Questions in the Law & Government category.
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So there's a lot of research that demonstrates the myriad ways that our political system incentivizes politicians to be corrupt, to assent to constituent whims even if it leads to the greater detriment of a system, to follow the money and so on. Are there any modernish examples where this was not the case? [more inside]
I started volunteering for a group that advocates for a revenue neutral carbon tax. Their main strategies for trying to achieve this goal are: 1) develop relationships with members of congress ("we're betting the ranch on relationships" is one of their unofficial slogans) 2) write letters to the editor and 3) get lots of people to write letters to their congressmen. Is this an effective approach? If not what else could we be doing? Thanks everybody and happy Earth Day! [more inside]
Asking for a deaf friend who needs information about free or low cost legal services in Phoenix in regard to a threat of discontinuation of alimony payments. [more inside]
Soon I'll have a G2 license, and I've got some questions about renting cars in Ontario, British Columbia, as well as potentially driving into Washington, Oregon, and California. [more inside]
My wife and I awoke to a bunch of emails (and now calls) from mortgage companies responding to "our" request for information about a refinance. The calls and emails are frustrating in themselves, and, of course, it's off-putting to think someone has done something untoward with our information. Has anyone else experienced this? Details inside. [more inside]
A family friend is hanging around Atlanta, GA right now trying to figure out what her rights are to see her father's body. The father's wife, who she has never met, has set a "restriction" at the mortuary. [more inside]
My brother's ex has taken my 2 year old nephew and moved 1,300 miles away to an Air Force Base with her new husband, who she met only three months ago and who has never spent more than a few days with her. She gave notice of this relocation only AFTER the move occurred and refuses to communicate with my brother, who is desperate to know where his child is. She will only communicate with my mother (the child's grandmother) via text messages. [more inside]
Four days ago, we got an email from a realtor introducing herself as the person selling my landlord's house. She's been incredibly aggressive and rude in regards to viewings, and we do not trust her to respect our wishes if we ask her not to show the house at a certain time. It has been incredibly stressful, and it's only been one week. What are our rights here (detailed questions also within)? [more inside]
Our 15yo niece's living situation is changing, and she is unlikely to be able to continue living where she is. She can move to another location, but the schools there are awful. We've thought about offering to have her live here with us, but are unsure how to enroll her in school without taking over her guardianship. Is there a way? [more inside]
I live in Los Angeles in an apartment. In 2014 my landlord decided to demolish my building to build condos, so I received a $15k payment of relocation assistance from my landlord as mandated by the Rent Stabilization Ordinance of the Los Angeles Municipal Code and overseen by LA Housing Development (now the Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department, I guess). Is this exempt from State and Federal taxes? [more inside]
I have received a notice of works with regards the Party Wall Act for some work that will commence soon. I'm fine with it but plan to suggest my neighbour gets a Schedule of Condition written up. What happens if he doesn't? Should I then dispute it, or let it go? [more inside]
I've agreed to be a character witness for a friend who has been accused of a crime. I feel that I can honestly attest to the good character of the friend but I am nervous about what exactly this is going to entail. What will the experience be like? What sort of questions will I be asked? Are there any general dos and don'ts when acting in this role? [more inside]
A few years ago, my roommate and I were screwed by a dishonest landlord. (So were her previous tenants, we found out later...) Now the apartment we lived in is on the rental market again, but having lived there, I know it's not up to code. I'd really like this landlord to get her just desserts from the NYC housing department. What's the most effective way to make that happen? [more inside]
I am looking for examples of cities, towns or regions (but especially smaller towns or regions with less than 25,000 population) that have set singular visionary goals for themselves, and have made significant progress in that direction. Links appreciated. [more inside]
In the latest in my several-year nightmare in negotiating with SSA about my work activity, this latest wrinkle came up. I work as an adjunct instructor. I am a contract employee. My pay stubs accurately reflect when and how much I was paid, but fail to reflect when I actually earned those hours. And because of this, I'm in danger of losing my SSDI benefits. YANML [more inside]
Hivemind! Does anyone know any examples of rules, regulations, laws, or norms that are under-enforced (e.g., violations go unpunished), leading the rule to completely destabilize (i.e., no one follows it)? I'm sure that there are A LOT of examples of this - stuff from any and all disciplines and scales would be welcome. I'm preferentially searching for unconventional examples (e.g., rules of children's games, supernaturally-sanctioned laws of hunter-gatherer bands) and I'm also looking especially for primary literature (e.g., experiments, case studies, etc.), but ultimately anything would be awesome. Thanks!
I lost my social security card and need to get a replacement. This is my first time losing it, so no big deal, but while I was researching how to get a replacement, I found out that you only can get ten replacements in your lifetime. [more inside]
What a Dickensian nightmare the Social Security system is! What is its "administrative message" document type, cited as "AM ###[date]" -- where can I find these -- and, if you are a practitioner, what if any force does it have? I have done a fairly diligent search, but maybe I'm out of it today, or maybe it's one of those things that's just part of the lore of a practice area.
So I've read a lot of horror stories about timeshares, and it just doesn't make sense that our legal system lets anything that insane exist, seemingly without any restrictions. Can someone with some legal knowledge (or personal experience) explain them to me? I'm not looking for legal advice (thankfully don't need it), I'm just curious. [more inside]
Why does it cost so much to renew vehicle registration? This is bullshit. How much trouble could I get in if I don't do it? Is there some sort of loop hole to register more cheaply? This question involves California and Oregon. [more inside]