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Old 05-10-2019, 05:50 PM
Girl22472 Girl22472 is offline
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Default How Do we Ask for a new PD?

I am beyond frustrated at this point and looking at what options are available.

Long story short for those who are not aware of situation...

Hubby was arrested 5-21-2018 for possession of CP (search was in Nov. of 16... indictment was April of 18 but we didn't know about the latter). Three days later he faced the judge and was appointed a PD. He was released on a house arrest bond on 5-31-2018. We met with the attorney twice in August and then the end of October when he signed his plea deal. I think we may have had one phone conversation between then. Two weeks (Nov. 6th)after the plea was signed we met with the probation officer that was in charge of the PSR and the attorney was present. We only spoke to him once about the case since (after first delay). I spoke to him once in December when hubby was in the hospital but we did not discuss the case.

First sentencing was set for Feb. 12th.. Attorney claimed that the Gov't shutdown pushed everything back. Second sentencing was set for April 4th. We were informed on the 1st by his secretary it was delayed again. Third sentencing was set for May 14th (next Tuesday). I discovered on PACER this past Tuesday that it was delayed once again until July 1st. Here it is Friday evening, the attorney's office is closed, and they still have not called to informed him that he does not have court on Tuesday!! Keep in mind that he has Internet restrictions and so he would not have been allowed to find that information on his own.

A few months ago we left two messages for him to call through the secretary because we had questions.....We needed to move and I needed to know what, if any restrictions, he would have; we have never discussed the PSR; and there were other questions. After no return call I sent him an email with the questions that I had. I received no response. Since then I have sent an email with a character letter I wrote, and another with a character letter my husband's aunt wrote.... again no response to either of those emails. Last Thursday (more than a week ago) hubby called and asked for a call back asking if we were meeting before the 14th... NOTHING! And yet between Pacer and an Indiana court site I am seeing that he is picking up cases left and right. I even look to see if any court dates have been set at the same time as we've had one.

Neither hubby or I want this to drag out any longer necessarily but we also know that this is the crucial time when all of the information gets to the judge and that is what he uses to decide on sentencing. We have no idea what he is going to see, or if he's getting all we are sending.

Today was the last straw really for me. I really liked him in the beginning but he is obviously not representing him adequately. I can only assume all of the delays are on his part and sooner or later the judge and DA will have enough and who knows how that will look for hubby. To add to this we would be out of this "unknown" time and moving forward.

I just don't know how we go about contacting the courts without obviously his help since he's not helping to express what is going on, request a new PD and do so without "pissing" anyone (minus the attorney) off.
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Old 05-10-2019, 06:08 PM
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First of all, lose the "we". Your husband is the client, not you. All contact should be between the attorney and your husband, the client, not you. Further, your husband is not the only client for that particular attorney.

There could be a number of reasons for the delay in sentencing, not just the attorney. The Court, the judge, the AUSA.

The PSR will be shown to your husband, the client, by his attorney at sentencing. You will not be allowed to see it. It is a confidential document that will be placed in his BOP file and in the Probation file.

The entire case is just about closed...he's awaiting sentencing. If your husband is granted a new attorney (and no, 'wife doesn't like him' is not acceptable to the court) he risks starting all over from the beginning of his case.

Breathe. And let the attorney do his job.
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Old 05-10-2019, 06:24 PM
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Me too what Sass said Xs 10.

This is not a “we” situation & your latest idea is sure way to slow things down even more.
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Old 05-10-2019, 07:07 PM
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First of all, lose the "we". Your husband is the client, not you. All contact should be between the attorney and your husband, the client, not you. Further, your husband is not the only client for that particular attorney.

There could be a number of reasons for the delay in sentencing, not just the attorney. The Court, the judge, the AUSA.

The PSR will be shown to your husband, the client, by his attorney at sentencing. You will not be allowed to see it. It is a confidential document that will be placed in his BOP file and in the Probation file.

The entire case is just about closed...he's awaiting sentencing. If your husband is granted a new attorney (and no, 'wife doesn't like him' is not acceptable to the court) he risks starting all over from the beginning of his case.

