Attorney Nicholas W. Hicks
Nicholas Hicks

NY Family Courts Offer Equal Rights According to Nicholas Hicks

Contrary to popular beliefs, Attorney Nicholas Hicks explains why fathers have the same rights as mothers in child custody battles. 

In the past, mothers were usually given custody preference over fathers, especially with young children. Attorney Nicholas Hicks notes that many people in New York still believe it is the norm. Fathers continue to fear family courts because they think they will automatically lose custody over their children generally or after divorce. However, attorney Nicholas Hicks notes that in New York custody based on the “best interests of the child.”

Our court system has one main goal, and that is to give children the most stable and healthy living environment possible. Preference is given to parents over non-parents, but both mother and father have equal rights when it comes to claiming custody. Attorney Nicholas Hicks explains that the “best interests of the child” is a broad umbrella standard, allowing courts to use many relevant facts when determining custody and visitation arrangements.

Although a Family or Supreme Court  Judge can use any relevant information available, the law provides some factors to consider. Attorney Nicholas Hicks notes that the law asks judges to examine the relationship of the child to each parent. Additionally, it is recommended to take into consideration the health of each parent, and if there is any history of abuse.

Typically, courts will encourage co-parenting .  A custodial parent is allowed to have the child live with them.   It helps if the parents live in the same jurisdiction for co-parenting  and meaningful access to work. Attorney Nicholas Hicks notes that Courts prefer in ideal cases, that both parents spend a significant amount of time with their children. A non-custodial parent is usually awarded liberal visitation rights.

In the last three decades, we have seen shifts in family court trends, which now encourage “friendly parents,” who can put their differences aside to provide their children with proper love and care. Attorney Nicholas Hicks explains that now, if a parent fails to work well with the other, their custody rights may be in jeopardy, regardless of gender. It is ideal for children to have two involved parents.

Although the law attempts to create a level playing field, Attorney Nicholas Hicks notes that child residential custody outcomes are heavily dependent on the circumstances. All families and individuals are unique, so no two cases are the same. Parents in New York are always encouraged to find legal counsel during a child custody case so that all options can be explored.

About Lawyer Nicholas Hicks:

Nicholas Hicks was rescued from NYC foster care as a child at the age of 5 years old. Lawyer Nicholas Hicks attended both public and private schools where he eventually graduated from ECC, UB & UB Law School. He specializes in various areas of practice, including injury cases, debt elimination, criminal defense, divorce, child support, child custody, and more.

 

Nicholas Hicks

Lawyer Nicholas Hicks Explains Consequences of Shifting Medicaid Costs

According to Lawyer Nicholas Hicks, Senator Andrew Cuomo will address healthcare budget issues in his upcoming proposal.

According to Lawyer Nicholas Hicks, some ramifications have come to light since the costs of the Medicaid program shifted from local to state governments. New York Senator, Andrew Cuomo, plans to address the concern in the new 2020-2021 budget as the state prepares to face a $6.1-billion-dollar budget gap. Shifting costs was supposed to help fix the budget gap, but local government officials feel it negatively affects Medicaid costs.

Lawyer Nicholas Hicks explains that Cuomo has said he is aware of the structural issues caused by the growth of the Medicaid program and knows that they need to be quickly addressed. Senator Andrew Cuomo has failed to elaborate much further about Medicaid costs but did suggest that local governments have given their feedback already.

Currently, the State of New York pays a much higher percentage of Medicaid than it did in the past. Lawyer Nicholas Hicks explains that for the past six years, New York has paid the local share of Medicaid because of a property tax cap measure that passed. When counties complained about the difficulties of staying within the tax cap, the State of New York agreed to pay for the increase in Medicaid.

The new agreement produced both financial and operational consequences. Lawyer Nicholas Hicks explains that when the local governments were paying for and operating the program, which cost 25 cents on the dollar, there was a financial incentive to run the program economically. It was more closely monitored and administered.

