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John Tarley Jr.

John Tarley’s Answers

55 total


  • I am in VA. The warrant in detinue filed. Is that referred to as the original complaint and then there is the Bill of Particular

    ordered and grounds of defense? all filed. Judge granted motion to amend the pleadings. Pro se plaintiff now needs to add additional items to the warrant and remove items that were returned.(The judge already knows some items were returned right b...

    John’s Answer

    It's difficult to answer your question without reviewing the pleadings and court orders. I am assuming you are in General District Court.

    To be safe, I suggest you file a Motion to Amend the Warrant in which you include the items you want to add, then also include those items in your amended Bill of Particulars. At the beginning of you trial, ask the judge to hear your Motion to Amend the Warrant. So long as you provided sufficient notice to the defendant, the judge should grant your motion.

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  • Just bought a house and found a major plumbing problem, can we hold the seller liable for any of the problem?

    We just bought a house and right away we had a problem with the plumbing. They are going to have to break the concrete slab to get at the problem pipe, and our home warranty company, HSA, will not cover any of it. Is it possible to hold the se...

    John’s Answer

    No attorney can fully answer this question without reviewing all of your documents regarding your purchase. Generally speaking, you probably bought the property "as is." You probably had an opportunity to hire a home inspector or engineer to assess the house's condition. Unless the seller actively hid the problem or actively misled you about the existence of the problem, you probably do not have a case against the seller. You also need to weigh the cost of the repairs against the cost of hiring an attorney to prosecute your case.
    Having said that, if the costs are going to be extensive, it may make sense for you to have an experienced real estate or construction litigation attorney to review your documents and provide you advice. You should be able to get such an attorney review for less than $1,000.

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  • NGHBRS TREE HAS BIG BRNCH FALLEN INTO MY YARD DUE TO HEAVY SNOW. IT IS STILL ATTACHED TO TREE NOT EASY REMOVAL. WHO'S RESPNBL?

    not on friendly terms with this neighbor, so simply asking is not likely to get a result. what can i do to force him to remove this tree? it has not caused physical damage to my property, but will prevent me from mowing and will kill the grass i...

    John’s Answer

    Tree law can get complicated, so you should take photos and consult with an attorney. You do not want to take a chance of incurring additional expenses by taking the wrong action.

    I wrote a legal guide you might find informative on Virginia's law on tree damage to a neighbor's property. Copy and paste this link. http://bit.ly/e8mveE

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  • If my second mortgage has a foreclosure date set after my first mortgage, will the second mortgage come after me?

    My first mortgage foreclosure date is set, I have not received notification on a foreclosure date for my second mortgage although both are with the same mortgage company. Will the investor or mortgage company come after me for the debt since they...

    John’s Answer

    Banks foreclose "down." That means all inferior liens will be foreclosed as well. However, you could still owe money on the note you signed for your both mortgages, if the property doesn't sell for more than you owe on all the mortgages.
    Let's assume you owe $200,000 on your first mortgage and $50,000 on your second mortgage. Let's assume your property sells at $175,000 at foreclosure. You will still owe $25,000 on your first mortgage on $50,000 on your second mortgage.
    Whether the bank will pursue you for the deficiency is up to the bank.

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  • Do I have civil trial options as the victim of a misdemeanor assault and battery?

    I am the victim of a misdemeanor assault and battery that resulted in a broken nose, stitches, and a potentially deviated septum. The defendant took a plea agreement today in his criminal trial. He was a total stranger who attacked me, and I have ...

    John’s Answer

    Yes, you can sue the defendant. The concern in a situation like this is whether the defendant has any resources to satisfy a judgment should you prevail. You may win a judgment, but if the defendant does not have any money or property or job or other assets, you would not be able to recover any money. I suggest you locate an experienced personal injury attorney and discuss the case with them.

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  • What web site can I go to to see if I have a judgment against me.

    What ewb site can I go to to see if I have a judgment against me..

    John’s Answer

    For Virginia Circuit Courts, go to this website http://wasdmz2.courts.state.va.us/CJISWeb/circuit.html
    For Virginia General District Courts, go to this website http://epwsgdp1.courts.state.va.us/gdcourts/captchaVerification.do?landing=landing

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  • Our HOA has a lien in effect on three properties (1 lien, three properties, same builder). The builder is selling one of the pr

    Our HOA has a lien in effect on three properties (1 lien, three properties, same builder). The builder is selling one of the properties. Do we (the HOA) have to release the lein if he only wants to pay the portion of the lein for one of the prope...

    John’s Answer

    We would need to review all of the information before giving specific legal advice or representation to your HOA.
    However, generally speaking, if the HOA has filed its lien pursuant to the Property Owners Association Act ("POAA"), it is required by the POAA to release the liens in accordance with § 55-66.3. This section provides that if full or partial payment is made to the HOA representing at least 25% of the total amount secured by each lien, but less than the total number of obligations secured by such lien, the lien creditor (the HOA) shall file a certificate of satisfaction or a certificate of partial satisfaction.
    I realize that response raises even more questions, but it is impossible to give a full answer without a review of all information. Therefore, please read the following disclaimer:
    This answer is provided for informational purposes only. This answer does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on. Legal advice can only be provided after consultation with an attorney with experience in the area in which your concern lies. This is so because each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and/or documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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  • I have paid taxes on my father's house which I currently live for 40 years, how do I get the house changed from his name to mine

    He passed away years ago

    John’s Answer

    An attorney would need much more information before giving you a certain answer.
    Did your father pass away? If so, when? Did he have a will? If not, do you have any siblings? How is the property titled? These questions are just a sampling that an attorney would need to answer before giving you advice.
    I suggest that you contact an experienced real estate attorney to help you.

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  • My mom's last will and testament regarding the house that she owned free and clear says."..the real property where I am now

    living to my children equally directing that it be sold by the co-executors to the child willing to pay the highest price for the property ...." Can the heirs ask the co-executors to set a low bid and should be house be appraised so that the pric...

    John’s Answer

    I would suggest that no attorney can give you an accurate answer without actually reading the will. Generally speaking, the executors have a fiduciary duty to the estate and the beneficiaries to safeguard the property and maximize its value. Therefore, it is safer for the executors to order an appraisal of the home prior to putting it on the market. In today's real estate market, the real estate tax assessment can, and often is, higher than the actual appraised value, so do not be surprised if the appraisal is lower.

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  • Can I terminate a verbal lease with a written note (hand delivered), if the tenent claims they intended to stay 1 year?

    We rented a bedroom with bath to a couple with child (son's friend). no lease, verbal agreement to pay $600 a month, became $300 every two weeks at move in. Due to incompatibilty (noise, parking, etc.) my wife and I deliverd a termination notice o...

    John’s Answer

    Because your lease is oral, and not written, the terms of the agreement will be decided by the court (unless the two parties resolve the case themselves). It is proper to have an oral lease in certain circumstances. Problems arise when the parties disagree on the terms of the lease. Therefore, you can file an unlawful detainer to evict the tenants, but the judge will rely upon the evidence to determine the length of the lease, and whether your attempt to evict was proper.

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