Breathe. And let the attorney do his job.
First, there is absolutely no need to be snippy and while you disagree with the "we" the attorney has dealt with me all this time, including the first talk and even told the PO doing the PSR to allow me to be there because I was more knowledgeable, would know the information they needed as well as could explain things to him due to my background. Secondly, when I say "we" this obviously includes him and considering the fact that he cannot access the Internet it is me who takes care of most of these things. Thirdly, and yes, this is me getting snippy.... unless you cannot read WE are beyond letting him "do his job" considering that there has been NO contact with him in six months!! So this is not just his "wife doesn't like him"... this is about him not doing his job and doing as the Constitution allows by giving him adequate representation. Does he not return my phone calls and emails? No, but he doesn't return my husband's, "his client" as you so repeatedly wanted to say, calls.
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Old 05-10-2019, 08:18 PM
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There is attorney client privilege. There is marital privilege. There is no attorney client's wife privilege.

PSRs are sealed - you will not get a copy, nor will you usually be allowed to review his PSR.

Federally, you can thank the trump administration for mass exodus’s from a variety of branches, including the federal courts. Part of the reason is the constant shutdown or threat of shutdown. Part of it is his loading the courts with a bunch of unqualified (as in never tried a case as an attorney let alone bothered to read judicial ethics or run a courtroom) conservatives concerned with abortion moreso than anything else, especially criminal cases.

The State does not communicate with the feds though the feds will check the state docket to see if there are other charges pending. Typically, if the State feels that the feds undercharged him and he won't spend enough time in prison, the State will file its own charges. Your FPD does not handle that case and is usually only vaguely aware of it. If there is a state and fed task force on the issue, it becomes even more complicated.

“It's not moving fast enough” and “we want it over” and “the fed PD won't talk to me when I want him to” won't fly. There are plenty of threads on this site where I have given the reasons a person can maintain to actually make a persuasive case to have the FPD replaced. Please feel free to search for the topic.

I am not being snippy, so if you feel that I am, please check yourself, especially if you want more responses of value.
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Old 05-10-2019, 09:13 PM
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First, there is absolutely no need to be snippy and while you disagree with the "we" the attorney has dealt with me all this time, including the first talk and even told the PO doing the PSR to allow me to be there because I was more knowledgeable, would know the information they needed as well as could explain things to him due to my background. Secondly, when I say "we" this obviously includes him and considering the fact that he cannot access the Internet it is me who takes care of most of these things. Thirdly, and yes, this is me getting snippy.... unless you cannot read WE are beyond letting him "do his job" considering that there has been NO contact with him in six months!! So this is not just his "wife doesn't like him"... this is about him not doing his job and doing as the Constitution allows by giving him adequate representation. Does he not return my phone calls and emails? No, but he doesn't return my husband's, "his client" as you so repeatedly wanted to say, calls.


I work in post-conviction handling ineffective assistance of counsel cases, so yeah, I do know exactly what I'm talking about.
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Old 05-10-2019, 09:58 PM
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Let me be clear in the fact that I never asked to see the PSR... but yes, my husband IS entitled to see this and while ya'll want to play the game of attacking me AND my attitude it appears that the entire point of this has been lost. This is NOT about me not "liking" the attorney, or he not talking to me, although he has in the past. While I put my "attitude" in check I ask that you do the same so I will put this in a way that you will understand....

THE CLIENT has repeatedly called over a period of MONTHS and asked for the attorney to return his calls.... he has not not done so. The attorney has not discussed the case with his client in SIX MONTHS aside from telling HIS CLIENT in February that the delay was allegedly caused by the shutdown (the plea signed in Oct; PSR report started on Nov 6th). There has been NO meeting to discuss the PSR, character letters or to answer any questions that HIS CLIENT has despite that being the message to the secretary on at least FOUR occasions over the last THREE months. Today is Friday... court is (was) scheduled for this coming Tuesday. As far as HIS CLIENT is concerned or allowed to do by the rules given to the court he is due in court at 1:30 pm. However, this was changed on 5/7 per the official federal website and there has still been no contact by the attorney to HIS CLIENT.

This is about the attorney not serving HIS CLIENT and what HIS CLIENT can do. Considering HIS CLIENT is forbidden by rules of his bond to come here and ask himself he has asked me to ask these questions for him. THE CLIENT would appreciate knowing what he can do but if that's not possible then maybe that should be made clear also.
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Old 05-10-2019, 10:43 PM
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I can't answer as far as changing attorneys but as far as the PSR the client does get the PSR and does see the PSR well before sentencing in federal cases. The attorney, the client, the probation officer and the judge get it. The client also should be interviewed and contacted by the PO before writing the PSR as should family members and a home visit should be done by the PO writing the PSR, which I believe in your case has not been done.

