Here at CourtReference, we’ve quite familiar with the court systems in every state. Unless you have business with courts in many different states, you may not be aware of how different court systems can be from state to state.
The basic structure is not so different; each state usually has a trial court in which the parties argue both the facts and the law in front of a judge or jury. The judge decides how to apply the law, and the judge or jury decides which facts are true and which are not – in other words, which party … Read More
Here at CourtReference, we get a lot of questions about court records. People want to know how to go about looking up a divorce record, doing a criminal background check, or looking up a will from the 1800’s.
Of course anyone can just Google “court records” to start the ball rolling. But if Google knows your location (and they do, they do!), the top search results will be for your area – and most of the rest will be for commercial websites that charge a fee to search. That’s why most of our questions are about how to find … Read More
State trial court systems don’t change their structures often. Most are established by state constitutions, although some are established by acts of the state legislature. Some states have a mix of both; a prime example is Texas, which has both “Constitutional” County Courts (one in each county) and “Statutory” County Courts (commonly called Courts at Law; from none to many in each county, depending mainly on the county’s population). Given the difficulty of changing a state constitution, and the contentiousness present in most state legislative actions, it’s easy to see why court systems are generally left alone.
Texas actually … Read More
Have you or someone you know been contacted by mail, email or phone with an offer that sounded too good to be true? Are you worried that a senior loved one might fall victim to a fraud or scam? Well, the Washington AARP recently unveiled a new scam notification system allowing people to sign up for AARP fraud alerts available by phone or email. According to an article in The Seattle Times, by Jack Broom, Seattle Times staff reporter, the service will be available to people of any age. AARP Washington worked in conjunction with law enforcement agencies to set … Read More
“Justice of the Peace” is an imposing title. Almost like Justice of the Supreme Court? Not quite; A Justice of the Peace presides over a court of limited territorial and subject-matter jurisdiction, and is addressed as “Judge” more often than “Justice”. Justices of the Peace were originally English quasi-judicial officers who volunteered to preserve the “king’s peace” in their local county or borough. Important qualifications for the position were land ownership and connections with the monarchy (and later, with the Lord Chancellor and Parliament).
American colonists brought the Justice of the Peace system with them, and it persisted throughout the … Read More
On October 18, 2012, Kelly Clark, an Oregon attorney, released an online database of the names of over 1200 Scout volunteers accused of sexual abuse between the years of 1965 and 1985. The list was referred to by the Scouts as the “Ineligible Volunteer Files” or “Perversion Files.”
In the October 19, 2012, article by Maureen O’Hagan, Seattle Times staff reporter, entitled “Files on alleged Boy Scout sex abusers go public,” it was reported that the Boy Scouts said in a prepared statement that “the list was a way to keep Scouts safe.” According to the article, the Scout organization … Read More
As you well know, there are a number of candidates running for office this year with the presidential and other national races generating the most attention. Every few days there are stories or reports about candidates including campaign financing and spending.
The Seattle Times ran an article on Tuesday, May 15, 2012, entitled, “Ron Paul done spending on primaries,” by Michael Finnegan, Los Angeles Times. The article stated that Ron Paul had announced that he would stop spending money on the Republican party’s 11 remaining primaries, effectively ending his campaign. One day later, on Wednesday, May 16th, Ron Paul’s campaign … Read More
For anyone facing involvement with the legal system for the first time, thoughts may immediately turn to lawyers. We’ve already addressed such questions as “Do I need a lawyer?” and “Can I get a lawyer for free?” and we covered lawyer referral services as well.
For those who don’t want to “go it alone” but don’t qualify for free services and can’t afford complete representation, there is another option. Limited-scope representation – also known as “unbundling” or “limited-assistance representation” – is growing in popularity. You and your lawyer agree to split up the tasks involved in … Read More
State court systems are stepping in to help minimize the damage from the residential mortgage foreclosure crisis. Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Ohio are among those that have implemented statewide foreclosure mediation programs. A number of other states are currently considering legislation to create foreclosure mediation programs, and many cities and courts have put in place local programs.
All 88 Ohio counties now use foreclosure mediation in handling foreclosure cases on their dockets. Through these programs, a neutral mediator works with homeowners and lenders to resolve the mortgage problem by mutual agreement. Such mediation can … Read More