We are delighted to announce that our physical office is re-opening to our existing and new clients. To provide safety to both our clients and staff, we are adapting the CDC guidelines for social distancing while we are in the yellow phase. Rest assured, that we have and will continue to regularly clean all areas of the office especially the high-traffic areas. All attorneys and staff will have their temperature taken daily and will be wearing masks when interacting with clients. Any attorneys and staff with a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher will work remotely. They will then be required to follow CDCrecommended steps, including not returning to work until the CDC criteria to discontinue home isolation are met.

As the health and safety of our clients and their families is our top priority, we are asking that our clients follow the procedures below during the yellow phase:

  1. Upon entering the building, we ask that all persons wash their hands or hand-sanitize. We will be providing access to soap, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes.
  2. We will also be taking temperatures with non-contact thermometers upon entering the office.
  3. Our office is set-up to comply with social distancing of six feet. In the conference and mediation rooms we are asking that each person sit a minimum of one chair apart from attorneys and/or staff at all times.
  4. Masks are available and will be provided open request.
  5. Teleconferences Zoom meetings, and FaceTime are available in lieu of inperson meetings if requested.
  6. We will continue to have the drop-box available for delivery of documents.

In the event that anyone is sick or have been exposed to COVID-19, we ask that you reschedule your appointment or utilize the electronic forums listed above.

As each county determines the procedures that will be followed, please ask your attorney of the specific procedures regarding the county in which your case in pending.

Please note that we will also continue to accommodate the needs of new clients, who are welcome, and as always we encourage and appreciate referrals. During this uncertain and unprecedented time, please stay safe and remember that Sweeney Law Office, LLC will remain by your side for all of your family’s legal needs. We ask that you have patience during this challenging time.

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Parents battle court over child custody of newborn

Pennsylvania parents may be interested in an unusual child custody case. Parents in another state are not fighting each other for custody of their new-born daughter but their local county juvenile court instead. The child custody battle began in the hospital just after the birth of the little girl.

The mother was suffering from unbearable morning sickness during her pregnancy and rejected prescriptions of opiates by her doctors because she did not want to harm her child in any way, nor did she want to become addicted to the drugs. Instead, she and her husband decided she would use medical marijuana to combat the pain. Their research into the drug showed that THC would not reach the baby once it was absorbed in the mother’s body.

After the baby was born, the hospital ran several tests that were normally run on babies born to families on Medicaid or some type of public assistance. The parents receive no assistance, as they both work and have private insurance. The baby’s urine test was clean but a stool sample showed some effects from the mother’s marijuana use. Even though the baby was very healthy at the time of her birth, the county’s family and children services department would not let the couple take the baby home.

The attorney for the couple was able to convince the agency to place the baby with a family member. The magistrate presiding over the case refuses to listen to testimony on the intended use of the tea nor will she acknowledge witness statements from the county family agency, who now feels the baby should be placed with her parents. Until the court date next month, the parents are able to visit with their daughter every day and are building a familial relationship with the child.

Child custody cases can be complicated. One or both parents may feel as though they are fighting an uphill battle. For Pennsylvania parents facing a similar conflict, finding an advocate who will stand with them may make the battle a little easier.

Source: abc-7.com, “Couple wants custody of baby back”, Suzanne Stratford, Nov. 3, 2015

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