Questions in the Law & Government category.
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May 9

I could inherit land overseas. Is there an upside to this?

I learned there are no heirs to a few unused land parcels still partially in my late great-grandfather's name in a coastal Croatian village. They're not seafront or exceedingly valuable, and he is one owner of many (even though the co-owners are likely deceased at this point). It's hard to conceive of a situation where I'd actually do something with it not least because my life is in the US. But nonetheless sentimentality is pushing me to consider transferring the title to my parents or even myself. Beyond indulging nostalgia, is there any rationale to pursue this? My hunch is there may actually be more downsides (legal fees, taxes, etc) than advantages. For context I also hold a Croatian passport.
posted by lecorbeau at 6:33 AM - 6 answers

May 7

Someone keeps searching for me on google and it is freaking me out.

I keep getting email alerts from an academic website that I’ve signed up for that someone searched for me on google. The state and country location is the same each time so it seems to be the same person, and I think I know who it is. More details after the jump. [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 6:59 PM - 8 answers

IRS payments that aren't stimulus checks or tax refunds?

A good friend received a payment from the IRS on May 1. She's already received the three stimulus payments and her tax refund, so she's confused. IRS customer service wasn't super helpful. Any ideas? [more inside]
posted by librarylis at 8:33 AM - 6 answers

May 6

What is a Buyer's Agent, Broker Agent, Dual Agent? Where do we begin?

First time buyers. We are looking for land for land to build a home on; or, alternatively, less likely, an existing home. NY/ Ct States. [more inside]
posted by ebesan at 3:17 PM - 10 answers

May 3

Need help/advise on an arrest made of my wife tonight

My wife went to the local Walmart to buy a few things this evening. Apparently, something (or things) didnt scan. Walmart (or Police) - I am not clear at this time - grabbed her and booked her for shoplifting and took her to jail. There was apparently a fair amount of humiliation involved. She tried to say muliple times that she has not done anything wrong and she has been coming to this Walmart for years - but to no avail. She was arrested, brought to jail, and has an "arraignment hearing" tomorrow. We are a by-the-book law abiding South Asian family. Have been living in Collin county, Texas for 11 years now. She hasnt even had a traffic ticket in the last twenty years that she has been driving here. My wife is under a lot of pressure. She had a COVID related death in the family in India last week. Her mother died a few months back. She has blood pressure and sugar. She doesnt react well to emotionally traumatic events. To her mind - this is the worst thing that could have happened to her. If there is any way that I can try to get her out from jail tonight on bond, I would like to try it. Would greatly appreciate your help with any of the following questions: - Is there legal help/lawyers available at night in Texas (Collin county)? - Is there anyway I can try to get her out on bond tonight? - The Jail officer (when I called back) told me that the arraignment is tomorrow between 8 to 10 am (when the judge arrives) and that family or lawyers can't attend. Is that correct? - I am out of my depth in a situation like this. What else can I do? Would greatly appreciate any general advise. Thank you.
posted by anonymous at 8:07 PM - 25 answers

May 1

How to get my picture removed from someone’s business site?

The hair stylist who did my hair years ago for my wedding posted one of the pictures that our photographer took of us on her her recently constructed website without my consent. The website says under construction and she hasn’t responded to my emails. Is there anything I can do? [more inside]
posted by Riverside at 10:49 AM - 8 answers

April 29

What left-of-centre parties have won elections in recent years and how?

Internationally, what left-of-centre parties have won large scale elections in recent years, and how did they do it? What kind of policies, candidates and campaign strategies did they adopt?
posted by TheophileEscargot at 5:37 AM - 19 answers

April 26

How much hassle is involved in a change of name?

Partner has been using ex's last name... wants to make it a middle and take mine for the last name. How much administrative follow up will be involved? [more inside]
posted by elf27 at 3:29 PM - 8 answers

April 25

Stimulus check deposit question

Hypothetical question about a stimulus check printed as: John Doe c/o Jane Smith Street Address City, State, Zip. To be clear, this is printed on the check itself, not just the address on the envelope. Can Jane legally cash/deposit the check? [more inside]
posted by storminator7 at 12:06 AM - 3 answers

April 19

Legally changing my first name

I started the process at an admittedly hectic time in my life. Now what? [more inside]
posted by Amy93 at 5:21 PM - 4 answers

April 17

Are there any scholarly papers on the political party Québec Solidaire?