Complex state systems that handle education, health care, and criminal justice feel small changes in a big way. Lawyer Nicholas Hicks notes that New York Senator Andrew Cuomo explained the situation by giving the example of a ripple effect in water. Cuomo wants people to understand this before engaging in conversation about his new budget proposal.
Medicaid accounts for the most significant portion of the New York budget and remains one of the most expensive programs in the country. Thanks to Nelson Rockefeller, county governments must be responsible for picking up the costs of administering the program. Lawyer Nicholas Hicks notes that local government leaders also blame Albany for the additional burdens shifted onto them, which in turn impact local taxes.

State lawmakers take on one of the most stressful issues in politics, health care spending. Lawyer Nicholas Hicks notes that tens of billions of dollars are at stake as hospital groups and health care unions hold influence in Albany. New York Senator Andrew Cuomo believes the gap is the product of projected spending increases and is something that needs to be addressed. It won’t, however, affect his 2020 legislative session agenda.

“People hear deficit and they get concerned,” said Andrew Cuomo. “But, I said, look, we have a very bold agenda that I outlined in the State of the State, and we are going to enact a very bold agenda, and we are going to find the funding to do that.”

About Lawyer Nicholas Hicks:

Nicholas Hicks was rescued from NYC foster care as a child at the age of 5 years old. Lawyer Nicholas Hicks attended both public and private schools where he eventually graduated from ECC, UB & UB Law
School. He specializes in various areas of practice, including injury cases, debt elimination, criminal defense, divorce, child support, child custody, and more.

Nicholas Hicks

NY Attorney, Nicholas Hicks, Discusses New Gun Restriction Proposal

New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, has a new proposal for restricting gun licenses; Nicholas Hicks explains.

As this year comes to a close, Governor Andrew Cuomo rolls out his agenda for 2020. A focal point on the agenda is his new proposal to limit gun licenses. He believes that people convicted of serious misdemeanor crimes in other states should not be allowed to have access to gun licenses in New York. Attorney Nicholas Hicks explains that serious offenses could include domestic violence, assault, and other sex offenses.

In a statement, Governor Andrew Cuomo said he feels the law would save lives by keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people. Gun licensing entities would be allowed to perform background searches on people trying to purchase a firearm. Anyone with qualifying offenses, both from in and out of state, would be denied the license. Attorney Nicholas Hicks notes that gun license renewals would also be withheld from offenders.

“I’m proud that New York continues to show the Country that we don’t have to live like this – that we can and will end gun violence,” said Andrew Cuomo.

Attorney Nicholas Hicks explains that gun control measures have remained a vital issue for Governor Andrew Cuomo since the SAFE Act in 2013. The legislation was enacted after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newton, Connecticut, where a gunman killed 20 first-graders and six educators. The tragic event stirred up a national debate on gun control that is still very much a priority today. Many more mass shootings have occurred since, and leaders are trying to do something about it.

Attorney Nicholas Hicks notes that New York already has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. Reforms have made it more challenging to obtain gun licenses. However, Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to protect New York citizens from others around the Country.

Governor Andrew Cuomo states: “The solution is also clear: New York’s strongest-in-the-nation gun laws which have made us the safest big state in the Country. But until the federal government acts, states with weak gun laws will continue to endanger New Yorkers at home, and I will not tolerate it.”

Democrats controlled both chambers of the legislature earlier this year and passed measures that extended the background check period and banned bump stocks. Additional measures banned guns that are undetectable to metal detectors and expanded safe storage requirements, among others. Attorney Nicholas Hicks shares that the measures were signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo, who will give his State of the State address on January 8th, 2020.

About Lawyer Nicholas Hicks:

Nicholas Hicks was rescued from NYC foster care as a child at the age of 5 years old. Lawyer Nicholas Hicks attended both public and private schools where he eventually graduated from ECC, UB & UB Law School. He specializes in various areas of practice, including injury cases, debt elimination, criminal defense, divorce, child support, child custody, and more.

Nicholas Hicks

Attorney Nicholas Hicks Helps Those Who Can’t Afford Child Support

If you’re struggling to make ends meet with child support payments, attorney Nicholas Hicks of New York is available to help.

