19-0043522 Urgent Need

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A survivor of domestic violence seeks assistance in a custody matter involving her nine-year-old son. The current custody order, issued in 2016, allows client to relocate to Philadelphia with her son, grants her primary custody, and awards partial custody to the opposing party (OP)/father every other weekend. Child has reported to his school that his father beat him with a hanger. The child has also returned from visits with OP with a scarred upper lip, and he has tried to leave school to avoid his father’s pick-ups. As a result of these problems, the child was admitted to a psychiatric hospital in March of 2019. The hospital informed DHS, but client was told the case did not meet the threshold for abuse. OP/father has been convicted of assaulting client. Client filed a petition to modify custody seeking sole physical and legal custody. A volunteer is needed to represent client in the master’s hearing scheduled on June 26, 2019 at 2:00 pm before Master Marthe Mbuy. The client understands that representation may be limited to the scheduled custody hearing, and has agreed to sign a pro se entry of appearance at the conclusion of that hearing. Client obtained a temporary Protection from Abuse (PFA) order protecting the child and has a hearing for a permanent PFA on June 26, 2019 at 9:00 am, but VIP can find another volunteer for that matter; see companion case #19-0043656.

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