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Everything posted by Tax_Counsel

  1. Yes. The clerk signs it for the court when the order gets filed. Don't let yourself get distracted by this sort of thing. The judges make the decisions on the cases. The clerk just takes care of the the administrative tasks for the court.
  2. Per curiam means an opinion or order of the court that does not specify the judge who wrote it. It is a decision of the panel as a whole. These are generally very short unanimous decisions of the appeals court based on things like the appeal is frivolous, the issue is one that is well settled and easily disposed of, etc. Basically, they are decisions that are easily decided and don't require much explanation. But they are certainly the decisions of the judges, not some administrative act of the court clerk. A decision sua sponte simply means the court decided to take that action on its own rather than pursuant to a request by one of the parties to the case.
  3. The boyfriend likely either (1) had refunds due him for the years he didn't file, some of which may be too late to claim due to the statute of limitations for refunds or (2) owes money to federal and/or state governments of tax, penalty, and interest. The former is not such a big deal except that it's foolish to leave your money with the government and not claim it, but the latter is a problem she'd want to ensure he fixes before she contemplates marriage or a long term commitment with the guy.
  4. She can't stop the grandparents from claiming anything on their returns. For the years 2018 through 2025, as the tax law stands today, the dependent exemption is zero and thus there is no tax benefit for claiming a dependent. There are the child tax credits, however, and those credits do depend in part on whether the taxpayer would qualify to claim the kids as their dependents. All she needs to do is claim the child related tax benefits on her return that she qualifies to take. If someone else claims the same tax benefit for the same child the IRS will catch that on computer matching about a year after the returns are filed and spit out letters to each of them to start the process of verifying which one was entitled to those benefits. The one not entitled to it will have to pay back the tax they saved from the benefit, as well as interest and possibly a penalty, too. Note that if both of you file electronically and claim the same benefit(s) for the same person the IRS will reject the second filed electronic return. All that means is that the person with the rejected return will need to file on paper instead and wait about 4 weeks or so longer to get any refund check. That short delay is the only disadvantage to filing second. So no need for her to get overly worked up in January simply to file first. I'll not get into the details here of what the requirements are to claim the dependent exemption or the child tax credit. She can read those rules in Publication 501 (dependents) and Publication 972 (child and dependent credit). If she's interested in amending prior year returns she'd need to look at the prior year versions of those forms as the rules change a bit from year to year, especially the changes from 2017 to 2018 that occurred with the Republican Tax Act passed in December 2017. Note that it may be that the grandparents were entitled to one or more of the dependent exemptions they claimed during the years everyone was living in their home, so she'd need to read the rules carefully for those years. She can only amend returns as old as 2016 now and get a refund. It's too late for years before 2016 unless she paid that tax within the last two years.
  5. You have a lawyer, and your lawyer knows your situation much better than anyone here does. All you can do in court is present your evidence of what actually happened, present whatever you have that contradicts his version of things, and have the lawyer use cross-examination to poke whatever holes he or she can in the testimony of the witnesses.
  6. My post was meant to be general information rather than addressing Rastafari in particular so my comments about a "new" religion weren't meant to be about Rastafarian adherents specifically. Frankly I don't know enough about Rastafarian beliefs and practices to know if it would be considered a religion or not. And if it is, I don't whether smoking weed is truly a significant part of that religious practice. Those are things that the Rastafari followers would need to establish in court if they seek to gain exemption from the the marijuana laws based on religious grounds.
  7. Religious practice trumps a statute (whether criminal or civil) when that practice is protected by the Constitution and the government lacks the compelling state interest needed to overcome that protection. For example, the Amish have a well established belief that goes against participation in Social Security programs. That belief is protected by the First Amendment and as a result the Amish legally do not have to pay FICA taxes nor do they claim Social Security or Medicare benefits. They are completely outside that system due to their religious beliefs. As to use of illegal drugs, religious belief and practice can overcome criminal drug laws. Some Native American tribes have the right to use peyote, which otherwise would be illegal, for their religious practice. Of course, the tribes had been using peyote in a religious context well before it was banned, making the case it was truly a religious matter easier to prove. It becomes harder when a new religion pops up that no one ever heard of before and that religion has as a major part of it the use of illegal drugs. The suspicion will be that the claimed religion is merely a sham designed primarily to get around the prohibition of the drug. That makes it more of a challenge to the persons claiming it is truly for religion to establish that to the courts.
  8. If by that you are thinking that the law overrides state real estate broker and sales persons licensing laws then you are not correct. Dodd-Frank does not override state professional licensing laws. The Dodd-Frank Act does not deal with the sales of real estate at all. It is a massive bill that deals with reform and regulation of various financial institutions (e.g. banks, lenders, etc) and securities markets. Title XIV of the Act deals with mortgage lending, and imposes certain obligations on mortgage originators. However, natural persons, estates, and trusts that finance no more than the sale of three of their own properties during the year are excluded from the definition of a mortgage originator for the purposes of Dodd-Frank. See ยง 1401(cc)(2)(E) of the Act.