In most cases where parents do not live together, one parent will likely be court-mandated to pay child support payments. Depending on your circumstances, those monthly payments might be a little too high for your budget. Attorney Nicholas Hicks notes that if this is your situation, there are many avenues for help. The New York court system is usually willing to help you find a solution to your payment problems.

If you are failing to make your child support payments, attorney Nicholas Hicks recommends filing a petition in family court seeking to have support lowered. This request will let officials know that you need a modification to your payment plan or schedule. Attorney Nicholas Hicks explains that many people find themselves in different circumstances from when the court order was set initially. Child support payments are calculated using financial income reports; however, when income changes significantly, you could be paying way too much.

Ideally, you should request a modification before falling behind on payments. However, attorney Nicholas Hicks notes that there are still specific circumstances that qualify you for a change in child support payment amounts. Not all conditions are eligible, so it’s best to contact a lawyer to help you with your case. Examples of qualifying circumstances may include changes in income, changing cost in the care of the child, unemployment, medical expenses, or disability. Also, a significant increase in the income of the residential parent may also result in the lowering of child support payments.

Attorney Nicholas Hicks recommends applying for a modification even if your situation is only temporary to avoid missing payments. It will help you save money when you need it most while protecting yourself legally from any negative consequences. Life can be unpredictable, and you may end up needing more time than you think to get back on your feet.

To have the modification request approved by the court system, you will need to have proper documentation of your circumstances. Attorney Nicholas Hicks suggests contacting a lawyer so they can help you document the changes and gather the appropriate materials. If you are not adequately prepared, your request may be denied and the case may be dismissed. Courts are sometimes willing to modify your order, as they prefer child payments to be reduced instead of halted altogether.

Be very cautious about making modifications outside of the court system, even if the other parent agrees to a deal. Attorney Nicholas Hicks explains that non-binding agreements leave you vulnerable to disputes. Any undocumented agreements may not hold up later in court. No matter how great you think your relationship is with the other parent, attorney Nicholas Hicks recommends making modifications legally.

Although it’s not required to communicate your circumstances to the other parent, it’s probably in your best interest to do so. Making the other parent aware of your situation may help you avoid unnecessary retaliation in the long run. If they know you applied for a payment modification and are unable to meet current payments, they may be less likely to file further legal actions against you.

If you are already behind in payments and find yourself in court, continue working on the modification and seek the advice of a lawyer. Attorney Nicholas Hicks explains that an experienced child support lawyer will work to protect you.

About Lawyer Nicholas Hicks:

Nicholas Hicks was rescued from NYC foster care as a child at the age of 5 years old. Lawyer Nicholas Hicks attended both public and private schools where he eventually graduated from ECC, UB & UB Law School. He specializes in various areas of practice, including injury cases, debt elimination, criminal defense, divorce, child support, child custody, and more.

Nicholas Hicks

According to Nicholas Hicks, Fusion Voting Lawsuit Continues in NY

Lawyer Nicholas Hicks of New York explains that no decision was made in the WFP and Conservative Fusion Voting Lawsuits. 

Currently, there are two similar but separate lawsuits from the State of New York’s Working Families’ Party and the Conservative Party. The judge heard both suits at the same time, even though they are not joined. Lawyer Nicholas Hicks explains that these lawsuits are focused on protecting fusion voting in New York. 

The challenges against the State’s public campaign finance commission could have a significant impact on voting in New York in the future. However, after the last lengthy hearing, no final decision was made. Lawyer Nicholas Hicks notes that approximately 15 different attorneys made their arguments to a State Supreme Court Justice in Niagara Falls. 

Fusion voting is the process that allows candidates to run on multiple party lines at once and aggregate votes. By doing this, minor parties have the opportunity to have more influence in their state. Lawyer Nicholas Hicks explains that some state entities believe the commission did not make recommendations about fusion however, meaning the lawsuits should be moot. 

On the other side, plaintiffs argue that recommendations to change the parties’ vote threshold for ballots were intended to interfere with fusion. Additionally, plaintiffs believe that the commission should not have the right to make laws, only the Legislature. The practice has been used often by the commission in Albany, which means this vital decision could halt processes immediately. 

