Bob Filner To Be Sued By San Diego City Council To Recover Costs From Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

SAN DIEGO — The San Diego City Council has voted unanimously to deny a request to cover legal expenses in a sexual harassment suit against embattled Mayor Bob Filner.

The City Council voted 9-0 on Tuesday night to deny the funds to Filner for a lawsuit filed by his former communications director Irene McCormack Jackson, one of eight women who have come forward recently with allegations of unwanted sexual advances from Filner.

Earlier in the day, the council made a similar move, voting 9-0 in a closed session to require that Filner pay any costs incurred by the sexual harassment suit.

Seven of nine City Council members have urged Filner to resign.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

The city of San Diego sued Mayor Bob Filner Tuesday to require that he pay any costs incurred from a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by his former communications director, dealing another setback to the leader of the nation’s eighth-largest city amid mounting calls that he resign.

The City Council voted 9-0 to ask that the mayor pay any damages and attorney fees if the city is found liable. The decision behind closed doors came hours before the Council was to consider a request by the mayor’s attorney to have the city pay his legal expenses.

“If Bob Filner engaged in unlawful conduct and the city is held liable, he will have to reimburse us every penny the city pays and its attorney fees,” City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said.

Irene McCormack Jackson sued the mayor and the city July 22, alleging the mayor asked her to work without panties, demanded kisses, told her he wanted to see her naked and dragged her in a headlock while whispering in her ear. Since then, seven other women have offered detailed accounts of Filner’s alleged advances, including touching and forcible kisses.

Lisa Curtin, director of government and military education at San Diego City College, said on KPBS-TV Tuesday that the then-congressman asked her in 2011 to remove her wedding band after questioning whether it was real, asked her on a date and moved to kiss her. She said she felt his tongue on her cheek after she turned her head.

“The City of San Diego maintains a zero tolerance policy as to sexual harassment and sexual harassment is not within the course and scope of employment,” according to the city’s lawsuit filed in San Diego Superior Court.

The mayor’s office and his attorney, Harvey Berger, didn’t immediately respond to requests seeking comment.

Seven of nine City Council members have urged the city’s first Democratic leader in 20 years to resign.

Ann Ravel, chairwoman of the California Fair Political Practices Commission, said an official cannot accept more than $440 a year in donated services. Campaign money can be used only to defend against alleged violations of the state’s campaign finance law.

An official can, however, create a legal defense fund under state law, Ravel said.

Filner, who is 70 and divorced, said Friday he would enter two weeks of “intensive” therapy Aug. 5, defying calls from his own party leaders to resign. The former 10-term congressman is less than eight months into a four-year term as mayor.

Land-use surveyor Michael Pallamary published a newspaper notice Sunday to begin a recall bid, two days after gay rights activist and newspaper publisher Stampp Corbin did so. Pallamary accused Corbin of being a stealth supporter of the mayor and threatened to file a complaint with the San Diego County district attorney’s office alleging election law violations.

Pallamary said Corbin would make little effort to collect the more than 100,000 signatures needed to get a recall measure on the ballot, setting it up to fail and preventing another recall drive for six months.

Corbin denied the accusation Tuesday, saying Pallamary or anyone else was welcome to join the recall drive. He said he wouldn’t pay anyone to collect signatures – a common practice in California – but that anyone could visit his office to sign the petition or pick up blank forms to circulate.

Corbin, who was appointed chairman of a city commission under Filner, declined to say if he voted for Filner or how he would cast his ballot in a recall. He said his motive was to bring swift resolution to the controversy.

“There’s nothing going on in the city, in City Hall. Everyone is focused on this scandal. That is not good for this city,” he said.

Confusion over whether recall petitions can circulate concurrently isn’t the only procedural flaw uncovered since the mayor came under pressure to resign. The city attorney’s office says a rule that voters must cast a ballot on a recall to be eligible to pick a replacement should be repealed because a federal judge struck down a nearly identical law during the successful 2003 recall of California Gov. Gray Davis.

Tony Krvaric, chairman of the San Diego County Republican Party, said Friday that he didn’t expect big GOP donors or business leaders to make significant donations to a recall.

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Legalization Of Marijuana

Policymakers in the United States claim that marijuana use is hazardous, often leading to the use of more potent drugs, such as cocaine and heroin. As of 2000, eight states had passed laws allowing seriously ill patients to take marijuana as a prescription pain-control substance. However, people who grow, buy, or use the drug for such purposes can be arrested and prosecuted under federal law.

Marijuana is the product of Cannabis sativa, a hemp plant, and it refers specifically to the plant’s leaves and flowers. Used for centuries as a painkiller, it has become popular as a recreational drug that produces a general feeling of well-being. Marijuana is known by a variety of alternative names—including marihuana, pot, weed, and grass. It is illegal in most countries, although some nations have lowered the penalties for owning or using small amounts of the drug. Movements have formed to legalize marijuana, at least for medical purposes, but critics of such efforts argue that the drug does more harm than good.

Usually dried, crushed, and smoked in pipes or hand-rolled cigarettes, marijuana can also be consumed in food or drink. Users may experience both physical and psychological effects. Physical effects range from red eyes and dry mouth to an increased heart rate and loss of coordination. Some effects—including relief from pain and nausea, increased appetite, and reduced muscle spasms—are considered beneficial for medical conditions such as cancer, AIDS, and multiple sclerosis.

Psychological effects may involve hallucinations, impaired judgment, and mood swings. Some studies have linked marijuana use to short-term memory problems. Although marijuana does not cause physical addiction, users can develop a psychological dependence on the drug.

