Questions in the Law & Government category.
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June 10

Obtaining Permission

I recently received permission from Warner Brothers to use a line from a classic cartoon in a book I am writing. [more inside]
posted by CollectiveMind at 9:30 AM - 4 answers

June 9

Where do states bank?

I know the United States federal Treasury has an account with the Federal Reserve system. This account is where tax payments go, and where federal payments come from. But where do states do their banking? [more inside]
posted by Huffy Puffy at 11:16 AM - 8 answers

June 7

Full list of states that use prison labor in government buildings?

This was brought up recently in regards to the Arkansas governor's mansion, that they use a lot of prison labor. This also appears to be true regarding Louisiana (both the Governor's mansion and the Capitol building) and Missouri. I was wondering if there's somewhere I can find a full list of this sort of thing.
posted by RobotHero at 11:03 AM - 6 answers

June 5

Shopping cart meets car

I lost control of a shopping cart and it left a shallow, quarter-sized dent on a nearby automobile. I left my name and number and the car owner contacted me. Got a few independent quotes based on the photos, which only made things more confusing. How to proceed? [more inside]
posted by lieber hair at 11:28 AM - 10 answers

June 2

[Renting Filter] Am I being fleeced?

YANML, but I made a stupid awful mistake and need to know what to expect. I applied for an apartment through a shady agency that made me give them checks for broker fee, first month, and security deposit while applying, without showing me the lease. I was in a rush while filling the application (mainly because I was being rushed by them, but also because I am stupid), and didn't notice that I agreed to forego the broker fee (one month rent) and potentially the security deposit if I didn't sign the lease after being approved! [more inside]
posted by redlines at 6:32 PM - 12 answers

How can I work with FOIA for a living?

I realize this might sound about as exciting as watching grass grow to some people, but the Freedom of Information Act and the request system around it has been fascinating to me for years. I've filed hundreds of requests, read probably over ten thousand pages of documents that have come from the requests, and devoted probably a solid year of my time to learning about FOIA. My question is what can I do that could be a career path that used the skills I've learned or else allow me to work with FOIA? I've looked into being a FOIA lawyer but for the most part these are incredibly rare jobs to get because there isn't much demand for them.
posted by Socinus at 4:23 PM - 13 answers

June 1

Is the presidents browser and search history a public record?

under the PRC? on mobile and desktop?
posted by specialk420 at 10:11 PM - 5 answers

May 31

How to vote in UK election from Victoria, Australia

I'm an Australian born and resident British citizen in Melbourne. How do I vote in the UK General Election? More generally: how does expat voting even work? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 11:30 PM - 6 answers

we got no power, captain.

I recall from a book of trivia that a Scot/American by the last name of Train proclaimed or considered himself King/Emperor/Dictator of America. Was there such a person? [more inside]
posted by clavdivs at 9:03 AM - 4 answers

May 28

Lease termination - what are my obligations to the Realty Company?

[MA Apartment Rental] My lease was through Aug 30. Notified property manager of intention to break lease with 60 days notice, and found a new tenant to take over lease with intention to re-sign for 3-5 years. Realty Company is asking us to pay broker's fee (1/2 months rent) and continue to pay rent until they received first month's rent from new tenant - but June is now technically our last month and they collected first, last, and security 5 years ago during lease signing. What do I have to pay? [more inside]
posted by danapiper at 3:18 PM - 10 answers

What are resources that anti-Trump individuals and groups can use?

What are useful resources for the anti-Trump resistance in New York, Atlanta, LA, and St. Louis? I'm looking for organizations, materials, partners, trainings, guides, resources, apps, calendars, directories, and anything that would be helpful for groups or individuals working against Trump and the Republicans. [more inside]
posted by andoatnp at 1:13 PM - 5 answers

May 25

Need advice about a legal issue regarding an office I rented

My friend rented an office in San Rafael, California with the understanding that the office would be air-conditioned. He has a medical condition that makes this necessary. They are not air-conditioning the office the way they promised. What legal recourse does he have? How can he find a suitable lawyer? [more inside]
posted by Surprised By Bees at 9:31 PM - 8 answers

Are you legally a landlord if you're not charging rent?

What if you have a piece of property, like a vacant lot, that homeless people live on in tents. Are you doing anything illegal by not clearing them off? Presumably you're legally liable for anything that happens on the property -- somebody gets stabbed, their relative could sue you into homelessness yourself. Is there insurance for that kind of thing? What if you had a port-a-potty or two. Or a low-key, unarmed, security guard stroll around just to discourage overt, public, crime on the property. Would you be changing your legal standing? [more inside]
posted by mrmurbles at 4:04 PM - 6 answers

Identifying state legislature swing districts

I'm interested in finding a site that lets me identify swing races for state legislatures, so that I can give those candidates my money. In essence, I'm looking for the state-by-state equivalent of swingleft.org. [more inside]
posted by chrisamiller at 3:13 PM - 2 answers

The senate is no longer congressional?

The lede of this news article about yesterday's dustup in Montana states: "The Republican candidate for Montana's sole congressional seat was charged..." Wikipedia confirms that Montana has only one representative in the House, but they have 2 senators like everyone else and last I checked the Senate is part of the US Congress. I saw similar phrasing in a few other articles about the incident. Surely this is not correct. What gives?
posted by duoshao at 11:48 AM - 7 answers

Home-Based LA business legal or not?

We just bought a home in Los Angeles. Yay! It has a separate suite that is perfect for me to have my bodywork practice in (something like massage). But before we close escrow, how can I figure out if I can legally get a business license/insurance for it? I heard a rumor that California doesn't let you have a home-based business if you receive clients. I receive 20-40 a week, one at a time, very quietly. I tried to google it but couldn't find information specific to my area (zip code 90041). Before we close on the perfect home, can you put my fears of joblessness to rest? Thank you!
posted by andreapandrea at 6:01 AM - 6 answers

May 24

Developing new card game. Legal protections?

I'm in the process of developing a new card game. Before I actually begin selling this as a product, I'd like to be sure I understand how much and what kind of legal protections I should have in place so my/family personal assets are safe. [more inside]
posted by quantum at 4:46 PM - 7 answers

Academic/Historian Filter: How did we stop seeing each other as people?

I'm looking for a non-partisan book on the history of U.S. politics. This is a huge topic, but I'm trying to better understand how politics in the U.S. has become so divided, especially why liberals and conservatives can't seem to understand (or want to understand) each other's perspectives. The news is not helpful for this; either there's too much spin or not enough historical context. More below the fold. [more inside]
posted by onecircleaday at 8:54 AM - 12 answers

May 23

Should I apply for Hungarian citizenship?

I'm a US citizen/resident and I'm considering whether to apply for Hungarian citizenship by descent. What advantages and ramifications should I consider? [more inside]
posted by R a c h e l at 9:23 AM - 18 answers

May 20

Is BAP certification useful for avoiding slave-produced shrimp?

I see some packaged shrimp from Vietnam that is labeled with a Best Aquaculture Practices Certifcation. Is that BAP certification actually worth anything for trying to avoid shrimp brought to market by slave labor? Mother Jones was skeptical back in 2013, but I'm having trouble finding any more recent evaluations of BAP.
posted by straight at 11:28 AM - 2 answers

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