Human Rights Day is observed every year on December 10th. It honors the day on which, in 1948, the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
It’s 2015 and domestic violence is still treated as a private matter. Applying a human rights framework provides a way to interrupt this perception and reframe it as a national problem. Indeed, in the United States, domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44, and one in four women are abused by their partners.
Yet, numerous barriers exist in the U.S. to preventing domestic violence and holding perpetrators accountable. One such barrier is the severe lack of legal representation in civil court available to domestic violence resisters, whether in seeking restraining orders, custody of their children, or money damages. Despite the fact that basic needs are at stake in these proceedings, there is no constitutional right to counsel in civil cases.
A human rights framework requires that governments provide individuals with access to court and to an adequate and adequate remedy when their rights are violated. Human rights standards also call for governments to ensure their citizens are free from want and free from fear.
Until our government guarantees housing, food, and legal counsel to domestic violence resisters, the Alipato Project will continue to represent abused families in civil court to help obtain financial reparations from their batterers. For Human Rights Day, please donate to the Alipato Project to help us pay for rent in 2016!
Linda Boblitt made case law when she appealed the trial court’s decision to throw out her civil case against her batterer on the basis of issue preclusion. Linda Boblitt’s abuser’s lawyers argued that since incidents of domestic violence were brought up in the parties’ earlier divorce case, Linda Boblitt had no right to sue her ex-husband for his long history of physical and emotional abuse.
The appellate court reversed the trial court’s dismissal, holding that the party raising issue preclusion has the burden of “showing that the parties litigated in the dissolution proceeding all of the allegations of domestic violence on which Linda’s current tort action is based were, in fact, litigated and decided against her in the dissolution proceeding.” Boblitt v. Boblitt. 190 Cal.App.4th 606, 614, (2010).
Five years later, Linda Boblitt hired the Alipato Project to litigate the rest of her civil claim. See the news excerpt below:
“Canlas settled her first case in Sacramento County. Her client, Linda Boblitt agreed to a settlement of $13,500, a figure that Canlas believed was too low. Boblitt was exhausted from the arduous process and learned that the defendant did not have much more than $13,500 to give. Over the span of a few decades, Boblitt’s ex-husband had broken her jaw, knocked out her teeth, and hit her with a car…
After the settlement conference and the agreement, the judge gave Canlas some needed encouragement. “He told me, ‘Keep it up, you’re doing God’s work.'””
> read more in the East Bay Express!
On October 20, 2014, Alipato Project’s Domestic Violence Trial Attorney was featured in OZY’s Rising Stars! Click here to read all about it.
We wrapped up Sexual Assault Awareness Month with an interview on Feministing, one of our favorite blogs! Click here to read the full article.
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