Legal News

Why do the kids suffer?

As a Family Law Attorney I see many things that would shock the average person. However, no matter how often I see people at their worst, it always makes me feel sad that my clients are in such a down place.  Generally, the minor child or children face the brunt of the punishment/abuse. A few days ago I saw another typical story of 2 adults ( not “parents”) who allegedly treated their children in such a way that would shock the average person.

I guess my problem with the situation is people should not have kids if they are not ready to take care of them, because in the end it is not the adult who suffers, but it is the child that suffers.  So if you are in a situation where you have a child or children and you need help, you should ask a family member or a local organization for assistance.

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Police: Fla. couple kept boy locked in closet


TITUSVILLE, Fla. (AP) — When Florida police checked out a child abuse report, they found an emaciated boy lying on the floor inside a locked bathroom at his home, apparently punished for stealing food. The boy was rushed to the hospital where workers said he resembled a concentration camp survivor, and they treated him for malnutrition and dehydration.

The 12-year-old boy's father and his girlfriend have been charged with aggravated child abuse and child neglect. Two other kids at the home have been removed as child welfare officials investigate.

According to a police report, the boy — weighing just 40 pounds — was locked in a bathroom, strapped to a bed or caged in a closet for days or weeks at a time over the past year.

Brevard County Jail records show 38-year-old Michael Marshall and 48-year-old Sharon Glass have been charged with three counts each of aggravated child abuse and three counts each of child neglect. A judge ordered both be held without bond. It is not immediately clear if they have an attorney.

The Titusville Police Department received a report of a young child being unlawfully caged and suffering from abuse, though the report doesn't spell out whether there was a cage inside the closet. Authorities in Titusville have not returned telephone calls from The Associated Press.

Marshall is the father of the 12-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl. Glass is the mother of the 5 year-old boy.

The two other children at the home were being seen by doctors, said Carrie Hoeppner, spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Children and Families.

"No doubt that the younger two have been subjected to mental abuse," Hoeppner said.

Marshall also has a 17-year-old son with his ex-wife, Lisa Minshall, 36, who lives in southwestern Ohio. She said her son was still an infant when she and Marshall divorced, and Marshall hasn't seen him since he was 3.

"I kind of feel sick, and I'm kind of happy that that situation didn't happen to me and my son," Minshall said. "If I would have stayed around long enough, he probably would have been abusive to his first son."

Marshall was arrested on a criminal domestic violence charge in Ohio in 1995, records showed. It wasn't immediately clear whether he was convicted.

Welfare officials investigated neglect and concerns about the home environment in the summer of 2010. Once the investigation was closed, the boy was taken out of school and went "unnoticed for so long," Hoeppner said. There were no other reports from the home or contact between welfare officials and the couple.

Brevard Public Schools spokeswoman Christine Davis said the boy was removed from the system for homeschooling in August 2010. Records shows the boy was moved to a private school less than two months later, but the name of the private school wasn't listed.

The couple's home is located in Titusville, about 40 miles east of Orlando on the coast. The town was known as a good place to watch space shuttle launches at Cape Canaveral.

Myrtle Wilcox, a neighbor, said she hadn't seen the boy since November, when he was outside on the front lawn playing with a dog.

"The boy looked to be about 8- or 10-years-old," Wilcox said.

She said he was slender but nothing seemed wrong.

On Christmas Eve, Wilcox said Marshall had come over to get help jumping a car. He and his girlfriend wanted to go to a store to buy last minute gifts for their children.

"Just ordinary people," Wilcox said. "Going to work and tending to their own business and taking care of their family. That's the only thing I could assume about them."

“I hurt the woman I said I loved and I am sorry and I hope that one day she does forgive me"

As a Family Law attorney I see EVERYTHING. One particular area of the law I see often in my practice  is “domestic violence.”  Domestic Violence is not only a serious offense but it is also pervasive in our society. There are a surprising number of cases in which a spouse is physically abused by the other spouse. Unfortunately, I was not surprised when I heard about the case where a husband attacked his former wife in the judge’s chambers during a divorce proceeding.  Although the husband needs counseling and help for his behavior, it was no surprise that the husband received 15 years for his actions. As the judge stated, “It was in a court of law where people for hundreds of years have been coming to peaceably resolve

their disputes where people have an expectation of safety — certainly where your former wife thought

she would be safe,” Cohen told Gonzalez during sentencing. “You chose it as a place to viciously assault her.”


