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Jason Wendell Blanchard

Jason Blanchard’s Answers

53 total


  • In an appeal in GA. If the supreme court reverses a trial court decision/order. Does the judge get reprimanded in any way?

    Are judges held accountable for their bad decisions/orders which are reversed by the Supreme Court of Georgia? How does it affect the judge that made the error in law? I understand they may have to retry a case based on "good interpretation" of ...

    Jason’s Answer

    In Georgia, Judges are Constitutional Officers under Article 6 of the Georgia Constitution. Merely being reversed by the Georgia Supreme Court is not grounds for reprimand or other sanction. The sanctioning of judges in Georgia is covered by the following section of the Georgia Constitution:

    (a) Any judge may be removed, suspended, or otherwise disciplined for willful misconduct in office, or for willful and persistent failure to perform the duties of office, or for habitual intemperance, or for conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude, or for conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice which brings the judicial office into disrepute. Any judge may be retired for disability which constitutes a serious and likely permanent interference with the performance of the duties of office. The Supreme Court shall adopt rules of implementation.

    Ga. Const. art. VI, § 7, ¶ VII

    The following provision is also applicable:

    (c) Upon initial conviction of any judge for any felony in a trial court of this state or the United States, regardless of whether the judge has been suspended previously under subparagraph (b) of this Paragraph, such judge shall be immediately and without further action suspended from office. While a judge is suspended from office under this subparagraph, he shall not be entitled to receive the compensation from his office. If the conviction is later overturned as a result of any direct appeal or application for a writ of certiorari, the judge shall be immediately reinstated to the office from which he was suspended and shall be entitled to receive any compensation withheld under the provisions of this subparagraph. For the duration of any suspension under this subparagraph, the Governor shall appoint a replacement judge. Upon a final conviction with no appeal or review pending, the office shall be declared vacant and a successor to that office shall be chosen as provided in this Constitution or the laws enacted in pursuance thereof. The provisions of this subparagraph shall not apply to any conviction rendered prior to January 1, 1987.

    Ga. Const. art. VI, § 7, ¶ VII

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  • Do I have to pay employees for driving to and from work?

    As part of my company, my employees must travel between job sites in a company provided vehicle. I pay them from the time they arrive to the shop in the morning, and until the end of their last job. If the only employees who get paid for the ride ...

    Jason’s Answer

    An employee who travels from home before the regular workday and returns to his/her
    home at the end of the workday is engaged in ordinary home to work travel, which is not work time. See http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs22.pdf

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  • What should I write on letter to appeal unemployment?

    I had a hearing for unemployment last week. They sent me a letter saying I'm disqualified because I didn't exhaust my options to stay employed wich is not true I did try to stay employed. I switched to other jobs and still couldn't work because of...

    Jason’s Answer

    If you have not been given the Appeals Handbook, it is located at http://www.dol.state.ga.us/pdf/forms/dol424b.pdf . You should review it, as it will answer many questions that you have about the process.

    The substance of your appeal will be based on your specific factual circumstances and your ability to point to laws and regulations that allow you to obtain unemployment benefits. Generally speaking, it is tough for the typical member of the general public to represent themselves successfully, due to the lack of legal knowledge and training required to win an appeal. I would suggest hiring a lawyer if you have the money to do so.

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  • In the state of Georgia, if a landlord does not complete a move-out inspection within 3 business days, can they keep deposit?

    If I turn in keys on a Thursday July 31st and they landlord has not completed a move out inspection and itemized list by the 5th (3 business days) does the landlord then lose their right to retain the security deposit? They landlord did not compl...

    Jason’s Answer

    The landlord is required to comply with the 3 day time period under OCGA 44-7-33(b). If the landlord does not comply with that time period, the landlord cannot keep any portion of the deposit as stated in OCGA 44-7-35(b). If the landlord keeps the security deposit wrongfully, the tenant can sue for 3 times the deposit plus attorney's fees under OCGA 44-7-35(c). However, there is one catch, according to OCGA 44-7-36, these provisions do not apply to a landlord who is an individual (as opposed to a business) owning 10 or fewer rental units, unless a management company is retained by the landlord. See the code sections below.

    O.C.G.A. § 44-7-33
    (b) Within three business days after the date of the termination of occupancy, the landlord or his agent shall inspect the premises and compile a comprehensive list of any damage done to the premises which is the basis for any charge against the security deposit and the estimated dollar value of such damage. The tenant shall have the right to inspect the premises within five business days after the termination of the occupancy in order to ascertain the accuracy of the list. The landlord and the tenant shall sign the list, and this shall be conclusive evidence of the accuracy of the list. If the tenant refuses to sign the list, he shall state specifically in writing the items on the list to which he dissents and shall sign such statement of dissent. If the tenant terminates occupancy without notifying the landlord, the landlord may make a final inspection within a reasonable time after discovering the termination of occupancy.

    O.C.G.A. § 44-7-35
    (a) A landlord shall not be entitled to retain any portion of a security deposit if the security deposit was not deposited in an escrow account in accordance with Code Section 44-7-31 or a surety bond was not posted in accordance with Code Section 44-7-32 and if the initial and final damage lists required by Code Section 44-7-33 are not made and provided to the tenant.

    (b) The failure of a landlord to provide each of the written statements within the time periods specified in Code Sections 44-7-33 and 44-7-34 shall work a forfeiture of all his rights to withhold any portion of the security deposit or to bring an action against the tenant for damages to the premises.

