Questions Answered by Joseph D. Allen

Q: How soon can I start eviction process for a storefront that I rent to someone when they fail to pay rent?

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Maryland on
Answered on Jan 18, 2019
Joseph D. Allen's answer
The answer will depend on the relevant language in the lease. You may want to hire an attorney to review the lease and advise you as to your rights and the process.

Q: My Landlord is not returning my security deposit even after 45 days since I moved out . Please advice.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Maryland on
Answered on Dec 18, 2018
Joseph D. Allen's answer
It doesn't sound like, based on what you say, that the landlord is in compliance with MD law with regard to the retention of your security deposit. Also, if your lease term was to end on 10/31, and you gave enough notice according to the lease of your termination (and it didn't automatically renew for another year before you gave notice), the landlord can't hold you responsible for rent until she finds a new tenant. You should discuss with an attorney practicing in landlord/tenant law. There...

Q: Landlord will not provide rent receipts for my cash payments, can he say I’d didn’t pay rent and take me to court ?

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Maryland on
Answered on Dec 13, 2018
Joseph D. Allen's answer
From what you've said, it does seem that the landlord is violating the lease, and potentially state laws (namely, by taking cash payments without a receipt given and increasing rent without notice). You should probably speak with an attorney- a lot will depend on what your lease says exactly, and other circumstances.

Q: Im in Prince Georges County Maryland. My Landlord refuses to honor 2-year Lease by

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Maryland on
Answered on Dec 13, 2018
Joseph D. Allen's answer
If the lease requires the landlord to pay utilities, then that is what they have to do. It is unlikely that your lease allows the landlord to unilaterally terminate the lease early- so if you don't want to do that, don't agree to early termination. It might be advisable to send the landlord a certified letter stating your demand that they pay the utilities, and that you don't agree to early termination of the lease. If push comes to shove, speak with a landlord/tenant attorney.

Q: I recently terminated an employee. That employee has filed false BBB claim and libelous posts to FB. Is this criminal

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Libel & Slander for Maryland on
Answered on Nov 29, 2018
Joseph D. Allen's answer
It appears at first blush that the only potentially criminal action here would be the "gunning for [you]" comment- but that is susceptible to various interpretations. The rest is potentially a civil claim for defamation, but those cases are difficult and highly fact-specific. Another thing to consider is whether you could collect from the ex-employee on any judgment you might obtain. You may want to consult an attorney. You might also want to contact the BBB and complain to them about the...

Q: My employer in Montgomery County md is refusing to put in my accrued sick pay while Im on maternity leave. What can I do

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Maryland on
Answered on Nov 20, 2018
Joseph D. Allen's answer
Maryland employers (that have at least 15 employees) are required to offer only unpaid maternity leave, under the Parental Leave Act. However, under the Maryland Flexible Leave Act, those employers must allow employees on unpaid leave to care for a newborn to elect to use their earned/accrued PTO instead of unpaid leave. You could either inform your employer of that law and ask them to reconsider, file a complaint with the DLLR, or hire an attorney (who may or may not take your case on...

Q: Per MD, the landlord has 45 days to return the security deposit or itemized list. Is it from end of tenancy or lease?

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Maryland on
Answered on Nov 19, 2018
Joseph D. Allen's answer
Provided that you gave appropriate notice of moving out, the 45 day limit would apply from the end of the tenancy (in this case, the same day as the move-out). However, the landlord being one day late on the list is going to be a pretty weak technical argument. You can try that argument, but you may be better off also challenging the damage items, or depending on all the facts, countering that the landlord didn't repair the property appropriately during the tenancy.

Q: can an employer change & reduce salary to hourly & say it was based on 45 hours per week if the pay stub clearly say 40?

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Maryland on
Answered on Nov 19, 2018
Joseph D. Allen's answer
As long as the employer gives at least a pay period advance notice to employee of a reduction in pay, they are not violating any laws in MD. However, your question raises the issue of whether you were appropriately classified as exempt in the first place- if your job duties have truly remained the same, and you are now being called non-exempt.

A salary can be based on a 45 hour (or longer) workweek. But if you were in fact working more than 40 hours a week, and your job duties (and...

Q: Joining the Army, but bump in the road. What should I do? Please read carefully

1 Answer | Asked in Military Law for Maryland on
Answered on Nov 15, 2018
Joseph D. Allen's answer
It wouldn't help anything to lie about the previous incident. If you know the name of the Navy recruiter, it is odd that they can't find him/her. However, it is very unlikely they would support your story and admit they told you to lie, even if they found them. What doesn't add up here is why you apparently told other recruiters about the Navy issue, but not the Army recruiter looking at your file. Anyhow, you may be ultimately unsuccessful in joining the Army- but the best bet seems to be...

Q: Maryland sick/safe law, can you be forceto use your accrued PTO?

