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Special Issues in LGBT Divorces

Family, LGBT, San Francisco, San Francisco Family Law, Uncategorized0 comments

Because of the patchwork way that laws emerged for gay, lesbian and queer couples, undoing a marriage or domestic partnership can present many unique challenges.   For example, certain states like Kentucky, explicitly do not recognize unions similar to marriage such as civil unions or registered domestic partnership.

So, while the recent supreme court decisions finds an ultimate right to marry, it has not found an ultimate right to a domestic partnership or civil union.  The bizarre result of this is if you are getting divorced in Kentucky there is a chance that the judge in Kentucky will not dissolve your registered domestic partnership.

Thankfully, California has law that any party may file in the state to dissolve a registered domestic partnership or marriage if their home jurisdiction will not recognize them.  While California’s progressive laws certainly reduce the number of issues that might come up in a same sex divorce or dissolution it cannot eliminate them all.

Than San Francisco based lawyers of Jones & Devoy have experience helping members of the LGBT community navigate the ever changing landscape of same sex law.

Tenant Buy Out Agreements in San Francsico

Civil Litigation, Landlord-Tenant, San Francisco0 comments

Tenant protection laws are so strong in San Francisco that it is often more expedient for a landlord to pursue a “Tenant Buy Out” rather than trying to evict them.  A Tenant Buy Out is where a landlord pays a tenant a set amount of money to leave the unit.

For many years these agreements were unregulated and only general contract law applied.  However, as housing became tighter and tighter, more and more landlords started using  in tenant buyouts in San Francisco.  In response, in March of 2015 San Francisco passed the Administrative Code 37.9E.  37.9E requires landlords to make very particular disclosures, in writing, to a tenant before they present or negotiate a Buy Out Agreement.

Failure to follow the procedures allows a tenant to void the entire agreement.  Further, a tenant can try to recover attorney fees during such a voiding action.  So, landlords are advised to be extremely careful when trying to effectuate a buyout.

The attorneys at Jones & Devoy have experience in meeting all of the requirements for tenant buy-out agreements and can make sure that your interest is well protected.

LGBT Friendly Modifications to Adoption Law in California

Adoption, Family, San Francisco, San Francisco Family Law, Uncategorized0 comments

The California Legislature has taken care to streamline the Adoption Process for the unique needs of same sex couples where frequently one parent is not the biological parent of the child.  Before the amendment of the law a stepparent where one parent came into a child’s life later, versus a “stepparent” who was on the birth certificate (as is typical for same sex couples) were treated at law the same.  This meant that if a gay or lesbian couple had a child together, and were both on a child’s birth certificate, the court was legally required to conduct a home investigation and hold a formal hearing for the adoption.

Now, fortunately, California has streamlined the entire process so that an investigation and formal hearing are not necessarily required for confirmations of parentage.  This is good news for LGBT couples!  With the change of leadership in the White House queer couples are well served to make sure that they have lined up as many legal protections establishing that they are the lawful parents of their children.

While not every adoption case can be done without an investigation or court hearing, the attorneys at Jones & Devoy can help you tee up your case to maximize your chances of a smooth process.

Tenancy in Common Agreements in California

Arbitration, Business and Corporations, Civil Litigation, Real Estate, San Francisco0 comments

houseTenancy in Common Agreements (also known as a TIC Agreement) are agreements between co-owners of real property.  Although co-owners always begin a purchase with the best of intentions, unfortunately disputes between co-owners occur.  Without an agreement co-owners of real estate are forced to go through an action called a “Partition Action.”  Partition Actions are a special kind of court proceeding specially designed to divide up real property as between co-owners.

While it is fortuitous that a special kind of action exists, like any court action, the process is long and arduous.  Having a well worded agreement then is essential to avoid a lengthy court battle.  Often an Tenancy in Common Agreement will attempt to not only preemptively determine the rights or parties, but, will also provide a procedure if an disagreement arises.  Often this involves an agreement to mediate or arbitrate so that the parties are not stuck with the long wait times associated with court battles.

Generally these agreements should be negotiated and discussed before the purchase of a piece of Real Property.  The idea being that if the parties cannot agree on the governing of piece of real property then it is advantageous for the parties to have an opportunity to cancel the purchase.

While a TIC Agreement requires an additional initial investment, often the amount of headache it can save down the road far, far outweighs the up front cost. The San Francisco based real estate attorneys can assist with preparing or reviewing a TIC Agreement to make sure your rights are protected.

 

Default Law in California

Civil Litigation, Dental Malpractice, Internet, Medical Malpractice0 comments

calendar-1192688If you are served with a lawsuit, and, then you or your attorney fail to respond then the other side is likely to take a default against you. Once a default is entered a party is unable to make any kind of appearance to contest a case on the merits.  Thus, it is critically important to never let a default get taken against you.

If, for some reason, a default is entered against you, there is a motion that can sometimes set aside the default.  Specifically, Motions to set aside a judgement in California are brought under California code of Civil Procedure 473.  473 provides that a default may (not shall) be set aside if you can demonstrate that the default was taken because of: mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect.

Really what these boil down to is a legitimate reason why an answer was not filed:  your lawyer was hit by a train and was in the hospital.  The copy of the lawsuit that was served was illegible, so, you could not actually tell where you had to file your response.  Generally, “I forgot” is not a valid excuse.

Needless to say it is far, far, better to have to avoid trying to fill one of these kinds of requirements, than to have to spend the time money, and extra effort to file such a motion. Thus, the bottom line is that when you receive notice form a lawsuit.  Reach out to an attorney immediately.  Ask that attorney when you need to respond by, mark this date on your own calendar, and make sure a response is filed by the appropriate day.

The San Francisco based bay area attorneys of Jones & Devoy provide experienced attorneys who can help make sure that you avoid pitfalls before they happen, or, if such a disaster has already occurred, they will provide practical advice on how to approach the problem.

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    Alexander T. Jones

    Mr. Jones has an extensive background in both general litigation and family law as well as experience in various business and transactional matters…

    Daniel R. Devoy

    Practicing civil litigation with an emphasis on client advocacy, Mr. Devoy is experienced in litigating a wide range of legal matters …

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