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Need help interpreting the paperwork from the court

northernsiren's picture

Well, the lawyer screwed up, and the Marshall already has the papers, and will be serving the BM any time now!!!

I just downloaded the papers, and it has a "return date" of 2/24. Is this our court date?
I see later it says:

"To respond to this summons, or to be informed of further proceedings, you or your attorney must file a form called an "Appearance" with the Clerk of the above named Court at the above court address on or before the second day after the above return date"

To me this reads BM has to fill out a form by 2/26, that means nothing about the court date itself.

Can anyone help me with this????

Many thanks in advance, FH and I are so stressed right now, this was NOT how this was supposed to go down!


stepmom929's picture

What exactly is it that she's being sent? Custody papers so that she has a chance to sign them without going to court? We just went through all this so I may be able to help but I'm not clear about what exactly she was sent...

In our case we wrote up the custody agreement the way we wanted and mailed them to BM with a deadline to sign and return them and we also at the same time got a court date so that if she decided NOT to sign them, we'd be all set to head to court....

northernsiren's picture

thank you for your speedy response, we are suing her for custody, and the papers are are complaint and a "prayer for relief"

I wanted to serve her with custody papers to avoid court, but I was told it was superfluous because of the age of the child (15) and there won't be much to the situation other than SD expressing her preference.

I appreciate the help!!!!!

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Albert Einstein

stepmom929's picture

Sorry I couldn't be more help, I'm not familiar with those forms. I do wish you the best of luck in your fight. We were SO lucky to be able to avoid court...I wish everyone could be so lucky...

northernsiren's picture

I really appreciate your response, it's freakin 6 pages, 3 of which seem standard issue forms that don't even really pertain to us.....

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Albert Einstein

Sita Tara's picture

I honestly can't remember what the paperwork said. But I'm pretty sure that we didn't have a court date set til after BM filled out her own stuff answering the summons, then the court assigned the GAL, then the GAL had to meet with us at each house to interview us, THEN we got a pretrial hearing date. Then another hearing. Then another...

But it was pretty specific as to a date and time and the word "hearing."

So I would probably think it's safe to assume that this is just a date for her to turn in her paperwork by or face a contempt charge.

Call your atty of course to make completely sure.

"Om Tare Tutare Ture Mama Ayurpunye Jnana Putin Kuru Svaha"
~Sita Tara Mantra

northernsiren's picture

That's how I read it too, but it's different than the original thing the lawyer told us was going to happen, and it's frustrating to have the story keep changing. I can't believe this man who took thousands of dollars from SD's grandfather "forgot" to inform us and give us copies of the paperwork when we told him we were concerned for SD's safety!!!


"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Albert Einstein

stepmom929's picture

I hear ya! In our situation the bm received the court date BEFORE she got the custody papers which is NOT what we intended and of course she freaked out and we had to explain it was a mistake on our lawyer's's so hard when this is the most important thing in your life and the fact that you are just another paycheck for the lawyer...

Colorado Girl's picture

that Sita is right.

I would ask your lawyer first and foremost. IF a hearing was set, I'm sure your presence would be required.

I recently served my son's biodad with custody papers and he had 15 days to respond. Once he didn't file with the court, my lawyer set a first appearance or "status conference" date and I received notice from my lawyer. Biodad was informed of that appearance by my lawyer and skipped that "conference", he actually set the following hearing.

Your lawyer really should explain himself especially if you were informed of a differnt scenario of what was going to happen. I knew every step of the way what was going on and why. I'm a pest that way...

"For every ailment under the sun....There is a remedy, or there is none;
If there be one, try to find it; If there be none, never mind it." ~ W.W. Bartley

northernsiren's picture

All this came up b/c I was harassing FH to follow up about this today. I was pushing FH to lay into the lawyer today, the lawyer claims he had bronchitis all last week, and his assistant does too, yada yada cry me a river, this is a child's wellbeing we're talking about, and "I forgot" doesn't cut it in my world with stuff like this. I did make FH reiterate to the lawyer that we are concerned that BM will get the papers and immediately take it out on SD, so she MUST be removed before that happens. So tomorrow is the day, FH is taking the day off from work, and we're going to SD's school.

It just sucks, b/c now this is all so delayed, we'll be driving SD to and from school until the end of March now. I need to pick her up every day at 2:00 between now and then.... ugh....

Thank you for your support!!!

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Albert Einstein

Sia's picture

serve her with a court date for a custody hearing. You will likely have to go through a pre-hearing thing. Basically since she has no counsel, she will be allowed to respond, that why they sent the form. She has until such and such date to respond. If she doesn't, the judgement will be in default. In other words, the attorney will then file a default judgement and let the judge know that she didn't respond. That would be your best bet...that she doesn't respond. It's pretty standard to have to get a response first.