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Christopher R. Whittingham

Christopher Whittingham’s Answers

274 total


  • What are my options for fighting "abuse of discretion" from a divorce judgement?

    What type of Attorney should I consult with? The judge clearly abused his discretion according to every professional I have spoken with. He also made huge errors in my income, claiming I made much more than I did. He did not split assets fairly at...

    Christopher’s Answer

    You should consult a lawyer who does appellate work, preferably a family law attorney who does appeals. Based upon my experience, an appeal from a divorce judgment, based upon abuse of discretion, particularly one involving custody or visitation -although you don't say whether these are at issue- is exceedingly difficult to win. In this area of the law the appellate courts allow the trial judges a great deal of discretion. This should be posted in the appeals section, and I have made that change for you. I wish you luck.

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  • Steps Taken After 14 Day Notice

    So after a former roommate left me holding the bag, I was served July 10th with a 14 day notice. The issue is on that same day I had paid rent for the month but I was already 30 days behind. Had I known, this move was coming, I would've at least...

    Christopher’s Answer

    You don't have to leave in ten days. Before a landlord may legally evict you, he or she must serve you with a fourteen day notice to quit for nonpayment of rent, or a thirty day no cause, or cause, notice to quit. After the expiration of the time given in the notice to quit, the landlord must take you to court, either the district court or the housing court, although I believe Quincy does not have a housing court (look it up). You have the right to file a written response to the landlord's claim. (google Mass Housing Court, or MassLegal Tactics). At the hearing, you can negotiate a move out day with the landlord, If the Court issues a judgment in favor of the landlord on the trial date, the landlord still has to wait ten days before he or she can get an execution, which is the document which authorizes the eviction. The execution must be given to a constable or sheriff to be served on you along with a 48 hour written notice of the time and date of the actual eviction. I hope this information is helpful. Good luck.

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  • Can I retain my same attorney post divorce?

    Can I keep my same attorney after my divorce if we should ever need to return to court? I am really happy with my attorney and her services. I know there may be times when I will need legal representation and I would like for her to handle the iss...

    Christopher’s Answer

    You may use the same attorney. He or she would appreciate the business. If the new matter is outside the scope of the attorney's practice, then I am sure that he or she would gladly refer you to other competent counsel. I often have had clients come back to me to handle different matters. Good luck. Glad you were please with your representation. You should tell that to your lawyer.

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  • What actions can I legally take to remove them?

    Landlord of a 3 family building. Have taken the steps and process of tenant eviction.. went to court, sat down with a housing court mediator and came to an agreement of move out date and made payment arrangements for money owe (past due rent.) To...

    Christopher’s Answer

    You need to get the execution, which is the paper from the court that authorizes you to move the tenant out. Bring the execution to the constable or sheriff. Either one must give the tenant 48 hours written notice to the tenant notifying the tenant of the time and date of the eviction. The constable or sheriff will arrange for the actual eviction and storage of the tenant's property. Before you do anything, you have to get the execution from the court. Good luck with this.

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  • My husband and I reside in MA and are divorcing I want to live in our CA home, do I need a divorce attorney or real estate atty?

    We are living apart in MA, neither wants to get divorced, or sign anything that is finite. We both want to case to continue, but not sure if this will be allowed by the judge. Our goal was for me to live in our (both our names on the deed) CA home...

    Christopher’s Answer

    You should consult a Massachusetts divorce lawyer right away. You don't say what your agreement is with your husband regarding the the CA property. Nevertheless, it is part of the Massachusetts marital estate, and would be including in the Massachusetts divorce proceeding. Good luck.

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  • How much notice do I have to give a tenant that has a disabled child ?

    I just bought my 1st house, i was told prior to my closing if i can allow one of the tenants to stay a little longer, she was having trouble finding a place. I agreed, it turns out that the tenant was never planning to move, she told me i had to b...

    Christopher’s Answer

    You would give the tenant the same notice as you would with any other tenant. You can evict the tenant, if there is no lease, for no reason, but not an illegal reason, such as her disabled child. Here is some useful information put our by the Mass Bar Assoc. http://www.massbar.org/publications/lawyers-journal/2012/june/mastering-the-notice-to-quit-in-massachusetts-young-lawyer-practi
    The issue for you is that the state law gives the Court the authority to allow a tenant with a disabled child up to twelve months to move, unless the tenant is in breach of the tenancy agreement. Chapter 239 Section 9. In my experience, the Courts do not give out that much time at the beginning of the case, but only give out time in periods, such as thirty, sixty or ninety days. The tenant would then have to file a motion with the court requesting more time. If you need the apartment sooner, you could always offer cash for keys. Good luck with this.

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  • Is the address on a Notice to Quit important? Does it have to be correct?

    I served my tenants with a 14 day and 30 day notice to quit two weeks ago. The tenants cured the rent and their attorney said that the 30 day notice for June 1st wouldn't be valid because it was served with the 14 day. I served my tenants with ...

    Christopher’s Answer

    Hire a lawyer. It will save you money and time in the long run. Of course, the address on a Notice to Quit is important, and an incorrect address would likely lead to the case being dismissed. Massachusetts landlord tenant law is complex and a misstep could get your case dismissed. Do yourself a favor, conduct this like a business, and hire a lawyer to advise you on the law. Good luck.

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  • Can someone please point me in the right direction on how to file a Private Nuisance claim against my landlord ?

    I notified my landlord way before April 2015 about the constant screaming, banging, & racial slurs from my neighbor (sometimes from 3pm until 4 am ), she does everything inside her apt. i have called the police many times, they even paid her a vi...

    Christopher’s Answer

    In a case I litigated, the Supreme Judicial Court held that a tenant cannot sue his or her landlord for a nuisance on the property the tenant rents from the landlord. Jane Doe v. New Bedford Housing Authority, 317 Mass. 273 (1994). The Court in that case did rule that the tenant may have a cause of action under a quiet enjoyment claim pursuant to Chapter 186 section 14. Good luck with your problem. You should consult a lawyer.

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  • Can a landlord do this?

    Can the landlord add a Lease Addendum - months after you signed a lease renewal. Or does it have to legally be given only on lease renewal. Also it states if you don't sign you can still be in violation of eviction. It gives a start date of ef...

    Christopher’s Answer

    In general, no. Both parties have to agree to any changes in the terms of the lease. If there is a change in the law, a town by-law perhaps or change in state law, governing a particular term, usually the lease may provide for a unilateral change. Also, if a tenant lives in housing subsidized by the government, such as Section 8 or public housing, the leases are controlled by federal or state law, which may allow a unilateral change. However, in a lease between two private parties, both parties have to agree to any change. If you have a problem with this, you should consult a lawyer. Good luck with this problem.

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  • Question about an eviction case

    my family and I are going to court on a eviction case due to withholding rent due to the landlord not finishing repairs I have requested I have filed a board of health complaint to find out he never passed inspection for 6 years and no occupancy ...

    Christopher’s Answer

    You should file a motion to file a late answer and discovery. In your answer, you will need to set out in writing your claims and defenses. Otherwise you will not be permitted to present any counterclaims in the case. Here is a useful website put out by Legal Services. http://www.masslegalhelp.org/fighting-an-eviction-in-court. These cases are no walk in the park. You should consult a lawyer.

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