Terry Chucas

Attorney in San Diego

About Terry Chucas

A self-employed attorney with many years of experience in the San Diego area, Terry Chucas focuses his practice on representing children and parents in dependency court appeals. Terry Chucas frequently counsels clients in high-conflict divorce cases at the Superior Court of San Diego and often takes on some of the most difficult casework.

Recently, Mr. Chucas accepted an offer to join the Dependency Appellate Panel for the Second District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles and the Fourth District Court of Appeal in San Diego. One of the top attorneys in San Diego, according to San Diego Magazine, he also holds pre-eminent ranking from Martindale Hubbell, the highest honor awarded by the legal peer review organization.

Mr. Chucas received his J.D. degree from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, where he ranked in the top 15 percent of his graduating class. He also holds a bachelor of arts in history from the University of British Columbia.

Removal of a Child from the Home

Since 2008, Terry Chucas has served as an independent attorney in San Diego. Terry Chucas focuses his practice on dependency appeals in the Fourth and Second District Courts of Appeal.

According to the law, the court may legally remove a child from his or her home if the child experiences abuse or neglect. Such dangers may range from physical and sexual abuse to a parent's failure to provide supervision or basic care. If a risk is present and there is no way to guard the child's safety while keeping the child in the home, the court may place the child into protective custody.

When authorities remove a child from the home, they must first locate an appropriate and safe temporary home. This home may be with a court-approved relative or close family friend, in a foster home, or in a children's center. If parents are living apart, the child may be placed in the home of the other parent. In San Diego and Los Angeles Counties, the child may remain in this temporary home for up to 48 hours, at which time a social worker determines whether the child can safely return home or whether a petition for custody is necessary.

Types of Hearings in Dependency Court

A privately practicing attorney, Terry Chucas focuses on representing parents and children in appeals before dependency courts. A qualified panel member through the California Appellate Project in Los Angeles and Appellate Defenders, Inc., in San Diego, Terry Chucas draws on years of experience in dependency proceedings.

When a law enforcement officer or social worker believes a child to be in danger of abuse or neglect, that child may come under the custody of the court system. This sets in motion a process that involves a number of different hearings, each of which exists to support decision making in the best interest of the child. The first hearing is typically an initial or detention hearing, depending on whether the child is in protective custody.

At this first hearing, the parents receive a notification of what the courts believe is happening in the home. They also receive a formal copy of the petition for detention and any other relevant documents. The court then confirms the facts of the case and a judge decides whether the child or children can safely stay in the family home. If placement is outside the home, this hearing may also include a visitation plan.

After the first hearing, the court holds a jurisdictional hearing to determine the truth or falsity of the allegations presented. The parents or guardians may confirm that the allegations are true, submit a statement of non-disagreement, or contest the petition. If the parents or guardians contest, both parties submit evidence that the court then uses to make a decision.

If the court determines that the allegations are true, the case progresses to a dispositional hearing. There, a judge can either dismiss the case or determine an appropriate course of action. In some cases, the judge will allow the children to remain in the home and require the parents to follow a family maintenance plan. In other situations, the judge will remove the children from the home and determine either that a family reunification plan is appropriate, or that the children should be placed externally on a permanent basis.

San Diego Padres Season Ticket Membership Perks

Licensed to practice law in California, Terry Chucas serves on the dependency appellate panel for the Fourth and Second District Court of Appeals. Terry Chucas also makes time to enjoy personal interests, including attending San Diego Padres games as a long-time season ticket holder.

The San Diego Padres offer numerous benefits for its season ticket members. Depending on the tier, which consists of blue, gold, and platinum, members receive Compadres Fan Rewards Points. Points are also earned based on the amount spent on ticket packages and number of years as a loyal season ticket holder. Members may redeem points for memorabilia and customized jerseys as well as exclusive member events and experiences.

Platinum and gold memberships offer an additional perk of guaranteed 2016 All-Star Game tickets. Members taking advantage of the offer during the 2016 season must pay for their tickets in full by May to ensure delivery by June. Tickets provide access to All-Star Weekend events at Petco Park from July 10th through July 12th.

Skiing in Sunny Southern California

A California-based attorney focused on family law, Terry Chucas has been working with clients in San Diego County for more than 25 years. Outside of the office, Terry Chucas enjoys taking ski trips to the many great resorts throughout Canada and the western United States.

While it’s true that California is most well-known for its mild weather and sunny coastline, the state also boasts a number of ski resorts that attract skiers from around the world. The weather and terrain in California’s central and northern mountains is especially suited for skiing, but the warmer southern region of the state is also home to many great resorts.

Located in the San Bernardino Mountains approximately 100 miles west of Los Angeles, Bear Mountain is one of the top resorts in Southern California, and it features four peaks rising above 8,000 feet. The resort’s 748 acres of developed and undeveloped terrain receive an average of 100 inches of annual snowfall and offer something for skiers of all ability levels.

Bear Mountain’s sister resort, Snow Summit, is located nearby and gives skiers an additional 240 acres of skiable terrain, including fun zones for beginners and areas with jumps and jibs for more advanced skiers. In addition to Bear Mountain and Snow Summit, Southern California offers skiing at Mountain High, Mount Baldy, Snow Valley, and other resorts.