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Paul Dockstader Sullivan

Paul Sullivan’s Answers

95 total


  • Can someone who has had a horrible past ask for help to avoid being revoked

    My boyfriend is about to have his probation revoked but he needs some help with dealing with his past that led to this offense

    Paul’s Answer

    Ask who for help? As a general rule, I would encourage everyone facing revocation to ask for help. But beyond that, I'm not sure what this question is asking.

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  • Can I hunt in Montana if I have been to Montana State Hospital?

    I am not on any medication.

    Paul’s Answer

    Yes.

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  • How do I receive payment for a loan when the loan recipient is refusing to pay?

    I loaned a total of $19,000.00 to my former employer in the early stages of the business. My employment was recently terminated, and I'm trying to figure out how I can get my money back.

    Paul’s Answer

    Did you sign a contract or create any written record of the loan? That may contain some terms for repayment. If not, you will probably need to file a lawsuit.

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  • Do I need a lawyer for my divorce?

    My spouse and I have no property, our children are adults but she will not agree to a divorce due to my disability compensation and medical benefits.

    Paul’s Answer

    Most counties have a self help law center. It may be worth visiting with them to find out more about what would be required if you represented yourself. Then you'd have a better idea whether you needed a lawyer.

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  • When pulled to the side of the road to use a cell phone, can an officer approach the car to question the driver?

    sitting on the shoulder with car running to answer phone call. Officer pulls behind, no flashing lights, and walks up to car with flashlight and questions. Is this 4th ammendment infringement?

    Paul’s Answer

    I think this is an interesting question, and less certain than the other commentors have indicated. Just this week, the Montana Supreme Court handed down a decision examining the use of "welfare checks" by officers and indicating a belief that they were over used. In State v. Marcial (2013 MT 242) . At 1:45 in the morning, an officer witnessed the following facts:

    "On May 8, 2010, at around 1:15 a.m., Bozeman Police Department Sergeant Travis Munter (Sgt. Munter) was traveling south on North Rouse Avenue in Bozeman. Sgt. Munter observed Marcial, who was driving northbound, execute a hard left turn in an area where Sgt. Munter knew there were no cross streets. Marcial drove up on the sidewalk and onto the grass before coming to an abrupt stop, nearly perpendicular to the street. Sgt. Munter then observed Marcial’s vehicle back away from the curb area, where he saw a fire hydrant immediately next to the sidewalk. Concerned that Marcial had collided with the fire hydrant, Sgt. Munter turned his vehicle around and stopped behind Marcial’s car just as Marcial was parking parallel to the street. Sgt. Munter activated his rear warning lights, but not his top lights."

    Marcial was arrested for DUI. The case started in City Court, was appealed to District Court, and finally to the Supreme Court. The city court and the District Court both found that Sgt. Munter was justified in approaching the vehicle because of the community caretaker doctrine (to conduct a welfare check). But the Montana Supreme Court rejected that. They emphasized the doctrine’s intended application to situations where a citizen "is in need of help or is in peril." The Court ultimately found that Sgt. Munter was authorized to investigate an apparent traffic accident - and so the conviction was upheld.

    You haven't given us much to go on. But if Marcial's car accident didn't justify the community caretaker doctrine, it's hard to imagine how a car just stopped on the side of the road would.

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  • Can my daughters father legally prevent me from taking my daughter back to my house after a recent separation?

    My daughters father and I just split up. I am having trouble making ends meet financially, and I let him take her with him so I could arrange more stable housing and apply for necessary state assistance so I can afford to provide food, diapers clo...

    Paul’s Answer

    Without a parenting plan you both have full custody of her. That's great if the parents are getting along. It's a disaster if they're not. It sounds like the two of you need a parenting plan. You can initiate one by filing a petition for parenting plan in the district court for the county where all of you reside (assuming that's the same county). Most courts have a self help center that can walk you through the process, but honestly you'd be better served hiring an attorney to do it. If things are uncontested, the self-represented route can be great. But it sounds like you two are past that point now.

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  • My ex has convinced my 14 year old son to live with him. Im a single mom in school. He wants to challenge the child support. W

    What do I do? I live in Missoula, MT. I have the kids on medicaid and food stamps. He makes way more than I do, but still wants to challenge child support and change the parenting plan. In the beginning, we shared custody...one week on and on...

    Paul’s Answer

    I'm not really clear on what you're asking. Child support is determined based on the income of both parents and the parenting plan. The amount of time the kids spend with each parent is very relevant to the calculation. If you're asking whether allowing your child to start living with a different parent will change the child support calculation - the answer is almost certainly yes.

    If you need more help regarding child support, you can create your own child support calculations with an online calculator now. I've included a link below.

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  • What are the laws for evicting tenants in Montana? I need to evict a tenant. How much notice do I need to give them?

    I need to know the laws for evicting renting tenants in Montana. Their lease is up.

    Paul’s Answer

    It depends on the lease and on what you mean by the lease is up. Generally, under Montana law when a lease expires it automatically converts to a month to month lease. In that case, you'd need to give them a month's notice to move out unless they've breached some other part of the lease. For example, if they have failed to pay the lease payment or are damaging the property, there are ways to evict them more quickly.

    Without knowing more I can't give you very specific advice.

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  • Dispute regarding a bill of sale

    I bought some items off of ebay for a friend over the last few months. He agreed to pay me back for these items except for 1 item that we agreed he could keep as a gift, a playstation 3 console with 3 controllers. At first, he began paying me back...

    Paul’s Answer

    This sounds like a pretty fact intensive dispute. If you were to file a civil claim against him and proceed to trial, you'd have a chance to tell the judge your side of the story and offer an explanation for the bill of sale. Your friend would have the same opportunity, and at the end the judge would make a decision based on who he found more credible. The issues with the bill of sale would not preclude you from winning a civil suit - but it should be addressed with the judge.

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  • Time sensitive, I have contract for deed under contract for sale and tax lean on a property I need advice before I lose it all.

    I owe the deed owner $35,000 after that the deed goes into my name. Along with 2 credit card judgement, one is for $3000 and $7000 + a huge amount of interest. There is also a $40000 tax lean in the picture. I have many question how t...

    Paul’s Answer

    I'm not totally clear on what you're asking here. Do you have the money to pay off the contract for deed? Are the credit card judgments and tax liens against you or against the property that you're purchasing? Contracts for deed tend to be messy and I encourage clients to use a Deed of Trust when seller financing is in play. Obviously, it's too late for that - but I'm still not clear enough on your actual problem to offer much advice.

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