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Robert Adam Meyers

Robert Meyers’s Answers

158 total


  • A business was sold but the buyer's wife wants more money and says it was sold without her consent. What to do in this case?

    On the purchase and sale paper, it has the signatures of couple B and husband A, but there was no notary because the business and the lease were on couple B's name. The transaction was done and new lease was created. 4 months later, wife B said it...

    Robert’s Answer

    Obligatory caveats: Your questions ultimately appear to involve issues of family law, and I'm not a family law attorney. (Above, I identified your questions as "family law" questions in an effort to alert the family law attorneys about your questions.) Also, based on my fundamental understanding of family law, we don't really have enough facts to give you well-informed, concrete answers. Those caveats aside, here are some basic insights for you that might help to shed some light on the issues for you:

    First, it's critical to know whether the business was Couple B's community property. If the business was not Couple B's community property, then Husband B was likely at liberty to sell the business to Couple A without Wife B's consent, and Wife B would likely have an uphill battle to challenge the sale.

    Second, if the business was Couple B's community property, it's critical to know whether Wife B participated in the management of the business. If Wife B did not participate in the management of the business, then by statute, Husband B would not have needed Wife B's consent to sell the business, and Wife B would likely have an uphill battle to challenge the sale. If Wife B did participate in the management of the business, then Husband B needed Wife B's consent to sell the business.

    Third, if the business was Couple B's community property, and if Wife B participated in the management of the business (such that Husband B needed Wife B's consent to sell the business), then subject to certain exceptions, the sale of the business is "voidable" and Wife B would have the option to void the sale. If she chose to void the sale, Couple B would need to return the proceeds of the sale to Couple A.

    Fourth, if Wife B chose to void the sale, I doubt (but am not certain) that Couple A would automatically be entitled to recover the "money they've put in the business" together with the price that Couple A paid for the business. More likely, I'd bet that Couple A would need to pursue Husband B separately for any damages over and beyond the price paid for the business, such as the amount of money that Couple A put in to the business, any potential damages arising from the new lease, etc.

    As the insights above suggest, depending on the specific facts, each of these issues also potentially gives rise to a variety of "sub issues." Because of this, bottom line, I agree with the other attorney that it would behoove you to consult with an attorney in person about your questions, so that the attorney could delve into the facts and perhaps give you a better sense of what your options and prospects are. But, I hope this helps a bit for now.

    Best of luck.

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  • What are my options when a car rental company wants to charge me for damages that occurred prior to me renting the vehicle?

    I rented a car from Fort Lauderdale airport and used it for 5 days. On my return to the airport the tire blew out while I was at a stoplight. I used the spare tire and returned the car on time. They now want to charge me for a new tire, rim and ti...

    Robert’s Answer

    Practical suggestions first:

    1. If you haven't already, talk to a manager at the rental car company. Explain that you weren't in a collision - and in fact, they'd rented a car to you that wasn't suitable for driving, and that the blowout and follow-on dispute about the cause of the blowout has greatly inconvenienced you as a customer. The manager might very well be willing to drop the issue over $500.

    2. If you rented the car using a credit card, check the terms of service or call the company to see whether your card includes damage-related coverage on auto rentals. I know that it's pretty common for Visa cards to include such coverage automatically. If your card includes such coverage, you could make a claim and hopefully wash your hands of it.

    As for your legal options, if you paid with a credit card, and if the company charges your card, and if your card company doesn't cover auto damage, you could either dispute the charge on your card, or pay under protest and sue in small claims court to recover the $500. There are some potential downsides to either approach. If you dispute the charge and your credit card company agrees and declines payment, the company could still pursue you for damages in court or through a collections agency. If you were to pay them under protest and sue in small claims court, you'd arguably need to sue in Florida, which would presumably be cost prohibitive.

    Other alternatives might be to notify the consumer protection division of the Florida attorney general's office and/or to notify the Better Business Bureau. Neither would adjudicate the dispute, but notifying those entities can help to leverage a business into doing what's right.

    Hope that helps a bit. Good luck.

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  • I need to file summons and complaint forms

    I tried looking on the Spokane and Washington court websites and all they had were forms for small claims. This does not work in which I need to bring a general civil case against somebody for $75,000, and not the max of $5,000 of small claims. I ...

    Robert’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    The state district courts and superior courts won't literally have "forms" (I.e., worksheets) to complete, but there are resources through which you can find "examples."

    First, a summons must include certain specific language for it to be valid. I've pasted a link to Civil Rule 4, which includes that language:

    http://www.courts.wa.gov/court_rules/?fa=court_rules.display&group=sup&set=cr&ruleid=supcr04

    Second, if you go to the county law library, it will likely have the Washington Practice desk book series. It has a volume that includes various sample complaints.

    Hope that helps.

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  • Can a attorney serve me summary judgement by mail without his signature on motion? but has certified letter from paralegal. WA

    I received a letter in the mail to appear at court. There is no signature on the motion Just the letter of mailing from paralegal.

    Robert’s Answer

    The rules of every court require an attorney to sign a pleading such as a summary judgment motion. However, I'd be shocked if any court would strike a motion or deny a motion because an attorney neglected to sign it. So, it would behoove you to address the merits and substance of the motion and to appear in court.

    It's typically also advisable to retain counsel to handle such tasks. If you're in a position to retain counsel and are inclined to do that, you'd want to jump on it ASAP to give your attorney time to respond to the motion.

    Best of luck.

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  • If a contacted it signed in WA state with a provider based in NY, can the provider sue in NY or must they sue in WA?

    A few years ago I had a business and required the ability to accept credit cards, I signed up for the use of a credit card machine and processing. The provider who did not explain that regardless of if I closed my business and returned their hard...

