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Kathleen Balthrop Havener

Kathleen Havener’s Answers

9 total

  • If my 14 year old pleaded guilty in court for shoplifting, do we stand a chance at avoiding payment of the civil lawsuit?

    My 14 year old was arrested for retail theft of $38.50 from Claire's. It was her first offense. We made her go to court. She is attending a Retail Theft program and will do community service. Palmer, Reifler initially wanted $250 but dropped it t...

    Kathleen’s Answer

    If the merchandise was recovered, I cannot imagine what damages anyone is thinking the company could obtain. That does NOT mean, however, that you should ignore the lawsuit. You should show up anytime you get a notice of a hearing and you should respond to every letter you get and continue to say that because your daughter is 14, and she has been to criminal court, and she is completing her punishment, and especially because Claire's has NO DAMAGES, you will continue to fight the lawsuit.

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  • Motion for summery judgment

    Good Morning I am currently the plaintiff in a federal discrimination lawsuit. The opposing counsel has filed a motion for summery judgment. This motion was filed 10/31/11. My question is how long does this process normally take to be ruled on ...

    Kathleen’s Answer

    You said that your case is in federal court. In most jurisdictions, there is an unwritten "rule" (in some it is expressly provided) as to how many days/months can pass before a judge should rule on a motion for summary judgment. That said, however, many things can happen to interfere with the schedule. If the claims or parties have changed, for example, or if any party has filed bankruptcy, or certain other intervening factors have occurred. I filed a motion for summary judgment in a federal case in Florida on March 17, 2008, which was not decided until August 6, 2010. There had been a bankruptcy which stayed the case from May 2008 until December 2009, but that still meant that the judge had the fully briefed motion for about 7 months before it was decided. With regard to your other question, I would certainly not tolerate an attorney who fails to communicate with me. But rather than replace the attorney, which could complicate your fees if the case is being handled on a contingency basis, I would make an appointment to go see your lawyer and explain that you are seeking replacement counsel unless your current lawyer promises to and does begin communicating with you more appropriately.

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  • Is there an appropriate time to offer or demand settlement during litigation proceedings? If so, send a letter or just call?

    Civil litigation (employment) is currently in process, some discovery has been taken by both parties, but not final yet. Would like to offer settlement to avoid high legal fees and possible expensive trial fees. Searched verdicts for similar cases...

    Kathleen’s Answer

    Communicating a settlement demand or offer is good practice so that when the judge asks at the next status conference, "Where are we on settling this thing?" the other side can't jump up and in an outrage or wounded voice say, "Your Honor, we haven't received a settlement demand. We have nothing to work with?" Negotiating an answer, however, is an art form and the time to do it, in my view, is just before some large amount of attorney time needs to be invested--before filing a motion to dismiss, or responding to a motion to compel, or about a month before summary judgment motions are due.

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  • How much time before hearing does defense attorney have to identify witnesses or share documents they intend to use as exhibits.

    And the same question for Claimant. They indicated in their Interrogatories it would be forthcoming but hearing is just days away.

    Kathleen’s Answer

    This answer is different in every jurisdiction and indeed, in every proceeding. If a trial, the trial judge will have issued an order stating how long in advance each side must present a witness list. It's time to tell the other side that if they don't provide a witness list, you will object to their attempt to call the witnesses during the proceeding.

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  • What form does one fill out and turn in when service was attempted but unsuccessful?

    Should I just have the person fill out a declaration saying when they went, times, dates and the address and sign it? The return of service form looks like it only has option for it service was actually served.

    Kathleen’s Answer

    I agree that the rules can be complicated, but a declaration of attempted service is a good thing if you're trying to document that the person is trying to evade service.

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  • If you are pro per can a witness list submitted as an individual document be handed to the other attorney by me? TRO/RO issues

    Does it need to be served and a proof of service filed or can i drop it off at the attorney's office and be done with it?? The request for orders have been previously submitted and the domestic violence tro paperwork is in place, can i also submi...

    Kathleen’s Answer

    Anything that needs to be served can be served by hand-delivery, and it should note that on the certificate of service. The question is whether or not it is on time. Since I don't know the answer to that question, I can't advise you.

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  • Judgment satisfied. Lawyer claims interest miscalculated. So they want more money... even thought the judgement was paid off.

    finally judgment paid in full. Now the lawyers representing the management company is claiming my husband owes $200.00. The reason is they claim they miscalculated the interest payment before they filed the judgment. This sounds really s...

    Kathleen’s Answer

    I would tell them it was their responsibility to prepare the judgment and they made the mistake. This is not a legitimate debt. You don't owe them for their mistake. "So sue me."

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  • Some one moved out of my house 2 weeks ago and have not returnd for ther belonging what am i legaly supposed to do with it

    my garuage is full of her stuff my basment is half full and she did not leave it neatly kept she lived with me for three months and i recieved 30.00 in rent out of 300.00 that we agreed to plus her child caused damage to my home

    Kathleen’s Answer

    This depends on what the lease (if any) specifies, and -- without a lease -- what your relationship with the person was (or is). If she was a tenant, and there was no lease, you have a certain number of days before you are allowed to consider the property "abandoned" -- until that time (approximately 30 days) you must use "reasonable care" to protect the value of her property -- making sure, for example, that clothing and furniture are not exposed to the elements and that items are not subject to being stolen. If there is any way possible to have an intermediary negotiate when the person will come and collect her things, that is by far the best resolution. You DON'T want to end up in court if you can help, so don't get rid of anything just for spite.

    Kathleen Havener
    Chagrin Falls, OH
    216-288-6009

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  • Can the court take judicial notice of a government website? Is there a certain case I can site?

    I want to ask court to take judicial notice of a government irs website.

    Kathleen’s Answer

    Although I think it depends on the facts of the case, I would suggest that the answer is generally Yes, and I would cite Denius v. Dunlap, 330 F.3d 919 (7th Cir. 2003).

    Kathleen B. Havener
    216-288-6009
    www.havenerlaw.com

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