The loan in this instance is a nonpurchase-money security interest. Debtor cannot strip ‘purchase-money liens’ where Debtor acquired furniture or appliances or tools of the trade and the seller financed the sale.

CONCLUSION

The Bankruptcy Code provides Debtor’s unique ability to protect assets needed to successfully reorganize its affairs. The Bankruptcy Code protects the Debtor’s basic necessities including equity in its homestead and personal property needed by Debtor to gain a fresh start. Towards that end, the Debtor is permitted to strip liens which encumber Debtor’s protected equity in its homestead and exempted personal property assets. In successfully helping Debtor reorganize its financial affairs the Debtor’s assets must be carefully evaluated and the Debtor’s bankruptcy attorney must assist the debtor in stripping liens and encumbrances which impair the Debtor’s exempted assets.

The author of this article is an expert in all bankruptcy matters. Mr. Stern practices law in Rochester, New York where he is a senior partner at law firm of Elliott Stern Calabrese, LLP. For further insights on bankruptcy issues feel free to visit Mr. Stern’s Bankruptcy Website located at http://www.rochesternybankruptcylawyer.com/index.html

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/David_S._Stern,_Esq/2305705

 

Learn The Effectiveness Of Employing Adept Lawyers

Legislature, marriage decrees, legitimate education rules, guidelines of doing business and infinite other reasons are responsible in creating a definite legal functionality of every other region and Nation. Entire universe comprised with sophisticated human beings are enveloped with certain set of lawful measures. Purpose of which is, to amalgamate life with systematic methodologies and delivering assurance that the world around us remains truthful and honest.

Attached with such diversified objectives, it is quite clear and evidential that the laws, Acts and bylaws would also be extensively wide by every means. No wonder, requirement to adhere-by the same has to be helped and aided by professional experts. Their immense knowledge and experience comes with a guarantee that any sorts of legal hassles or need to take some lawful measures at some stage or the other gets executed in a most constructive way.

Behavioral pattern of the social institutions has to be evaluated and administered in a constructive and resilient way so that, the dignity of regions remains intact. Moreover, in the course of such maintenance it can’t be forgotten that laws and its decrees differs from one nation to the other. In this context, to seek for pillared support from adept lawyers and attorneys is a must. With their responsible job role, any sorts of legal hassles can be dealt with dynamic and favorable best results.

People of this age and time are intelligent enough to belief in something that has got its appropriate approval. That is the reason why, above mentioned acclamations needs an authentic and truthful consent. Henceforth there can’t be any other reference other than the discovery and implementations of FDCPA or Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. For a longer time period defaulters was suffering with unsupportable mental trauma and depressing situations brought by collection agencies of respective creditors. Problematic circumstances at employment places were also common for them. This in turn has enforced the essential need to develop an effective and justified Act mentioned above. This in a way has assured that both registered creditors and their debtors can obtain a respectful and courteous mode of debt settlement in a faster and transparent way.

Above mentioned domain is not the one and only field where the effective role of these gem legal assistants can be found. Their role is also observed at:

  • Medical collections
  • Commercial collections
  • Civil Rights
  • Company formation
  • Subrogation
  • Adaptations
  • Family laws, etc.

There are numerous candidates suffering with some reason or the other under these aforesaid platforms. These entire widened and complicated provinces can be finely set-free from any sorts of hassles. If the guidance and assistance gets fetched from adroit lawyers or attorneys in this respect, outcome is assured to be effective and at the same time resourceful.

Even a true follower of laws and bylaws are found to be victimized for some reason or the other. For them and several others, these lawyers are of magnum assistance. Working in similar filed over the ages, these legal service providers are well accustomed about the strategic steps that should be taken to serve respective clients with best possible results. Eventually a person in need gets assisted with a constructive and at the same time respectful outcome.

Rony Sneijder is an adept online blogger well identified for his exceptional writing skills on legal services and its importance. This article about lawyers in Birmingham would finely showcase his adeptness.

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Municipal Court – What Offenses Are Tried There

The types of offenses that are tried in municipal court are the criminal misdemeanors and civil infractions that can affect the quality of life in the local community. They can include noise and traffic violations. A municipal court has limited jurisdiction. It is a court that is allowed to only handle the offenses that are assigned to the court by local ordinance or local law. The authority of the court will vary by jurisdiction, which is the boundary of authority. It is also a court that is established in a local community to administer laws passed by the community and used to govern itself. It is also referred to as a magistrate, city court, or provincial court. Sometimes it is designated by the cases it handles like a domestic relations court or juvenile court. A municipal court is not allowed to take handle anything except what they have been assigned to by the local law or any issue that involves national law. The court does not keep any record of the proceedings that occur in the court. Typically the parties involved in the issues or case in the court have no right to appeal the final decision to a higher court.

In regards to national law issues they are usually not addressed locally in day-to-day matters. An example is if a city or town reserves the right to establish traffic laws that are designed to meet the particular needs of the local community. Even if the law does conform to national standards the compilation of code or laws starts at the local level. These traffic codes or laws can designate or create a municipal court to hear any cases in regards to violation of the traffic laws or code. This type of court is usually referred to as a traffic court.

The types of offenses that might be tried and heard in a municipal court can be limited by scope. This means that the court is only able to hear certain forms of criminal cases, which could be limited to misdemeanors only. In misdemeanor criminal cases the offender might have a fine of a certain amount or do jail time for a specific length of time according to the offense they were found guilty of. In a small claims court the disputes heard there may be limited to amounts under five thousand dollars. If it is a jurisdiction for a civil case they may be limited to hear disputes under a specific amount of money also.

The most common cases heard in a municipal court are domestic relations, juvenile, traffic, small claims, real property cases, and quality of life.

This article is penned by Lora Davis for Miley Law. Miley Law Firm ensures that you will get the highest level of expertise to assist you in your Las Vegas legal problems back by the founder Edward R. Miley. If you have a case up for hearing in the Clark County municipal court or Las Vegas municipal court and need legal representation then consider calling Miley Law NV at 702-942-0600 today.

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