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Richard Leigh Boyer
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Richard Boyer’s Answers

223 total


  • My question is about late fees and harassment

    My room mate moved out and I can not afford the monthly rent. Each month the rent is late as there are still a few months on the lease. Landlord said I could take till the 15th to pay the rent. I am charged an additional 100.00 late fee for bei...

    Richard’s Answer

    If your former roommate is on the lease you should hold him/her responsible for a portion of the rent. If that is not the case, or it isn't possible to obtain any money from former roommate, you will need to deal with the LL yourself, and will be solely responsible for the rent. If the LL said you could take till the 15th to pay rent, you should not be pestered if the rent isn't received until then. The late fee amount and date when it will be imposed is strictly limited to what is in the lease. If it is silent as to a late fee, or if it states a different amount, that is what will govern, unless the two of you agreed in writing to different terms. If the $100 late fee is stated in the lease agreement, it still may not be enforceable if it is excessive. Excessive late fees can be considered impermissible liquidated damages. Whether it is excessive depends on amount of rent and other factors. It does sound like she is harassing you, which is strictly prohibited. You should tell her to stop harassing you, and that if she doesn't you will take her to court. If you end up doing that and prevail, you could obtain some penalties against her. I would need lots more details to determine your chances of prevailing on the LL's conduct.

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  • If a CCP 998 offer to defendants is made and rejected for $70,000 and at trail the jury awards plaintiff $69,000 plus another

    $10000 in punitive damages, is the Punitive award considered toward the total judgement when considering awards of cost/fees under 998?

    Richard’s Answer

    Yes, you bet. Nice job on obtaining the punees, and it sounds like the case was perfectly evaluated by whomever decided to make the 998 for $70k. Way to go. Of course, as always, you will have to withstand a challenge to the propriety of your 998, and a Motion to Tax Costs, but hopefully everything was done properly, your costs and fees are reasonable and authorized, and you will get paid in due course. Best of luck!

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  • Am I going to jail.

    I have 1 count perjury and 2 counts welfare fraud against me. I already have an agreement to pay the money back and have been doing so but they filed charges in san bernardino county anyways. Am i going to jail.

    Richard’s Answer

    "Am I going to jail?" is a question I hope I never have to ask. But if my freedom was at risk I would run as fast as I could to the best criminal defense lawyer I could afford. You don't want to rely on free advice from the internet. You need a lawyer who can look at all your evidence, hear all the facts, and provide an informed opinion. If you truly are at risk of jail time, your lawyer will know the steps you need to take to avoid or minimize such jail time. If "they" have filed charges, "they" must be serious about trying to punish you. I wouldn't leave this matter to chance, if I were you.

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  • How do I terminate contract with wedding vendor due to lack of communications?

    We booked a DJ on March 2012 for our March 2013 and paid him $1000 in deposit, and today was the first time we heard from him after months and months of email and phone call attempts that he never returned. We've lost total confidence in him and d...

    Richard’s Answer

    Look to your written contract for the way to terminate the contract. If it doesn't say, then send him a letter, certified, return receipt requested, stating that you are terminating the contract based on his failure to communicate and that you demand a refund of your entire deposit within 30 days. Do not pay him anything else, and immediately hire another planner, so you don't foul up your wedding plans. Document everything with the bad planner. If he doesn't return your deposit in the thirty days, file a small claims action to require him to return your deposit. Since it is less than six months from your March wedding, it is possible that the small claims judge won't find in your favor, but there is good chance he/she will on these facts. Just make sure you have good documentation that the guy wasn't communicating with you for all these months, and that you can convincingly show that his conduct was unreasonable on the terms of the contract. I think the penalty of 50% of the entire balance would be deemed punitive and unenforceable. If the amount of the entire contract exceeds $10,000, you may want to hire a lawyer to look carefully at your contract and advise you.

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  • How can you take someone to small claims court without knowing their current address?

