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Stephen Clark Harkess

Stephen Harkess’s Answers

8,031 total


  • Is this legal for a 501c3 to do?

    Our towns softball league is a 501c3 in Illinois. Recently they decided not to raise the fee for registration. They then were trying to sell $25 dollar tickets to a steak dinner that was positioned as a fund raiser. Since nobody bought tickets the...

    Stephen’s Answer

    Extortion? If the organization didn't raise enough money through the fund raiser and the parents don't pay extra at registration, how do you think the softball league will cover its expenses? The money has to come from somewhere.

    Essentially the fee went up by $50 and you get free dinner tickets. You can always try to sell the tickets to someone else and recoup the money. That way the league gets funded and you won't have to pay any extra. Alternatively, if the league is too expensive, you can just not register.

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  • Do I have legal right to sue this company for what I believe is negligence?

    Hello, My car recently got tboned by a drunk driver. After getting the repairs done I noticed that the car did not sound the same or drive the same. I took it back to the repair shop that fixed it and they assured me it was fine. After driving ...

    Stephen’s Answer

    You can sue anyone for anything. However, to win you will need evidence that a defect in the repair caused your accident. Did someone examine the car after the accident? Do you have a mechanic who can testify that a negligent repair caused the accident? Unless you have this sort of evidence, you don't have much of a case.

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  • I want to sue them

    I am having brake work done on my mercury sable from farm and fleet I was quoted 3 to 4 hrs to get done I signed a repair order for 315.46 after more than 4 hrs I called and they stated that they broke a brake line and that it will take till the n...

    Stephen’s Answer

    You can sue anyone for anything at any time. Of course you will likely miss more work to go to court and you won't recover anything for that. You will have to decide whether recovering the cost of the break line is worth your time.

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  • Should we pursue damages in small claims from the driver, or try to sue the main person on the insurance policy?

    My car was hit at a stoplight and a full police report was given that we were not at fault. The driver of the vehicle that hit us was 'specifically excluded' from driving that vehicle on the policy. Therefore, their insurance wouldn't cover the...

    Stephen’s Answer

    If you end up in court you should sue both the driver and the owner of the vehicle - one for negligence in operating the vehicle and the other for negligent entrustment. There is likely a reason that the driver was excluded from the insurance.

    If there were no physical injuries then small claims may make sense. If you had any injuries you should speak with a personal injury attorney before you file anything.

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  • How do I start a small claims for medical, pain and suffering? Thank you for your time.

    I am disabled and own a 14yr old service dog. Last June -2015- we were attacked by a much larger dog in our complex. I immediately contacted animal control and was taken to the hospital, by ambulance, within the hour. I was diagnosed with a torn r...

    Stephen’s Answer

    If you are going to file a small claims case you can find forms and instructions on the Colorado Judicial Branch website or at the county court clerk's office. However, it sounds like your damages may exceed the small claims limits so if the Defendant has insurance it might be a better idea to contact a personal injury attorney and file in county or district court.

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  • I am wondering if I have any legal action against him that I can take?

    I am trying to find a lawyer that will be able to help me. I got divorced about 3 1/2 years ago. My ex-husband took on the credit card debt, which I failed to get written into the divorce decree. He paid off the $30,000 debt once, but befor...

    Stephen’s Answer

    Have you called the credit card company and asked to close out the account? That would be the way to end the cycle.

    As for dealing with the current debt, I'm not sure you have a lot of good options. You could pay the debt off yourself and then sue your ex to get paid back, but that would be expensive.

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  • I would like to file a motion to modify parenting time and child support that will win

    I filed for a parenting plan in Jefferson County in July of 2015, the order was finalized in October of 2015. Basically i got screwed. The judge awarded me only 3 weekends per month paying child support to my childs father in the amount of 431 pe...

    Stephen’s Answer

    You didn't actually ask a question...

    In order to file a successful motion to modify you need to show the Court that there has been a substantial change of circumstances since the last order was entered.

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  • What do i need to do in order to move out and get my name off the mortgage

    my in law and me currently have our names on the mortgage. my spouse and me are moving out but the in-laws want us to pay them for leaving instead of refinancing my name off the mortgage. am i supposed to pay them for me leaving or are they suppos...

    Stephen’s Answer

    First, in the future you should never enter into a joint ownership of real estate with anyone except your spouse unless you have a written agreement that outlines what you are going to do with the property and how it will be disposed of.

    Since you didn't do that, you will need to work out something now - which is much harder once things are going awry. You cannot get your name off the mortgage unless you pay the mortgage in full, someone else refinances the mortgage into their name, or you sell the property. If your in-laws intend to keep the property then you need to discuss how they are going to take care of the mortgage. You really should insist that they refinance the loan within a reasonable time or that they sell the property and you should get any promises you receive in writing.

    You should figure out if there is any equity in the property. If the property is worth more than is owed, then it would make sense for whoever the property is signed over to to pay something to cash out the other owner's equity.

    If you cannot work out an agreement regarding the property, you will likely need to push to have the property sold and any gain or loss divided among the owners.

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  • Can my ex win a contempt of court against me for violating the Parenting agreement if all changes to the agreement were mutual?

    My ex has filed a petition with the court stating I have violated the parenting agreement. Any changes we have made to the established court order have been mutually agreed to beforehand. He also mailed the petition to an old address of mine, so I...

    Stephen’s Answer

    You cannot be held in contempt unless your ex can prove that you have been personally served with the citation and the order to show cause signed by a judge. Mailing some or all of the documents to you is not sufficient. In order to ask for contempt sanctions, he will have to provide a return of service that someone swears to under oath stating that you were personally served with the paperwork.

    That said, actually changing court orders issued by a judge requires the approval of a judge. You don't have the power to change a judge's orders by yourself, even with the agreement of your ex. A judge is not likely to be interested in punishing you for something that your ex agreed to, but you always run a risk if you don't follow a court's orders and do not ask to have a judge approve changes.

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  • What Can I Do If My Ex Is Using Child Support For Himself And Not Our Daughter?

    What happens if my ex is not using Child Support for our daughter? I pay $600/month, and he refused to pay for the doctor, her clothes are old, etc. Yet, he goes to an expensive gym, on vacations (without our daughter), he always wears new cloth...

    Stephen’s Answer

    It is possible that there is something you can do, but to start you will do far better if you focus on your daughter instead of focusing on money.

    Colorado law does have a provision by which you can request an accounting of the use of child support funds, but in truth you will be hard pressed to find a judge that wants to sift though such things or listen to arguments about micromanaging the child support payments. Such an argument is not going to get you anywhere with a judge.

    That said, if you can make the case that your ex is not caring for the child appropriately and that you could do a better job, then you can focus on the child and ask the Court to modify the parenting time orders and allow the child to spend more time with you so that you can provide the things that you believe are lacking in your ex's care. This will (if successful) also result in modifying child support, but it has the advantage that you get to approach the Court as a concerned and caring parent rather than a bitter cheapskate.

    If this is important to you, you should hire an experienced family law attorney to work with you.

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