August 2011 Archives

The Law Offices of James V. Sansone Is Moving To A Different Santa Rosa Location

August 30, 2011, by Law Offices of James V. Sansone

ServeAttachment.ashx.jpgEffective September 1, 2011, in an effort to better serve its clients throughout the North Bay area of California, including Sonoma County, Mendocino County, Lake County, Santa Rosa, Napa, Petaluma, Cotati, Rohnert Park, Sebastopol, Healdsburg, Sonoma, Kenwood, Glen Ellen, Windsor, Bodega Bay, Ukiah, Willits, Clearlake, Lakeport and Kelseyville, JVS Law is moving to the Atrium Court: 1260 North Dutton Avenue, Ste. 135 Santa Rosa, CA 95401.

The move will allow JVS Law to add additional support staff to better fulfill its mission statement, specifically to focus on personal attention and timeliness to its clientele.

Remember our objective has always been to set a new standard for quality, affordable legal services, by extending an exceptional level of experience, personal attention and timeliness, at a price that cannot be matched by large or specialized boutique firms.

We refer to this as "The JVS Difference," and it is our duty to ensure that our clientele experience and benefit from our pledge to quality assurance, without compromise based on compensation.

Gwen Smith Has Filed A Defamation Action Against Reporter At Press Democrat and The Press Democrat

August 25, 2011, by Law Offices of James V. Sansone

slapp-suits.jpgDefamation, also called slander (for transitory statements) and libel (for written, broadcast, or otherwise published words), is an intentional false communication that harms a person's reputation; decreases the respect, regard, or confidence in which a person is held; or induces disparaging, hostile, or disagreeable opinions or feelings against a person. There are several defenses that will defeat a defamation claim. The most popular defense is truth. If a statement is true it can't be defamatory.

After speaking to my contact at the Press Democrat, I learned that Gwen has filed this case in federal court. This is no doubt due to the fact that she is a well known litigant in the Sonoma County Courts and wanted a forum where she was not known by the judicial officers and courtroom clerks. At first glance you may think this was a smart move, but I have litigated cases in federal court. Federal judges are not nearly as patient as state court judges tend to be. Given Gwen's past court room antics, this can substantially jeopardize her case, this, of course is assuming she has a case, which in my opinion she does not.

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My Husband Is Married To Another Women, Now What? - Santa Rosa Family Law

August 23, 2011, by Law Offices of James V. Sansone

bigamy.jpgI was just hired by a woman who received a telephone call from her husband's wife. She contacted my office and wanted to know what effect her husband still being married would have on her marriage and how she needed to proceed to terminate the marriage. I informed her that her marriage is void and her interests would be protected under the doctrine of puntative spouse. Since her marriage was void from the beginning no legal action was necessary, but obtaining a judgment of nullity was advisable nevertheless.

A putative marriage is defined as a matrimonial union that was solemnized in due form and celebrated in good faith, but which, because of some legal infirmity, is void or voidable.

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Santa Rosa Bankruptcy Debtors Take Note: Discharge Denied For Hiding Equity

August 18, 2011, by Law Offices of James V. Sansone

Arrest1-160x160.jpgIn the Case of U.S. Trustee vs. Edwards, the U.S. Trustee (UST) requested that the Court deny the debtor's Chapter 7 discharge. The debtor asked the Court to convert his case to a Chapter 13. The UST opposed the debtor's motion to convert. The Court denied the conversion motion, finding that it was not brought in good faith. The Court determined that the debtor intentionally failed to disclose potential equity in his assets by undervaluing the property. The Court also said that the debtor's disclosure of his income and expenses was not credible.

Section 727(a)(2)(B) of the Bankruptcy Code provides, in pertinent part, that the court shall grant the debtor a discharge, unless . . . the debtor, with intent to hinder, delay, or defraud a creditor . . ., has transferred, removed, destroyed, mutilated, or concealed, or has permitted to be transferred, removed, destroyed, mutilated, or concealed . . . . property of the estate, after the date of the filing of the petition[.]