  9. Pretty much any civil litigation attorney likely could handle this. You don't need to look for a large law firm as adjusterjack suggested. A small or even one person law firm could do it. You just want to look for an experienced civil trial lawyer. You'd basically be suing for an injunction (an order prohibiting the offending activities) based on nuisance. What you would need to win such a claim depends on your state's law, and you did not indicate the state. But consult with a couple of attorneys in your area (many will give free initial consultations) to ask how likely it is that you could win and what it will cost you and then select the attorney you are most comfortable with.
  10. As to the first part of that, it was the point of my reply to the OP that the U.S. does not have a mechanism that is as broad as he asked about, i.e. a suit "on behalf of the social good for issues". As to the suit you brought, it sounds very much like an action based on a federal or state consumer protection act. If it was, then the FTC or state consumer protection agency almost certainly could have pursued a similar action, in which case my description was accurate: you were standing in for something the government could have brought.
  11. I disagree that public attorney general laws are suing, as OP put it, "on behalf of the social good for issues". Those suits are claims in which a private person stands in place of the government and brings a claim that the government itself otherwise would have brought. Because of that, the range of issues that may be brought in such litigation is generally rather narrow to begin with. As a result, there is no general ability to bring the kinds of suit that the OP has in mind that may be brought in India.
  12. There is no process in the U.S. for what you describe. In the U.S. the courts role is not for "overall social betterment." The role of the courts in the U.S. is resolve disputes and controversies between specific parties.
  13. Your employer is only liable to you if your employer was negligent in some manner and your damages were attributable to that negligence. So, for example, if the employer knew there was a problem with the hoop that cause it to come off readily in a typical storm and failed to remedy it or your employer didn't know because the employer didn't check the condition of the hoop periodically then your employer would be negligent and liable to you for the damages caused. The employer's insurer does now owe you anything. The insurance contact is between the employer and the insurance company. The insurance company pays when it is obligated to pay per the terms of that policy. Typically the policy will say that it pays when the employer is negligent. In that case if the insurance company believes the company was not negligent, it will decline to pay. Your remedy if you believe the company was negligent is to sue your employer, not the insurance company. The burden is on you to prove the negligence in order to win. Take into account that, win or lose, you might tick off your employer by suing over this. That could, at worst, cost you your job. On the other hand, there is no indication here that you were at all fault here. So your own insurer should not raise your rates for just this claim. After all, there is nothing about this that suggests you are now a greater risk to insure than before.
  14. Let me put it this way: the fact that the warrant or the warrant application has an incorrect date of birth (DOB) does not itself make the warrant invalid. A DOB is not required for a search warrant. It is possible the search warrant is invalid for other reasons, but you'd need to have your lawyer look at all the facts and tell you if there is good basis for suppressing the evidence seized during the search.
  15. The subtenant wouldn't know about it unless the subtenant had been told that by one of them. But if the owner told the master tenant that the master tenant had the authority to lease out the room, that is actual authority, not apparent/ostensible authority. Black's Law Dictionary, 8th Ed., has a great definition for apparent authority: "Authority that a third party reasonably believes an agent has, based on the third party's dealings with the principal, even though the principal did not confer or intend to confer the authority." (Italics added.) As you can see from what I put in italics, the focus of apparent authority is the acts/statements of the principal to the third party. As a result, it is the acts of the principal (the owner in this case) that would reasonably indicate to the third person (the OP) that the agent (master tenant) had authority when, in fact, the agent did not have that authority that gives rise to apparent authority. That is why I asked what acts of the owner lead the OP to think the master tenant had the authority to make the lease. That's important if you want to raise an apparent authority defense in this case.
  16. The owner who is now evicting you. In order for the master tenant to be the agent of the owner under the concept of obstensible agency the owner had to do something at the time you negotiated your lease with the master tenant that would indicate to you that the master tenant had the authority to make that lease agreement. Simply being the daughter of the landlord and the landlord saying she'd inherit the property when he died doesn't do that. Nothing about those things says she's authorized to enter into leases on his behalf. What words or acts of owner can you point to that were done while you negotiated the lease that conveyed to you that master tenant (daughter) had that authority? In general, the master tenant would have the right to sublease, however, unless the lease between the master tenant and landlord prohibited it. Did you ask to see that lease before you did the sublease? That's something every subtenant should ask to see to ensure that the primary tenant does indeed have the power to sublease space. Do you know if the lease prohibits that?
  17. Not so. The lawyer's office rent, salaries, equipment, research services, etc., are all things that still must be paid. What savings do you think would come about if the work is filing and arguing these motions rather that filing and arguing other motions/pleadings?