A treaty called the International Opium Convention of 1925 was the first attempt to control the international trade in marijuana. In the years that followed, many countries passed laws against growing, selling, possessing, or using marijuana. In the United States, the possession and use of marijuana was declared illegal in 1937. Marijuana is currently regulated under the Controlled Substances Act, part of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse and Control Act of 1970. This federal law classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug, which means that it has no safe medical use and a high potential for abuse. Despite these regulations, marijuana is the most widely used illegal drug in the country. In 2000, about 14 million Americans were current users of illicit, or illegal drugs, and 76 percent of them reported using marijuana, according to the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse.

Some European countries have decriminalized the use of marijuana, regarding the drug as no more harmful than cigarettes and alcohol. Policymakers in the United States, by contrast, claim that marijuana is hazardous, often leading to the use of more potent drugs such as cocaine and heroin. As of 2000, eight states had passed laws allowing seriously ill patients to take marijuana as a prescription pain-control substance. However, people who grow, buy, or use the drug for such purposes can be arrested and prosecuted under federal law. Some argue that permitting marijuana to be used for medical purposes would lead to an increase in recreational use and pressure to legalize the drug.

In some parts of the United States, farmers have lobbied to legalize the growing of hemp, a plant related to marijuana that has industrial uses as a fiber. However, their efforts have been unsuccessful due to the association of hemp with marijuana.

COPYRIGHT 2007 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Point of View 1: Marijuana Should Be Legalized Because Its Prohibition Unnecessarily Taxes Law Enforcement

The responsible use of marijuana should be legalized since it is fundamentally no more dangerous than the use of legal drugs such as tobacco and alcohol. Evidence is lacking in regard to both marijuana’s addictive quality and its potential as a gateway drug. Because of investigations, arrests, trials, and incarcerations involving marijuana, law enforcement and judicial resources are unnecessarily burdened. Millions of Americans who smoke marijuana with little negative impact on society at large are threatened by a climate where the penalties for engaging in marijuana use are too severe. The currently illegal marijuana trade promotes crime by contributing to a dangerous black market for unregulated marijuana. A policy that allows for the decriminalization, legalization, and regulation of marijuana use for responsible adults is needed to give Americans freedom of choice in deciding whether to smoke marijuana.

Marijuana use among adults should be allowed in the spirit of the legalization of such drugs as tobacco and alcohol. Prior to the “Marihuana Tax Act” of 1937, people used marijuana without restriction. R. Keith Stroup, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, argues that the 1937 law was passed in a climate where marijuana was demonized by media and political interests.

The Federal Bureau of Narcotics declared that a marijuana user “becomes a fiend with savage or `cave man’ tendencies. His sex desires are aroused and some of the most horrible crimes result. He hears light and sees sound. To get away from it, he suddenly becomes violent and may kill.” Newspapers also made hyperbolic claims; among them the Journal of Law and Criminology reported on the habit of marijuana use, alleging that “[i]f continued, the inevitable result is insanity, which those familiar with it describe as absolutely incurable, and, without exception ending in death.” Throughout the remainder of the century, further legislation resulted in harsh penalties for people possessing, growing, using, or selling marijuana. This legal climate has hampered investigations into the possible benefits of using marijuana to alleviate nausea and suffering caused by certain medical conditions. Although some states have put measures in place that protect citizens from severe consequences for marijuana possession and use, the vast majority recommend jail time or impose stiff fines for convictions.

Law enforcement and judicial resources are disproportionately wasted on crimes involving marijuana. While few argue against arresting irresponsible users of marijuana, many believe that the general effort to restrict its use keeps people from focusing on more severe and violent crimes.

Criminalizing marijuana creates the false impression that it is as dangerous as more addictive drugs of like heroin and cocaine. Making marijuana legal and regulating it would take the criminal element out of its trafficking. Stroup, in testimony before Congress, criticized the disproportionate attention that marijuana offenses receive, stating: “By stubbornly defining all marijuana smoking as criminal, including that which involves adults smoking in the privacy of their home, government is wasting police and prosecutorial resources, clogging courts, filling costly and scarce jail and prison space, and needlessly wrecking the lives and careers of genuinely good citizens.”

Resources

Earleywine, Mitch. “Marijuana Is Not a Gateway to Other Addictive Drugs.” Addiction. Ed. Louise I. Gerdes. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2004.

Males, Mike. “The Problem of Youth Substance Abuse Is Exaggerated.” America’s Youth. Ed. Roman Espejo. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2003.

Page, Clarence. “The Harmful Effects of Marijuana Use Are Exaggerated.” Drug Abuse. Ed. Tamara L. Roleff. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2005.

Stroup, R. Keith. “Marijuana Use Should Be Decriminalized.” Marijuana. Ed. Mary E. Williams. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2003.

COPYRIGHT 2007 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Point of View 2: Marijuana Is a Harmful Drug that Should Not Be Legalized

Marijuana is a harmful drug that should not be legalized. Its use is associated with various health risks, impairs judgment, and might serve as a “gateway drug,” leading to the eventual use of more destructive and addictive drugs such as heroin and cocaine. Further, research indicates that marijuana users experience a higher likelihood of problems at work, home, and school than nonusers. Attempts to promote the use of marijuana to alleviate the nausea and suffering of people with certain medical conditions are considered by the opposition to legalization efforts to be politically motivated efforts to undercut the perception of marijuana as harmful. Unlike legal drugs like tobacco and alcohol, marijuana contains an ingredient that produces a euphoria that warrants its continued distinction as an illegal substance. Legalizing marijuana would send a mixed message to teenagers whose parents are able to use the authority of law to support their own opposition to its use.

