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Lawyer presented false evidence

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galarouge

Junior Member
PA-

I have been in a custody dispute for almost a year now. I am the defendant and have been representing myself.

During the mediation, I had brought up how the father did not disclose his criminal record and signed his name, which is perjury. They knew I was going to bring it up, so the lawyer presented a falsified form that was obviously docked after it was filed at the prothonotary office. I know because I doubled checked and repurchased the paperwork just to be sure. The original form was blank. The evidence she presented was false. Two months later I received an amended criminal history record dated three days before the upcoming pretrial.

Also, the hearing officer is in an intimate relationship with the lawyers daughter, which they did disclose to me, but I still feel played a major role in his decision and should have been considered a conflict of interest. I not only temporarily lost custody, but I was ripped apart and had to get a mental evaluation.

The pretrial has been continued, and to make things worse, the fathers lawyer was recently appointed judge. Another lawyer is taking over. No date set yet, and recently got a pro bono lawyer, but he doesn't seem motivated at all to hear my side of the story. I can't afford a paid attorney, and the only reason the father filed was because after 10 years of not receiving support, I filed and he retaliated in a terrible way.

He was awarded under false pretenses and the mediation should be considered invalid. Am I wrong? If I'm right, how do I approach a situation where everyone power seems to be breaking laws and bending rules?
 


quincy

Senior Member
PA-

I have been in a custody dispute for almost a year now. I am the defendant and have been representing myself.

During the mediation, I had brought up how the father did not disclose his criminal record and signed his name, which is perjury. They knew I was going to bring it up, so the lawyer presented a falsified form that was obviously docked after it was filed at the prothonotary office. I know because I doubled checked and repurchased the paperwork just to be sure. The original form was blank. The evidence she presented was false. Two months later I received an amended criminal history record dated three days before the upcoming pretrial.

Also, the hearing officer is in an intimate relationship with the lawyers daughter, which they did disclose to me, but I still feel played a major role in his decision and should have been considered a conflict of interest. I not only temporarily lost custody, but I was ripped apart and had to get a mental evaluation.

The pretrial has been continued, and to make things worse, the fathers lawyer was recently appointed judge. Another lawyer is taking over. No date set yet, and recently got a pro bono lawyer, but he doesn't seem motivated at all to hear my side of the story. I can't afford a paid attorney, and the only reason the father filed was because after 10 years of not receiving support, I filed and he retaliated in a terrible way.

He was awarded under false pretenses and the mediation should be considered invalid. Am I wrong? If I'm right, how do I approach a situation where everyone power seems to be breaking laws and bending rules?
Amending a previously filed document is not "false evidence."

If you were informed of the relationship between the hearing officer and the lawyer's daughter and did not object at that time, you waived your objection.

Your attorney should address any questions you have or any problems that arise with the child support. The fact that your attorney is providing you services free of charge does not mean he is disinterested in the facts of your case. It probably does mean he is not going to waste time on matters not directly related to the child support.
 

Ohiogal

Queen Bee
Amending a previously filed document is not "false evidence."

If you were informed of the relationship between the hearing officer and the lawyer's daughter and did not object at that time, you waived your objection.

Your attorney should address any questions you have or any problems that arise with the child support. The fact that your attorney is providing you services free of charge does not mean he is disinterested in the facts of your case. It probably does mean he is not going to waste time on matters not directly related to the child support.
Agreed. Why do you believe your attorney is disinterested in the facts of your case?
 

HighwayMan

Super Secret Senior Member
The OP said she does not have an attorney - which is issue number one.

I assume the attorney she is referring to is her husband's attorney.
 

galarouge

Junior Member
Amending a previously filed document is not "false evidence."
At the time of the mediation, the "amendment" had not taken place yet. It wasn't filed properly in the court and they just filled out what the father initially left blank to make it look like it was completed the date he originally filed.

The amendment came nearly two months after the hearing took place.
 

quincy

Senior Member
At the time of the mediation, the "amendment" had not taken place yet. It wasn't filed properly in the court and they just filled out what the father initially left blank to make it look like it was completed the date he originally filed.

