Tuesday, May 21, 2024

What Is A Judgment Lien?

July 19, 2014 by  
Filed under Legal Specials

A judgment lien is a court ordered lien that is placed against the home or property when the homeowner simply fails to pay a debt. This doesn’t seem like a big deal, but when the homeowner has a judgment lien against his or her home and wants to sell it, the judgment lien has to be paid in full before the home or property can be sold. Judgment liens can be placed against the property for a variety of reasons such as unpaid credit card bills, utility bills, department store bills, landscaping or home improvement bills, and just about any bill that the homeowner has failed to pay in a reasonable amount of time. Any bill that can cause one to end up in court can result in a judgment lien.

A judgment lien is different than a trust, in that the judgment lien holder cannot foreclose on the home or the property as trust holder can. Judgment lien holders can demand payment, but ultimately they must wait for the homeowner to sell the property before they can expect to be paid the money that they are owed according to the judgment. Luckily for the judgment lien holder, the court will typically assign an interest rate to these liens so that the lien holder is compensated for their waiting as the interest will continue to accrue until the debt is paid in full. Because the majority of people will live in their home for quite some time, the interest can make a judgment lien grow, and grow, and grow over the years so that it is quite large. Imagine what a lien of just $3,000 would grow to over the years if the interest rate were 15% annually and that would be an even bigger amount if the debt were $5,000 or $10,000!

Of course, judgment liens require court action. A creditor will take the homeowner to court where the judge will determine if the homeowner does in fact owe the creditor any money. If the court decides that the creditor is owed the money, and the homeowner will not or cannot make payment, the judge will order that a judgment lien be placed against the property. The judgment lien will then be entered into land records offices for the city or county so that the home cannot be sold without repayment of the debt. Once the lien is filed with the land records office, the judgment lien is said to be attached to the property, meaning that it cannot legally be sold without paying off that lien. If the judgment lien is not listed at the land records office, then it means that the debt or lien is not legally attached to the property and does not need to be paid off to sell the home.

A home or property can have numerous liens against it, which may present a problem when the home is to be sold. Fortunately, the law says that liens will be paid off in the order that they were attached to the property, meaning the first lien will be paid first, the second will be paid second, and so on. This is a law that was basically developed for when a home is foreclosed on. If a foreclosed home is auctioned it will first pay off the first lien, then the second, and the third until there is no money left to pay the debts that are still attached or associated with the home. Of course, all trusts against the house, such as mortgages and home equity loans, would be paid off before the judgment liens, so it’s not uncommon for these liens to simply go unpaid because there is no money remaining to pay these debts after the trusts are paid. If there is not enough money to pay for all of the judgment liens and trusts on the home or property, they are then wiped out and can no longer be collected on. Of course, the auction will usually attempt to pay for all of these debts, and they are paid for until there is no money. The reason for this is that the new owner will not be able to get any home equity loans or second mortgages with judgment liens already on the home. If there is money left over after everything is paid off, the remaining amount would go to the foreclosed homeowner as all debts are paid.

You can look for judgment liens at the land records office, though you will typically not find them listed with trusts. Investors or homeowners looking to sell their home will have to look into both trusts and judgments, as they are listed in different areas. Investors can often be caught off guard when they realize how much debt is attached to the home, and sellers are often startled at old judgment liens that they had forgotten about and don’t want to afford to pay off in order to sell their home. It’s a good idea to go over all of this information before one bids on a home or attempts to sell it or put it on the market.

Judgment liens are not something that anyone wants put against their home, but they are common enough. There comes a time for many people when they simply cannot pay a bill, and a judgment lien is ordered. Making a continued effort to pay down the debt is a great idea so that you don’t acquire large interest fees in addition to the initial dollar amount of the lien. The homeowner does not have to wait until the home is sold to pay off the lien, instead they can be paid off as soon as possible. The judgment lien is simply put in place so that the home cannot be sold without the debt being paid, and when you look at it from the creditors point of view, this is a great tool to ensure that you’ll eventually be paid the amount you are owed in addition to an interest fee that will pay you for waiting.

What happens if you get arrested in Thailand?

