Lawyers, Answer Questions  & Get Points Log In
Questions Answered by John Francis Nicholson
1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: If my lease agreement says no pets could my landlord evict me for having a dog even if I get a letter from a doc for esa
John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson answered on May 26, 2020

A lease that prohibits pets is valid, but ESA is an exception and if certified by a licensed physician the landlord has to allow the ESA. However, you can be evicted if the ESA becomes a nuisance or otherwise disrupts other tenant's quiet enjoyment of their premises.

To avoid the...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Principal tenant amended the terms of the contract after we signed it

My roommate and I are both international students who signed a rental agreement with a person who was subletting her apartment to us (California). The rental agreement was an ePDF and we electronically signed it and sent it to her in May 2019 through Whatsapp. However, she changed the late fee... Read more »

John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson answered on May 26, 2020

You have represented 2 issues; however, without knowing all of the facts this should not be considered legal advice.

(1) The landlord unilaterally changed the terms of the lease after you signed it. Of course she cannot do that and she must adhere to the original terms that she forwarded...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Business Law and Education Law for California on
Q: How should I request a university program in California to return my admit deposit since they have deferred starting?

I was selected in a program that has now deferred their start date due to CoVID. They requested a sizable deposit to secure my position in the program for their initial start date. The program no longer fits my timeline and they have refused to refund the deposit. What can I do in this situation?

John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson answered on May 20, 2020

I agree with Mr. Kaufman that you may need an attorney to sort this out. However, your question does not indicate whether you have contacted the university directly to find out what there policy is, and what writing is it based on. Some schools have a refund policy based upon a timeline that... Read more »

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Contractor malpractice on hazardous material

in Calfornia, a general contractor was hired for condo remodeling.

The condo is contaminated to the extent beyond living and the clean up bill from is hefty. Shall the owner be responsible for the bill only?

John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson answered on May 19, 2020

I agree with Mr. Juarez, but there are additional things that you should know.

There are requirements for testing before a commercial demolition.Those requirements include the following: The asbestos survey must be conducted by a Certified Asbestos Consultant. The survey must be completed...
Read more »

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Can I be held responsible if I give proper notice to everyone (landlord & roommates) but roommates won't leave?

I'm the only one on lease but landlord was informed about roommates but didn't have them fill out applications. I'm in california lived here 6 years and am on a month to month lease. If I move completely out and gave proper notices to everyone can landlord sue me if roommates dont... Read more »

John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson answered on May 13, 2020

I agree with Mr. Torres but would like to give you more information that may help you resolve your problem. You have several problems here, but first there are some facts missing.

Are the subtenants paying rent? Do they want to stay and be responsible for the amount of rent on your lease...
Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: I was trying to rent an apartment. Question below....

I filled out a rental application, was approved, paid the deposit and received keys and a receipt for a two bedroom apartment. Did NOT sign lease right away cuz landlord couldn't print it, printer acting up. Was promised the lease later that day. Received a text message about an hour later... Read more »

John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson answered on May 4, 2020

Some lease provisions include a clause that it is subject to a credit check where the landlord has the option to void the lease. But to do so they must return your deposit.

If the landlord cashed your check, or kept your cash, and refuses to return it, then they are obligated to honor the...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts for California on
Q: 8 months ago i signed a lease but never moved in and they charging me for not moving in
John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson answered on May 4, 2020

A lot has happened with the novel COVID-19 virus since you submitted your question. However, you have not provided much information concerning the lease contract, etc.

I suggest you contact a local attorney in the San Diego area that practices in the area of evictions and schedule a...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: I need help breaking my lease so that I can move. I cannot afford the rent. It is rent or food. What options do I have?

I live in San Clemente, CA.

John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson answered on May 4, 2020

You can break your lease if the landlord has materially breached the lease - meaning the landlord has not performed an important duty that is subject to the lease. If the landlord has been performing their part pursuant to the terms of the lease then they are entitled to the rent.

However,...
Read more »

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Appeals / Appellate Law, Contracts, Estate Planning and Insurance Bad Faith for California on
Q: Can I appeal the decision to transfer my structured settlement ?

I was scheduled to receive $75,000 at age 35 and $375,000 at age 45 through a structured settlement that was created after my father passed away. At age 22, about 10 years ago, I sold a portion of my structured settlement for a lump sum of money. I was about 22 at the time. The judge in San Diego... Read more »

John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson answered on Apr 24, 2020

Your description of your legal issues raises more questions than answers. In order to get an informed legal opinion from an attorney you need to retain an attorney for a consultation. Be thorough with your facts, and bring all relevant documents to the consultation, which will consume at least 1... Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: How can one get out of the lease without making the other partner go trough all the financial screenings again?

