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Jonathon Lee Farnsworth
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Jonathon Farnsworth’s Answers

19 total


  • Is my landlord responsible for snow removal?

    I rent a duplex in Saint Paul, MN with my boyfriend. We are currently in a dispute with my landlord about whether or not he is legally responsible for snow removal. I've read in an online article ("Rental Laws: 4 Instances a Landlord Is Liable for...

    Jonathon’s Answer

    First, look at the terms of your lease regarding whether there are any conditions that are the responsibility of the tenant. Second, I believe Minn. Stat. 504B.161 is the closest you will find on the issue. Ultimately, the owner is liable for any injuries sustained on the property due to unsafe conditions, so even if there is no specific statute on the issue, the landlord should still take reasonable steps to keep the property safe.

    Note: Nothing in this comment constitutes legal adivce nor establishes an attorney-client relationship.

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  • Do I need a license to start a home internet sales business? I have an EIN#. I just need to know if I need anything else.

    Is a special license needed to start a home internet sales business. I contacted my state by e-mail and was told to contact a lawyer. Can you help?

    Jonathon’s Answer

    Without knowing exactly what type of business you are engaged in, I am unable to answer the question. Many internet businesses do not need specific licenses (e.g., either zoning or State licenses); however, some may need specific licenses. As another author noted, you may want to consider incorporating (if you haven't done so already). Additionally, you may have certain insurance-related issues. For instance, depending on what type of business you are running, your home-owners insurance may not cover such claims.

    Nothing in this comment constitutes legal adivce nor establishes an attorney-client relationship.

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  • Logging into husband's yahoo email

    My husband has in the past told me his password for his yahoo email account. we are currently having marital problems and i was wondering if he can sue me for checking his email now?

    Jonathon’s Answer

    As the other two responses have noted, you would most likely be exposing yourself liability if you check your husband's email account based on your circumstances.

    You may be interested in the following blog article as an example of what potential liability exists under Federal law: http://www.litigationandtrial.com/2009/03/articles/the-law/for-people/email-snooping-under-the-stored-communications-act-4th-circuit-requires-actual-damages-for-compensatory-damages-but-not-for-punitive-damages-or-attorneys-fees/

    There may also be state-law based liability as well.

    Note: I have no interest in the aformentioned blog or relation to the author. Nothing in this comment constitutes legal adivce nor establishes an attorney-client relationship. Further, I am only licensed to practice law in the State of Minnesota.

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  • I have a foreclosure/sheriff sale question. How is the minimum bid amount determined at a sheriff sale?

    I have a house with a 195K mortgage on it that is only worth about 160K today. I am thinking of allowing it to go into foreclosure and then "redeem" the property back. Is there any way to determine what the lender will do. Do they look into the va...

    Jonathon’s Answer

    Your question is as much a legal question as it is a business question. Without going into too many specifics, it is common for lenders to bid the exact dollar amount of their security interest (mortgage) in the property. With that being said, some lenders choose to bid a lesser amount than their security interest for other reasons I will not get into with this comment.

    If you allow your mortgage to fall into foreclosure, beweare of the consequences: Lenders commonly seek their legal fees and costs against you as well as interest on past due amounts. Additionally, there is a possibility the lender/creditor will seek to collect a deficiency judgment against you.

    Nothing in this comment constitutes legal adivce nor establishes an attorney-client relationship.

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  • Same name, wrong person.

    Over a year ago, i was served legal papers about a case involving a girl with the same name as me being sued. I called the plaintiffs lawyer multiple times, and was assured it would be cleared up that I am not her. Now, i just received more docum...

    Jonathon’s Answer

    Contact LegalAid or SMRLS. If you meet certain income guidelines, you should be able to obtain free legal assistance.

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  • Can my apartment charge for repair costs for water pipes bursting?

    I rent an apartment and I had my sliding glass door open for a few hours. Apparently this caused our pipes to burst and now they're saying that I'm responsible for damage and repair costs. Apparently this is a common occurance in this building a...

    Jonathon’s Answer

    Generally yes, you would be liable for damage due to your negligence. As another attorney already noted, however, there may be certain defenses you have to any action from the landlord.

    Please note that nothing in this comment constitutes legal advice or establishes an attorney-client relationship.

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  • My landlord gave me to the 28th to pay my back pay rent but then turned around and filed a u.d on the 28th.

    i payed the late fees on the 28th and the next month. can i get this expunged since my rent was paid on the day he filed

    Jonathon’s Answer

    You should be able to get this expunged based on the facts as you describe them. Of course, expungement is in the Judge's discretion. With that being said, filing a UD is different than actually obtaining an order for a Writ of Recovery. Your case sounds like it should have been dismissed since you fully paid on the same day the UD was filed with the Court.

    If you get an order for expungement, that order is only the first step in clearing your name. There are also many private databases that keep eviction records. You will need to also serve them with the expungement order and request the eviction record be removed from their database.

    You should consult an attorney for more information about eviction procedures and whether you need an expungment.

    Please note that nothing in this comment constitutes legal advice or creates and attorney-client relationship.

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  • If our lease is not signed by a manager, is it still binding? What is the definition of "apartment abandonment"?

    We want to break our lease and cannot give 60 days notice as required in our lease. The manager is saying we are responsible for the rent for those 60 days which it doesn't say in our lease. The lease is also not signed by our manager. Is there an...

    Jonathon’s Answer

    The lease is enforceable as long as you signed the document. Even if you move out prematurely, the landlord has an affirmative obligation to mitigate its damages and re-let the property. If the property is immediately re-let without cost to the landlord, the landlord may not be entitled to any damages. Additionally, if the landlord fails to reasonably market the property or attempt to re-let it, the landlord may waive its ability to obtain any damages from you for unpaid rent.

    Nothing in this comment constitutes legal adivce nor establishes an attorney-client relationship.

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  • I secured the apmt for my quad client but the landlord requested that he be removed from the premises. I removed him.

    About 4 months into the lease, the landlord sent me a letter to remove my sick client from the apmt because he threathened to kill the nurse. I asked the landlord to send me the lease agrmt so that may see whether there were any wiggle way out. I...

    Jonathon’s Answer

    Based on your comment, you should strongly consider seeking legal counsel. MN law regarding tenant's rights is complicated and eviction procedures are technical. If you are unable to pay for an attorney, consider contacting Legal Aid or SMRLS.

    In order to obtain an eviction in MN, the landlord must serve the tenant with the eviction Complaint 7 to 14 days prior to the hearing. Landlords cannot engage in "self help"--they need a Court order to evict a tenant. If a tenant does not receive the proper notice for the eviction hearing, the tenant may be able to petition the Court to rescind the eviction. Even though an eviction is ordered, the Sheriff must serve the Writ of Recovery in order for the tenant to legally be obligated to vacate the premises.

    Even though a tenant does not have a signed lease, a tenancy may still be created. Accordingly, if a tendant does not pay, a landlord is able to evict the tenant.

    Please note that nothing in this comment consistutes legal advice or creates an attorney-client relationship.

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