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Massachusetts Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Massachusetts on
Q: A friend of mine stole my service dog what can I do to get him back?

I live in Auburn Massachusetts if that helps in any way

Joanne Belasco
Joanne Belasco answered on Jan 19, 2020

I can't speak to your specific issue unless you are a client. Generally speaking, under Massachusetts law, a dog is considered property. Several options exist when someone takes property. One option is to file a police report. If the police will not handle the matter, then you may need to consult... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Massachusetts on
Q: If someone sells their dog to someone who is taking great care of him can the seller legally take the dog back?

During the 2.5 months that I have had this dog I have taken him to the vet to be brought up to date on his vaccinations and to be be neutered. He had never been to the vet with the person who sold him.

Joanne Belasco
Joanne Belasco answered on Jan 17, 2020

Under Massachusetts law, a dog is considered property. So, as awful as it sounds, think of the sale as you would the sale of something like a car or a boat. Generally speaking, a seller cannot take back property once it is sold. I say generally because each case turns on the facts. If there was... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: Who picks up and drops off and where will visits take place if not specified in the court order
Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jan 16, 2020

If this is a Massachusetts case, then the usual is for the parent having visitation to pick up and drop off the child and visitation is not in the home of the child and other parent. However, there can be a wide variety of limitations and exceptions depending upon the parties' circumstances. You... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Collections for Massachusetts on
Q: Plaintiff has filed a voluntary dismissal without prejudice. Can I file an objection?
Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Jan 13, 2020

If your objection is that the dismissal is without prejudice I do not think a judge will allow it. A dismissal with prejudice is an adjudication on the merits. Judges are reluctant to dismiss with prejudice when there has been no engagement on the issues of the case. (I assume the case has not... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Immigration Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Hello, I want to bring my fiancé of 2 years from Ethiopia to Boston so we can get married and would like so assistance.

I've known her since 2011 and have visited her and her family many times. We have been engaged for 2 years and I want her to come to Boston so we can get married and I want her to stay with me in Boston. What is the best way to get this done?

Ms Grace I Gardiner
Ms Grace I Gardiner answered on Jan 13, 2020

You can file a fiancé visa and once she arrives you can get married within 90 days and then apply for the green card

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I suspect that my sister is being molested by her stepfather, she has told me that he tries to touch her private areas

How can I report the guy cause I fear for my sister's safety and my mom won't believe my sister

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Jan 12, 2020

You can alert any mandatory reporter, who is obliged to notify DCF and/or the police. That includes doctors, nurses, teachers, daycare workers, therapists of any kind, social workers, and many more. However, if this happens they may ask your sister and depending on her age the directness may make... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: How does a 69Y/O validate the change in name at the court in PR

My client needs a new birth certificate from PR. She changed her name in 1987 due to domestic violence. to get a new certificate she 'needs to validate' her name change. How does she do that?

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jan 9, 2020

Sounds like she needs a certified copy of the Name Change Judgment from the Court of issuance. There is probably a fee for same. Potentially there may need to be an English translation from a Court certified translator.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: I filed a Voluntary Administration Statement in Massachusetts

I filed a Voluntary Administration Statement in Massachusetts to handle my deceased mother's assets. I received an Signed Attested copy of my paperwork in the mail, signed by the Register of Probate. Does that mean I'm now the administrator of the property?

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jan 8, 2020

What you have is the record of having filed a Voluntary Statement , but you are not technically the administrator as you have not been appointed by the Court. However, you should be able , for example, to close out a bank account or financial account or transfer title to a motor vehicle .

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I carry specialized equipment to my work site everyday to perform inventory. This is company owned equipment I transport

In my personal vehicle. Is the driving time considered on the clock time because without the equipment I carry, the job can not be done

Carrie Dyer
Carrie Dyer answered on Jan 8, 2020

It depends. If you drive from your home to your employer's office or warehouse to pick up the specialized equipment (without which you cannot perform your job duties), then drive to the work site from there, the Fair Labor Standards Act typically requires that you are paid for time spent loading... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can a sibling stop you from seeing your parent with dementia? parent living in siblings house out of state.

parent living in siblings house , sibling changed house phone to unlisted does not answer cell . Was renting rooms in house. Have no way of contacting parent. I called senior services who is starting home care but they won’t return calls to give updates. So am I supposed to guess that my parent... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jan 3, 2020

You may want to engage counsel in the jurisdiction where the parent is located to see what proceedings you may be able to bring forward at this juncture if Elder Services is not taking action.