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law and Employment Law for Maryland on
Answered on Nov 12, 2018
Joseph D. Allen's answer
As long as the employer's overall PTO policy provides the minimum sick/safe leave, they can require the employee to use earned PTO. However, if the employer does not set aside leave that can only be used for sick/safe purposes, the DLLR guidance states that it "strongly encourages such employers to advise employees that sick and safe leave is covered by the existing PTO the employer provides and that any additional sick and safe leave will not be provided." But based on your question, it...

Q: Do i have grounds for a law suit against Roberts HomeMedical for deceptive business practice. I live in Maryland.

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for Maryland on
Answered on Oct 30, 2018
Joseph D. Allen's answer
This sounds like potentially a violation of the Maryland Consumer Protection Act, in that the company may have acted deceptively in their sales practices. Whether it is worth a lawsuit is another question, which you might discuss with an attorney that practices in the area of consumer rights. Alternatively, you might complain to the MD Attorney General.

Q: caseworker for CPS sexually assaulted a child never investigated child is now an adult can she sue CPS n caseworker

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Maryland on
Answered on Oct 16, 2018
Joseph D. Allen's answer
This depends on when the assault occurred, and the statute of limitations that is applicable. For more recent incidents of abuse (after October 1, 2010), the statute of limitations is extended to age 38. The older the assault is, the more restrictive the statute of limitations is. You should consult with an attorney to discuss your case.

Q: Looking to break a lease after multiple attempts to have rental fixed and continuous rodent issue, is it doable ?

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Maryland on
Answered on Oct 11, 2018
Joseph D. Allen's answer
You might consider filing a rent escrow action in the local district court. One of the possible remedies the court could order is early termination of the lease. But you have to show that the apartment/house is uninhabitable- or a threat to your health/safety. It would at least get the landlord's attention. You can do this without a lawyer's assistance- but you should be prepared to prove your case with evidence (pictures, correspondence with landlord, testimony, etc.) Another option might...

Q: non exempt W2 salaried in Maryland . Company website shows I work 5/40hrs but I work 6 and over 12hrs. Overtime pay?

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Maryland on
Answered on Oct 11, 2018
Joseph D. Allen's answer
If you are classified as non-exempt (even if salaried), then an employer needs to pay you for any overtime you actually work- at your "regular rate of pay." It does sound like your supervisory duties might (or might not) allow the employer to classify you as exempt- as long as you make enough money. However, if you have been told you are non-exempt, and the employer knows you are working more than 40 hours a week, you might have a claim. You should discuss all the circumstances with an...

Q: A sick leave law was passed in Montgomery County md My employer refuses to comply anything I can do?

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Maryland on
Answered on Oct 2, 2018
Joseph D. Allen's answer
Both Montgomery County and Maryland now have sick leave laws, and the employer has to comply with the provisions that provide the most protection to the employee. But depending on the size of the employer, the benefits may be limited. And there are employee tenure (length of employment) and hours worked requirements as well. You should speak with an employment/labor attorney about the facts of your situation.

Q: Are Maryland public school teachers considered state employees?

2 Answers | Asked in Education Law and Gov & Administrative Law for Maryland on
Answered on Oct 2, 2018
Joseph D. Allen's answer
This is a much more complicated question than it appears. For some purposes, school board employees are state employees, and for other purposes they are local government employees. Maryland school boards are an odd hybrid- and the appellate courts are still struggling with how to classify them.

Q: W2 employee supervising sub contractor

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Maryland on
Answered on Oct 2, 2018
Joseph D. Allen's answer
The subcontractor's right to be paid/treated as employees is separate from your entitlement to be paid for your work. If you are not being paid for hours or overtime you work (and are non-exempt), then you would probably have a claim. On the other hand, if you are truly salaried exempt (and are classified appropriately), or simply think you should have a higher wage or salary, that would probably not be the basis for a claim.

Q: I am being sexually and mental harrassed by my employer

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Sexual Harassment for Maryland on
Answered on Oct 2, 2018
Joseph D. Allen's answer
Make sure to document your encounters with the employer, and save all of the inappropriate/harassing texts (preferably on a separate device from your phone). You should speak with an employment/labor attorney about the facts of your case.

Q: Legal options for woman raped and assaulted by former husband

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Divorce and Personal Injury for Maryland on
Answered on Sep 28, 2018
Joseph D. Allen's answer
The statute of limitations for sexual or other battery (assuming she was 18 or older at the time) is 3 years. There is no criminal statute of limitations for sexual assault. It may be relatively difficult to get a prosecutor to take the case given the passage of time- but depending on the facts, it might be possible. She might be able to get restitution if he is convicted. As for the continuing verbal abuse, it depends on how severe it is- she might have a civil claim. Or she could be...

Q: If I have a lifetime warranty and the company changes hands and is reincorporated, is my warranty still valid?

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts for Maryland on
Answered on Sep 27, 2018
Joseph D. Allen's answer
Depends on what the contract (warranty) says about if it binds successors in interest.

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