Tuesday, June 28, 2011

UPDATE-Preponderance of evidence a term worth Repeating

This is a legal term worth repeating. And this particular post, please do pass on, since it relates to the amount of "Proof" needed, depending on the Court. I have taken the definition from our NFPCAR online Legal Definitions>> http://nfpcar.org/Legal/legalprint.htm I hope this helps, since, believe it or not, many lawyers aren't aware of the differences, but hopefully, we can ask a few questions to them to see if they are. (Related Power Point Presentation on Admin. Hearings>> FPLS-Administrative Law Presentation ) Plus other training>>http://www.examiner.com/foster-families-in-national/foster-parents-educational-resource-guide and  http://www.foster-parents-legal-solutions.com/education.html )
Do you know the difference between:
*Preponderance of Evidence
*Clear and Convincing
*Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
?
If Not, you better do your homework. Since depending on the court system, the level of proof depends on these terms.

I'm not a lawyer, but here are some basic "unlegal" thoughts, depending on the court system:
Administrative Hearing: By some only 51% proof needed..ie "If it could have happened, it probably did."
Family/Civil Court: To initially remove a child, usually little proof needed. However, for TPR to occur, proof must be "Clear and Convincing". which is a sliding scale between proof needed in Admin. Hearing, for example to "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt", depending on the judge.
Criminal Court: "It damn well better have happened!!"..ie "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt"
  • For those who can remember the trials of OJ Simpson?? Every wonder why he won in Criminal Court, but lost in Civil Court??
So here is the definition for Preponderance of evidence:
Preponderance of evidence A standard of proof that must be met by a plaintiff if he or she is to win a civil action.
In a civil case, the plaintiff has the burden of proving the facts and claims asserted in the complaint. If the respondent, or defendant, files a counterclaim, the respondent will have the burden of proving that claim. When a party has the Burden of Proof, the party must present, through testimony and exhibits, enough evidence to support the claim. The amount of evidence required varies from claim to claim. For most civil claims, there are two different evidentiary standards: preponderance of the evidence, and clear and convincing evidence. A third standard, proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, is used in criminal cases and very few civil cases.
The quantum of evidence that constitutes a preponderance cannot be reduced to a simple formula. A preponderance of evidence has been described as just enough evidence to make it more likely than not that the fact the claimant seeks to prove is true. It is difficult to translate this definition and apply it to evidence in a case, but the definition serves as a helpful guide to judges and juries in determining whether a claimant has carried his or her burden of proof.
The majority of civil claims are subjected to a preponderance of evidence standard. If a court or legislature seeks to make a civil claim more difficult to prove, it may raise the evidentiary standard to one of clear and convincing evidence.
Under some circumstances use of the low preponderance of evidence standard may be a violation of constitutional rights. For example, if a state seeks to deprive natural parents of custody of their children, requiring only proof by a preponderance of evidence is a violation of the parents' due process rights (Santosky v. Kramer, 455 U.S. 745, 102 S. Ct. 1388, 71 L. Ed. 2d 599 [1982]). Freedom in matters of family life is a fundamental liberty interest, and the government cannot take it away with only a modest evidentiary standard. However, a court may use a preponderance of evidence standard when a mother seeks to establish that a certain man is the father of her child (Rivera v. Minnich, 483 U.S. 574, 107 S. Ct. 3001, 97 L. Ed. 2d 473 [1987]). Most states use the preponderance of evidence standard in these cases because they have an interest in ensuring that fathers support their children.
http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Preponderance+of+evidence (added 2/08-GPC)(Related Reading: Burden+of+Proof+Begone.pdf (added 8/09)
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Related Blog>>Preponderance of Evidence VS Clear and Convincing. What is better???
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Finally, here is the:
Model State Legislation -Parental Due Process Act << I highly recommend that you pass this on to others, since it has many ideas on what is needed primarily in our Family Courts... We, as parents and/or any who care for children, must have our "Fair Day in Court". Please keep in mind, the judge makes their decision on "What Proof is presented" which may not be the Truth of the full story.
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National Foster Parent Coalition for Allegation Reform (NFPCAR) was  originated by Foster Parents Falsely Accused, in 2001. Throughout the years, and close to 80,000 posts on our Yahoo Discussion Group,  the organization has evolved to include ALL PARENTS  Falsely Accused by the Agencies, who were designated to Protect The Children.  We are the victims of the Governmental system (Parens patriae), who are supposed to be the protectors of abuse. It is time to stop the devastation to innocent families which is occurring daily across the country.  (Founded 2001)
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Foster Parents Legal Solutions (FPLS) was founded 1998. Our mandate was forged from direct personal involvement. We witnessed, first hand, the foster parent dilemma. We have personally experienced the bureaucratic quagmire with its personnel maze leading down the path to a legal and social abyss. We were made painfully aware of the need for a safety net against this out of control run away “child protection system”.
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Power Point Training ~ Guide- "Standing in the Shadow of the Law" ~ "Did You Know Series" on Examiner.com
  • Administrative Law Presentation
  • Allegations Presentation
  • Documentation
  • Foster Parents Presentation
     
