Massachusetts Questions & Answers

Q: Is there a way to get a patent issued if I failed to file within the year of getting a provisional patent?

2 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Massachusetts on
Answered on Dec 15, 2018
Peter D. Mlynek's answer
That is a very common question. Many times inventors get side-tracked, or funding dries up, or they simply forget.

The good news is that provisional patent applications are not published, so once the provisional patent application expires and is not used as a priority document, it is as if it never existed in the first place. So yes, you can file another patent application, identical, or similar to the provisional patent application.

The bad news is that you are going to reset...

Q: Are you required to have an autopsy performed to be successful in a wrongful death claim?

1 Answer | Asked in Wrongful Death for Massachusetts on
Answered on Dec 14, 2018
Peter Munsing's answer
No. It can likely help, but not required. Suggest you contact a member of the Mass Academy of Trial Lawyers--they give free consults

Q: I know my ex will inherit a large amount of money - will my support change when that happens?

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Massachusetts on
Answered on Dec 14, 2018
Lillian J. LaRosa's answer
If this is on the issue of college education contribution potentially yes, or if the issue is continuation of alimony post retirement potentially yes, or if the income from the asset inherited is significant then potentially yes.

Q: If my husband was driving on a suspended license, but got injured and wasn't at fault can he sue the other driver?

3 Answers | Asked in Car Accidents for Massachusetts on
Answered on Dec 14, 2018
David Tapalian's answer
Yes he may be able to. It all depends upon the total facts. I am here now if you wish to speak.

Q: I am being sued for credit debt from midland funding ,it is a old sears account,I would like to know what steps to

2 Answers | Asked in Small Claims and Collections for Massachusetts on
Answered on Dec 14, 2018
Christopher Tolley's answer
There are extensive requirements for debt collectors seeking payment for old debts. A primer on consumer's rights in old debt collections is beyond the scope of an online question forum like this one. Also, the law in New York is likely different from that in Massachusetts. I have been advising both debtors and creditors on debt collection for many years, and I find this MA consumer website very informative: https://www.masslegalhelp.org/consumer/debt/rights/debt-collectors

I am not as...

Q: Hello I want to get marry to my boyfriend which Visa process is faster k1 visa or spouse visa ?

1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law for Massachusetts on
Answered on Dec 11, 2018
Ms Grace I Gardiner's answer
The time frame for either one is about the same, but if you did not pay for the birth of your daughter here in the USA you can or may be denied at the interview. Make sure you have documentation to show proof of payment

Q: Will my property taxes increase if I add heat to a previously unconditioned outbuilding on my property?

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Massachusetts on
Answered on Dec 10, 2018
Christopher Tolley's answer
Massachusetts towns assess value annually. They calculate property values based on the market activity as well as certain property-specific attributes such as location, size, construction quality, style, and condition. These include the status of outbuildings. Factors may include the usefulness of the outbuilding with heat as opposed to unheated, whether, as a result of installation of heating, it is usable for residential or commercial purposes, etc. I suggest you call the tax assessor in your...

Q: How long will I have to pay off a hospital bill if I file for bankruptcy or does it go away entirely?

2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Massachusetts on
Answered on Dec 7, 2018
Stuart Nachbar's answer
If you have filed for a chapter 7, after reciept of the bill, so it is part of the bankruptcy, then it goes away

Q: Can I buy 3 family and legally break tenants lease due to lead in home and her children living there?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Answered on Dec 6, 2018
Christopher Tolley's answer
You are likely going to face the possibility that you will have to delead the unit or the building. Online forums such as these are only useful up to a point. I strongly suggest you consult an attorney familiar with this area of the law before proceeding further.

Q: Is recycling damaged books, comic books and manga into household items copyright infringement if they're sold?

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property for Massachusetts on
Answered on Dec 5, 2018
Griffin Klema's answer
It sounds like you have done some homework on this issue, which is great! It could be a transformative use. However, it really depends on how much you change the original copyrighted work into a new work. As for your second question about marketing your products, that is a separate issue that gets into trademark more than copyright. Specifically referencing certain superhero character names, publishers, or utilizing logos may lead to potential trademark infringement or dilution concerns. What...