    (c) Any landlord who fails to return any part of a security deposit which is required to be returned to a tenant pursuant to this article shall be liable to the tenant in the amount of three times the sum improperly withheld plus reasonable attorney's fees; provided, however, that the landlord shall be liable only for the sum erroneously withheld if the landlord shows by the preponderance of the evidence that the withholding was not intentional and resulted from a bona fide error which occurred in spite of the existence of procedures reasonably designed to avoid such errors.

    O.C.G.A. § 44-7-36
    Code Sections 44-7-31, 44-7-32, 44-7-33, and 44-7-35 shall not apply to rental units which are owned by a natural person if such natural person, his or her spouse, and his or her minor children collectively own ten or fewer rental units; provided, however, that this exemption does not apply to units for which management, including rent collection, is performed by third persons, natural or otherwise, for a fee.

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  • Do an defendant have the right to object the courts decision.

    Does the court abuses it's discretion, when it places a case on the dead docket, over the defendants objections, the D.A has been granted already before an continuance, one term of court has passed, second term he cancelled all jury trials, now he...

    Jason’s Answer

    Instead of an appeal, I would suggest filing a speedy trial demand. See O.C.G.A. 17-7-170 -

    (a) Any defendant against whom a true bill of indictment or an accusation is filed with the clerk for an offense not affecting the defendant's life may enter a demand for speedy trial at the court term at which the indictment or accusation is filed or at the next succeeding regular court term thereafter; or, by special permission of the court, the defendant may at any subsequent court term thereafter demand a speedy trial. In either case, the demand for speedy trial shall be filed with the clerk of court and served upon the prosecutor and upon the judge to whom the case is assigned or, if the case is not assigned, upon the chief judge of the court in which the case is pending. A demand for speedy trial filed pursuant to this Code section shall be filed as a separate, distinct, and individual document and shall not be a part of any other pleading or document. Such demand shall clearly be titled “Demand for Speedy Trial”; reference this Code section within the pleading; and identify the indictment number or accusation number for which such demand is being made. The demand for speedy trial shall be binding only in the court in which the demand for speedy trial is filed, except where the case is transferred from one court to another without a request from the defendant.

    (b) If the defendant is not tried when the demand for speedy trial is made or at the next succeeding regular court term thereafter, provided that at both court terms there were juries impaneled and qualified to try the defendant, the defendant shall be absolutely discharged and acquitted of the offense charged in the indictment or accusation. For purposes of computing the term at which a misdemeanor must be tried under this Code section, there shall be excluded any civil term of court in a county in which civil and criminal terms of court are designated; and for purposes of this Code section it shall be as if such civil term was not held.

    O.C.G.A. § 17-7-170

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  • Can a manager take hours you worked over the 60 your supposed to have and put it on the following week.

    I wound up getting almost 3 hours overtime for the pay period and the day time was supposed to go in I got a phone call from the manager saying that he was going to take the overtime off this week and add it to my time next week which resulted in ...

    Jason’s Answer

    The Fair Labor Standards Act requires your employer to pay 1.5 times your regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours in the pay period, if you are they type of employee that qualifies for overtime (non-exempt). The manager cannot force you to waive that time; however, there are certain loopholes such as "fluctuating" or "Chinese" overtime that can impact the amount you are owed. In order to determine your rights specifically, more information is needed. I suggest that you contact a lawyer skilled in employment law to evaluate your case. I would be happy to speak with you about your situation. Good luck!

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  • Joint owner of my home has filed a suit to partition. They want me to buy them out; I have offered 60K which I believe was

    accepted. As half owners, they are required to pay for half of the property taxes and half of the house insurance. They have refused and my lawyer is siding with them and telling me that I should not 'bother' them. What are my rights and wha...

    Jason’s Answer

    Each of these issues should be addressed in the suit for Partition, unless settled prior to trial. You are certainly within your rights to demand to be paid for the amounts you are owed for taxes and insurance. You may want to ask if your current lawyer has filed a counterclaim for these amounts. As far as the value of the house goes, I would obtain an estimate of the fair market value of the home and use that as a negotiating tool for the buyout.

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  • How can I get a helicoptor service to lower thier bill. My husband was taken from one hospital to another on an 8 min. ride.

    Nothing was done to him on this ride. I have the report from the ride. The cost was $20,000.00. My ins. pd. 10,000.00. This is so out of touch with reality. I could have taken him myself. I had so say in this matter. they were called and o...

    Jason’s Answer

    Their statment about a "one time offer" is an attempt to pressure you into paying them. Don't fall for it. Investigate what a reasonable charge would be for this type of a trip and make them an offer based on your research.

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  • EEOC Mediation Confidentiality Agreement........

    I settled my discrimination charge in mediation. I signed a confidentiality agreement not to disclose any of the Terms/Conditions of the agreement. I also resigned my position as shop steward of the union and had a meeting with the employees to in...

    Jason’s Answer

    The answer to your question depends on the language in the agreement. It is unlikely that your statement would result in a breach of the confidentiality agreement, but if you are concerned you should have a lawyer review. As a practical matter, if the issue has not been raised by the company, don't worry about it. It would be the Company's burden to prove that you violated the agreement.

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  • I'm writing a paper on amicus curiae briefs. Does anyone know in general how much brief filing costs on average?

    My paper is on coalitional theory in the submission of amicus briefs, and it would be nice to know what the costs of Supreme Court litigation and brief submission are before I make a series of arguments about resource/payoff structures. Can anyone...

    Jason’s Answer

    I have submitted amicus curiae briefs to the Georgia Supreme Court and there is no fee associated with filing the brief. The real costs comes from the research, drafting, obtaining records, etc. that goes along with preparing a brief.

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