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Jack Richard Lebowitz
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Jack Lebowitz’s Answers

2,103 total


  • Can I commercially grow peppers in bethel park PA in my back yard?

    I would of course get all the legal work done. Permits, etc. Just want to know if it's legal. All it would be around 800 plants. No irrigation or loud farm equipment it's basically just a large garden

    Jack’s Answer

    Refer to your local zoning map and figure out which district you're in. Then look at the regulations for "allowed uses" in your district, along with the definitions of the words involved in the rules.

    I would say if you're in a agricultural or rural use kind of district, it's OK, if you're in a residential neighborhood any commercial use might be prohibited, even if it was akin to allowable uses in residential areas such as small vegetable gardens. However, this might not be the case in "rural residential".

    The Boards are definitively have to review the plans carefully for this and the number one issue is going to be proximity to neighbors and potential objections of same and potential to change the character of the neighborhood, which, of course, very much depends on existing neighborhood character and the use would "blend in" to the extent that neighbors didn't notice it when operating.

    This issue is most often addressed with people who want to keep chickens in their yards, but depending on the size of your operation, it might raise concerns over traffic, pesticide use, etc. from neighbors and water use from the municipality. 800 plants sounds fairly intensive.

    If you're uncertain, your local building or planning departments that would be issuing any permits

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  • What can I do to stop my neighbors from harassing me and coming onto my property.

    My neighbors and I no longer speak. They refused to get insurance coverage to work on their house which partially sits on my property. They wanted me to be willing to commit insurance fraud if something happened, and I wrote them a letter tellin...

    Jack’s Answer

    Put up a fence inside your property line after you have had a staked survey done. Speak to a lawyer about the issue of their house on your property. That may be an instance of adverse possession where it is not your property anymore. You may need a boundary line amendment. Call the police if there are any threats of violence or physical altercations or harassment and they may issue an order of protection against your neighbor and even arrest him (or they may tell you it's entirely a "civil matter (dispute)" and tell you to speak with an attorney about court or negotiated relief.

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  • How does a document get stamped "Filed"

    When a court document is stamped "Filed" what does that mean? There seems to be a "list" called the Civil Index Minutes and if it's stamped "Filed" how is it then entered into the Civil Index Minutes? If it's not entered into the Minutes what wo...

    Jack’s Answer

    Usually that means simply that the original of a paper, pleading, order or other document related to a court of record proceeding (i.e., one which has been required to buy an index number from the County/Court Clerk for filing, or a motion fee or other applicable filing feed) is accepted by the Clerk as meeting the technical requirements for that document and is stamped FILED with a day and time clock in the Clerk's Office.

    I'm not sure what the Civil Index Minutes are, that may be peculiar to Westchester County; I'd ask the County Clerk what that means.

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  • Would the ten year old go to jail?

    Say a 10 year old boy was being physically and sexually abused by his foster father for as long as he can remember. He's really scared and doesn't know anything about the law or have people he can trust because the foster father home schools him. ...

    Jack’s Answer

    In a parallel comic book universe maybe, it would be the 10 year old who went to jail, sure.

    But seriously, if this isn't some dreamed up hypothetical and you aren't a novelist or just have a morbid curiousity and a lot of time on your hands, if you know about something like this, you should report the foster father to ACS or county social services (which employs and supervises foster parents) or the police.

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  • If 2 people have been living together for 22 years and one dies, is the survivor entitled to everything?

    My Uncle is dying and he has been living with this women fir 22 years, He has a daughter that would like a few things (sentimental) things of her mother and now father. This women said no that everything is now hers and she has no right to anythin...

    Jack’s Answer

    "Living together" =/= Married. New York State (and most others) don't recognize "common law marriage" which is being treated equivalent to married if you and x have lived together > y years. Very 19th century concept.

    If the people are married, the surviving spouse can take what's in a will or automatically get a third of the estate (even if a will leaves him or her less).

