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Patrick Vernen Foltz
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Patrick Foltz’s Answers

119 total


  • I own a condo. The Assn. is asking some of us to repair wood rot on the external window trim. Who is responsible for this?

    The Docs say owners, "shall perform the normal maintenance for such Limited Common Element including keeping it in a clean and sanitary condition, free and clear of snow, ice and any accumulation of water, and shall also make all repairs thereto c...

    Patrick’s Answer

    The answer to your question depends on how the condo documents define the limited common element. Please post that definition from your documents so that someone can give you a meaningful answer.

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  • Do I have the legal right to break my lease?

    I have been renting a mobile home lot for going on 4 years. The mobile home I own. I want to break lease because of issues that I have been having with owner. (1) I payed for my house in 2012 and have not received my title, now 2015. (2) Owner tri...

    Patrick’s Answer

    You should see a lawyer immediately. If you to not have the title, and you have waited three years and not gotten it, you may not be the legal owner of the mobile home. If you act as the owner, but in fact are not the owner, then you are at risk of incurring liability for any damages incurred in the removal or relocation of the mobile home. Run don't walk to a lawyer's office.

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  • Can a co. take me off salary and put me on a hourly lower wage

    work for years on salary been with CO. for 10 years

    Patrick’s Answer

    The short answer is yes, unless you have a contract which sets the terms and conditions of your remuneration. More importantly, this change might have significant effects on any healthcare and benefits which you already enjoy. It may also affect your wage taxes.

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  • Is it legal for my company to fine me $50.00 for submitting my time-sheet late? My state is Virginia.

    My company placed a new item in our employee handbook and wants me to accept as stated. They claim they have the right to fine me $50.00 if my time-sheet is submitted late. I don't agree to this, but will likely be terminated if I don't agree....

    Patrick’s Answer

    That is a tricky question. The answer probably lies in whether the provision is legally categorized as either a liquidated damages clause or a penalty. A liquidated damages provision is an agreement between parties as to damages which may be claimed upon the happening of an event. There are generally two requirements to a liquidated damages clause. First, the amount of the damages identified must roughly approximate the damages likely to fall upon the party seeking the benefit of the term. Second, the damages must be sufficiently uncertain at the time the contract is made that such a clause will likely save both parties the future difficulty of estimating damages. If one or both of those provisions is not met, then the clause is a penalty, and penalties are not enforceable in court.

    Your question contains several wrinkles to this analysis. First, your company is choosing a very novel application for a limited damages clause - usually these clauses cover termination remedies and rights and not those arising during the course of the contract. Second, because this is part of an employee handbook and not a formal contract, this remedy exists within the murky areas of at-will employment.

    At first glance, I think the provision fails both requirements because $50.00 seems a random and arbitrary damage. I believe that, if asked, your company would not be able to quantify what the problems posed by late time sheets in monetary terms - it would seem to be a problem of inconvenience for the payroll processing people. Second, a round $50.00 on ever late timesheet just seems like an arbitrary penalty.

    However, were you to challenge this with the company or in Court, you should be advised that, unless you have a contract guaranteeing your job term and your conditions of discharge, you may be dismissed from your position. Good luck.

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  • Withdraw Show of Cause

    I've provided my spouse with health insurance and agrees to withdraw show of cause. As the defendant can we both sign it and I file it or does it have to be done by the plaintiff?

    Patrick’s Answer

    It can be done by either party, but the party who has brought the show cause must sign the pleading or order dismissing it. Otherwise the hearing should go forward.

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  • If I signed the bond for someone's bail, and only a portion was paid, what can I do so that I'm not liable? It's not being paid

    Bondsman accepted a portion of the bail, I signed the bond, what can I do so the bondsman can go after the person I signed for versus me, the unknowing helping person.

