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Iowa Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Communications Law and Trademark for Iowa on
Q: I have an idea for how to reboot a show. How much of the original can I use in my rewrite?

I want to pitch it to the copywrite owner. I want to use character names, places, descriptions etc.

Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler answered on May 18, 2020

You are going to need to have permission from the copyright owner to make your derivative work. You may want to work through an attorney who could act as intermediary between you and the copyright owner to pitch your concept. The attorney would be in a good position to figure out with you the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury for Iowa on
Q: If someone plead guilty to assault related to a bar fight 2 years ago:

And is now the subject of a law suit asking $400k for damages in the form of pain, suffering, emotional distress. And he has already paid medical expenses and lost wages to the plantiff. If the judge/jury awards the damages, what is the likely structure of the settlement? Payments? Lump sum?... Read more »

Erik Luthens
Erik Luthens answered on May 18, 2020

This is a complex situation that needs to be discussed with an Iowa attorney who handle dramshop litigation. I suggest that you immediately contact such an attorney.

1 Answer | Asked in Workers' Compensation for Iowa on
Q: I work for wal mart and I hurt my back pulling pallets of dog food,I have a broken disc in my lower back

I have gone to there dr.,I have done physical therapy,i have had an mri done,I have to have back surgery,the dr. found a dr. in iowa city,but work comp says I have to go to there dr.,I told them I have no way to get to iowa city,I have been getting a regular work comp. check .I have received no... Read more »

Erik Luthens
Erik Luthens answered on May 4, 2020

You should be timely reimbursed for round trip to mileage to all doctors that are approved by the w/c insurance company. This is not a "do-it-yourself" project- I strongly recommend that you immediately contact an Iowa attorney who handles workers' compensation claims for claimants... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Juvenile Law for Iowa on
Q: Can a 17 and 20 year old date?

I live in Iowa, I’m a 17 year old female and want to date and possibly have sexual relations with a 20 year old male. is this legal?

Gabriel A Watson
Gabriel A Watson answered on Apr 28, 2020

The Age of Consent in Iowa is 16 years old.

In the United States law, the term "Age of Consent" describes the age at which an individual, male or female, is considered legally of age to consent to participation in sexual activity. This means that individuals less than...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Arbitration / Mediation Law and Civil Litigation for Iowa on
Q: A friend of mine was storing furniture for me and passed away. His family refuses to give it to me. I have recipts and

Serial numbers and a signed itemized list. I contacted police department and was told all I can do is take them to court. Not sure how to handle this? Help!!

Erik Luthens
Erik Luthens answered on Apr 28, 2020

Your stored furniture has “serial numbers?” Interesting. You should immediately file a claim in the estate of your deceased friend (assuming an estate has been opened). I suggest that you immediately contact an Iowa attorney who handles civil litigation to discuss your options.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation for Iowa on
Q: A family member gave me $2,000 9 years ago to pay bills. Never brought it up until now after we had a falling out

Now she is demanding I pay her or she will take me to small claims. There was no contract as I didnt ever plan to pay her back. Does she have a case?

Erik Luthens
Erik Luthens answered on Apr 18, 2020

The issue appears to be whether you received the $2,000 as a gift or whether there was some type of an agreement for the $2,000 to be a loan. Do the right thing.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Estate Planning and Family Law for Iowa on
Q: Does my ex have any entitlement to my inheritance if we have been divorced for four years? We were married for 20 years.
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Apr 16, 2020

No. Your ex would not have any entitlement to your inheritance even if you were still married. However, if you still owe your ex anything for support or division of property or anything like that, your inheritance will be a collectible asset if it is given to you outright. If your inheritance... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Bankruptcy for Iowa on
Q: wondering if bankruptcy is the best option for me at this point
Timothy Denison
Timothy Denison answered on Apr 5, 2020

Schedule a consult with a bankruptcy attorney who can evaluate the financial situation and answer your question.

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Iowa on
Q: have been overcharged for labor on repairs and got damage to truck while in shop
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Mar 10, 2020

If you have estimates and other paperwork proving the overcharge, and there are no provisions in the shop's fine print mandating arbitration as a forum, small claims could be an option. However, if you are able to come to some sort of compromise, that could eliminate the time spent in court... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Medical Malpractice for Iowa on
Q: I was diagnosed almost 2 years ago with Arachnoiditis and the surgeon said it was caused by a surgery 15 years ago.

15 years ago my dural sac was cut during surgery and I went to back every week after surgery with a baseball sized lump out my back. They let it leak for a month before doing an MRI. I was back in surgery next morning for repair. 2 years ago a different neurosurgeon discovered my Arachnoiditis on... Read more »

Erik Luthens
Erik Luthens answered on Mar 3, 2020

Generally speaking the statute of limitations relative to a medical malpractice claim is two (2) years from the date of the negligent act or two (2) years from the date of when you were first made aware of a potentially negligent act associated with medical treatment ("discovery rule").... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law for Iowa on
Q: Can I apply I-485 through my wife NOW while still in J-1 visa waiver or do I need to WAIT till when my waiver finishes?