July 19, 2014 by  
Filed under General

Although consular officers cannot serve as attorneys or give legal advice, they can provide a list of local attorneys and help you find legal representation. However, neither the Department of State nor the U.S. Consulate can assume any responsibility for the caliber, competence, or professional integrity of these attorneys.

A consular officer will do whatever he/she can to protect your legitimate interests and ensure that you are not discriminated against under local law. A consular officer cannot release prisoners, provide guarantees of their comportment, or provide funds for bail. If you are arrested, immediately ask that a consular officer at the U.S. Embassy be notified. If you are turned down, keep asking–politely, but persistently. If unsuccessful, try to have someone get in touch with us on your behalf.

Upon learning of your arrest, a U.S. Consular Officer will visit you, provide a list of local attorneys, inform the Department of State of your arrest and, if requested, contact family or friends in the U.S. or elsewhere. Consuls can help you transfer money, food, and clothing from your family and friends. They will also try to get relief if you are held under inhumane or unhealthful conditions or are treated less equitably than others in the same situation.

What does it take to be a Lawyer?

July 19, 2014 by  
Filed under General

When you see all these handsome Lawyers in TV series like LA Law, sitting in their fancy offices, driving these flashy cars, have you ever realized what they have been through in terms of time, years of education, money, Certifications etc’.

Let me Describe to you the Lawyers course of training. Formal educational requirements for lawyers include a 4-year college degree, 3 years in law school, and the passing of a written bar examination.

Competition for admission to most law schools is intense. prospective lawyers should develop proficiency in writing and speaking, reading, researching, analyzing, and thinking logically—skills needed to succeed both in law school and in the profession.

Regardless of major, a multidisciplinary background is recommended. Courses in English, foreign languages, public speaking, government, philosophy, history, economics, mathematics, and computer science, among others, are useful. Students interested in a particular aspect of law may find related courses helpful. For example, prospective patent lawyers need a strong background in engineering or science, and future tax lawyers must have extensive knowledge of accounting.

Acceptance by most law schools depends on the applicant’s ability to demonstrate an aptitude for the study of law, usually through good undergraduate grades, the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), the quality of the applicant’s undergraduate school, any prior work experience, and, sometimes, a personal interview.

During the first year or year and a half of law school, students usually study core courses, such as constitutional law, contracts, property law, torts, civil procedure, and legal writing. In the remaining time, they may elect specialized courses in fields such as tax, labor, or corporate law. Law students often acquire practical experience by participating in school-sponsored legal clinic activities; in the school’s moot court competitions, in which students conduct appellate arguments; in practice trials under the supervision of experienced lawyers and judges; and through research and writing on legal issues for the school’s law journal.

Law school graduates receive the degree of juris doctor (J.D.) as the first professional degree. Advanced law degrees may be desirable for those planning to specialize, research, or teach. Some law students pursue joint degree programs, which usually require an additional semester or year of study. Joint degree programs are offered in a number of areas, including law and business administration or public administration.

After graduation, lawyers must keep informed about legal and nonlegal developments that affect their practice. Currently, 40 States and jurisdictions mandate continuing legal education (CLE). Many law schools and State and local bar associations provide continuing education courses that help lawyers stay abreast of recent developments.

The practice of law involves a great deal of responsibility. Individuals planning careers in law should like to work with people and be able to win the respect and confidence of their clients, associates, and the public. Perseverance, creativity, and reasoning ability also are essential to lawyers, who often analyze complex cases and handle new and unique legal problems.

Lawyers held about 695,000 jobs in 2002. About 3 out of 4 lawyers practiced privately, either in law firms or in solo practices. Most of the remaining lawyers held positions in government and with corporations and nonprofit organizations.

Trademark Registration in India

July 19, 2014 by  
Filed under Legal Specials

A trademark refers to any word , symbol or letters or a combination of these that is used to mark the product so as to distinguish it from the product of another producer. The trademark is useful to make the public aware of the producer or the source of the product. Trademarks play a significant role in product marketing and thus there are certain rules laid down for the registration of trademarks. Every country or nation has a set of rules governing the registration of trademarks. India also has laid down a set of laws governing the registration of trademarks. For trademarks registeration in India the owner has to file an application in writing with the Registrar of Trade Marks in the required format.

