Tuesday, August 28, 2007

That Lawyer Dude's Favorite Answers to Lawguru.com Questions

As Promised in the last post, I am going to repost some of my favorite Q & A from questions posted at LawGuru.com. These will be my answers to these questions.

Feel free to send in your own questions to this blog by writing me at Catlaw1@yahoo.com. I will respond to everyone that I can. The best ones I will repost here. I reserve the right to clean up language and change some of the question to preserve the "dignity"(?) of this blog...

A. The Nasty Neighbor.
A homeowner writes:
Q: I have a neighbor that has been writing anonymous letters to us and other neighbors (Yes we know who it is) and this last letter that I rec'd was slanderous and disturbing. It made us aware that she has been keeping track of us. She has knowledge of personal things that she should know. It was very disturbing and upset my entire family. She made reference to making a former tenant from the one rental house on the block ''sorry'' for having accused her of saying that she has been writing these letters. She also said that my ex husband should have physically abused me. Sick stuff! Is there anything we can do to make this stop. P.S. She is obviously mentally ill, but we shouldn't have to keep the blinds shut during the day, Right?

I responded:
Correct. She is guilty of Aggravated Harassment. It is an A misdemeanor and can cause her to be incarcerated for up to 1 year. Get to the police. Each letter to each neighbor is a separate count. You can also bring a cease and desist order and seek orders of protection.

B. The Overprotective School District.
A Parent writes:
My child's public school in upstate NY is hosting an after-prom party at the school. One of the party stipulations, which parents & students are required to sign, states that students will not be allowed to leave unless picked up by a parent. I think this is fine, except in the case of those students who are 18 and legally adults. This includes my child. I have 2 questions: 1) since my child is 18, how can I legally authorize the school to keep my child there?, 2) how could the school legally prevent anyone 18 & over from leaving any time they desired?

A:Technically they cannot. I am told that Aerodynamically, a bumble bee should not be able to fly...except no one tells the bumblebee. I have a feeling that your local HS is working under the same theory.

C. The Absent Social Host.

A concerned Parent(?) writes:

If a parent is away on vacation and their child has underage kids drinking at their house, are they liable under the law?

My Answer:

I assume you are speaking of the new social host laws in Nassau county and in some of the cities therein.
By way of the Nassau law, it seems that there are facts that could result in a conviction for an absent parent in your scenario, the parent would in fact be liable if he knew or had reason to know that underage minors were drinking in his home.

It will be a tough case in some instances, but yes a district attorney could conceivably get a conviction if the minor giving out the alcohol had done it before, and if the liquor was readily available in the home etc. etc.

I do not know if the courts will find this law constitutional or not, although I would love to handle the test case.

Be advised.

Well not bad for a first time out. Let me know what you think of this as a feature. I look forward to hearing your responses.
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