Q: A homeowner’s insurance company insuring my downstairs neighbor’s unit has summoned my 90-year-old father to court on a 4K claim of subrogation for a leak to the neighbor’s unit. Insurance paid out and is now suing my dad for the 4K when he is in a Nursing Home on Medicaid 24-hours away with 7 years of dementia. I cannot find any lawyer in the area to represent him and cannot figure out what other steps to take on the case. There are no options to pay out or settle out of court. I have presented documents proving he would not be fit to stand in court that day. Any suggestions? The court date 5 hours drive from my home and 5-hour drive from dad’s Nursing home. (Monesson, PA)
A: Is he the building owner? How can he be on Medicaid if he owns a building? Having dementia, does not necessarily mean he is incompetent or relieved from testifying. Why doesn’t he have insurance? Regardless, if your father is incompetent to testify, or just due to physical and medical reasons cannot come to court, you may be able to have his presence excused. You may be required to get a court order if you want him to be totally relieved of testifying. If you are relieved of only the duty to have him come to court, a judge may allow the insurance company to take his deposition. If you can get a guardian order or judicial determination that he is incompetent to stand trial, they he would be relieved of all testimony-deposition or trial. I would need to know many more facts to properly advise.
Q: I am in bad health and do home dialysis. She is staying with me now and has been for about 6 months. I have applied for government housing but can only get a 1 bedroom unless I have legal custody. I am on social security and do not draw very much so I need to know what is my best option? (Crafton, PA)
A: You should have something in writing signed by the parents (if there is a father that has custody rights at this point) which transfers temporary physical custody of the child to you. The optimum method of doing this would be to obtain an Order of Court, signed by a Judge. This will be easier if done by an attorney. If you cannot afford one, you may be able to seek legal help if you are under a certain income level. It will be easier if the father consents. The other option is to ask Social Security if they will just take a letter signed by both parents. This would be less expensive. You may also want to ask the school in which she will be enrolled in and whatever medical providers she will see, what type of document they need. You may also want to consult with an attorney regarding having CYF involved. Doing so, may or may not be an advantage to you, depending on your entire situation.
Q: My record was expunged from the county courthouse in September 2013 and I contacted courts.org to remove it from there .I contacted them numerous times and still no response, I am very angry with them do I need to get legal representation.
A: I have no idea what courts.org is but I can tell you this. As with any expungement, even if the Court Order to expunge was mailed out by the Clerk of Courts to all law enforcement agencies, there is a chance that one of the law enforcement agencies didn’t do their job by shredding or deleting the subject records. If you can pinpoint which agency that is, you can contact them and send them a copy of the order. If you are unsure of the source, you can ask the Department of Court Records, Clerk of Courts to re-issue the expungement order.
Q: I worked at a company last year and had a brief flirting exchange (flirting only – we did not have sex) with one of the company’s salesmen. He resided in California but came to our headquarters in the mid-west only every couple of months. He told me he was divorced. I came to find out that he was not divorced and that his wife had seen some of our flirting texts on his phone. I then called it off. Over the last nine months, his wife has called my friends, family, and co-workers (sometimes in the middle of the night) telling them that I am a whore and home wrecker. I left the company and am now unemployed, but will be starting a new job soon. My fear is that once she finds out about my new job at a new company, she will begin harassing my new employer in an attempt to get me fired. She is very careful, however, to only use restricted phone numbers or throw away cell phone numbers when making these calls. Is what she is doing illegal? What can I do to protect myself here?
A: Her conduct may be harassment or stalking and subject her to criminal prosecution. You could consult with the local police or the DA. Keep all of the calls and records from the past as well as a journal of all of her unsolicited contact. The DA or police may advise you on how to activate a service with your phone company to trace calls. If that is not possible, the DA, or even your own attorney, through subpoena or court order, can obtain the phone records. Having the phone records will likely be essential to your case if charges are filed as most of the communications seems to be via telecommunications. The last time I was involved with this issue, I was defending someone in criminal court. The alleged victim’s phone calls to my client were essential to our defense. The cell phone company would not honor a subpoena from PA and I had to obtain a court order from the judge. The records were produced by the cell phone company.