Across the nation, and due to the housing and unemployment crisis of the past decade and a half, many former homeowners have returned to renting property. Plagued by high unemployment, many college graduates have also put buying a home aside and settled in a generation of renters. Residential demographics from 2012 obtained by the National Multi-Housing Council indicate that renter-occupied households make up 32% of the total U.S. households. That number changes depending on the region with cities like New York and Los Angeles having 50% and 42% (respectively) households in rental properties. Continue reading
Courtrooms can seem like the place time forgot. No more so than when sketch artists huddle on wooden benches, pencils and pens dashing across blank sheets of paper, capturing the drama in one of the few places cameras still cannot go. “It’s kind of odd,” admits Marianne Boucher, who has been a full-time court sketch artist for CityNews for 25 years, and also does work for the Star and others. “You have to rush off and get a drawing of a person.” The job features crushing deadlines in an unpredictable environment — bad angles, packed courtrooms, brief appearances and occasional hostility from friends and families of those involved in the case.
The Supreme Court of the US has stuck stubbornly to its ways. No cameras in the court room, a paper filing system, those robes… which are so last century. That may begin to change over the next couple of years however. In a year-end report released Wednesday night, Chief Justice John Roberts said that the court would begin accepting electronic filings as early as 2016. The court will have to first develop the system, then it will be rolled out in stages. At first paper documents will be used as the default, but those represented by attorneys in the court will also have to file the same documents electronically. Once that trial proves successful, digital documents will become the default for everyone. Though, paper filings will still be required. As Justice Roberts explained in the report, “Unlike commercial enterprises, the courts cannot decide to serve only the most technically-capable or well-equipped segments of the public… the courts must remain open for those who do not have access to personal computers.” Continue reading
Seeing female police officers, lawyers, corrections officers and judges is a common occurrence these days. However, women working in the criminal justice system is a relatively new trend. It wasn’t long ago that this was quite rare. In fact, in 1872 the Supreme Court ruled against allowing a woman, Myra Bradwell, to practice law. It wasn’t until the 20th century, especially after the middle of the century, that the number of women in law enforcement significantly increased. Continue reading
Virginia resident Nate Cox, an Army vet whose license plate reads “ENDW4R,” received a speeding ticket in the mail last May alleging he was behind the wheel when his Honda Civic was (allegedly) clocked by a photo-radar device exceeding the posted speed limit somewhere in Washington, D.C.But unlike most people, who’ve become inured to the way municipalities con motorists by making it easier to pay a fine than dispute the charge, Cox, in his own words, “knew better.”He didn’t hire a lawyer or concoct some elaborate scheme to outfox the system. Cox beat the ticket by simply standing up for himself as an American citizen whose Constitutional protections would be violated if he admitted guilt and paid the fine. Continue reading
Verify the process server’s license or registration and association membership. Though now all states require process servers to be licensed
Ask the process server if they have an Error and Omissions (E&O) policy or bond
Check the process server’s website for more insight on the company.
Complete an Internet search for the company’s name and complaints’ This will help you to establish if they have unsatisfied clients and if so what they have done to fix their mistakes. Continue reading
Whether you are the party seeking damages or the party presumed to owe money, you must know:
The ins and outs of your lease agreement
The laws in your state
Does your lease state that you, the tenant, must give notice in writing 30 days before moving out, and you never gave it? Does your lease state that you, the landlord, must do requested repairs in a timely fashion but you never did? Honestly evaluate whether you have violated the terms of the contract. Continue reading
An indictment refers to the formal process of accusing an individual of committing a crime. An indictment is typically heard by a grand jury. During the indictment process, the grand jury is concerned solely with whether or not there is enough evidence to bring charges against the defendant. Therefore, it is not the job of the jury (during an indictment) to determine the guilt or innocence of the defendant.
The indictment process was, at one time, popularly used in many different countries; however, it is now used most commonly in the United States. Typically, indictments only occur as the result of a person being charged with a serious crime, usually a felony of some sort. Furthermore, the United States Constitution, under the Fifth Amendment, states that “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury…”
In the 227 years since becoming a state, New Jersey lawmakers have passed a lot of laws. Over time, many of those laws become anachronisms, even if they’re still on the books. Until now, for example, it was illegal to delay or detain homing pigeons within the Garden State’s borders.No longer. Gov. Chris Christie (R) signed legislation over the weekend that removes a bunch of those outdated laws. That means anyone interested can go ahead and detain a homing pigeon if they so choose. Continue reading