Year: 2016

Letter to the Editor: Is Freedom of Speech still in Crisis?


The management of Blackman & Sons, Inc. is a bit perplexed over the continued silence regarding the decision of the Guyana National Broadcasting Association (GNBA) as to whether or not to grant the corporation its broadcasting license for its radio station operation.

The Media corporation is also the same corporation that owns and operates the local television station, HBTV Channel 9. It had submitted its first radio license application in or about 1992 prior to the 1992 elections.  This application has never had a decision. Thereafter the then new administration, in a different political party assumed control over the administration of the government and the processing of the license application.  The corporation’s managing director, Eve Blackman, for over 20 years has been pursuing a decision on this license application; however, there has been no response regarding countless inquiries made, and further and more importantly, no decision has been considered on the application.  The corporation sent in another application a few years ago during the last administration.  Prior to the end of the last administration the then government granted  a series of broadcasting licenses for individuals, corporations and other entities that, for the most part, were commenced post BSI’s application and furthermore, they all applied for the their licenses years after BSI’s application was submitted for consideration.  The application was obviously ignored.

This new coalition government and its administration, apparently, has taken the same position as its predecessors and has failed to make any decision on the application of the corporation for licensing to perform its radio broadcast operations.  This blatant administrative failure to issue the license is a clear violation of the law and an abuse of lawful discretion of the management and board of the GNBA.

Approximately 9 months ago managing Director, Mrs. Blackman, contacted Mr. Leonard Craig regarding the License applications and he stated that “it was being worked on”.  The new administration has taken its seat in government for over one year and still, to date the GNBA has failed and continues to fail to properly respond to the inquiry of the managing director, Eve Blackman; and even more disappointing, to render a decision on the corporation’s licensing application. However, and sorrowful to say the point and time for a cognizable response has since gone.

At this juncture, based upon the government’s continuing inability, incapacity or unwillingness to process the corporation’s application in combination with other actions by the GNBA against the corporation, BSI must at this point take into consideration that it has been “BLACKLISTED” from inclusion in the broadcasting sector of the country with the intent to further continue to strangle the life from corporation for no recognizable reason that could be considered.

Freedom of speech is the cornerstone of democracy in this Republic and BSI has made its airwaves, through HBTV Channel 9 available to any and all who wished to use the station, and without discrimination regarding sex, religion, race, ethnicity or gender.  For some, they have had use of the channel’s airwaves most extensively and at most favorable conditions for both the present and previous government administrations; therefore the reason for treatment being dealt to Channel 9 is unwarranted, unjust, illegal and as stated, the source of perplexing and confusing sentiments among board members.

It appears as though this may be a matter that only a court of law can fix.  However, it is hoped that it will not come to that.

Despite the previous and present government’s administration’s (through the GNBA), treatment of the corporation and its radio license application, BSI who has always remained silent on major issues affecting it.  Now it has been forced to become vocal and proactive on the issues affecting it. As a result, of the disrespect, disregard and ultimate disgust, BSI is at this time preparing to commence its radio broadcast operations on August 1, 2016 via both air-waves and internet.   Despite this position that the corporation has been forced to take on the matter it will be immediately taking steps to deal with finally resolving the issues between the corporation and the administrative body surrounding the multiple undecided applications.

Within the coming weeks we shall be moving the Guyana National Broadcasting Authority to  further assess the matter and make a decision.  Otherwise, we shall be forced to seek legal counsel on other legal remedies.

By:  Denise Melville-Blackman, Esq.

PRESS RELEASE: New Chairman Appointed for HBTV Channel 9


Denise Melville-Blackman, Esq.
Denise Melville-Blackman, Esq.

As leadership of the Blackman & Sons, Inc, owner of the media house, HBTV Channel 9 remained outstanding and in question and after three months of deliberations and meetings of the directors of the board a meeting was called and vote of the Board of Directors of Blackman & Sons, Inc. was made. As of May 1, 2016 a New Chairman, for an interim period, of the Corporation has been decided upon.

Denise Melville- Blackman, has been elected by a vote of the board of directors of Blackman & Sons, Inc. to be the new Interim Chairman of the Board of Directors of Blackman & Sons, Inc.

She was born in New Amsterdam, Berbice, in February 3, 1980 to Leslie Melville and Bibi Khan of Richmond Hill, New York, and is, by profession, an attorney at law and the managing partner in the U.S based law firm of Blackman & Melville, P.C.

After leaving Guyana at the age of 2 she spent her formative years in Richmond Hill, NY where she attended Forest Hills High School. After an exemplary high school education she attended St. Johns University in Queens, New York on academic scholarship. She majored in government and politics whereafter she graduated Cum Laude and subsequently went on to pursue her studies at Touro Law Center in Central Islip, NY. Her concentration of legal studies at Law School were in Corporate Finance and Criminal Law. Soon after graduating she was recruited as an intern by the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office as an Assistant District Attorney. Thereafter, she departed the Suffolk District Attorney’s office to pursue a career in private practice where-after she employed her excellent research skills and naturally aggressive court demeanor to become a most noticeable and recognized matrimonial, family and immigration law attorney. Two years after winning 98% of her cases she moved her way to managing partner of the small but dynamic private firm.

During her tenure as managing partner she has maneuvered the way for this firm to grow from a single office to having multiple offices and extending the practice of the firm from Civil and Criminal practice to Immigration and International Civil practice with satellite offices in New York, Atlanta, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad.

She is presently licensed in New York and Georgia. With continued personal and business growth in mind she expects to extend her ability to practice in the Caribbean and expected to submit applications to attend Law School at the University of the West Indies this winter so that she may acquire her legal education certificate with hopes to qualify to practice as an attorney in the Caribbean and become a member of the Guyana Bar.

