Tag Archives: MOTION

Can my fiancé sign guardianship of his daughter over to me?

Q: My fiancé had a son with a woman. We cannot get ahold of she has not seen the boy since the day he was born. My fiancé is going away (upstate as they say) for a year or so. I need to get him into my guardianship or custody. How do we do that? (Pittsburgh, PA)

A: One way, perhaps the easiest way, would be to file a motion for temporary custody in the Family Division. You would draft a motion in which you tell the judge the circumstances and ask to have temporary custody, while the father is away. You would have to serve all parties of interest with a copy before you present it to the Family Division Motion’s Judge. Parties of interest would obviously be mother and any person’s related by blood including parents and siblings of the mother, if you know who they are and how to reach them. This will also include family members of the father. If you have notified these parties of interest ahead of time as required by the Civil Rules, and they do not appear to object at the motion, it should be granted. You should hire an attorney to do this and if you cannot afford one, go to the Family Division at 440 Ross Street and ask to see the pro se motions clerk for help. They can guide you through the process of doing it on your own.

How do I request a time extension for certificates of merit?

Q: I am filing in Allegheny County, Pa. I must make a request through the Prothonotary. I’m not sure if I am to request a hearing, a judge (none assigned yet) or something else. I’ll be submitting a Praecipe but am unsure exactly what I’m asking the Prothonotary to do. (Glenshaw, PA)

A: My advice is to not handle this on your own. This sounds like a professional malpractice case and many lawyers take those on a contingency basis. The PA Rules of Procedure and the Allegheny County Rules of Court are very specific and must be strictly followed, or you can find yourself bounced out of court.

How can a Judge deny my right to withdraw my guilty plea?

Q: I pleaded guilty because I was promised Drug Court. The deal exploded and the DA refused to agree but I entered the plea anyway as I was nervous and my attorney was little help. Can the Judge deny my right to withdraw my plea? I have not been sentenced yet and have no idea what my sentence will be and don’t trust anyone. Is there a civil rights violation here?

A: You can file a petition to withdraw your plea at any time prior to sentencing. You must file a written motion making the request. The decision is entirely in the judge’s discretion. Usually such requests are granted. Be aware however, that now you will face trial unless you can negotiate a deal with the DA that is acceptable to you. I do not see a civil rights violation here.