According to legislation, commission recommendations become law unless the Legislature votes against them before December 22nd, 2019. Lawyer Nicholas Hicks notes that the Judge might issue a summary judgment beforehand, but that remains unclear. 

Despite having very different political stances, the Conservative Party and the Working Families’ Party will continue to work closely together on the issue. The parties have shared tables in court with former Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, who represents the WFP. Lawyer Nicholas Hicks notes that Richard Brodsky made many opinionated arguments, including the recommendation to raise the vote threshold to “shooting the groom” opposed to “banning the marriage” of parties. 

“(The State) is trying to turn a political monopoly into a financial monopoly and it’s inexcusable,” said Richard Brodsky to a Judge. 

The proceeding lasted more than three hours due to all of the attorneys making arguments in the court. Lawyer Nicholas Hicks explains that the State Attorney General rescued herself, meaning each body was contracted out to firms on the taxpayers’ expense, including the Governor’s office and Assembly and Senate majorities and minorities. 

About Lawyer Nicholas Hicks:

Nicholas Hicks was rescued from NYC foster care at the age of 5 years old. Lawyer Nicholas Hicks attended both public and private schools where he eventually graduated from ECC, UB & UB Law School. He practices in various areas of law, including injury cases, debt elimination, criminal defense, divorce, child support, child custody, and more.

 

Nicholas Hicks

New York Lawyer, Nicholas Hicks, Explains New Legislation Targeting Telemarketers

The State of New York is cracking down on telemarketing with new legislation; Lawyer Nicholas W. Hicks explains how it will affect you.

Telemarketers are not only annoying but also deceptive and hard to get rid of. What used to be just a few monthly calls on the home phone line has now turned into daily calls on personal cell phone lines. Blocking one number often means they will call again with a different one.

People have found that asking to be removed from the calling list is usually not enough, as many telemarketing calls are now robotic voice messages. ‘Robocalls’ have become increasingly aggressive and scam unsuspecting people out of money and personal information. All of this could be coming to an end soon, however.

According to lawyer Nicholas W. Hicks of New York, a bill meant to crack down on telemarketing calls was approved by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The new legislation will take effect in approximately 90 days. New York residents are looking forward to tighter regulations on previously existing laws.

The “Do Not Call” law was enacted in New York 18 years ago but had loopholes that allowed telemarketers to continue pesky practices. Lawyer Nicholas W. Hicks notes that the new bill will require live telemarketers to offer consumers the opportunity of being added to the seller’s restricted call list. Additionally, telemarketers will now need written consent to share or sell any private contact information.

“This loophole is a license to annoy New Yorkers that telemarketers have taken advantage of for far too long,” Cuomo said in a statement. “With these new protections, we can help ensure New Yorkers receive fewer unwanted calls, and their privacy is protected once and for all.”

The exciting new legislation was sponsored by Assemblywoman Amy Paulin and Senator Todd Kaminsky. With the introduction of the new bill, bothersome calls will hopefully be curbed, making many New York residents very happy. Lawyer Nicholas W. Hicks sees this legislation as a breath of fresh air for busy people who could use one less thing to deal with. Hopefully, it will also protect many from future scams and headaches.

About Lawyer Nicholas Hicks:

Starting from an early age, Nicholas Hicks was rescued from NYC foster care at the age of 5 years old. Nicholas Hicks attended both public and private schools where he eventually graduated from ECC, UB & UB Law School.

Attorney Nicholas W. Hicks

New York Campaign Disclosure Law Explained by Attorney Nicholas Hicks

A new law is approved in New York that will shed some light on political spending, attorney Nicholas Hicks explains. 

A new measure was recently approved by Governor Andrew Cuomo, which will significantly impact political campaigns in New York during upcoming elections. The action will require a “paid for by” disclaimer on all print, digital, display, and auditory ads. Attorney Nicholas Hicks explains that campaign committees and candidates can no longer hide where their funds are coming from, which is a huge victory for New York voters. 

Although this measure is new, it aligns well with other campaign advertising disclosure rules by the federal government. Attorney Nicholas Hicks notes that this measure also helps end the issue of anonymous mailings during political campaign seasons. Voters deserve to know where the information is coming from so they can make more accurate decisions at the polls. 

