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Author Topic: Obtaining legal records  (Read 1972 times)

BabySeal

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Obtaining legal records
« on: Apr 15, 2004, 10:12:54 AM »
My girlfriend, Taylor, just recently turned eighteen. Her parents divorced when she was pretty young and there have been vicious custody battles back and forth ever since. For a few years when she was a teenager she lived primarily with her mother in California. Her mother was sickeningly abusive (beat her, cut her, starved her, threw her in a psych ward when she told her teachers or police,  etc.), but had also been a social worker for 20 years and knew exactly how to work the system to get away with it. Her father, while he loves his kids, is absolutely spineless and had no idea how to stand up, legally or otherwise, to his ex-wife. When I finally heard about the abuse, I called social services and eventually that report got brought up in the final custody battle just before she turned eighteen and she is now fully in her father's custody. Her mother cannot see her unless another adult is in the room.

Now that she's eighteen, Taylor wants to obtain her legal and medical records, to try and see exactly what happened. She's curious just to know exactly what was going on, is considering legal action if she can pinpoint an obvious failure, and she also has a twelve year old brother who her mother is now putting the screws to and trying to get custody of (her father, again, is doing little to stop it), so Taylor wants to get a fair idea of her mother's battle plan, since her father won't talk to her about it. I'm trying to help her find these records. Medical records seem fairly simple to get, but I have no idea where she should start looking for legal records of the custody battles. Her father isn't being much help; he's telling her she ought to just let it go. So, can anybody offer any advice? And I mean any at all; I don't even know where to start. Thanks!


kiddosmom

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RE: Obtaining legal records
« Reply #1 on: Apr 15, 2004, 08:24:06 PM »
Legal records are kept at the court house, does she know what state and town the case was in, if so, have her go to the court house and look in the court records, someone should be able to help find it. It would be easier if they had the case #.

Lawmoe

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RE: Obtaining legal records
« Reply #2 on: Jul 30, 2004, 08:01:44 AM »
The legal records related to the divorce and family law proceedings are a public record and copies can be opbtained from the Court Administrator's Office in the County where the action took place.  If it is an older case, the files may be archived requiring a personal appearance to retrieve them.

Any child protection records are not public. She may require a Court order to access those records.

As far as a lawsuit goes, I would not count on suing the county. You have to remember that public employees have immunbity so long as they are acting within the scope of their authority, even if the job is done poorly.

For Minnesota answers visit http://www.divorceprofessionals.com

 

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