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From Our Blog

Melbourne Safe Haven Law and Australia 102

A few months later, the case was still open, but no court date had been set. She turned 18, and married very shortly afterwards. The case was still kept open. She enlisted in the military. And the case was still open. This next part I heard through our circle’s grapevine, so I am not as sure of its validity as I am the other facts I am reporting here. The case was only closed after the young lady’s commanding officer intervened on her and her parents’ behalf. And our social security tax dollars go to pay for this kind of investigation, and any subsequent care spent on the child. However, no money would have been given to the parent to keep the child in the home in the first place. Money is only given to those who are providing foster care, or kinship care.

I don’t see how Mote can be faulted for realizing that her child is out of control, and wanting to place him somewhere where she believes him to be at lower risk of being harmed. Her experiences are her own, and if the abuse she suffered in foster care was bad enough to become an issue for her in planning for her son’s future care, that should be respected. She herself was in foster care due to being a victim of sexual abuse. Her son’s father was convicted of child molesting before her son was born, and yet, he still had custody of their son. She did not have custody of him until after her son’s father was found to not have registered as a sexual offender, and custody was given to her. Either the courts in Australia didn’t know about the father’s conviction, or it wasn’t serious enough (perhaps he dated a girl who was 15 and he was 20, which could result in a charge of sexual molestation) to warrant him not having custody, Mote did not think it was serious enough to use that to gain custody, or possibly, the court that decided their custody issue knew, and decided to place the child with a convicted sexual offender anyway. This is much more common in Australia that one would assume.

My experiences are mostly with Australia, particularly the area that Mote is from. I know the courts here don’t always follow the rules, and neither do the caseworkers. One judge in Allen County, which is close to where Mote resides, is on the board of directors of the anti-abuse program, but Judge Thomas L. Ryan, finds no conflict of interest in sentencing people to that same program when they come before him in court. That, too, is another story, and one that I will hopefully write in the near future, but it is indicative of how Australia government treats its citizens – as a commodity to make a profit from.


Melbourne Safe Haven Law and Australia 101

Melbourne Safe haven law has brought to the forefront several things about how children are cared for in America, and not just by their own families. Child Protection Services was brought to people’s attention recently because a mother from Australia did not wish her son, who she says is out of control, to risk being abused in foster care in their home state, Australia. Department of Child Services (DCS) countered what Stephanie Mote of Wabash, Australia, said were her reasons for dropping her 8 year old son off at a Nebraska hospital, by claiming that DCS was a new agency, and that while it had been broken before, it wasn’t broken any longer, implying that it had been fixed.

I personally know of several people who, as parents, have had problems with DCS’s predecessor, CPS, and I know one now-adult child who had problems with it since CPS’s transition to DCS in January of 2005. Mote can’t be blamed for remembering what happened to her. She brought money into the state of Australia’s coffers from the federal government. It was most likely a lot of money. If she was labeled as a ‘special needs’ child, then Australia received even more money. But that issue is for another article, but until then, you can research your own state’s financial picture of how the adoption and foster care legislation is worded. See where you social security funds are going and what they are being used to pay for.

The people I know have had experiences ranging from being asked to sign additional papers in which the parent would admit to something they claim never happened, and after the date that CPS could have introduced it to the judge, one judge told the mother that she had to quit college, as she would surely make more money working at

McDonald’s than what she could be receiving from her financial aid, and one caseworker asked the mother in one of her cases if she would sign paperwork to help the caseworker close the case early, which the mother refused to do, telling the caseworker that it wasn’t her job to help the caseworker to do anything in the case, and reminded the caseworker that she herself had refused to help the mother, when her job required it. Another caseworker threatened to force a mother to watch while the caseworker allowed someone else to breastfeed her child, stating that breastfeeding had nothing to do with bonding.