Different states of India have their own particular offices wherein one can file the application for trademark registration . For instance for trademarks registration in Chennai , one has to file the application as per the prescribed format and make the payment of the fees either by cash, bank draft , money order or postal order favouring “Deputy Registrar of Trade marks”, Chennai. For any other information related to the registration of trademarks in Chennai the Deputy Registrar of Trademarks at the Trade Marks Registry in Rajaji Bhavan , Chennai may be contacted.

How to file trademark application in India
The Trade Marks Act, 1999 governs all the matters related to trademarks and holds good throughout India. By registering a particular trademark the person gets exclusive rights for its use. Although it is not compulsory by law to register a trademark , registering the trademark provides legal protection to it.

The trademark offices in India are situated at five places namely , Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Kolkota, Delhi and Chennai. For the registration of a trademark, the application must be filed in Form TM-1 in any of the five offices of the Trademarks Registry within whose jurisdiction the business office would fall. A fee of Rs. 2500/- must accompany the application form. The application is then processed to check if the trademark is unique and not one that is already registered. If found valid then the next step would involve the publishing of the trademark in the Trade Marks Journal allowing others a chance to raise objection, if any. If it is found that there is no objection from anybody then it is registered as a valid trademark and a certificate is duly issued. In case of any objection and the application rejected by the authority the applicant has a chance for appeal to the Intellectual Property Appellate Board.

The general term for which a trademark is registered is for 10 years after which it has to be renewed . One can renew it for another 10 years after the expiry of the first 10 years. In case a registered trademark is not renewed then it is deleted from the register of trademarks.

Registering a trademark although not compulsory as per the law , is beneficial due to the legal protection that it offers.

Tips to Hire a Good Personal Injury Attorney

July 19, 2014 by  
Filed under Legal Specials

Wondering what to do when you have been in an accident, a slip and fall, or a workplace injury? If you have already spoken with in insurance provider for your insurer, it may be time to consider a personal injury attorney.

The danger in running right out and hiring a personal injury attorney immediately after injury is that you will have to pay for their services out of whatever payout you ultimately get. So, it is typically wise to first speak with the relevant insurance provider and only then turn to legal alternatives. While speaking to the insurance company will in many situations resolve the issue completely, there may be some situations in which the insurance company either denies your claim entirely or decides to compensate you in a matter that is from your perspective insufficient. In such situations, the premium that you pay out to a personal injury attorney will come back to you in settlement damages many times over.

Now, once you are convinced that you need a personal injury attorney, you have to put forth the effort of first finding the right person for your case. Here are a few tips on selecting the right attorney for you:

There are a number of online databases of local and regional personal injury attorneys. While most of these are pay per listing or free submission, some actually do provide reviewing services. Even here, however, be wary of putting too much stock in a website’s recommendation as this information can be easily manipulated.

Using this online database and your local yellow pages as a sort of general list, it then becomes imperative to narrow this list by looking at the credentials of a particular attorney. Probably the best way to do this is to call your local legal aid clinic, which is free. While these individuals are not in the business of providing recommendations, the bar in a particular city for personal injury usually consists of about fifty to one hundred attorneys, so amongst attorneys word gets around pretty quickly as to who is good and who is not.

Another good resource is your city bar association. Your city bar will keep more general information about who has not been sanctioned by courts for malpractice and typically keeps a short list of recommended attorneys. But again, take this list with a grain of salt as there are manipulations going on behind the scenes here as well. Often a better tack is just to have a list of three or four attorneys you are considering and then call the bar association to hear their thoughts on each one.

Referrals can be good if you know someone in the legal community. But if not, the best you will get out of a referral is a sort of ‘he/she isn’t incompetent.’ Because let’s face it, most clients have no idea whether the settlement they received was in actuality the best they could have.

The final test should always be to meet with the attorney. In such a meeting you can discuss the payment method (contingency or flat-fee), but more importantly you want to try to assess if this individual seems competent. Note things like, what law school he/she attended? Did they pass the bar on their first try? How long have they been practicing personal injury in your state? Will they let you speak with some of their most recent clients? All of these factors taken together should give you a general impression of whether your personal injury attorney is competent, if not good.

