Christopher R. Minelli’s Answers

Christopher R. Minelli

Chicago Business Attorney.

Contributor Level 12
  1. Under IL landlord tenant laws can a tenant cash a partial return of a security deposit and sue for the remainder

    Answered about 5 years ago.

    1. Christopher R. Minelli
    1 lawyer answer

    The answer depends on what the legal relationship between you and your landlord was (which is generally determined by the provisions of the lease) and, oddly enough, what the partial-payment check itself said. The Illinois Security Deposit Return Act requires a landlord covered by the Act (based on the number of units controlled, in this statute more than 5) to perform various record-keeping functions. He or she is required to disclose the basis of the deductions to the security deposit, and...

  2. Is my step dad able to evict my brother from their home without my mom's permission/signature?

    Answered about 5 years ago.

    1. Christopher R. Minelli
    1 lawyer answer

    Theoretically, yes. Your parents (I am assuming, from your statement "both my mom and my step dad own the home") are either joint tenants or tenants in common, which mean that both of them have equal legal rights in the home. The Illinois courts have ruled in the past that a single joint tenant, over the objection of the other, can evict a person. HOWEVER, your step dad likely will not be able to just throw your brother out on the street. Even if there was no written lease, if your...

  3. Can my wages be garnished with my current employer for a delinquent credit card debt when I owned a business?

    Answered about 5 years ago.

    1. Christopher R. Minelli
    1 lawyer answer

    I'm sorry that this has happened. Generally, a bank or credit card company will almost always require a personal guarentee on the account. I would have to see your specific card agreement and how you signed it to determine whether you were a personal guarentor on the account. In Illinois, you generally have to clearly state your business position (which has to be one in which the law permits the position to bind the business on its debts) as a prerequisite to signing in the shoes of a...

  4. A person is fired because he doesn't speak Spanish. Is this legal? Not a pre-requisite when he started 6 mo. ago.

    Answered about 5 years ago.

    1. Alan James Brinkmeier
    2. Christopher R. Minelli
    2 lawyer answers

    Although this seems unfair, the law says such a termination is acceptable. Illinois is an "at will" state, meaning that an employee not under contract can be terminated for any reason at any time. Conversely, the employee can voluntarily quit for any reason at any time as well. This general rule is limited only where a termination would (1) violate public policy or (2) violate a person's constitutional or civil rights. These exceptions are the product of state and local statute. Here,...

  5. Is the landlord liable for tenants (ER visit ) insurance deductible due to a furnace breakdown resulting in high CO count?

    Answered about 5 years ago.

    1. Christopher R. Minelli
    1 lawyer answer

    The answer depends on whether the landlord had reason to know the furnace was malfunctioning or was about to malfunction. In Illinois, a landlord has a duty to inform a tenant of hazards the landlord should reasonably know about. Here, if the landlord did his due dilligence and checked the furnace according to its owner's manual as a reasonable landlord should, then liability most likely won't attach. However, if the landlord did not conduct a reasonable inspection of the premises, or knew...

  6. I can no longer afford my car. If I surrender it, how negatively does that affect my credit score?

    Answered about 5 years ago.

    1. Christopher R. Minelli
    1 lawyer answer

    The answer depends on a number of factors. First, is the car a lease or a purchase? Second, have you spoken with your creditor (car dealership, financing company, bank, etc.) about refinancing or modifying your loan? Oftentimes a creditor will not be happy with a debtor that turns in its collateral to avoid an obligation. The creditor doesn't want the car, it wants its expectations of monthly payments and interest. Try to contact the creditor with this in mind. Try to lower your monthly...

  7. What is the legal difference between a guest and an occupant?

    Answered about 5 years ago.

    1. Christopher R. Minelli
    1 lawyer answer

    By "occupant" I assume you mean tenant versus a guest. Illinois law provides that, in the absense of an expressly defined landlord-tenant relationship such as with a written or oral lease, a court will look at the objective intentions of the parties to what the relationship is. This means that a strict or well-defined time limit is impossible to state as the relationship will always turn on the facts of the situation. If you want more information, I suggest talking to an attorney. He or...

  8. How is the tax recapture for a nonqualified distribution from the Illinois 529 plan calculated?

    Answered about 5 years ago.

    1. Christopher R. Minelli
    1 lawyer answer

    State taxation law is a very narrow practice range only a handful of attorneys have full time experience in. If you have substantive questions (especially pertaining to basis and tax recapute amounts spread over a number of years as in your situation) I would recommend contacting the Illinois State Bar Association lawyer referral service at (217) 525-5297. Ask them for a state taxation attorney in Cook County. Chicago is the most likely place to find them. NOTE: This answer is not...

  9. Who should I sign a least with?

    Answered about 5 years ago.

    1. Christopher R. Minelli
    1 lawyer answer

    Mineral rights law is a very narrow practice range only a handful of attorneys have experience in. If you have substantive questions (especially pertaining to prices and negotiation) I would recommend contacting the Illinois State Bar Association lawyer referral service at (217) 525-5297. Ask them for a mineral rights attorney in Cook County. I doubt there are many, but Chicago is the most likely place to find them. You may also want to contact the Mississippi bar at (601) 948-4471 and...

  10. Can I break the lease due to safety, cleanliness, and health issues?

    Answered about 5 years ago.

    1. Christopher R. Minelli
    2. Salim John Sheikh
    2 lawyer answers

    This is a complicated question and the answer depends on the facts. In Illinois, the landlord tenant relationship is defined by state law, local ordinances such as the Chicago Residential Landlord-Tenant Ordinance ("RLTO"), and the lease agreement itself. Depending on what the lease agreement says, the general rule is that a landlord must deliver and maintain "habitable" premises. The legal meaning of this turns heavily on the facts, but courts tend to look at objective criteria in their...