Director of the Sacramento County Public Law Library.
Q. About six months ago, my neighbors bought four chickens and built a coop in their backyard. I didn’t really have a problem with it at first, but lately I’ve been finding the hens in my backyard and they leave a big mess. Also, I’m about to put my house on the market and I’m sure that this situation will not look good to many potential buyers. Is there anything I can do to get rid of the chickens? Or to at least force my neighbor to keep them locked in their coop? I’ve tried asking a few times, but without success. - Dan A. Despite the quaint rural vibe it connotes (not to mention the appeal of daily fresh eggs), keeping chickens in your backyard can leave the neighbors less than thril
Q- I found out I was adopted 21 years ago, and now that both of my adoptive parents are dead I want to look at the adoption records. Where can I find information about this and is it even possible? Sue A-I’m sorry to hear about your parents and it is understandable that you would want to learn about your family history. In California, the state registrar’s sealed birth record of an adopted person may be opened for inspection only on order of the superior court. You would need to file a verified petition with the superior court in the county where the adopted person resides or in the county where the adoption was decreed. According to California Health and Safety Code §102705, you would n
Q: My girlfriend and I recently broke up and she has yet been unwilling to negotiate a shared custody agreement over our dog. I would like to start civil proceedings to ensure that I retain custody of the dog should she not become more agreeable to a reasonable compromise. Can you tell me what paperwork I need to complete and submit to file the case? Thanks! Ben A: Although most pet owners consider their dog a member of the family, under California law, pets are considered personal property, no different than a TV or dining room set. The court may make a determination as to the ownership of the property, but cannot get involved in setting up any sort of custody or visitation order for y
So, you won your lawsuit. Congratulations! Now for the hard part: collecting your money. You should start by asking the defendant to write you a check, but if they won't (or can't), all is not necessarily lost. There are several ways to collect. If the defendant has a job, one good way is to garnish their wages. By filling out some forms and taking a few steps, you may be able to collect up to 25% of their earnings above minimum wage each pay period, until you are paid in full. For detailed instructions on this process, read our Step-by-Step guide, "Wage Garnishment: Collect Your Judgment from the Debtor's Paycheck," at http://www.saclaw.org/pages/wage-garnishment.aspx. Requesting a Wa
Q. Dear Law Librarian, I am starting a new business. I hired a graphic artist and now have a really awesome logo. I have gotten my business license and registered as an LLC with the Secretary of State. How can I protect my logo? What’s the difference between a trade name and a trademark? Dana A. You are right this is a confusing area of the law especially for new businesses. Trade Names Trade names are just the name of the business entity used in identifying a business and generally used by the company for billing, taxes, banking, or other identification purposes. Trademarks Trademarks are marks used in connection with goods or services so that consumers recognize the marks as identif