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Questions Answered by Gerald Barry Dorfman
2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: I'm purchasing a property that requires owner occupancy, but property has 2 tenants with leases until next year.

I'm purchasing a property that requires owner occupancy, but property has 2 tenants with leases until next year. I have 60 days to owner occupy. How can I legally occupy the home within 60 days when the tenants have contracts in place?

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Aug 26, 2020

Read the leases; there is a small chance they may contain an early termination clause in the case of a sale of the property. If not, you can attempt to negotiate a buyout.

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2 Answers | Asked in Personal Injury for California on
Q: Does Subpoena for employment records in personal injury case (claiming loss of income) only include salary history?

Does Subpoena for employment records in personal injury case (claiming loss of income) only include demand for salary history? Or does it include complete employment records including all job applications and resumes kept at each employer?

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Aug 25, 2020

Usually, it will include all records, not just salary history. Defense attorneys love to dig through employment records and medical records. If you need the scope of the subpoena limited, you may need to (promptly) make a motion for a protective order. Before making such a motion, you must make... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: My mother added my brother as owner of her property. Does it go to him at her death?

My mother passed. Recently she added my brother as joint owner of her property as I confirmed with the county assessor. I am not sure if they contacted the mortgage lender to add him on the loan as he is unemployed and I doubt would qualify. If there is no will or trust does the entire property go... Read more »

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Aug 25, 2020

If he was added as "joint tenants", he gets it all. If he was added as "tenants in common", you and your sister get 1/3 of her half (probate likely required). If he was listed as "transfer on death", he gets it all. This assumes you, your sister and your brother are the only heirs.

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on
Q: Gma died my father passed away before her and my dad was only son and I am only child. Can I get my dads portion?

I have 4 aunts which got a large portion and I got 10,000 out of hundreds of thousands

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Jul 30, 2020

The short answer is yes, you can get your father's share. Figuring out what his share is, is not so simple. It depends on how title to property and accounts was held, and whether there is a will or trust.

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2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation for California on
Q: I won a small claims case by default as the defendant didn’t show up. They then filed a motion to vacate on the basis

if she thought it was continued because of what the online portal said. She also says in her motion she was CERTAIN it had been continued. And yet, she didn’t call or actually verify with a court clerk. I thought it was continued too but when I called I got them after hours so I went up anyway... Read more »

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Jul 23, 2020

Unfortunately for you, very likely.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Hello, I am trying to rent a house. The realtor asked us to sign an agreement that has a no fault just cause provision.

It states that the owner can require us to leave if they, their spouse, partner, children, grandchildren, (family want to move in). It says that if they enact it that all they are required to do is pay us 1 month worth of rent, Then she said, don't worry, it won't happen but the owner... Read more »

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Jul 13, 2020

If you are not comfortable with it, don't do it. Find another place. Sign a lease for a term you are comfortable with.

3 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: my aunt put me on the deed to her house she passed away and didnt have a will do i need to go throuqh probate
Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Jul 13, 2020

Sorry for your loss. Your question appears in the California section, although you appear to be in Florida. This answer ONLY applies to property in California. If the deed was given to you, or recorded, prior to her death, then you may not have to go through probate. Whether probate is... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: My landlord has given a 30 day written notice of termination of agreement. No reason stated . I feel she has harassed me

Defamation, called other tenants work when asked not to . Spread lies to other neighbors. I’ve filed a police report for harassment. Should I take my eviction to court and how do I know I have a good case before goin to court

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Jul 12, 2020

You may very well have the right to stay. California law provides that after all the tenants in a unit have continuously and lawfully occupied the property for 12 months or more, or at least one of the tenants has continuously and lawfully occupied the property for 24 months or more, a landlord... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: If I ask to withdraw from a lease prior to the approval and signature from the landlord, can I be released?