If you ever find yourself or a loved one in a situation where violence is taking place, please make sure you seek HELP.

See Daily News Article:


Race, Religion, Politics and Gay Marriage!!!

This is an interesting article from the Associated Press, when it comes to  Race, Religion, Politics and Gay Marriage.  With Maryland becoming another state allowing gay marriage, how will it affect the 2012 election, not just on the national level but also at the state level? I guess time will tell.

By SARAH BREITENBACH, Associated Press

BELTSVILLE, Md. (AP) — With Maryland legalizing gay marriage, some conservative opponents and religious leaders are counting on members of their congregations, especially in black churches, to upend the legislation at the polls this fall.

Many African American church leaders oppose gay marriage in the liberal-leaning state that's nearly one-third black, and President Barack Obama's re-election campaign is expected to drive many of their congregants to the polls. Opponents submitted draft language for a ballot referendum to overturn the measure just after it passed the Legislature last week.

Gov. Martin O'Malley signed the bill into law Thursday, and it takes effect in January 2013.

Over the weekend, some pastors at predominantly black churches were already using their sermons to shop the referendum effort to their congregations, asking members to sign up for email alerts, put their name on petitions and overturn the law come November. The Catholic Church, which has 1.2 million parishioners in Maryland, has also openly opposed the bill.

A Sunday service at the Hope Christian Church in Beltsville was filled with murmurs of agreement as a spokeswoman for the Maryland Marriage Alliance rallied the mostly black congregation against the law.

"We will have the last say on how marriage will be defined in Maryland," spokeswoman Dee Powell shouted repeatedly to the audience of several hundred.

Some churchgoers said they are bound by their faith to vote against gay marriage.

"It's a personal value and opinion. It has nothing to do with President Barack Obama," said 54-year-old DeBorah Martinez, who has attended Hope Christian for three years.

When a gay marriage bill fell short in the legislature last year, black pastors were given much of the credit for pressuring lawmakers to oppose it. The measure was pulled from the floor of the House as leaders realized if fell short of the needed votes.

Opposition from black pastors in Maryland belies an overall political stance that routinely includes their endorsement of Democratic candidates and support for their agendas.

Opponents will need to collect nearly 56,000 valid voter signatures, equivalent to 3 percent of the people who cast ballots in the 2010 gubernatorial election, to put the measure on the November ballot. Even gay marriage advocates expect the referendum to end up on the ballot.

Six states and the District of Columbia currently recognize gay marriages. The state of Washington has also legalized gay marriage, and its law takes effect in June. Voters there are expected to petition the measure to referendum this fall.

Maine legalized the unions for same-sex couples in 2009, but later that year became the only state overturn a such a law passed by a legislature.

Meanwhile, about 30 states have constitutional amendments that seek to prohibit gay marriage, most by defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

Donald Norris, chairman of the department of public policy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, said black churches could heavily influence the referendum, but liberal voters who come out to support Obama could offset the votes against same-sex marriage.

A number of factors could tip the vote on a referendum, Norris said. For example, a weak Republican presidential candidate could mean conservative voters stay home and don't cast ballots against the law.

"It's going to really depend upon a variety of things that are going to happen between now and November," Norris said.

Gay marriage advocates are hoping that young voters — whom they expect to support their cause — will turn out for Obama as they did in 2008.

"I think Obama's election turns out a number of different people," said Sultan Shakir, campaign manager for Marylanders for Marriage Equality, a coalition of gay rights groups that worked to get the bill passed. "(There is) a lot of attention around people who attend church, but there are plenty of other demographics who are going to be turned out."

The advocates also think it is inappropriate to leave what they consider a civil rights issue to the discretion of voters.

"It's sad to me that anyone would think that it's OK to put up the rights of a minority to a popular vote," said Lisa Polyak, chairwoman of the board of directors for the gay rights organization Equality Maryland. "We have children, we have lives, we have jobs and we just want to go about them with integrity."

Proponents of gay marriage are also counting on religious leaders who support of the bill to influence their congregations and for labor unions to urge their members to vote to keep gay marriage legal. Some black pastors who supported the measure as a matter of civil rights appeared publicly with O'Malley, a Democrat, during the legislative debate.

