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Kevin Elliott Parks

Kevin Parks’s Answers

805 total


  • How does a court conduct a background check for a name change?

    My name change petition asks if I have used other names, am a sex offender, have been convicted of any crime, or am obliged to pay child support. Why would they ask me for this information if they can conduct a background check themselves? What’s ...

    Kevin’s Answer

    Because that's the way petitions work. A petitioner can't simply request something and hope the court grants it. Rather, a petitioner requests something and then alleges underlying factual support for the request. The court reviews and then makes its ruling.

    The point *ISN'T* to make the court staff look up background information. Just because the court *can* do that certainly doesn't mean it *has* to (though, in most circumstances, the court still will do this, but it does so to verify the factual accuracy of the information that you've alleged, rather than to gather and accumulate the factual information a petitioner otherwise needs in the first place. The point is that an individual who's requesting that the court do something (grant a petition) is required to allege (or deny) certain facts and other information for the court's consideration and review, which may or may not disqualify one from such a request.

    Anyone can request a name change. And typically, a court will often grant a name change. But the court isn't itself "defending" against your name change request, nor is it otherwise adverse to you in any way. Generally in most name change situations, there's isn't anyone adverse to the petitioner at all. It's just you, processing a document through the proper channels. Thus, the court doesn't automatically do a thorough background check or the like. They simply ask you the necessary background information, and then you answer. It's all very straightforward. Unless you omit required information, or submit incomplete information, or swear falsely by providing inaccurate information -- the the otherwise straightforward process can quickly become anything but.

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  • What are my rites whin it comes to a no cause termination notice in Portland Oregon.

    I moved in 2 months ago and I just had some guy show up at my door with a notice from my landlord given me a 30 day no cause. I was told this isn't legal and that the laws have changed am I wrong?

    Kevin’s Answer

    Yes, Portland passed an ordinance change in 2015. Whether or not it applies specifically to your tenancy, however, depends on a variety of circumstances.

    https://www.portlandoregon.gov/citycode/?c=28481#cid_555328

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  • What can I do about illegal eviction?

    I recently received a 60 day no cause no cure eviction with errors on it- shows serve date as eviction date. I live in city of Portland boundaries and I should have 90 days. Plus, this came less than a month after formal request to stop harassing ...

    Kevin’s Answer

    You should schedule a consultation with a local landlord/tenant attorney to review the notice (and your lease, other communications/documents) and evaluate and advise as to your options moving forward.

    The technical errors on the notice could be enough to secure a "victory" (i.e., a successful defense of an eviction case against you), though the "best case scenario" could be any number of things depending upon your specific circumstances (and your tolerance for risk, etc.)

    Whether discrimination, harassment and/or other issues related to your tenancy can be the basis of viable claims (or defenses) is almost entirely dependent upon the circumstances and the specific facts in your case.

    If you need help understanding the way the law works in these circumstances, and what you can (and should) or can't (and shouldn't) do, you're absolutely going to want to sit down with a practitioner who practices in the landlord/tenant area regularly and go over all the facts in detail.

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  • What is the process that should be followed if a landlord acknowledges that a deposit was sent after 31 days?

    I moved out of my apartment on June 19th and went through a series of emails in which the landlord tried to confuse me regarding the date the deposit was sent out. After finally having it sent from Accounts Payable on July 28th, the landlord ignor...

    Kevin’s Answer

    You likely maintain additional claims for the entire amount of the security deposit that was late, as well as for your costs AND attorneys fees.

    You should contact a local Landlord/Tenant attorney and schedule a consultation.

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  • Can an employer punish me for not coming in 7 hours after I get off

    Yesterday I had to do a 17 hour shift. 7 30 am to 12 30 am. I then didn't wake up the next morning in time for work and my employer wants to penalize me. Is he in his rights to do that?

    Kevin’s Answer

    It depends on what your employer means by "penalize," I suppose, but generally speaking, of course an employee can face penalties for showing up to work late.

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  • How many days a year can I rent out my home in Oregon and still be able to claim it as my residence?

    I travel a lot and would like to rent my home out when I am not here. But my first priority is being able to legally claim my home as my residence. I am in Sunriver, Oregon. Thank you for this great service!

    Kevin’s Answer

    There's a lot of potential applications that may be specific implicated by the course of action you're proposing. Thus, it's impossible to answer your request with any specificity.

    In short, it can depend on, essentially, who may be inquiring as to your residence.

    Certainly there could be official State of Oregon correspondence that could be affected -- i.e., driver's licensing, other State agency issues, etc., but also other entities may have altogether different articulations of relevant rules for residency, occupancy, etc. Things like local and state taxes, certain government or private benefits, loan obligations, in-state tuition qualifications, insurance, mortgages, etc., could all potentially shift and/or be affected by a finding of whether or not you reside (primarily, or otherwise) at your home -- and each test has the potential to be different.

    All told, if you're looking to potentially utilize a home as an income-generator, you'd be well advised to collect all of the relevant documents and identify all areas of possible concern and/or issue, and then schedule a consultation with a real estate attorney in your area.

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  • Can opposing counsel be sued?

    Can opposing counsel, the one that brought a petition before the court, be sued after the fact that a petition was brought to the court falsely? The opposing counsel seems to believe the petitioners' story without getting actual proof.