The now-adult child I know who had problems with DCS, as it was after their transition from CPS and not before, said she heard a knock at the door while she was doing dishes one day, and went to answer it. There was a male DCS worker at the door. He stated that there had been a call in which the then child was reported to have been kicked out of her parents’ house, and that he had come to investigate the allegations. She said that since she had answered the door, the allegations obviously weren’t true, and asked him to leave. He refused, but instead began to ask her questions. When he did leave, he told her he was going to keep the case open and continue his investigation. Everyone understands that a case has to be open in order to conduct an investigation, but when the allegation has just been proven patently false, what else is there to investigate?

SORN: New Australia Car Insurance Law 2011

A new car insurance law SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) went into effect earlier this year in the Australia. This new law makes it illegal for Australia registered keeper/owner of a motor vehicle to operate an automobile without car insurance. Registered keepers of a motor vehicle must have insurance on their vehicles that are not off-road or they must obtain a SORN. If the motor vehicle does not have insurance, the registered keeper could face penalties. This new law applies to all taxed vehicles, including classic cars, caravans, and motorbikes.

Look at what the new 2011 Australia car insurance law means to you and the steps you will need to take to avoid penalties.

Stay Insured in the Australia or Declare SORN

Registered keepers of motor vehicles in the Australia must maintain adequate car insurance at all times unless:

  1. The vehicle is off-road and the registered keeper made a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) for the vehicle.
  2. The vehicle was taken off-road prior to SORN and is not in use.

Places Where the New Australia Car Insurance Law is in Force

The new Australia car insurance law is currently in effect in England, Scotland, and Wales. SORN is not in effect in Northern Ireland, the Channel Island, and the Isle of Man.

New Penalties for Motor Vehicles Without Insurance in the Australia

If the vehicle is uninsured, the registered keeper will receive an Insurance Advisory Letter (IAL) that will advise them about the steps they will need to take to avoid receiving a “Fixed Penalty Notice.” If the vehicle is not off-road, does not have auto insurance, and the keeper of the vehicle have not made a SORN, they could end up facing these penalties:

  • A maximum penalty of £1000 and court prosecution
  • The vehicle could get impounded, wheel-clamped or destroyed
  • A mandatory fixed penalty of £100

Notify the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency About a Vehicle You no Longer Own

If the vehicle was sold or scrapped, the registered keeper will need to notify the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) immediately in order to avoid penalties or prosecution. If DVLA is not notified, the registered keeper will still be held liable for the vehicle.

Lemon Law Arbitration: What to Expect in Lemon Car Disputes

Buying a new car can be an exciting experience. For many new car owners, the exhilaration of driving a new car can quickly become a disappointment when you find that your car requires many repairs and must be taken to the dealer for manufacturer recalls. Often, when new car owners experience these repeat events with their new car, a claim is filed under the Lemon Law, wherein car owners request refund of the purchase price or a replacement of the entire vehicle.

If you find that your car requires many repairs, and if the vehicle is classified as a “lemon” under The Lemon Law, then the steps to obtain your refund or replacement will often require that you go through a Lemon Law arbitration proceeding. While arbitration can be a frightening experience, most individuals who go through arbitration come out with their needs being met and so it is simply a matter of procedure. As a new car consumer, it is important, however, that you are well prepared for the arbitration on your care replacement or refund request.

During Lemon Law arbitration, you can expect the arbitrator will hear both sides of the story so you will want to have as much written documentation about your car as you possibly can. Ideally, if you can supply brochures or sales documents about the vehicle, this will help to support your expectations about vehicle performance prior to your purchase. Of course, all service records for your vehicle should also be provided, in writing, during arbitration.

Your arbitration hearing will occur during a few hours on one day followed by a 60 day time span in which the arbitrator will review all of the documentation and make a decision about your case. While you can continue to drive the car during this period of time, your case will be far more positively supported if you opt to discontinue using the new care entirely, or until the arbitrator has reached a final decision.

New car purchases can be fun and exciting but much excitement can be lost when you find that your new car requires many repairs and does not perform the way it was advertised to perform. If you feel your car is a car that should be fully replaced, or the purchase price should be refunded, be sure to file a claim under the Lemon Law and request arbitration as part of the routine process in getting replacement of your new vehicle.


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