Babatunde Adedayo, a 29-year-old from Upper Marlboro, said the president and his stance on gay marriage will likely influence his peers in November. Obama supports civil unions, but has not endorsed marriage for same-sex couples

"I think this affects every facet of our culture," Adedayo said after the service at Hope Christian. "As a black African American in America, it is something the black church takes seriously and depending on Barack Obama's stance on this, it will affect a lot of people."

Don't Ask Don't Tell... Well I Am TELLING!!!

The debate of same sex couples and what "legal status" they should have is coming to a breaking point.  The article below is one reason why our country and our states need to take a hard stance on whether or not they are for or against gay marriage and/or legal unions. All I can say is THANK YOU to all of the soldiers and their families, including Marine Brandon Morgan for serving our country.

The following article is by Liz Goodwin ( 

Five months after the military's ban on openly gay service expired, a photo of a young gay Marine's homecoming kiss has gone viral. Nearly 15,000 people have liked the picture on Facebook, which was posted in a group for gay Marines on Saturday. The Marine, Brandon Morgan, posted a response on his Facebook wall according to the JoeMyGod blog. "To everyone who has responded in a positive way. My partner and I want to say thank you. Dalan, the giant in the photo, can't believe how many shares and likes we have gotten on this. We didn't do this to get famous,or something like that we did this cause after 3 deployments and four years knowing each other, we finally told each other how we felt," Morgan wrote. He responded to "haters" who criticized him for kissing in uniform. "If the Sergeants Major, Captains, Majors, and Colonels around us didn't care...then why do you care what these random people have to say?" In December, two female naval petty officers became the first same-sex couple to share the traditional first kiss on the pier when the ship returned from an 80-day deployment.



“My friends, welcome to the other side of the rainbow…”

Same Sex couples in the State of Washington will be legally recognized starting June 7, 2012. Washington is currently the 7th state in the nation to allow same sex marriage. (  No matter your thought on the topic it seems as though there will be a showdown with the Supreme Court. Advocates for same sex marriages argue that same sex couples should be treated just like everyone else. Detractors argue that the sanctity of marriage will be destroyed and marriage may not be taken seriously.

Currently, same sex marriage is legal in New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Washington, D.C. The New Jersey legislature has a bill and a vote is expected sooner than later.(

Even  though the State of Florida does not allow or recognize same sex marriage, the city of Orlando has allowed a Domestic Partnership Registry. ( The Domestic Partnership Registry addresses same sex couples many rights that same sex couples are entitled to. ([2].pdf)


Tommy Jordan: Police Thank Him!?!?

The following article was taken from the DAILY MAIL REPORTER The strict father who became a YouTube phenomenon when he turned a gun on his foul-mouthed daughter's laptop is standing by his actions, and he has a message for his critics.

The 8-minute clip on the video-sharing site showed North Carolina parent Tommy Jordan lecturing his 15-year-old daughter Hannah about a complaint that the teen had put on her Facebook page.

At the end, he unloads nine rounds from his .45 handgun into Hannah’s laptop, and tells his daughter that if she wants a new one, she can get a job and buy one.

Mr Jordan, now a cyberspace celebrity, said in a statement on his Facebook page on Saturday that he wouldn’t change a thing about his punishment.

Scroll down for video and Tommy Jordan's full statement

Angry: Tommy Jordan, of Albemarle, North Carolina, reads out his 15-year-old daughter Hannah's grumbling Facebook post in which she complains about having to do chores at homeAngry: Tommy Jordan, of Albemarle, North Carolina, reads out his 15-year-old daughter Hannah's grumbling Facebook post in which she complains about having to do chores at home

Mr Jordan said: 'If I had it to do again... let's see... I'd do it almost the same'.

He said that those who disagree with his parenting methods have called police and child protective services to his Albermarle home.

But Mr Jordan said he’s sorry to disappoint anyone who was hoping he would wind up arrested in the matter.

'The police by the way said "Kudos, Sir" and most of them made their kids watch it. I actually had a "thank you" from an entire detectives squad.'

He added: 'And another police officer is using it in a positive manner in his presentation for the school system. How's about those apples? Didn't expect THAT when you called the cops did you?'

He offered that those who wish to continue calling the cops on him can continue to do so.

'I'm just going to leave a pot of coffee on for the next officers who come by.'

The North Carolina IT worker said Hannah responded to the hilarious video by saying: ‘I can’t believe you shot my computer!' and had a crying fit.

