Help me get a grip!!!

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by klmno, Aug 8, 2008.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    There's more legal stuff this week- it seems absurd to me....

    1) I called the attny I used for the custody case my bro instigated. he said that he didn;t see any big deal if bro wanted to write difficult child but if difficult child didn't want to get the cards/letters, then difficult child should write bro that. Well, I'm looking at it like this- if there is an agreement that party A will call if party A wants to, but party B will stay away otherwise, then party B sends several cards trying to get party A to call, when party A doesn't want to and has told everyone (including party B) that, if party A writes to say that they don't want to communicate, hasn't that just given in to party B's manipulation?

    I checked on line (i'm not having a lot of luck lately looking up laws). But, I found something about having a right to stop unwanted mail, I'm just not sure if it only pertains to junk mail. Anyway, then there is the law I found about it being illegal to open someone else's mail. What if it is your minor child's mail? Really, if it were a kid from school or some other adult trying to mislead or be a bad influence on my son, I would be charged right now for not looking out for him- they have made it clear to me that I am responsible legally, for his actions, any debts he incurrs, and his mental health treatment. So, just because it is a family member, don't I have the same right and obligation to say it has to stop- I don't care if difficult child wanted it or not? If I have a right to block a phone number from calling, don't I have a right to stop mail from a particular person? Even the attny said this has probably crossed the line of harassment -but he couldn't do anything yet. HUM.

    2) difficult child went in to someone's house last year- at age 12. He ended up with a felony. Given all the circumstances, I didn't put up too much fight over that. Then I find out that in this state, there is a new law that felonies don't get dropped from juvenile's records- ever. Then, I get a letter in the mail saying difficult child has to get fingerprinted and his info will be sent to a central data base. He was 12 yo- are they telling me that his info is going to be available to everyone (like we can look up sexual offender's data online)? This was a non-violent crime, in juvenile court- and it is legally documented as such. Does this mean when he's 40 that he can't get cleared to work in certain buildings? This seems absurd to me. And, I can't even find the actual juvenile law online. No attny seems to know that much about it- shoot, apparently the judge doesn't know or manipulates it- given that the judge called us in about 3 times re-doing her sentence for difficult child staing how "oh, I ordered this but now I find that I can't do it". How do you find the actual wwritten law for a juvenile in a given jurisdiction?

    3) Then, I read that a kid who was in juvy with difficult child for a violent crime had planned an escape and was charged. difficult child didn't associate with this boy- there was an age difference- but difficult child had met him and knew of him. The kid had just been released, then committed a violent crime, ran, but got caught and was put back in. Well, there were 2 nurses there- difficult child and I knew both of them. One of them was charged this week because she apparently gave this kid a handcuff key. I don't know how either got caught- but the kid is charged extra for planning an escape. the nurse claims the kid threatened a gang attack on her or her family (from the outside). But, she gave him a handcuff key. She is fired and arrested- for a misdemeanor.

    These 2 nurses managed difficult child's medications. difficult child had said there was a kid about his age who went to the nurse a lot to talk. I found that odd, given that there is a counselor on staff. But, I figured maybe she is acting like a counselor and that kid is just more comfortable with her. Now, I'm not so sure. At least difficult child didn't get caught up in that. But how much do you think I'd trust these people if difficult child ends up in there again? Especially after last year when he was threatened and attacked sexually in juvy (no act was accomplished) and the cops I reported it to just said "well, these aren't good kids, you can't expect much".

    I swear, I think this whole jurisdiction is crooked. Really- call me paranoid, but I have no faith left in it.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2008
  2. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Can't you just write "Refused" on the envelope of bro's letters and put it back in the box? I would think it works for any mail. Otherwise try, "Moved, no forwarding address" and put it back in the mail box to be returned.

    I don't have any experience with laws.

    The justice system is very cold hearted.

    Breathe, you can do this!
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You can do a return to sender on the mail or file a TRO yourself through the courts. Personally, I would just do a return to sender on the mail.
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am sorry none of this is clear cut.

    I do believe that as your son is a minor, and you are his parent, that you have the right to open his mail, and the right to refuse any mail that comes and is unwanted. I doubt anyone in the courts would push this. But, if it would make it easier, have difficult child write "Refused" on the envelope. Nothing else, except maybe "Return to Sender". It might make things easier if it was in difficult child's handwriting.

    As for the new law, difficult child may be in the clear because his was BEFORE the law went in to effect. I hope.

    I also think this town and criminal justice system is crooked and just plain WRONG.