2 Answers | Asked in Probate and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Is it possible to file a claim on an estate prior to the individual passing to force it into probate?

The individual is elderly. One of her step grandsons 'befriended' her and convinced her to sign over power of attorney and in doing so had her sign multiple documents and she had no idea what she was signing (although she has all her faculties). During an application process for assisted living she... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jan 3, 2020

It is not possible to probate an estate in advance of the individual passing, but there are other remedies for this situation. First, you can get a trusted person appointed as guardian and conservator. The order should also specifically revoke that power of attorney. Second, you can file a... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I'm a F1 visa with 3 F2 dependents. My petitioner-sister/US Citizen, sent I-130 for me. When should I file I-485?

Do I file I-485 for each, self and 3 dependents?

Hector E. Quiroga
Hector E. Quiroga answered on Jan 2, 2020

With regards to when you should file: It depends when your sister sent the petition. It also depends on your country of origin. Go to:

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal/visa-law0/visa-bulletin.html

and select the most recent visa bulletin. Page down to “Dates for...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Collections, Contracts, Real Estate Law and Small Claims for Massachusetts on
Q: does a homestead act on a home in mass prevent a contractor collecting money if homeowner refuses to pay final bill

I completed a foundation replacement on a property to stop the house from collapsing and the home owner is refusing to pay there final bill even tho the job passed all state inspections upon completion

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Jan 2, 2020

The Homestead Act itself does not. It may impact your ability to lien the house, however.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Will I have to pay child support because I make more than my ex?

So my ex and I have never been married and we have never gone to court for any child custody. I plan on taking him to court to do that but my biggest fear is that I’ll have to pay him for child support because I make more than him. Would I have to pay him for child support?

Brian Waller
Brian Waller answered on Dec 31, 2019

Not necessarily. Child support isn't solely based on income, the biggest factor is which parent has primary physical custody of the child. The child support guidelines also factor in other expenses paid on behalf of the child, like daycare or health insurance.

The way the child support...
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1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: My college child has moved back in with me mother moved out of state do I still have to pay child support
Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Dec 31, 2019

It sounds like you will need a Modification in order to terminate the child support to mother. Are you still living in the original state where your orders issued from? If so, then the Court still has jurisdiction over the child support. If the "college" child is over 18 but not yet 21, not in full... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: Have 19 year old in college going for modification was paying for two one aged out. I pay more for college is this all

Looked at from judge

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Dec 30, 2019

There is a college contribution based upon UMass in state resident rates, so, for example, if you are paying over the anticipated maximum amount for the child in college, the weekly child support could be revisited by the Court in a Modification. You should contact your divorce attorney or a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: On deceased mother's deed, not mortgage. Renters in place in one of two houses on property. Am I now a landlord?
Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Dec 30, 2019

First, check the wording of the deed to determine the type of ownership you held with your deceased mother. For example, the deed might say, "X and Y, as joint tenants" or "X and Y, tenants in common," etc. The type of tenancy determines to whom ownership of the property passes in the event of one... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Child Support for Massachusetts on
Q: Hi I’m divorced two boys one turning 23 this month does my payment get cut in half ?
Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Dec 27, 2019

If the older child turned 23 the Child Support Guidelines for the one child -who I am assuming is a minor or at least is unemancipated-would need to be calculated for a Modification Petition, it is not an automatic divide by 2 situation. You should meet with a divorce practitioner who can discuss... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Immigration Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I married in PR get divorced in Springfield, MA. I will like to know if divorced is recognized and valid for immigration
Brian Waller
Brian Waller answered on Dec 21, 2019

Any legal divorce granted by a court with proper jurisdiction over the parties in the US should be recognized for immigration purposes.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I am a civilian and have an ex boyfriend (Active Marine) who is harassing me. I have ample proof and he’s threatened

My credit. I don’t want to instigate him but he’s relentless. He absolutely has mental health issues and I have proof of that too. Will he automatically get fired if I file?

Kristen Greenwood
Kristen Greenwood answered on Dec 21, 2019

There isn't a lot of background information included in your post to answer your question fully. I would recommend calling an experienced attorney to discuss your concerns in more detail.

However, if your safety is at risk, your safety takes priority over someone's career and the police...
Read more »

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