Mr Jordan said his outspoken daughter later calmed down, but it was an arduous road to recovery.

The father wrote in a media statement to the Toronto Star that Hannah was initially shocked. He said he then talked to her for a long time on the patio, discussing her actions and his response.

Aim: Mr Jordon gets out his pistol to shoot the laptop
Punishment: Mr Jordan starts to fire at the laptop

Aim: Mr Jordan gets out his pistol to shoot the laptop, left, which he has placed in the dirt and grass - before he starts to fire at it, right, shooting nine bullets including one from Hannah's mother

Daddy dearest: Tommy Jordan released a long statement through his Facebook page on feedback he's getting over the YouTube sensationDaddy dearest: Tommy Jordan released a long statement through his Facebook page on feedback he's getting over the YouTube sensation

He wrote: ‘After she’d had time to process it and I’d had time to process her thoughts on the matters we discussed, we were back to a semi-truce… you know that uncomfortable moment when you’re in the kitchen with your child after an argument and you’re both waiting to see which one’s going to cave in and resume normal conversation first?’

He also said she was ‘astounded’ by the hundreds of comments, thousands of shares, and millions of views of the video.

CBS even called to offer him a TV show, he said.

From the media statement, it would appear that Hannah has calmed down over having her laptop shot, and has also learned the consequences of a single post - both hers on Facebook and her father’s on YouTube.

Mr Jordan wrote: ‘She’s seen first-hand through this video the worst possible scenario that can happen.’

Since the video has become viral, Mr Jordan has written a series of posts on his Facebook page, saying that he's not an awesome parent, nor a hero of any kind, just a 'normal guy with a reasonable moral compass that I try very hard to keep pointed North.'

He has said that the video has since been monetized to pay for attorney’s fees, as many people have tried to impersonate, duplicate, and otherwise copy his video.

In the long written response, he says he refuses to talk to the media as he believes benefiting from the ordeal would send the wrong message to his teen daughter.

The message in question: Tommy Jordan sat in a wooden chair with his daughter's rant and read it in its entiretyThe message in question: Tommy Jordan sat in a wooden chair with his daughter's rant and read it in its entirety

He writes: 'There's absolutely NO way I'm going to send my child the message that it's OK to gain from something like this.

'It would send her a message that it's OK to profit at the expense of someone else's embarrassment

Mr Jordan also lifts the lid on his daughter's reaction when she discovered the video, calling it 'a horrible day in her life'. 

He said that she 'had her crying fit, then got over it, accepted her punishment, and hasn’t let it (or people’s comments) destroy her strength'. He added that they had read through comments from viewers together and have been able to joke about the incident.

Mr Jordan also revealed how he discovered his daughter's scathing post - denying that he had been snooping through her account.

Instead, he explained that Hannah had blocked 'Family' and 'Church' friends from seeing the post - but had forgotten the family had created an account for its dog, which they would update with photos.

'If I did something embarrassing to my parents in public (such as a grocery store) I got my tail tore up right there in front of God and everyone, right there in the store. I put the reprisal in exactly the same medium she did, in the exact same manner'

Tommy Jordan

So when Mr Jordan signed into the dog's account to add pictures, the post came up on the page, as Hannah had not listed her pet as 'Family'.

Despite receiving abusive emails about his parenting choices, Mr Jordan said in the statement that he stood by his video, saying 'that's how I was raised'.

'If I did something embarrassing to my parents in public (such as a grocery store) I got my tail tore up right there in front of God and everyone, right there in the store,' he said. 'I put the reprisal in exactly the same medium she did, in the exact same manner.'

He added that the stunt was intended to show her that she cannot take possessions and her parents money for granted, claiming the video had been 'very effective'.

It had reminded her that whatever she writes on Facebook or other social networking sites will be there to haunt her in years to come, he added.

The video, in which Mr Jordan reads his daughter's post to the camera and responds to her complaints before shooting her laptop, went viral earlier this week.

He begins by reading out his daughter’s post from a computer print-out, explaining ‘since you want to hide it from everyone, I’m going to share it with everybody’.

Irreparable: He shoots nine bullets into the computer, which he tells Hannah she will have to pay for as well

Irreparable: He shoots nine bullets into the computer, which he tells Hannah she will have to pay for as well

Mr Jordan mocks his daughter for thinking her parents would not be able to see the post because of her Facebook privacy settings, ignoring the fact that he works in IT for a living.