    Call the State Bureau of Investigation, the Governor, and anyone else you can think of to help handle this.

  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Yes, you can open his mail.
    It's easier to write "refused" though.

    Can't believe that nurse gave the kid the key. Definitely a case of the fox guarding the chicken coop.

    So sorry. You need a break.
  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Ok, we'll do refused- return to sender next time.

    I'm still looking into the other- there are several laws which only apply to 14yo or older. I'm thinking this could be one of them. Actually, I'm thinking something isn't right about it for several reasons.

    Thanks- we're running out to do errands now!
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Yep. Return to Sender is a good way to handle it.

    As to the other............Haven't got a clue. The law you mention sounds a bit overkill, especially for a non-violent juvenille crime.

  8. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    Hand the card or letter to your son, tell him he may either open it, throw it away (opened or not) or write "refused" on it and put it out for the mailman. Really it should be his choice and his doing, considering the legal issues you're facing.

    Teach him that we don't have to take every phone call, open every email or letter. We can just hit "delete" and move on. It's a good to know.

    How new is the law that keeps juvenile felonies on their record forever? Before or after your son's case was adjudicated? Seems that the law shouldn't apply to case adjudicated prior to the law being passed, just those afterwards. Laws aren't supposed to be applied retroactively, but sometimes it takes a Supreme Court decision to make things as they should be.
  9. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Sara, In most situations (typical families) I would agree. But in this situation- well, if you had a 12yo kid in major legal trouble who was put on house arrest with a sentencing coming up and ordered to stay away from all friends, but a 10 yo girl was coming on to your kid big time and talking sex with him (and he's a virgin), and another kid was acting all buddy-buddy with your kid and told him to ignore what his mom said, that he'd get him some condomns and that the rules were stupid, would you stop your kid from having contact with that other kid who was saying and doing those things? Keep in mind- on top of the situation he was already in, the legal age of consent here is 13 yo.

    My answer was "yes" I would stop it. Not only for my son's sake but for my sake- I'm legally and financially responsible for his actions, debts, and mental health (they made that clear) and if I couldn't keep him in a normal realm of things, they would place him to live somewhere else. Well, just because it was my bro instead of another kid, I felt like (and still feel like) he is not in my son's best interest. I don't encourage this communication any more than I would encourage my son to communicate with another kid who told him these things. Ultimately, difficult child has to gain the maturity to make wise decisions about his friends and who he associates with himself, but a kid who just had a diagnosis change to bipolar because he went manic is not a kid I would feel comfortable with making those decisions for himself.

    My son needs to be worried about his issues- not my bro's- and lord knows, my bro has a handful of his own. He just won't deal with them.
  10. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    It is exactly because of the legal situation that I would be sure that this was my son's decision. If your son doesn't want contact, then guide him on how to make the contact stop. Or how to ignore the attempts. Like it or not, the courts have put your son, not you, in control of his communication with his uncle. That makes it your job to teach him how to take that control and acheive the outcome he wants. The easiest way for him to do that is to write 'Refused" and send the mail back. But it has to be his handwriting, not yours. And, according to the court, his decision but it sounds like he's made that.

    In your situation, you got to cover your own behind and you have to make sure the i's are dotted and the t's are crossed. You're dealing with court decisions now, the system is in your house. Logic no longer applies, just the courts.

    Edited to add....
    by the way, your son doesn't have to deal with your brother's issues. He has the choice to stop contact if he wishes and, you've said he wishes to. Teach him to detach from your brother. That means he doesn't accept the mail or he throws it away unopened. It's that simple. Opening the mail and reading it is inviting your brother into your home. Don't.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2008
  11. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks, Sara- that is pretty much what the attny said. And, he said that if difficult child wrote "refused" or told bro that he didn't want contact, and bro still tried (which he will), then we have a case. But I swear, difficult child told bro last year that he didn't ever want to talk to him again- and he told the attny's and GAL. this seems so stupid to me.
  12. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    I wouldn't get involved in fighting through the courts as long as the contact is through the mail. Just don't accept or open them. If the phone starts ringing, that's another matter. You don't need to expend the negative energy fighting another court battle.

    But isn't your brother in another state? If he is, a judge in your state has no jurisdiction over what your brother does in another state. In that case, I'm not sure what you can do.

