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RustyShackleford

FID Denied passaic county, appeal process?

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Well I got a denial letter for FID and handgun permit. 2 reasons were listed, and seem reasonable on the surface, but the issues aren't what they seem.

Reason 1 was an aggravated assault charge from 2007 that was dismissed. But I didn't assault anyone. I make the mistake of driving after consuming alcohol, I fell asleep, hit a tree, and my passenger was injured from the accident, hence the charge, along with a DWI (I had a BAC of .12). However they fully recovered from their injuries, and I entered and completed PTI, and the aggravated charge was dismissed. My passenger didn't even want me charged. In municipal court, the prosecutor wanted a year license suspension, but the judge gave me a 7 months suspension because I wasn't blasted out of my socks. I went through the mandatory drug counseling like everyone else, and it was determined I did not need additional counseling, as i did not fit the criteria for an alcoholic.

Reason 2, in late 2018 I filed for divorce from my bipolar wife, she was a very angry and mentally unstable person. After I filed, she demanded a payout that I just couldn't afford or she would drag out the divorce, so I hired a lawyer. Well my wife went to the local PD, this is in late 2019, a year after we'd stopped living together, and filed a police report. She claimed I was a suicidal wife abusing alcoholic, and claimed that there have been many instances of unreported domestic violence in the past. She did this so she could have a police report as "proof" of being a victim in a terrible marriage, to garner sympathy from the family court judge, but it didn't help her in the divorce, and in the end, decided to avoid trial, and walk with nothing. However this report of hers is one of the reasons they denied me, despite her allegations being untrue. I've never assaulted my ex-wife, was never arrested, or even questioned, not in person, not even a phone call.

Is it worth it to appeal the denial? I really feel defeated here. I also don't have thousands for a lawyer, and with the pandemic closing the courts, how could an appeal even proceed?

 

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You have 30 days to appeal the denial in writing.  I urge you to do so. 

I believe court sessions will resume when the pandemic subsides, or a method of remote/social distanced court sessions will be developed.

Per Evan Nappen:

"...When denied a license, a person must realize that this becomes a record that will affect one's reputation. Any denial will have to be reported on future applications for licenses; furthermore, background checks by various employers and for high security jobs will turn up these denials.  Because of the significance of a denial on one's record, it is important to fight any denial. ..."

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2 hours ago, Tunaman said:

Get the record expunged first before trying again.  Period.  If you dont you will be denied with good reason forever.

No, file for an appeal before ANYTHING. 

It will be determined at court that you have not been convicted of anything, and that you ar not a prohibited person.. as neither of those denial reasons presently ban you from firearm ownership.

 

Then get your arrest record expunged so you dont deal with this again. Not sure you can get the DV complaint expunged tho... 

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While I have never had need (thank goodness) I did see Needleman testify before the senate judiciary committee once, and he impressed the hell out of me. Really sharp, had a terrific command of the facts, articulate. IIRC, he used to own a gun store, then was a LEO and then became an attorney. I have him programmed into my phone, should there ever be a need.

Adios,

Pizza Bob

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On 4/5/2020 at 12:35 AM, RustyShackleford said:

I'm going to do some research, I've read some good things about Mr. Needleman. Hopefully I can talk to him Monday. If this ends up costing 5-10k for representation, there's no way I can afford it.

I highly recommend Needleman & Pisano

I went through the same hassles when I first applied and was denied for some penny ante stuff that happened 14 years prior when I had just turned 18.

Mr Pisano handled the whole process which involved appealing the decision and expunging my record.  Once that was done he sent a letter on my behalf along with the re-application to the local Chief of Police and It was then approved.

I don't  know what the going rates are now but I think the whole thing was under $2000 at the time and well worth it.

You need to get those black marks off your record regardless of the FID, it can negatively affect you in job interviews and other important matters. 

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So update... I spoke to a lawyer today (not Needleman), I told him all the dirt, just like here, he feels I have a case. He  recommends all his clients take a voluntary psyche eval to prove that they aren't a danger to public safety, it's good ammo to strengthen my case. I think I will also take a firearms safety training course too, whichever law firm I go with.

I am working my way down the list of lawyers, I will give Needleman a call this week as well as a couple of others. If anyone has recommendations not mentioned above, please chime in. However I am committed to taking this to court.

It's a good thing I use Google Voice for my main phone number, I have every text ever exchanged between my ex-wife and I, from the day we met, literally, from the day we planned our first date, up to the day of divorce. New phone? Doesn't matter, every text is in your Google account.  It should help. I'll give incremental updates as they happen.

One question I do have for you guys who have been through this, what happens if the judge overrides the chief, I purchase my firearm, and I apply for another handgun permit 2 years from now? Can the Chief deny it if I am still an upstanding citizen? Or do I have to go to court all over again for another firearm? Let's say the CZ P-10 C isn't for me and I want a Glock 19, do I need a new permit for the new gun, or can I exchange my gun in a purchase, and just have 1 firearm on record, without intervention of the Chief, regardless of the model weapon?

Also, has anybody ever recovered legal fees when overturning the Chief's decision in Superior Court?

The funny thing was, I told this lawyer that I applied early December, and was just denied last week. He seemed appalled.

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Finding a psychologist to issue an "ok to possess firearms" letter can be challenging.  A lot of them don't want to take on the perceived liability and/or are anti-gun.

This psychologist is gun-friendly and does evaluations specifically for firearms:

Gianni Pirelli, PhD / Forensic Psychologist 973-944-0810

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On 4/4/2020 at 2:47 AM, RustyShackleford said:

Well I got a denial letter for FID and handgun permit. 2 reasons were listed, and seem reasonable on the surface, but the issues aren't what they seem.

