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Security Deposits, Noisy Dogs, and More Legal Advice – Free Joe Tuesday 8/16/11

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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.

Donald: What do you do when the State you reside in cuts out your disability medical benefits and will not allow you to reapply even though they keep saying you must?
note; the local office says go online, go online and they cut you off after not allowing you to find the form, then the state (Utah) sends a letter saying go into local office and get a paper form and the local office says there is no such thing, and so on and on… for months now.

Joe Escalante: Sounds very complicated and involved. It also sounds like more of an internet problem than a legal problem. You need a Utah disability lawyer. They are easy to find. Ask for a free consultation and they will evaluate your case.

Prince: I live in missouri and i am trying to create a non profit organization. what do i do to get started? thanks for your help

Joe Escalante: If you’re serious, read up on it. The Nolo press has some great info on this on their site. Legalzoom does as well.​encyclopedia/form-nonprofi​t-501c3-corporation-30228.​html

LegalZoom: We can help when you’re ready to get started:​on-profits/non-profit-corp​oration-overview.html

Sheryl: My friend moved out of house 4 months ago. The owner stated numerous time that he was going to return her deposit. She has not heard from him. He claims she owes him money for rent, be refuses to give account of ALL rental payments including her deposit of $400 PLUS he demanded another $800.00 for security deposit after she moved in. What can she do? Thanks in advance for your help!

Joe Escalante: It varies from state to state, but landlords in all states must provide accounting for stuff like this. A small claims suit for the amount your friend believes she is owed is the answer. There also might be a housing authority in your state that you can file a formal complaint with.

Harold: Hi Joe; I have a nieghbor with 8+ dogs, can anything be done about constant barking allbeit during the day. also a constant stench from the property. I am Located in Berkshire county, Massachusetts I thank you for your time

Joe Escalante: Call the city and ask what the maximum number of dogs allowed with out a kennel license is. If they’re violating it, you gotta bug the code enforcement officer to do something about it. It’s also possible to file a lawsuit against the individual owner of the dogs for what is called “breach of a covenant of quiet enjoyment.” That is a right we all have, to enjoy our property without canine stench.

David: HOA forecloses on a lien out of sure frustration in the foreclosure process, puts a renter in the property, collects rent, clearly the rent is taxable at 30% but how about the HOA tax exempt status….could they loose that status with a stupid move like this?

Joe Escalante: This question is quite unclear. It looks like a tax question though. Those are better asked of accountants and tax pros. Thanks.

Pamela: I am losing my house because I use a baby gate, don’t have a lid on my trash can and when I do laundry, I put it on the floor to sort it. The mananger just shows and starts taking pictures of the house, my children whatever she wants. What type of recourse do I have. I will be without a home in 10 days if I can’t stop this. There is no court involved just the complex.

Joe Escalante: You have to read your lease. Then ask on what grounds you are being evicted. They may be allowed to evict you, they may not. It depends on the terms of the lease.

Ann: Is it better to do a Chapter 13 or use a debt management service? Thanks, Joe….you helped me a bunch the other day and just forgot to ask this question then.

Joe Escalante: It’s best to do neither unless the debt management service is not a scam. Get some references from them, or look them up on or something. And read everything you can about debt from

Julie: My son in law, a sgt. in the Marines, stationed by contract in cali for the next three years. He has an 8 year old daughter from his first marriage. Girls mom has primary custody..he pays court mandated child support. Recently his sister and family in Texas have been proposing taking his daughter for six months out of the year; evidently with the support of her mother Of course, they want my son-in-law to start sending his child support directly to them in the future, instead of directly to the AG’s office as is the Law in texas. Am I correct that Legally, this is all just playing house? My understanding is that child support or custody changes would have to be filed in the county where the original order was filed. Does he have any options as an out-of-state dad to keep these two hens from making custody decisions regarding his child. his former wife will not agree to the visitation ordered by the court. any clarification/direction would be greatly appreciated.