Is there a main public defenders office you can contact? This guy must have some superior of some sort? At a minimum he owes you an explanation.

You can probably call the Indiana Disciplinary Board and ask how to change attorneys in this circumstance without actually reporting his name and/or getting him into trouble.
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Old 05-10-2019, 11:00 PM
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I can't answer as far as changing attorneys but as far as the PSR the client does get the PSR and does see the PSR well before sentencing in federal cases. The attorney, the client, the probation officer and the judge get it. The client also should be interviewed and contacted by the PO before writing the PSR as should family members and a home visit should be done by the PO writing the PSR, which I believe in your case has not been done.

Is there a main public defenders office you can contact? This guy must have some superior of some sort? At a minimum he owes you an explanation.

You can probably call the Indiana Disciplinary Board and ask how to change attorneys in this circumstance without actually reporting his name and/or getting him into trouble.
When he was arrested it took three days before he got in front of a judge to even know for certain what he was even arrested for (although we knew), the warrant was sealed. I spent those days trying to locate him for one, for two I began calling attorney's. I was informed there were only 5 attorney's in the area that did federal cases, this was one of them.

You are correct that there has been no other contact with the PO who did the PSR aside from the initial interview on November 6th. He was given several family names and numbers and only one of the three children were contacted, no one else as far as we know have been contacted. There was not a home visit or a follow up of any kind.
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Old 05-11-2019, 02:33 PM
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When reading your posts over the past couple of months, I had concern that your husband is getting terrible representation. Sometimes I gently made comments to steer you toward improvements but mostly kept my thoughts to myself. In order to get a new lawyer, your husband has to write a letter to the judge, explaining his reasons for losing faith and confidence in his lawyer. It was a judge or magistrate who reviewed the finances and made the appointment. This is not an unusual thing, and he should be appointed a new lawyer (who may not be better than the first one, but hopefully the overseeing person may pay more attention this time.) PS I work in post-conviction also, only in mitigation.

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Old 05-11-2019, 04:55 PM
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If she is checking PACER, it is federal. And if there are state charges as well, there should be more than one PD - a state and a federal.

If he caught additional charges, there are problems that are going to take a lot longer for the courts to figure out.

Now SIX months is nothing in a CP case where both the FEDERAL and STATE are involved.

And while he CANNOT look online himself, he is able to use the TELEPHONE to call the court to make sure the case is still on for the scheduled day. Attorneys don't always know when a case gets rescheduled as they can be RESCHEDULED for a VARIETY of REASONS, by the Court, by the State, by the Defendant, by the PD. Could even be that the person preparing the PSR has not finished it yet.

He can and should write a letter to the PD listing his questions. Make sure it is the right PD.

And I always talk with my clients on days when they actually have court if not the day before depending. Some plea deals are so locked in that it really doesn't matter.

Your man is dealing with both federal and state charges. It gets complicated the more jurisdictions you add to the equation. Since he is picking up charges in the State court, guaranteed the plea is off the table, or if it is still on the table, the State PD has talked with the fed PD to make sure that a plea of guilty does not become a predicate offense in determining his State sentence, or increase his liability to civil commitment.
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Old 05-11-2019, 04:57 PM
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And yet between Pacer and an Indiana court site I am seeing that he is picking up cases left and right
This to me says the plea is probably off the table and he is facing a lot more that has yet to be completely determined.
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Old 05-11-2019, 04:57 PM
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If she is checking PACER, it is federal. And if there are state charges as well, there should be more than one PD - a state and a federal.

If he caught additional charges, there are problems that are going to take a lot longer for the courts to figure out.

Now SIX months is nothing in a CP case where both the FEDERAL and STATE are involved.

And while he CANNOT look online himself, he is able to use the TELEPHONE to call the court to make sure the case is still on for the scheduled day. Attorneys don't always know when a case gets rescheduled as they can be RESCHEDULED for a VARIETY of REASONS, by the Court, by the State, by the Defendant, by the PD. Could even be that the person preparing the PSR has not finished it yet.

He can and should write a letter to the PD listing his questions. Make sure it is the right PD.

And I always talk with my clients on days when they actually have court if not the day before depending. Some plea deals are so locked in that it really doesn't matter.