Reason 1 was an aggravated assault charge from 2007 that was dismissed. But I didn't assault anyone. I make the mistake of driving after consuming alcohol, I fell asleep, hit a tree, and my passenger was injured from the accident, hence the charge, along with a DWI (I had a BAC of .12). However they fully recovered from their injuries, and I entered and completed PTI, and the aggravated charge was dismissed. My passenger didn't even want me charged. In municipal court, the prosecutor wanted a year license suspension, but the judge gave me a 7 months suspension because I wasn't blasted out of my socks. I went through the mandatory drug counseling like everyone else, and it was determined I did not need additional counseling, as i did not fit the criteria for an alcoholic.

Reason 2, in late 2018 I filed for divorce from my bipolar wife, she was a very angry and mentally unstable person. After I filed, she demanded a payout that I just couldn't afford or she would drag out the divorce, so I hired a lawyer. Well my wife went to the local PD, this is in late 2019, a year after we'd stopped living together, and filed a police report. She claimed I was a suicidal wife abusing alcoholic, and claimed that there have been many instances of unreported domestic violence in the past. She did this so she could have a police report as "proof" of being a victim in a terrible marriage, to garner sympathy from the family court judge, but it didn't help her in the divorce, and in the end, decided to avoid trial, and walk with nothing. However this report of hers is one of the reasons they denied me, despite her allegations being untrue. I've never assaulted my ex-wife, was never arrested, or even questioned, not in person, not even a phone call.

Is it worth it to appeal the denial? I really feel defeated here. I also don't have thousands for a lawyer, and with the pandemic closing the courts, how could an appeal even proceed?

 

Hey bud, I am about to go through appeals, too. Tell me what lawyer you go with and who is most responsive. I’m shopping around now. 

 

God bless

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 Taking it before a Superior court judge would be the last resort, and in Passaic Cty. I wouldn't want to go that route if I didn't have to. The idea is to get your record clean so you can re-apply and the Chief won't have a reason to deny the application.

Since you were not convicted of any crimes you should be able to get an expungement.  

The DWI can't be expunged but it was 13 years ago so that is in your favor as well. However, don't get another DWI, two on your record and you can't just about forget ever owning a firearm in N.J.

Also, I don't like the psych exam suggestion, cross that lawyer off the list and call Needelman & Pisano. Taking a firearms safety training course isn't going to help either, they don't care.

You have to get your record clean. If there is anything, no matter how minor, unfair or long ago that can be used to deny a FID it will be. 

And don't shop around trying to cheap out on the attorney, this isn't the place to save a few bucks.

 

 

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1 hour ago, RustyShackleford said:

Just an update, I did retain an attorney, not the first one I described. I'm gunna go dark while this plays out and once it's all said and done, I promise to come back with an update, whether I am approved or denied. Be patient though, courts are closed right now. Thanks everyone for your help!

Best of luck.

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1 hour ago, RustyShackleford said:

Just an update, I did retain an attorney, not the first one I described. I'm gunna go dark while this plays out and once it's all said and done, I promise to come back with an update, whether I am approved or denied. Be patient though, courts are closed right now. Thanks everyone for your help!

Godspeed, soldier. 

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1 hour ago, DirtyDigz said:

Please do, your experience will help others who may fall into the same trap.

Right.

No doubt a lot of New Jersey residents recently put in FID applications without understanding the many reasons it can be turned down, thus wasting time and getting a denial on their record then having to start the process all over again often with the help of an attorney.  

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2 hours ago, deerpark said:

Point of order.

*raises finger*

Doesnt the application say "convicted" of X that hasnt been expunged or sealed.  

A dismissal isnt a conviction...

This is why I tell people to get the expungement first.  It is not the conviction or the dismissal that causes problems,  it is the ARREST.  That arrest will show up EVERY time you apply and you will have to answer for it.  Get the expungement and you will never have to answer for that arrest ever again.  Do not apply with an arrest record if you dont want to have to explain it.

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16 hours ago, Tunaman said:

This is why I tell people to get the expungement first.  It is not the conviction or the dismissal that causes problems,  it is the ARREST.  That arrest will show up EVERY time you apply and you will have to answer for it.  Get the expungement and you will never have to answer for that arrest ever again.  Do not apply with an arrest record if you dont want to have to explain it.

 

Right.

He was only found guilty of DWI but the Chief used the charges of aggravated assault and an accusation of domestic abuse as reasons to deny the FID application.

There should be disclaimer at the top of the FID application warning people if there is  anything on your record;  Charges, dismissals, false accusations, mistaken identity, spitting on the sidewalk, it could be used to deny the FID and then you'll have the denial added on as well.  

 

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17 hours ago, Tunaman said:

This is why I tell people to get the expungement first.  It is not the conviction or the dismissal that causes problems,  it is the ARREST.  That arrest will show up EVERY time you apply and you will have to answer for it.  Get the expungement and you will never have to answer for that arrest ever again.  Do not apply with an arrest record if you dont want to have to explain it.

Thats even worse from a rights perspective. 

A person can be literally be arrested over parking tickets. 

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11 minutes ago, deerpark said:

Thats even worse from a rights perspective. 

A person can be literally be arrested over parking tickets. 

Things like that could be used as a reason for denial but not necessarily, depends the situation and the town, if there is more than one instance or in conjunction with another run in.  

Best practice is to be aware of what is on your record before applying so you don't get denied in the first place.

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