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Questions Answered by Andy Chen
1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation for California on
Q: Is there software that will help me properly format and prepare a court motion response?

I need to file a response for a motion in Alameda, CA superior court. This response is to a motion that a defendent filed to remove a lien on a house. This is part of a collection action that I filed many years ago. I would like to file this motion without a lawyer, as cheaply as possible, and... Read more »

Andy Chen
Andy Chen answered on Jan 29, 2020

It might depend on the facts of your case, but using pleading paper is generally in any type of California state court civil case. You can make your own pleading paper in Microsoft Word or other similar word processing program. You can download Word templates for pleading paper. Here's one... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Divorce and Family Law for California on
Q: Does a waiver of right to collect retirement benefits include new plans and contributions made during the marriage?

A California prenuptial contains the following clause.

"Each party agrees to execute a waiver of his or her right to collect benefits under the other parties qualified retirement plan or plans, if applicable."

Could this be interpreted to mean only those accounts that... Read more »

Andy Chen
Andy Chen answered on Jan 29, 2020

I would be very surprised if the clause you quoted referred to something besides accounts and contributions made during the marriage. In California, accounts and contributions made prior to the marriage are separate property and the other spouse wouldn't be making a claim for separate property... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for California on
Q: can court appoint you a new a public defender every time i go to court is that Regal

and and how do I get a public defender to defend me and stay with me through the whole Court trial

Andy Chen
Andy Chen answered on Jan 29, 2020

I don't know how Orange County does it, but in Northern California counties, I've never seen a defendant always have the same public defender at each court hearing unless the case is super complicated. For cases that are fairly routine -- I would put most misdemeanors in that category --... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for California on
Q: My attorney is not representing my best interest! Dragging out the process in order to overcharge ime. since May 2018

His secretary said that he does not like to take it to court !! He likes to settle outside the court.

What is my rights if my attorney is not looking my best interest?????

Help please

Andy Chen
Andy Chen answered on Jan 29, 2020

You fire your attorney. If you feel it appropriate, you can hire another one.

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for California on
Q: If you hire a criminal attorney shouldn’t they get you a better deal then what was offered to u at time of arraignment?

My husband is being given the same amount of time a year and a half later of when he was arrested and his lawyer is telling him to take it. Shouldn’t the attorney have made some kind of difference in the case ?

Andy Chen
Andy Chen answered on Jan 29, 2020

I agree with Mr. Gribow. It's a common misconception that you will are guaranteed to receive a benefit if you hire your own lawyer versus representing yourself or using the public defender. Each lawyer has their own experience and perspective which might cause the lawyer you hire to have a new... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for California on
Q: Other people live in the house and they have paid the rent are they going to be evicted
Andy Chen
Andy Chen answered on Jul 20, 2018

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.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: If i owned a home prior to marriage, we live in the house together but the deed is under my mothers name.

he has not contributed to the mortgage. what is he entitled to in the divorce?

Andy Chen
Andy Chen answered on Jul 20, 2018

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: can a landlord make claims that I owe them money after moving out 3 months prior.

I lived in a house for 6 months, and moved out march 31, 2018. A few weeks ago the land lord sent me a text saying I owe her a specific amount listing bills without reliable source information to verify them. Also the entire time living in the house I was never given access or information to bill... Read more »

Andy Chen
Andy Chen answered on Jul 20, 2018

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Child Custody for California on
Q: Can an ex leave your child with a new girlfriend even though we aren't divorced yet.

We are just starting the divorce process, I was served yesterday. My ex already has a gf, and tomorrow he plans on leaving out son with her. My son doesn't feel comfortable with her and I don't feel comfortable that he is with a stranger that I don't know. I told him I was able to... Read more »

Andy Chen
Andy Chen answered on Jul 20, 2018

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... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for California on
Q: spouse left me left three dogs also what do I do?

My now x left me and left the dogs because she has no place for them. I originally said fine they can finish out the lease because I thought this was temporary she keeps saying they will stay here because she is on the lease things have gotten ugly between us I don’t want here dogs here I want to... Read more »

Andy Chen
Andy Chen answered on Jul 20, 2018

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...
Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody for California on
Q: I was awarded full custody. Fatherr was awarded supervised visition 1/month 2hrs. Do I need approval to leave out of

State on vacation?

Andy Chen
Andy Chen answered on Jul 20, 2018

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... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for California on
Q: If I allegedly stole from my county of residence, and my court appointed attorney is employed by that same county,as is

The prosecutor , can I get a change of venue or even a fair trial?

Andy Chen
Andy Chen answered on Jul 20, 2018

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.

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
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?

I have a restraining order against an ex due to domestic violence. He moved away to San Diego, so I remained in Rancho Cucamonga. I have just got wind that he moved back to Rancho Cucamonga and is within the vicinity. I do not feel safe and would like to move asap. Can I break my current lease... Read more »

Andy Chen
Andy Chen answered on Jul 20, 2018

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... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for California on
Q: Are bonuses counted as income for child support calculations in CA?

My ex has been in the same industry and much the same job title for 15 years but claims he "can't predict" his quarterly or annual bonuses. In the past bonuses have nearly doubled his annual income. I have been unable to afford an attorney to fight him on this. Our orders are from... Read more »

Andy Chen
Andy Chen answered on Jun 3, 2018

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...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Libel & Slander for California on
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?
Andy Chen
Andy Chen answered on Jun 3, 2018

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.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: I bought a house in Florida and within a month there was a slab leak on a new addition.

The old HO was supposed to fix a leak in the same bathroom (which was the new addition) and no proof they did it. Also, the water company said he has proof there it was leaking before we bought. Since we bought, we have had a hot water heater issue and other plumbing issues. Everything stated is... Read more »

Andy Chen
Andy Chen answered on Jun 3, 2018

You should be asking this in the Florida forum, not the California one.

3 Answers | Asked in DUI / DWI for California on
Q: I’m 19 and was charged with DUI. Is it possible to get the charges lowered or maybe dropped in court?
Andy Chen
Andy Chen answered on Jun 3, 2018

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.

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2 Answers | Asked in Civil Rights and Gov & Administrative Law for California on
Q: Going to move to California soon. I have 3 guns that I don’t know if I’m allowed to bring.

Sig Legion p226 SAO

Sig scorpion emperor 1911

Colt 1911

Andy Chen
Andy Chen answered on Jun 3, 2018

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.... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for California on
Q: is there an attorney pro bono program in the family court division of the pasadena/chatsworth ca superior court?

I have a case in the family court and want to contest supervised visitation.

Andy Chen
Andy Chen answered on May 12, 2018

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for California on
Q: Traffic tickets under my name when I never visited Virginia. I live in california not sure how to get this resolved..

The name of the person who actually received these tickets, paid the fine in full. This person shares a same name, same birth month and same birth date except the birth year with me. Various Virginia Courts are saying they don't have those tickets under my name since the full DOB does not... Read more »

Andy Chen
Andy Chen answered on May 12, 2018

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.

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