In the post, Hannah says she should be paid for the chores she does around the home and attacks her parents for overworking her.


Mr Jordan laughs at this suggestion, pointing out what an easy life she gets in comparison to what he had to endure growing up. She moans about waking up at 5am and go to bed at 10pm.


  • 'Pay you for the chores... seriously? Pay you for chores that you're supposed to do around the house?'
  • 'You come home from school and you have a list of chores that are on the wall because you can't remember them if you don't'
  • 'Your responsibilities include waking up on time and getting on the bus. That's the end of your responsibilities each day'
  • 'If you have any laundry of your own, do it. And if your bed is unmade, do it. You don't have to do my laundry, you don't have to make my bed, you don't have to make the guest bed'
  • 'Are you out of your mind? You are 15, going on 16 years old. You want things for your laptop... you want a new iPod - but you won't get off your lazy ass to even look for a job'



Then after about seven minutes addressing the camera to berate Hannah, he stands up and blows holes through the laptop.

‘That right there is your laptop’, he says in a YouTube video, pointing a camera at a computer lying in a patch of dirt on the ground.

‘This right here is my .45,’ he says, moving a pistol into the frame.

He cocks the weapon and shoots nine rounds into the laptop. The video entitled ‘Facebook Parenting: For the Troubled Teen’ is dedicated to his rebellious daughter.

It’s also aimed at ‘all her friends on Facebook who thought that her little rebellious post was cute, and for all you parents out there who think your, you know, kids don’t post bad things on Facebook’.

He rounds off by saying: 'Oh yeah and after that comment you made about your mom, your mom told me to be sure I put one in there for her. So…that one's from her.'

'Maybe a few kids can take something away from this,’ Mr Jordan writes in the video description.

‘If you’re so disrespectful to your parents and yourself as to post this kind of thing on Facebook, you’re deserving of some tough love. Today, my daughter is getting a dose of tough love.’]

He said he found her hidden Facebook post while upgrading her computer. He completes his lesson by saying: ‘You can have a new laptop when you buy a new laptop and when you pay me back the $130 for the software I spent on yours.

‘I hope you’ve enjoyed your little fiasco on Facebook. I hope it was worth all this.' The video has been watched around 1.5million times since it was posted just two days ago.

Crumpled: After reading his daughter's rant bemoaning her chores, Mr Jordan crumpled the paper in his handCrumpled: After reading his daughter's rant bemoaning her chores, Mr Jordan crumpled the paper in his hand

Mr Jordan has since written on Facebook that the attention has helped him and his daughter 'deal with it' and insisted Hannah is fine, saying they both laughed about the video going viral.

But he admitted: 'I’ll agree that wasn’t a good example of me as a father. I had been reading that post again and again for about an hour, sometimes in tears, other times so mad my hands were shaking.

'I was trying very hard to be civil in my message,' Mr Jordan said, reported Fox News. 'I slipped in that and said a word I shouldn’t have. I deserve a little backlash for that, no doubt.'


Attention Media Outlets

While we appreciate the interest you're all putting forth to get in touch with us regarding the video, we're not going to go on your talk show, not going to call in to your radio show, and not going to be in your TV mini-series.

Some of you think I made an acceptable parenting decision and others think I didn't. However, I can't think of any way myself or my daughter can ...respond to a media outlet that won't be twisted out of context. The Dallas news TV news already showed that in their brief 5 minute interview with the psychologist.

Additionally, there's absolutely NO way I'm going to send my child the message that it's OK to gain from something like this. It would send her a message that it's OK to profit at the expense of someone else's embarrassment or misfortune and that's now how I was raised, nor how she has been raised.

So I say thank you from all of us. If we have anything to say, we'll say it here on Facebook, and we'll say it publicly, but we won't say it to a microphone or a camera. There are too many other REAL issues out there that could use this attention you're giving us. My daughter isn't hurt, emotionally scarred, or otherwise damaged, but that kind of publicity has never seemed to be to have a positive effect on any child or family.

If you're a news outlet that wants to ask us a question, feel free to so via email. I'm sure by now my email address is easy enough to find. It might take me awhile to get to a response because I'd have to sort through the "Die you bastard" emails to find it, but we will respond if its something that we feel merits it. Otherwise, sorry... no interviews, no talk shows, no call-ins.