Another significant concern in upcoming elections is the use of Social Media platforms, such as Facebook, to spread false political information to the masses. Attorney Nicholas Hicks explains that the new measure builds on a 2018 law that cracks down on digital communication regulations by independent expenditure groups. Governor Andrew Cuomo sees the new legislation as an opportunity to further expand on counteracting all the anonymous political spending in New York races so that more people can be better informed. 

The new legislation was sponsored by Senator James Skoufis and Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski. Both politicians are Democrats representing the Hudson Valley districts. 

“Voters deserve full transparency when it comes to political communications – and now, finally, they’ll get it,” said Skoufis, who has been targeted by anonymous political ads in the past. 

“As someone who was previously targeted by anonymous campaign mailers and robocalls, I know first-hand the confusion caused by these deceptive practices, especially when messages come from seemingly legitimate sources with no ‘paid for by’ disclaimer,” said Skoufis. “We all have a right to vote in honest and fair elections, and this new law is a significant step forward.” 

Attorney Nicholas Hicks believes that the new measure will help to bring clarity to companies and private parties that are genuinely supporting candidates. By bringing these previously unknown supporters to light, voters can get a better look at any possible hidden agendas. 

About Attorney Nicholas Hicks: 

Starting from an early age, Nicholas Hicks was rescued from NYC foster care at the age of 5 years old. Nicholas Hicks attended both public and private schools where he eventually graduated from ECC, UB & UB Law School. 

Lawyer nicholas hicks

Nicholas Hicks Explains How New York Is Addressing the Opioid Crisis

Lawyer Nicholas Hicks reveals how New York legislation plans to better track opioid-related deaths.

On November 5th, 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York approved new legislation requiring death certificates to label the specific opioids involved. Lawyer Nicholas Hicks of New York explains that the measure will help public health officials track opioid use and better address the ongoing opioid crisis in their state.

Before this legislation, if a person died from an opioid overdose, there was no requirement for medical practitioners to list which opioids were the cause of death. Lawyer Nicholas Hicks notes that the new legislation has been put into effect immediately.

The information will allow officials to have a better understanding of which communities are most at risk for opioid addiction and overdose. Lawyer Nicholas Hicks explains that once at-risk communities are detected, officials will be able to provide resources for substance abuse prevention. Officials can also use location to track the spread of drugs.

Additionally, it will help officials determine which drugs are the most deadly. Surrounding hospitals and medical facilities benefit from knowing this information, so they are prepared for potential emergencies. Lawyer Nicholas Hicks notes that once drugs are pinpointed, more effective treatment strategies can be put into place across a wide range of fields.

“New York has taken the most aggressive actions to combat the opioid crisis of any other state in the country,” Cuomo said. “This common sense law will go to great lengths to ensure we have the most accurate information to be able to stop this public health scourge once and for all.”

In 2018, it was estimated that more than 47,000 people in the United States died from opioid overdoses alone.  Street drugs like heroin are not solely to blame. Approximately 10 million people misused prescription opioids in the United States in 2018.

The consequences of opioid abuse are devastating to families and communities. In addition to its strain on public health, the crisis also strains the economy and threatens our national security.  Unfortunately, some people turn from prescription pain killers to street heroin and fentanyl.

New York lawmakers are being  citizens and communities across the State for their immediate action in addressing the ongoing opioid crisis. 

About Attorney Nicholas Hicks:

Starting from an early age, Nicholas Hicks was rescued from NYC foster care at the age of 5 years old. Nicholas Hicks attended both public and private schools where he eventually graduated from ECC, UB & UB Law School.

 

Nicholas Hicks Explains Proposed New York Bill for Prisoners to Vote

New York attorney Nicholas Hicks weighs in on new legislation that would allow inmates to vote while serving time.

Felons across the United States are mostly ineligible to vote. Depending on state policy, that right can be lost permanently. In other instances, attorney Nicholas Hicks explains that the right to vote can be restored after successfully completing time served and all other requirements.