    Is there a will? That's who will get the property. If there isn't a will, are the people married? If no marriage and no will, the persons next of kin (nearest blood relatives) share the

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  • Is it legal for an individual to video-record or photograph others at a political (or other) event without their knowledge?

    I was the designated videographer at a small political event in a public meeting room. Everyone there could see that they might be recorded by me and where the camera was located. Another individual - an undeclared representative of an opposing po...

    Jack’s Answer

    I'm sure you can find any number of Fourth and Fifth Amendment cases that say that anything anyone does in plain view in a public space can be videotaped or photographed without permission.

    The only time you MIGHT need permissions would be if that image were to be commercially exploited for profit by someone who did not get a photo release from the subject(s). [This has come up with commercial interests like banks using casual photos of other people they ganked from online photo libraries like Flickr.

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  • What are my options as far as privacy goes?

    Our neighbors installed 3 cameras on their house with one of them pointing directly at the front of my house and yard. I understand the front yard is fair game but the front of my house has 3 windows, one family room and the other 2 kids bedrooms ...

    Jack’s Answer

    Whatever is in plain sight out in the open is fair game for photography or video surveillance as long as it is not a physical trespass on your property. There has been a topic of frequent legal discussion with respect to technology concerning drones, Google Maps, Google Earth and similar photography.

    So, yes, you do have to keep the children's blinds closed or have some kind of translucent curtain on your exterior windows unless you don't mind people looking in who can.

    This answer might be different if instead of a neighbor issue, it involved government surveillance with a camera on the neighbor's property with his permission. This might be a Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendment issue.

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  • What does it mean People's Statement of Readiness for Trial C.P.L 30:30?

    I had a trial for assaulting that was sealed and dismissed after a court held on July,15 2016. Then I received this letter from the court stating me to be advised that on August 17 the people state their readiness for trial.

    Jack’s Answer

    if your case was completely disposed of with a dismissal, getting the notice you received is probably some automatic thing and an error. The notice to which you refer is a "speedy trial" requirement that the prosecutors be ready for a trial if the matter is not disposed of within six months of the arraignment. If they are not ready (i.e., don't have necessary evidence or witnesses they need), the case can be dismissed under CPL Section 30.30.

    You should just call up the Clerk of Court and confirm the notice is in error or non-applicable to your case.

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  • My sons mother transferred son from school to school. Can i still file for violation of custody if it happened inMayny

    My son's mother tranferred him from school to school because he was not doing well. I thought she would have to get the fathers signature before she can transfer him. I did not want him tranferred again. She did this three times and eventually dro...

    Jack’s Answer

    In New York, most custody orders and indeed even in privately negotiated separation agreements, the custody orders or decrees usually to not get into the details over parental control of the child's school. It would merely say the parents had "joint legal custody" which implies at least in my mind, and that of most clients, would include some consultation over educational choices and non-emergency health care issues.

    Whether you can frame that as a violation petition might depend on what the child thinks of these school changes as expressed to the attorney for the child and whether the school choice ultimately is rational. And if your basic beef is "I wasn't consulted and should have been", I don't know how this plays out in terms of the governing standard of what is in the best interests of the child. Ultimately, I see a settlement that would amend the existing order to compel advise and consent on educational, health and religious issues (the definition of the "big deal" issues that "joint legal custody" entails).

    As to support, that will depend on the child's circumstances, whether he is self sufficient, such as employed, in the military, married, etc. Google for "emancipation of minors".

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  • What do I do when my lawyer won't return my calls?

    Paypal was withholding my earnings for no legitimate reason. We sued them and won in July of 2015. They had until July 18, 2016 to pay me all that they were holding. It is over a month later and I still have no money. My lawyer was supposed to rec...

    Jack’s Answer

    Call the attorney's secretary and tell her you're attorney X's client and ask your question. Tell the secretary or paralegal you'll call back tomorrow for the answer. Then call.

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