Your man is dealing with both federal and state charges. It gets complicated the more jurisdictions you add to the equation. Since he is picking up charges in the State court, guaranteed the plea is off the table, or if it is still on the table, the State PD has talked with the fed PD to make sure that a plea of guilty does not become a predicate offense in determining his State sentence, or increase his liability to civil commitment.
I may be wrong, but I don't think the case is a State case. I think her husband's case is only Federal.
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Old 05-11-2019, 06:06 PM
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This to me says the plea is probably off the table and he is facing a lot more that has yet to be completely determined.
Its the lawyer picking up cases left and right, not her husband! Shes saying that the attorney is busy taking on cases.
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Old 05-11-2019, 08:17 PM
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This to me says the plea is probably off the table and he is facing a lot more that has yet to be completely determined.
You are misunderstanding. My husband is only facing one count in federal court. When I talked about picking up cases "left and right" I am speaking of the attorney picking up more and more cases ... not my husband.

The Indiana site is one in which I can put in the attorney name and find cases.

Last edited by Girl22472; 05-11-2019 at 08:18 PM.. Reason: to clarify
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Old 05-11-2019, 08:29 PM
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It could be possible that he needs to attend Monday to be ordered back to the next hearing.
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Old 05-11-2019, 08:33 PM
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It could be possible that he needs to attend Monday to be ordered back to the next hearing.
According to PACER this hearing was "vacated" just as the other two were and he wasn't to attend. He would have to call the PO before court anyway to get his specific time out.
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Old 05-11-2019, 10:58 PM
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You are misunderstanding. My husband is only facing one count in federal court. When I talked about picking up cases "left and right" I am speaking of the attorney picking up more and more cases ... not my husband.

The Indiana site is one in which I can put in the attorney name and find cases.
Ah, thanks for the clarification.

It is common to get hammered with appointments when you are on the wheel, assuming he is a court appointed attorney. If also working federal, that is a hefty caseload.

Look, it is going to be at least 3 months assuming that you get new counsel (more like 6 - gotta have a hearing to have the attorney removed, next attorney will be court appointed outside the PD's office. The attorney has to be appointed, put in a Notice of Appearance, then get the file. Then read the file and talk with the Defendant. Then decide on the best course of action based on that attorney's interpretation of everything, including the deal. Then get the PSI and sit down with the Defendant and go over it. If corrections need to be made, then the PO or officer in charge of the PSI has to make the corrections. And then you can motion up the change of plea, etc. all of it takes time).

You all must weigh the possibility of getting this over with within those 3-6 months v. getting it done in probably 6 months. Once you have decided that you want to go forward with a change of PD, then you will still have to wait. Accept that wait time. It will still be frustrating, even if the appointed attorney is the best attorney in the county/district.

There are threads in this section of PTO that get into the requirements for a motion. What is most important is that once your man gets in front of a judge, he remains steadfast in his assertions. No waffling. He waffles at all and there is no way that the attorney will be removed with a new attorney appointed.
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Old 05-11-2019, 11:08 PM
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Btw, it would be helpful to know who the delays are being charged to - if it is to the prosecutor, then the best bet is to allow the delay. A Motion for Speedy Trial is usually a part of everything, so when there are delays that are chargeable to the government, time is running on Speedy. With the problems occurring with the government, it is quite possible his case is slipping through the cracks of Speedy.

You don't want to screw with that. If the time is being charged to the Defendant, it doesn't count towards Speedy - it gets tolled. The judge on the case (assuming the judge has remained constant) will not allow that to happen on his docket very many times without really good cause, like when an attorney was injured, had a heart attack, etc. This can buttress a motion for removal.
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Old 05-12-2019, 03:12 AM
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This is just an opinion but you and your hubby should go to the public defender office and ask to speak to the attorney or a supervisor,i know for a fact that they have a chain of command and someone there can help with this situation.just my 2 cents
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Old 05-12-2019, 06:03 AM
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Btw, it would be helpful to know who the delays are being charged to - if it is to the prosecutor, then the best bet is to allow the delay. A Motion for Speedy Trial is usually a part of everything, so when there are delays that are chargeable to the government, time is running on Speedy. With the problems occurring with the government, it is quite possible his case is slipping through the cracks of Speedy.

You don't want to screw with that. If the time is being charged to the Defendant, it doesn't count towards Speedy - it gets tolled. The judge on the case (assuming the judge has remained constant) will not allow that to happen on his docket very many times without really good cause, like when an attorney was injured, had a heart attack, etc. This can buttress a motion for removal.
The attorney has been completely unresponsive to her so she isn't able to find out who it is being charged to.