Hi. I am really interested in learning more about Québec Solidaire from a scholarly standpoint. Yet, I have only found one scholarly article on the political party (Professor Pascale Dufour's paper "From Protestto Partisan Politics: Whenand hoW collective actorscrossthe line. sociological PersPec-tiveon Québec solidaire" is the only paper I can find so far that is academic-oriented. Are there other scholarly works or newspaper articles written by academics on Québec Solidaire
posted by RearWindow at 7:57 AM - 3 answers

April 13

I match the description of a criminal at large - what should I do?

In my community, fairly close to where I live, a driver killed a bicyclist and drove away. The limited information happens to coincidentally match my car - the partial license plate almost matches my car, and the (few) details of the color, size, type, and condition of the offender's car match my car. The details are sufficiently generic and broad that I can imagine multiple cars match. For instance, no make or model of the car is known - just the size and type of car. It still seems too much of a match for me not to be worried someone might see my car and call the police. I am absolutely certain no one took my car. Should I do anything about this coincidental match? Should I do anything to ensure I am not considered a suspect? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 11:29 PM - 9 answers

The trickiest lawyer question probably ever!

There are a group of schools in Europe called "The European Schools" and they are actually an intergovernmental organization. For that reason, if you want to appeal a decision then it needs to go to board in Brussels. How would I go about finding a lawyer familiar with these situations that could help prepare an appeal? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 11:21 AM - 4 answers

April 8

Aging parents and a tax collector walk into an ADU...

We want to have my parents move on to our property as they are aging and needing more help these days. They want to build an attached ADU on our property. What tax implications does this have? [more inside]
posted by teamnap at 6:23 PM - 4 answers

April 7

Justification for arresting George Floyd

What reason do the police give for arresting George Floyd to begin with? At that point they had heard he had passed a fake bill, which is not illegal. [more inside]
posted by LonnieK at 12:35 PM - 4 answers

Tishaura Jones

The city of St. Louis elected a new mayor via non-partisan voting. This article says that voters "residents can vote for as many candidates as they want in municipal primaries". So is this also a form of ranked voting? [more inside]
posted by falsedmitri at 11:47 AM - 3 answers

April 5

Divorcing, living separately - for medicaid, must our taxes be "MFS"?

My (ex)-partner and I started getting divorced in 2019, and it just got cleared by the court in early 2021. For all of 2020, we were living separately, but still legally married. Our incomes are very different - they have very, very little income, and I am comfortable (and yes, paying support!). Because of their income, when they applied for separate health insurance, they were put on medicaid. As we're planning to file our 2020 taxes, it makes financial sense to file "Married Filing Jointly", but we really, really don't want them to become ineligible for Medicaid. It seems like filing together but living separately is a grey area (slide 39) for the gov't, and may be up to the states or counties. We're in New York State (and City). Not sure whether to take the financial hit and go "Married Filing Separately" or if we're safe filing jointly this last time.
posted by anonymous at 4:07 AM - 7 answers

April 3

Is it legal to scrape data from free resources?

Let's say hypothetically that a textbook publisher has made lots of their textbooks available for free online. Of course, the textbooks are still copyrighted. Still, is it legal for me to scrape these textbooks for questions and create a website based around that? If not, why not?
posted by matkline at 12:18 AM - 18 answers

April 2

How Can I Track Down cpies of Partnership Agreements

I have recently found that I am a limited partner in my family business. I was recently informed of this as I am being asked to vote 2 general partners out of their positions of responsibility to being limited partners. How do I go about getting official documents that are currently not being offered to me by lawyers or family? [more inside]
posted by goalyeehah at 8:52 PM - 6 answers

Local Politics Campaigning during Covid recovery

We're starting the process of helping our Local City Councilor strategize how to campaign in the Covid recovery world, what milestones need to reached, and what presence the candidate should have. Beyond the starting questions below, what campaigning strategies should we be looking to use in order to maintain visibility in this time of Covid and how do we handle the dangerous climate that exists in Post-Trump local politics. [more inside]
posted by Nanukthedog at 9:22 AM - 5 answers

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