Studies have shown a number of health risks for marijuana users. As with tobacco, marijuana contains a number of carcinogens (cancer-causing agents), and the act of smoking itself is linked to other non-cancerous respiratory illnesses. Research in animal and human populations also indicates that marijuana use negatively impacts such cognitive functions as concentration, learning, and memory. Rats exposed to delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana, have shown nerve cell and resultant memory loss in experiments. Additional research on humans shows an impact on learning that might last up to four weeks. Marijuana use impairs judgment in the short-term as evidenced by findings of the Department of Health and Human Services. Their studies indicate that Washington, D.C., emergency rooms deal with more than 2,500 cases a year in which marijuana smoking plays a part, with more than 10 percent of those patients under 18 years of age. Driving under the influence of marijuana also contributes to traffic accidents which regularly result in injuries and death.

THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, has a biological impact that distinguishes it from legal drugs such as tobacco and alcohol. THC releases dopamine, a naturally produced chemical that stimulates a feeling of euphoria; as dopamine supplies are exhausted, people using marijuana show withdrawal symptoms. In 1999, the National Institute on Drug Abuse categorized more than two million people as dependent on marijuana based on such criteria. Such findings contradict those who argue that marijuana is not addictive. Further, its reputed usage as a “gateway drug,” is especially dangerous, as more addictive drugs like cocaine or heroin are considered far more dangerous than marijuana.

Commenting on the high produced by marijuana use, Damon Linker, associate editor of First Things, a publication of the Institute on Religion and Public Life, regards the behavior as contributing to “a pathology of the soul.” He states, “[I]nhaling marijuana smoke, however pleasurable, can only lead to an ersatz satisfaction–because it involves nothing praiseworthy. Thus it is that, after its effects have worn off, marijuana leaves its users with little more than a feeling of emptiness and a craving for another high.”

Resources

Gfroerer, Joseph C., Li-Tzy Wu, and Michael A. Penne. “Marijuana Is a Gateway Drug.” Drug Legalization. Karen F. Balkin. Current Controversies Series. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2005.

Linker, Damon. “Marijuana Use Should Not Be Decriminalized.” Marijuana. Ed. Mary E. Williams. At Issue Series. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2003.

Margolis, Robert. “Legalizing Marijuana Would Harm Teens.” Legalizing Drugs. Ed. Stuart A. Kallen. At Issues Series. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2006.

Walters, John P. “Marijuana Is Harmful.” Drug Abuse. Ed. Tamara L. Roleff. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2005.

COPYRIGHT 2007 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Point of View 3: Marijuana Use Should Be Allowed to Alleviate the Nausea and Suffering of People with Certain Medical Conditions

Although marijuana use is regarded as illegal by the federal government, an exception should be made for people whose suffering and nausea can be relieved by its use. Legal alternatives to marijuana with the same active ingredient do not work with all patients. Regardless of the negative impact that marijuana can have on a person’s health, benefits eclipse the hazards for some patients. Further research into the positive effects of medicinal marijuana use has been hampered by the drug’s classification as an illegal substance. Allowing further scientific investigation into the use of medicinal marijuana would help clarify when its use might be most appropriate.

Studies have shown marijuana can benefit people with certain medical conditions and symptoms. Prior to its prohibition in 1937 with the passing of the “Marihuana Tax Act,” some members of the medical community touted marijuana as a drug with the potential to alleviate various adverse health conditions. Regardless of its status as an illegal drug, marijuana has been promoted as a possible treatment when applied under strict supervision; it has been shown to be an effective means of reducing nausea and vomiting experienced by chemotherapy patients. While alternatives such as Marinol, a legal form of the active ingredient in marijuana, exist, some patients do not respond as successfully to its administration. Marijuana has also shown some promise in relieving the pain felt by people who suffer from glaucoma, a debilitating eye condition that can lead to blindness, as well as in suppressing appetite gain and inducing muscle relaxation, conditions associated with a number of illnesses.

Even though marijuana use has some irrefutable negative effects on health, for some people its benefits outweigh its drawbacks. Smoking marijuana has been demonstrated to have a negative impact on the lungs over time, while studies also show a link between marijuana and impaired learning and memory functions. But for some patients–especially those with terminal conditions–the alleviation of suffering in the short-term trumps concerns about marijuana’s long-term effects on health.

Since marijuana can relieve the pain and suffering of people with certain medical conditions, further research needs to occur. Unfortunately, say supporters of research, in a climate where marijuana is regarded as illicit by the federal government, researchers might not feel the freedom to investigate its use. In 1997, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy requested that the Institute of Medicine (IOM), a division of the National Academy of Scientists, provide a report on the benefits and drawbacks of marijuana use. All of the recommendations presented by the IOM called for further research of medicinal marijuana through strictly controlled studies and clinical trials. Gary Newkirk, a clinical professor and medical editor in Seattle, offered a direct challenged to the government: “Marijuana is currently a Schedule 1 drug, considered to be potentially addictive and with no current medical use. Marijuana needs to be reclassified as a Schedule 2 drug, `potentially addictive but with some accepted medical use,’ and studied to the hilt by the same impartial science that has brought this country to the forefront in medicine.”

Resources

Colb, Sherry F. “The Federal Government Should Not Override State Medical Marijuana Laws.” Marijuana. Ed. Jamuna Carroll. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2006.