2. Guide-"Standing in the Shadow of the Law"Although this valuable publication is being edited, as a 4th edition, it has been a valuable document for Foster Caregivers, Parents, Lawyers, and many who care for Our Children. Here are the Chapters in this Document:
  • 1.  Administrative Law
  • 2.  Our Rights are Being Trampled
  • 3.   Intimidation 101
  • 4.  The PRICE TAG That Lady Justice Wears
  • 5.  Documentation.  How Important Is it?
  • 6.  Creating Your Own Law Book
  • 7.  News Article Collection
  • 8. Criminal Law
  •      Legal Terminology (Web Version- Rev. 07/10)
     
In this and other questions in our current project, "Did You Know Series", we need to let the readers know that your Foster Families Examiner is not an attorney.  Therefore, can only offer you advice based on twelve years of experience in dealing in the Foster Care System, acting as an advocate for hundreds of foster parents.
Marilyn Harrison
National NFPCAR Director
Owner
Foster Parents Legal Solutions
Some of the Topics Covered

I sincerely hope this information has stimulated some interest. "Knowledge is Power". And if each one of us wants to Care for Our Children, we must ALL be responsible for our actions. The basic concept of Agencies assisting our Families was to recognize, the concerns Families may have, and Guide them to make their Family Stronger in these trying times.

So please pass this information on to others, and keep in mind these three words: Sharing, Caring, and Guidance. Words that will assist those who call themselves "A Family".

"Sometimes it just takes One Small Voice to make a world of difference...I challenge you to be one of those voices"
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I have been trained by acting as an advocate on behalf of foster parents across the nation for twelve years, and functioning as a foster parent myself for fifteen years.I also have one of the largest chat groups on line for foster parents who are under Administrative Law, and need assistance. A National toll free number has been functioning for twelve years, enabling them to have one on one counseling, a personal touch.
We have CD power point trainings available on this subject, currently being used, to train attorneys who specialize in "Family Law", When any of the attorneys have expressed an interest in learning more about "Administrative Law".
I am currently working on a book, commonly known as "Standing in the Shadow of Law", the fourth edition. It is a text book, if you will, to equip Foster Parents with an educational tool. It offers them an unparalleled opportunity to learn, grow and become more knowledgeable within this confusing Foster Care System. With the information that is within this book they can comfortably defend themselves, Pro Se. They can represent themselves in a courtroom atmosphere, Administrative Law. However, we do encourage them to obtain an attorney, this book organizes their cases for their attorney. The attorney's who have seen it, have been impressed with both it's contents and the instructions within.

We teach a basic course in

1."Administrative Law. We believe knowledge is your best defense. Other subjects we offer are as follows;
2. "Documentation, How important is it"?
3. "Allegations, the storm no one tells you about
4. " So you want to be a Foster Parent"?
5." Foster Parents Presentation.

These presentation are in the form of Power Point and easy to understand. We are happy to answer any questions that you may have after viewing the presentations. You will find the educational tools located on our website; www. foster-parents-legal-solutions. com
Why we seek to educate foster parents across the nation, because we believe that you need to have your questions answered. Not with the
"Gloss Over Approach" that a lot of trainings use, but with truth. We believe in you, and are here to support you.

We also have an information website at www. nfpcar.org where we store data on behalf of biological, foster/ adoptive parents. Welcome to the information highway for foster/ adoptive and biological parents. Marilyn Harrison your servant and advocate
Foster Parents Legal Solutions is based in Yarnell, AZ, USA
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May you find Strength in Your Higher Power,
 GranPa Chuck
    Defend Yourself>>