Questions Answered by Andy Chen

Q: Other people live in the house and they have paid the rent are they going to be evicted

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for California on
Answered on Jul 20, 2018
Andy Chen's answer
My experience has been that the sheriff generally evicts only those people who are listed by name on the writ of possession. Not sure if the Riverside County sheriff would do it differently or not.

Q: If i owned a home prior to marriage, we live in the house together but the deed is under my mothers name.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Real Estate Law for California on
Answered on Jul 20, 2018
Andy Chen's answer
Whether he contributed to the mortgage from his salary is not the only consideration. Your salary during the marriage is community property (i.e. it is partially his). If you used your salary to pay for anything on the house -- mortgage, maintenance, landscaping, property tax, etc -- he could have a community property share to the house.

Name on the deed is generally who owns the house. Community property, unfortunately, is an exception to that so the deed being in your mom's name...

Q: can a landlord make claims that I owe them money after moving out 3 months prior.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on
Answered on Jul 20, 2018
Andy Chen's answer
The landlord can always try to come after you (e.g. small claims court, etc). You can't ever stop someone from trying to do something like sue you. I would agree with your intuition -- namely, if you did indeed owe that money, why did it take almost 4 months for the landlord to come after you for it? Once the landlord explains that, you can also ask what evidence there is that those bills (e.g. a water bill) was due to your use and not, for instance, use that occurred after you moved out.

Q: Can an ex leave your child with a new girlfriend even though we aren't divorced yet.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Child Custody for California on
Answered on Jul 20, 2018
Andy Chen's answer
Without court orders, anything theoretically is possible. I think your best bet is to seek court orders stating something like "If dad is unable to take care of the child, mom (i.e. you) will take the child." That way, you have a definite entitlement/right you can enforce and it's not just up to what dad says, mom says, etc. This will probably require you to respond to the divorce case also.

Whether or not your son is crying when he is with the gf or whether the gf is a danger to your...

Q: spouse left me left three dogs also what do I do?

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Answered on Jul 20, 2018
Andy Chen's answer
I concur with Mr. Light that you need to inform her she needs to get the dogs within a specified time period. You should not just suddenly get rid of them without giving her the opportunity to reclaim. That just gives her too much of an excuse to cause you further trouble.

Two things that come to mind: (1) instead of taking them to a shelter, find rescue groups in your area to take them. The rescue generally will not euthanize them whereas a city or county-run shelter might just due to...

Q: I was awarded full custody. Fatherr was awarded supervised visition 1/month 2hrs. Do I need approval to leave out of

2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody for California on
Answered on Jul 20, 2018
Andy Chen's answer
Agree with Ms. Bradley that you should look at your current custody order to see what it says about vacations. I'm not sure how San Bernardino County does it, but the custody orders I see in Northern California counties will generally mention explicitly how vacations are to be handled. For instance, each parent will be entitled to take X vacations with the child per year for up to Y days each. Z days prior to vacation, the parent taking the child on vacation must inform the other parent of the...

Q: If I allegedly stole from my county of residence, and my court appointed attorney is employed by that same county,as is

3 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for California on
Answered on Jul 20, 2018
Andy Chen's answer
You can hire your own defense lawyer, but your public defender is generally going to also work for the same county that the prosecutor works for. Public defenders and district attorneys will often work together a lot so they likely know one another socially and professionally also.

Q: I have a restraining order against an ex, who moved back to the city I live in. Can I break my current lease to move?

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Answered on Jul 20, 2018
Andy Chen's answer
I have not had a case on it before, but there is a Civil Code section (1946.7) that sort of addresses this. You can google "California landlord break lease domestic violence" and it comes right up. I am not clear on scope, though. In other words, if the restrained party lives in your same building, I would say the landlord would be required to allow you to break your lease. If the landlord lived in the same city, but it was 10 miles away and your restraining order only says he can't come within...

Q: Are bonuses counted as income for child support calculations in CA?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for California on
Answered on Jun 3, 2018
Andy Chen's answer
Yes, California counts bonuses when determining child support. There is something called a "Smith-Ostler computation" or "Smith-Ostler Order" that covers bonuses. I have seen this referred to as an "Ostler-Smith" as well so you may want to google both terms.

It might depend on how much his bonus varies from year to year or quarter to quarter, but what I usually see is the court using the bonus amounts from prior years to predict roughly what the bonus this year will be. Obviously,...