The Institute of Medicine. “Examining the Scientific Research on Medical Marijuana.” Marijuana. Ed. Louise I. Gerdes. Contemporary Issues Companion Series. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2002.

Newkirk, Gary. “The Federal Government Should Not Interfere with State Medical Marijuana Laws.” Marijuana. Ed. Louise I. Gerdes. Contemporary Issues Companion Series. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2002.

Schuckit, Marc A. “Additional Research on Medical Marijuana Is Warranted.” Marijuana. Ed. William Dudley. At Issues Series. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1999.

COPYRIGHT 2007 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

By: Gale Group, Inc.

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Gale Group is the author of this article on legalization of marijuana. Find more information about the same at socialissues.wiseto.com

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Enforcement of new Louisiana abortion law blocked

Last Updated Sep 1, 2014 3:11 AM EDT

BATON ROUGE, La. — A federal judge has temporarily blocked Louisiana from enforcing its restrictive new abortion law. But lawyers and advocates appeared to disagree about whether the judge’s order affects doctors at all five abortion clinics in the state or only those at three clinics whose lawsuit challenges the measure.

U.S. District Judge John deGravelles wrote that authorities cannot enforce the law until he holds a hearing on whether an order to block it is needed while the case remains in court.

The law requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges to a hospital within 30 miles of their clinics. The lawsuit claims doctors haven’t had enough time to obtain the privileges and the law likely would close all five clinics.

Doctors claim the process of applying for those privileges is long and often unsuccessful, notes CBS Shreveport, Louisiana affiliate KSLA-TV.

“Today’s ruling ensures Louisiana women are safe from an underhanded law that seeks to strip them of their health and rights,” Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, one of the groups representing two northwest Louisiana clinics, one in suburban New Orleans, and doctors at those clinics, said in a news release.

But Kyle Duncan, representing state Health and Hospitals Secretary Kathy Kliebert, said it covers only the plaintiffs – not clinics in New Orleans and Baton Rouge or the doctors who work at those clinics.

“That doesn’t mean the state is on Monday just going to go out and try to enforce the act,” he said in a phone interview from Washington. “I have no indication that’s the state’s intention.”

Center for Reproductive Rights spokeswoman Jennifer R. Miller, asked specifically whether the order covered only the plaintiffs, wrote, “We are still analyzing the decision.”

Similar laws have been passed — and challenged — in numerous states.

DeGravelles’ order states that “any enforcement” of the law is forbidden until a hearing. However, his next sentences state that the law will go into effect but plaintiffs cannot be penalized for practicing without admitting privileges during this period while their applications are still pending.

The judge said he will call a status conference within 30 days to check on the progress of the plaintiffs’ applications and to schedule a hearing to consider a request for an order blocking the law while the case is in court.

For now, the doctors’ risk of $4,000 fines and losing their licenses outweighs any possible injury to the state from keeping the status quo, he wrote. That’s especially true, he wrote, because Louisiana’s health secretary has said she doesn’t plan to enforce the law any doctors who don’t yet have a final decision on their hospital applications.

However, deGravelles wrote, neither Kliebert nor the head of the Board of Medical Examiners promised that they would never prosecute those doctors later for violations that occurred starting Monday.

Duncan said that if he’d been asked during the hearing about retroactive enforcement, “I’m fairly certain we would have said, ‘Of course we’re not going to retroactively enforce the law.’ … I did not think Secretary Kliebert’s declaration was ambiguous on that point.”

She filed two statements saying that the law won’t be enforced against any doctors who can show they submitted applications for admitting privileges during the 81 days between June 12, when it was signed, and Monday, he said.

But the judge wrote that, on that point, the case is very similar to one in Mississippi, where a federal appeals court overturned a similar law.

However, deGravelles wrote, clinics’ lawyers have not proven that enforcing the law would shut down most, if not all, of Louisiana’s clinics, eliminating access to legal abortions in Louisiana. Because the doctors’ applications haven’t all been acted on and the attorneys don’t represent two clinics, that’s speculative, he said.

“How many patients do these other two facilities treat? How many doctors practice there? How many of these doctors have applied for admitting privileges and what is the status of their applications?” he wrote. He said he needs answers to those and other questions, including how far patients would have to travel for care if the other two clinics stayed open.

Admitting privileges laws have passed across the South.

But on Friday, a federal judge threw out new Texas abortion restrictions that would have effectively closed more than a dozen clinics in the state. Earlier last month, a federal judge said an Alabama law restricting abortion doctors is unconstitutional. And in July, a panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over Louisiana, voted to overturn Mississippi’s law, which would have shuttered the state’s only abortion clinic, saying every state must guarantee the right to an abortion.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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California Landlord Law – Everything You Need to Know in 17 Questions and Answers

California Landlord Tenant Law and Regulations

Ahhhh, California – the left coast, the best coast? Most people that live here think so!

But if you are a landlord or a tenant in California there are a lot of things both of you should know before signing a lease agreement.

The following Q&A session will hopefully enlighten you on your rental journey.

Q: How much can a landlord charge for rent?

A: There are many areas that are subject to rent control and rent stabilization guidelines, as well as eviction “control”. These cities include: Beverly Hills, Campbell, East Palo Alto, Fremont, Glendale, Hayward, Los Angeles, Los Gatos, Oakland, Palm Springs, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Monica, Thousand Oaks and West Hollywood.

If you are a tenant or a landlord in one of these principalities, it would be prudent to investigate the rules of compliance with your local HUD office, the city’s rent control board or a real estate attorney familiar with the laws in your area.

