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Brian J Ladouceur

Brian Ladouceur’s Answers

138 total


  • Is it a civil matter if i lend money to someone and they dont pay me back at a certain time?

    im being black mailed and used my someone close to me for gas prices and etc.

    Brian’s Answer

    Regarding your money lending question and the person’s failure to pay on time, Yes that “can” be a civil matter. Whether the agreement is written (or oral), the amount borrowed, and when full payment was due, will all be factors in how strong the lender’s lawsuit will be.

    Written Contract: If the loan agreement is in writing, contains the essential contractual terms (i.e. time, price, responsible parties, subject, etc) in enough sufficiency to enforce the agreement, and it is signed by the responsible party (i.e. the person being loaned the money), then generally a Court will enforce that agreement. Failing to pay the debt when due would be seen a breach of the loan agreement.

    Oral Contract: While an oral contract (i.e. not written or written and never signed) “can” be enforceable in Connecticut, a lender will have issues in bringing a civil action when it comes to proving the essential terms of the agreement and responding to “special defenses” to enforcing its agreement. For example, per Conn. Gen Stat §52-550 – Statute of Frauds NO civil action may be maintained to enforce an oral agreement to loan more than $50,000 and/or if the agreement cannot be performed within 1 year of its making. Therefore, if you lend someone $50,000 or less that is to be paid back next month then it maybe an enforceable oral loan, yet if they have 2 years to pay the loan back (or you lend more than $50,000 it may not be enforceable.

    For small dollar cases (less than $5,000) it’s common for people to file a small claims suit (see http://www.jud.ct.gov/faq/smallclaims.html for more information]. Consulting a lawyer for larger dollar amount loans is advisable as they need to be brought in superior court which is an more complex and expensive forum to file a lawsuit.

    As far as the “black mail” if that is anything other than just an expression its advisable to seek legal help to protect your rights.

    If you've found my answer helpful and informative please below designate as a “Best Answer” or mark that you “Agree”.

    Disclaimer: The foregoing answer does not constitute legal advice, is provided for informational and educational purposes only for persons interested in the subject matter. Each situation is fact specific and may be subject to state specific laws. Without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem fully. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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  • I lost over 100 thousand in two futures contracts in a company that went bankrupt, broker was john doe LLC do I need a lawyer ?

    does the LLC mean he had his own company, can I sue him for the loss ?

    Brian’s Answer

    Given the large loss amount consulting a lawyer is advisable to explore potential paths to recovery. Depending on what happened be prepared that no right to recovery may exist because investments can and do lose value - something that brokers do advise clients of during the sales process.

    However, use of “LLC” does not always mean a limited liability company exists. Sometimes people will use LLC without actually forming a company, or on rare occasions they've registered a trade name / dba (doing business as) for their sole proprietorship that appears as an LLC. A quick search of the Connecticut Secretary of State Corporation’s website ( http://www.concord-sots.ct.gov/CONCORD/index.jsp ) can help determine if the company name you are dealing with (john doe llc) is an actual limited liability company.

    If no company exists then the person has no protection and his/her personal assets are at risk for claims. However, if a company does exist then not all is lost as a good attorney may have ways to reach beyond the entity to the individual(s) behind it. For example, a creditor can generally make claims against the individual company owners (commonly referred to as “Piercing the Corporate Veil”) when corporate formalities are not followed (i.e. fail to meet, keep corporate records, co-mingle funds / bank accounts), where an individual so dominates every aspect of the company it becomes his "alter ego" or where the individual has engaged in tortious act himself or entered into agreements at a time when the company is insolvent.

    In addition, there may be possible claims against a broker’s broker dealer and/or dispute / arbitration proceedings through various associations such as FINRA (http://www.finra.org) if the broker is a member.

    If you've found my answer helpful and informative please below designate as a “Best Answer” or mark that you “Agree”.

    Disclaimer: The foregoing answer does not constitute legal advice, is provided for informational and educational purposes only for persons interested in the subject matter. Each situation is fact specific and may be subject to state specific laws. Without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem fully. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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  • If my friend is caught shoplifting in NYC but no police were called should she still pay civil demand or should she ignore it?

    Hi, my friend is 17 and recently got caught on camera shoplifting from h&m. Before she even could get door the head security stopped her and then escorted her to the office , searched her bags and found $100 worth of clothes. She then took a pictu...

    Brian’s Answer

    I am not licensed in New York (the location of the act) so you’d need to speak with a NY attorney for more specific advice.

