Skip to main content

What if you were never born?

No, this is not a post about "It's a Wonderful Life". But I will tell you a story about a man who was told by the Town of Carver that he did not exist.

While in the Plymouth Probate and Family Court last Tuesday, June 30, 2009, waiting for the Judge to call my client's Motion for hearing, I was listening to the presentations made by other litigants in Court for hearing on that day.

One of these litigants was a quiet man. He was accompanied by his Wife, who did most of the talking for him. She explained to the Judge that her husband had requested a copy of his Birth Certificate from the Town of Carver only to discover that they had no such record. This was puzzling to her and her husband because he had grown up in Carver and lived much of his life there.

He had a binder of evidence including school records, an Affidavit of one of the women present at his birth, and even military records. This man, who the Town of Carver didn't think existed, had even served our country.

Although most of you are unlikely to encounter this type of existential dilemma, I thought I'd share with you the solution. If you are ever told that your birth record has been destroyed (and you were not recently visited by your guardian angel), then you should put together just such a binder and go to the Probate and Family Court in the County in which you were born. You will have to file a Complaint in Equity under M.G.L. Chapter 46 Section 4, and after providing notice to the clerk of said Town, you will be able to present to the Judge proof that you exist (other than your being there, of course).

This is, incidentally, the same process used for mothers who give birth to a child without a physician or hospital medical officer in attendance, if the clerk of their Town refuses to record the birth. Although, that situation is probably more likely, it's not quite as interesting as the man from Carver who was never born.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What is the purpose of the Divorce Nisi waiting period?

In Massachusetts the statutory waiting period after a Judgment of Divorce and before the divorce becomes final (or absolute) is called the Nisi period. After a divorce case settles or goes to trial, a Judgment of Divorce Nisi will issue and it will become Absolute after a further ninety (90) days. This waiting period serves the purpose of allowing parties to change their mind before the divorce becomes final. If the Judgment of Divorce Nisi has issued but not become final yet, and you and your spouse decide you don't want to get divorced, then you can file a Motion to Dismiss and the Judgment will be undone. Although many of my clients who are getting divorced think the idea of getting back together with their ex sounds crazy, I have had cases where this happened. In addition to offering a grace period to change your mind, the Nisi period has three other legal effects: 1. The most obvious effect of the waiting period is that you cannot remarry during the Nisi period, be

Does a Criminal Record affect Child Custody?

If one of the parents in a custody case has a criminal record, the types of crimes on their record could have an effect on their chances of obtaining custody. In custody cases the issue is always going to come down to whether or not the best interests of the child might be affected. In the most extreme case, in which one parent has been convicted of first degree murder of the other parent, the law specifically prohibits visitation with the children until they are of a suitable age to assent. Similarly, but to a less serious degree, in making custody and visitation determinations the court will consider crimes that would cause one to question the fitness of a parent. These types of crimes would obviously include any violent crime convictions which could call into question whether the children would be in danger around a parent who has shown themselves to resort to violence when faced with conflict. In addition, drug and alcohol abuse offenses would call into question a parent&#

What happens after my Divorce Agreement is approved by a Judge?

If you filed a Joint Petition for Divorce in Massachusetts then you will participate in an uncontested divorce hearing and the Judge will then issue Findings of Fact the day of the hearing.  A Judgment of Divorce Nisi will issue after thirty (30) days, and it will become Absolute after a further ninety (90) days. This means that if you file a Joint Petition for Divorce you are not legally and officially divorced until 120 days after the divorce hearing date. If you filed a Complaint for Divorce  then your case will end either with a trial (if you don't settle) or an uncontested divorce hearing (if you settle).  If you reach an Agreement, then a Judgment of Divorce Nisi will issue and be effective as of the date of the uncontested divorce hearing, and it will become Absolute after a further ninety (90) days. This means that if you file a Complaint for Divorce you are not legally and officially divorced until 90 days after the divorce hearing date. Therefore, for 90 - 120 day