Q: What is the allowable fee for a rental application/credit check?

A: A landlord cannot charge any more than he or she pays to have your credit checked. And this fee cannot be more than $37. Basically, he or she cannot make any kind of profit on your application fee.

Q: What are the allowable fees for a late rent charge or returned check?

A: Both of these fees are negotiable and subject to what is known as the law of “liquidated damages”. Liquidated damages are fees that can be collected for breaching a contract (such as a lease agreement). Although these are not subject to any laws as far as maximum amount chargeable, as a landlord you want to make them reasonable. A tenant sensing an unreasonable amount will likely be less willing to live under your other terms.

As a guideline, I charge $50 for a late fee and $25 for a returned check fee.

Q: How do security deposits work?

A: California does impose limits when it comes to the amount a landlord can charge as a security deposit. A landlord may not collect a security deposit more than two month’s rent for an unfurnished apartment or three month’s rent for a furnished apartment. This total amount must also include the amounts charged as a pet deposit, for locks, keys, carpets or anything else.

Security deposits are refundable just as long as the tenant doesn’t do any damage above “normal wear and tear”.

As a landlord, do I owe interest in a tenant’s security deposit?

Some principalities, San Francisco and Berkeley to name two, legally require interest to be paid to the tenant.

Because these numbers change and are based in the CPI (Consumer Price Index), it is best for them to check with a knowledgeable attorney or their local housing authority for the specifics.

Q: When does a landlord have to return the balance of a tenant’s security deposit?

A: Property owners have 21 days to return the balance of the security deposit and/or send an itemized accounting of all of the deductions coming out of the deposit. These deductions come out of the balance for damages above “normal wear and tear”.

IMPORTANT: It is vitally important for every landlord to know the detailed procedures for what is deductible. These are outlined in California Civil Code Section 1950.5.

Q: What do landlords and tenants have to be on the lookout for when it comes to security deposits?

A: Property owners often try to “over-claim” what can be deductible. By that, I mean sometimes landlords claim deductions for things that are noted by the legal system as “normal wear and tear” and therefore NOT subject to a deduction.

It is also important to note that as a landlord you would do well to buy yourself a digital camera to take before and after pictures of a tenant’s stay. Putting this into practice will save you immense amounts of headaches by objectively evaluating each deduction.

Q: How does one end a lease in California?

A: There are two types of leases: fixed term or a periodic lease.

A lease that is a fixed term begins and ends on specified dates. The most common type of fixed term lease is a year lease. In this case, a year lease would simply end one year after the lease began.

A periodic lease continues from term to term. The most common type of term-to-term lease is the month to month. A periodic lease remains in place until either the landlord or the tenant gives the other the specified amount of required notice. Usually, though not always, the amount of notice required is the same as the term. For example, a month-to-month lease would require one month’s notice that a tenant was moving out.

In situations with subsidized housing, usually there is a 90-day notice required. However, you should check with your local housing authority for the laws in your principality. In addition, if your property is in a principality with eviction control, you must give “just cause” to end the lease agreement.

Q: Under what circumstances is a landlord required to let a tenant out of their lease agreement?

A: If a rental unit becomes uninhabitable or is damaged by fire or another reason not caused by the renter, the landlord is obligated to release the tenant from their rental agreement.

The only other time this can happen is if the tenant is deceived by misrepresentations made by a landlord.

Q: What do I do if I have a tenant that was supposed to leave his apartment and doesn’t?

A: If a tenant decides to stay in a unit without the landlord’s permission after the expiration of the lease agreement or the lease agreement’s termination, the owner may bring about an “action for possession”.

Note: If the property is in a jurisdiction that employs eviction control, you would be wise to consult the local housing authority or a qualified attorney.

Q: How does the eviction process work?

A: A 3-day written notice is required before a landlord can file for eviction in court. However, notices may differ based on the situation.

Situation:

(1) Non-payment of rent: a landlord must serve the tenant with a written notice stating how much back rent is owed. The total cannot include any other charges such as late fees, interest, or damages. This notice gives the tenant three days to “pay or quit” – which essentially means: pay your rent or leave the premises.

(2) Lease agreement violations: a 3-Day Notice to “Perform Covenants or Quit” is given to the tenant. Landlords use this type of notice if the renter fails to uphold any of the terms on the lease agreement and the problem cannot be rectified. For instance, if a tenant is subletting the unit without the landlord’s approval, not keeping the apartment clean, or any other terms of the agreement, this notice asks the tenant to correct the violation within three days or leave the premises.

(3) On-going nuisance or criminal activity: A 3-Day “Notice to Quit” can be served if there have been recurring problems with a renter who causes a “nuisance” in his or her unit or on the property, or if he or she is conducting criminal activity in or around the property. This also includes situations when a tenant’s actions threaten the safety or health of other residents.

As soon as the 3-day period terminates and if the tenant is still not complying, the landlord can file a suit in court for eviction. Again, if your property is subject to eviction control, please check with your local housing authorities for guidelines.

Q: How do these notices have to be served?

A: Notices should be personally delivered to the tenant when possible. If the tenant is not home at the time of service, the landlord can leave a copy with another adult person if available.. If you are unable to locate the tenant and no one is there to receive it, you may leave a copy in a conspicuous place at his unit. Personally, I recommend mailing the notice certified and with a return receipt required so that you can prove the tenant was indeed given the proper warning should you have to go to court. This eliminates any chance of the tenant denying you served him personally.

Q: What does the landlord do if the tenant ignores his initial notice?

