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  1. #1

    Default Statute of Limitations for Domestic Violence

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: North Carolina

    I have looked up what the statute of limitations is in my state: It's two years unless it is a "malicious misdemeanor" (or a felony).

    I am currently in a custody suit with my ex. He basically kidnapped my youngest child from me and moved her out of state. He also has one other conviction for assault on a female, as well as a few arrests. He is continuing to push me around financially, and I've filed a motion for the civil court to hear a tape recording, approx 18 minutes long, of this man verbally both of our children and me, and physically abusing my son and me.

    At the time, still being in this awful domestic situation and my children insisting that I not call the police (they'd been coached), I did not call the police. His financial threats were always too scary and real.

    I recorded him because of the threats to take my children away from me. This tape is just under two years old.

    So I have two questions:

    1. If this is played at a motion in civil court, can that judge then issue a warrant for his arrest, based on hearing the indisputable evidence on this recording? I;m wondering if that is the case, because he just now started his new round of financial bullying (he's already taken everything from me, except my car and phone, but said today they will go next month). I'm wondering if his attorney has told him that he could face criminal charges based on the tape in civil court.

    2. I honestly don't know if I could do it, but would a DA press charges, based on this incident, if I went to them, palyed this recording and told them what he did that night?

    Remember now, this is domestic violence. This man already has one conviction. And the recording is absolutely harrowing, what he did to us, how he scared my children, how he pushed me around, used his voice, and threatened to harm himself in order to keep me from leaving with that tape. I'm just wondering with the current climate about DV if a prosecutor would want this.

    And what effect would his not living in this state anymore have?

    Also, I am **assumming** that malicious misdemeanor would include domestic violence; it's pretty malicious.

    I do not have an attorney for the custody suit, but he does. He's got money, but I don't. And he has taken my child and gotten away with it. I need to level this playing field.

    Thanks in advance for any information.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Statute of Limitations: Domestic Violence

    The stark reality is that no, even IF the tape were turned over, AND deemed admissible, the DA isn't likely to pursue it. It's going to be seen as a play as part of a custody battle if it's only being reported NOW and not THEN. If you weren't scared enough to report it then, the DA has no reason to believe you're more scared NOW, now that he's living in another state. And, even IF by some very long stretch of the imagination, a warrant is issued, odds of extradition are damage your own case that you're any more suitable guardian for the child (since you didn't report then, it's going to be seen as you making a claim of danger and an admission that you failed to protect the child - so asking the court for custody of a child you admit that you failed to protect isn't going to help your case). In short, there are more downsides for you than upsides attempting to bring it up at this point.

    Things like this are why you're REALLY going to need to find a way to retain an attorney if you're to have ANY hope of a custody change. His attorney will simply use your own statements to tear you up in court.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Statute of Limitations for Domestic Violence

    Well, the reason I did not call the police that night is because both of my children were imploring me NOT to. Why? Because that is what he did to them. Since the first of the year, I've been in counseling and now understand the dynamics of the whole situation. And I know I have a much better understanding than he does--he's not done anything to better himself.

    As for who's a better guardian, first of all, I am not the one with the criminal history of domestic abuse--he is. I've never done anything even remotely like what he puts all of us through that night and countless. And according to my youngest child, the fighting is still going on.

    When you're IN a dv situation, the whole "lifestyle" an abuser has a lot of methods to keep you in line, to get what they think they want. That would include using financial threats, and using children as "protectors." I've broken that cycle now. And THAT is what is different now.

    I did protect my children that night. As soon as I possibly could, I took them out of that situation. In the case of my youngest, I picked her up an RAN. He tried to prevent me from leaving, by communicating threats and he did that in front of this child. He's not the one who puts them first. No way.

    I understand what you are saying about a DA not being interested in pursuing it, but the judge assigned to our case did not look favorably on this. I'm wondering if, since she is a law enforcement officer so to speak, if she can seek to punish him. It was, after all, a "malicious" crime. Communicating threats, in front of a very young child? The same child he claims he can parent better than I? I don't think so.

    ANyway, thank you for your opinion. Oh, btw, I know for a fact that this thing IS admissible. That's not an issue. And if I could hire an attorney, obviously, I would.

    If anyone else knows of information that might be helpful, I'm all ears (eyes).


  4. #4

    Default Re: Statute of Limitations for Domestic Violence

    I did want to add this.

    Both children demanded (as in not asked, but insisted) that I not call the police, even the preschooler. Their demands about this are also on the recording. An attorney I talked to said that was very damaging, because it indicates that they have been coached by him. The preschooler even used the term "cops" as opposed to police. HE told them this, not me.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Somewhere near Canada

    Default Re: Statute of Limitations for Domestic Violence

    Are you able to prove that YOU haven't coached the kids?

