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Grandparents’ Rights, Inheritence Scams, and More Free Legal Advice – Free Joe 10/25/11

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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.

Clyde: If you are sepparated in Pa. do you have to still carry your ex wife in your health insurance?

Joe Escalante: I’ve never heard of such a thing. Usually that’s the end of it. What if you have a new wife, or several wives? Are they all going to be on the health insurance? Not likely.

Nita: Can a revolving credit account put a lien on a Texas Homestead for something that was installed at the homestead, even though the actual contractor who installed the equipment was paid?

Joe Escalante: That sounds like a mechanic’s lien. Those are allowed in Texas by contractors who don’t get paid. If he got paid, you have to go to the property registrar in your county to get it removed. Be prepared to show proof.

Joanne: How can I find a cheap divorce lawyer? Havent seen or heard from him since 2001. I am on a fixed income and cant afford much.

Joe Escalante: Get the Nolo Press book on do it yourself divorces. Even if you hire an attorney, it will be a good way to make sure your costs don’t get out of control. See Attorney Connect below as well.

LegalZoom: Here you go, Joanne: http://attorneyconnect.legalzoom.com/

Catherine: hi joe, i’m with citizen’s home/wind insurance and they just were approved to raise there rate by 50%, i will be affected by this 2/1. i will no longer be able to afford my monthy mortgage payments due to this increase. there’s no other insurance co. in my area who will cover where i live in florida. what is the first thing i should do when 2/1 comes and i don’t pay my mortgage? can i start sales of my home (not that i’ll get what i owe on it due to the market)?

Joe Escalante: If the state approved the rate increase, you would have to change the law/regulation to get it reduced. That isn’t practical so the bottom line is they don’t have to insure you if you don’t pay the premiums. I can’t see why you would not be allowed to sell your home. However, if it is upside down, you should talk to your bank about a short sale if you are interested in preserving your credit.
Check out Dave Ramsey’s info on this. He’s the man.

Lugenia: do grandparents have rights in pa,?” “he lived with me until he was eight, thenwhen mother found out she had to pay support, she took him.

Joe Escalante: Yes they do have rights and here’s a pretty brochure with some details: www.lasp.org/file/grandparents-rights-in-pennsylvania.pdf

Heather: My small business is in the process of creating a web site that will provide online Microsoft Excel training courses. I have no idea where to start in preparing a strong user agreement or terms of use document. All of the templates I find online are too generic, and I also know that I cannot copy my competitor’s user agreements. Is this something a small company should try to do on their own or should we hire a lawyer? Any help you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

Joe Escalante: Well, not all the agreements on line used by other companies are protected copyrights. Who knows where they got them? Some of the stuff is protectable, but some isn’t. I would cut and paste what I thought was a good user agreement research you do on the internet or in reference books. Then I would take that to an attorney and have him look at it. This will save you a bundle. If someone sues you for stealing one of their clauses, this conversation never took place.

Alana: If unjustly things are going on in a low income housing facility and it seems illegal who can you report it to if the management won’t do anything about it?

Joe Escalante: I’d say an anonymous tip to the police department would be a good place to start. It is extremely important that you document in writing when you notify management about problems. Otherwise, if something happens, they will say they were never warned. Good luck.

Michael: I have been trying to get the page name of the Facebook page name changed from Gig Dates Network to Gigdates. The username I have assigned to the page is gigdates. I have tried contacting Facebook using their IP Infringement form and I received an email the same day with a ticket number saying they will get back to me soon. It has been 2 weeks now and no reply. People are saying that I should create a brand new page but there is still the case that my username assigned to my current page is gigdates. Any thoughts? It should not be this hard to get a page name changed. I am also not going to risk loosing my existing fan base but asking everyone to unlike my page so I get below 100. I can’t take the chance that it just MIGHT WORK. There are no guarenties that it will. Please. Anyone. Help! Thank you!

Joe Escalante: Facebook has us all over a barrel.

Nicole: Q: CA same-sex-marriage: spouse cheating and left birth/biological mother and child to move in w/new girlfriend. Cheater now playing dangerous games in re “custody”, calling CPS w/false reports, threatening police if she can’t take (non-biological) child where and when she wants. I understand presumed parentage in play – but doesn’t the “good” mom have any rights? (thanx! i’m a family advocate, and paralegal but our bailiwick is bankruptcy)

ps: in process of trying to retain family law specialist through my non-profit, but we need to know her rights more immediately.

Joe Escalante: These facts are a bit sketchy but this sounds like it needs to go to court so an impartial advocate can determine what is in the best interest of the child. That will govern, as you know.

Nicole: but can biological mom refuse to let soon-to-be-ex wife NOT take child from home?