    However, generally speaking I tell Connecticut people that ignoring the issue will make it worst, however, if the dollar demand is low its not uncommon for people to pay it and put the issue behind them, or take a chance that given the low dollar amount the store won’t follow through on its threat and hire an attorney as its cost prohibitive.

    For your information, in Connecticut a merchant has a statutory right to pursue theft in civil court (as opposed to criminally) and seek damages (see, Conn. Gen. St. Sec. 52-564a). If a merchant pursues civil action using Conn. Gen. St. Sec. 52-564a, it's entitled to the retail value of the merchandise taken (if not recovered or recovered in an unmerchantable condition) plus the actual and reasonable costs of maintaining the action, including court costs and a reasonable attorney's fee, plus punitive damages in an amount not to exceed three hundred dollars.

    Make sure criminal charges are also not being simultaneously pursued. Caution: Any foreign born or non US Citizen should consult with an attorney first because admitting fault on even a minor shoplifting charge (misdemeanor) could adversely impact pending / future immigration applications they may make.

    If you've found my answer helpful and informative please below designate as a “Best Answer” or mark that you “Agree”.

    Disclaimer: The foregoing answer does not constitute legal advice, is provided for informational and educational purposes only for persons interested in the subject matter. Each situation is fact specific and may be subject to state specific laws. Without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem fully. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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  • Automobile Accident – has it ever been determined in a liability case to be the fault of the passenger?

    My son (the driver), age 17 was in a car accident. He was driving with a friend (passenger), age 18, who thought it would be funny to pull the emergency break while the car was going 60 mph. The passenger was arrested and charged with reckless e...

    Brian’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    If your son is physically able you both should consult an attorney ASAP before you speak with anyone else.

    The injured driver (your son) has at least three possible insurance coverages that could compensate his injuries; 1) your carrier’s primary coverage (as hes was the vehicle driver), 2) your carrier’s underinsured / uninsured coverage (as his passenger friend may be an “operator” under the policy language), and 3) the passenger’s policy (as possibly a direct vehicle “operator”).

    Even though the passenger’s insurance company claims no coverage exists (and your policy may claim limited coverage) their “coverage opinion” is just that, their opinion. An experienced attorney (who may need to file a lawsuit to get the insurance companies to the table to defend / indemnify the claims) can help get the recovery your son is entitled to under the law.

    For example, in Connecticut, the language of the insurance policy would need to be examined by the Court. Depending on the policy it is possible ambiguous (not clear) language exists as to whether the passenger could be a considered vehicle “operator” entitled to coverage under the policy. An argument could be made he operated the car when he exercised control over the car allowing it to move / stop and that his voluntary act controlled the movement and direction of the car.

    Also, an attorney should verify the passenger’s actual age because if he is under age 18 (a minor) his parents may also have liability pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. Sec 52-572 (Parental liability for torts of minors). That law makes the minor’s parents jointly and severally liable for up to $5,000 for willful or malicious damage to any property or injury to any person.

    I would be willing to meet to consult on your case and/or direct you to an attorney that could assist.

    If you've found my answer helpful and informative please below designate as a “Best Answer” or mark that you “Agree”.

    Disclaimer: The foregoing answer does not constitute legal advice, is provided for informational and educational purposes only for persons interested in the subject matter. Each situation is fact specific and may be subject to state specific laws. Without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem fully. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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  • What is considered harassment in the state of ct

    I am divorced and my former spouse has decided to leave me messages and call me incessantly attack my character and moral fiber via email . Can I do nothing to stop what in my opinion is a level of abuse

    Brian’s Answer

    In Connecticut according to criminal law (Conn. Gen. Stat. Sec. 53a-183) harassment would include when someone by telephone “addresses another in or uses indecent or obscene language” or by telephone, mail, email (or other written means) communicates with the “intent to harass, annoy or alarm another person”. For more details on the offense see Harassment in the Second Degree (Written Communication) -- § 53a-183 http://www.cga.ct.gov/current/pub/chap952.htm#Sec53a-183.htm and
    http://www.jud.ct.gov/ji/Criminal/part6/6.7-6.htm

    If you fear for your safety then you should involve the police immediately. Otherwise, in matters involving a spouse (even former spouse) a Restraining Order from the Family Court maybe of assistance. For more information on how to request such an order (and the applicable forms) an excellent resource is the Court website - Filing an Application for a Restraining Order (http://www.jud.ct.gov/forms/grouped/family/restraining_order.htm)

    Alternatively, you may want to speak with an attorney for assistance, and if you used a lawyer for your divorce perhaps he/she will be able to assist

    If you've found my answer helpful and informative please below designate as a “Best Answer” or mark that you “Agree”.