If we respond to anything, it will be on here, and it will be in a way that our words can't be misconstrued or edited for appeal to specific audience or shock value.

Now, I'm going to try to get to work for the day. Best of luck to all of you out there... and PLEASE give my phone a break.


The Dog Did It.. no, really.

I finally came out and told her this today, partly because it was too funny NOT to share.

When my daughter made her post, she used Facebook's privacy settings to block "Family" and "Church" friend's lists. All her other friends could see it. We, of course could not.

One of our dogs is always getting in photos and therefore has her own Facebook It's just a cute dumb thing we did for fun. Well, the dog's profile is rarely used except when funny pictures of her are posted. Since that's not too often, and she has very few friends on Facebook, her wall is kind of bare, with relatively few posts showing up on it.

The other night we gave the dog a bath and there was a funny photo we uploaded to Facebook and tagged her in. I logged in as the dog the next morning to comment on the photo. However when I logged into the dog's profile, my daughter had forgotten to add her to the "family" list.... so our family dog's profile showed her post right there on the front page.

It wasn't any parent-hacking, computer spying, or monitoring of any kind.. the dog actually ratted her out completely by accident. She hasn't petted that dog all day today...


For those that wondered, commented, criticized, and just in general wanted to know: My daughter came through it fine.

Yes, she's in trouble, and yes she's grounded, but that doesn't mean every moment of her life has to be miserable. She's going to come to terms with the changes that will be present for a while; no TV privileges, no Internet, etc.

In the meantime, once the initial anger passed,... she sat with me reviewing some of the comments that have come in via Facebook and YouTube. One person even suggested collecting the shell casings and auctioning them on eBay. I said I’d do it if it would help contribute to her college fund! When I told her about it, she thought a minute, got a funny calculating expression on her face and said, “in that case you should shoot my phone too. We can use more bullets and I’ll go half-sies with ya on it! It’s not like I’m going to need it any time soon. And I can use the money we get to buy a new one.”

While the whole point of this story isn’t funny, what is funny to me is how weak some people out there think kids are. Our kids are as strong as we help them to be. My daughter took a horrible day in her life, had her crying fit, then got over it, accepted her punishment, and hasn’t let it (or people’s comments) destroy her strength. I don’t get any credit for that. She’s strong and able to overcome almost anything life throws at her.

Since this unsuspectingly threw her into the limelight much more strongly than either of us intended, I asked her if she wanted to make her own response video, and told her I’d let her do it if she wanted to. She doesn’t like being in front of the camera, so she declined, but I’ve told her if she wants to write a response or post a video response, I’d be OK with it. It’s only fair considering the viral nature of the whole thing. So far she’s not really interested. Quite frankly it seems she’s gotten bored of it much faster than the general public has. If that changes I’ll post it here.


Media Response to Anita Li, from the Toronto Star

Since you took the time to email us with your requests like we asked, I’ll take the time to give you an honest follow-up response. You’ll have to forgive me for doing so publicly though; again I want to be sure my words are portrayed the way I actually say them, not cut together to make entirely different points.

Your questions were: Q: Why did you decide to reprimand your daughter over a public medium like YouTube?

A: Well, I actually just had to load the video file itself on YouTube because it’s a better upload process than Facebook, but the intended audience was her Facebook friends and the parents of those friends who saw her post and would naturally assume we let our children get away with something like that. So, to answer “Why did you reprimand her over a public medium like Facebook” my answer is this: Because that’s how I was raised. If I did something embarrassing to my parents in public (such as a grocery store) I got my tail tore up right there in front of God and everyone, right there in the store. I put the reprisal in exactly the same medium she did, in the exact same manner. Her post went out to about 452 people. Mine went out to about 550 people… originally. I had no idea it would become what it did.

Q: How effective do you think your punishment was (i.e. shooting her laptop and reading her letter online)?

A: I think it was very effective on one front. She apparently didn’t remember being talked to about previous incidents, nor did she seem to remember the effects of having it taken away, nor did the eventual long-term grounding seem to get through to her. I think she thought “Well, I’ll just wait it out and I’ll get it back eventually.” Her behavior corrected for a short time, and then it went back to what it was before and worse. This time, she won’t ever forget and it’ll be a long time before she has an opportunity to post on Facebook again. I feel pretty certain that every day from then to now, whenever one of her friends mentions Facebook, she’ll remember it and wish she hadn’t done what she did.

