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Shawn W. Potter

Shawn Potter’s Answers

14 total


  • Am I entitled to review of the Engineering plans for a retaining wall that will be providing lateral support to my property?

    Shawn’s Answer

    Municipalities would be violating copyright law to make a copy of engineering designs. You may be able to review the plans at the desk of the planning department in person. The engineer who submitted that plans may be willing to show you a copy as well.

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  • We just moved into a house last month with a one year lease and got a notice on the door last night that has to be auctioned off

    Shawn’s Answer

    I'm assuming that the home is being auctioned off in a trustee's foreclosure sale. If so, the law protects renters rights. Review Utah Code 57-1-25 and 57-1-25.5. In short, If the property is sold, you may be allowed to continue to occupy your unit until your agreement expires, or until 45 days after the date you are served with a notice to vacate, whichever is later. If your rental or lease agreement expires after the 45-day period, you may need to provide a copy of your rental or lease agreement to the new owner to prove your right to remain on the property longer than 45 days after the sale of the property.

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  • I was summons on a car loan debt.

    Shawn’s Answer

    Most likely you were in default of the loan before you got the summons. The creditor would not have sued you if you were not in default on the loan. To find out if a default judgment was entered against you call the court and ask. Then get an answer filed with the court as soon as possible if there is no default judgment. If a default judgment has been entered, you might be able to get it set aside by filing a motion to set aside default judgment stating good reasons why you did not comply with the summons. Keep in mind that the creditor has no obligation to settle for a "reasonable" amount. The creditor is entitled by law to receive everything that the loan agreement requires -assuming the loan agreement was not fraudulent or otherwise unenforceable.

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  • Can I kick someone out who over stayed ?

    Shawn’s Answer

    This seems like a situation where law enforcement should get involved. In legal terms, the visitor's status has changed from "invitee" to "trespasser." To the extent that the visitor is in any way threatening she should contact law enforcement.

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  • Should I file against a home builder?

    Shawn’s Answer

    You should start by learning about the terms of the settlement and dismissal of the lawsuit. Perhaps the settlement required the builder to remedy certain problems for a period of time and perhaps the crack in your foundation is covered. You likely will have difficulty being able to maintain a lawsuit against the builder. Unless you had a contract with the builder you can't sue for breach of contract. You might be able to bring a "construction defect" negligence claim, but if your losses are "purely economic" --meaning there is no injury to a person or to other property, it will be barred by the economic loss rule in Utah. You could still have problems based on the statute of limitations, and the doctrine of "res judicata" --which precludes the same parties to bring the same lawsuit again. You should determine whether the crack is a structural defect or whether it is simply an unsightly nuisance because you will likely be obligated to disclose all known defects to potential buyers when you eventually sell your property.

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  • Can my medical clinic turn me over to collections if I'm making significant payments every single month?

    Shawn’s Answer

    While doctors are required to assist ill patients, they are not required to do it for free. Typically a clinic will require you to sign a contract in which you agree to make payments. You are obligated to make payments at the agreed contract rate. You can request a copy of your payment agreement to see what you agreed to if you. As long as the clinic is abiding by that agreement it is legal for them to pursue you for payment.

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  • If a corner of a parcel is used as part of road for more than 15+ years has an easement or right-of-way been established?

    Shawn’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    The answer to this question may differ based on jurisdiction. In Utah, if a property has been used as a road by the public for ten years, it becomes a public road according to statute. Similarly, if property has been used continuously for twenty years and the use has been open, notorious, and adverse to the owner, a prescriptive easement will be created. You mentioned that the owner of the corner of the property gave permission to use it. Generally, permissive use (as opposed to adverse use) will not allow you and other users to obtain an ongoing property right such as a prescriptive easement. These types of cases are very fact specific so you should consult a real estate attorney with all of the information you have.

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  • How can I find more information about the judgements against me?

    Shawn’s Answer

    A judgment is valid for 8 years in Utah. A judgment creditor can renew the judgment for additional periods of 8 years if it applies to the court before the judgment expires. If the judgment has expired, it will still remain on the court record but the judgment creditor can no longer seek payment from you. You can hire an attorney to check the court docket to find judgments against you, or you can call the clerk of court and request the same information.

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  • What documents do I need in order to transfer a "House title" to someone else?

    Shawn’s Answer

    In general, foreigners can own property. There are some exceptions under the Patriot Act, and care should be taken to ensure that the buyer has the necessary and proper tax identification numbers. The difficulty usually comes when the foreign owner goes to sell. There can be significant tax implications. You should discuss this issue with a title company.

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  • Moved into place and found out drugs are going on plus zoning law violations how do I get my money back?

    Shawn’s Answer

    You may have rights under the Utah Fit Premises Act. The Fit Premises Act (Utah Code §57-22- 3(1)) states: "Each owner and his agent renting or leasing a residential rental unit shall maintain that unit in a condition fit for human habitation and in accordance with local ordinances and the rules of the board of health having jurisdiction in the area in which the residential rental unit is located. Each residential rental unit shall have electrical systems, heating, plumbing, and hot and cold water." You should review the Act and follow its procedures to notify your landlord of the deficiencies and elect your remedies.

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