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Matthew Scott Berkus

Matthew Berkus’s Answers

6,899 total


  • How do I find employment records from a business that was bought by another company

    A trucking company in Denver Colorado, Spirit Express Trucking was bought in about 2009 by R&L Carriers. I was an employee of Spirit Express. I need too find my records for prof of employment for another company. R&L say they do not have those r...

    Matthew’s Answer

    There may be a custodian of records for the old compay.

    You should talk to the company hiring you and explain the dilemma and see if they have any suggestions.

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  • Can I just write "expert witnesses" on my family court witness list? I don't want to give away who is coming in.

    I'm in a custody battle with my wife and close to take custody of our children. I have found some top notch experts who can tear apart her allegations of child sexual abuse and am flying them in to custody hearing. My wife is pro se and doesn't ...

    Matthew’s Answer

    Yes, you have to disclose, see Thomas's answer. All evidence and witesses you intend to produce or call at a hearing or trial must be disclosed well in advance. This is the difference between real law an T.V. law; in real law, there are no surprise, or gotcha moments. If you do not do so, the judge will disallow the testimony.

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  • Lost money

    Alamada County Calif. sent me a check in 2002 for $820.00 never recevied it. When I called to claim it I was told it was void. Can I fight this? Government code section 29800-29808

    Matthew’s Answer

    No you can't. The code provides for 6 months. Even if there was an issue, there is no legal theory upon which to claim funds for something that old.

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  • Can a credit reporting agency report a payment 30 days past due when the payment is made on the 30th day?

    Only one agency is reporting it as being made 30 days past due. The others only if the payment is made after day 30.

    Matthew’s Answer

    It is the creditor, not the CRA that reports the information. In the grand scheme of things, 1 late payment will hardly be a blip on your credit. As for the legal point, the issue is when the payment is "received" AND "processed." You can try disputing the entry with the credit reporting agency (which you must do before you can do anything else). If that doesn't resolve the issue, then I would probably drop it as it is not worth the time and effort it will take beyond a basic dispute.

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  • Do I have to hire a lawyer to start an LLC? If not is it wise to go about it with little legal experience?

    I am looking into selling my woodworking items on e-commerce websites + it's own website sometime down the line.

    Matthew’s Answer

    I wouldn't say you "need" a lawyer. The issue with LLC's is more a tax question than anything else. At a minimum, speak to a tax advisor on whether an LLC has any advantages for your situation. Having an LLC or a corporation, unless you really need it or if it carries with it some financial advantage, is a pain in the butt (a hassle) to maintain. If this woodworking business is really a side business, you may not need one.

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  • Is an attorney obligated by law to give his/her client their case file if their client requests it?

    I want my file from my current attorney because he is about to let my time expire to pursue a personal injury case. My time is up in 3 months. I need to find another attorney. My current attorney has sat on my case for over 3 years. I was injured ...

    Matthew’s Answer

    Technically, your attorney hasn't done anything wrong as no deadline has expired without action. Instead of throwing the baby out with the bath water, contact the attorney and request a status appointment. Also, canceling services won't necessarily mean the attorney is not entitled to compensation for the work that has been performed. If you have $100,000+ in medical, that indicates you have long term injuries. What you are describing is not uncommon in the personal injury field, to maximize recovery, you have to wait until the victim has a mature case; which means that all injuries, treatment, and need for future treatment are known. You are getting nervouse because a deadline is approaching, instead of panicking, call your attorney and discuss the situation. If that doesn't resolve your concerns, then find a different attorney.

    As to your question, yes the attorney must turn over the file, you need to make the request in writing and allow 10 business days (a reasonable time) for the attorney to comply. However, there is no way to request it that won't create a contentious situation. There is no innocent reason for a client to request a file.

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  • Potential C&F problem

    I just started Law school and in October I will file my Intent to Practice Law in my state. Although I am a resident in the state which I attend school (and as a result pay resident tuition), my husband and I briefly considered moving to another s...

