Legal and Law Questions - * No Discussion *

Discussion in 'Gabriel Johnson' started by NewMommy09, Feb 8, 2010.

  1. NewMommy09

    NewMommy09 New Member

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    * No Discussion - Questions Only *

    =======================================================

    BeanE suggested this would be a good thread topic and I totally agree. Everyone, please post your legal questions related to Gabriel's case here.

    I would like to know if it's possible for a plea deal to be worked out for EJ. And if so, how could/would it work? Is it possible for different jurisdictions to work together for a plea deal reguarding all possible charges? Or does each jurisdiction have to handle their charges and plea deals seperately?
    I know this is all only hypothetical at this time. Just looking for some general info on how this MIGHT go. Thanks.
     
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  3. Concernedmomarizona

    Concernedmomarizona New Member

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    Can LE make a statement that there will be no questions asked for the person/people who safely return Baby Gabriel? What process would these people have to go through to ensure that they won't be prosecuted? Can their lawyer anonymously talk to LE and secure a deal??

    I just know I would be scared if I was in their place.
     
  4. AZlawyer

    AZlawyer Verified Attorney

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    The charges would be handled by the jurisdictions in which they were brought, but I don't see any reason the 2 jurisdictions couldn't work together on a plea deal.
     
  5. AZlawyer

    AZlawyer Verified Attorney

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    I guess LE could make that statement, and a lawyer could attempt to negotiate a deal for his safe return, but I don't think that LE will do that. I think, if Gabriel's alive, LE would be concerned that these people will just arrange more underground adoptions if they aren't stopped.
     
  6. Concernedmomarizona

    Concernedmomarizona New Member

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    And her lawyer believes that, what is the lawyer's possible strategy? Are they waiting for a plea deal before she'll talk? What else could be going on behind the scenes?
     
  7. JBean

    JBean Retired WS Administrator

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    Please be sure to refer to the Expert Poster link in my signature so you know who is posting as a verified lawyer.
    We are all free to answer questions on this thread, but please know that the only posters we know to be lawyers are those listed at the link in my signature.
    Thanks.
     
  8. BeanE

    BeanE Inactive

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    Hi, AZ. If falsified/illegal documents were used, then a legal adoption attempted, is there any required checking of the documents?

    For example, if a falsified/forged document relinquishing the father's paternal rights were used, does the attorney or the court check that document against court records to verify if it's legitimate? Or do they just pass the documents on through with no checking?

    Or does that depend on the state the attempted legal adoption is taking place in?

    TIA
     
  9. AZlawyer

    AZlawyer Verified Attorney

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    I would think that an attorney would want to see "certified" court documents--usually they have a raised stamp on them--although things like a document signed by the father giving up his parental rights might not be a court document at all, so wouldn't be certified. It would probably be notarized, but that wouldn't be too tough to forge. (Or to get a real notary to sign, if you had a passable fake ID.)
     
  10. AZlawyer

    AZlawyer Verified Attorney

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    I don't think she'll get a plea deal unless her lawyer provides some clue of what kind of information she has to give. I.e., is she just offering to tell where G's body was dumped, or to provide a real description of everyone involved with an underground adoption that could potentially lead to recovering a live Gabriel? Obviously the second option will be worth more to prosecutors. EJ's lawyer is going to have to take a proactive role, not just sit around and wait for a plea deal.

    I believe EJ's lawyers immediately started working on her to convince her that the situation was SERIOUS and that she needed to talk. Remember her grandpa said that EJ was freaked out about getting 20 years? I bet it was EJ's lawyers who put that fear into her. I just don't know how successful they've been...

    I still wonder if that jail phone call from Eliz. to Tammy's cell phone ("you arranged this whole thing," etc.) was set up by LE as part of an attempted plea deal. Did we ever get any more information on that?
     
  11. southern_comfort

    southern_comfort New Member

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    I'm bringing this over from the landfill search thread, since I am going OT.

    If EJ did a professional underground adoption, it's entirely possible (and even likely) that if EJ spilled every bit of information she has, it still wouldn't be enough to find Gabriel. Those transactions are orchestrated to ensure that. If she can't produce Gabriel, then she doesn't have much bargaining power, IMO.

