WHAT'S THE LAW?
Vital citation error could dismiss case
If the issuing officer wrote the wrong information on the citation, is this grounds for dismissal of the ticket?
Answer: According to Ray Gurczynski, Legal Aid's affordable-lawyers project attorney, the type of error made by the citing officer would determine whether the court would dismiss the matter. The more serious the factual or legal error (e.g., entering the wrong date of the incident, citing the wrong offense, a number of serious errors entered on the ticket, etc.), the more likely the court is inclined to dismiss the case early in the proceedings. Conversely, minor or insignificant factual or legal errors would likely not lead to a dismissal. In addition, the seriousness of the charge, and the number of repeat offenses of the same charge, would affect at what point the court would be inclined to dismiss the charge (e.g., a DUI versus a parking ticket).
Q: My mother is in her 90s, suffers from Alzheimer's and is in a care home (intermediary care). 1) How do I go about getting "legal guardianship" for my mother? Does guardianship give one authority to decide health directives, financial responsibility, etc.? 2) I think I will need to go to Family Court. Do you provide such assistance?
A: According to Heather Brown, Legal Aid-Maui staff attorney: You must file a petition with the Family Court to obtain guardianship over someone. You will have to give your adult siblings (if any), your father (if living) and your mother notice that you are asking the court to appoint you as guardian.
If anyone disagrees with you being guardian, you will need to show the court why you should be the guardian. If you win and the court appoints you as guardian, you will have the authority to make the same health, financial and other decisions for your mother that she would have made for herself before. The Legal Aid Society does provide assistance with uncontested guardianships.
Legal Aid Society of Hawaii
operates statewide. Practice areas include housing, public benefits, consumer and family law but not criminal law. For information, call 536-4302. Submit questions by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
or by U.S. mail to Legal Aid Q&A, 924 Bethel St., Honolulu, HI 96813.