    Disclaimer: The foregoing answer does not constitute legal advice, is provided for informational and educational purposes only for persons interested in the subject matter. Each situation is fact specific and may be subject to state specific laws. Without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem fully. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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  • Are the assets of an LLC protected from the personal debts of the members?

    An example would be personal medical bills that are in no way connected the the LLC.

    Brian’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Yes the LLC assets would be shielded from the personal debts of its members, HOWEVER, as the membership interest in the LLC is an “asset of the personal debtor” that protection maybe short-lived.

    In CT an LLC is treated as a separate legal entity (so long as certain conduct isn’t engaged in to breach that corporate identity (i.e. co-mingle funds, etc). The LLC members each have a membership interest in the LLC and are therefore entitled to distributions of the LLC’s profits. In addition, many LLC members may also be employees of their own LLC and therefore receive wages in addition to member distributions.

    As a result, when an LLC member has a personal debt the creditor typically will pursue vigorously that member for payment. If personal money is not available an aggressive creditor may file suit and obtain a judgment against the individual member. Once that judgment is obtained a Connecticut creditor has a variety of post judgment collection options. The CT Judicial Branch publishes a nice summary Enforcing Money Judgments at http://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/Notebooks/Pathfinders/EnforcingMoneyJudgments.pdf
    As it may relate to an LLC member two possible options for collection that would involve the LLC would be Wage Executions (Section 2 on see pg 7) and/or Charging Orders (see Table 5 on pg 39).

    While the LLC assets would likely be shielded under either scenario, the LLC member’s wages and/or distributions would be at risk, effectively limiting the benefit the LLC member will realize from their company.

    You should consult an attorney to evaluate your situation and try to negotiate a resolution to your personal medical bills, something a healthcare provider may be willing to do instead of the cost and expense of pursuing collection further.

    Good luck.

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    Disclaimer: The foregoing answer does not constitute legal advice, is provided for informational and educational purposes only for persons interested in the subject matter. Each situation is fact specific and may be subject to state specific laws. Without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem fully. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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  • Lawyer specializing in Contract Law, UCC, in CT.

    What is the best way to find a very competent lawyer specializing in contract law, in particular with a focus on UCC, in Connecticut.

    Brian’s Answer

    While Connecticut doesn’t permit lawyers to “specialize” in the practice areas you mention, there are many competent lawyers in those areas. For instance, at our firm we’ve been recognized as top lawyers in a number of business related practice areas but most importantly as a mid-size firm we are large enough to offer a broad spectrum of quality legal services, yet small enough to deliver responsive client service and personal attention while satisfying the legal needs of businesses and their owners.

    Many of us actively participate in our area bar associations (Connecticut Bar Association, Hartford County Bar Association, etc.) and by doing so strive to keep ahead of the rapidly evolving legal trends in our respective practice areas.

    It’s advisable to contact the lawyer directly to generally discuss the type of contracts and areas of the Uniform Commercial Code (i.e. Sales, Goods, Leases, Negotiable Instruments, Secured Transactions, etc.) that are important to your specific legal need. That way you can see if it’s an area their firm has helped other client’s with and/or can recommend someone in their referral network that might be of more assistance.

    If you need help or further direction I’d be willing to see if we can help or point you in the right direction. Good luck.

    If you've found my answer helpful and informative please “Mark as a good answer” below.

    Disclaimer: The foregoing answer does not constitute legal advice, is provided for informational and educational purposes only for persons interested in the subject matter. Each situation is fact specific and may be subject to state specific laws. Without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem fully. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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  • Do I need an attorney?

    I slipped and fell on water at stop and shop almost a week ago and twisted my knee badly, but i did not file a report at the time even though i talked with the manager. Is there anything I can do I can't afford to miss work or pay medical bills fo...

    Brian’s Answer

    You should consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer (which most will provide free of charge) to determine whether or not you have a viable negligence claim against the grocery store.

    For example, a Connecticut lawyer should be able to evaluate whether the store manager had prior notice of the hazard (i.e. spilt water, broken jar, produce on the floor) that may give rise to liability. Also in Connecticut (unlike some states) an injured person may also be entitled to recovery under the “mode of operation” rule, an exception to the traditional premises liability doctrine.

    While reporting the accident to the manager when it happens is preferred (i.e. to establish a record of when and how the injury occurred) sometimes such a report can be harmful to his/her case when the injured plaintiff makes statements concerning the accident and initial injuries. However, n larger stores they may have surveillance of the fall (that quick action should be taken to demand that footage is preserved) which can make or break a case.

