Legal Blog

Nessel and Kessel Law Assists Gays and Lesbians Seeking to Adopt

Starting a family can be one of the most difficult and time consuming processes you will ever undertake. Despite all the hard work and effort, the journey should also give way to a feeling of great joy and satisfaction. Unfortunately, as a gay or lesbian individual or a same-sex couple, the process is often times more difficult because of the judgments and prejudices that exist in today’s society. There are those, both inside and outside the government, who believe that gay or lesbian individuals and same-sex couples are not qualified to be parents. The regrettable truth is that these prejudices can have an effect on the adoption process.

At Nessel & Kessel Law we believe that LGBT individuals and couples should have the same constitutionally protected right to form a family that heterosexuals enjoy. We will fight to make sure that the only criteria examined by the courts and adoption officials is whether or not a child is being brought into a loving home. If you are considering bringing a child into your family, you need a legal team who has the most experience fighting on behalf of gay and lesbian families.

In 2010, in the case of Harmon v Davis, Dana Nessel fought for the child custody rights of a lesbian woman who had separated from her long-term partner. Renee Harmon and Tammy Davis were a lesbian couple who had been in a relationship for 19 years, during which time Tammy Davis bore three children to the couple. For nearly a decade, both parents raised the children, each contributing their time, money and love as any parent would. Unfortunately, Renee and Tammy eventually separated. Following the separation, Tammy denied Renee any access to their children. Dana Nessel represented Ms. Harmon as she sued for custody of the children, arguing that while she was not a biological parent, she was just as much a parent to the children as Ms. Davis. For the first time in Michigan history, the circuit court ruled that a non-biological parent in a same-sex couple had rights as an equitable parent to the children she planned and raised. Sadly, the case was later overturned by the Michigan appellate courts after a long and heart wrenching battle.

In response to the narrow-minded and shameful application of the law in the state courts, in 2012, Nessel & Kessel Law filed suit in federal court in the matter of DeBoer v Snyder, taking on Governor Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette for their enforcement of the Michigan Adoption Code which prohibits same-sex couples from jointly adopting a child. The case involves April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, a lesbian couple who work as nurses at local Detroit hospitals. The couple has been in a committed relationship for ten years, during which time they welcomed three special needs newborns into their home, each who had been abandoned or surrendered at birth. While April, Jayne and their children live together as a family, because of Michigan law, April and Jayne cannot jointly adopt the children. This is not only a denial of their equal rights to parent, but also creates a host of legal and practical problems for their children. We are challenging the law on behalf of April and Jayne, as well as their children, as a violation of the family’s constitutionally protected rights to equal protection under the law.

At Nessel & Kessel Law, we are committed to fighting for the rights of our clients, regardless of sexual orientation. Whether you are a same-sex couple or a gay or lesbian individual who is looking to adopt, you need representation by attorneys who have the courage and the experience to guide you through this process. We believe in the opportunity for all people, gay or straight, single or in a committed relationship, to have the chance to bring a child into their home and to form a loving and caring family.

Probation Violations Can be a Tricky Thing. Don’t Let It Take Away Your Freedom

Probation in Detroit, Michigan is a privilege that can be taken away, or revoked, at any time. It’s an opportunity for convicted criminals to avoid jail time, and it’s a privilege that allows convicted criminals to re-enter society after they have served jail time. Individuals sentenced to probation in Detroit, Michigan must always be under the supervision of a probation officer who is an employee of the Michigan Department of Corrections. This probation officer is required to seek revocation of probation before a judge if the convicted criminal on probation appears likely to regress toward criminal behavior.

Probation Violations

Generally the probation officer will ask for probation to be revoked for the following reasons:

  • Failure of a drug or alcohol test
  • Arrest for another crime
  • Missing an appointment with the probation officer
  • Failure to appear at a court scheduled appointment
  • Failure to complete a court-ordered program
  • Failure to pay fines and/or restitution
  • Failure to maintain employment or school
  • Association with other known criminals
  • A change of address with the authorization of the probation officer
  • Leaving the state without the authorization of the probation officer

If your probation officer suspects you of violating probation, contact Nessel and Kessel Law in Detroit, Michigan immediately because you will need a quality defense lawyer. If you are sentenced to a probation violation court hearing, the prosecutor must only demonstrate that you violated your probation terms. This makes it much easier for the judge to revoke your probation, plus a jury will not hear your case in probation violation case, only the judge will listen to your case.

