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Stephen Clark Harkess

Stephen Harkess’s Answers

7,116 total


  • What type of attorney should I consult with?

    A little under 2 months now I had taken my vehicle into an auto shop to get fixed. I first got quoted 800 and then later it turned into 1800. Then the guy has never attempted to contact me on the progress, which I had to do even though every time ...

    Stephen’s Answer

    There are attorneys who specialize in automobile claims. I usually refer clients to Rick Wynkoop for this sort of claim.

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  • How much will I pay in restitution

    I have been convicted of misdemeanor theft and now await my restitution hearing. Can a judge require that I pay MORE restitution than the amount of the theft

    Stephen’s Answer

    Restitution will only cover the actual out of pocket losses that the judge believes the victim incurred. Unless the victim shows that your crime causes other damage, restitution will only cover the value of the property the judge believes to have been stolen.

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  • Can my employer fire me for not signing a "Mutual Agreement to Arbitrate Claims"?

    The language says it is voluntary but if I don't sign it, I will be terminated.

    Stephen’s Answer

    Absent a binding employment agreement, your employment is voluntary (on both sides) as well. You can quit or your employer can fire you for any reason.

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  • My Nephew pays child support but she don't let him see them he wants to go to court to get custody

    He went to prison past two years working doing good pays child support working on goals to buy house fix credit . Does his prison record defeat his chance. If he were to pick up kids for visit and keep them would he go to jail? She hasn't had a s...

    Stephen’s Answer

    No, a prison record does not mean that he will not be able to see his children. Being a convicted felon is not a feather in his cap, but if he is serious about being involved in his child's life he can make that happen. Going to pick up the kids and keeping them, however, is not the right way to go about things. It is very likely to touch off a series of events that will land him back in prison.

    What your nephew needs to do is to hire an attorney and file to establish or modify parenting time orders. If he has been apart from the children for a significant period of time, he needs to understand that there is likely to be a period of integration before he has a regular unsupervised parenting schedule. However, if he keeps clean and if being a father to his children is important to him, he can make that happen.

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  • Husband entered marriage with nothing but his clothes, laptop and car. Do I need to disclose value for what I owned prior?

    Everything he used is and was mine prior to marriage or inherited when my parents passed. I gave him everything he owned and left at my house when we separated over a year ago.

    Stephen’s Answer

    Yes. You need to disclose everything you own. If you fail to do so, you are giving your husband the power to reopen and re argue your divorce orders at any time in the next 5 years. Is that really something you want to give him the power to do?

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  • Can I take an evacuated tennant to court?

    She said that she was going to move out due to a rent increase. The lease is on a month to month basis and must give 30 days written notice to move out. She was informed of this and then gave a 30 day written notice on June 15th. In this notice sh...

    Stephen’s Answer

    First, you need to make sure that you properly account for the security deposit in writing with 30 days (or up to 60 days if your written lease so provides). If you screw this up, you may end up owing the tenant significant money even though she damaged the apartment.

    AFTER you properly account for the deposit, if you are still owed money you can sue the tenant. You will need to determine whether it will be worth the time and money to pursue as people who don't pay their rent are often difficult to collect from even after you get a judgment.

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  • Do I have any legal recourse for $upport? Best route for amicable settlement when $upporter aims for quick amicable result?

    Been receiving significant supplemental support from boyfriend for four years and moved in 8 months ago relocating a child and putting home for sale transferred jobs to do it. Promises were unfulfilled and as it turns out he is unable to see the f...

    Stephen’s Answer

    If you didn't agree to be married (and both hold yourself out as married) then you have no right to spousal support. Your only claim would be under a theory of "palimony". Palimony is where you can show an agreement for your boyfriend to support you which you relied on and which was given in exchange for actions he wanted you to take. Such cases are extremely difficult to win and are not likely to be quick or amicable. You have to convince a court that he made specific promises to you that you reasonable relied on.

    In truth, your best bet for a quick and amicable settlement is to talk to him and convince him that - morally - he owes you something and convince him to give it to you. There are no guidelines for a fair number because such an agreement is up to the two of you. From a legal standpoint, you are not likely entitled to anything. You need to convince him to voluntarily give you what you want.

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  • I have am charged disorderly conduct because someone yelled at me and I yelled back and swore. How do I press charges on them?

    I was letting my disabled wife with her oxygen tank out of the car in front of a store. A woman pulled behind us, honked, and then pulled along side and started yelling at me. I told her what we were doing and she said she didn't f'ng care. We ...

    Stephen’s Answer

    You cannot press charges. You can make a police report, but filing of charges is up to the police or the District Attorney.

    What you need to do is to sit down with an attorney. You may have a defense to the charge that can be presented to a jury.

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  • What if husband doesn't disclose financial info to me during divorce? He's never disclosed his finances to me in the beginning

    He's always been secretive in everything. I'm also missing my tax forms as I had two days to pack a whole house and move. I don't know where they are at the moment

    Stephen’s Answer

    If your husband does not provide you with accurate information then you have five years to come back and challenge the division of debts and assets after the divorce if you learn of assets that he failed to disclose during the divorce.

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  • Lease states security deposit return with 60 days of move out. Check not received within 60 days. Demand letter sent.

    2 days after the demand letter was sent security refund was received postmarked 10 days after the 60 day period. Have dispute on items but as was returned after 60 days what am I entitled to?

    Stephen’s Answer

    You can argue that you are entitled to return of the entire security deposit. If you received less than the entire deposit, then you could pursue a claim for three times the amount that was wrongfully withheld. Keep in mind that the landlord will likely file a counterclaim for any damages they believe they can prove. You will have to decide whether the likely outcome makes this worth pursuing. It really depends on how much of the deposit was withheld.

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