Currently, only two US states allow incarcerated felons to vote, Maine and Vermont. Other states allow some prisoners to vote depending on their convictions, including Mississippi, Alaska, and Alabama. According to attorney Nicholas Hicks, New York may be next to offer prisoners their voting rights.

The legislation was introduced to the New York Senate on Wednesday, October 30th, 2019. The bill, sponsored by Senator Kevin Parker, would allow inmates residing in New York prisons to vote. New York lawmakers have previously been working on expanding the rights of the formerly incarcerated. However, this new bill would push things a step further. Attorney Nicholas Hicks notes that thousands of imprisoned people would be affected.

Some argue that since inmates are counted in the community census, they should be allowed to have a say in who represents them in elected office. Others say that voting is an earned right for people who follow community laws and are a contributing member to society. The topic has long been controversial and remains relevant in politics for many states.

The future of this bill remains unclear for now. The Democratic-controlled Assembly does not need a matching, or “same as,” bill to establish full passage. Although just introduced, the topic is already gaining traction among New York media and news outlets.

One major drawback to allowing prisoners to vote is their lack of information on political candidates. Many are unable to watch the news or read about the issues each candidate believes in. Even with this setback, many people believe in bringing about change to the prison system.

In recent months, lawmakers have passed other legislation surrounding criminal justice. One focus is to reduce recidivism and lower total population count in New York prisons. Governor Andrew Cuomo has also been working diligently for years, seeking out the closure of numerous prisons due to population decline. Another bill introduced at the beginning of 2019 would have allowed former prisoners to serve on juries.

About Attorney Nicholas Hicks:

Starting from an early age, Nicholas Hicks was rescued from NYC foster care at the age of 5 years old. Nicholas Hicks attended both public and private schools where he eventually graduated from ECC, UB & UB Law School.

Lawyer Nicholas W. Hicks

Understanding the Fifth Amendment with Lawyer Nicholas Hicks of New York

New York Attorney Nicholas Hicks explains your rights outlined in the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. 

The Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution addresses some of the protections afforded to citizens accused of crimes. Deeply rooted in English common law, this Amendment attempts to protect an accused person from being forced by the Government to provide ‘testimony’ against him/herself. 

Lawyer Nicholas Hicks of New York explains the Fifth Amendment in order to help citizens understand their rights. 

When someone ‘pleads the Fifth’, or otherwise exercises their rights under the Fifth, they are using this right to remain silent against certain kinds of questioning by the Government (i.e., police, prosecutors or any arm of law enforcement). 

Under the Fifth Amendment, there is an additional protection against ‘double jeopardy’. Lawyer Nicholas Hicks explains that once a person has been tried for an offense, whatever the outcome, they cannot be charged or tried again with the same offense, even if new incriminating evidence is found after the trial. This protects people from being forced into court repeatedly to defend themselves. However the exception to the ‘double jeopardy’ rule is that the State and Federal Goverments are considered two separate entities. Which is to say, that a person could be found ‘not guilty’ in State Court, but then tried again in Federal Court with the same or similar charges, (e.g., the officers in the Rodney King beating case). This occurrence is not considered ‘double jeopardy’ under the law. 

Also included in the Fifth is a person’s right to legal counsel during interrogation. The accused party can request an attorney be present when speaking with the police or any person associated with law enforcement. Every person must also be read their ‘Miranda Warnings’ upon being questioned by law enforcement, (questioning evokes this right not the arrest). Failure to warn a person of their Miranda rights could result in any resulting statements being thrown out of court. Lawyer Nicholas Hicks stresses the importance of exercising your right to counsel before speaking with law enforcement. 

Finally, Attorney Nicholas Hicks reminds us, that when a police officer says “anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law”, remember that in fact it will be used against you. So protect yourself by remaining silent until you have a lawyer present. 

Contact an attorney right away if you need to discuss your rights in a criminal situation. 

About Nicholas Hicks: 

Starting from an early age, Nicholas Hicks was rescued from NYC foster care at the age of 5 years old. Nicholas Hicks attended both public and private schools where he eventually graduated from ECC, UB & UB Law School.