The second lesson I want her to learn is the value of a dollar. We don’t give her everything she asks for, but you can all imagine what it’s like being the only grandchild and the first child. Presents and money come from all sides when you’re young. Most of the things she has that are “cool” were bought or gifted that way. She’s always asked for very few things, but they’re always high-dollar things (iPod, laptop, smartphone, etc). Eventually she gets given enough money to get them. That’s not learning the value of a dollar. Its knowing how to save money, which I greatly applaud in her, but it’s not enough. She wants a digital SLR camera. She wants a 22 rifle like mine. She wants a car. She wants a smart phone with a data package and unlimited texting. (I have to hear about that one every week!)

She thinks all these things are supposed to be given to her because she’s got parents. It’s not going to happen, at least not in our house. She can get a job and work for money just like everyone else. Then she can spend it on anything she wants (within reason). If she wants to work for two months to save enough to purchase a $1000 SLR camera with an $800 lens, then I can guarantee she’ll NEVER leave it outside at night. She’ll be careful when she puts it away and carries it around. She’ll value it much more because she worked so hard to get it. Instead, with the current way things have been given to her, she's on about her fourth phone and just expects another one when she breaks the one she has. She's not sorry about breaking it, or losing it, she's sorry only because she can't text her friends. I firmly believe she'll be a LOT more careful when she has to buy her own $299.00 Motorola Razr smartphone.

Until then, she can do chores, and lots and lots of them, so the people who ARE feeding her, clothing her, paying for all her school trips, paying for her musical instruments, can have some time to relax after they finish working to support her and the rest of the family. She can either work to make money on her own, or she will do chores to contribute around the house. She’s known all along that all she has to do is get a job and a lot of these chores will go away. But if you’re too lazy to work even to get things you want for yourself, I’m certainly not going to let you sit idly on your rear-end with your face glued to both the TV and Facebook for 5 to 6 hours per night. Those days are over.

Q: How did your daughter respond to the video and to what happened to her laptop?

A: She responded to the video with “I can’t believe you shot my computer!” That was the first thing she said when she found out about it. Then we sat and we talked for quite a long while on the back patio about the things she did, the things I did in response, etc.

Later after she’d had time to process it and I’d had time to process her thoughts on the matters we discussed, we were back to a semi-truce… you know that uncomfortable moment when you’re in the kitchen with your child after an argument and you’re both waiting to see which one’s going to cave in and resume normal conversation first? Yeah, that moment. I told her about the video response and about it going viral and about the consequences it could have on our family for the next couple of days and asked if she wanted to see some of the comments people had made. After the first few hundred comments, she was astounded with the responses.

People were telling her she was going to commit suicide, commit a gun-related crime, become a drug addict, drop out of school, get pregnant on purpose, and become a stripper because she’s too emotionally damaged now to be a productive member of society. Apparently stripper was the job-choice of most of the commenters. Her response was “Dude… it’s only a computer. I mean, yeah I’m mad but pfft.” She actually asked me to post a comment on one of the threads (and I did) asking what other job fields the victims of laptop-homicide were eligible for because she wasn’t too keen on the stripping thing.

We agreed we learned two collective lessons from this so far:

First: As her father, I’ll definitely do what I say I will, both positive and negative and she can depend on that. She no longer has any doubt about that.

Second: We have always told her what you put online can affect you forever. Years later a single Facebook/MySpace/Twitter comment can affect her eligibility for a good job and can even get her fired from a job she already has. She’s seen first-hand through this video the worst possible scenario that can happen. One post, made by her Dad, will probably follow him the rest of his life; just like those mean things she said on Facebook will stick with the people her words hurt for a long time to come. Once you put it out there, you can’t take it back, so think carefully before you use the internet to broadcast your thoughts and feelings.



To my parents,

I'm not your damn slave. It's not my responsibility to clean up your s**t. We have a cleaning lady for a reason. Her name is Linda, not Hannah.

If you want coffee, get off your ass and get it yourself. If you want a garden, shovel the fertiliser yourself, don't sit back on your ass and watch me do it. If you walk in the house and get mud all over the floor that I just cleaned, be my guest, but clean it up after you are done getting s**t everywhere.

I'm tired of picking up after you. You tell me at least once a day that I need to get a job. You could just pay me for all the s**t that I do around the house. Every day when I get home from school, I have to do dishes, clean the counter tops, all the floors, make all the beds, do the laundry and get the trash. I'm not even going to mention all the work I do around your clinic.

