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Jeffrey Alan Lustick
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Jeffrey Lustick’s Answers

335 total


  • How do you file a complaint against a commissioner in king county superior court?

    My father would like to file a complaint against a the commissioner who is overseeing his probate case against one of his siblings regarding their mothers estate. The commissioner refuses to look at and account for the evidence he has provided and...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    A superior court commissioner is judicial officer, similar to an elected judge, who's professional behaviors fall under the jurisdiction of the Washington Commission on Judicial Conduct. If you feel that the court commissioner is acting unfairly, untruthfully, or unprofessionally, you should go to the website: http://www.cjc.state.wa.us/ and take a look at the Code of Judicial Conduct. If after looking at these rules, you still feel that the court commissioner is behaving unethically or unprofessional, you can file a complaint and the commission may investigate it.

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  • I just got my second theft offense how much jail time am i looking at or can i pay instead ofjail?

    Theft 3rd judge asked me to do work crew and a theft class Theft gm is my second theft offense

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    Have you has a lawyer look at this case? Have you already pleaded guilty? Usually a prosecutor may inform an unrepresented defendant what the sentencing recommendation will be is someone pleads guilty to the charge, but usually a judge will ORDER you to preform a sentence and not really ask. If you have not yet plead guilty, you really should consider hiring an attorney or if you are indigent, seek representation from the public defender. Even though this is your second offense, there may be some theft diversion program or a civil compromise which you may be able to get into rather than just pleading guilty. A defense lawyer can tell you if these programs exist and whether or not you may qualify for them.

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  • Can police search a vehicle that isn't yours and you don't give permission to search?

    In company vehicle, pulled over for breaklight. Was arrested for dwls, police wanted to search vehicle. Told them no, was not my vehicle.my passenger went and found owner of vehicle who gave permission to search vehicle. Drugs were found in a coat...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    I hate to say this, but on first look, this sort of search sounds legal. But to be sure, I would need more facts.

    When police search a motor vehicle, they have to have a legal basis to come into the vehicle and search it. The typical bases for searches of this kind are exigent circumstances, having a search warrant issued by a judge, an impound inventory, or because consent of the possessor or the owner of the vehicle was given.

    Exigent circumstances exist when there is some high necessity to conduct the search right away. It must be a situation where people are in imminent danger, or evidence faces imminent destruction, or a suspect's imminent escape. In this case, you do not describe any situation which was an exigent circumstance.

    A search warrant is an order signed by a judge allowing the police to search for particular objects or materials at a specified location and time. Police officers receive warrants by providing a judge or magistrate with information that the officers have gathered. Usually, the police provide the information in the form of written statements under oath, called affidavits, which report either their own observations or those of private citizens or police undercover informants. If the judge or magistrate believes that an affidavit establishes “probable cause” to conduct a search he or she will issue the warrant. Here you do not indicate if a warrant was issued, but that needs to be looked at very soon. Sometimes police get search warrants and you cannot find out about it until later on in the case. All search warrants in a criminal case should be closely reviewed by your defense counsel for possible mistakes and issues.

    Police can also search a vehicle whenever they impound a motor vehicle. (Being arrested for DWLS 3 will allow the police to impound a vehicle, although it rarely happens.) This sort of action is a limited and cursory look into the vehicle just for the limited purposes of locating, cataloging, and possibly removing and safeguarding the contents of the vehicle. The law allows this because in notable past cases, when people have gotten their cars back from impound; things in the car were missing. The impound search protects the police from claims of loss or damage. When doing the inventory search, if the police find any locked or secured object which they want to search, they then have to obtain a warrant. However, if something is found in plain view or in open site, they can seize the item and potentially use it against the suspect.

    Consent is the strongest basis for the police to be able to freely conduct any search. Consent to search need not be issued by an owner; and there have been cases where a visitor to a home happens to answer the door, and a police officer asks for consent to come inside and search. In that situation, if the person is of reasonable age and discretion, the consent to search will generally be valid. Likewise, in your situation, if you do not actually own this vehicle, but were just in possession of it, your unwillingness to consent to the search of the entire vehicle and the contents of the vehicle may not be viewed by the courts as sufficient enough to stop the true vehicle owner from issuing consent.

    Ultimately this will need to be reviewed closely by a defense lawyer who is knowledgeable in criminal law and criminal procedure.

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  • Is the Plaintiff allowed to enter motions for the judges consideration in small claim, in Washington State?

