Thursday, October 27, 2016

Rescuing A Pet Could Be A Crime

You may have been asked this by a client, "If I see a dog in a hot car, can I break the window to let it out?"
Not without breaking the law, writes Melissa Anne Maye in the June Animal Law newsletter. "Although a person might feel that it's worth taking the risk to save the dog, smashing in someone's car window constitutes Criminal Damage to Property," she writes, quoting 720 ILCS 5/21-1(a), which defines it as "knowingly damag[ing] any property of another."
"There is no exception for 'good intentions,'" Maye writes. And if the property damage exceeds $300 - likely in the case of a broken car window - the crime is a Class 4 felony.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Sperm Donor's Liability For Child Support

In Illinois, there is a statute that regulates a sperm donor’s liability for child support. Illinois law removes child support liability from any sperm donor as long as the insemination takes place with the assistance of a licensed physician. This is the only time donor agreements are specifically upheld in Illinois.
This September, a Cook County court dismissed a woman’s claim for child support from a sperm donor with whom the woman claimed she also had a romantic relationship. The Chicago Law Bulletin reports that this case is the first published case law that concerns donor agreements.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Expungement of Juvenile Record

A new Illinois law allows a juvenile to immediately petition the court for expungement when he or she is charged with an offense that is dismissed without a finding of delinquency. Under current law, the statute only allows for a petition of expungement when the youth has reached the age of 18. This bill will help youth who were arrested but not charged get a fresh start and clear their names.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Changes to Illinois child support laws for 2017

Effective 7-1-17, a new child support law will become effective. Under the "income shares" model, the divorce court is instructed to refer to economic tables that will be put forth by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services to determine how much money would be allocated for the care of the child if a similarly situated couple were living together based on the combined income of the couple, the cost of living, and the number of children.  Each parent is responsible for their prorata share of this amount based on their relative incomes (or potential incomes if the parent is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed).  Depending on the relative incomes of the parents this may cause some parents to pay more and some to pay less in child support than under the previous law. 

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Shackling Juveniles in Illinois Courts is Forbidden

A new Illinois Supreme Court Ruling, effective November 1, 2016, prohibits the shackling of juveniles during court proceedings, unless there are special circumstances.  Advocates argued this will eliminate the trauma, humiliation and the shame.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Warrant Is Required For A Blood Test For DUI

A split ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court determined police officers must obtain search warrants in order to draw the blood of motorists arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, but at the same time, no warrants are needed to conduct breath tests.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Common Law Marriages

Common law marriages are not valid in Illinois, so you need a license to be legally married in this state. Unless you entered into a common law marriage in another state that allows them, or allowed them while you were living together, you were not married.