Skip to main content
No photo

Samuel Gordon’s Answers

23 total

  • Is a Text Msg agreeing to sell an item for a stated price legally binding?

    I tried to sell my recently deceased father's car. I had three offers for the same amount the first day. I thought the fair thing would be to agree to sell it to the first buyer.I told the buyer I could meet him on Friday but he was out of town....

    Samuel’s Answer

    More important than the legality of the agreement is the question of damages. So what if the text message is deemed to be a valid contract? How was the prospective buyer damaged? I seriously doubt that your upset buyer would be capable of proving compensable damages.

    However, he doesn't have to prove much to file a lawsuit. If he does that, your extra $200 could be lost pretty quickly in one sit-down consultation with an attorney. Also, you would have to pay for your entire defense unless you can prove the lawsuit is frivolous, which is a lot more difficult that you think.

    You should do what's right. If you feel you made a commitment to deliver the car on Friday, you should consider the consequences, legal or otherwise, for breaking your "word."

    Good luck.

    See question 
  • Can my husband cancel/stop our non contested divorce after he already signed the paperwork?

    "My husband and I sent in the second set of papers for our non contested divorce today. We have completed the 90 day waiting period. He now says he is going to call to have the papers thrown out because he is upset at me. Can he stop the divorce...

    Samuel’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    If he gets a hold of the court before the judge signs the documents, he can almost certainly revoke his agreement. See CR2A. He will probably have to go down to the courthouse in person for this. If the documents are signed but not entered, it is still possible that he could convince the judge to nullify them. Then, if everything is finalized, he could potentially file a motion to amend the judgement/order or motion to vacate if he did it quickly. I've never seen that happen but I can see how a judge might allow it.

    See question 
  • I live in Nebraska & want to move to iowa with my son, do I need permission from nebraska since we have no custody agreement

    The father is not on my sons birth certificate but does pay child support & has not seen our son in three years & has not made contact with me about our son in three years

    Samuel’s Answer

    There are specific rules that a parent operating under a parenting plan must follow if they plan on moving far away (usually considered far away if it is outside of the current school district). If you have a court-ordered parenting plan, you should read it thoroughly. Some PPs have the "moving" rules (summarized) written right in them.

    If you do not have a parenting plan, you are probably not subject to the court's authority and therefore, you are free to move where ever you'd like. However, it would be very unwise of you to move without picking up the phone and calling a local family law practitioner. He or she can answer this question very quickly based upon whether or not you have a PP.

    Don't make the mistake of "accidentally" violating state law in this regard. Call a local family law attorney and get the right answer.

    Good luck.

    See question 
  • Can a related party file a motion with the court to request copies of discovery

    In Ca civil case, can a related party file a motion with the court to request copies of discovery if they are not a plaintiff or defendant? As an example, Subcontractor files a complaint against General Contractor over work performed at our house....

    Samuel’s Answer

    In Washington, we have civil rules that allow a person (potential party) to engage in some levels of discovery (written questions and/or deposition) before filing a full law suit, in some situations.

    You should closely examine the CA civil rules to see if such a provision exists.

    Good luck.

    See question 
  • What is the rule or law that gives process servers the ability to use a ruse when serving legal papers.

    This questing came up in an arbitration hearing recently and all three attorneys present kinda looked at eachother confused. I remember seeing the rule somewhere. I think it said something like process servers can say they are a pizza delivery dri...

    Samuel’s Answer

    I am not aware of any ruling in any state that says a process server must identify themselves as such if they do not want to. However, anyone who gains access to property by identifying themselves as someone they are not, runs the risk of trespassing (e.g., you were allowed to be on my property as a pizza guy but I did not allow you here as a process server).

    While this "ruse" could potentially get a process server in trouble (I have never heard of that actually happening), it would not nullify the service of process. The rules there are clear. A person is to be served in a manner that is reasonably calculated to provide actual notice. If they were actually notified (by a real pizza delivery boy or a fake one), then the service has been completed.

    Good luck.

    See question 
  • Can I file motion to compel response to discovery after the defendant filed motion to dismiss? its chance to be ruled favorable?

    My prior lawyer promised to send out my discovery after we did not receive answer to my complaint, but she failed to do it. Then the defendant filed motion to dismiss, later I filed discovery to defendant by myself, been 60 days, the defendant did...

