How to get custody of child when other parent leaves the state with the child

All states in the United States of America follow the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. Each state has its own version of this law codified in its own statutes.

In the State of Maryland,  this act is found in Family Law Article  § 9.5-201, initial state child custody law. This law provides that

(a) Except as otherwise provided in § 9.5-204 of this subtitle, a court of this State has jurisdiction to make an initial child custody determination only if:

(1) this State is the home state of the child on the date of the commencement of the proceeding, or was the home state of the child within 6 months before the commencement of the proceeding and the child is absent from this State but a parent or person acting as a parent continues to live in this State;

(2) a court of another state does not have jurisdiction under item (1) of this subsection, or a court of the home state of the child has declined to exercise jurisdiction on the ground that this State is the more appropriate forum under § 9.5-207 or § 9.5-208 of this subtitle.

In essence, if you have had primary physical custody of your child/children for more than 6 months prior to the other parent taking the child/children out of the current state, then you have the right to file for custody in your current state to ultimately attempt to force the other parent to return the child. If the other parent attempts to file for custody in another state, you first must file in your home state and then hire an attorney in the other state to file a motion under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act to have the custody case in the other state dismissed. Or in the alternative to request a conference between your home state and the other state to determine which state has jurisdiction over the custody of your child/children.

This situation can be stressful and it is strongly advised to contact an attorney to help you navigate through this process.

“To fight it, or not to fight it.”

The state of Maryland reported issuing roughly half of a million speeding tickets in 2011 as part of the SafeZone speed camera initiative.

That is probably a half of a million times that Marylanders pondered whether or not to contest a citation. It is a scenario that Marylanders are finding themselves in more and more.  Factor in red light cameras and you can probably say “more and more” a few more times. The issue is not limited to Maryland either, people around the country are asking the question of whether or not it is worth fighting a camera traffic ticket.

The answer is probably worth discussing with an attorney. Quite simply, it depends. It depends on the state. It depends on the person. It depends on the particular citation. It depends on all of the circumstances involved.

The first matter to examine is whether the violation is under a state vehicle code or statute as opposed to an administrative violation carrying only a fine. When the penalty is only a fine, there are no points involved and the incident does not carry onto your driving record. However, should the citation be subject to particular codes or statutes it may also carry fines and points. These factors make the citation both directly and indirectly more costly. They can remain on your driving record and influence the penalties that may come with future incidents, and also potentially impact insurance rates.

In Maryland, citations produced by a traffic camera are only administrative fines that do not carry onto your driving record.

Challenging these citations in Maryland is likely going to cost the recipient more than the face value of the ticket itself. The cost of commuting to court, paying for parking, and the hours spent missing work in the process likely adds up to more than the fine in itself let alone the cost of hiring an attorney.

However, some people are fighters naturally and just want to prove a point. For those people arguing on principle alone, there actually is a number of people around the country who have defeated the system. A brief search of articles around the country shows that these tickets can be challenged under issues of calibration and hearsay.

You cannot necessarily cross examine a computer print out as if it were a live officer. However, people have challenged the calibration of the devises and put the burden on the state to provide testing and calibration records. There have been instances around the country where people challenged states and won, as well as instances where the states could not produce an argument based on lack of sufficient records or upkeep. However, it is a serious fight and a considerable financial risk.

In states such as California, where the fines are substantially higher at $500.00 a pop, this risk might be more balanced. However, in Maryland, the cost in time, missed work, parking, and aggravation probably warrants simply coughing up the $40 bucks for the ticket.


Free WIFI in Baltimore County Maryland Circuit Court

The Baltimore County Bar Association recently announced the launch of a new wireless internet network available at the Circuit Court Building in Towson. The network has been made available to the public free of cost as part of a collaborative effort between the BCBA and the Baltimore County Bar Foundation to give back to the community.

The initiative is yet another innovative example of the organizations’ commitment to the community and appreciation of the times.

