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Jeffrey Alan Lustick
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Jeffrey Lustick’s Answers

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  • Au pair borrowed the car someone broke the window while it was parked?

    Au pair had the car given by the host family someone broke the window at night while the car was legally parked? Who is legally responsible for the damage the host family or au pair? Police report was filed right after discovery. The family wants ...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    We may need a little more facts here, but if the vehicle was damaged due to someone else’s criminal behavior, the nanny, or Au Pair as you call her, is most likely not liable. When you barrow a car, you have to return it in the condition it was in when you received it. The law of negligence applies. The user has a duty to maintain the car in its current condition. If they breach their duty of car, they can be liable for the damages, but their breach has to be the root cause of the damages to the car. For example, if the nanny left the car unlocked, and someone came into the care and vandalized it, the nanny’s duty of care would be breached by her unreasonable act of leaving the unattended car unlocked. Here, in the situation you describe, the nanny had the car legally parked and some perpetrator broke the window. Provided that the nanny did not violate the provisions under which h the care was lent to her (i.e, “don’t park on this area because it’s unsafe, etc), then I cannot see why she would be liable for the crime of someone else. The answer is that the car owner has to foot the costs of repair, and they can probably get their insurance coverage to pay for it since it has been reported as a crime. On a side note, I think this issue is really easy for most non-lawyers to understand. Holding the nanny liable and forcing her to pay for someone else’s criminal behavior seems outrageous. I think it suggests that maybe the nanny needs to look for a more reasonable employer.

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  • Can general contractor who requires drug screen share that info with anyone outside my company?

    I did my orientation to gain access to a job site. Several times on the forms I signed for the testing it asked the question who is your employer (who signs your paycheck). I put my employers name and phone number. I passed the initial test but th...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    Numerous states around the country have laws and regulations restricting an employer’s right to require drug testing, however Washington State is not one of them. In short, there are no laws in Washington addressing drug testing in private employment, which means there are no rules about privacy or keeping the results away from third parties or persons.

    Presently, private employers are free to require employees and applicants to take a drug test, as long as the use of drug testing is uniform within the workplace and not used to unlawfully discriminate between employees.

    Most employers realize that drug testing within the workplace is expensive and can impact productivity and morale, so many sign up to use private medical companies to administer their drug program.

    Typically when you submit to drug testing, you will be given a disclosure and waiver statement. These papers usually contain waivers of privacy and actually give your employer your permission in advance to share your test results. You will be told that unless you agree to sign these papers, you will not be tested. And then if you refuse to test, you get fired. This is the harsh reality of state law as it currently exists.

    A final thing to remember is that government employment may be regulated differently. Private employers are usually way more free to do some of the things like you describe than government employers would be and it's perfectly legal because of the private nature of the employment. Also, if you work in a union shop, the issue of drug testing and disclosure or the test results may be a addressed and provided for within a collective bargaining agreement. So if you work for a private employer who made you drug test to get your job, it's quite possible that none of your "rights" have been violated because the state law gives you no rights. Finally, civil rights only really become an issue if your employer is large enough to fall under federal regulations or if the employer engages in illegal discrimination.

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  • Can a sherriff's deputy legally open my door without consent at a traffic stop?

    This was at a traffic stop on the highway. I was arrested and put in handcuffs and placed in back of the patrol car. He told me i was going to be arrested after he opened the door not before. He cited and released me.

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    I think the answer here is probably, but it depends on all of the facts in the situation. In a typical traffic infraction stop, the door of your car may be opened without your consent if the officer has probable cause to arrest you. The door may also be opened to detain you to search for weapons, or to hold you in a state of arrest for further investigation.

    In general, your motor vehicle is not a zone of privacy where you have the same level of protections like you have in your home or dwelling place. You have to have a license to operate a vehicle and when you drive, you accept that a level of regulation will overlay and control your use. Under RCW 46.61.021, drivers of vehicles have a duty to obey a law enforcement officer. This law states:

    (1) Any person requested or signaled to stop by a law enforcement officer for a traffic infraction has a duty to stop; and (2) Whenever any person is stopped for a traffic infraction, the officer may detain that person for a reasonable period of time necessary to identify the person, check for outstanding warrants, check the status of the person's license, insurance identification card, and the vehicle's registration, and complete and issue a notice of traffic infraction; and (3) Any person requested to identify himself or herself to a law enforcement officer pursuant to an investigation of a traffic infraction has a duty to identify himself or herself and give his or her current address.