I signed a lease in March before the Pandemic officially hit USA, I asked to be released in April (due to financial instability from the pandemic lay offs) and they told me no. A month later I received confirmation that my lease had just been signed and executed, I also received my copy of the... Read more »

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Jul 2, 2020

You may very well be able to. The general rule is that an offer may be withdrawn before it is accepted. The devil is often in the details, so you would be well advised to have a consultation and document review with a qualified attorney, given the potential amounts in play.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Small Claims for California on
Q: My grandparents willed their house to my mom and uncle. My mom quick claimed the house to my uncle, they were going to

Sell it. In the will no one was supposed to live in the house. It was to be sold. Now my uncle has cancer and my cousins are saying that my mom has no rights to the house. What can we do? They are being shady and greedy. I don't care about the money it's my mom's house also. They... Read more »

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Jun 24, 2020

In addition to Ms. Whitehurst's excellent analysis, it is important for you to have an attorney review the chain of title. Some significant questions are whether probate was necessary or undertaken, whether your uncle was executor/administrator, and whether the quitclaim deed was given before... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Communications Law and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Is there a time restriction for my guests ?

My property manager says it is in the lease

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on May 25, 2020

If you are talking about a guest staying with you, yes. A lot of leases do specify the limit to the amount of time a guest can stay. Usually it is a number of days in a given period of time, like "25 days per year" or "3 weeks every 6 months". Your first step needs to be to review your lease.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Rental application review

I have a rental application for a property in renting out and would like for someone to review it

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on May 6, 2020

This is a question and answer forum for general legal questions. If you need specific legal advice, you will have to pick an attorney and contact them directly.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: How long before residing homeowner can obtain sole ownership?

Ca Real Estate joint tenancy home, 1 of the owners vacated the property leaving responsibilities, how long before the residing owner can obtain sole ownership?

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Apr 30, 2020

There is no time limit for what you describe. Ownership does not automatically change (except for death). Unless the other party agrees to transfer their interest, you will have to file a court action.

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for California on
Q: Who can I can contact to help with getting a payment owed from a small claims court case that I won?

I won a small claims court case in the sum of $9150 several months ago and the defendant is refusing to pay me. How can I collect this payment or is there someone/some company that can help me attain this?

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Apr 16, 2020

The courts do not "make" people pay judgements, but there are procedures you or your attorney can use. It helps if you are aware of the debtor's assets, like a bank account. If they own real estate you can file a lien. If they are working you can "garnish" their wages.... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: California my father passed had a living trust we want to buy the house all parties are in agreement whats next
Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Apr 14, 2020

How you should proceed depends a lot on the terms of the trust. Without a review of the trust and an understanding of facts such as how many beneficiaries and their relationship, no lawyer can answer your question. A major consideration would be preserving the parent to child reassessment for... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: How long does a representative have to distribute funds to the heirs after probate is finished?

Probate court finished in January. The case is in Phoenix AZ

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Mar 31, 2020

Your question landing in the California section. You need to ask it again in the Arizona section.

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4 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on
Q: Can I just do a notorized letter instead of a will in leaving my house to my child and the deed is in my name?
Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Mar 30, 2020

No, you can not. If you do not want to use a will or trust, you can use a deed. All of these methods require strict adherence to the correct form, although they are not necessarily complicated.

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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation for California on
Q: Can I back out of my agreement to sell my home because of the pandemic with no penalties?
Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Mar 13, 2020

No. Assuming you have a binding written agreement of sale, you can not breach the agreement simply because there is a pandemic. What "penalties" would apply, and whether your agreement is actually binding, are things an attorney would need to review with you.

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: If my rent was paid up until August and my apartment catches on fire. Am I supposed to get the I paid in advance back?

Early this month my apartment caught on when I wasn't there. Fire department said it was an accidental due to my negligence. The landlord terminated my lease. He said was gonna keep my deposit and make an insurance claim on the unit. I understand all that. My rent was paid until August. When I... Read more »

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Feb 21, 2020

If the cause of the fire was your negligence, you may have serious problems. If you have renter's insurance, turn this over to them immediately. They will provide a legal defense for you, and if you have enough coverage, they will pay any amounts you end up owing. If you do not have... Read more »

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4 Answers | Asked in Car Accidents for California on
Q: I received a summons for an auto accident that occurred after I sold the vehicle. Do I have to appear in court?

The vehicle was bought and the new owner took ownership. Then he got into an accident.

Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
answered on Jan 20, 2020

You must not ignore the summons. Turn it over to your insurance company right away, along with a copy of the form you filled out and turned in to the Department of Motor Vehicles when you sold it. Be sure not to miss any court deadlines.

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