A: The first thing the landlord should do is go to the courthouse and file the paperwork to proceed with an unlawful detainer lawsuit.

Q: What is an unlawful detainer lawsuit?

A: It is when a hearing is held where both parties (landlord and tenant) can present their point of view and share their evidence.

If the court should decide in favor of the landlord, the court issues what is called a “writ of possession.” This allows the sheriff to force the tenant to vacate the premises. At this time, the tenant has 5 days from the date the “writ” is served to leave the premises under his or her own will. If they do not vacate by the 5th day, the sheriff is allowed to physically remove the tenant and his or her possessions. The landlord is not entitled to take possession of the unit until the sheriff has completed this task should it be necessary.

Q: How many days does it take to complete the eviction process in California?

A: The complete eviction process can take anywhere from 2-8 weeks depending on a variety of factors. These factors include what kind of eviction is taking place and whether or not the tenant decides to defend themselves and/or leave willingly.

Q: What does it mean if a tenant “skips out”?

A: This is also referred to as a tenant “abandoning” his unit- leaving and not telling anyone. Although California doesn’t clearly define the terms of abandonment, as a landlord, it is a smart move to take pictures and document your findings just in case you have to prove yourself in court.

Q: What happens if my tenant files for bankruptcy?

A: It is best to consult with an attorney as this is somewhat of a tricky area. Usually, all rent collection and eviction efforts must cease though there are certain circumstance that a court will grant an exception.

Q: Do I need to be licensed or registered in order to be a landlord?

A: Some principalities do require a landlord to register for a business license. Some places, like Berkeley, require registration of the rental property with the local rent board or housing authority. If you are a first time landlord, you should check with your local housing authority to clarify all of the requirements.

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UK Media Law for Journalists

Selkirk Sheriff CourtScots law throws up a number of variations from that of the UK which could potentially catch out a careless journalist. A lot of the time, common sense is as important as a detailed knowledge of the law when reporting on court cases, but there are a number of hard and fast rules to keep in mind.

Reporting by the free press is an important part of the judicial process, as it forms the basis of the principle of ‘open justice’ – the idea that justice must be seen to be done. Being as most ordinary members of the public do not have the time or the inclination to go to court on a regular basis to see justice being meted out, it is important that the press perform this function.

Scottish Law, as with other systems, is split into Criminal Law and Civil Law. Understanding the structure of these systems is a key early step to tackling the Scottish judicial system.

General Reporting Guidelines

The easiest way to keep from falling afoul of the Scottish legal system is to keep all reporting fair, accurate and contemporaneous. Journalists have an absolute privilege to report on any case in open court, and as long as their comments are fair, accurate and up to date, they are protected from any defamation or Contempt of Court actions. The vital component of a fair report is keeping it balanced – all sides must be represented.

This often involves reporting a lot of rather dull and seemingly pointless material. For instance, if at an interim interdict hearing, one side is unable to attend and is not represented in court, it is important to mention this in the report, so that it does not appear that they simply made no effort to defend themselves – this could imply guilt.

Reporting Prohibitions

There are certain people who cannot be named when reporting on criminal cases in Scotland. For the most part this applies to minors, which is to say people under the age of 16, or 18 in certain circumstances – like if the minor in question is subject to a supervision order.

As well as never naming a child under the age of 16 in a report on a criminal case, anything which could potentially lead to them being identified – like their age, sex, school, or address, or that of an immediate family member – should also be omitted. This applies equally to Children’s Hearings, which do not necessarily have to be criminal in nature.

There is no specific legal prohibition against identifying victims of sexual abuse cases in Scotland. However, there is a convention accepted throughout the Scottish media that victims of such crimes will not be identified during their lifetimes – unless they voluntarily give their consent to be named. Hence, despite the lack of any actual legal backing, they should not be named without permission.

Additionally, a court can impose a Section 93 order to protect the identity or personal details of certain persons. It is easy to think of examples of people who it would be best not to name – one might be a criminal who has cooperated with the police or acted as an informant. It would not be prudent to name this person or provide their address in a newspaper report, as this could jeopardise their safety. However due to the principle of open justice, Section 93 has never successfully been used to exclude journalists from a trial altogether.

Proceedings Held ‘In Camera’

There are however some cases of a particularly serious nature – such as those involving matters of national security – which are held ‘in camera’, meaning in private, generally in a Sheriff’s quarters. Journalists are not admitted entry to these cases and are not permitted to report on them.

Another Latin phrase which may come in handy for court reporting in Scotland is ‘pro loco et tempore’, meaning ‘for the time and place'; this means the trial is postponed, with a view to be resumed at a later date and possibly in a different court.

Summary Trial Procedure

In Scottish Civil court cases, there is a certain short-cut that disputing parties can take to get a quick and quiet resolution to their case. They can agree to take their case before a Court of Session judge, who will make a speedy decision in camera. This decision cannot be appealed, but has the benefits of being both fast and private.

The precedent was set for this procedure in 1967, when the male heir to Lord Sempill was being decided. The complication in the case was Elizabeth Sempill, who had undergone a sex-change at the age of 40 to become Ewan Forbes-Sempill. The case was heard in private, and no judgment or decision was issued at the time, meaning there was nothing for the press to report. Lord Hunter, presiding, said that this was due to the “purely private” nature of the case.

Fatal Accident Inquiries

Fatal Accident inquiries are unique to the Scottish legal system. They are not court proceedings as such, but are rather ordered by the Lord Advocate or recommended by the Procurator Fiscal in consideration of the public interest in any death or fatal accident case which occurs in Scotland. This is preceded by an investigation by the Procurator Fiscal, and the inquiry will sit before a Sheriff, with no jury. Journalists however can attend.

