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Julie Durla Lathia

Julie Lathia’s Answers

21 total

  • What is my next step

    I purchased an existing business based on the sales, and I saw they were problems within the next two days. I asked to be released from the contract,. Her lawyer drew up the papers. She got her keys back, I got a check that bounced. Now what. I w...

    Julie’s Answer

    It is unlikely that the seller will agree to "settle" and give you back all the money you paid for the business. Therefore, if you wish to obtain the full amount of money back, your only real option is to file a lawsuit for breach of contract. I would strongly recommend that in doing so, you hire a lawyer to represent you. Litigation can be time-consuming and very frustrating and the last thing you need is to be dealing with the lawsuit while still going about your day-to-day work.

    Alternatively, you could file a private criminal complaint against the seller for giving you a bounced check. In PA, it is against the law to issue a check to someone that the issuer knows will bounce. See:

    Ultimately, it is up to the DA to decide whether or not to charge the Seller with the crime but if the DA decides to charge, I would recommend that you push for restitution equal to the amount of money you should have gotten if the check had cleared. Depending on the amount of the check, the Seller could charged with a misdemeanor or even a felony. Both are offenses which can be punishable with jail time, fines and restitution. It may take longer for you to obtain your money but you won't have to go through the hassle of filing a lawsuit and then waiting for it to run its course and either settle or win at trial (which can take up to 2-3 years from the time you filed), It would also mean that whatever attorney you did hire to aid in getting your money back would likely have less of a role if you went the private criminal complaint route and thus would cost you less money.

    No matter what you decide, consult with a lawyer. Let him or her see the "papers" that the Seller's lawyer drew up so that he/she can explain to you what your best option is.

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  • Can a seller decide he doesn't want to sell and just return the down money?

    I have a signed contact with the owner of a small business ( no real estate involved) I was intending to buy .... I put money down on it now it seems the seller wants out of the contract. what grounds do i have? can i hold him to the agreement?

    Julie’s Answer

    I would recommend you meet with a lawyer to review the situation. The contract itself may allow for specific performance as a remedy or you may need to initiate a civil action to enforce the contract and "hold him to the agreement." But you certainly have options and the best way to figure out which option is most feasible based on your needs is to consult with an attorney.

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  • Can I sue contractor for concrete overlay work not done correctly?

    Contractor set price, then asked for more money before job started stating sales rep measured wrong. Original amt $14,200. I gave extra $800. They filled all expansion joints with overlay material and everything cracked over winter. Also, before j...

    Julie’s Answer

    The short answer? Yes, you can sue the contractor. But I HIGHLY recommend you discuss this matter with an attorney ASAP as there are many issues that are too involved to go over here.

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  • Can my friend take me to court if I don't agree to pay for refinishing on a dresser that was damaged without knowing who did it?

    I was living in her house and something leaked on her candle which in turn left a ring on her dresser. I told her I wasn't sure what happened or what it even was. I wasn't there when she asked me about It I just saw pictures on my phone that she s...

    Julie’s Answer

    She can attempt to take you to small claims court (where matters under $12,000 are heard - unless she is claiming that refinishing the entire dresser will cost more than $12,000). If she sues you in small claims court, you will have an opportunity to attend the hearing and defend yourself (or hire an attorney to represent you in your defense). At the hearing, she will have to show, by the preponderance of the evidence, that you were the individual who caused the ring to be left on the dresser. The "Preponderance of the evidence" standard is basically a "more likely than not" standard.

    From what it sounds like, it will be your word against hers which a judge may not find to be enough to prove the "more likely than not" standard.

    Best of luck and I am sorry to hear that this is going on between you and your friend.

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  • I was injured on 10/22/07. No settement yet. How long does this process take? Or how long could It take??

    I was injured during work on 10/22/07. TBI from tree accident. I'm only waiting on a cash settlement for the scaring. I was hospitalized for 3 month. So, I understand there are medical bills for them to deal with. How long does this type of thing ...

    Julie’s Answer

    Sadly, the civil litigation and settlement process can be drawn out for many years and I can understand how frustrating this may be for the client. Because you mentioned you are represented, I recommend going to your attorney's office and meeting with him/her to discuss what is going on with your case. As a client, you have the right to know the status of the matter. Best of luck and I hope you get a favorable result soon!