    Robert’s Answer

    I agree with Mr. Hawkins that you should first read your contract carefully. It might include a "consent to jurisdiction" clause through which you agreed to subject yourself to the jurisdiction of a NY court. If your contract does include such a clause, that clause is likely enforceable, and the company can likely proceed with the suit against you in New York.

    If your contract doesn't include a consent to jurisdiction clause, the issue becomes more complicated. In that event, New York State's "long-arm statute" will control whether a New York court can exercise personal jurisdiction over you. Based on your very brief recitation of the facts, I'd say it's likely that the company has a viable *argument* that a New York court can exercise personal jurisdiction over you. (Stated differently, it isn't crystal clear to me that the company may *not* commence the suit against you in NY.) It's also likely that you'd have viable counterarguments, and/or that you might have an argument that the court should *decline* to exercise personal jurisdiction over you. Of course, a fundamental practical problem is that you'd need to make those arguments in the NY court.

    Best of luck, and I hope this helps a bit.

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  • How can you recover a dog from an individual that will not give the dog back if you are the leagal owner of the dog.

    Individual was watching the dog for 4 months and agreed to return the dog at that time. Now they are claiming the dog as their own and it's been 5 months. Sheriffs patrol did a stand by with not results. Civil Court stated that there is paperwork ...

    Robert’s Answer

    1. In Washington State, you can only file a small claims court action to recover money damages. Here, because you want your dog back, and assuming that the other individual is also in Washington State, you would need to file a lawsuit in state district court or superior court.

    2. Washington statutes dictate the specific county in which you may file your lawsuit in district court or superior court. Depending on the specific circumstances of your case, you might have more than one option. But, at a minimum, you could definitely file your suit in a district court or superior court in the county in which the dog is located.

    3. Once you figure out which state district court or superior court would be appropriate for your action, that court's civil rules will almost certainly be available online. You'd need to find the rules, read them carefully, and follow them carefully to begin and proceed with your litigation.

    Best of luck, and I hope this helps to get you started.

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  • Can I be fired over nude photos?

    I am not a teacher or anything, I work as a graphic designer in a studio. I made a mistake when I was younger, and was wondering if I could potentially be fired over something like that. I was told that it would likely be illegal for them to do th...

    Robert’s Answer

    If you don't have an employment contract, then you're an "at will" employee who can be fired for any reason that does not violate public policy. In Washington, it would violate public policy to fire someone because of immutable traits such as age, gender, race, etc. It's highly unlikely that it would violate public policy to fire someone over nude photos. So, technically, if you don't have an employment contract, an employer could probably legally fire you over nude photos.

    That said, as a practical reality, it's tough for me to imagine why a graphic design firm would fire you over something like that.

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  • Is there case law for Washington State that indicates that a person being served, has no duty, to assist a process server/plaint

    I thought I remembered reading some case law a few years ago, possibly just a decision in general, where the court stated that the subject of the serve (presumably the Defendant/Respondent), had no duty to assist or provide valid contact informati...

    Robert’s Answer

    1. You haven't identified the court in which your litigation is venued. However, certain courts specifically require that pleadings include the address, phone number, and e-mail address of the person who signed the pleading. See, e.g., Rule 11(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Your court's rules are almost certainly available online, so you can check to see whether your court would require you to divulge your contact information in your answer.

    2. By statute, the plaintiff has the burden of properly serving a defendant with process. Nothing in the law requires a defendant to accept service.

    3. That said, by statute, a plaintiff may serve a summons by publication if he can persuade a judge that the defendant is concealing himself in an effort to avoid service of process. Moreover, as a practical reality, it isn't that hard to persuade a judge that a defendant is purposely evading service. So, there is indeed a risk that you could be served by publication. In light of this, in most instances, I agree with Mr. Kelly that going out of one's way to avoid or evade service is risky and a waste of energy. (One notable caveat: If the statute of limitations were going to expire very soon, then that might affect my analysis of this issue.)

    Hope that helps, and best of luck.

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  • The neighboring condo complex owns a tree that fell on my car. I had the damage accessed and repair shop said it's a total loss.

    Are they responsible for giving me fair market value for my car?

    Robert’s Answer

    1. They're quite possibly responsible for the damage, so it would definitely be worthwhile to contact the condo HOA about your damages. It likely has liability insurance that would be on the risk for damages like yours. Also, if you have comprehensive coverage on your auto, it would likely cover damage to your car from a fallen tree.

    2. Because your car is a total loss, the measure of your damages is the actual cash value of your car, plus sales tax, plus pro rated licensing fees.

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  • Intentional act exclusion for permissive driver

    WA state question. I was rear ended by a pick up truck later found driver was not the owner but owner accepted the permission given to driver. I am worried that owner's insurance company will use 'intentional act exclusion' to deny paying to ...

    Robert’s Answer

    1. All terms, conditions, and exclusions of the insurance policy would likely apply to a permissive driver as they would apply to the owner of the car.

    2. Unless the permissive driver intentionionally rear ended you, I'm not sure how the intentional acts exclusion would apply. To me, the bigger question is whether the permissive driver can be insured under the policy given that he was evidently driving with a suspended license.

    3. Washington State recognizes a cause of action for "negligent entrustment." Here, you might have a viable argument that the owner negligently entrusted his vehicle to the driver who rear ended you. The owner's auto insurance or homeowners insurance might cover the owner for damages relating to such a cause of action.

    4. If the driver is uninsured, you should check to see whether your insurance policy includes uninsured motorists coverage. If it does, you would likely have a claim under your own insurance policy.

    Hope this helps.

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