Penalties for Probation Violation

If suspected of a probation violation, you may be sentenced to any of the following:

  • No further punishment: this allows the convicted criminal to continue probation without any penalties. This is the best outcome and is a result of minor infractions or technicalities.
  • Extension of the Probation: a probation officer can seek an extension of the probation for more severe violations. A judge must listen to this appeal and approve it.
  • Revocation of Probation: your probation can revoked for serious infractions, such as failing a drug test. The probation officer can request an arrest warrant and you may have to appear before a judge. Probation may be taken away or your original sentence can be reactivated.

Contact Nessel and Kessel Law in Detroit, Michigan for quality and compassionate legal representation that will ease your anxiety and make sure you and your family’s best interests are taken care of.  Nessel and Kessel Law in Detroit, Michigan will take listen to your case and give you the individual attention you deserve during these trying times.

About Nessel and Kessel Law

With more than two decades of experience, Nessel & Kessel Law is one of Michigan’s premiere litigation firms.  Nessel and Kessel Law’s experience includes all Detroit, Michigan misdemeanor and felony charges, assault, auto theft, criminal sexual conduct, domestic violence, drug possession and trafficking, expungements, homicides, manslaughter, internet crimes, larcenies, home invasions, breaking and entering, probation violations, retail fraud, drunk driving, license restoration, traffic tickets, divorce, annulment and legal separations, child custody and visitation, child support and spousal support, restraining orders, personal protection orders, paternity, prenuptial and postnuptial, gay and lesbian family law issues, civil rights and constitutional violations, false imprisonment, forfeiture actions, police brutality, premises liability, wrongful arrest and wrongful death. Nessel and Kessel Law is located in Detroit, Michigan in the Penobscot building on the corner of Griswold and West Congress Street.

Contact Dana Nessel or Chris Kessel today at 313-556-2300 for an in-depth and confidential consultation regarding your rights.

Frank Beckman Interview

Don’t Let a Probation Violation Take Away Your Freedom

Probation in Detroit, Michigan is a privilege that can be taken away, or revoked, at any time. It’s an opportunity for convicted criminals to avoid jail time, and it’s a privilege that allows convicted criminals to re-enter society after they have served jail time. Individuals sentenced to probation in Detroit, Michigan must always be under the supervision of a probation officer who is an employee of the Michigan Department of Corrections. This probation officer is required to seek revocation of probation before a judge if the convicted criminal on probation appears likely to regress toward criminal behavior.

Probation Violations

Generally the probation officer will ask for probation to be revoked for the following reasons:

  • Failure of a drug or alcohol test
  • Arrest for another crime
  • Missing an appointment with the probation officer
  • Failure to appear at a court scheduled appointment
  • Failure to complete a court-ordered program
  • Failure to pay fines and/or restitution
  • Failure to maintain employment or school
  • Association with other known criminals
  • A change of address with the authorization of the probation officer
  • Leaving the state without the authorization of the probation officer

If your probation officer suspects you of violating probation, contact Nessel and Kessel in Detroit, Michigan immediately because you will need a quality defense lawyer. If you are sentenced to a probation violation court hearing, the prosecutor must only demonstrate that you violated your probation terms. This makes it much easier for the judge to revoke your probation, plus a jury will not hear your case in probation violation case, only the judge will listen to your case.

Penalties for Probation Violation

If suspected of a probation violation, you may be sentenced to any of the following:

  • No further punishment: this allows the convicted criminal to continue probation without any penalties. This is the best outcome and is a result of minor infractions or technicalities.
  • Extension of the Probation: a probation officer can seek an extension of the probation for more severe violations. A judge must listen to this appeal and approve it.
  • Revocation of Probation: your probation can revoked for serious infractions, such as failing a drug test. The probation officer can request an arrest warrant and you may have to appear before a judge. Probation may be taken away or your original sentence can be reactivated.

Contact Nessel and Kessel in Detroit, Michigan for quality and compassionate legal representation that will ease your anxiety and make sure you and your family’s best interests are taken care of.  Nessel and Kessel in Detroit, Michigan will take listen to your case and give you the individual attention you deserve during these trying times.