    As a mother, I can't imagine not putting my own liberty and/or life on the line to find my endangered child... but then, I wouldn't put my child into that situation in the first place.

    That being said, from a legal perspective, even if Gabriel had been alive and well when EJ last saw him and she honestly believed he was going to a family that would love him, her lawyer has to help her weigh the consequences of Gabriel possibly having been harmed after EJ gave him up, and what that would mean for her future. If I were her lawyer and I knew he had been handed over to human traffickers, even with good intentions, I think I would be cautious about what information I'd advise her to divulge. I'd be very concerned that even the appearance of her cooperating and talking too much to authorities might cause someone to dispose of the child. I would do my best to ensure that whatever she did say would be kept under wraps by authorities -- and I would be very upset when things leaked out, like mention of parking lots when as far as the public knew, my client had only spoken of a park.

    It will be very bad for EJ legally if Gabriel is not alive and he is located, no matter how it happened, or when, or at whose hand. At the same time, finding him alive is her ticket out of the jam she's made for herself. If EJ did adopt him out, there's a very delicate balancing act going on now for her lawyer.
     
  12. stormmolly

    stormmolly New Member

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    Hi AZ,

    Could LE have seached the landfill before they changed it to a homicide investigation, or is that maybe why they did change it, I did try to research this but could not find anything,
     
  13. AZlawyer

    AZlawyer Verified Attorney

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    I don't know what the procedure is, but I've seen several articles in which the SA police stress that they had to classify the case as a homicide investigation in order to search the landfill.
     
  14. nitasch

    nitasch New Member

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    Going on the assumption that EJ gave the baby to an adoptive couple as she claims with these questions.

    Prior to missing the custody hearing in Dec, which resulted in custody given to the father, did EJ break any laws prior to the custody hearing by taking the baby to TX?

    Even with the laws in TX being what they are, easier to give baby up without father's consent, even if she did adopt the baby out prior to the custody hearing, do you see anywhere in the TX laws that would have made this adoption legal? (I can't but just wanted an official answer)

    Lastly, given the assumption that this was an illegal adoption, what legal consequences are there for the adoptive parents should the baby be located, (adoptive couple come forward)

    TIA!

    On edit, scratch the first question....I forgot about the first custody hearing on 12-17, they were given joint custody, so yes, she did break the law.
     
  15. AZlawyer

    AZlawyer Verified Attorney

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    There is no way this adoption could have been legal in any state, what with the father being named on the birth certificate, his paternity having been confirmed in court 12-17 with EJ's agreement (this operates the same for legal purposes as a DNA test), his being awarded joint custody on 12-17, and his refusal to give up his parental rights. The laws that make it easier to adopt a baby without the father's consent concern fathers who are not on the birth certificate, have not been determined to be the biological father (by DNA or court order), don't have custody, haven't seen or attempted to see the child in a while, etc.

    If the adoptive parents were tricked with false documents and haven't realized that they are holding a missing child, they might not face charges at all. If they participated in creating documents, they might face forgery charges. If they knew or eventually figured out that the adoption was "hinky," they might face custodial inferference or kidnapping charges.
     
  16. nitasch

    nitasch New Member

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    Thank you, just one more question..... in the Dec 17 custody documents, it states that a new birth certificate must be ordered to show the fathers name on it. Meaning to me, that he was not listed on the original one.

    In this case, it would not be a real stretch to assume that EJ supplied this adoption agency (or whatever they call themselves) with the original birth certificate and lied about the paternity of the baby.....so even though it was an illegal adoption, could you see a judge going lightly on the adoptive parents?

    Again, thank you so much for your input, it is awesome to have you here!
     
  17. AZlawyer

    AZlawyer Verified Attorney

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    The court order clearly states that Logan WAS on the original birth certificate, and the family has confirmed that for us here on WS.