    I was living with someone who stole $4000 worth of things from me and i dont know how to handle the situation

    Richard’s Answer

    The short answer is that you can't. As mentioned by one of the other lawyers, you can pay someone to find the person. You will need some basic information about the person you are looking for - the more information you have the better. Most folks can be found, but sometimes it costs a bit to find them. You can do a lot of research on the internet these days for not too much money. Check social media sites, contact mutual acquaintances, send an inquiry to your local post office requesting a forwarding address, check court records to see if they are a party in a legal action. And if it's worth it to you, you can hire a private investigator to find the person. That will cost you between $65 and $500.

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  • Concerning a condo unit on the 2nd floor with hardwood floors,i live beneath,do i have rights concerning noise level ?

    i've asked them to lay rugs but they refuse .

    Richard’s Answer

    You may have rights. I have been involved in construction defect lawsuits where the HOA sued the developer for failing to design and construct the flooring system to provide a sufficient sound attenuation level. Building codes provide the acceptable levels. Also, I am aware of HOA's where the CC&R's (the governing documents) prohibit 2nd level unit owners from installing hardwood floors without proving they will install sound-attenuating underlayment. So, you should first look at your CC&R's to see whether this issue is addressed. If not, and your project is less than ten years old, you should explore with the Board of Directors whether a demand to the original builder is warranted. If you are beyond 10 years since the Notice of Completion was recorded on your project, you should heed Atty. Juarez's advice and buy your upstairs neighbor an area rug.

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  • Word document embedded with emails, reliable evidence?

    Defendant sends a word document of many pages - it periodically consists of emails that are cut and paste. Which means they could have modified it. What reasons can be given to object to this word document likely presented as a hard copy of evid...

    Richard’s Answer

    I agree with Atty. Daymude. If the defendant intends to introduce this document as evidence at a hearing, it is likely subject to hearsay and authentication objections. The point you mention, that the cut and paste nature of the document implies subjective editing will be apparent to any judge. But without knowing more about the document, the purpose for which it is offered as evidence, and the nature of the proceeding at which it will be offered, it is impossible for a lawyer to provide any specific advice.

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  • What are next steps when renter hasn't paid rent and refuses to answer email/phone/door?

    We have a house in Lemon Grove, the renters are usually a little late with rent. This month we haven't heard from them at all, we call, email, and even had friends go over to the house. We live in Pasadena and are older so we don't have the ener...

    Richard’s Answer

    NO. You do not need to wait until they are 30 days late. You can and should serve them with a 3 day notice to pay or quit right now. You cannot afford to wait any longer, because it could take 45 days or longer to actually force them to move out. Even if you move fast, you had better plan on being unable to re-rent the property to a paying tenant until at least February 1, 2013. Whether you are able to recoup unpaid rent from these tenants is doubtful, but not impossible. As the other lawyers said, you should not wait any longer to hire a lawyer to assist you in evicting these tenants. These cases don't improve with time.

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  • Can I get a continuance pertinent to removing so called abandoned vehicles on my property in San Diego?

    I received a"Notice to Remove public Nuisance Vehicle" and given 10 days to comply. I need more time to comply. Muni code 81.10 and 22660

    Richard’s Answer

    You need to contact the entity that served the notice and find out when they intend to enforce the Notice. Most of the time Notices such as this do not get acted upon at the first opportunity; it sometimes takes days or weeks before someone checks to see if you have voluntarily complied. However, don't count of that. Make the effort of contacting the police or whichever entity served the notice (Zoning? Code Enforcement?) to speak with them. They may be able to grant a continuance to a specific day you agree to have the vehicles removed. If they demand you stick to the short time period, your only other option is to obtain a TRO to prohibit enforcement. These are not cheap or easy to get, though, so I would only go that route if there is a lot of money at issue. And it isn't something you can do yourself if you are not a lawyer.

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  • Can a landlord release information about lease application without consent.

    my landlord discusses info with potential roomate instead of contacting me for information needed for application.

    Richard’s Answer

    The answer to your question depends on what kind of information about you that is being released and under what circumstances it was provided to the landlord. For instance, the landlord cannot release your private financial information, social security number, any private health information (although, this kind of information is not likely in the possession of your landlord), and certain other personal information for which you have a legal right to privacy. In addition, if the information was provided to your landlord with the express provision that it would not be released to others without your permission, you could prohibit the release of broader categories of information.

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