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The Center for Social Justice (CSJ) and New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI) released a report, Discharge, Deportation, and Dangerous Journeys: A Study on the Practice of Medical Repatriation, documenting an alarming number of cases in which U.S. hospitals have forcibly repatriated vulnerable undocumented patients, who are ineligible for public insurance as a result of their immigration status, in an effort to cut costs.


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Family Law Clinic Cases

Students Secure Favorable Ruling in International Divorce

The Family Law Clinic students represented a woman from Jamaica in divorce proceedings.  The client’s husband, who works for the United Nations, had canceled the client’s visa, obtained a default divorce in Jamaica, and sought to have her deported while depriving her of custody of the couple’s two sons.  The Clinic obtained a ruling from the Court that while the Jamaican divorce could be recognized, New Jersey still retained jurisdiction over the issues of custody, support, and equitable distribution.  After protracted discovery and settlement negotiations, the Clinic obtained a favorable settlement for the client that included primary custody, limited duration alimony, child support, indemnification of debt that was accumulated by the husband, and one half of the husband’s retirement benefits from the U.N.  The client has also secured an immigration attorney to assist her in obtaining residency as a victim of a crime, due to acts of abuse that her husband had committed during the marriage. 

Client Freed from Ex-Husband's Tax Burden

The Family Law Clinic obtained a favorable decision on behalf of a client in a matter involving the innocent taxpayer provisions of the Internal Revenue Code.  During the past year, the Clinic represented a woman in a divorce action in which the final judgment of divorce entered in December of 2008. In this judgment, the client maintained custody of her young son, visitation was suspended, and prior support and restraining orders were continued by the Court. After the divorce, the IRS attempted to collect back taxes from the client based on unreported income from her former husband during the years they filed jointly.  The Clinic filed a Petition for Innocent Spouse Relief with the IRS for two years: 2004 and 2006. The Clinic provided evidence showing that both before and after her divorce, the client was continually harassed by her former husband, forcing her to move back and forth between a battered women’s shelter and various apartments while caring for her young son.   Recently, the IRS issued a decision granting relief for the 2006 tax year.  The 2004 petition, which is based on the same facts, is still pending.