Guns are in the news lately. The USA is a big country with a lot of guns, some of which are used to kill large numbers of people, generating news reports. Some are used in confrontations that become high-profile trials, generating more news reports.
From Newtown CT to Sanford FL, the headlines have driven debate about guns and gun violence. The debate in turn drives more headlines about guns – so guns are in the news. But in the USA, guns are always in the news. Although the Sandy Hook school shooting and the George Zimmerman trial make headlines, guns … Read More
Child support isn’t always an easy subject for divorced parents. Information about how the process works can help ease some of the pain of paying, and of collecting. Every state has an agency that sets up and manages the child support process, but many local courts and county attorneys are part of that process. The obvious role of the court is in setting the amount of child support payments (although in many jurisdictions this is accomplished by alternative disupte resolution without going before a judge). But many local agencies, courts, and county attorneys (or district attorneys, depending on the jurisdiction) … Read More
Generally when we hear about state attorneys general in the news, it is because they are suing tobacco companies, or defending high-profile state laws in court. But state attorneys general (“SAGs”) can also be a good resource for guidance on everyday legal issues. SAGs are tasked with providing legal protection to their state’s residents, which means pursuing big lawsuits sometimes, but also providing guidance on issues such as consumer fraud, elder abuse, and victims’ rights.
The websites of various SAGs provide a variety of resources. The Arizona SAG site, has a section on what to do about annoying telemarketers … Read More
Need to do some legal research? Look up a case, a statute, books on a particular legal topic, or a specific legal document? Try the law library; it’s easier than you think. There is at least one law library in your state that is open to the public; in some states, there is one in every county. And like public libraries, law libraries are putting their catalogs and other resources online.
Check your state’s CourtReference guide’s Self Help and Legal Research resource category and look for the word “library” on the page. You’ll find the closest law library and links … Read More
In addition to federal laws and state laws, there are also laws created by a city or town, which are called municipal ordinances. A municipal ordinance is only applicable within the boundaries of the municipality. In many states, there are specific courts which deal only with cases involving violations of municipal ordinances, called Municipal Courts. If you have ever received a traffic ticket, and fought it in court, then you likely encountered a municipal court.
The types of cases heard in Municipal courts can include infractions and certain minor criminal offenses such as misdemeanors. An infraction can include a parking … Read More