    In Small Claims Court is it common for the judge to entertain motions to rule prior to testimony by the parties? I wanted to cite Tenant-Landlord codes expressing violations such as not returning a deposit consistent with the Act. the landlord ref...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    No, usually in a small claims court case, you get one shot at making your case, which is in court when you actually appear in person in front of the judge presiding over the matter. You can maybe compose a written memo outlining your evidence and the legal points of your case and possibly submit it to the judge ahead of time, but you will need to make sure that the other side gets a copy of what you have submitted well ahead of the court date.

    The reason I say that you can maybe submit this is that in some small claims court, there are rules specifically against submitting written briefs, documents, or letters to the judge in advance. Communications of this kind are problematic in that it can result in hundreds of pages of paperwork being submitted, and the courts just don’t want that sort of stuff from non-lawyers in small claims cases who aren’t trained in the law. Instead, they want it all to unfold in court on the record while both parties to the dispute are present.

    I recommend that you just create an outline to work off of in court when you are presenting your case to the judge. You can list the relevant parts of state law and organize your case in advance. Often people who are no experienced in court will forget to mention important things or worse yet, they will misstate things because they are nervous. Having an outline will keep you on topic and serve to make your case that much stronger when you are presenting it.

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  • What does an anti harassment order do?

    If we get anti harassment order against our neighbor what will it do? He will asked not to contact us? not to take pics of our property? he will be asked not to look at us at all ? not to file complaints about us? not to come in certain distance (...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    Under Washington State Law, a civil anti-harassment order orders one party (the “restrained party”) to stop making contact with the other party (the “protected party”). Depending on the situation, the order will state that the restrained party cannot physically come within a stated amount distance of the protected party, such as 500 feet. However, the orders are enforceable for contact wherever the protected party is. The law also prohibits contact by phone calls, text messages, e-mails, and written communications. Communication from the restrained party to the protected party using some other third person is prohibited as well.

    Another feature of anti-harassment orders is that the court can order the restrained party to surrender firearms and order them to be placed in the protective custody of the police. The restrained person can also be barred from purchasing a firearm and from obtain a concealed pistol license. Finally, the restrained person can be ordered to return property they possess which belongs to the protected party.

    When the situation includes spying, like you mentioned in your question, the court can order that the restrained party cannot place the protected party under surveillance. This would include following the protected party or taking photos or obtaining information about the protected party.
    To obtain an anti-harassment order, you have to go to your local court and file a petition. The petition must be completed correctly and has to contain certain allegations to qualify for issuance of the anti-harassment order. These key elements include:

    Evidence of legal "harassment," which is defined as a series of acts over a period of time which seriously alarms, annoys, harasses, or harms you without “serving a legitimate purpose”; AND which reasonably causes you to suffer substantial emotional distress (harm); or reasonably causes you to fear for the well-being of your child. Keep in mind that a "course of conduct" does not include constitutionally protected activity or constitutionally protected speech.

    As explained above, for the acts to be harassment, they cannot be considered to “serve a legitimate purpose.” To decide if the actions are for a legitimate (valid) purpose, the court will consider whether:
    • the person started the current contact between you two or whether you both contacted each other;
    • the person has been given clear notice that all future contact with you is unwanted;
    • the acts appear designed to alarm, annoy, or harass you;
    • the person is acting to try to protect a legal interest in his/her property, to enforce a law, or to meet a legal obligation;
    • the person’s acts unreasonably interfere with the your privacy or create an intimidating, hostile (unfriendly), or offensive living environment for you;
    • there was a court order in the past that limited the person’s contact with you or your family.

    There is no requirement that you hire a lawyer in order to obtain an anti-harassment order, but because this is a court process which often involves going to court for litigation, you would be well advised to seek legal counsel before filing any paperwork in court.

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  • Can the military not let me In for my mental illness?

    I have really high ADHD AND ADD plus broke my leg when i was younger playing football but my family has served in the military for years every generation sense the Alamo. And now being the last one of my family in this generation I wanted to join...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    Yes, they can legally do this. Each military service (Army, Navy, Air force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard) sets their own enlistment qualifications and its own minimum medical and mental health standards for enlistment.

    Sometimes, a certain disqualifying medical condition makes total sense, like the inability to see or hear or walk, but sometimes, it may not be readily apparent as to why not something is disqualifying, like in the case of sleep walking, severe stomach issues, or even having asthma. Sometimes there is a work around whereby a candidate for military service with a disqualifying condition can get a medical consult and maybe receive a waiver for enlistment. But waivers can be hard to get. You should ask your recruiter about whether or not you can qualify for a waiver.

    Each service has a list of conditions which are permanent dis-qualifiers. In my experience as a former Air Force recruiter, the U.S. Air Force has some of the strictest qualifications. You also should be aware what is disqualifying for one branch may not be disqualifying for another. So although you really want to serve in the Air Force (which I totally understand and applaud you for), you should go check in with the other branches and see if they can work with you on getting a waiver.

