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Top 3 Ways to Collect in Small Claims Court

Winning a case is often just the first part of a civil court battle. The second part: judgment collection. Even if you win in small claims court, you may be left wondering how to collect a judgment. And it can seem like a daunting task. Defendants generally don't like losing. They also don't like paying up.  How can you collect what you're owed? Here are some simple tips to help you collect: How to Collect a Judgment Tip #1: Familiarize yourself with your jurisdiction's rules. Many courts have self-help centers or informative websites that lay out rules and regulations. In California the debtor...

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MA. Alimony Now Capped Based on Length of Marriage

A new Massachusetts alimony law will go into effect early next year, changing the way in which judges order payments. Judges will now apply a strict formula, which bases the number of payment years on the length of the marriage. Alimony will also end when the payer retires, or when the recipient moves in with a new partner. Only marriages of considerable length can result in lifetime alimony. Though strict, the new law seems to represent a trend in divorce settlement. A number of states have begun to question the sensibility of lifetime alimony. Florida now requires clear and convincing evidence of need,...

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Should Making Fake Facebook Profiles be Illegal?

Depending on who you talk to, and which federal prosecutor you encounter, creating a fake Facebook profile may be a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, a law designed to punish unauthorized access to computers. Relying on language that makes it a misdemeanor to "exceed authorized access" to computer systems, a number of people have been prosecuted for violating a private website's terms of service.  Senators Al Franken and Chuck Grassley would like such prosecutions to stop. In addition to prosecuting persons for creating fake Facebook profiles, respected legal scholar Orin Kerr points to cases where defendants were charged after...

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Is Your Pet Sitter Insured?

Many Americans consider their pets to be part of the extended family. Selecting a pet sitter for your furry loved-ones can be an arduous process.    You might want to know more about a pet sitter's experience and qualifications. But, have you ever thought about asking if the pet sitter has insurance? Responsible pet sitters will often have written proof that they have commercial liability insurance. What exactly is liability insurance - and why is that important when you're hiring a pet sitter? Liability insurance protects an individual from injuries they cause to third parties. So if you hire a pet sitter that...

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Can a School Take My Kid’s Cell Phone?

Many schools have cell phone policies in place to protect the learning environment. As a result, students who find themselves violating cell phone policies might find their cell phones confiscated. Legally speaking, can schools take cell phones from students? They probably can, with some limitations.  Most school districts and schools are given the power to create certain school policies regarding discipline and student conduct. With the growing use of technology, cell phones have become an increasingly important part of school policy.  Many schools across the nation have taken to banning or limiting the use of cell phones on campus by students. And,...

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NJ Laws that Punish Unfaithful NJ Wives Removed

Many states have anti-women laws that are relics of our nation's past. In New Jersey, some of these anti-women laws are now repealed. These old New Jersey laws date as far back as the early 1900s. Luckily, Calif. IS NOT one of these states with these old laws still on the books! One law stripped a woman of her property rights if she "ravished" another man or gave "consent to the ravisher." That is, unless her husband forgave her and allowed her to move back in.   Another law allowed immediate marriages (foregoing the traditional 72-hour waiting period) for men arrested on charges of "bastardy,...

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Can You Lose Child Custody Over Tiny Pot Stash?

Is smoking pot child neglect? A number of New York parents found with small stashes of marijuana have been investigated for child neglect despite no grounds for criminal prosecution.  Penelope Harris, one of those parents, had her niece taken away for more than a year ago, even though she had only possessed 10 grams of marijuana--not enough for even misdemeanor charges under New York law. The New York Times reports that New York's Administration for Children's Services justifies investigating small-time marijuana users because marijuana use "can put children in danger of neglect or abuse.” While a number of cases show no...

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BOATING UNDER THE INFLUENCE

Just because it happens on water, it doesn't mean there is no punishment for boating under the influence. It may be included in the typical drunken driving laws, or it may be a separate statute altogether, but every state in this country (and Guam) limits just how much alcohol a person can have before it becomes illegal to steer a boat.  Officers are even tasked with the authority to "pull over" boaters and conduct in-the-water checkpoints. Like drunken driving, boating under the influence comes with a host of punishments and a criminal record.  While it's unlikely that a citation will show up...

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Top 5 Tips to Get Your Child Support Payments

GENERAL TIPS:    Divorced parents everywhere sometimes get a crash course in child support law not because they want to, but because they have problems getting the monetary support they need in order to take care of their kids. What do you need to ensure you get your payments for child support? Getting child support may mean more than just a court order. There are many ways to help parents ensure that they are able to get their child support payments, not limited to just the law. Child Support Payment Tip #1: Make sure you know where the other parent lives. If you don't...

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Saggy Pants Fine in Hampton, Ga.

The city of Hampton, Georgia has joined the ranks of a handful of municipalities in the state that have taken it upon themselves to enact a “saggy pants ban”, barring residents from wandering the streets showing off their underwear.  Citing complaints from members of the community, local legislators have voted to punish saggers with a graduated fine, starting off at $50 and capping out at $200.  The law prohibits wearing pants three inches below the hip line, but a sagger will only be fined if he exposes skin or underwear. Because it's not practical to arm officers with rulers, it's going...

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