Because these are not criminal proceedings, under-18s can be named and there are no specific instructions as to what can be reported. However, the Sheriff in charge of the Fatal Accident Inquiry can decide to ban coverage, including the names of juniors involved and so forth.

Sources:

McInnes, Rosalind, Scots Law for Journalists, Thompson Reuters, London, 2010

Welsh, Greenwood & Banks, McNae’s Essential Law for Journalists, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2009

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Surge in concealed weapon permits follows California court Second Amendment decision

Gun owners are flooding the sheriff’s offices in two California counties with applications for concealed weapon permits following a bombshell ruling two weeks ago by a federal appeals court that citizens need not justify their requests.

Orange and Ventura counties have dropped the “good cause” standard for issuing conceal carry permits after the requirement was struck down  Feb. 13 by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeal. A three-judge panel of the court ruled 2 to 1 that the Second Amendment bars California counties from requiring law-abiding gun owners who want to carry concealed firearms to demonstrate special, individualized needs for protection.

More than 500 applications have poured in to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department in just two weeks — roughly the total number of applications filed in 2013, a spokesman said. Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens announced on the department’s website that the county will comply with the federal court’s order immediately, sparking the wave of applications.

“As of two days ago, it was well over 500.”

- Lt. Jeff Hallock, Orange County Sheriff’s Department

“We’ve received as many or more in the last week in a half than we did in the whole calendar year [of 2013],” OCSD Lt. Jeff Hallock told FoxNews.com by phone early Thursday.

He said Hutchens didn’t wait for the decision to be further tested in order to “show respect to the court’s opinion while demonstrating her responsiveness.”

“For now, we’re going to accept applications with self-defense and/or personal protection as just cause,” said Hallock, adding that Hutchens is still encouraging applicants to submit a statement of good cause.

Similarly, in Ventura County, where officials also elected to immediately drop the “good cause” requirement, a tide of applications is expected.

“We’re certainly preparing for an influx of more applications,” Capt. Don Aguilar, spokesman for the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, told FoxNews.com. “We’re getting calls from people who have questions about this.”

Aguilar could not say how many applications have come in since the ruling, but noted that 531 applications were received in 2013, with 123 being denied. There are currently 832 active permits in the county, he said.

Because the decision was not appealed to the full 9th Circuit by San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore, the case now goes back to the U.S. District Court that originally heard it, with instructions to change the way gun permits are issued throughout the state in compliance with the ruling. A date for a hearing has not been set.

In other California counties, including San Diego County, where Peruta v. County of San Diego originated, and Los Angeles County, officials are waiting for the law to become final before changing the rules.

“Applications that seek a CCW permit under the self-defense standard set forth in Peruta v. County of San Diego will be processed in the order they were received should the decision of the 9th Circuit become final,” the San Diego Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. “Once the decision becomes final, applicants will be contacted by the Sheriff’s Licensing Division with instructions on how to complete the process.”

The ruling was hailed by gun rights advocates.

“No one should have to wait until they are assaulted before they are allowed to exercise their fundamental right of self-defense,” Chris Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, said in a statement. “The U.S. Supreme Court has already affirmed our Constitutional right to keep arms, and today, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the right to bear arms. Our fundamental, individual right to bear arms is not limited to the home.”

But supporters of tighter gun control laws blasted the idea of relaxing laws restricting the carrying of handguns.

“The parents of Jordan Davis and Trayvon Martin, whose children were killed by licensed concealed-carry holders, could educate the court about the real dangers posed by this legal error,” Jonathan Lowy, of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, said in a statement. “We are hopeful that this mistake will be corrected by the entire court.”

Hallock expects the applications to continue to pour in. In 2013, the department received 580 concealed weapons permit applications, approving about 75 percent, he said. Hallock said in a typical year, about 80 percent of applications are approved. But with gun owners no longer required to state a need — such as carrying large amounts of money in the course of their jobs, or facing some sort of threat — gun owners who never bothered to apply are seeking permits.

Hallock said the flood of applications has “inundated” the department, which handles gun carry permits for the county’s cities, including Huntington Beach, Mission Viejo and Costa Mesa, among others. As a result, additional temporary staffers may need to be hired to handle the influx. The process, from receipt of the application to issuance, typically takes 4-8 weeks.

In order to qualify for a license to carry a concealed firearm, Orange County residents ages 21 or older must complete a background check, be of “good moral character,” complete a firearms training course and pay associated costs and fees.

“The course will be 4 or 16 hours,” the department’s website reads. “The training should not be taken until preliminary approval for the CCW license is granted and the applicant’s fingerprints are taken.”

Once granted, those with permits may not consume alcohol while armed, falsely represent themselves as a peace officer or be under the influence of any medication or drug while carrying, according to the policy.

The backlog of applications has already delayed the interview portion of the process, which is typically scheduled 2-3 weeks in advance. Interviews are now scheduled through December, said Hallock, who stressed that the ruling has yet to affect the issuance of any permits. As of last week, 906 active permits were in the county.

“We’ve yet to issue a permit for self-defense,” he said. “Those applications are just coming in.”

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When is a general power of attorney terminated?

A general power of attorney, or POA, is a legal document that gives an authorized person to act on your behalf in a number and/or various circumstances. A general POA is terminated when specifics outlined in the POA are completed, by revocation of the POA agent, by renouncement of the donee, by bankruptcy of the agent, and in some cases by death or mental incompetence of the agent.

