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J Patrick Diener

J Diener’s Answers

169 total


  • My exboss is holding my paid off titles until i do a voice stress analysis test. Is this legal?

    I bought two cars from my work, paid them off, and then since school was coming i had to put in my two weeks. A month earlier some money was stolen from the office and they automatically assumed i had taken it since i put in my two weeks, I cooper...

    J’s Answer

    Unless there was something in your purchase contract or employment contract or employee handbook requiring you to jump through these types of hoops before they will give you the titles, then no, they cannot do that. I'm frankly not even sure that if there was such a provision in your employment contract or handbook that it would be enforceable. You paid for the cars in full, and you are due the titles. Taking a lie detector test has nothing to do with your purchase of the vehicles, so far as I can tell from the facts your provided. Based on what you're saying, I think they owe you the titles.

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  • If someone tries to sue me for publication in a false light or invasion of privacy in Washington State what are legal defenses?

    I tried doing a Google search for this answer and couldn't find any good results.

    J’s Answer

    Cases like these are usually fact specific, so it is hard to tell you what your defenses will be. If you are being sued, it is mostly likely worth it to speak with legal counsel about your options for defending the lawsuit.

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  • Can a landlord change a contract after it has been signed? Can they evict us because we didn't adhere to their wishes?

    There was no mention in our contract that we could not have our freezer in the house. They have not provided power to the shop, the only place that I can put it is on the patio. I don't want to do that, as it can rust & people can break into it. T...

    J’s Answer

    Neither of you can change the terms of the contract once it has been entered. That would require a modification to which you would both have to agree in writing. So, I would say that the landlord's last minute addition, so long as you had already signed the lease, will not be held valid. Also, the landlords need to give you notice before coming onto the lease premises unless it is to remedy an emergency situation. In addition, they are bound by the covenant of quiet enjoyment, which means that they cannot allow anyone else to interfere with your use and enjoyment of the property. I would think that this covenant would apply to the landlords as well as third parties. How can you enjoy the place you have rented if the landlords are always there, hanging out or bugging you? I say you have an argument to keep them off of the premises.

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  • Can I be sued for a medical bill that I paid in full with the original creditor 2 days before getting served from debt collector

    A year ago my son was born at Skagit Hosp, they could not stabize him so he was flown to Providence. My insurance processed the claim incorrectly leaving me with $150 copay and were in the process of fixing it. Skagit told me that my account had b...

    J’s Answer

    I believe you have a reasonable defense to them getting their legal fees. There had to be some kind of written notice to you from the collection company prior to filing suit that informed you that you would be on the hook for legal fees if you did not pay by a certain time. If all of your communications were through the original creditor, and they did not say you would be responsible for additional fees if you didn't pay by a certain time, then I think you have a reasonable defense. The underlying debt was satisfied before the lawsuit was filed. A lack of communication between the creditor and the collection company should not be held against you. Some courts might still stick you with the fees, depending on all of the surrounding facts and circumstances, but I think you have a good argument against it.

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  • Can I break my lease if our apartment was broken into and we were assaulted by neighbors?

    Yesterday our neighbors forced their way into our apartment. A physical altercation which was initiated by the neighbors, caused my roommate bodily harm. I am now living in fear of retaliation due to being the one who called the cops. Suspects ...

    J’s Answer

    Did your landlord cause the situation? Did he/she do something that made it easier or more likely that your neighbors would break into your apartment and assault you? If not, then I don't believe you can say that the landlord has breached the lease or any implied covenants that are imposed by law. If you are truly in fear for your life and safety, you can go to your landlord and explain the situation. The landlord can respond reasonably either by letting you out of your lease, or by evicting the neighbors (although the landlord is not obligated to do either). Criminal activity can be grounds for a landlord evicting tenants, and if it is shown that they truly engaged in criminal activity (i.e. breaking and entering, or assault and battery) I think that would give the landlord reasonable grounds to get rid of them.

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  • My 14-year old wants her stepfather to adopt her; he wants this, too. Can she legally emancipate herself from her bio father?

    My daughter is almost 15. Her father left her when she'd just turned 8. He pays child support through DCS, but has no legal visitation due to abandonment, neglect, and substance abuse. He's seen her 3 times in the last 4 years, and doesn't communi...

    J’s Answer

    This is a good question, and one that I unfortunately do not know the answer to. However, assuming that your daughter can get emancipated, I'm not even sure that is something that allows someone else to adopt her. If it does though, and it is possible for her to emancipate herself, I would definitely like to know. I look forward to someone answering this question who has experience in these matters.

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  • My landlord evicted us and the day he did the eviction he asked for the rent with out us knowing about the eviction this legal?

    One day my friend and i got in to and argument and i called the landlord. He said that we had to work it out and hung up. About the next three weeks my friend was harrassing me more so i called hi again. he said work it out there is nothing i can ...

    J’s Answer

    If the rent was due and owing, then he could ask for it. The eviction notice probably gave you until the end of the lease term to get out (if it was a month to month lease, then you had until the end of the month). He can't ask for rent for next month and kick you out before that month is over, but if you had rent due for the present month, then he can kick you out after the present month is over. So, to clarify, if he asked for November's rent and told you to be out before November, that's not legal. If he asked for November's rent and then said, get out at the end of November, that is perfectly legal.

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  • Ok so i bought a phone off craigslist and it turns out it was stolen and they took the phone from me im barley 16 wat do i do

    I have never been in trouble with the law no probation nothing and im really scared because i guess the girl who this phone belonged to went to the same school as me without me knowing the cop insisted that i took it from this girl but i didnt. Ca...

    J’s Answer

    Are they charging you with a crime, or did they just confiscate the stolen property? If they are charging you with a crime, then you want to ask your parents to get you legal counsel to defend you. You're a minor, so you'll be in juvenile court. If you truly didn't know the phone was stolen, then you have a defense. If you want to get your money back for the phone from the girl who sold it to you, you can have your parents sue her parents (if she is also a minor) on your behalf in small claims court. Talk to your parents or guardians, or if they aren't available, try a school counselor or another adult you trust.

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  • I dont want to apply or sign up for FMLA. Can my employer force me to sign up or apply?

    I,m a disabled vet working for a company that works with disabled. I know the law requires the employer to notify the employee when he qualifies for FMLA, but that is all. It does,nt require the employee to sign up for it. I,m currently not signed...

    J’s Answer

    I don't work with FMLA matters on a daily basis, but I have never heard of an employee being forced to take it. If you have accumulated work or sick leave, then you should be able to take those days. If you don't have any work or sick leave, then your employer is in a bit of a bind, because they risk a lawsuit if they fire you because of your disability, but they also cannot let you take off days without either deducting them from accrued vacation/sick time, or counting them toward FMLA leave. I can see where the employer is coming from in that situation, but I'm not sure exactly how it will work out. Hopefully someone who has dealt with this situation before can comment on how it works and give you better information.

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  • Am I responsible for Husbands illegal activites?

    I dated a man for a year and we married. I later found out he doing Multiple illegal activites. I confronted him and said I would turn him in. He threatened I will lose my kids and go to jail because he would report I was helping him. I am scared ...

    J’s Answer

    This is a good time to get in touch with a family law attorney in your area that can talk to you about your options for protecting yourself, your children and your assets. Family law attorneys deal with situations like this on a fairly regular basis, and there is help to be found if you can get in touch with the right attorney. It may cost you money, but that seems to me like a worthwhile expense, considering you're talking about your safety and the safety of your children.

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