    Service in the United States Military is a privilege and not an entitlement or a right. The bad news for you is that there is no way to sue or bring legal action to change the enlistment qualifications. I hope that you can find some other way to join the military or if you cannot, that that you will pursue one of the many other avenues available for becoming of service to your country.

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  • I have a miniature rooster and would like to petition for an exemption to the municipal code banning roosters from urban farms.

    This little rooster has a delicate cry and I know my neighbors would support his presence. Are exceptions ever given on a case-to-case basis? Or probationary basis?

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    Seattle Municipal Code at Section 23.42.052 regulates the keeping of chickens within the city limits. The city ordinance allows up to eight hens on any property, except that on lots greater than 10,000 square feet which include either a community garden or an urban farm, one additional fowl is permitted for every 1,000 square feet of lot area over 10,000 square feet in community garden or urban farm use. The section also states that coops or structures used to house chickens must be ten feet away from any dwelling. Finally, the section also states that roosters are not permitted. Therefore you are correct that under the Seattle Code, no one can have roosters in their urban chicken flocks, only hens. See S.M.C. § 23.42.050 (c)(2) .

    The City of Seattle sometimes allows certain code provisions to be waived on a case by case basis. This is called a “municipal variance,” whereby the city specifically allows someone to do something which would otherwise be illegal. But usually a city will not issue a variance unless there is some benefit to the public at large, and usually they will refuse to override a prohibition on something in order to issue a variance.

    In this case, although the rooster may be small and somewhat quieter than most roosters, the City Code specifically prohibits roosters, so a variance is in all likelihood, impossible.

    We the city receives a request for a variance, the code enforcement and planning departments look to ensure that each of the following is met, otherwise the request will be denied:

    1. The request is the minimum necessary to grant relief and is not a special privilege;
    2. The request is not harmful to the neighboring area;
    3. The strict application of Land Use Code provision would cause undue hardship if a variance is not granted;
    4. The proposal is consistent with the spirit and purpose of the Land Use Code.

    Right off the bat, allowing this rooster to live at your place could easily be seen as not meeting these requirements. Although he is your pet, this not going to cause you any recognizable legal hardship to relocate the rooster off site; and by that they mean loss of business revenues or employment, etc. Also you have hens already and just because you desire to have a small rooster, you would be hard pressed to prove that a variance is really a necessity.

    It's notable that roosters are prohibited because in most cases they have worn out their welcome by making loud noise all the time; thus making it harmful to the neighborhood. Even if your neighbors did sign letters stating they don’t care, the chances of the city allow this are very slim because they want to keep things consistent and keep other people in other areas from doing the same thing.

    And finally, If you read the entire animal section of title 23, you can see that the spirit of the code is to protect from lots of loud noise and to keep animals limited to avoid disruptions around homes. So based on all of this, it appears very unlikely that you could receive a variance for this.

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  • Length of knife you can carry?

    I have looked few websites even tried calling city hall cant find two results I carry a pocket knife with me the whole blade and its handle is only about 9 inches. What is the length of a pocket knife you can carry in Washington?

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    It’s a simple question, but the answer is complex and there’s a lot to consider for citizens who want to carry a knife for utility or personal protection purposes.

    First of all, knives, daggers, swords, and other cutting surfaces are not included in the Constitution’s right to bare arm. That right, contained in the 2nd Amendment, is limited to projectile firing handguns and rifles and does not address knives. For this reason, states, counties, and cities can and often have placed restrictions on the carrying of knives, extending to what kind of knife is legal and who can carry them, and to how and where they can be carried, and such.

    Under current Washington State law, it is legal for adults to buy, sell, or a dagger, a dirk, or other stabbing knife, including a hunting knife, a stiletto, and even throwing stars. It is also legal to own a disguised knife, such as a lipstick or belt buckle which turns into a knife. However, as in most jurisdictions, switch blade knives are illegal in Washington as are knives loaded with a springing blade.

    Washington law also specifically outlaws knives in certain places, such as when carried by youths under age 18 or onto a public and private school campus, or when carried by anyone into a local, county, state, or federal courthouse.

    As far as the legality of carrying a hidden or concealed knife, there is no licensing like that which exists for handguns with the concealed pistol license program. Rather state law says outright that no one can lawfully carry a dagger, a dirk, or a sword in public in a fashion which is concealed. It is also illegal to carry or display in public a knife, dagger, a sword, or any other cutting or stabbing instrument in such a manner or under such circumstances that would cause alarm or show an intent to intimidate another. This could be considered an assault in the second degree. The law also vaguely states that It is generally illegal to conceal and carry any “dangerous weapon” or any instrument “capable of causing bodily harm.” However, these conceal carry and display laws do not apply a person doing this in their own home, or at their usual place of business, or when defending themselves against a presently threatened use of unlawful force.