Our culture continues to become increasingly dependent on technology. People rely more on the internet both personally and professionally seemingly every day. Access to wireless internet will be a tremendous resource for people, both attorneys and non-attorneys, to perform research and carry out important communications.

This is made even more valuable when considering the costs of such technology during these tough times. Anyone who pays their own cellular bill understands that fast mobile internet access is not necessarily cheap. Free Wi-Fi internet access made publically available for free to the public saves other people money that might otherwise represent the need to purchase a mobile “hot-spot” card or simply additional data usage on an existing plan.

Free internet access is helpful to attorneys to perform last minute legal research or to access Maryland Judiciary Case Search or to obtain other information for clients or potential clients. Wi-Fi access makes it easier to obtain email, retrieve documents, and perform work while waiting for hearings or waiting to be called for a jury.

It is clear that the BABC and BABF have set the stage for the next steps towards improving technological abilities in the courthouses. It will be interesting to see what response other Maryland jurisdictions and organizations will have to the continuing emergence of technology. Resources such as free Wi-Fi could are tremendous, however restrictions on usage still apply. How these restrictions factor into future technological developments within the court system is sure to be a storyline in the coming years.

Quick Evictions in Maryland

It has come to my attention that there are national companies marketing on the internet that market towards landlords to help them evict their tenants. They have catchy names and logos to capture the imagination of prospective clients that this is an easy process.

This tactic and marketing strategy may be effective in other jurisdictions, however, here in Maryland, most evictions and tenant issues can be resolved by the litigants themselves without requiring attorney intervention. The District Court of Maryland hears the majority of landlord tenant disputes in Maryland. Some counties, specifically, Montgomery County has a separate Landlord Tenant Commission to help resolve disputes between landlords and tenants prior to filing in the District Court.

While many potential litigants, both landlords and tenants may feel overwhelmed by the process and uncomfortable going to court, attorneys can be a helpful resource. However, the District Court provides a web site with links to all the necessary forms and has frequently asked questions and answers available. Click on the following link to obtain all relevant information from the District Court. This site has links for forms and simple instructions on how to complete the forms.

You may also click on this link ( )for access to all available forms from the District Court. Many can be downloaded in pdf format and typed on your computer and then printed while a few must be picked up for free from any District Court location.


Prior to filing a complaint, the court requires proof that any defendant is not in active military service. There is a link for the Department of Defense Manpower Data Center
This website can help determine whether someone is currently in active military service or not.


In the State of Maryland, landlord’s can file actions in rent court, a subdivision of the District Court seeking to collect unpaid rent when tenants fail to pay rent and money for damages caused by tenants when they move out. Landlords may file a complaint for failure to pay rent or for breach of lease. Prior to filing a complaint, the landlord must provide written notice to the tenant to vacate the property.

Landlords must give 30 days notice (or 14 days if there is clear and imminent danger of the tenant or person who is on property doing serious harm to themselves, other tenants, the landlord, the landlord’s property or representatives, or any other person on the property).

You must provide proof that each defendant has been served prior to a hearing being scheduled.

If you have questions regarding this process, please feel free to contact me or any other attorney or click on one of these high profile eviction companies. But remember that there is plenty of free information available from the Courts.

New Maryland No Fault Divorce Law effective October 1, 2011



Maryland currently has two “no-fault”


grounds for an absolute divorce: a mutual and


voluntary separation of one year, or a separation


of two years. As of October 1, 2011, the new


law eliminates voluntary separation as a ground


for absolute divorce and shortens the


period the parties must be living separate and apart


from two years to one year.


This is a major change in Maryland Divorce Law. It shortens


the time a spouse, who does not have an


agreement to separate or a fault ground for


divorce, has to wait for a divorce to one year


down from two years.


Maryland’s  no fault ground requires


that there be no sexual relations during the one


year separation and that both spouses live in separate


residences for the entire year.