In my husband's case our attorney was constantly delaying due to his own health issues and other bs excuses which drove us crazy. When we finally told him we were ready to move on to another attorney that really got him and the case started to move forward. Of course there were delays on the prosecutor side too, and once from the judge, but in each delay, our attorney at least had to common courtesy to notify us of such change. The fact that this guy can't even call them and she is finding out on her own by looking it up on pacer is really pathetic. He can at least have his administrative assistant contact or at a minimum send a 30 second email.

As far as they know, there is no completed PSR. If there were, they would have received it by now. This case was supposed to go up back in February for sentencing, yet they haven't received the docs for that either. This guy is out on bond, with such severe restrictions, yet isn't considered in custody and probably won't get credit for it. Our system is beyond f'd up. I agree with you about the speedy trial, but again, if she has no clue who is asking for the delays, then what? Pacer doesn't usually say which side wanted the delay.

They should contact the parole officer who is writing the PSR and see if it's finished. That could be the root of the problem. They're supposedly not allowed to ask for a delay, but the guy could be asking for one in some underhanded way. If that's the case, that should be noted and for god's sake, told to the defendant. He deserves representation.

Delays or not at this point, the next new date is not for 2 months. At this point, I'm with bellisq. They should put in for a change of attorney. This guy is not serving his client's best interest. And, the change can be quick. It doesn't take months to do it. When my husband switched from his first attorney to the one specializing in sentencing it was a simple one day process and all parties do not have to appear.

They should also consider calling the Indiana disciplinary board and report this guy for failure to represent/ineffective counsel. To have an attorney that is incommunicado for months and doesn't call back or keep you updated in any way on your case, should not be able to get away with that, no matter how busy he is.

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Old 05-12-2019, 07:42 AM
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Thanks everyone.... and yes we have thought about possibly just filing a complaint against him as to not delay the case any longer. While of course both of us would like this to move forward as quickly as possible to get out of this "unknown" time, it is this time period that is most important as it is when the judge gets all the information that helps him decide what sentence to give. The plea is giving the judge complete control over what to do. The attorney blamed the first delay (court scheduled for Feb 12th) on the government shutdown. There was an indication through the secretary that the second delay may have been due to the fact that the attorney had not met with him but I cannot be certain. No one has contacted about this last delay so we do not have any idea yet. All PACER says each time is "the court VACATES" the date and resets it for such and such date.

Initially the attorney told us it was likely that there would be TWO hearings... one with a change of plea and one for sentencing. He did say there was a chance they would be combined and that's what they ended up doing.

We're going to wait and see if the attorney (or secretary) calls on Monday and he's going to try again to talk to him and see what's going on. I'm scheduled off work Tuesday and Wednesday and going to look into the Public Defenders office of Indiana (as I recall from last year federal cases were listed as being on there too) and see what options there are.

At this point without seeing the PSR and not having contact with the attorney we have no way of knowing that he even got the character letters we sent, let alone if he passed them on to the judge. We have a laundry list of questions for the attorney since he knows that the PO has given us wrong and conflicting information in the past.
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  #23  
Old 05-12-2019, 08:28 AM
Straight Straight is offline
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Exactly what is it you want to talk to the PD about?

If it's just "Hey, anything new to report?" then that is time taken away from them working their case load. If they responded to all the "what's happening" questions they got from eager clients, then nothing really would get done.

Do you have vital new information that the PD needs to know? Or are you looking for a soothing conversation? It's generally one or the other.
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Old 05-12-2019, 08:42 AM
Girl22472 Girl22472 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Straight View Post
Exactly what is it you want to talk to the PD about?

If it's just "Hey, anything new to report?" then that is time taken away from them working their case load. If they responded to all the "what's happening" questions they got from eager clients, then nothing really would get done.

Do you have vital new information that the PD needs to know? Or are you looking for a soothing conversation? It's generally one or the other.
There are many questions related to residency restrictions that may or may not be imposed since we had to move to lower finances. Then there are questions about character letters. There are questions about medical records that the PO doing the PSR had stated he possibly would want (that I have) in case he could not get them due to the length of time. The issue here that in the last several months there were three messages asking for a call back and at least one email with questions at that time (there are more now). A call back is not going to impede his time significantly on other cases and it's hardly too much to ask that the attorney speak to his client when he hasn't in six months!
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Old 05-12-2019, 08:43 AM
Girl22472 Girl22472 is offline
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Not to mention, as stated above at this point we have no idea who or why the case is being delayed repeatedly.... my husband is entitled to know those reasons too.
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