Q: What are my rights? I wrote a bad review of a book and now the author is threatening to sue me - can he do that?

1 Answer | Asked in Libel & Slander for California on
Answered on Jun 3, 2018
Andy Chen's answer
Anyone can sue anyone else for anything. Without knowing what you said, what the author is threatening you with, etc, there is no way to answer the question of what you can or can't do if you are actually sued. It all depends.

Q: I bought a house in Florida and within a month there was a slab leak on a new addition.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Answered on Jun 3, 2018
Andy Chen's answer
You should be asking this in the Florida forum, not the California one.

Q: I’m 19 and was charged with DUI. Is it possible to get the charges lowered or maybe dropped in court?

3 Answers | Asked in DUI / DWI for California on
Answered on Jun 3, 2018
Andy Chen's answer
There is no general answer to this question. Everyone in your position wants their charges lowered or dropped, but the district attorney doesn't just do that because the defendant wants it. Whether the DA does will depend on the facts of your case.

Q: Going to move to California soon. I have 3 guns that I don’t know if I’m allowed to bring.

2 Answers | Asked in Civil Rights and Gov & Administrative Law for California on
Answered on Jun 3, 2018
Andy Chen's answer
California's attorney general has a list of guns that are allowed to be sold in California (https://www.oag.ca.gov/firearms/certguns). I don't know if that list is also for guns that are allowed to be brought in to California by someone moving here. To be safe, I would assume it is.

California has magazine restrictions as well. 10 bullet maximum whereas a normal magazine holds 15 bullets.

Q: is there an attorney pro bono program in the family court division of the pasadena/chatsworth ca superior court?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for California on
Answered on May 12, 2018
Andy Chen's answer
This type of question is generally best answered by going to the courthouse itself. I've not been to Pasadena/Chatsworth courthouse before, but many family courthouses in California have lists of agencies who will refer you to free or discounted lawyers. These are sometimes run by that county's bar association. Family law pro bono in California is pretty difficult to come by, though. There are a lot of people who need it and the cases are generally routine. Contesting supervised visitation...

Q: Traffic tickets under my name when I never visited Virginia. I live in california not sure how to get this resolved..

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for California on
Answered on May 12, 2018
Andy Chen's answer
The easiest -- although likely not cheapest --- option is to hire a lawyer in Virginia who deals with traffic tickets, DMV stuff, etc. DMV stuff in California can get hugely involved. I have never checked, but would assume it is the same in Virginia.

Q: I was married to a FLA for 17 years. He got a bifurcation in 2015. Can he get a final decree without my signature?

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for California on
Answered on May 12, 2018
Andy Chen's answer
You'd have to check the court file to be certain, but he shouldn't be able to. Cases -- in general, including divorces -- resolve one of two ways: (1) by mutual agreement between the parties, or (2) by trial. It sounds like there was no agreement. I am assuming that you would have received notice of any trial in your case and that you didn't, for instance, move without updating your address with the court.

Q: I've been paying $500 a month for the past 10 years which was agreed to by both but mother is trying to raise. Can she?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for California on
Answered on Mar 6, 2018
Andy Chen's answer
She can always try. Whether she can succeed or not depends on many factors, such as if there is a current order and whether circumstances have changed since that order was made.

Q: I pay 950 a month for my daughter who is 13 I have 3 other kids I just found out my 3 year old has autism

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for California on
Answered on Mar 6, 2018
Andy Chen's answer
It can, especially if the autism has expenses (e.g. counseling, special teachers, etc) that are not covered by your insurance.

Q: I'm owed around$120,000 in child support and alimony still can't get him to pay on time or in full

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support and Divorce for California on
Answered on Mar 6, 2018
Andy Chen's answer
Does he work? If so, have you tried garnishing him? For child support, have you asked the Fresno County Dept of Child Support to collect this for you? They might, if a significant portion of the $120K is for child support.

Q: I live 5 hours from my ex husband and kids. He was driving halfway to drop my kids off, but now refuses. What can I do?

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Child Custody for California on
Answered on Mar 6, 2018
Andy Chen's answer
You should see what the current court order says about transportation and follow that. If the current order no longer works due to your relocation, you should go back to court and get a new order issued. Having a lawyer will make this process much easier.

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