    You should get a lawyer on this case right away to take a full look at the situation.

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  • Hi, what can I do to have charges brought upon the person who stole my identity and embezzled $2,700 from business account?

    Greetings, After making two police reports-the first was sent back to me with a note stating that the DA said 'it was strictly a civil matter.' I obtained a Victim's Assistant who went with me the 2nd time. We were told 'they would try again but,...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Maybe this is just a matter of small town law, but usually most County Prosecutors would jump all over this sort of thing. With the national statistics now projecting 3 out of 5 Americans becoming ID theft victims in the next three years, it's hard to understand why this is being allowed to slide. Prosecutors do have have legal full discretion to decide which crimes they want to file and which ones they do not. Police play a big role in this as they are responsible for competently and professionally investigating crimes and obtaining evidence that the prosecutors can us in court. Sometimes where the would-be-defendant is a spouse or family member of the victim, that could lead to the label, "civil matter." But for the most part workplace theft, especially embezzlement, are taken seriously.

    Now in addition to going back to the police and trying to motivate them to move forward, you maybe also contact the State Attorney General's Office. The AGO has some jurisdiction over consumer fraud and thefts and they could either take the case over or maybe put some pressure on the local prosecutor.

    Another possible avenue is contacting the FBI. The amount of the loss is almost certainly well below the Federal threshold for the case being prosecuted by the United States Attorney, but you never know, that perpetrator may have a history of doing this or may be doing this to others, and just maybe the Feds could help out.

    County prosecutors are elected officials who run for office every four years. If you feel ignored by the prosecutor, letter to the editor, public picketing, and support for an alternate candidate come election time should be things you consider.

    This is a hard situation. I hope you find the justice that you are looking for.

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  • Were I investigated for a crime reported by a therapist who never got my signed release, is anything I told him admissible?

    I was pissed off at a therapist my parents made me go to, so I made up some things that I knew would aggravate him and they did. I still see the guy from time to time and he's extremely dissatisfied with the outcome, I'd just like to know wh...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    First of all, I hope that you are getting whatever care you may need. Secondly, NEVER NEVER admit to any crime, real or made up for any reason. In this day and age, even made up comments indicating you violated the law will be taken seriously by the authorities. And finally, even thought you did not sign papers or have a formal written agreement when you made these comments, when you meet with a therapist, everything you say will still be held in confidence and is NOT subject to disclosure. The only exception is if you say something which indicates you will act violently towards another person in the future or cause harm to someone else. In that case, if the therapist reasonably believes that the harm will happen, under state law, the therapist must disclose the threat only to the extent needed to avoid the threat from being carried out.

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  • Were I investigated for a crime reported by a therapist who never got my signed release, is anything I told him admissible?

    I was pissed off at a therapist my parents made me go to, so I made up some things that I knew would aggravate him. I still see the guy from time to time and he's extremely dissatisfied with the outcome, I'd just like to know whether I am at...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    First of all, I hope that you are getting whatever care you may need. Secondly, NEVER NEVER admit to any crime, real or made up for any reason. In this day and age, even made up comments indicating you violated the law will be taken seriously by the authorities. And finally, even thought you did not sign papers or have a formal written agreement when you made these comments, when you meet with a therapist, everything you say will still be held in confidence and is NOT subject to disclosure. The only exception is if you say something which indicates you will act violently towards another person in the future or cause harm to someone else. In that case, if the therapist reasonably believes that the harm will happen, under state law, the therapist must disclose the threat only to the extent needed to avoid the threat from being carried out.

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  • Were I investigated for a crime reported by a therapist who never got my signed release, is anything I told him admissible?

    I was pissed off at a therapist my parents made me go to, so I made up some things that I knew would aggravate him. I still see the guy from time to time and he's extremely dissatisfied with the outcome, I'd just like to know whether I am at...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    First of all, I hope that you are getting whatever care you may need. Secondly, NEVER NEVER admit to any crime, real or made up for any reason. In this day and age, even made up comments indicating you violated the law will be taken seriously by the authorities. And finally, even thought you did not sign papers or have a formal written agreement when you made these comments, when you meet with a therapist, everything you say will still be held in confidence and is NOT subject to disclosure. The only exception is if you say something which indicates you will act violently towards another person in the future or cause harm to someone else. In that case, if the therapist reasonably believes that the harm will happen, under state law, the therapist must disclose the threat only to the extent needed to avoid the threat from being carried out.

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  • 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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