And if I don't do all that every day, I get grounded. Do you know how hard it is to keep up with chores and schoolwork? It's freaking crazy.

I go to sleep at 10 o'clock every night because I am too tired to stay up any longer and do anything else. I have to get up at five in the morning, to get ready for school. On the weekends, I have to sleep with my door locked so my little brother won't come get me up at six.

I'm tired of this bulls**t. Next time I have to pour a cup of coffee, I'm going to flip s**t. I have no idea how I have a life. I'm going to hate to see the day when you get too old to wipe your ass and you call me, asking for help. I won't be there.

Signed, Your Pissed Kid, Hannah


Florida House Bill 549 and Florida Senate Bill 748: Florida’s New Proposed Alimony Laws

States throughout the nation are revisiting their Alimony Laws and Florida is no different. Late last year, Florida Representative Ritch Workman and Senator Diaz de la Portilla filed similar bills that would change how alimony is calculated. Representative Workman filed Bill 549 and Senator Portilla filed Bill 748. See:

Those who oppose the Bill

Critics of the new piece of legislation stated that the new bill might pigeonhole women and men into relationships they do not want to be in anymore, because they may not be able to financially support themselves, thereby possibly having to stay in an unhealthy marriage. Currently, if there is a need for alimony and the other party can pay alimony, than alimony may be granted. In the current form, the bill would end permanent alimony; however, one can still receive payments for a certain time period.

Those who support the Bill

Supporters, such as the Florida Alimony Reform Organization, support the new legislation                                                                             ( Supporters of the bill argue that it is not fair for a person to pay alimony for the rest of that person’s life and there has to be some point of “end time,” similar to child support. Currently, child support payments generally end at the age of 18 or 19, depending on high school graduation.

My Thoughts

I do believe that there should be some change to the Alimony Laws on the books, however, how far that change should go is the question. Currently there is language in the SB 748 that states:


The court must reduce or terminate an award of alimony if it determines upon specific written findings by the court that since               the granting of a divorce and the award of alimony a supportive relationship has existed between the obligee and a                                 person with whom the obligee resides.

This proposed portion of the law makes sense if a party moves on with his or her life, and supports that the financial support from the ex-spouse should change as well. However, supportive relationship is defined a

A person is deemed to maintain a supportive relationship when he or she shares a primary residence together with or without            another person for a period of at least 3 continuous months in a common household.

I do not know if 3 months is enough time to modify or terminate alimony and establish that a supportive relationship has been established. However, the SB 748 states:

If an alimony award has been modified to terminate due to a supportive relationship and that supportive relationship does not             produce a marriage, the obligee is not  entitled to reinstatement of alimony from the obligor.

In the end, either side, supporters or non-supporters, will have valid arguments and finding that happy medium will be key; however, the best thing both parties should do before getting married to plan ahead for such concerns is enter and sign a PRENUPITAL AGREEMENT.




Prop 8, Florida, and the United States Supreme Court- Oh My!!!!

Prop 8: Just One Level Below the US Supreme Court Both sides vigorously argue that they are right and the people stand with them. However, 2 out of 3 judges ruled that Prop 8 was unconstitutional.

Judge Reinhardt wrote:

"Proposition 8 operates with no apparent purpose but to impose on gays and lesbians, through the public law, a majority's private disapproval of them and their relationships," Judge Stephen Reinhardt


What does Florida say about same sex marriage?

Under Florida Statute 742.212 it states,

“Marriages between persons of the same sex entered into in any jurisdiction, whether within or outside the State of Florida, the United States, or any other jurisdiction, either domestic or foreign, or any other place or location, or relationships between persons of the same sex which are treated as marriages in any jurisdiction, whether within or outside the State of Florida, the United States, or any other jurisdiction, either domestic or foreign, or any other place or location, are not recognized for any purpose in this state.

The statute further goes on to say:

For purposes of interpreting any state statute or rule, the term “marriage” means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the term “spouse” applies only to a member of such a union.

 United States Supreme Court Showdown

 If the U.S.  Supreme Court grants certiorari for the Prop 8 case then the Florida Statute 742.212 may be in jeopardy. However, like many legal analysts have stated the chances of the U.S. Supreme Court taking the case on will be unlikely.