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Giving Your Property To A Third Party To Hold Will Not Protect Your Property -Santa Rosa Bankruptcy

August 16, 2011, by Law Offices of James V. Sansone

images.jpgI can't tell you how many people think they can protect their property by giving it to a friend "to hold" until their bankruptcy is over. Not only is this bankruptcy fraud, the trustee can force the holder of the property to turn it over.

The commencement of a bankruptcy case activates two automatic provisions relating to the debtor's property in addition to the automatic stay--sections 542and 543 of the Bankruptcy Code. These sections require turnover to the trustee of property in which the debtor has an interest. Both of these sections have similar provisions; section 543 applies to "custodians," 1 such as sheriffs or receivers legally appointed to take charge of the debtor's property, and section 542 applies to all other "entities."

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Tax Consequences Of Spousal Support - Santa Rosa Family Law

August 11, 2011, by Law Offices of James V. Sansone

taxes.jpgPayments that qualify as spousal support are deductible by the payor-spouse and includible in the income of the payee-spouse.

The law distinguishes spousal support from both child support and payments made in consequence of a division of property. The law allows alimony tax treatment only for true spousal support and attempts to define alimony in a way that conforms to general notions of what types of payments constitute alimony. Payments not meeting the objective test of the law will fail to qualify for alimony tax treatment regardless of whether they were intended by both spouses to constitute spousal support.

According to the IRS Code, to qualify as taxable spousal support the payment must meet the following elements, which include but are not limited to: (1) the payment must be made in cash. Checks and money orders payable on demand qualify, (2) the payment must be received by or on behalf of a spouse or former spouse under a "divorce or separation instrument", and (3) the payor and payee must not be members of the same household at the time the payment is made.

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My Ex Left The Country With Our Child Without My Consent! Now What? -Santa Rosa Divorce

the_hague_convention_help.jpgI am currently handling a case where the mother took my client's child to Australia and is now not cooperating in facilitating visitation and is demanding the child remain in Australia. Lucky for my client there is the Hague Convention.

The Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, originally made at The Hague, Netherlands became operative in the United States on in 1988. The convention establishes legal rights and procedures for the return of a child wrongfully removed to, or retained in, a country other than the child's habitual place of residence. However, it applies only to children under age of 16.

The convention aims to protect children internationally from the harmful effects of their wrongful removal or retention, and to establish procedures to ensure their prompt return to the state of their habitual residence. The dual objectives of the convention are to secure the prompt return of children who are wrongfully removed or retained, and to ensure that rights of custody and access under the law of one contracting state are effectively respected in the other contracting states. One of the paramount purposes of the convention is to restore the status quo and deter parents from crossing international borders to search for a more sympathetic court.

The Convention is in effect between the United States and the following countries:

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Answers For Santa Rosa Landlords Regarding Installation of Carbon Monoxide Detectors

images.jpgDue to inconsistent installation requirements mandated by local governments and a multitude of questions raised by property owners concerning California's new carbon monoxide alarm law, the Housing and Community Development Department has issued emergency regulations to bring clarify to the law.

There are a number of exceptions in the regulations concerning the installation requirements, which owners will find helpful. At the same time, the regulations clarify that the July 1, 2011, installation date for single family homes only applies to detached homes. As described by the California Apartment Association, here's a look at some of the clarifications made through the regulations.

1) All single-family detached homes (owner or tenant occupied) must be equipped with an alarm on or before July 1, 2011.

2) All other residential units must be equipped with an alarm on or before January 1, 2013.

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The Number Of Californians Entering Foreclosure Is At Lowest Level Since 2007, Is This Good News For Santa Rosa Homeowners?

index.jpgAccording to the LA Times, the number of Californians entering foreclosure is at its lowest level since 2007. Notices of default against California homes dropped 17% in the second quarter from the first quarter and 19.2% from the second quarter of 2010. Banks repossessed 10.9% fewer homes than a year ago and 1.4% fewer than in the first quarter. The problem with statistics is that they can prove anything except the truth.

While this may seem like good news, this statistic is similar to how unemployment is calculated.

For unemployment purposes, persons are classified as unemployed if they do not have a job, have actively looked for work in the prior 4 weeks, and are currently available for work. Thus, if you have not actively looked for work you are not counted as unemployed. People who don't actively look for work can reduce the unemployment percent, but are still unemployed, statistic or no statistic.

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