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Stephen Clark Harkess

Stephen Harkess’s Answers

7,469 total

  • How can i prove in small claims items 1.were in vehicle 2.were damaged as a result when driver crashed into me

    driver at fault ins wont imburse me 1500 worth of property in my trunk when he shortened my car by 4feet. i have pictures that show the after math of the accident and vehicle. they show some general indication of items inside. also pics of eac...

    Stephen’s Answer

    Your primary means of proving your case will be your testimony. If the judge believes you, then you should be in good shape. Your biggest challenge is to establish the value of the property. You need to be able to tell the court when you acquired the property and how you came up with the value.

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  • How do I go about doing things right for fighting for full custody for my child?

    Hello my name is Melissa Toney and I recently broke up with my boyfriend I was told that if I let him keep the baby that I can get in trouble for an abandonment I don't want to keep the baby from him I don't know what to do this is my first child ...

    Stephen’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    First, you were "told" by who? Were they an attorney? You need to be selective about who you take legal advice from.

    Second, you need to understand that "full custody" is not a legally recognized term and what most people think it means (that the child is with you full time and the other parent has no rights) is a very unlikely outcome. You and the child's father each have rights with respect to the child and you will need to work out a parenting time arrangement that the court finds to be in the best interest of the child.

    You do need to go to court and get actual orders entered. It would be a good idea to work with an experienced family law attorney. Until you get court orders in place, either parent has the ability to take the child from anyone other than the other parent. This can lead to a messy tug of war that is bad for everyone.

    Although you and your boyfriend have broken up, you will still need to find a way to work together to raise your child.

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  • How do I go about suing a police department for not doing there job right

    I took my daughter in to report that she was sexually abused by her father. Also there were clothes that had stuff on that could be evidence that we took in as well. The cop said he would turn them over to the forensics to get DNA and let me know ...

    Stephen’s Answer

    In addition to the excellent suggestions of Mr. Holloway, it is worth noting that you have one other option. If you can develop evidence to support the allegations, you can sue the abuser on behalf of your daughter. Sexual assault is a civil wrong as well as a crime. The burden of proof in a civil case is lower than in a criminal prosecution (preponderance of the evidence v. proof beyond a reasonable doubt). It may even be possible to have a private lab perform the tests that you believe the police failed to do.

    Whether undertaking to pursue a case yourself would actually be worth the effort and expense would depend on many things - including the age of your daughter and whether the father has any earnings or assets to pursue. However, it is an option.

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  • My roommate abused my pet, he is also behind in rent. He is not on the lease. How fast can I evict him?

    He is month to month, only has a verbal agreement, he isn't on any bills. I want him out ASAP and do not feel comfortable in my own home now.

    Stephen’s Answer

    If he is behind on rent, you will need to give him a 3 day notice and then file an eviction complaint with the Court.

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  • Is there anything that I can do to argue that I shouldn't be liable for this debt because it was a voluntary repo?

    i voluntarily gave my van back to the bank in august because I could no longer make the payments on it. They only sold the van for the amount I was behind and say that I am liable for the rest. I am only working part time....i even had to have my ...

    Stephen’s Answer

    Generally, inability to pay is not a legal defense to a debt. You signed papers agreeing to pay for the vehicle when the money was you purchased the car and you cannot simply give the car back and walk away later. After you drive the car, it is worth less than you paid for it and the finance company is entitled to seek payment from you so that they don't have to absorb that loss.

    If you can demonstrate that the sale of the vehicle after the repossession was done in an unreasonable manner, resulting in an unusually low purchase price and an unreasonably high deficiency then you might have a legal defense to the debt. However, if the finance company did what they reasonably could to get their money back from the sale of the car, then you still owe the rest of the money you borrowed under the terms of the contract you agreed to.

    If the debt is more than you can handle, you can seek to have the debt discharged in bankruptcy.

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  • Can I get a motion to stay writ of restitution?

    I got a writ of restitution on Friday 11/20/15 that I was supposed to be out by 11/22/15 but because it was the weekend I can't find a place to stay. I attended the original hearing but I did not know I was supposed to answer prior to the hearing....

