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Can I Still Get Alimony From Ex After The Divorce Is Finalized?

Posted on: August 19th, 2013 Comments Off

Question: I have been divorced for 3 years and I still own part of the home my ex-husband and I bought together. This was a rush divorce after 21 years of marriage and HE got everything! So, I’ve been trying to get him to buy me out for my part of the home and he refuses stating that because I didn’t put it in the original divorce papers I have no rights. Is this true and is it too late to request alimony from him at the same time?

The Judge’s Answer: If you and your ex own a home together and failed to address the division of the home in your divorce, you must return to your divorce court judge and ask the judge to determine how to dispose of the marital home. You should have requested alimony before the final judgment for divorce was entered. You can only obtain alimony now if the court vacates the judgment and allows a hearing on the issue of alimony.

Ask Judge Mathis — August 19, 2013

Posted on: August 18th, 2013 Comments Off

Yes, if you child’s friend’s mother was not properly supervising your child and her failure to supervise your child was the proximate cause of her injury, you can sue her for negligence. However, in certain states, depending on the age of your child (8 years or older), your damages may be reduced or denied if your daughter contributed to her own injury.

In-Home Service Employee Damaged My Clothes! Can I Sue Them?

Posted on: August 16th, 2013 Comments Off

Question: Judge, can I file a small claims suit against an In-Home service if one of their employees damaged my clothing with bleach?

The Judge’s Answer: Yes if the damages you seek are not more than $6,000.00. If you are suing a business, make sure you serve the registered agent of the business with notice of the claim.

Ask Judge Mathis — August 16, 2013

Posted on: August 15th, 2013 Comments Off

If you conspired with your accountant to defraud the government, he or she is not liable to you for his or her acts in assisting you. However, if your accountant’s acts deviated from that of a normal accountant, he or she may be liable to you for malpractice. For example, if your accountant never asked for your W-2 or included deductions on your return without discussing them with you, you may have a case against him or her.

How Do I Get My Money Back From A Drunk Driver?

Posted on: August 15th, 2013 Comments Off

Question: A drunk driver ran a red light and hit me on my birthday in 2012, he was arrested and charged with a DUI. When I tried to recoup my deductible from his insurance carrier, they denied me and closed the case. They said it was his word against mine, even though he had been arrested and the District Attorney’s office pressed criminal charges against him because it wasn’t his first offense as a drunk driver. The insurance company never obtained a copy of the police report and told me that even though he was drunk, it doesn’t mean that he caused the accident. Do you think I have a case?

The Judge’s Answer: Yes. However, you must sue the driver not the insurance company. The driver is liable to you for all the damages you sustained.

Ask Judge Mathis — August 15, 2013

Posted on: August 14th, 2013 Comments Off

No. If your stepson was under your supervision when he set your curtains on fire, his mother is not liable to you. In California, only the parent who has custody or control over the minor will be liable for his willful damages he causes to the property of others. In this case, as a stepparent, the court will most likely hold you liable for the willful actions of your stepchild. Your stepson’s act of actually playing with the matches was the willful act, not the setting of the curtains on fire.

A City Vehicle Hit My Car And The City Won’t Pay!

Posted on: August 14th, 2013 Comments Off

Question: A village truck hit my parked car and their insurance will not pay for the damage, claiming that there is a law that protects them from this. Is this true?

The Judge’s Answer: Under the governmental immunity law, government employees are protected from lawsuits if the act of the government employee that gave rise to the lawsuit entails the exercise of discretion and judgment. In this case, it appears that your car was damaged due to the negligence of the village worker in operating the village truck. The governmental immunity law will not apply in this case and you have a valid claim against the village.

Ask Judge Mathis — August 14, 2013

Posted on: August 13th, 2013 Comments Off

Yes. If your boss made false statements about you, harming your reputation and you suffered economic damages, you may sue him.

Professional Football Player Didn’t Play Fair With LLC Agreement!

Posted on: August 13th, 2013 Comments Off

Question: I signed an agreement with a professional football player to do groundwork on identifying potential commercial buildings for purchase. I met the terms of our agreement with him, but he failed to make funds available to close the deals, even though he used the business papers to set up a bank account. He encouraged us to complete and sign contracts but failed to follow through on his end. We never closed on any deals and became impoverished in the process. The operating agreement says that we’re entitled to 26% of the worth of the company, which in this case, is worth millions of dollars, we would just like to be made whole. He made an offer of $375,000 in retribution but again, never produced the money. We believe that he may have used the LLC to hide funds while he went through a difficult divorce. Do I have a case?

The Judge’s Answer: If you were in a partnership of LLC, you are entitled to your share of the profits per your operating agreement.

