Skip to main content
Stephen Clark Harkess

Stephen Harkess’s Answers

8,917 total


  • Do I need to pay if I signed a contract with my old employer but they used a name I set on Facebook?

    My employers bought me a car while I was working with them. But I got in an accident and I ended up buying a new car and quitting the job a little bit later. So they had me sign a contract but they had me name as "Keh Vinh Nouu" instead of "Kevin ...

    Stephen’s Answer

    If you are the person who signed the document then you are likely going to have to honor the promises in the document.

    See question 
  • No lease, no written or oral agreement and not paying rent.

    My wife and i moved in with my father June 3rd 2016. In that time my brother was making bombs, doing drugs, selling drugs, leaving needles around. July 21st I went to the police notified them of these activities. On that same day my brother was ar...

    Stephen’s Answer

    Your father likely has to give you at least 7 days notice to move before he can start eviction proceedings. Your best bet is to figure out where you are going as soon as you possibly can and get moved.

    See question 
  • What are the time limits on requesting a marriage annulment due to fraud. I feel like my wife married for her green card.

    My wife and I have been married for almost 3 years. Shortly after we got married she started withholding sex and intimacy. She refused to change her last name, refused to post pictures of us, and never wanted to plan a wedding. I also paid for eve...

    Stephen’s Answer

    To actually have the marriage declared invalid based on fraud, you need to establish fraud that goes to the heart of the marriage. I have never actually seen a good definition of what constitutes the "heart of the marriage" and your chance of success will vary greatly depending on the outlook of the judge you happen to draw.

    If you file for a Declaration of Invalidity (what Colorado calls an annulment), the Court has the power to make all of the same findings regarding spousal support, property division, division of assets, child support, etc as it would in a divorce. As such, this route does not guaranty a different financial result than divorce. It is also more complicated if your wife disputes the validity of the marriage.

    The only benefit of a Declaration of Invalidity is that you will be able to say that you were never legally married. In most cases, this is not worth the extra hassle.

    See question 
  • Is it legal to hold a group fundraiser for potential new businesses and charge to vote?

    Each voter will help in deciding a new and upcoming business in their area to enjoy. Plus the biz w/the most votes recieves 30% of the total funds. 10% ea goes to the other 2 biz's. The other 50% could be divided evenly between each voter. Could...

    Stephen’s Answer

    I don't see anything illegal in the plan. I'm not clear why anyone would pay to participate in the vote, however. What's in it for the voter?

    See question 
  • Can a judge force me to get my G.E.D. if I am older than the age of 18???

    A year and a half ago I got an under age drinking ticket when I was 18 and he has been dragging it out month after month. Can he do this?

    Stephen’s Answer

    No, a judge cannot force you to get your GED. You can always refuse and accept a jail sentence or fine instead.

    See question 
  • What are the judges rights to find someone guilty of contempt for not paying child support while on FMLA

    i was recently found guilty of a contempt case in which the judge held me financially responsible for figuring out a way to pay my monthly child support while i was on FMLA due to an auto accident is this legal were my rights covered under FMLA vi...

    Stephen’s Answer

    The FMLA affects employers. It does not limit the power of state court judges. Further, it is unlikely that the judge decided to punish you for contempt if you only missed 12 weeks of child support.

    In any event, if you believe that the judge's determination that you were capable of complying with the court order and failed to do so was not supported by the evidence, your recourse is to appeal the order. You have a short period of time to file an appeal with the Court of Appeals.

    See question 
  • Former friend of aunt borrowed money and promised to pay back but fled the state and avoids all attempts of contact

    My aunt's former friend was lent $20,000 and has promised to pay back within three months. The former friend has fled the state and now avoids every contact attempt my aunt has made. My aunt has a written statement from the former friend with her ...

    Stephen’s Answer

    Your aunt's claim - based on what you have described so far - is for breach of contract. Her friend promised to repay the $20,00 within 3 months and has missed the deadline. The next step is to sue the friend. This will require locating the friend. It may be necessary to hire a private investigator or skip tracer to find out where the friend went.

    Once the friend is located, your aunt will need to file a compliant in District Court. She will then need to contact the sheriff or a process server where the friend is located and have the friend served with the complaint and summons. Then she can seek a judgement from the court.

    If your aunt receives a judgment from the court, she can use that to garnish her friend's bank accounts, garnish her wages, or place a lien on any real estate that the friend owns until the debt is paid. If the friend does not own any significant assets, does not have a steady job, and does not have money in the bank, it may be almost impossible to ever recover the money owed to your aunt. If the friend files for bankruptcy protection then it will likely become impossible to every collect the money owed to the aunt.

    As you can see, making large unsecured loans to your "friends" is a very risky business. It is very possible that your aunt will never get her money back - especially if her friend does not have much in the way of money or assets to collect from. Your aunt will have to consider this when she decides whether to invest money in hiring an attorney and taking the case to court.

    A debt collection or civil litigation attorney will be able to help your aunt file the lawsuit if she decides that it is worth investing the money to pursue repayment of the debt. However, unless she has a written contract which provides for attorney fees, she will not be able to recover the attorney fees she pays as part of her judgment even if she is able to collect on the judgment. This is something she will need to consider in determining how she wants to pursue payment from her friend.

    See question 
  • My friend got picked up by the US marshalls

    My friend got picked up by the US marshalls in Denver Colorado, and He is apparently headed towards Spokane Washington. As his business partner, it is my duty to 1. find out where he's headed 2. get money on his books while he is at his long ...

    Stephen’s Answer

    If your friend is interested in your help I assume he will contact you. He will be able to tell you what he is facing and the best way to help him out.

    See question 
  • Can a structural repair company charge me a non-refundable deposit even if they haven't bought any materials?

    I signed a contract for repairs to my home's cracking foundation. I made the mistake of not having an engineering inspection first. The proposed solution ($30,000) won't solve my problem. The contract I foolishly signed says my $6,500 deposit is n...

    Stephen’s Answer

    The problem you have is that the company does have a loss if you cancel the contract even if they have not started any work or purchased any materials. Under your agreement, the company was expecting to make money from the job. That is why they are in business. If you breach the contract, then they would be entitled to recover their losses as a result of the breach which would include both the expenses that they have expended (if any) AND the lost profit from the job since that is the benefit they reasonably expected from the bargain that they struck with you.

    If the deposit greatly exceeds both the expenses they have laid out so far and the profit that they would have made on the completed project then you might be able to argue that the forfeit of the deposit constitutes an unenforceable penalty. If you are able to convince a judge that this is the case, you might be entitled to recover the portion of the deposit which exceeds the contractor's expenses and lost profit.

    I'm not sure that this will be worth taking to court as the argument you will need to make in order to get the judge to override the plain language of your contract is fairly complex and the amount you might recover even if you win is uncertain. You will have to decide whether pursuing the matter is worth the cost in money and time.

    See question 
  • Mother won't return daughter after summer vacation, what to do?

    We moved to Colorado a year ago from Oregon. Before moving, I sought and was granted full custody of our daughter. The mother was already living in Colorado. We had a parenting plan, which went out the window a month after we moved here because th...

    Stephen’s Answer

    As I'm sure you realize, you should have filed an agreement with the court to modify your parenting plan when you agreed that it should be changed. Your failure to do that is likely to make things more complicated.

    What you need to do is to contact an attorney in Oregon, if that is where your custody orders were entered. You may want to get a motion filed to enforce and/or modify your custody orders. Depending on what the current custody orders say, you may be able to get the assistance of local law enforcement in Oregon to help you go and pick up your daughter. The sooner you get things going, the better.

    See question