I started my J-1 visa waiver (as H1B since 2019). I am currently doing my J-1 visa waiver.

During my time in the waiver, I got married. My wife is a US citizen.

I got my I-130 approved.

Can I apply I-485 through her NOW while still in waiver or do I need to WAIT till 2022 when my waiver finishes?

Gunda Yohanna Brost
Gunda Yohanna Brost answered on Mar 1, 2020

You can apply now but you will not get a green card until the waiver is approved, possibly requiring you to request delaying adjudication of the pending I-485. I hope you have a reputable immigration attorney handling your case as these types of waivers are highly complex.

3 Answers | Asked in Immigration Law for Iowa on
Q: Can I get my husband who's a immigrant fr Honduras a Visa even if he's in the United States already he is 21 so am I.

He came to the United States illegally when he was 15. And we just got married and also have a baby together.

Stephen Arnold Black
Stephen Arnold Black answered on Feb 27, 2020

Did he enter the country legally? Are you a US citizen? Have a free consultation with an attorney anywhere in the USA to discuss these issues and others.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Iowa on
Q: I have no idea what needs to be done regarding following matter...

Both my parents recently passed. Only 1 had a will and it named me as executor. Understanding is low and the stress is high. I have no idea what needs to be done. I have zero money for I'm guessing what would be a probate attorney. Is that even a financial obligation to me anyway? I'm... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Feb 24, 2020

Schedule a consultation with a probate attorney in the vicinity of where your parents had lived. Often initial consultations are free. You might be pleasantly surprised to learn that the attorney's fees are paid out of the estate.

1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury, Arbitration / Mediation Law, Car Accidents and Insurance Bad Faith for Iowa on
Q: If a driver of a vehicle has a suspended license and hits someone riding a bicycle, wouldn't she be at fault automatical

Wouldn't she be at fault for driving on a suspended license

Erik Luthens
Erik Luthens answered on Feb 24, 2020

Operating a motor vehicle with having a suspended license does not create a liability per se situation.

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Iowa on
Q: If I was never physicality issued or notified of a traffic citation, can I be held liable for failure to pay or appear?

My son was involved in an accident the end of December 2019. He never physically received or was notified that there were any traffic citations as a result of the accident. Today, he received a failure to appear/pay notice and his driving record shows a probation violation because of this. If he... Read more »

Benjamin Kohn
Benjamin Kohn answered on Feb 18, 2020

If he was never notified of the charges against him, never signed a promise to appear, etc., then this is clearly a violation of his rights under constitutional due process. Additionally, Iowa R. Crim. P. 2.55 requires that the defendant be served with a complaint that identifies the county,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Iowa on
Q: Can my 12 year old work at a business sorting cans & bottles at a redemption center on weekends?
Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert answered on Feb 12, 2020

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the minimum age requirement for employment in any capacity is 14 years old. Thus, if your 12-year-old is looking to earn a wage performing these duties, he or she cannot do so yet.

1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law for Iowa on
Q: Is there such a thing as a free attorney for an immigration issue? Didnt know.if they had court appointed ones or not?
Jean Richardson
Jean Richardson answered on Feb 8, 2020

Unfortunately, the government does not provide "free attorney" for immigration cases. If you cannot afford to hire a private attorney, you have to represent yourself in immigration court. You may be able to get legal aid to represent you if you qualify.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation for Iowa on
Q: I need to file a general answer to the court for a debt collection. I can't find the form
Erik Luthens
Erik Luthens answered on Feb 4, 2020

Go to

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Iowa on
Q: What a criminal surcharge

For driving mistakes

Benjamin Kohn
Benjamin Kohn answered on Jan 28, 2020

Although it may seem esoteric, from a philosophical and legislative capacity role, fines serve a particular role in connection with criminal offenses: to punish for the violation so that there is a deterrence to committing the offense by that example, and to rehabilitate by using the negative... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Car Accidents for Iowa on
Q: Car in front slams on breaks (interstate) for no reason and gets rear ended-vehicle behind is boxed in-who is at fault?

Car in back had vehicles on either side (3 lane interstate)/could not move over and slammed on breaks, but cracked the bumper of car in front (crushed front end of car in back). Car in front had no reason to stop in regular 65mph traffic. Car in back received a ticket for failure to stop and full... Read more »

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Jan 26, 2020

The standard rule in most rear end collisions in virtually any jurisdiction is that the vehicle in the rear is at fault. Vehicle & traffic law can vary from state to state, and highway safety officers at the scene could characterize things differently, whether citing the situation as following... Read more »

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