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Robert Dunphy’s Answers

107 total


  • Can you get a DUI even if your not driving?

    Had a warrant issued out recently for my arrest. They are charging me with a DUI which I wasnt even driving. So they did an investigation while on the scene they proved that I wasn't the driver. So after they investigated they took my friend and I...

    Robert’s Answer

    DUI requires operating a motor vehicle. Physical control of a vehicle in WA is different than DUI. If you were not in physical control, then you should probably be able to beat the charge. I agree that, if the case is as old as you are saying, then you should be able to get it dismissed for speedy trial issues. Feel free to contact my office if you would like to speak to a DUI lawyer about this issue.

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  • Police officer has to issue ticket when the traffic violation happened or he can come to your house? later?

    WA state...Seattle city...I saw some one driving in wrong way in one way street...and police officer saw him but officer did not stop and issue a ticket......now can he issue a ticket through mail to that driver..I am positive police officer notic...

    Robert’s Answer

    I have had clients before that were pulled over by police at the time of the infraction but then not issued a ticket. Instead, the ticket was later mailed. I have no idea why an officer would do this, but the above answer is correct. As long as the infraction is filed with the court within 5 days and the defendant is provided a hearing within 120 days, the infraction can be given to the defendant whenever.

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  • Can my landlord complain about noise related to showering, taking baths, doing laundry or running the dishwasher after 10 pm?

    The bldg is old and you can hear everything . Can my landdlord tell me my neighbors have complained and to adhere to the quiet time policy of 10 pm -7 am regarding the above listed activities?

    Robert’s Answer

    The answer depends on your rental agreement and the rules of your apartment. The RCWs require tenants to abide by REASONABLE rules set forth by a landlord at the outset of the tenancy. It is likely that a request to not do laundry or shower after 10pm would be reasonable (although it is probably unreasonable to request that you do not shower from 5-7am when most people are getting ready for work). Unless your situation prohibits it, I would recommend performing all of these activities during non-quiet hours to avoid any problems with the landlord and other tenants.

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  • Is verbal moving out notice still effective?

    The manager called me about month ago, and asking me about moving out after lease. I told them that i'm moving out. They didn't mention anything about written notice at that time. and I thought that was it. Now, they called me and said that I sh...

    Robert’s Answer

    Usually written notice is required unless the lease specifies. However, if the lease is not a month-to-month lease, then notice is not required. It is supposed to be presumed that you are moving out unless you say otherwise at the end of the lease, so this will depend on if your lease is for a set amount of time, or just month to month.

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  • Can I take my old aparment manager to small claims court? Do I have a good case possibly?

    When we moved into an apartment last year, we were on a month to month lease and we gave them a $400 deposit. We have a receipt from the manager for it. She said that half was refundable and the other have was cleaning fee.(stated on the receipt)....

    Robert’s Answer

    If the itemized statement showed damage beyond $201 (your deposit amount), then the landlord can collect any extra amount that was paid to repair the premises. However, you could have a decent claim if they did not apply the non-refundable cleaning fee to the total...otherwise it is not really a cleaning fee.

    As for the itemized list, if your landlord had your new address before he sent it, then he did not comply with the law. Landlord is required to give it to you in person or mail to your LAST KNOWN ADDRESS within the 14 days. If you can prove that he had your new address but still sent the notice to the old address, then you could also have a claim to get your deposit back. (See the link in my previous answer for the law).

    Again, you may consider having a lawyer draft up a demand letter for you. In my experience, landlords that receive a demand letter with a law firm letterhead are pretty cooperative, and the fees for drafting such a letter are usually pretty small (about 30 mins for hourly rate).

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  • What should i expect?

    I was recently charged with 3rd degree theft. I stole a video game worth $40 dollars from the Chehalis Wal Mart. I was apprehended by their lost prevention and cooperated completely. I was read my rights and issued a court date. I'm 20 years old a...

    Robert’s Answer

    Most likely you will be offered some kind of diversion program or a deferment. Basically, you can agree to go on probation for anywhere from 6 months to a year and maybe perform some community service and, if you comply with any other conditions during the probation, then the case is dismissed. Also, a compromise of misdemeanor may be possible, where you pay for the merchandise and the case is dismissed (if the victim agrees to it). At your next hearing you will be arraigned, enter a plea of not guilty with your lawyer (you will have a public defender if you cannot afford a lawyer) and at that point you will be able to see what the city's opening offer is. Of course, depending on the evidence, you may choose to fight the case. (Also, be careful about what you admit to doing on the internet). Feel free to contact me if you have any other questions or concerns. Good Luck!

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  • Can I take my old aparment manager to small claims court? Do I have a good case possibly?

    When we moved into an apartment last year, we were on a month to month lease and we gave them a $400 deposit. We have a receipt from the manager for it. She said that half was refundable and the other have was cleaning fee.(stated on the receipt)....

    Robert’s Answer

    Were you given a written notice after you moved out stating the basis for keeping your deposit? Landlords are required to send you basically an invoice showing each cleaning charge that your damage deposit is being used to pay for, or else give you back your damage deposit. If this is not sent to you within 14 days, then the landlord cannot keep ANY of your deposit and you could possibly sue them for damages as well. The relevant law is linked below. It may be worth your time to hire a lawyer to draft a demand letter to get your deposit back.

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  • I moved out of my place and landlord did not give me any deposit. she charged me for doorstops, batteries light fixtures garbage

    disposal tops and other miscelaneous stuff. i took picutres and left place immaculate. my lease states following prorate schedule shall determine how normal wear and tear shall be definened. resident agrees that they will be charged on a prora...

    Robert’s Answer

    You cannot be charged for normal wear and tear in a lease. Did you sign a written checklist at the beginning of the lease? If there was no written checklist about the status of the property when you moved in, then the landlord cannot keep your deposit. If there was a checklist, send a letter to your landlord listing each charge that you are disputing, including those for "normal wear and tear" (batteries, carpet cleaning, doorstops, etc.). Ive linked the relevant laws below.
    Good Luck

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  • My daughter step brother bropught a goat to eat black berrys, landlord told her this am to remove it, when she left for work he

    let the goat go not realizing her step brother was in house, just after he sprayed poison all over bushes in her yard, her brother had goat for 24 hrs the he had to find the goat, he is limping and wont eat or drink, what should we do besides call...

    Robert’s Answer

    It sounds like it would be better for all involved if your daughter just leaves the house. On a month-to-month lease, either party can terminate the lease with 20 days notice (unless more time is required in the lease), so the landlord is well within his right to ask her to be out by the end of May. If it is that bad there though, it seems like your daughter may want to even be out sooner.

    If landlord continues to harass, I would call the police.

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  • Is it illegal to ask a house sitter to pay for the duration they are house sitting?

    Hello, I've just been informed of a family emergency which could take me out of the country for 4-6 months. I need someone to watch my house while I'm gone. Because I don't know how long I will be away, I need the flexibility of coming back to my ...

    Robert’s Answer

    I think the best option that you have is a month-to-month lease. This lease can be terminated with 20 days notice, so it gives you flexibility to get your house back whenever you come back into town. However, the tenants can terminate with 20 days notice as well, so it does not guarantee a long-term tenant. Even if you build into a lease that you reserve the right to kick out the family with less than 20 days notice, I do not think a court would enforce it. Month-to-month lease with a damage deposit would give you the most flexibility to move back in and protect your property from being damaged while you are away. Leases and damage deposits have a couple of pretty strict requirements so, if you choose to go that route, you may consider having a lawyer draft up the documents for you, just in case.

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