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Stephen Clark Harkess

Stephen Harkess’s Answers

8,912 total


  • Sold a car on craiglist and they got tickets and now I owe money

    I did a stupid thing. Sold a car on craigslist without transferring registration and title. The buyer racked up thousands in parking fines that I now owe. Is there any way to show the court or someone that I sold the car?

    Stephen’s Answer

    You have the right to sue the buyer to recover the money necessary to pay the tickets. However, I don't think you are going to have any luck trying to get the traffic court to do it for you. You owe the money for the car titled in your name and you can pursue the actual driver for reimbursement.

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  • Can he take my car and house from me

    I am married, stay at home mom and a full.time student. My husband said if I leave he's will.take my car and the house not pay anything. Wouldn't give me money for food. Can he do that? We been married for 4 years together for 8.

    Stephen’s Answer

    He can do it if you let him. If you actually file for divorce or legal separation, the Court will divide all of your marital assets and debts between the two of you and determine whether he is required to pay spousal support and child support as well. If your husband has a steady job he will have to pay the court ordered support.

    I strongly recommend that you schedule a consultation with a family law attorney to discuss what to expect if you file for divorce. Many attorneys, including my office, offer a free initial consultation.

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  • Do I have to sign a forced arbitration agreement and what key points should I look for before signing?

    As a result of being sued by former employees my employer is presenting us with a forced arbitration agreement. As an existing employee, can I be terminated if I refuse to sign? If so, what key points should I look for prior to signing that migh...

    Stephen’s Answer

    Your employer can fire you for any reason that is not related to a protected class such as race, religion, gender, age, etc. Refusal to sign the agreement would be one such reason. I doubt there are any negotiable terms in the agreement. Your employer is going to want every employee to sign the exact same agreement.

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  • Does my live-in boyfriend have any rights to the house I own?

    I purchased my home about 5 years ago, my boyfriend lives with me. We've kept our bills separate - "I'll pay for this if you fix that". We are reaching the end of our relationship and he seems to think I need to "buy him out" of a house he didn'...

    Stephen’s Answer

    It is hard to evaluate the strength of his claims without seeing what he is actually claiming. If he brings the matter to court he will have to explain to the judge the basis for the claim he is trying to make.

    In order to prevail, he will have to convince a court that there was some sort of agreement that he would be entitled to a share of the house or that he would be paid for his work. Further, since the issue is real estate, the court will likely require him to establish that the agreement was in writing. If he cannot show that, it is very unlikely that a court will award him any rights to a house that is not in his name.

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  • Can I sue the military?

    I'm still waiting on my medical report, so I don't have all the information, but here goes: When I was 2 years old, I lived on base (my father was in the military), and I was abducted, violently raped, and threatened for a few hours by a man I d...

    Stephen’s Answer

    You don't indicate how old you are now. Statutes of limitations are often tolled while you are a child, but begin to run when you turn 18 or (in some states) 21. If you are older than 25 then you likely have a problem on that account.

    Additionally, you generally cannot sue the government for failing to arrest or charge someone. There are a number of reasons for this including the doctrine of prosecutorial discretion and a problem with causation. Your damages were caused by the attack, not by the failure to arrest someone after the fact. There are also additional problems with governmental immunity that would have to be overcome in order to win any sort of claim against the federal government.

    You would have a claim against the actual assailant and some states have very long limitation periods on lawsuits for sexual assault in addition to the tolling while you are a minor. If you can identify the man then that is probably the best target for a successful lawsuit.

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  • Does this paperwork hold the same weight as me filing at the courts and standing before a judge ourselves?

    Both parents came to an agreement, now the lawyer drew up the paperwork, we went through the details and now the judge is going to sign off on it and in also having it notarized.

    Stephen’s Answer

    The really important part of the paperwork is the judge's signature approving the agreement as an order of the court. As long as you get that, you can enforce the agreement as an order of the court and make both parties follow it. Without the judge's signature, the agreement isn't worth much more than the paper it is printed on. Whether you are standing in front of the judge when he signs the order or not will not affect the enforcement of the agreement.

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  • Can I sue wallgreens for losing my called in script of suboxon ?

    they have lost 4 call in scripts in 7 months. I become very sick when I dont have the meds. They are for pain. When I went in to complain I had a bad seizure. My blood pressure was 228 over 110. They had me arrested.

    Stephen’s Answer

    You can sue anyone for anything. The better question is, can you win?

    The primary issue you are going to have involves your duty to mitigate your damages. If the script was lost, you had a duty to take action to limit your damages. You needed to have your doctor reissue the script and obtain the medication from another pharmacy if Wallgreens was unable to do the job correctly. Doing so would limit the damage you incurred. While you might have a claim for the pain your endured while you had the prescription replaced, the fact is that this isn't likely to amount to enough to be worth hiring an attorney over.

    As for your seizure and your blood pressure, there is no apparent connection between Walgreens' negligence and these conditions. Your arrest is even harder to recover for as that would require both the dismissal of the charges and proof that Walgreens made knowingly false statements to the police with malice.

    Your primary recourse is to take your business to a better pharmacy. You might be able to recover something in a lawsuit related to the delay in obtaining your medication, but it is doubtful that your recovery would be high enough to justify hiring an attorney. You will have to decide whether the claim is worth pursuing.

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  • What can an innocent person do when they are charged with a sex offense and the State's entire case is propensity evidence?

    I am currently facing charges of sexual abuse for which I am innocent. The case itself is extremely weak and could simply never be proven in a criminal trial. However, the State's Attorney's entire case has absolutely nothing to do with the merits...

    Stephen’s Answer

    The attorney whose input you need is the attorney who is representing you in this case. If you don't have an attorney, then YOU are your attorney and you are in a great deal of trouble. Even if you are an experienced trial attorney, it would be foolish to represent yourself in a criminal trial. You need an experienced attorney to represent you.

    You have at least a little bit more against you than propensity evidence. You also have the allegations and testimony of the alleged victim. You are very wise to be scared as you are facing very serious charges. You need an experienced criminal defense attorney and you need to discuss your case confidentially with that person.

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  • If you can't afford a lawyer who can you go to if the other parent hasn't abided by a court order?

    My ex husband passed away in 2015. His wife took me to court for guardianship and lost. When the appointed time came for her to turn my 15 year old son over she never showed up. The police wouldn't do anything because I didn't have a emergency rem...

    Stephen’s Answer

    If you are indigent you can contact non-profit legal organizations to see if you can find legal representation on a charity basis. If you can't qualify for charity assistance and you don't hire an attorney, then you will have to act as your own attorney and do everything any other attorney would do to pursue your case.

    Counseling sounds entirely appropriate under the circumstances you describe and would shed some light onto what is going on. If the court has ordered the guardian to take the child to counseling and they are not doing so, you can pursue contempt sanctions to enforce the court order.

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