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What Can I Do Legally About Bullying and Stalking? And More Free Legal Advice – Free Joe 10/16/12

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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.

Darrell: Mr. Escanlante,What are my legal options here in Iowa for bringing charges on another person who is annoying me by bulling me to the point of stalking me? Do I file a restraining order,or file charges?

Joe Escalante: Petition the court for a restraining order. If you get it, it is as bad as being arrested and convicted of a crime for the stalker.

Stacey: My husband and I are getting divorced and we have two little girls ages 1 and 3. He wants them every other week and made me sign a paper that he hand wrote, say that he got them one week and I got them the next. I felt that if I didn’t sign it I wouldn’t have gotten to leave with my girls. What should I do?

Joe Escalante: That will all be meaningless when you go through your formal divorce proceedings which you should begin immediately. He can either agree to your new terms in the Order for Support, that will be approved by the court, or he can fight you in an expensive custody battle. In either case, the napkin agreement will be as valuable as a used napkin

Sharon: @FreeJoe:
I know its not 10am but I wont be able to post this from work: Almost 3 years ago my now recovering alcoholic daughter and her unemployed husband with two pets moved into my 2 bedroom apartment I share with my teenage son. My daughter was homeless and still working on her alcohol addiction and maintains a severe eating disorder. She and her husband are both 28 years old now and she has r
recently completed her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and works part time. Son-in-law remains unemployed but attends some classes. My daughter started paying me $100 a week for 8 weeks during the summer but stopped a couple months ago. The situation here is tough and continues to increase in stress for all. It’s time for my daughter to stop interfering, attempting to set house rules, and quit judging my son and I.- Daughter and SNL need to move out. The apartment lease is in my name and it only indicates two residence are myself and my child. I pay 100% of the rent and utilities and pay for over 50% of their welfare. How can I accomplish this? Do I need to give them 30 days’ notice if this is an informal living arrangement?

Joe Escalante: You should give them a formal letter that includes a copy of the paragraph in the lease that says you can only have 2 people. Don’t give her the whole lease. It’s none of her bee’s wax and she’ll use it against you, possibly. Include in the letter some notice that if she doesn’t move out by the date you choose, you will institute a court unlawful detainer action against her.
Unlawful detainer actions, when successful, allow you to get the marshal or sheriff to remove her if she ignores the judges order to vacate.

Jim: I live in Pennsylvania and have separated from my wife, I am concerned with bad dept or legal problems that may stem from her decisions, affecting me. Would a legal separation document cover me from these bad decisions?

Joe Escalante: This is a sticky area. It all depends on the wording of the Legal Separation Agreement (with respect to debts acquired during that time) and whether your state recognizes Legal Separation Agreements.

David: a police lies on affidavit and his lawyer does also, what do we do to remedy this. thank you

Joe Escalante: You can do nothing unless you have credible admissible evidence. But it seems you have exhausted your appeals. The time to address this was during the trial. You could file a complaint with the department of internal affairs. Sounds like an uphill battle, sorry.

Constance: I was bitten in the face at Petco on Sat., Oct. 13, while waiting for my own dot. The minute this happened, the owner grabbed the dog and left. I headed to an ER for treatment. I received antibiotics, and at the time wasn’t concerned about rabies, since Petco requires their animals to have all vaccines. However, I called Petco back, and they had never treated the dog/had no name or record, beca
use the owner had stepped on the dog’s dew claw and wanted Petco to remove it. They refused and told him to find an after hour’s vet. I made a report the Sheriff’s office. I called the Health Dept., who sent someone to Petco to see if they could find any history of the person being there. He also called several of the after hours’ vets in the area. The owner didn’t show up with the dog (a long-haired doxie, whose name started with a B). I contacted Edgar Snyder (famous for fighting dog bite cases, but he wouldn’t take the case/said the owner’s homehowner’s would pay. How is that possible, when he was on Petco’s property? I’m sitting here with a hole in my lip and two bite marks on my face, wondering if I did the wrong thing by not getting rabies vaccines started. Is this a lost cause?

Joe Escalante: If the famous dog bite guy refuses it, it is probably a dog, pardon the pun. If you file a lawsuit against Petco, it will get their attention and they will probably offer some kind of settlement. They should have surveillance footage as well. Send them a letter now asking to look at it. Arguably they have a duty to provide a safe environment for customers. You might have to file this yourself using the court’s self help office. But if you do, you’ll get a call from them.

Do it in small claims and you’ll get their attention just as well, and it’s easier.

Stacey: I have 1 and 3 year old girls. I posted earlier and had another question for joe. I’m not sure what state I legal reside in. I still have IL DL and a voter in IL. The only thing that is in IN is my car stuff like plates and insureance. We moved to IN for 9 months before I move back to IL. How do I tell what state? And when to get custody stuff going in IL

Joe Escalante: You are going to file in the state where the kids are domiciled (living and going to school.) If you move to a new state, away from the kids’ domicile, that doesn’t help your case. At the very least you have to show that you can file court papers where they live.

LegalZoom: Join us on Friday for more legal Q&A and bring your tax questions on Thursday for Ask the Tax Pro (!

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October 18th, 2012 at 5:29 am