Ask Judge Mathis — August 13, 2013

Posted on: August 12th, 2013 Comments Off

That depends. Oftentimes, these companies will have you sign a release before you go skydiving and it is likely that the contract released them of any liability whether or not they were negligent. But again, this all depends on the wording in their contract, so I would suggest taking it to an attorney before filing a case. If you did not sign a waiver, you may sue the skydiving company if they were negligent and their negligence caused your injury. For example, if the harness was too tight, the company had faulty equipment, or if they failed to give you proper instructions on skydiving, you may have a case.

Why Do I Need A Will?

Posted on: August 12th, 2013 Comments Off

Question: Should a married couple make out a Will even if they have a happy family and children to sort things out for them after they pass?

The Judge’s Answer: Yes. Wills are advisable because they ensure that your wishes are carried out the way you and your spouse want and it prevents your children from fighting over your property.

Ask Judge Mathis — August 12, 2013

Posted on: August 11th, 2013 Comments Off

Yes. However, your damages will be the difference in the amount you would be paying for rent at your old apartment and the amount you are paying for rent at your new apartment.

Can A Felony Charge Get Changed To A Misdemeanor?

Posted on: August 9th, 2013 Comments Off

Question: My son was charged with a felony for going into a bank and trying to cash a bad check. He had just turned 18 when this happened and it was his first offense. He was given 2-years probation and has not been in trouble a single day since June, 2009! Please inform me as to how I can go about having his record expunged and his felony charge changed to a misdemeanor. My son is unable to gain any type’s of employment, due to this conviction.

The Judge’s Answer: Once your son case is over, he cannot get the matter reduced to a misdemeanor. Unfortunately, he is not eligible to expunge or seal his record. He should try to obtain a pardon or executive clemency.

Ask Judge Mathis — August 9, 2013

Posted on: August 8th, 2013 Comments Off

Yes. If he or she was negligent and caused you injury, you can definitely sue. The “ski at your own risk” sign refers to the liability of the lodge, not third parties.

A Matter Of Give And Take…And Take Again!

Posted on: August 8th, 2013 Comments Off

Question: My boyfriend gave me some bedroom furniture because he was getting put out of his apartment. He needed a place to stay and helped me throw away my old bed and stayed with me for four months before moving out. Now he wants the bedroom furniture back! Can the police make me give him back the furniture?

The Judge’s Answer: No. If he gave you the furniture, then it belongs to you. If there is a dispute between you and your boyfriend as to who owns the furniture, your boyfriend will have to file a civil claim against you and prove to the court he owns the furniture.

Ask Judge Mathis — August 8, 2013

Posted on: August 7th, 2013 Comments Off

Probably not. Some states allow employers to consider criminal records when determining whether or not to hire employees. Moreover, if you misrepresented your background during your interview, your employer can terminate you for falsifying your application.

I Want To Sue The Department of Unemployment!

Posted on: August 7th, 2013 Comments Off

Question: Judge Mathis, if I want to sue the Department of Unemployment – what kind of lawyer should I get?

The Judge’s Answer: If you worked for the Department of Unemployment and you feel you were wrongly terminated or if you did not like the decision or finding regarding your rights to unemployment benefits, you will need an employment lawyer.

Ask Judge Mathis — August 7, 2013

Posted on: August 6th, 2013 Comments Off

You can sue for medical malpractice if your physician’s care deviates from accepted medical standards of care. For example, if your physician misdiagnoses you, fails to diagnose you, makes surgical errors, or fails to provide necessary follow-up treatment, you may have a case.

Co-Worker And I Both Did Wrong But I’m The One Who Got Fired!

Posted on: August 6th, 2013 Comments Off

Question: Judge, I was recently terminated from my job because I had a verbal altercation with another staff member and I used explicit language. The reason for my termination was because I work with kids and it was around kids but the other person used explicit language as well but did NOT get terminated. This was my first offense and I had no prior warnings or write ups. I feel my termination was unfair, is there any legal action that I can take?

The Judge’s Answer: Well, it depends on if you think you were fired due to your race, gender or religion, you may have an employment discrimination case and you need to contact the EEOC. If you have a contract with your employer and they terminated you contrary to the terms of that contract, you have a breach of employment contract claim. If you are in a union, you should file a grievance with your union. If you are an at-will employee, they may terminate you for any reason except because of your race, gender and religion.

Ask Judge Mathis — August 6, 2013

Posted on: August 5th, 2013 Comments Off

Kim, I would suggest you file a case against her for property damage for destroying your dress. Prior to the case, I would gather as many witness statements as possible to prove she did in fact destroy the dress. I would also obtain receipts or estimates to prove your damages.