    Patrick’s Answer

    The answer will depend on your contract. However, unless the contract contains some very unusual language, you are liable for the entire amount of the bond. In some ways, this makes sense - when the contract is formed, the bondsman wants to guarantee that the bond premium will be paid. You signed as a co-obligor on that bond. Therefore, if the defendant does not pay, the bondsman will look to you to cover the balance and may sue you if you do not pay.

    That does not mean that you are ultimately liable for the unpaid bond amount however. An obligation taken on behalf of defendant may be recovered from the defendant through contribution. That means, you can sue the defendant in court for the money you had to pay to the bondsman on behalf of the defendant. However, the onus is on you to sue because the bondsman will not probably let you off the hook.

    It is not probably the answer you are looking for, but you are best served coming to some arrangement with the bondsman to pay all, or a part, of the remaining outstanding bond. Good luck.

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  • Can a judgement be held against me for lease that I did not sign?

    My wife and I signed a one year lease for an apt. 60 days before lease ended we notified them in writing that we would not be renewing the lease as required by the lease. My wife decided to stay in the apt and signed a new lease I did not sign the...

    Patrick’s Answer

    The answer, from what you said, is no. But from what you are describing, I suspect that there may be additional documents and links in the case that you have not included. So a definitive opinion is impossible at this point.

    However, unless you appeal the case and post a bond within 10 days of the trial, the judgment will become final and you will not be able to appeal it. Then your only option will be a motion for a rehearing, which must be filed and heard within 45 days of the trial. Otherwise the judgment will stand.

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  • Is there any law in Arlington county that prohibits siblings of opposite sex from sharing a one bedroom apartment?

    Me and my brother are planning to move to a one bedroom apartment but we discovered that there is some law that prohibits siblings of opposite gender from sharing a one bedroom apartment.

    Patrick’s Answer

    No. I have not reviewed the entire current ordinance, but I am fairly confident that no rule exists on the books currently.

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  • What is considered custodial interference/parental kidnapping with joint legal and physical custody in Virginia?

    The court order states Joint Legal and Physical Custody. The parenting plan lists which days the children are supposed to be with which parent. One parent is not allowing the other parent to have contact with the children and is refusing to allow ...

    Patrick’s Answer

    You need to sue out a rule to show cause to enforce the court's order. The other parent is in contempt of that order - a rule to show cause is the method by which the Court may determine whether its order is being violated and whether the offending party is deserving of some sanction or punishment.

    The reason it is not kidnapping is technical, but important. One of the reasons kidnapping is a criminal offense is that the act of abducting a person by force or intimidation is an affirmative act; the law charges a basic moral duty to citizens not to engage in that kind of affirmative conduct. However, the duty to deliver a child for visitation according to a court order is not that kind of affirmative act. You are alleging that the other parent has failed to deliver the child for visitation - that kind of failure, the failure to perform an act, is much less serious than the affirmative act of abducting another person. And since this duty is not a basic duty, but one which has been ordered by the court as part of a custody, means that the other parent has not kidnapped the child in the criminal sense.

    Which is not to say that a minor child subject to a custody order cannot be kidnapped. However, in the situation you are describing, your remedy is the rule to show cause, not a criminal kidnapping charge. You should definitely hire an attorney though.

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  • No contact court order can mother and boyfriend both be held in contempt or just one person?

    There is a No Contact court order in place for my son from his Mothers boyfriend. She is to keep our son away from the boyfriend during visitation and the boyfriend is not to have any contact with child. During the visitation his Mother took him w...

    Patrick’s Answer

    For contempt, you may only file against his mother's boyfriend. From what you set, the order is only against the Mothers boyfriend. Therefore, he is the only one who could be in contempt of other order, which is another way of saying that he is disobeying it when he knows that he is subject to it. The mother cannot be held in contempt, but she may be later made subject to a similar order.

    That said, waiving from a window, unless this conduct is very upsetting or obsene in nature, doesn't seem like the kind of thing Court would make a contempt finding on. But file as you will.

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