    Samuel’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    The best piece of advice I can give is "Read the civil rules and local rules for your court." Motions to dismiss (motions for summary judgment) are heavily driven by the court rules. Anyone defending such a motion will almost certainly want to show that there is a dispute over a material fact (not simply show that the law is in your favor). Your discovery may disclose a fact that the two of you dispute which is controlling in the motion to dismiss your claims. If so, that's good for you. However, interrogatories and request for production of documents may not be your best defense in this situation. You may want to take the other parties' deposition. Local rules often have a provision that allows a party defending against a dispositive motion to get a continuance until a deposition can be completed.

    However, taking a deposition without an attorney may be a huge problem. Depositions are not difficult. But there are many things an opposing attorney can do to "derail" a deposition by a lay person. While many of the tactics used will violate the civil rules, you will not likely know that they are a violation unless you have a good understanding of those rules.

    The bottom line, however, is that if you need more time to prepare your case you should definitely ask for a continuance. The reason for your continuance is the most persuasive thing. Since your reason is due to the opposing party's delay in responding to discovery, you are sitting in a good position to ask for that. Remember, if you don't ask the Court for something, they will not give it to you (there are so few exceptions that it's not worth mentioning).

    Read the rules on "compelling discovery" and follow them to the letter. File a motion to compel along with a motion for continuance on the motion to dismiss in accordance with the rules that apply in those situations. Remember, there are the Rules of Civil Procedure and your specific court's Local Civil Rules. You must obey both.

    Good luck.

    See question 
  • Do I need a traffic ticket attorney?

    is there a vehicle code section that protects a vehicle owner from revealing any information about a red light camera ticket that did not belong to them?

    Samuel’s Answer

    Why are you being asked to reveal this information?

    Generally, you are responsible for all tickets your vehicle receives (red light tickets are tickets against an individual but assigned to the vehicle registrant until you allege that you weren't driving) until you get the court to acknowledge that you are not the responsible party. Therefore, if you did not defend the ticket or were found guilty, you are the responsible party. If you informed the court that you were not responsible and they dismissed the charges, then there would be nothing to report because you were not in violation.

    Whether you are "responsible" or not has nothing to do with your perception. It has to do with the court's disposition of the case. Either the court held you (the owner) responsible, or it didn't.

    The true answer to your question "do I need a traffic attorney" is almost always "YES!" An attorney can often assist in mitigating the charges and possibly getting the whole thing dismissed. Get an attorney to look at your situation right away.

    Good luck.

    See question 
  • What happens when my x voilated our joint parenting agreement

    i am the primary custody parent.order states i iam to make all medical and health care and to let him know whats going on. i already have my son in counsoling and i just found out from my son that his father took it apond himself with out my conse...

    Samuel’s Answer

    Well, what is the harm done? The primary complaint you have is likely to be "contempt of court." If you are saying that he didn't follow the parenting plan, the court is going to ask "And? Your point is?" Are you being required to pay for the second counselor? Why are you so threatened by this? Obviously, dad thinks your counselor is insufficient so he got his own. Is the child being over-treated? If you think so, get your counselor to state that in writing. That could be a potential harm (although I doubt it).

    What this dad is doing might technically violate a joint-decision-making element of your parenting plan. But, remember, a judge is going to want to know why you are so against it. Make sure you have a good reason and not simply because "my parenting plan says he can't." You have a duty to act in your son's best interest.

    If you are getting bills from the second counselor, I would see your point. If that's the case, seek an attorney's help in bringing a contempt action.

    Good luck.

    See question 
  • Would a judge award child support for the first time for a 17 year old?

    My ex and I made an agreement 8 years ago,that I would be responsible for all of my son;s expenses, including college. She would be responsible for our daughter's expenses,including college. My son is a Jr in college, my daughter is 17.

    Samuel’s Answer

    I don't know how Florida handles child support, but many states will not enforce any oral agreements related to the support of children. Here in WA, it makes no difference what you WANT to do, it matters what the state law says you must do. Now, if you make an agreement and no one ever complains, the court will never know. But, in WA, if dad and mom agree that no child support will be due and then 5 years later mom says, "Hey, where's my money?" there is a good chance someone will owe someone back support (and wage garnishments and the like will follow).

    Get an attorney. Most will give you a free 30 minute consult if you ask. Find out your local laws and take appropriate action immediately. Once the child turns 18, the court might lose jurisdiction to do anything.

    See question