Q: My neighbor's wall tilts about an inch and a half on my property, would it be legal for me to cut it down with my tools?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Answered on Dec 3, 2018
Christopher Tolley's answer
I know of nothing that permits this. Destruction of another's possibly encroaching structure is always risky without specific legal sanction to do so. For example, if you are incorrect about the location of the boundary line, your neighbor will have a right to sue you for destroying the fence and possibly for trespassing on their property in order to do it. If the inch and a half is important to you I suggest you start by engaging in dialogue with the neighbor. If you cannot resolve the matter...

Q: Does every pleading need to be served in a case?

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation for Massachusetts on
Answered on Dec 2, 2018
Zachary Alan Waksman's answer
I am not sure what you mean.

If you are referring to Rule 7(a) of the Mass. Rules of Civil Procedure, it does not literally mean that each kind of pleading must be filed. Most civil actions will, at minimum, have a complaint and an answer to said complaint. Many defendants will file a counterclaim against the plaintiff, who must file an answer to the counterclaim; the counterclaim is not a mandatory filing. These pleadings are by far the most common.

I hope this helps. Good...

Q: If we sub-contract from someone in New Hampshire, is there anything we need to be aware of in terms of state law?

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for Massachusetts on
Answered on Dec 2, 2018
Zachary Alan Waksman's answer
You should make sure the subcontractor is licensed to perform the intended work in Massachusetts. If he is serving as a home improvement contractor, you should check his registration with the state. You should do the same with every contractor you plan to hire, regardless of whether it is based in Massachusetts.

This information is available online through the state government.

Q: I have a second home on Cape Cod that I live in for about four months per year. When I returned to it this year, someone

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Answered on Dec 2, 2018
Zachary Alan Waksman's answer
Under these circumstances, he cannot do that. Adverse possession requires open, notorious, hostile, exclusive and continuous actual possession of the property for a period of at least twenty years. Since you occupy the home for several months per year, and likely have done so for several years, these conditions cannot be met. Has this ever happened before or have you ever met this person before?

That said, it appears that simply asking nicely will not be enough to get this trespasser...

Q: Is it worthwhile to pursue a criminal complaint after a lawyer or plaintiff lies under oath

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Massachusetts on
Answered on Dec 2, 2018
Lissa McKinney's answer
Probably not. When you say 'worthwhile' do you mean in a financial sense? Then no. Unless the lie impacted you in a manner where you can prove some measure of damages or harm to yourself. While it is a thin standard at the clerk's hearing, it is still 'probable cause'. If it is your word against their word, that is not likely to be enough. IF there is no misunderstanding, and it is a lie that you have any independent information or documentation that is better proof. This could be a tape...

Q: Am I able to change support payment amounts when I retire?

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Massachusetts on
Answered on Nov 30, 2018
Lillian J. LaRosa's answer
Depending upon your divorce agreement terms and the interface with current alimony statutes you may well be able to reduce or terminate alimony in a Modification , but you should meet with a domestic relations attorney to go over your agreement and your particular facts and your former spouse's financial situation etc.

Q: I would like to know how I can get Google to remove this case from the site this case is

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Massachusetts on
Answered on Nov 28, 2018
Dakota Martin's answer
I don't understand. Is there a link or a place your name is mentioned for something you don't want to be associated with? If you can direct us to the web page we may be able to help

Q: Do gift certs expire in Mass?

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for Massachusetts on
Answered on Nov 24, 2018
Christopher Tolley's answer
It has to have a term of at least seven years. It has to have the issuance date and the expiration date on it. If it has no expiration date, it is good indefinitely. This applies to electronic cards. There are websites with more specifics, I suggest you check them to make sure whatever you have fits the statutory definition and there are no other applicable exceptions.

Q: Does everyone get a shot at bail if they are arrested?

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for Massachusetts on
Answered on Nov 23, 2018
Lissa McKinney's answer
Absolutely! Everyone gets a shot at bail. However, whether you can get bailed out of a police station vs a Court is a different inquiry. Bail at police stations is set by a clerk magistrate that look sat the offense, your record and pretty much nothing else. No one is there presenting information on your behalf to the magistrate. If you are held at the police station and brought to Court a Judge will set bail and you will have a lawyer or one appointed to you to bring information to the...

Q: Is there a set amount that I need to be in debt for to file?

2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy for Massachusetts on
Answered on Nov 16, 2018
Stuart Nachbar's answer
No, there is not a minimum amount of debt required to file a Bankruptcy

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