    Now the definition of a dangerous weapon is really something to be mindful of for those who carry knives. Here again, Washington law is pretty vague and the definitions have been changed over time by decisions in the Courts of Appeal and the State Supreme Court. Presently, the legal definition is simply any object capable of producing bodily harm. So a three inch blade can be a dangerous weapon, and so could a nine inch blade. Some cities, such as Seattle, state a blade length, but state law is supreme and there is no specific blade length stated in state law.

    So I wish I could be more clear, but the legality of the knife you carry largely depends of the manner and method in which you carry it and who is carrying it and where. For example, if you walked down Rockefeller Avenue with a nine inch knife in plain sight on you belt, and were not holding it out or pointing it anyone, that’s likely totally legal. But if you walk into the courthouse, that would be a potential misdemeanor in violation of state law.

    There is a lot more on this so you may want to meet with an attorney to get specific advice.

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  • Dumpster diving leagal or not in Auburn wa

    what is the rule for dumpster diving in Auburn wa leagal or not

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    The Auburn, WA Municipal Code apparently has no specific prohibition on the activity of dumpster diving, but you need to be aware that there are a few laws which would be used to make it illegal should the police be motivated to make an arrest. First, you need to be aware of the location of the trash bin or dumpster. If the bin or dumpster is located behind a fence or on private property (whether a no trespassing sign is posted or not), going onto the property to collect trash from a bin may constitute criminal trespass second degree. The same is true of locked dumpsters or receptacles located in alley ways or along streets. If they are locked, then no one is invited in without permission of the owner. The removal of items from a locked dumpster, even something that is unquestionably trash or rubbish, could be viewed as criminal theft.
    Another issue potential issue is laws outlawing private collection or hauling of trash within some city limits. Many towns and cities require expensive licenses or permits to collect or haul trash or waste when the goal is to many money. Depending on the amount of items recovered from a dumpster, the city could hand you out a civil infraction for violating these ordinances. The theory behind this is that trash and waste is often hazardous and potentially harmful to people and the environment, so cities want only people with experience and knowledge of how to handle the potential hazards to handle trash.
    One more thing to think about is what can happen if you happen to find someone’s identity information, bank accounts, or credit card information in the trash. In certain circumstances, possessing these sorts of things can be illegal, and may lead to allegations of fraud or identity theft.
    Finally, other legal commentators have mentioned the U.S. Supreme Court case of California vs. Greenwood which stands for the idea that garbage left out for collection no longer belongs to the person who put it out there, and therefore, taking it is not illegal. However, that case was really about police sifting through a criminal suspect’s garbage and it is not totally applicable to dumpster diving. Furthermore, here in Washington State, our state Constitution creates an enhanced privacy right under which the taking of someone’s garbage by the government or the police actually IS an invasion of privacy. The concern here for private dumpster divers is that in Washington State, one’s garbage is not public domain, and just because something is in the trash does not mean that the public can take whatever they want out of one’s garbage.
    So the bottom line is, if you want to dive into a dumpster or dig through a trash bin, you will be best served by observing common sense and understanding what the potential legal pitfalls are. And the very best way to dumpster dive will be to get the permission of the person who owns the dumpster. Receiving this permission could go a long way toward insulating you from claims of criminal wrongdoing.

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  • Should I hire attorney?

    Hello, been with navy a year and half. I work for a special program called PRP program. I went to a doctor due to Anxiety/depression they diagnosed me with failure to adapt to PRP program. Usually people get new orders. But the CO changed the way ...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    An administrative separation for mental health reasons usually results in an honorable discharge with qualifying veterans benefits. The discharge can take a while and will sometimes require that you undergo a medical review board and receive an exit physical to determine your level of disability, if any. But an administrative discharge for "other than honorable" conditions, or "OTH" as you stated it, is very different. This level of discharge requires proof that you committed some sort of misconduct. Furthermore, if the Navy desires to have your discharge characterized as OTH, you have the right to a board of inquiry of at least three officers who will hear evidence against you and determine whether there is any basis for your discharge. The Navy usually moves very fast on any sort of administrative discharge, so if you desire to have a lawyer on your side, you need to find one right away. Legally, you are not required to have a lawyer on a discharge case, and it's possible for you to sign away your rights if you do not know what you are doing.

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