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Can I Protect Fashion Designs by Copyrighting the Drawings? And More Free Legal Advice – Free Joe 7/6/12

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On Tuesdays and Fridays, attorney Joe Escalante answers legal questions for free on the LegalZoom Facebook Page. Did you miss the last Free Joe? Don’t worry. We’ve got it all right here.

Lisa: For my fashion company drawings, should i get my drawings copyrighted??

Joe Escalante: You can, but that doesn’t protect you from others making copies of those dresses. It only prevents people from making copies of the drawings. So if you want to protect the drawings, a copyright is what you would register.
I wouldn’t bother however, unless I was going to exploit the actual drawings.
In most cases, anybody is allowed to make clothes, even from copyrighted clothing patterns. You just can’t copy the patterns themselves.

Senior Care: I am guardian of the person for my mom in Wisconsin, and the bank is financial guardian, I have moved back to California and now the bank in Wisconsin has resigned as financial guardian. I believe I can just petition the court in California for financial guardianship after the 6 month residencey is established. There is no formal transition process from Wisconsin to California. If we establish residency in California does Wisconsin court carry any jurdisiction?

Joe Escalante: To avoid problems, you should consult with an elder care or estate planning attorney here in California. But if you don’t want to do that, I would petition California for guardianship and see what they say about residency. For minor wards, I think it’s 4 months.
However, Wisconsin may claim jurisdiction over this since the guardianship order was approved by them. To move her out, they might need you to petition them.

Philis: If you have property that was left to you by your grandfather do you have to pay income tax on the money at the end of the year. Or if you purchase property with the money that was left to you, do you still have to pay income tax at the end of the year, even if it’s not as much as you have received from the property that was left to you.

Joe Escalante: These are tax questions actually, not legal ones, so you should get a good tax pro to look at this.

Chris: My question is regarding Child Support. I am a father and my son has lived with me full time for the last 2 years. I paid my dues over the past 13 years and now, i can’t even get my son’s mom to buy him groceries. She is married but doesn’t work. How do i go about getting money for my son from her?

Joe Escalante: Support is supposed to be governed by a court order. If you don’t have one, you need to petition the court to create one, or modify the one you have. You provide evidence of the circumstances that warrant support from the mother, and the court will look at it and make a determination.
Google “Father’s Rights” but watch out for lawfirms that pretend to be helpful but they just want you to hire them.

Liksha: Is it possible to open a divorce case? I have more funds to collect.

Joe Escalante: Yes, it’s called petitioning the court to modify a divorce decree.

Jeff: I’m overdue on my student loans. A collection agency has offered to consolidate my loans. The College Foundation (whom I borrowed the money from) still contacts me too. Should I work this out with The College Foundation or the collection agency?

Joe Escalante: I don’t have enough info to advise you which would be “better” but I can tell you that all your dealings with both these people must be in writing. The collection agency will lie to you about everything they can get away with.

Kim: Where is the best place to get info about homeowners rights in a calif HOA. Our board is out of control.

Joe Escalante: I don’t have a specific resource for you but you should consolidate your concerns to a couple issues and consult with a property rights attorney experienced in suing HOAs.

JawaRa: Can a Venture Agreement also be used for sponsorship purposes?

Linda: My daughter was renting a house that was foreclosed on. The new owners are a management co. They told them they had to be out I believe in 30 days. They were out, there was some kind of a dispute, the management co was going to give them some money but would not, my daughter was going to give them the keys anyway, but they will not accept the keys, the filed eviction papers on them, trying to ruin their credit, even tho they are out of the house living with us? can they do this? they have pictures of empty house with date.

Joe Escalante: These are the kind of pictures you bring as evidence to the unlawful detainer hearing. If they don’t drop the proceedings by the trial date, she should show up, and bring the pictures and testify that she is not unlawfully detaining anything.

Linda: so you are saying what they are doing is unlawful? I mean the management co, not my daughter

Joe Escalante: No, they want a court order keeping your daughter off the premises, permanently. If they did a 3 day notice to quit, and she didn’t quit, then they have the right to an unlawful detainer trial. If she did quit, then she files a motion to dismiss. No drama, she just files the motion and if what she says is true, the case will be dismissed.

Carey: Hey,my question is,i have a,misdemeanor case that is past the statue of limitation..what must I do to get it fully dismissed?

Joe Escalante: If you have been charged with a misdemeanor for a crime that committed beyond the STATUTE of limitations, you get an attorney to use that as your defense.