  18. You are making a few mistakes in your assumptions and computations. Lawyers have a lot of business expenses; they don't keep all of that hourly fee. And then after that, there is the bite for federal, state, and local taxes. But let's assume the lawyer keeps all $300/hour and saves all of it but $300,000/year. If the lawyer bills for 2000 hours for the year (50 weeks x 40 hours a week) that's $600,000/year, not $731,250. Bear in mind that 2000 billable hours is a lot, lawyers have to work a lot more than 40 hours a week to get that. So after the living expenses of $300,000 a year, the lawyer has $300,000 a year to invest. At 3% per year compounded annually, that would work out to be $8,061,112 after 20 years. But given the incorrect assumptions above, the actual number would be a lot lower because there won't be $300,000/year to invest. No, but the OP didn't make clear exactly what it was that he was talking about. ๐Ÿ˜‰
  19. And what act of the landlord, pray tell, do you see that provided apparent or obstensible authority to the master tenant? I'm not seeing it in the facts the OP provided. Look at the second element of the case you cited โ€” there needs to be some act on the part of the supposed principal (the landlord here).
  20. If you marry and file a joint federal income tax return with your spouse then you will no longer qualify as a dependent on anyone else's federal income tax return. As for the FAFSA (which is what I assume you meant) whether you need your parent's information for that form depends on whether you are considered dependent of your parents for student aid purposes. The tests for that are different than being a dependent for tax purposes. If you are married you are not a dependent of your parents. To see the entire list of things that factor into whether you are dependent see the Department of Education page on Dependency Status. I caution you that teen marriage often does not work out well. You tend to change a lot by the time you hit age 25, and your goals and interests may end up different from the goals and interests of your spouse. You may also find that you are interested in a very different type of person as you get older. So do not rush into marriage as a teen. Make sure you marry for the right reasons. Simply to escape your parents is not a good reason to jump into marriage.
  21. As others have correctly said, you do not have a basis for appeal based on your own attorney's failure to present something you think should have been presented. While you might have a case for malpractice, to win that requires more than just that your attorney could have presented things that he failed to present. You also have to prove that it would have changed the outcome. And the problem is that it is quite possible the jury would have sided with the landlord anyway. It is very difficult to predict what a jury will do. I've seen cases in which the attorney did everything a very good attorney would do in a case that to most would be a clear winner for that attorneys client still end up with jury verdicts for the opposing side. Because of this attorney malpractice claims are difficult to win in this kind of circumstance. Losing certainly stings, but trying to armchair lawyer the case afterward and think that it clearly would have come out differently had something else been done is just an effort in frustration. You don't know the outcome would have changed, and even if it might have made a difference you are stuck with the outcome you have. Had you gone pro se, the outcome likely would not have been much better. Pro se parties often trip up over even basic rules of procedure and evidence, doing considerable damage to their case. This is not surprising when they have had little to no training or experience in litigation. Especially when the other side has an experienced lawyer to exploit those mistakes it can make for a very rough road for the pro se party.
  22. Jack, you evidently completely missed that the case was decided by a jury after a trial, not the judge. There won't be a written opinion on the trial outcome.
  23. It's not really clear what caused the problems you had after you got the car back. But if the shop did not put in the replacement engine as promised or did a shoddy job of it then it breached the contract you had and you may sue for that. In a breach of contract case, the damages you may claim are known as expectancy damages. This means you are entitled to get the amount of money it would take to put you back into the position you would have been had the contract been performed properly. In Colorado you may sue for up to $7,500 in small claims court.. The Colorado courts have a small claims page to help you get started. Note that the shop cannot avoid liability here by claiming it knew nothing about it and that it must have been a side job by that now ex-employee. If that guy was an employee at the time and represented he was acting on behalf of the shop when he made the deal for the work then the shop is likely liable under the concept of apparent authority. You would want to sue both the shop and that employee to cover all your bases.
  24. There is no recourse for taking an obsessive interest in her private life. The sexual harassment by the older man might have been a problem but the details matter. How many employees did the employer have, including her? What kind of actions did he take that she saw as sexual harassment? Where did these actions occur? The fact that they occurred outside of work may be a problem. Was he a supervisor or otherwise have some authority over her? Was he connecting his harassment with her job? And importantly, did she complain to the appropriate person in the company about his actions and ask for the company to stop it? It is illegal under Colorado law for an employer to discriminate against an employee because of legal activities of the employee that take place outside of work. So she might have a good claim here for the employer harassing her over her out of work activity โ€” her dating life outside of work. This is not a case of the employer having a policy against employees dating each other since the employer apparently would be fine with your friend dating the older employee. I suggest your friend consult an attorney who litigates cases of wrongful termination in Colorado for advice on this. She might well have recourse for what happened.
  25. I'm glad you got a good outcome this time around. Hopefully you'll find conquering the problem to not be too bad. ๐Ÿ˜€
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