The amendment came nearly two months after the hearing took place.
Here is a link to the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct: https://www.pacode.com/secure/data/204/chapter81/s81.4.html

You can click on the Rules covering Conflicts of Interest.

I think at this point you need to rely on your attorney. Your attorney will be representing your interests at the upcoming hearing and is unlikely to ignore laws that are broken or rules that are bent too far out of shape.

Good luck.
 

galarouge

Junior Member
Agreed. Why do you believe your attorney is disinterested in the facts of your case?
We never had a sit down to discuss the case and counter arguments. The only information he actually has is what was initially filed and the pretrial statement made by the father's lawyer which is littered with fabricated stories. He is waiting for a pre-trial date to set a meeting, but I don't think we should wait until then to be more informed about my case. I am supposed to write everything down, and I have been. But after all this time, I officially have too much documention that I am buried in it.

The father has been abusing his custodial rights, and should have been held in contempt of custody multiple times for refusing visitation. I have proof of child endangerment, neglect, and substance abuse.

I know now that representing myself was a bad choice, because I wasn't taken seriously at court. Either way I wasn't able to afford it so my hands were tied.

I do have a legit case though, and all the research I've done says to "remain in close contact with my lawyer." And I've tried, but we have little to no contact, and that worries me.
 

quincy

Senior Member
We never had a sit down to discuss the case and counter arguments. The only information he actually has is what was initially filed and the pretrial statement made by the father's lawyer which is littered with fabricated stories. He is waiting for a pre-trial date to set a meeting, but I don't think we should wait until then to be more informed about my case. I am supposed to write everything down, and I have been. But after all this time, I officially have too much documention that I am buried in it.

The father has been abusing his custodial rights, and should have been held in contempt of custody multiple times for refusing visitation. I have proof of child endangerment, neglect, and substance abuse.

I know now that representing myself was a bad choice, because I wasn't taken seriously at court. Either way I wasn't able to afford it so my hands were tied.

I do have a legit case though, and all the research I've done says to "remain in close contact with my lawyer." And I've tried, but we have little to no contact, and that worries me.
I think your attorney is wisely waiting for a court date to discuss the case with you.

Good luck.
 

galarouge

Junior Member
She only got an attorney after she blew the mediation.
Maybe I did, but it was only because I trusted the hearing officer would take his job seriously and base his decision off of fact. I certainly learned my lesson, but it doesn't change the fact it was highly unethical and there was no actual evidence to back up the claims against me. It was all "he said she said."

Also, I didn't find the lawyer until weeks later, and it was through a police referral.
 

quincy

Senior Member
Maybe I did, but it was only because I trusted the hearing officer would take his job seriously and base his decision off of fact. I certainly learned my lesson, but it doesn't change the fact it was highly unethical and there was no actual evidence to back up the claims against me. It was all "he said she said."

Also, I didn't find the lawyer until weeks later, and it was through a police referral.
You have an attorney now. Rely on his expertise.

Good luck.
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
Maybe I did, but it was only because I trusted the hearing officer would take his job seriously and base his decision off of fact. I certainly learned my lesson, but it doesn't change the fact it was highly unethical and there was no actual evidence to back up the claims against me. It was all "he said she said."

Also, I didn't find the lawyer until weeks later, and it was through a police referral.
Be careful about throwing the phrase "unethical" around. Nothing you have presented here seems to rise to the level of an ethics violation, and accusing judges, attorneys, or "hearing officers" of such a thing when no such thing has occurred is profoundly unwise.

I suspect that you didn't present yourself very well in the hearing, which led you to the position you are in now.
 

quincy

Senior Member
Be careful about throwing the phrase "unethical" around. Nothing you have presented here seems to rise to the level of an ethics violation, and accusing judges, attorneys, or "hearing officers" of such a thing when no such thing has occurred is profoundly unwise.

I suspect that you didn't present yourself very well in the hearing, which led you to the position you are in now.
Agreed.

The less said about the legal professionals involved in the case - especially when what is being said borders on defamation - the better it will be for galarouge. It appears galarouge was lucky to find an attorney to assist her for free. Galarouge should avoid making the attorney's job more difficult.
 
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