©2017 BY COMMUNITY VETERAN JUSTICE PROJECT
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Success Stories

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Samantha Z.

Homeless Veteran

Samantha Z. is a female veteran who was homeless (sleeping on a college campus), self-medicating with drugs, suffered military sexual trauma (MST), and with a pending DUI. CVJP was able to get her into a beautiful life, in a dual diagnosis drug treatment program where she was able to detox for 60 days, then transferred to an incredible home in Mission Viejo specific for female veterans with MST. She was able to get comprehensive care for 90 days, then given continuing support placement where she can live up to 2 years while CVJP pursues diversion of her case to have it dismissed.

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Royce R.

Justice Involved Veteran

Royce R. is a veteran who had gotten his 3rd DUI in 2015 and never appeared in court. He had been told all this time that he owed the VA over $70,000 and could no longer get his VA benefits. These VA benefits were not used for nearly 4 years. In fact, if you are convicted of a felony and incarcerated for over 60 days, the VA can stop payment of a veteran’s VA benefits. However, neither of those things had happened to Royce, yet somehow his benefits had gotten shut off up because of his misdemeanor arrests.

A VA VJO contacted for Royce, saying that he had felt beaten down and overwhelmed all this time, yet was doing everything he could to get his life together while living at significant veteran program. CVJP was able to find his 3 cases with 3 warrants.One was his open DUI and 2 were probation violations in different courts with different amounts on the warrants. We had him get letters from the programs he was in and set up a plan to go the court with the largest warrant first. We worked with his Public Defender to keep him out of custody and get all 3 warrants recalled.Also, with his open case, CVJP helped his Public Defender use the CA Veteran diversion statute, because he had never gotten treatment before. Within 2 weeks we were able to get his VA benefits straightened out and get all his back pay!

Winter Fashion

Frank J.

Justice Involved Veteran

Frank J. had an outstanding warrant from Santa Barbara Veteran Treatment Court for non-payment of fines that had gone into collections. The warrant was interfering with him getting his VA benefits and threatened his liberty, as he could get arrested at any time.

 

Because his VA benefits were being interfered with, it made it all the more difficult to pay the fines and get to Santa Barbara since he was in LA. He had tried for over a year to take care of it but was constantly told “once it was in collections neither the Public Defender, nor the judge, could get involved”.  CVJP sent the Public Defender in the Santa Barbara VTC an email that they needed to file a motion to quash the warrant and showed them the case law that gave them authority forcing the clerk to file the motion. The clerk has no authority to not take the motion, only the judge can decide to deny the motion, not a clerk (Voit case: Voit v. Superior Court (Montano) (2011) 201 Cal. App. 4th 1285, 1287-1288). Additionally CVJP sent them the appeal case that states the court can’t issue a warrant for fines owed without FIRST holding an “Ability to Pay” Hearing, and finding if the defendant has the ability to pay. Otherwise, the court must stay the fines.

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Mark W.

OTH Discharge Upgrade

Mark W. was raised in Compton, went to prestigious schools, and became an emergency physician and Navy Lt Commander.  He performed 2 tours of combat in Iraq as emergency physician, seeing some of the worst of the worst. Suffered PTSD after first combat tour, yet didn’t receive treatment. Was married with 4 children, but his wife spent lots of money trying to cope with him being gone.  Mark worked double shifts in the emergency department as military/civilian—using energy drinks to endure.  He began having conflicts with command; they said he couldn’t work at civilian hospital and were going to deploy him on 3rd combat tour despite many others not being deployed a first time.  Mark wanted to save his wife and children and continued working.  Mark’s only coping mechanism was to work harder.  They threatened to court martial him and he ended up with an OTH discharge.  Despite his best efforts, divorce ensured and it wasn’t amicable. Mark vandalized her car when she refused to let him see his children as promised—they had mutual restraining orders—so he was convicted of violating restraining order & vandalism.  This lead to his medical license being suspended, 5 years of unemployment, living on food stamps and trying to get his medical license back. CVJP helped him get an attorney to represent him for his medical license.  CVJP testified for him at his hearing and his probation was terminated early and he was reinstated. CVJP helped him get a discharge upgrade to a general under honorable conditions and is currently working on getting an honorable discharge.  Mark is in the CVJ video and helps on speaker panels which CVJP organizes to end the stigma for mental health treatment for vets.

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Steve M.

Restraining wall/VA Ramp

Steve M. was in dire need of a retaining wall. He is a disabled veteran and can't handle stress.He had been asking his property owner to fix the restraining wall for over a year, as it prevented him from getting his VA ramp. His safety was at risk as the wall was next to the gas line that Steve lived next to. CVJP was able to get his local elected officials involved and an attorney to help him get the restraining wall finally taken care of. Later we helped him obtain an attorney to help him recoup his money and damages. Steve is very grateful for all the work that CVJP has done for him.

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Robert K.

DUI diversion, Eviction, working on felony

Robert K.   CVJP was able to help Robert keep an eviction off his record, get military diversion for a DUI and found him a defense attorney who took his case pro bono to then file a federal lawsuit against law enforcement for violating his civil rights for assaulting this disabled veteran.