About Nessel and Kessel

With more than two decades of experience, , Nessel & Kessel is one of Michigan’s premiere litigation firms.  Nessel & Kessel’s experience includes all Detroit, Michigan misdemeanor and felony charges, assault, auto theft, criminal sexual conduct, domestic violence, drug possession and trafficking, expungements, homicides, manslaughter, internet crimes, larcenies, home invasions, breaking and entering, probation violations, retail fraud, drunk driving, license restoration, traffic tickets, divorce, annulment and legal separations, child custody and visitation, child support and spousal support, restraining orders, personal protection orders, paternity, prenuptial and postnuptial, gay and lesbian family law issues, civil rights and constitutional violations, false imprisonment, forfeiture actions, police brutality, premises liability, wrongful arrest and wrongful death. Nessel Defense Law is located in Detroit, Michigan in the Penobscot building on the corner of Griswold and West Congress Street.

Contact Dana Nessel or Chris Kessel today at 313—556-2300 for an in-depth and confidential consultation regarding your rights

How Nessel Defense Law can Remove your name from the SORA

Don’t let a sex offense ruin your life. New amendments to the Michigan Sex Offender Registry Act (SORA) now make it possible to remove your name from the list. As of July 1, 2011, sex offenders who meet the “Romeo and Juliet” – or statutory rape – exception, and juvenile offenders who were convicted before July 1, 2011 and were below the age of 14 when convicted are eligible to be removed from the SORA.

How Nessel Defense Law can Remove your name from the SORA

If you’re a minor in Michigan convicted of having sex with another individual under the age of 16, it is now possible to remove your name from the SORA. You can petition to have your name removed and you may be granted a hearing to remove your name from the SORA. To do so, you’ll have to demonstrate:

  • The “victim” consented to the sex act, and
  • The “victim” was no younger than 13 years old, and
  • The “offender” was no more than 4 years older than the “victim”.

Keep in mind that just because a hearing is scheduled, this does not grant automatic removal from the SORA. You only get ONE CHANCE to clear your name. If your hearing does not go well and your name is not removed from the SORA, you’ll have to keep appealing for the 10 – 15 years of your life. Don’t go through this process alone. You’ll need the quality legal team at Nessel Defense Law. Nessel Defense Law will file your extensive paperwork and give you the best representation and advice possible during your petition and hearing.

The Consequences of Sex Crimes

The consequences of a sex crime conviction are severe; they will affect both your entire life and your family’s life. You need take every action possible to restore your name and avoid harsh penalties. The consequences in Michigan include:

  • An obligation to register your name with the SORA up to four times a year.
    • Your name and picture may be posted on postcards and distributed throughout your neighborhood
    • Your  name and picture may be posted on the internet and phone apps distinguishing you as a sex offender and showing where you live
    • You may be banned from entering schools and even being within a 1,000 foot radius of any school zone
    • You will face jail time and a fine

Contact Nessel and Kessel in Detroit, Michigan for quality and compassionate legal representation that will ease your anxiety and make sure you and your family’s best interests are taken care of.  Nessel and Kessel in Detroit, Michigan will take listen to your case and give you the individual attention you deserve during these trying times.

About Nessel and Kessel

With more than two decades of experience, , Nessel & Kessel is one of Michigan’s premiere litigation firms.  Nessel & Kessel’s experience includes all Detroit, Michigan misdemeanor and felony charges, assault, auto theft, criminal sexual conduct, domestic violence, drug possession and trafficking, expungements, homicides, manslaughter, internet crimes, larcenies, home invasions, breaking and entering, probation violations, retail fraud, drunk driving, license restoration, traffic tickets, divorce, annulment and legal separations, child custody and visitation, child support and spousal support, restraining orders, personal protection orders, paternity, prenuptial and postnuptial, gay and lesbian family law issues, civil rights and constitutional violations, false imprisonment, forfeiture actions, police brutality, premises liability, wrongful arrest and wrongful death. Nessel Defense Law is located in Detroit, Michigan in the Penobscot building on the corner of Griswold and West Congress Street.

Contact Dana Nessel or Chris Kessel today at 313—556-2300 for an in-depth and confidential consultation regarding your rights