Fill Out Your FL-150 (Income and Expense (I&E) Declarations) Accurately

Articles by Carina Castañeda 21 July 2015

I just finished defending a client in his family law case in which the opposing party who is represented by an attorney filed a contempt affidavit for alleging that my client filed a false I&E. There were 10 counts of criminal contempt filed and I was able to successfully defend him by requesting dismissal at the outset of the trial.

The court affirmed my arguments for both the lack of standing of a private party filing a criminal case and agreed that the affidavit was defective. But notwithstanding that, my client had to undergo months of discovery, pretrial motions, substantial legal fees and eventually the trial to have the case dismissed in its entirety.

What is an income and expense declarations? These I&E are used for several reasons: establishing/enforcing child support, spousal support, attorney fees, sanctions. California law recognizes the critical importance of full and accurate disclosure of assets, liabilities and financial circumstances at the early stages of a family law action.

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Happy 4th of July!

Articles by Carina Castañeda 04 July 2015

Happy 4th of July!

International Child Support Enforcement

Articles by Carina Castañeda 15 June 2015

The issue of child support enforcement is a high priority to the United States. The Bureau of Consular Affairs and the Office of the Legal Adviser for Private International Law work closely with the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Support Enforcement to find innovative solutions to international child support enforcement problems.

Consular sections in U.S. embassies and consulates can respond to requests from the local U.S. child support agency for parent locate information from consular registration records regarding U.S. citizen/national parents registered with the U.S. embassy or consulate.

Information regarding the whereabouts of U.S. citizens abroad contained in Department of State passport records or U.S. Embassy or consulate registration records abroad is protected by the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a). For consideration of a request of a release, the state child support enforcement office must submit a written request. Individuals cannot make such requests, only state child support enforcement agencies.

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Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to San Francisco Gun Regulation

Articles by Carina Castañeda 08 June 2015

The United States Supreme Court today, June 8, 2015 rejects to hear an appeal filed by gun owners and the National Rifle Association (NRA). The Court left intact a March 2014 ruling by the San Francisco based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld the regulation that requires gun owners to keep their weapons locked up or disabled when stored at home.

The regulation, issued in 2007, required that guns at home must be stored in a locked container or disable it with a trigger lock. The U.S. Supreme Court has not agreed to hear a major gun case since 2010. Two of the nine justices (Scalia and Thomas), stated they would have taken the case. Thomas wrote, “that the Supreme Court has outlined to lower courts how to approach Second Amendment cases but the courts that oversaw the San Francisco case have failed to protect it.”

“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”  This is the heavily debated Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  Due to recent anti-gun laws, many more individuals are now classified as “prohibited person.”  This means individuals whose possession of a firearm is considered a criminal offense.

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D.U.I. and Sobriety Checkpoints

Articles by Carina Castañeda 02 June 2015

With the summer travel season here, you can be sure that the police will be setting up sobriety checkpoints.  In California and in many states, police conducting checkpoints must comply with a strict guideline that is laid out by case laws. In California, the landmark case is  Ingersoll v. Palmer.  Why are these case laws and statutes critical?  If the police do not follow the protocol described such as in Ingersoll, the checkpoint is not lawful, and any evidence gathered during a driving under the influence (“drunk driving”) arrest may not be admissible in court. Without the evidence collected at the scene, most cases will be dismissed.

The California Supreme Court identified eight factors that minimize the intrusiveness on the individual being stopped, while balancing the needs of the society to keep the “drunk” drivers off the road. 

(1) Supervisors Decide:  The establishment and location of sobriety checkpoints must be decided by supervisory police officers, not officers in the field.  This is important in order to reduce the potential for arbitrary and random enforcement.

(2)Field Officers Discretion Limited:  A neutral mathematical formula, such as every sixth driver etc. is used in determined in who to stop. Again with the purpose that field officers do not get to stop any driver he/she chooses.

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Media Appearances

Atty. Castañeda: Visionary, Leader and Pioneer

As the high school student body president, Atty. Castañeda was eager to pursue leadership roles on a bigger scale. At University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), she was active in university politics, various organizations such as Samahang Pilipino and a national sorority. She graduated with honors in both History and Philosophy.

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Awards & Recognition