    How so?

    How are you so sure this will be admissible?

    To answer your question - no, the Judge in the family case cannot punish him for a criminal matter.

    Did you google "failure to protect", yet?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Statute of Limitations for Domestic Violence

    Part of being a parent is doing what's in your children's best interest, even if they don't want you to. Let alone when they do want you to act but, in your understanding, have been intimidated into opposing your taking appropriate action.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007

    Default Re: Statute of Limitations for Domestic Violence

    Normally in a custody suit the mother has the advantage,if you can't afford a lawyer is possablily to get a legal aide some how,don't do anything w. out the advice of a lawyer.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Statute of Limitations for Domestic Violence

    Quote Quoting Dogmatique
    View Post
    Are you able to prove that YOU haven't coached the kids?

    How so?

    How are you so sure this will be admissible?

    To answer your question - no, the Judge in the family case cannot punish him for a criminal matter.

    Did you google "failure to protect", yet?

    I had never talked to either one of them about calling the police; they each brought it up themselves and both were very, very insistent that I not make that call. All of these conversations are on the recording. I am trying to console them that their father is not "going to jail forever."

    I also got a text message from my son, threatening to run away if I did call the police.

    No, none of that proves beyond a shadow of doubt that he coached them, but if we're talking about this in the context of civil court, the burden of proof is not the same; ie, not required to be beyond a shadow of doubt.

    I don't know if this matters or not, but on the recording itself, just before I left, this man threatens to call the police about me being in his home (I was called there by my son, who said his father was abusing him again). This was a common ploy of his, to manipulate things and attempt to make it look as though he had somehow been wronged. So when he screamed that, I took the tape out, showed it to him and told him to go ahead and call the police, because it was all on tape. At that point, his whole demeanor changed, from this insanely angry man screaming his lungs out and pushing, shoving, etc, to a man cursing me for having that tape and trying to wrestle me to the ground in order to get the tape.

    So he is the one who said he would call the police, but immediately changed his mind once he knew that he had been recorded.

    How am I so sure it is admissible? Well, I can "authenticate" the recording, and I've talked to two different attorneys about this. I am the one who recorded it, and I know how to operate the device used. I was part of the "conversation" (which is a euphemism if ever there were one), and it was 100% legal for me to record it. The tape has been kept in a locked file box by me. That's all that is needed to authenticate an audio recording.

    I have also filed a motion, going into some detail about the events of this night, and one of the items I included is that it was recorded. The judge read and accepted my motion, so she knows that I have the recording and am going to use it as evidence. I had a phone conference with this judge and his lawyer immediately after I filed the motion, and she told his lawyer about the motion, and that it would be heard.

    It is admissible.

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    Part of being a parent is doing what's in your children's best interest, even if they don't want you to. Let alone when they do want you to act but, in your understanding, have been intimidated into opposing your taking appropriate action.
    Well, thank you for your information, but part of an abusive atmosphere is living with constant threats and a disordered personality.

    As far as what I did do that night, I got them out of there. I removed them from the situation, and this despite both of them insisting they could not leave. That was appropriate.

    It's difficult to describe something like this. If you heard it, you'd probably understand better what I am trying to describe. And really, that's the reason I filed the motion--to get this thing heard. Actually hearing it, how he treated us, how he knocked me around, the threats to harm himself if I tried to leave, etc, is far more convincing than just talking about it.

    It's also interesting to me, from a point of view of how outsiders view this, that some would blame me. The whole point is that abuse is never okay, and that no one is excused for using it. Doesn't matter how angry someone is, it's never okay to use physical force, or to communicate threats. Somehow, I sense that I am being judged (for lack of better word, please pardon an unintentional pun), when the issue is that this guy got completely, totally out of line, hurt my son, hurt me, and exposed my little girl to violence and threats. I realize that some of you may be playing devil's advocate, and probably are, but it also sounds as though I am being blamed for not doing some certain thing, in response to a danger to my children. The danger IS the opposing the party.

    As far as legal aid, there is no legal aid for custody matters in my county, unless someone's child is in danger of being taken out of the country by a non-custodial party. That's the harsh reality. So far, I've managed to get a lot done by myself, using books, the Internet, and a few consultations with attorneys. I did manage to change the course of things with this motion, and I just want to find out everything I can before that hearing, which is about five weeks away.

    It's not fun, no, but this is the last time I am going to go through this with this man. He's a danger to himself and to my children, and I intend to get my children out of his hands. I will not give up. I'm done with the fear mongering. That's how this got so bad in the first place. I cannot speak highly enough about the people I have had helping me through this, including a very skilled therapist. The cycle of abuse is done. He will find that out, and I'm not about to show him anymore fear.

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