    Just a thought, you might want to make a copy of any envelopes your son writes "Refused" one before you hand put them back in the mail. Never hurts to keep a record.
  13. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Good points, Sara! Actually, there is no court order at all regarding my bro- verbally, outside of court , our attny's (with GAL there) agreed that if difficult child WANTED to call bro himself, that I would let him - but I would monitor (listen in) to calls. Bro said (thru attny) that he would never try to call difficult child. So, now , we have the cards/letters begging difficult child to call and making insinuations about me. But, the custody case was dropped (bro didn't stand a chance) and no court order was written in that regard.

    My bro is in another state- a long way away. He's only seen difficult child about 10 times in his whole life and refused contact with him from the the time he was born until difficult child was over 2 yo because he (bro) was mad at me.
  14. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    What the letters and cards say can only upset you if you read them. Just because someone sends you mail doesn't mean you are required to open and read it. As long as you -- or your son -- are opening and reading the letters and cards, your brother has a degree of control over you. Maybe he doesn't get your son, but he gets your goat. Don't play his game. Toss them or send them back then don't give brother dear another thought.
  15. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    That is a point well-taken. I'll talk to difficult child - I hate to because he really is so compassionate and he has such rejection issues. Evene though I knew he hated calling my bro last year, while this case was going on, and he told my mom and me and the GAL that he didn;t want to do it, it took 3-4 mos of bro yelling to difficult child that his mom didn't love him and that difficult child was about to be sent to foster care to live with strangers before difficult child lost it and told bro that he didn't ever want to talk to him again. I'm glad difficult child has that sensitivity, but it is to a point that I still feel that I have to protect him... I'll talk to him, I'm just sorry that I have to do this.

    And I will always find it absurd that after it did get to that point last year, just because bro is sending cards begging difficult child to call him means that if difficult child doesn't contact him to tell him that he doesn't want contact with him, there is nothing legally I can do....HHUHH???
  16. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    Just think of brother's cards and letters as junk mail or spam.....unless, of course, you actually read junk mail and spam. I toss junk mail and delete spam unopened.
  17. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I have a question. Is your bro offering your son condoms so that son can have sex with a 10yo??? KEEP ANY AND ALL LETTERS YOU OPEN THAT SAY ANYTHING ABOUT THIS!!! Mark them with the date, and with how old your child was on that date. This gives you EVIDENCE just in case bro starts crud up again. In our state, encouraging someone to have sex with someone under the age of consent is against the laws. As you say age of consent is 14 (for boys, girls, or both? - sometimes is diff for boys than girls), iff neither girl nor son is over 14, then your bro is very very wrong mentally and the letter proves it.

    sorry all this is going on.
  18. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Susie, that isn't what is going onn now- that is what was going on last spring (2007), which lead me to block bro's phone number from our phone. My bro told ME that he wanted to provide difficult child condoms, I said no. So, bro would call difficult child and tell difficult child to call him when I wasn't around and that he would never tell me what difficult child told him. Then he helped difficult child set up a myspace and other stuff, then told GAL that I was allowing difficult child to do these things- the very things that I had said "no" to, and that bro went behind my back to help difficult child do- claiming all along to everyone that he actions were out of love for difficult child.

    Anyway, at that time, difficult child was 12 yo. The age of consent is 13 yo for both boys and girls here. I was a lot more concerned morally and legally about a 12 and 10 yo having sex then I was about any "right" my bro or my son had to communicate with each other. (by the way- I talked with the girl's parents and we stopped things from going futher- since difficult child was on a monitor at the time and they never had any time alone together, we are sure it never transpired- she had been coming on to him and we all knew that- it wasn't him trying to mess with her until she started talking to him about being nekky- personnaly, I think she must have been abused at home, or at least exposed to a lot that she shouldn't have at some point- she knew way more about sex than my son did because I started "overhearing" their phone calls- that lead me to go have a talk with her parents) I started looking into having charges filed against my bro for contributing to the delinquency of a minor, but then found out he had filed for custody. I was advised not to pursue charges then because it would look like retaliation, but I think my bro dropping the custody case had something to do with him figuring out that he wasn't going to end up looking as good as he thought in court.

    Anyway, I read the cards from him because IF he ever said anything pursuading difficult child to do anything wrong, I could have charges filed now. My attny told bro's attny last year that charges for deflammation of character (mine), harassment, contributing to delinquency, etc, whatever charge applied, would be filed if bro continued like he had been. So, these cards are written asking difficult child to call him and saying things like "he's sorry our family is such a mess, he can't help it, and he can't help how difficult child's mom (me) feels". And, gives him his phone number every time. difficult child hasn't wanted to contact him since last summer, and he told him so last summer.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2008
  19. Star*

    Star* call 911

  20. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    I think I'm going for the heavy grips myself.