References:

Lean Legal: Power of Attorney

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Attorney Charlotte E. Ray

Born January 13, 1850 in New York City, Ray’s, Reverend Charles Bennett Ray was an abolitionist and one of the owners and editor of the Colored American, a newspaper which targeted the free slave community. Charles Ray was a pastor at the Bethesda Congregational Church.

Ray herself attended the Institution for the Education of Colored Youth in Washington, D.C. as it was the only school allowing African-American girls to attend.

Attending Howard University

In 1869 she became both a teacher and a student at Howard University. Howard University was established to provide education for freed slaves and their descendants. However, even Howard University continued the practice of not allowing women to enroll in their law program.

But Charlotte E. Ray found a way around her gender. She used her initials and applied at Howard University as “C. E. Ray.” She graduated from the Howard Law School with a law degree in 1872, becoming the second woman to receive a law degree (Arabella Mansfield was the first), the first African-American woman to receive a law degree and the first woman to be admitted to the District of Columbia Bar Association.

Racial, Gender Prejudices Close Practice

Upon receiving her degree, Ray opened her own law practice in the District of Columbia area. Her focus at Howard had been commercial law and her practice specialized in that area. Due to racial and gender discrimination and prejudices, she was unable to maintain her practice and returned to teaching in Brooklyn.

Myra Bradwell owned The Chicago Legal News. She was also a woman lawyer who had passed the Illinois bar exam but was denied call by the Illinois court. Bradwell wrote this about Charlotte Ray: “Miss Ray … although a lawyer of decided ability, on account of prejudice was not able to obtain sufficient business and had to give up … active practice.” There is apparently only one pleading in her name – a family law case (Gadley v Gadley).

She was later active in the women’s suffrage movement and the National Association of Colored Women. She also married a man whose surname was Fraim, but little more about her life after Howard University is known.

Ray passed away January 4, 1911.

Today, the Greater Washington Area Chapter Women Lawyers Division National Bar Association presents the annual “Charlotte E. Ray award” to an outstanding African-American woman from the District of Columbia Bar Association.

Sources:

duhaime.org

Greater Washington Area Chapter Women Lawyers Division National Bar Association

civilrights.org

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Yahoo România

Primarul din dou? partide. Un edil a semnat dou? adeziuni în 10 zile

Traseist ?i nehot?rât, primarul unei comune din jude?ul Arad a semnat, în doar 10 zile, dou? adeziuni, la partide diferite. Asta, de?i nici chiar ordonan?a care permite migra?ia edililor nu permite atâta flexibilitate politic?. Sup?ra?i pe colegul lor, care vrea s? lase PNL pentru PSD, liberalii…

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Kansas Supreme Court temporarily blocks gay marriages

By Kevin Murphy

KANSAS CITY Kan. Fri Oct 10, 2014 11:31pm EDT

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Jim Derrick (L) and Alfie Travassos (R) exchange rings as they get married at the Salt Lake County Government Complex in Salt Lake City, Utah, October 6, 2014. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Jim Derrick (L) and Alfie Travassos (R) exchange rings as they get married at the Salt Lake County Government Complex in Salt Lake City, Utah, October 6, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Jim Urquhart

KANSAS CITY Kan. (Reuters) – The legal battle over gay rights in Kansas reached the state’s highest court and the federal courts on Friday hours after two women were married outside a county courthouse.

The Kansas Supreme Court on Friday blocked temporarily the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples in Kansas, but said couples could file applications, and the ACLU of Kansas filed a lawsuit challenging the state’s ban on gay marriage.

“I shouldn’t have to leave my state to get a basic civil right,” one of the plaintiffs in the ACLU lawsuit, Kerry Wilks, had told Reuters on Tuesday. “This is part of a larger issue – it’s about basic equality for gays and lesbians.”

The Kansas Supreme Court set oral arguments for Nov. 6 and asked attorneys in part to address whether a judge in Johnson County, the state’s most populous, was correct in ordering clerks to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The judge issued his order Wednesday based on a U.S. Supreme Court decision not to review a U.S. appeals court ruling that struck down bans on gay marriage in other states.

The Kansas attorney general had asked the state Supreme Court to nullify the Johnson County judge’s order and to order that no other licenses be issued.

Amid the debate, two women wed Friday in front of the Johnson County courthouse, District Court Clerk Sandy McCurdy said. McCurdy did not release their names.

They were the only same-sex couple who had sought a marriage license on Tuesday, McCurdy said. They received their license on Friday following the three-day waiting period required under Kansas law, and were married quickly.

Fifty-two same-sex couples had sought marriage licenses as of Friday afternoon in Johnson County, McCurdy said.

Kansas bans same-sex marriage by state law and its state constitution, a position expected to be overturned following a U.S. Supreme Court decision on Monday.

The U.S. Supreme Court decided not to review U.S. appeals court decision striking down bans in Oklahoma and Utah, which are in the same U.S. appeals court circuit as Kansas, meaning the state is bound by that court’s rulings.

(Reporting by Kevin Murphy; Additional reporting by Alice Mannette in Wichita, Kansas; Editing by David Gregorio and Richard Borsuk)

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Comments (4)

Another winner from a state that banned teaching evolution, just when you think the bottom was reached, they prove you wrong. Must be great living in 1800?s culture.

The remaining dominoes will follow along soon enough. An anticipated ruling from the 11th circuit soon will add Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi to the list. The rest will topple quickly after that.

A victory across the board for Sodomites, thanks to corrupt and amoral judges and politicians connected to the Democratic Party.

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