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Ralph H. Schofield

Ralph Schofield’s Answers

307 total


  • What is good legal terminology for a personnel file that is not part of the employee's primary file?

    In a school, employee files must be made available to accrediting agencies, who can read whatever is in it. I need to write up an employee for a disciplinary matter that does not impact her academic work. It needs to convey the seriousness of "a l...

    Ralph’s Answer

    You might consider calling it an "ancillary" or "administrative" file. Either way, make sure you are not violating the obligation that you have to accrediting agencies by taking this step.

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  • Contract to re-roof our home. No work date set yet. Can we cancel?

    We signed a one page contract with roofing company more than 60 days ago. To date, I still do not have a date from them to do this job. I have called 3 times, but get the same answer "within two weeks". Other calls I've made - was told "I'll l...

    Ralph’s Answer

    Assuming the contract does not cover the timeliness issue, the best step you can take might be to put your complaint in writing that the company has failed to act in a timely manner despite the company knowing that time was of the essence in completing the work. Accuse the company of breach of the contract, and indicate that you are considering the contract to be rescinded, cancelled, or otherwise leaving you without liability unless the company responds within, say, five business days to schedule work to begin within five business days thereafter. This correspondence will be reasonably good evidence in the off-chance that the roofer comes after you to enforce the contract.

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  • Verbal agreements

    I am involved in a written contract for an invention and came in on an option 2 out of a choice of 3. The rep said through a verbal phone conversation that he was able to bump me up and included a commercial. Two weeks later I was told my rep lef...

    Ralph’s Answer

    While that can depend on the details of the contract, generally speaking if someone offers you something extra in addition to what the contract says and does NOT charge you extra, that promise of something extra is NOT enforceable. A limited exception may exist if you took some action in reliance on that gratuitous promise and have now been damaged financially as a result of the person reneging on the promise.

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  • Was I just racially profiled?

    Received a voicemail from the facility that was going to perform a sleep study on me tonight. They left the following voicemail in English: Hi, this message is for (my name)This is (caller name) from (facility) .. .unfortunately we do not have a S...

    Ralph’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Maybe, but there is no legal remedy for you here.

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  • Can an attorney validate or authenticate email for use as evidence in a court proceeding?

    Is there a similar protocol of authentication to when you want to use digital photos? I need an attorney who can get emails entered into the record as evidence for purposes of offering proof that certain claims and agreements have been made by an...

    Ralph’s Answer

    It is fairly common to use emails these days as evidence. There are ways that emails can self-authenticate in the business world, or else the recipient can authenticate that he/she received the particular email. If there is a challenge the the genuineness of the email having been sent by the adverse party, the recipient can consider seeking records from internet service providers.

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  • What exactly does Florida bill HR 87 state?

    Do all banks who are lenders/servicers for loans have to file in the county that the mortgage is in?

    Ralph’s Answer

    A lot of new language is added with this bill, including language regarding the limitations period for a bank filing a foreclosure action, ways the bank proves its standing, and ways to challenge a foreclosure judgment. The answer would be too long to explain here, but I encourage you to re-post specific questions about how certain provisions may affect you.

    I don't understand the bill to relate to where you have to file a foreclosure action. However, it has already been the established law in Florida, under the "local action rule," that lawsuits that require the Court to take jurisdiction over the property to determine its ownership, including foreclosures, must be brought in the county where the property is located.

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  • Hello. I signed a 2 yr contract with a hospital & they have now cut our shift differential (I work at night) with no warning.

    This will be approx 20% decrease in salary. The contract doesn't mention salary. Is the contract still valid?

    Ralph’s Answer

    This is insufficient information, and it could go several ways: (1) breach of contract by the hospital, (2) no breach of contract, or (3) no enforceable contract. Pay for service contracts generally require two essential terms in order to be enforceable: a description of the pay and a description of the service. If It is true that pay isn't covered, you may not actually have a contract, and, in Florida, if it is unclear whether a contract exists a Court would probably lean towards saying there is no contract, because Florida favors at-will employment relationships.

    A review of the contract is essential to answering this questions.

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  • How long does a person have to file for attorney fees if it did not go to court.

    We are a homeowner association and a homeowner requested to put a shed in Jan. 2013 and Jan. 10, 2013 we had a meeting about this issue and told the homeowner no but we will look into what we can do you and he stated okay. We came back to him on J...

    Ralph’s Answer

    Attorney fees are only available by statute if you actually went to arbitration or court. In this case, neither appears to have occurred.

    In theory, although I would say unlikely, it's possible your governing documents allow for him to recover his attorney fees in this circumstance. If that is the case, and unless your governing documents say otherwise, the homeowner may have up to a five-year statute of limitations (under the breach of contract period). More information would be necessary to see what the basis is for the homeowner's claim for fees.

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  • Is there Any Legal Recourse on a pawn shop for misplacing my collateral

    this pawnshop lost on of the items placed in there care for collateral till i paid off a loan i owed for when i came to pick up my items he lost one of them and seeing as we could not come to an agreement he said he could keep the rest of my items...

    Ralph’s Answer

    Yes. The pawn shop has liability to you either under a pawning agreement or under the general law regarding "bailments." In other words, the pawn shop owes you for the item (less the amount you would have needed to pay the pawn shop to redeem your item). If the pawn shop cannot provide a thing or an amount of money to your satisfaction, you potentially have a claim against the pawn shop. Your biggest problem will be determining the value of the thing pawned and showing by how much that value exceeded the amount of the loan.

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  • In foreclosure auction, if my winning bid is 10,000 and final judgement amount is 50,000 do i end up paying 60,000?

    would like to purchase an investment property from here

    Ralph’s Answer

    No. The monetary portion of the foreclosure judgment is against the owner in foreclosure and not against the property itself, and the mortgage rights go away once the judgment is entered. Your foreclosure sale price will be the price you pay to get the property free and clear of that mortgage and any "subordinate" creditors (such as second and third mortgages, if this was a first mortgage). You will need to do your proper diligence to ensure that there are not other creditors out there who are NOT wiped out by the foreclosure, including the tax collector and homeowners association.

    As a practical matter, however, a property at a foreclosure sale will not normally sell to a third party for (much) less than the judgment amount. The plaintiff (usually a bank) will instead take the property and attempt to sell it at a higher price on the open market (perhaps at another date when the market is more seller-friendly).

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