    Matthew’s Answer

    I doubt that will be an issue...................

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  • Can an institution send a debt collector to you without first contacting you, advising you of the debt and how much the debt is?

    I am a student at itt tech. I had to temporarily withdraw from school bcause of an ailment. During the time of my withdrawal I was in constant contact with the school, advising them of my return date. A few days after I signed forms to return to s...

    Matthew’s Answer

    "The school advised me that they returned money to mohela and they had to charge me that which they had returned to mohela. I called mohela to enquire about it." It sounds like they told you about it based on that sentence. The good news is the debt is probably not considered a student loan (although that question is in flux right now). Even if you can dfind some technicality, that won't void the debt, so the answer to your question doesn't realyy matter.

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  • What is the precedence for shutting off water without notification in a community?

    I live in a mobile home park and they shut the water off constantly for one repair or another. They used to notify us, usually ahead of time, but sometimes at the time, via a flyer. Then they started posting a sign at the entrance which is no good...

    Matthew’s Answer

    I hate to say it, but there is little to nothing you can do on either front. I don't know that they are legally required to give you notice of water shut off...it is more a courtesy than anything else. If they have to fix something, they have to fix something. So long as the water is being shut off for legitimate reasons, not much you can do. As for what you pay, that is subject to the terms and conditions of your lease. You can raise the issue with the manager, but it is unlikely your bill would be materially affected.

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  • Can GA HOA- Board declare private, fee simple home lot area as common area so they can make changes to land without permission?

    HOA Board hired engineer to do Capital Reserve Study. Report gave suggestions for changes in land, party walls, sidewalks, etc which are not, never been responsibility of HOA per Covenants.. Engineer was told otherwise. Board is using Report as au...

    Matthew’s Answer

    This situation isn't an "Ethics" question, so I am updating the practice area to Real Estate which is the applicable area of law. You need to band together with like minded owners and hire an attorney, at least for consultative purposes. However, this situation need not necessarily see the inside of a courtroom. What you will likely need to do is work within the confines of the HOA covenants. You will want to convene a special meeting of members either to vote on the underlying issue or to oust the existing board members. That is going to be a lot of work (but you are trading time for money...if you go the lawsuit route, you are going to have to spend thousands of dollars). Beyond that, there is no way to answer your question with any certainty because we haven't seen the applicable documents. An attorney would need to review the recorded master plan, the owner deeds, the covenants, rules and restrictions, any amendments thereto and board meeting minutes to even start evaluating the situation and your options.

    Now, let's back up and look at this from the big picture. Legal issues aside, is what the board proposing to do a bad thing? Is what the board proposing going to make the community worse or better? Also, you need to think about the alternative scenario. Let's assume you are right and the individual homeowners have certain responsibilities with regard to their property (or community property). The HOA can ENFORCE that. So, if the engineer report says that the sidewalks on Bleeker Street need XYZ done to them, and the drainage adjacent to 221 Baker Street needs to be redone...the HOA board can demand the homeowners make the improvement, at the homeowner's expense, give them a reasonable time to do it, and if the homeowners don't comply, then start assessing fines and penalties. I am not sure the alternative is really better for you.

    Also, I think you might be conflating the idea of "ownership" and "responsibility." In your question's title you talk about the HOA infringing on fee simple, individually owned property, but in the body of the question, you talk about areas that are frequently considered commonly owned, or community property (party walls, sidewalks, etc) but that the covenants merely put the burden of maintance and upkeep on the individual owner adjacent to the property. Responsibility does not imply ownership. Now, if the covenants do assign responsibility, it is in open question whether the board can assume responsibility on its own vote or whether it needs to call a member vote to do so? Again, the covenants will answer that question.

    The thing is, even if you are right, it may not be a fight worth having. You need to get with a real estate attorney that knows HOA issues and go over the situation with them.

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