Carey: It hasnt even been filed in the courts and its past the 2yr limit..cant I get it dismissed without going to court since it has yet to be filed?

Joe Escalante: If it hasn’t been filed, there is nothing to dismiss. You sound like you want “declatory relief from an unfiled criminal charge.” You could talk to the D.A. but why poke the bear? They’re not going to do anything.

Jacob: I AM TRYING TO START MY OWN MUSIC PRODUCTION COMPANY AND I JUST WANTED TO KNOW HOW TO GET EVERYTHING FROM THE NAME TO THE COMPANY ON LEGAL TERMS.

Joe Escalante: My advice, unless you are rolling in cash from the get go, is to get a D.B.A. as a sole proprietor, get a bank account so you can get some sweet ass checks with your logo on them, look into some liability insurance, and then have a meeting with a good tax professional.

Later on, when your tax pro advises you so, you can convert to a corporation or L.L.C. (limited liability company). Those give you tax advantages and personal liability protection, but they often carry with them a minimum state tax, so don’t do it until your tax person gives the go ahead. In the mean time, protect your personal assets with insurance.

Christian: Can a felony be expunged from a persons record?

Joe Escalante: This varies all over the country. Yes, it’s possible. But sometimes the interests of the community to know your record outweighs the interests of rewarding you for paying your debt to society. In my county, they have workshops to help you go through the process of cleaning up your record. They do this through the court’s self help center. Most court’s have those, so start there.

Robin: In the State of California does an individual aka creditor need any attorney to file a Motion for Stay from Relief in a BK?

Joe Escalante: People do it, but if it’s really serious, people get lawyers to do it. Look at this link and see how involved this guy describes the process. Granted, he wants to puff it up real big so you’ll hire him, but I would, it looks like a mini nightmare. http://www.wolffirm.com/publications/33.htm

Tom: What are the bare bones necessities to starting a legitimate, legal business? For example…I have a business license with the city and a FBN/DBA with the county. Do I really need both? Am I missing anything? Again, I’m talking minimum requirements to be considered a business.

Joe Escalante: Here’s what I told Jacob who is starting a Music Production Company, much of it will apply to you, except you are further ahead in that you already have a DBA. Only your county and city can tell you if you really need a license for each. You’re lucky the state isn’t asking for one as well.

“My advice, unless you are rolling in cash from the get go, is to get a D.B.A. as a sole proprietor, get a bank account so you can get some sweet ass checks with your logo on them, look into some liability insurance, and then have a meeting with a good tax professional.

Later on, when your tax pro advises you so, you can convert to a corporation or L.L.C. (limited liability company). Those give you tax advantages and personal liability protection, but they often carry with them a minimum state tax, so don’t do it until your tax person gives the go ahead. In the mean time, protect your personal assets with insurance.”

Kim: how does a person get a no contest divorce when there three very young kids involved

Joe Escalante: If you mean “uncontested” that just means you guys already agree on the custody sharing issues, and the division of property. If this is the case, you’re going into it “uncontested” and that can save you a bundle. You can even use Legalzoom for it.

Matt: I have an OP that doesnt restrict my firearm possession. does having the OP disqualify my from getting my foid?
Illinois

Joe Escalante: First, let me know what an OP is. I thought you were referring to the tiny corduroy shorts I’m wearing. Next, tell me what a “foid” is. Then I will answer your question. Thanks.

Matt: Order of protection. Firearms ownership ID

Joe Escalante: That would be up to the Illinois bureacracy. Each state makes up its on B.S. regarding firearms. I have a few permits to carry in a few states, and none of them would have been issued if I had an OP or restraining order. However, just to own a gun and keep it in your house should be less of a problem.
These are the shorts I thought you were talking about. http://ny-image2.etsy.com/il_430xN.41184274.jpg

Jeff: How can I remove my Ex from a mortgage deed if she is not willing to sign the Quit Claim Deed? (She is not paying on the note and I am.) This is needed for the bank to finance the loan in my own name.

Joe Escalante: it sounds like you went through a divorce and it’s not completed. If the court approves a decree that orders the property sold or transferred, and she refuses, you petition the court to hold her in contempt.
If the court has not ordered the property transferred, I can’t see why she would have to do anything she doesn’t want to do with property she owns legally.

LegalZoom: That’s a wrap for Free Joe Friday! Join us next week for more free legal advice from Barely Legal Radio w/ Joe Escalante: http://zoo.mn/bFreeJoe

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July 10th, 2012 at 5:23 am