The Right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

July 19, 2014 by  
Filed under Legal Specials

The Bill of Rights exist in many different countries today to protect the people who are within the territorial boundary of the countries’ government from unlawful actions that may deprive a person’s right to live, security, and other necessities needed to survive. Originating from the British’s Bill of Rights, which was literally a bill that was proposed and passed by Parliament in 1689 to protect the basic rights of the people. To effectively have the Bill of Rights into play it must be constantly be enforced by the government that it is trying to restrict.

The concept of the Bill of Rights is very popular with the population of countries that hold such a law in their constitution. Such one country is the United States of America in which the United States Bill of Rights protects the residents of the country from its own government from Federal to the local. The United States Bill of Rights was originally a series of amendments brought before the Congress in which ten of the amendments were put into effect in 1791.

The First Amendment which states the freedom of religion, speech, press, peaceful assembly and the right to petition the government is the most popular amendment that is in effect today. Though it may have some restrictions like as long as it does not create an imminent threat to the subject and those within the proximity or unless under warfare, the first amendment is in effect. An example is like shouting the word “fire” as a joke in a crowded area as it can create a widespread panic causing casualties or maybe during wartime some things just should be said or written.

The Second Amendment is in which gives the resident of the United States of America the right to bear arms. An amendment which is criticized today by those who promote gun safety as those who just promote the right to own a firearm have been known to legally abuse this law. As the law was originally in state for the protection of a resident and his or her family from outside forces that would cause harm to them or for hunting, groups such as the NRA use the amendment to be able to own automatic weapons which are mainly used for warfare and not for such measures as it was originally put into use for.

The Third Amendment protects the residents of United States of being forced to quarter troops in their own property in peacetime or even in wartime unless done in a process which is acceptable under the given circumstances.

The Fourth Amendment protects the resident from unlawful search and seizures in which they cannot be searched without just cause and or without a warrant, and if there is a warrant, the warrant only allows the items stated within the warrant to be seized within the location the warrant gives permission to search and nothing else unless the item in question is in plain sight and unlawful in other words illegal under the current law.

The Fifth Amendment gives the resident due process in which it prevents self-incrimination, double jeopardy, and eminent domain by the government. Where a person cannot convict themselves, be tried for more than once for the same crime, and have the government unlawfully take away property owned by an individual.

The Pursuit of Happiness for Women

July 19, 2014 by  
Filed under General

In 1970 a “Jane Roe” filed suit against the state of Texas when she was not permitted to have an abortion. The child in question was a product of rape, and “Jane Roe” did not want to hold with her the harsh reminder of what had occurred to her. Texas granted her an injunction, but they kept the law forbidding women to have abortions. “Jane Roe” and her attorneys Linda Coffee and Sarah Weddington appealed the case and took it to the Supreme Court.

What happiness can an abortion provide women is a question demanding to be asked.

Women deserve to have the option of abortion not only because it is their right under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and because it is their constitutional right to privacy, but also to ensure a better happier future for themselves. In today’s society women are more upwardly mobile than ever and education and career are no longer taboo considerations. A woman’s practicing her right to choice can be due to a myriad of situations; she could have been raped, she could be too young to consider herself a mother, she could be financial unable to support a child, or she can be too busy at trying to keep up with the men in the job market.

Women are no long debilitated by pregnancy. Unfortunately, pregnancy can unexpectedly occur even if you are using contraceptives, but where as a man does not need to concern himself with this a woman does. Abortion is not going to be a business woman’s singular form of birth control but it is a safety net to fall back on. Abortion can keep a John Hopkins student from swapping medical school for a serving job that makes enough money to buy formula. Abortion can keep women who can to make advancements in science after from quitting midway achieving their bachelor’s degree.

Although it is still a very heavy moral issue and it is one that no woman can deny is difficult. Every woman understands the gravity of the situation and no woman can make it with out feeling the burden of it on her shoulders forever. Student and business women will think about there decision from the moment they step out of the clinic to the moment their last breathe it is drawn, but they made that decision in the belief that were pursuing something great.

It is unjust to make women slaves to their biology. Men have no hindrances due to their biological make up, whereas women have menstruation, menopause, and pregnancy to work through. The Roe v. Wade decision was a pivotal moment in women’s struggle to overcome obstacles she faces to keep up with men.

It has been said that, “man is born free and everywhere else he is in chains.” Woman isn’t given that luxury. Woman is born into the slavery of her sex and she fights to break free from that chain. Roe v. Wade put a chink in the chain.