Joe Escalante: He needs to go to court and file to have the existing order enforced, or amend the order of support to something that he feels is in the best interest of the child. But you’re right. It’s got to be done through the courts. Disobeying court orders can result in a contempt charge and jail time.

Julie: thanks joe. that’s exactly what i told him. i don’t know if you take follow-ups, but if he’s in san diego with his unit, and the court was filed in dallas county, does he need to petition the court to hear him in the county of his residency?

Joe Escalante: He needs to petition the court where the order was filed. That’s where the enforcement of it will eminate from.

Michelle: We bought a dblewide mobile home on land that was in foreclosure. We refi’ed once and our mortgage was given to another lender. Then yrs later we got a HELOC on it through a different lender. We tried to refinance again and 2 weeks before closing was told by our current mortgage holder that we couldn’t refi because the original title to the mobile home is still listed in the orig 1st owners name. The title has to be detitled by us but were never told to do this when we bought the home. I am told that we do own the home and property but am wondering if the HELOC is now legal since the part of the home we live in isn’t in our names plus no one in our state can tell me where the original title is (we’ve checked every lender involved with no luck) so we can get it changed over. We paid for closing costs twice on 2 occasions and no one mentioned this problem to us & we can’t get the detitle done without having the orig. title in hand to take to our county courthouse. We need help fast…

Joe Escalante: For fast help, you need a local real estate attorney. But there are processes for perfecting title. That is done through the county recorder. The HELOC was probably secured by whatever interest in the land you have. If you have no interest, it only affects the security that the lender has. As long as there was no fraud, I don’t see a problem here for you.

Kim: Hi Joe,

Loved your show on Indie. My question is regarding publishing a book. I want to compile a certain section of a local publication and do a best of. It is a local rag they leave on your doorstep and not published by any major outlet. It consists of mostly ads, a few stories and a few current event type sections. There is one section in particular which makes people actually open it. I would imagine the guide would have rights to any content published weekly. If I wanted to do a best of book, would I have to obtain permission and split an profits? Since it is news/public record, could I move forward with my idea without seeking permission? Thanks.

Joe Escalante: Study the Fair Use Doctrine and it’s application to stuff like this. It allows the use of other people’s copyrights in certain circumstances. And be aware that the reprinting of “facts” like schedules and time tables, is not an infringement.

However, they may come at you with Trademark and copyright claims in association with their intellectual property rights, or what they believe are their rights. Call my show and we can talk about it further. Go to http://www.barelylegalradi​ and click “email Joe” to get your question answered quickest.

Joel: Hi, Can an international on student visa register a business through legal zoom

Joe Escalante: n general, there are no citizenship or residency requirements to forming a company in the US. However, there are some limitations that make certain types of entities better, or more possible than others. Consult a tax pro to see what you would be qualified to do.

Paul: I sell music CDs online. Sometimes my customers need the music more quickly. Is it legal to sell and ship them the CD, but offer a download of the MP3 files instantly? Copyright issues?

Joe Escalante: Not legal without the consent of the label and the author of each song, or their publishing representative.

Sherrise: I have started a business and am now trying to get it all going and off the ground. It’s fairly complex overall, but I want to know if I need another permit or two. If I want to sell raw clay and art supplies to the public from the showroom of my warehouse, do I need a sellers permit, and/or a distributors permit? Next, what steps should I take to declare a brand for the art and craft items that I create and sell?

Joe Escalante: This varies from state to state. Contact your state’s department of revenue to see how to collect and pay state taxes. Local authorities might demand a business license or other permit. Basically, you have to check with the state, county, and city where you do business.

LegalZoom: Thanks for joining us for Free Joe Tuesday, everyone! And a big thanks to Barely Legal Radio w/ Joe Escalante for taking the time to answer legal questions. Joe will be back on Friday to answer more of your questions, so come join us then!

If you’ve got a legal question, join us on Facebook to post your question for Joe. Get all the details on the Free Joe tab.

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August 18th, 2011 at 6:28 am