Joe Escalante: I don’t know what happens in same sex marriages. If it was one of those marriages that took place when they were legal, she needs to legally separate and apply for sole custody. She may already have it but this would be a way to prevent the child from being taken by the soon to be ex.

Norma: Can a Judge set there and make fun of a person in Court?

Joe Escalante: A judge should not do that. But there are thousands of judges. They can’t all be good ones. Unfortunately this judge will always get away with this because it is too hard to remove a judge from the bench. And no one’s ego gets smaller when someone puts a robe on them.

Irma: My mom went to the hospital for a routine lung biopsy when her lung partially collapsed. They stopped the biopsy & inserted a tube to her lung. Later on that afternoon somehow the tube beame detached from her lung which allowed the air to enter her system. Her chest, arms, hands and face swelled up so bad that she could not see. Is this a negligent case against the hospital staff?

Joe Escalante: It could be but we would need more facts to determine the level of negligence. To prove malpractice, you need testimony from other doctors who will say that it was negligent. That’s hard. Best thing to do is try to get a consultation with a malpractice attorney. Click the link below to get started.

LegalZoom: Here you go, Irma: http://attorneyconnect.legalzoom.com/

Sharon: How long does a debt remain payaable-as in if you opened a credit card with a $500.00 limit in say 1990 and you paid it back (the basis)several times over by means of the creditor constantly raising the interest) then made a deal with them to pay off the outstanding balance if they would waive any further interest and they agreed but reneged, so that by the time you paid what was agreed on you owed that much more, so you quit paying, would they then, 25 or 30 years later have the right to got to court without first notifiying you, and gain a garnishment of your wages-would that be legal.?

Joe Escalante: There are statutes of limitations for collecting credit card debts. Below is a great link for you or anyone to discover the S.O.L. in your state.
This doesn’t prevent them from going after you, they just can’t successfully sue you in court because it is time barred. http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=302159666461111&id=189755787713174

Cecilia: How long does a step-parent adoption take and cost in Oregon/Washington County? How did you prep for the LSAT?

Joe Escalante: That question could only be answered by an Oregon Adoption Attorney, a parent that recently went through it, or a really smart baby.
I prepared for the LSAT by taking a Kaplan course. I would not waste my time taking it without a good course and a lot of time to study. It’s hard!! Good luck.

Bobby: Hi first of all I want to thank you for what you offer on your site! I used your services for my business and trademark. Can a design on a product have a copyright for it even though a similar product is used with no design?

Joe Escalante: You can have a copyright on that design, but it will not protect the product, it will only protect the design.

Rachelle: Do you still owe child support if the child’s mother dies? Can someone else file child support on behalf of that child?

Joe Escalante: The child still needs support doesn’t he? Perhaps more now that he lost his mommy. The guardian can file, and should file, for support for the little orphan.

Adena: If information shared with my HOA BOD during a confidential appeals hearing is leaked and made public do I have any grounds to sue or file charges against them?

Joe Escalante: If they breached a recognized duty, and you suffered damages, you would have a case. You have to have certain and provable damage, caused by their unprivileged actions. That’s not an easy burden to meet.

Sarah: i was notified about an inheritance and had to varify i was the correct individual. they only asked name d.o.b. cityborn in. marital status .what i did for a living.address.and conf# they issued me. they confirmed i was the correct individual issued me a confirmation letter with who left $ to me and why they did.i am supposed to take conf letter to bank so they can transfer funds into my account. the barrister who notified me is in england and there bank is in scotland . ialready varified that both do exist and are real.what do i do at tbis point.we dont have long distance calling.when i replied i keep getting server error code and permanant failure notofication.where shoul i go frim here and how can you tell if its a scam when they never required any personal info like acct #’s, soc,bank…..and so forth? i truly hope u can help me this problem. i have all papers from back and forth e mails, forms, and confirmation letter stating i am the legal beneficiary

Karen: uhoh…I’m not Joe, but it sounds like you were scammed, and now they have your basic personal info (which they can use in other ways to steal your identity). I would immediately call your attorney general’s office and verify this caller/company, etc.

Joe Escalante: I’m going to go out on a limb here and say it’s absolutely 100% a scam. However, if long distance phone service is the only holding you back from figuring it out, get a $5.00 calling card and check this off your list.

Javier: I have a court case for class b misdemeanor for driving with an invalid licence in a month. Should i seek legal representation?

Joe Escalante: No. Get a license, or at least start the process. Show up dressed nice and plead guilty or no contest. If you get a license by then, the judge may dismiss it. If you can’t get it by then, ask the judge to grant you a continuance so you can get the license.
Here in Los Angeles, that would result in a dismissal of the charge and you would only have to pay a $25.00 dismissal fee.

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October 27th, 2011 at 6:12 am