The Process of Family Court Restraining Orders

July 19, 2014 by  
Filed under Legal Tips

Copyright 2006 Law Offices of Donald P. Schweitzer

The first step to understanding the process of obtaining a family law domestic violence restraining order is to understand that this process is quite different from the process involved when protective orders are automatically put into place by the courts in criminal matters. In criminal matters, the police and the court are empowered to issue “automatic” temporary restraining orders. Evidentiary hearings are not conducted before these restraining orders are put into place. Consequently, in criminal courts the protected party does not need to be a part of the process.

In many instances, victims of domestic violence need to obtain a restraining order in family court, for example, where the criminal court restraining order is not adequate to deal with issues such as child support, spousal support, or custody and visitation. In other instances, a victim of domestic violence may need the protection of the family court where criminal charges were not filed or have been dismissed.

Unlike criminal matters, the protected party seeking a family law restraining order has to file his or her own papers, attend at least two hearings, and be able to conduct an evidentiary hearing. In addition, the Petitioner in a family court restraining order matter is responsible for ensuring that the Respondent has been served prior to the hearing.

At the hearing, Petitioners seeking a family law restraining order must be able to present a case, and convince the judge by a preponderance of the evidence that domestic violence was committed. Thus, a basic understanding of what constitutes domestic violence is essential. In some instances, the matter does not qualify as a domestic violence case, because the parties do not have the right type of relationship. Instead, the case may be filed as a “Civil Harassment” matter, which involves its own unique process and standard of proof.

The hearing for a permanent restraining order is essentially a mini trial. At the hearing, all of the rules of evidence apply, and both parties have the right to a meaningful opportunity to present evidence and cross examine witnesses. Preparing for a family court restraining order hearing should include, composing direct and cross examination questions, and when possible, gathering of physical and demonstrative evidence. In this high tech age that we live in, e-mail messages, voice messages, and surveillance video are frequently introduced into evidence to prove or disprove a case. Police reports are also allowed into evidence as an exception to the hearsay rule. Thus, litigants should attempt to obtain police reports, whenever possible, as they can be very persuasive to the judge. People within the legal profession recognize the serious consequences involved with the issuance of permanent restraining orders. Given that restraining orders typically impose significant limitations on a party’s liberty, and can affect a party’s ability to find or maintain employment, these matters are being taken more seriously by the courts in recent years. Courts have become more skeptical of the requests that are made for restraining orders and hold the moving party to his or her burden. Indeed, the days of family courts “rubber stamping” restraining orders appear to be coming to an end. Consequently, it is incumbent upon any person who is faced with having to be a part of this process to do his or her homework before entering the courtroom.

The Police Want to Speak With Me – What Should I Do?

July 19, 2014 by  
Filed under Legal Tips

Copyright 2006 Law Offices of Donald P. Schweitzer

Have you ever stopped to consider what you would do if you were suddenly faced with the prospect of getting arrested and being asked by the police to speak to them? Most of my law abiding clients never consider such circumstances since they do not foresee the possibility of ever having problems with the law. Unfortunately, life is not predictable, and some of us may find ourselves in compromising positions where the police will attempt to speak with us.

In this article I will provide you with useful information in the event the “unimaginable” happens and you are accused of committing a crime. As you will read, there are several reasons why it may be in your best interests not to speak with the police until you have first spoken with an attorney.


First of all, the police may not be able to make a case against you without your statement. It is a little known fact that obtaining a confession or incriminating statements from the accused is the number one tool law enforcement officers rely on in making their case. Approximately 70 percent of all criminal cases filed by the District Attorney’s office have sufficient evidence for filings, only because the accused made a statement to the police. Consequently, police officers are specially trained to illicit statements from people accused of crimes. They are sent to special schools where they receive training on how to use psychology and to employ tricks to get people to speak. And in case you didn’t know, it is perfectly within the law for police officers to use trickery or to tell lies in order to obtain a statement.