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  • Can I break a joint lease that hasn't yet started if I've already paid the security deposit? Should I sign the addendum?

    I'm in a joint lease with two others, who are leaving the country. The realtor says everyone needs to sign the addendum in order to opt out. Should I? The addendum says, "Lessees have asked ARPM to re-rent the above mentioned property. Associated ...

    Julie’s Answer

    Though the answer is likely found in the lease terms itself, generally speaking, a lease takes effects when it is signed. As such, even if you've only paid the security deposit but haven't taken possession of the apartment, you will be responsible for the rent. As for the addendum, it is enforceable against you (and the other tenants) and if ARPM cannot satisfy the conditions of finding new tenants to rent the apartment (note that they have to fill up other, similar-sized apartments first before they rent yours out), you will be forced to pay your share of the monthly rent.

    I recommend contacting an attorney to review the lease to see if there are any other options.

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  • What will happen or might happen?

    Not too long ago my sister got caught stealing money from her place of employment in Pennsylvania. Five months ago through the court system the case was closed and she had to pay a fine but her record got bumped down to the lowest offense there is...

    Julie’s Answer

    It is not likely that she will "get off" based on her prior criminal history (assuming that her most recent actions are reported to th. While I am unaware of your family dynamics, it appears that your sister needs some kind of therapy or counseling and having the support of her family while she is going through the process will be invaluable. I am sorry to hear that you are going through this and I can understand your frustration. Best of luck.

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  • Buy a rental property with a business partner, tenants in common.

    I am in the process of buying a rental property with a business partner. We plan on structuring it so we are tenants in common, co-owners. We will have a contract between the 2 of us for the tenant in common and general partnership terms. As we a...

    Julie’s Answer

    While you do not need to register your general partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of State - Corporations Bureau, I would recommend that you do so. It only costs $70.00 to register the GP if you intend on operating under a fictitious name (i.e., a business name that does not include the surnames of both you and your partner). You can find the fictitious business name form here:

    As you note, you intend on having a contract governing your tenancy in common and your general partnership terms - that is a very good idea, especially as you are buying property together. When drafting your contract, make sure that it addresses the following:
    1. How the GP will operate;
    2. Management and control of the GP;
    3. Contributions expected of each partner;
    4. Allocation of profits and losses;
    5. How and when distributions may be made; and
    6. The manner in which the partnership may be terminated.

    There are several advantages to the GP:
    1. It is easy to establish;
    2. It can draw upon the financial and managerial strength of all the partners; and
    3. The profits are not directly taxed.

    Some disadvantages are:
    1. Unlimited personal liability of the partners for the firm's debts and liabilities;
    2. Termination of the business with the death of a partner (in the absence of advance planning for business continuation);
    3. Any of the partners can commit the firm to obligations.

    While you do not necessarily need a lawyer to file the paperwork with the state or draft the partnership agreement, I would recommend that you speak to one to make sure that you are choosing the appropriate business entity for your goals. Your attorney should also be able to help you draft the partnership agreement.

    If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me.

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  • How long does a person or company have to bill for services in PA?

    If a LLC completed services in 2010 and early 2011 and did not send bills until 2012 and the dates of service can't be verified by the consumer (there was no contract agreement for dates of service)can the LLC sue the consumer for the invoice incl...

    Julie’s Answer

    I agree with Renee, but note that the LLC may be entitled to legally-accepted interest on the unpaid invoice, which is 6%. If you are sued, I recommend hiring an attorney to defend against the case.

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  • I was issued a citation for defiant trespass,what is the penalty

    I drove through a restricted area

    Julie’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Generally speaking, defiant trespass is a summary offense - a minor crime. Its essentially like getting a speeding ticket - you can either pay the fine on the citation or you can go to court and try to fight it.

    A summary offense will not go on your permanent record (unlike a misdemeanor or a felony), so you don't have to worry about any employment-related background checks.

    Should you go to court and try to fight it, there are 2 kinds of defenses you can assert:
    1. That the the premises were at the time open to members of the public and the actor complied with all lawful conditions imposed on access to or remaining in the premises; or

    2. That you reasonably believed that the owner of the premises, or other person empowered to grant you a license to access the area would have licensed you to enter or remain in the premises.

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