    The part of the court order where it says IF the father is not on the birth certificate, a new one should be issued is just part of the blah blah blah court form for a finding of "yes" on paternity. The "real" part of the order is at the beginning, then the rest of the order is whatever the court wants to make sure doesn't get forgotten. It's very rare for any judge to go through and take out the stuff from the form that doesn't make sense under the particular circumstances. I guess the thought is, what can it hurt to have an unnecessary bit in here about "if the father is not on the birth certificate." If he isn't on the b.c., great, this will fix the problem; if he is, no big deal if we have a few extra sentences in the order that don't really apply.
     
  18. BeanE

    BeanE Inactive

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    Hi AZ. I find it very odd that we haven't heard anything about a psych eval for Elizabeth.

    Does her attorney have to file something for her to have one, or can it just be arranged without any motions etc?

    If he does/did file something to request she be given a psych eval, or if the prosecutor filed something, would we know about it?

    I'm still not clear on the public records laws in AZ.

    Could anyone in San Antonio request a psych eval for her even though she hasn't been charged there?

    Thanks, AZ!
     
  19. AZlawyer

    AZlawyer Verified Attorney

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    It's very early in the case, so I don't find it odd that we haven't heard anything. Also, she hasn't been charged with murder (yet). If GJ's body is actually found in that landfill, I'm sure her lawyers will embark on a whole new strategy, likely involving questioning her mental health. (Although I suppose she would be charged in Texas and would have new lawyers there.) For now, EJ is charged with crimes consistent with hiding or giving up GJ for adoption. If that's what happened, it's unlikely that EJ's mental issues will be a focus of the case.

    Yes, this sort of request would normally be initiated by the defense, and there would be a docket entry showing the request. There would be no way for any SA people to make such a request, as there have been no charges filed against EJ there.

    If you go to this page:

    http://www.superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/docket/CriminalCourtCases/Index.asp

    you can either click "case history," enter EJ's name, and see the list of hearings and docket entries (things that were filed), or click "minute entries," enter the case no. (CR2010101760) and see the court's orders. But the "minute entries" site is slow to post things.

    You can't see the actual documents filed online unless you are an attorney in the case.

    Court instructions for obtaining copies of filed docs by phone:

    To obtain copies of public records by phone, please call (602) 506-3360.

    Please have the following information with your request:


    The specific documents you want to receive;
    The case number;
    The names of the parties at the time the case was filed;
    The filing date or year filed;
    The number of pages of the document to be copied;
    Your day-time phone number, if there are any questions.
    (If you do not have the above information, it may be necessary to assess an $26.00 fee for each year to be researched and for each name researched.)

    Also, you must have a debit card or a Visa or Mastercard or American Express.

    A debit or credit card will be necessary to use as the method of payment for the service fee(s). Copying fees are $0.50 per page. In addition, there is an $26.00 charge to certify any document. If you are using the copy for legal or official purposes, a certified copy is usually required. There is a $7.00 shipping and handling fee.

    Alternatively, you could contact media people who have commented on the contents of such documents and ask them if they will post the document on their web site.
     
  20. BeanE

    BeanE Inactive

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    Hi AZ. We're trying to figure out why no Amber Alert was issued, and looking at when Eliz taking Gabe became kidnapping.

    On Dec 20 in the morning, Logan's joint custody went into effect from the Dec 17 joint custody order.

    On Dec 21, Logan got temporary full custody.

    On Dec 28, Logan got permanent full custody.

    Actually we were talking kidnapping, but custodial interference comes in there somewhere.

    Can you clarify when either custodial interference or kidnapping came into play based on what type custody Logan had on the different dates?

    Thanks!

    :blowkiss:
     
  21. momtective

    momtective Lifetime WS Non-Mod

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    So knowing that Elizabeth signed papers of some sort I'm guessing that this is what she signed http://www.texaslawyershelp.org/tyla...tachment.86703 an Affidavit of voluntary relinquishment of parental rights.

    If this is what she signed then this document would be filed in the County in which it was signed...Bexar (pronounced Bear) County, provided it was filled out with the County name and not left blank, is this correct?

    If it was left blank it could have been filed in any County in Texas if filled in and notarized after she signed it, is this correct?

    If Elizabeth did sign an "Affidavit of voluntary relinquishment of parental rights" would the filing of such a document be a public record? If not, could LE access it?
     

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