• Judge Michael Donio

Ask the Judge: Do criminals still receive community service?



Do criminals still receive community service? What kind of tasks are community service?


As a part of the probation process, a judge can order community service a certain number of hours per week or per month and probation would then supervise that.


Normally, the probation department would handle what type of community service. I did have one case in particular that I remember where some young kids went through a cemetery and defaced many of the monuments.


They were young and had no record, so their punishment was probation. However, in that case, I specifically remember ordering them to go to the two or three cemeteries in their hometown and help the caretakers cutting the grass, picking up leaves and doing whatever other community service would be necessary in the cemeteries.


I also ordered them to be present for burials. My thought was that if they saw the agony of burying a loved one, they would think twice before defacing any other monuments.


What type of a lawyer should I hire for a company that accepted and deposited money

from me for my investment, but never issued me shares?


Based on your question, I am going to assume that you invested in a publicly traded company. What I don’t know is if you did this directly with the company or through a licensed broker who could buy and sell stocks and other investments.


Either way, this does not sound right. if for instance, you dealt with someone that is in the stock trading business and you never received your shares, I would hire a lawyer immediately to put that person on notice to do so. If they did not, your lawyer would get in touch with the securities and exchange commission and put in a formal complaint. This is very unusual that something like this would happen with all properly licensed people in the business.


On the other hand, if this is some type of a private investment, and you are still looking for “shares” then your problem would be with the person you gave the money with privately. That is not different than someone who borrows money from someone, and a promissory note is ether not signed or not honored.


Unfortunately, this happens a lot of times even among people who you consider to be a friend but is really not your friend and only out for themselves. If happens more than you think. In any event, if that is the case, I would hire a lawyer immediately and go after that person very strongly. The reason is if that person did that to you, they have probably done it to a lot of people and depending on how they are hiding the money, it may be more difficult to collect as time goes on.


Therefore, the answer depends somewhat on whether or not this is a public company or some type of a private investment that you did. In any event, before loaning anybody money or before investing with anybody personally, have a lawyer get their financial statements and see exactly what the investment is about and how much they have invested in the project. A lot of people who are scamming people with other’s people money, have none of their own money in these types of investments and simply use other people’s money.



Judge Michael Donio served as a New Jersey State Superior Court Judge for 20 years before retiring on July 31, 2015. He now operates a legal consulting and mediation firm on the White Horse Pike. Donio can be reached by calling (609) 481-2919. Send your questions for his columns to askthejudge@hammontongazette.com.