    Kevin’s Answer

    Theoretically, a party can sue the opposing party's attorney, though the circumstances where this may be relevant and appropriate are exceedingly rare.

    You don't give a lot of context, which is generally a good thing. However, you should know that it is, of course, the opposing attorney's job to believe their client and advocate zealously on their behalf. If the lawyer knows or has reason to know that their client is lying, then that's one issue that can be remedied. However, it's difficult if not impossible for you to know (much less have evidence) of what the opposing attorney knows or doesn't know, suspects or the like.

    "Actual proof" can in reality be any number of things, but it doesn't generally require that a lawyer conduct investigation or collect physical evidence to substantiate the claims of their clients, if that's what you're intending to mean; mere allegation and testimony from a client or witness is often enough evidence to provide the court with a genuine case or controversy to decide an issue.

    Further, as it relates to your rights, whether or not the opposing counsel believes their client doesn't really make any difference whatsoever, as any decision or judgment based upon the law or facts is ultimately not up to the opposing counsel at all, but rather is left up to the judge, jury, arbitrator, or the like.

    Generally, if a Petitioner files an action (regardless of whether or not they utilize counsel to do so), it's the Respondent's obligation to respond, offer defenses, counter arguments, etc., and/or counter-claim(s) if and when appropriate. You can offer evidence to refute the Petitioner's claim(s), offer evidence to refute the Petitioner's credibility, etc. But trying to go after the opposing party's attorney isn't usually the most efficient or effective way of handling any sort of dispute in litigation.

    Even if a court rejects/denies a Petitioner's request (and finds in favor of a Respondent), that in and of itself is often not enough to provide a basis for a counter, or subsequent, lawsuit against the Petitioner, much less against Petitioner's attorney.

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  • I sold my house gave 30 days notice and tenants refuse to leave

    I sold my house and gave my tenants notice on the 14th of this month. Mailed and posted on their door. They were out of town I also texted them that they got it and to please let me know when they got it. They didn't get home till a week and a hal...

    Kevin’s Answer

    That you sold the home doesn't particularly affect the rights of the tenants, in that they're still entitled to the same rights under their lease regardless of whether you own the home, or it is purchased by new owners. Thus, if you'd like to proceed with terminating their tenancy and/or evicting them, you're going to have to go through the notice procedures and eviction filing.

    Based on what you've written, it seems somewhat likely that the notice of termination that you've provided isn't going to be effective. Thus, your best bet is to likely start the process over. While notice periods can end during the middle of the month, computing the period in the first place is often the most important (and tricky) part -- in Portland, No Cause terminations now require a 90 day notice, prior to filing for an eviction, and you're not allowed to file an eviction action until after the notice period expires. (You can file an eviction, of course, but you'll almost certainly lose and have to pay your tenants' attorneys fees.)

    All told, there's no question that you're going to want to hire an attorney to review the lease and notice(s) you've provided already, and then likely to handle the process for you moving forward.

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  • RE: Homestead Act Oregon:

    RE: Homestead Act Oregon: I have got a $200,00.00 medical debt and has been sent to collections. My wife, although it is not her debt is also being held responsible for my debt. If the collection agency takes us to court and wins a judgement could...

    Kevin’s Answer

    Under Oregon's Family Expense statute, the debt is likely shared, as assigning financial responsibility on medical debts to spouses is indeed one of the main effects of the statute.

    If a judgment is entered against a debtor(s), collection attempts can commence against the debtor(s) thereafter, including foreclosure proceedings upon any real property held by the debtor(s).

    While the Homestead Act relates to something else entirely, you're likely considering the applicability of Oregon's Homestead Exemption law. These laws generally provide for a baseline lower threshold of value in a home that a creditor cannot access and recover to pay a debt. In Oregon, that value (exemption) is either $40k or $50k, depending upon the circumstances.

    Here, if the medical provider and/or collection agency obtained a judgment and tried to enforce a $200k judgment against a fully paid-off home valued at, say, $300k, then they'd be able to foreclosure a lien, force a sale, and fully recover their $200k from the $300k of the home's value and the owner's equity. However, if the value of the home was only, say, $150k, then a foreclosing lien holder could hope to collect only $100k or $110k from the foreclosure proceeding -- the value of the sale, less the applicability of the relevant homestead exemption.

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  • Are you required to post personal information on a "No Trespassing" sign for a private residence?

    I want to post a "No Trespassing" sign & was told at store where I bought it to write the respective ORS number referring to trespassing laws in Oregon on the sign. When I looked it up it says to write name, address & number (if a business). What ...

    Kevin’s Answer

    Technically-speaking, no other information is required for you to post the sign.

    The question really boils down to, 'what are your intentions and/or wishes in regarding to resolving and/or remedying a situation where someone enters onto your personal property?'

    The possible criminal remedies require police involvement (and, thus, their discretion) which vary wildly on the circumstances. The possible civil remedies can certainly be affected by the presence of a "No Trespassing" sign, but presence of a/the sign itself isn't likely going to be itself determinative on whether certain remedies are available, and the presence (or absence) of any specific language on the sign is liekly to have little to no affect whatsoever.

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