    Stephen’s Answer

    Probably not. It might have been possible to buy a little more time in court if you filed an answer, but at this point, the judge is finished with his or her work. All that remains is for the sheriff to come out and supervise the removal of your property. The judge is unlikely to withdraw the writ after it has issued. Your inability to find somewhere else to go is not a legal justification to stay in the landlord's property once it has been determined that you were not in full compliance with the lease.

    The landlord does have the power to postpone the sheriff's arrival or cancel the move-out altogether. However, even if you pay what you owe, the landlord is not legally obligated to let you stay at this point. If you can get the landlord to agree to let you stay, you should try to get the landlord to promise to cancel the move-out in exchange for the immediate payment of everything you owe.

    If you cannot get hold of the landlord and reach an understanding, you need to start prioritizing your property and get as much of what is valuable to you out of the apartment as soon as you can. Otherwise when the sheriff comes to enforce the writ your property will be placed on the curb, the locks will be changed, and you will have to guard your possessions from the neighbors and other passersby so that your things don't get stolen before you can get them moved somewhere else.

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  • I have a friend who I have been supporting for years. She promised me trust from UK. Can anyone help with email from her only?

    I have a friend who I have been sending money to. She told me that she has a large trust she inherited from her mother. In return for me supporting her, she would reimburse me, yet now she is pulling crap on me. I figured she was a friend, but did...

    Stephen’s Answer

    In order to pursue legal action against her, you will likely have to contact an attorney (a solicitor) in England. it is unlikely that a case filed here will do you much good unless you know that she has assets in the United States. If she actually has access to money then it might be possible for a solicitor in England to help you hire an investigator and pursue a claim against her.

    As for bankruptcy, you won't be able to find an attorney who can afford to work for you without getting paid. However, you can often discharge tens of thousands of dollars in debt for less than $2,000. It is hard to find a better bargain than that.

    On the other hand, if you have less than $10,000 in debt it may not be worth the trouble to file bankruptcy. Further, if you have no income and no assets, you may not need to file bankruptcy even if you have a great deal of debt since you have nothing to protect. Your creditors can only collect money from you if you actually have something of value (the same is true of your potential claim against your English 'friend').

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  • Can my ex spouse keep taking me to court for child custody if he has no intention of winning?

    My ex spouse is repeatably taking me to court over the kids. However he has sent me emails upon emails relating to it, including that he's just doing it to make me broke. He's on disability so he doesn't have to pay for the court expenses. What ca...

    Stephen’s Answer

    Yes, he can probably keep filing and bringing you before the court. Barring someone from access to the court system is a very serious sanction that is hard to impose. However, if you can show the judge that his filings are frivolous and are purely for the purpose of harassment, you may be able to get the judge to enter sanctions against him which could include an order to pay your costs and attorney fees.

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  • Movers and storage facility damaged furniture and lost box

    I had my new furniture in storage for 1.5 years. I recently picked it up and discovered that some things were damaged by the movers and that one box is missing. The box contains, amongst other things, the feet for my couch. I sent an complain and ...

    Stephen’s Answer

    You have a 2 year period to pursue a negligence claim before your claim is barred. If the value of the property that was lost or damaged is less than $7,500 the you will probably want to pursue your claim in small claims court. Incurring the cost of hiring an attorney is not likely to make sense unless the monetary loss is very high.

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  • Can my boyfriend , daughter, and I be evicted for accusations with no proof?

    My boyfriend, child, and I rent from his parents, and they are accusing us of a missing object, although things often go missing and no one says anything... how long(if they even can) do we have to vacate?

    Stephen’s Answer

    It depends on the terms of your tenancy.

    If you have a lease for a defined term (such as a year lease) then you cannot be evicted before the end of that year (or whatever time period you have) unless the landlord (parents) can convince a judge that you violated the terms of the lease. It is unlikely that theft accusations without evidence would be sufficient for this purpose.

    That said, if your lease term is not defined (you did not sign a one year lease or a six month lease, etc) then you are a month to month tenant. This means that either you or the landlord can end the tenancy for any reason by giving a couple weeks notice. When your lease is up, you have to move. It doesn't matter whether the landlord has a good reason to want you out or not.

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