Me and My Soon to be Ex-partner leaded this place, and now he wants to end the lease on his Part. We brought it up to the landlord and they said if he moves out I need to re-apply for the financial screening, the problem is his income is what helped us get this apartment, I have a way less income... Read more »

John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson answered on Apr 6, 2020

If you both signed the lease then you have joint and several liability - meaning that each of you individually is liable for the rent. Providing the rent is paid each month the landlord has no power to declare a lease void, or require the remaining tenant to meet certain financial requirements.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Constitutional Law and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: CA Governors powers under the Covid 19 emergency

The State of CA under the Covid 19 emergency has told tenants, broadly, that they do not have to pay rent to their landlords for up to 90 days. This, in spite of the fact that a legal contract exists between tenant and landlord. Can this be considered a "seizure" without due process under... Read more »

John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson answered on Apr 6, 2020

It is not a seizure because the government isn't taking anything. A pandemic singularly triggers emergency government powers to become effective that would otherwise lay dormant. Further the state is not tearing up a contract. The tenant is breaching the contract by not paying rent, and you... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Employment Law for California on
Q: Breaching of a forfeiture agreement

I signed a forfeiture agreement that accelerated my stock vesting and required me to stay with the company for a couple of years. My family is sick and because of COVID 19 we can't hire a baby sitter and I have to take care of my kids and my wife and can't give more than 100% of my time... Read more »

John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson answered on Apr 6, 2020

Your situation is complex and I don't think you can expect to get an informed response from any lawyer with the brief information that you provided. Even if you provide a lot more facts that is not enough. You need to consult a lawyer, and provide him/her with copies of your forfeiture... Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Business Law and Construction Law for California on
Q: Is there a penalty for backing out of an agreement for an HVAC project that has not started?

I signed a "proposal and purchase agreement" for HVAC work for my home. I signed it on March 15, work is originally scheduled for March 30-April 3 but I had to postpone it until end of April. However, with the economic uncertainty due the pandemic, I might back out of this agreement... Read more »

John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson answered on Apr 4, 2020

Apparently you did not cancel the contract within 3 days, which, theoretically, locks you into it.

As you know these COVID-19 times are very uncertain, and we don't know how the courts are going to rule on the multitude of cases affected by the pandemic that are now before the court,...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation and Contracts for California on
Q: Can I sue/file a lawsuit Expedia for not upholding their return policy, whilst insurance was purchased via their website

Was suppose to go to Rome from San Diego on 4/23. Paid $2055 with insurance for 2 people and hotel. I understand in the midst of covid-19 things are hectic... anyways they are only offering me $439 for the flights and roughly $780-$800 for the hotel. Which means I’m only getting back $1236 ish.... Read more »

John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson answered on Mar 31, 2020

First of all, as you know, life has totally changed as we know it. Hopefully, it will get back better, but I don't know if things will get back to normal. Getting business services to "serve" is very sketchy. If you are in communication with the company that you contracted with... Read more »

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Appeals / Appellate Law, Civil Rights and Legal Malpractice for California on
Q: lawyer withdrew from case. sent letter of declining further representation, then withdrew the withdraw

lawyer filed my case in appeals on her decsion , then filed a motion to withdraw and sent me a letter declining further representation. then without my knowledge withdrew her withdraw. she is back on the case with out asking me. 1) doesn't she have to ask me if i want her to get back on the... Read more »

John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson answered on Mar 31, 2020

I agree with Mr. Sisco. However, if you are unable to work through what has happened with the attorney, and why, to your satisfaction, it may be worth it to you to consult another attorney regarding your circumstances, and provide more details as to what happened along the way to the current... Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Products Liability for California on
Q: If I sold a pickup truck under lien papers and sold it. Can the people come back and get their money?
John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson answered on Mar 21, 2020

Your question is not crystal clear to me but I'll do my best. If you sold the truck and there was a lien on it at the time I assume you had a loan to buy the truck and it was not paid off. That should be reflected on the pink slip and you should have explained that to the buyer.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts for California on
Q: Breaking apartment lease

Due to the corona virus, all my college classes are online. I signed an one year apartment lease and I still have 6 months left. Is there any way I can break my lease legally? This apartment has a roach infestation that we repeatedly asked the landlord to fix but she hasn't done anything about... Read more »

John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson answered on Mar 14, 2020

Generally, you cannot break your lease unless the landlord has breached the lease, with a material breach - meaning it cannot be for something minor. However, a roach infestation is not minor and goes directly to HABITABILITY. Hopefully, you have a written record, letters or emails, that inform... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts for California on
Q: How can I attached myself to a current class action lawsuit against a company?

I currently see there's a class action lawsuit against the company Zapporoo. I have also used this company for services and that have not been rendered. I would like to understand what steps did to be taken to pursue a lawsuit to receive the money that i have given to this company

John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson answered on Mar 8, 2020

You need to contact the attorney that is representing the Plaintiffs. If that information is not readily available there must be information out there that will enable to determine what courthouse is handling the case and you can get the attorney information there. Good luck.

2 Answers | Asked in Business Law and Contracts for California on
Q: Is it customary for attorneys to keep clients’ stockholder share certificates at their office?
John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson answered on Mar 8, 2020

I've practiced law for 20+ years and I do not believe it is customary. I do not keep any of my client's documents except copies of wills, trusts, contracts that I was involved in providing legal services. However, if the attorney is representing the client's interest as a... Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in DUI / DWI for California on
Q: Burden of proof for driving on DUI

Visitor

My friend got a dui and there were two people in the car. She was told by a police officer friend that if both of them say they weren’t driving, another person was and basically make up a person, say the friend was driving and ran That they can’t prove who was driving the ca and... Read more »

John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson answered on Mar 5, 2020

You have several issues here surrounding your question. The standard of proof for conviction is "beyond a reasonable doubt" that your friend was driving, and that an acceptable scientifical test was performed that your friend was under the influence based upon the blood alcohol level as... Read more »

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.