When you are accused of a crime, giving your “side of the story” to the police is usually the wrong thing to do. As the popular former prosecutor and noted author – Vincent Bugliosi once wrote, getting a statement from the accused almost always favors the prosecution. Once the government has your version of the incident, you are pinned down as to certain facts, and the government will spend countless hours tearing your story apart. Prosecutors are taught to use defendant’s statements in trial, even when they are self serving, since the statements are usually more helpful to the government’s case than harmful. Thus, as the Miranda warnings state, “your statement can and will be used against you.”


Contrary to popular belief, the police are not required to give you the Miranda warnings prior to speaking with you in all situations. Miranda warnings are only required when the police have you in a “custodial” situation, i.e., when you are not free to leave. Therefore, there are many situations where the police can contact you and speak to you without having to give you the Miranda rights. For example, police officers frequently make telephone calls to people suspected of crimes and obtain voluntary statements without having to give Miranda warnings. Incidentally, these phone conversations are usually secretly tape recorded, which the police are authorized to do! Also, officers frequently ask people to drop by the station to give a statement, or they drop by your house to talk to you. So long as the Court finds you were “free to leave,” the police are not required to “Mirandize” you before speaking to you.


Experienced defense attorneys know the value of going to trial when their client’s have not spoken, since the government’s case may not be very strong. When the accused has not provided the police with a statement, his or her attorney has the opportunity to analyze the government’s case before making a opening and closing statements or deciding if a particular witness should testify. Conversely, when you speak to the police you will probably eliminate most of the defenses your attorney can employ on your behalf.


Assume that the police want to speak with you as a “witness.” The police tell you they do not consider you as a suspect and they believe you possess information that may be helpful in their investigation. Before speaking to them, you may want to ask yourself, “what’s the hurry?” In most circumstances, the police can wait long enough for you to consult with an attorney, since they are contacting you after the incident and there is no emergency that requires your statement. Furthermore, if the motives of the police are as innocent as they sound, the police should be willing to wait until you have consulted with an attorney.


Many people who are aware of their rights not to speak to the police, waive their Constitutional rights, because they are afraid of looking guilty. Believe it or not, many Police officers and Prosecutors accused of crimes (and who should know their rights better than the rest of us) frequently waive their rights, and end up ruining the defenses they may have had.

When you find yourself in need, do not hesitate in exercising your Constitutional rights. Remember, exercising your Constitutional rights can never be used against you in a criminal case. Thus, if you find yourself in a situation where you don’t want to speak to the police, just tell the police, “I’d like to speak with you, but first I will need to speak with my attorney to ensure my rights are protected.”

The Non-Profit ByLaw Legal Form

July 19, 2014 by  
Filed under Legal Specials

So, you have a non-profit organization and you need a bylaw legal form and don’t know where to turn. Well relax, you are not the first one in this situation and you are not alone. Yes you have a problem but thanks to the Internet there is an easy solution to your problem. And this solution is much easier than you would ever think.

The answer for your non-profit bylaw legal form is the Internet.

The Internet you ask? Well yeah, the Internet!

Sure you could go out and hire a lawyer but that is an expensive option. Especially for a non-profit organization. Why would you want to spend the hundreds of dollars to fill out a simple for like the bylaw legal form when you can simply have it done yourself?

Here’s all you have to do. Simply get online and use any search engine and type in the words “Bylaw Legal Forms” Note: The use of capitalization does not matter as any search engine worth its salt will not limit its search on the web for documents and web pages to fulfill your search to Internet sites which can help you out.

You will be surprised how many pages are out there and available for your use. Now all you have to do is find a bylaw legal form which will be suitable for your non-profit organization and save it to your hard drive. Many of these legal advice sites will have a download option which will save the form directly or you can simply copy and paste the information into any word processor.

Next you modify the bylaw form to suit your needs. That is to simply add a paragraph or delete one from the standard bylaw form which do not apply to your situation. And then of course you will need to fill out your own personal information to personalize the bylaw form.

Next you just need to print out the form and to make it official there should then be a vote or review by your non-profit organization’s board of directors or officers and then a signing of the document.

And that’s it! Your non-profit bylaw form is complete. If you want to go the extra step you can then get the form notarized which is not very expensive at all. Especially when you compare the cost of a public notary to that of an attorney. The hundreds of dollars you will save can be put to much better use I am sure.

So there you go. Some general advice and information on a non-profit bylaw legal form. See? I told you that it would be easier than you thought.

« Previous PageNext Page »