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International Adoption by Family Members

DENISE 2Denise A. Melville-Blackman, Esq.

For many adopted parents understanding the procedures to be performed when adopting a foreign child who also resides abroad can be quite confusing and rather frustrating at times.

When an adopted parent(s) is seeking to bring that adopted child from another country to the United States, one should be aware of (1) exactly what type of permanent resident / green card filing is necessary; and furthermore, (2) what sort of supporting evidence will be required and (3) whether the country is a signatory to the Hague Convention.

Many involved in the adoption process have asked: “What exactly is this Hague Convention” and “why is it necessary to know which countries are signatories to the Hague Convention”? The answer, The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention) is aninternational treaty that provides important safeguards to protect the best interests of children, birth parents, and adoptive parents who are involved in inter-country adoptions. If the country your adopted child resides is a non-convention country, then different requirements and forms will be required, i.e. I-800A/I-800 versus I-600A/I-600 forms, etc. Especially with regard to Orphan forms how and when the latter forms are required should be discussed with your attorney, should you choose to utilize the services of an immigration adoption attorney.

The adoption process, pursuant to the INA (Immigration and Naturalization Act)combined with the Hague Convention; provides three different processes whereby an alien child may immigrate on the basis of an inter-country adoption. The first two processes apply only to children adopted by U.S. citizens. Respectively, the child may (a)immigrate immediately after the adoption or (b) may immigrate to the U.S. to be adopted in the United States.  The third process is an immediate relative.

  • The Hague Process: if the child resides in a country that is a party to the Hague Inter-country Adoption Convention.
  • The Orphan Process: (non-Hague): if the Hague Inter-country Adoption Convention does not apply;
  • The third process is the immediate relative process. This process requires the adopted parent to have completed a “full and final” adoption along with having satisfied the necessary residency requirements with the subject child. Under the latter process, an adopted child is considered, for immigration purposes, to be the child (or adult son or daughter) of the adopting parent if:
  1. The parent adopted the child before his or her 16th birthday (or before the 18th birthday under certain circumstances that will be described below). You submit evidence of a full and final adoption AND
  2. The parent had legal and physical custody of the child for at least two years while the child was a minor

If you, as an adopting parent, are having issues understanding what terms like “legal custody” “residency” or “domicile” are referring to please ensure that you speak with an immigration attorney specializing in adoptions so that your time, efforts and money are not wasted pursuing a particular route. I stress the importance of a proper consultation with an immigration attorney specializing in adoptions because there are also a few circumstances and exceptions to the rules whereby a child may still be able to qualify (a) for the adoption and (b) to migrate as a permanent resident under one of the processes, even if the prospective parent initially is of the belief that all is lost as it pertains to her ability to adopt the child she may have erred.  One example is the piggy-backing of one child upon another sibling that was adopted under the age of sixteen (16) by the same adopting parent. In this instance, a child that would otherwise be deemed ineligible for purposes of immigration laws because he/she was adopted after their 16th birthday can have the benefit of the tolling provision extending the adoptive age and; therefore, can receive the benefits of the immigration adoption by virtue of the sibling relationship to his/her younger siblings, despite being over the normal qualifying age.

Honestly, I can probably go on and on; but I am sure our readers would surely become bored with my rantings about the adoption process which must take place locally in the United States or in the foreign country. However, I can’t stress with enough importance how critical it is for adopting parent(s) to understand how to navigate through this document intensive process.

Although, I have given the “nutshell explanation” regarding the foreign adoption, a process that could be viewed as a nightmare of paperwork and procedure, it is being aware of exactly where to begin and what is required.  These two items are the keys to successfully obtaining your desired goal.

If there are any further questions or inquiries concerning inter-country adoptions feel free to call us at BLACKMAN & MELVILLE, P.C., where achieving your desired objective is our main goal.

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BMPC Opens Its Doors in Jamaica and Trinidad for Providing U.S Legal Services.

Double Pic Nigel Standing picAttorneys, Nigel E. Blackman, Esq., and Denise A. Melville-Blackman, Esq., partners in the firm of BLACKMAN & MELVILLE, P.C are proud to announce the official opening of its offices in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Kingston, Jamaica. BMPC has completed negotiations and the leases for both locations have been executed and sent off on December 10, 2015 The office officially opens its doors for assisting those with U.S immigration problems or other Federal matters on January 6, 2016. The telephone numbers are not yet published; however, now that the leases have been executed the network for the firm requires configuration and once that is done the telephone numbers should be released to the public via newspapers and published on our website. We will be expecting to release the telephone numbers by or before December 30, 2015, once the network is tested and confirmed.

Square-No-GradientFor those who are close to us and familiar with our operation know that we have been ardently trying for the past 5 years a few different ways of setting up legal offices in both locations but it has not been until October, 2015 that firm and efficient arrangements had started to be cemented. Our office in Georgetown,, Guyana located at 30 Fort St., Kingston, Georgetown continues to be our main processing and outsourcing center and the hub for all Caribbean operations.

The office in Trinidad will be located in the Woodbrook section of Port of Spain and the offices in Jamaica are located in Kingston 5 at Old Hope Road (all addresses are currently on our website). One or more associate attorneys from our office shall be in either territory at some point each month for approximately 2-3 days to assist potential clients with any business, U.S immigration or other federal matter Immigration matters and other types of legal matters that may be within the purview of our practice. We will be posting the appointment dates and times during the first week of January, 2016.
In the absence of availability any person who needs to consult with an attorney on any matter or an attorney in the jurisdiction at any given time please feel free to call us at our main numbers for a telephone or video consultation. Initially, consultations with our attorneys shall be free of any charges, until further notice.