    You should consult a lawyer ASAP if you may want to pursue your case.

    If you've found my answer helpful and informative please “Mark as a good answer” below.

    Disclaimer: The foregoing answer does not constitute legal advice, is provided for informational and educational purposes only for persons interested in the subject matter. Each situation is fact specific and may be subject to state specific laws. Without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem fully. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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  • I co-signed for a car loan for an ex. Will I have to pay him back anything that he paid previously?

    He is late making payments that is effecting my credit. He hasn't paid the car taxes in full that he promised that he would.

    Brian’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Co-signing a loan (or even credit card) for a boyfriend / girlfriend, family member or other friend is one of the worst mistakes a person can make. Generally, a co-signer of a loan is “jointly and severally liable” for the ENTIRE obligation, except that the co-signer is worst off because they usually do not learn loan installments are unpaid, that late fees / default interest / repossession charges, etc. are being charged, and they have no title interest to the property. Also if a lender requires someone to have you co-sign it almost always means the principal borrower is a bad credit risk.

    In other words you take all the risk and same financial responsibility as the loan’s primary borrower yet have little to no control over the vehicle.

    As far as you paying him back without a separate agreement requiring that to occur it would be an unlikely obligation. Regarding car taxes, if the vehicle is not in your name then “technically” those are his debt (not yours) however those taxes may turn into a lien on the vehicle (in which you could later be responsible to pay to the lender if they front the tax money) and/or the vehicle will eventually lose its DMV registration.

    If possible, see if the vehicle can be sold (even at a loss) to payoff the loan so you minimize your risk exposure. Alternatively if he’s not paying see if you can take over possession of the vehicle so that at least you’ll have it to use since you’ll be paying the bills anyway.

    You may want to see a lawyer for further help on other remedies / defenses available to you.

    If you've found my answer helpful and informative please “Mark as a good answer” below.

    Disclaimer: The foregoing answer does not constitute legal advice, is provided for informational and educational purposes only for persons interested in the subject matter. Each situation is fact specific and may be subject to state specific laws. Without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem fully. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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  • Can I go back to court and add the wife's name to lawsuit since she has a job and Loan was made while married

    I have won a lawsuit against someone and garnished his wages, unfortunately I was one of 3 people to do this and before my turn came up he was fired. The sheriff gave me back my papers to try and locate him at his new job... If he has one ... But ...

    Brian’s Answer

    Connecticut is known as a “common law” property rule state (versus a community property state) so debts incurred by one spouse are generally that spouses debts alone. Therefore, unless the second spouse specifically co-signed and/or guarantied the first spouse’s debt, that second spouse will generally not be liable. Payment from a joint account alone will generally not give rise to liability of the joint account holder (i.e. think of it as a gift from one spouse to another by paying the other’s bills).

    Depending on the amount of the debt you may want to consult a lawyer with the actual loan agreement, and specific facts on what the money was for, to determine if some other basis may exist to hold the other spouse liable. If such a basis existed it would likely require you initiating a new suit versus the other spouse.

    As you already have a Judgment an informative summary exists on how to convert that judgment to money. See, Enforcing Money Judgments by the Connecticut Judicial Branch Law Libraries ( http://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/Notebooks/Pathfinders/EnforcingMoneyJudgments.pdf )

    In many cases where a debtor leaves a job to avoid garnishment one possible option is to attempt to force that defendant, under oath, to disclose the location of his assets and other income sources. When an execution is not successful, or judgment remains unpaid, that can be done by mail by using Post Judgment Remedies Interrogatories (JD-CV-23). See, ( http://www.jud.ct.gov/webforms/forms/cv023.pdf ) and accompanying Interrogatories (JD-CV-23a) ( http://www.jud.ct.gov/webforms/forms/cv023a.pdf ).

    Another option (as many debtors ignore those interrogatory requests) is to force the debtor to appear in Court, before a Judge, to be examined under oath as to what assets and income he has available to pay the Judgment. That could be done by using a Petition for Examination of Judgment Debtor Notice of Hearing (JD-CV-54). See, ( http://www.jud.ct.gov/webforms/forms/cv054.pdf ).

    Good luck.

    If you've found my answer helpful and informative please “Mark as a good answer” below.

    Disclaimer: The foregoing answer does not constitute legal advice, is provided for informational and educational purposes only for persons interested in the subject matter. Each situation is fact specific and may be subject to state specific laws. Without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem fully. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

    See question