I am a consumer law attorney in Elk Grove, CA. For the last 6 plus years, I have run the Law Offices of Jonathan G. Stein. My website is www.jonathangstein.com. I am also the author of the California Personal Injury and Insurance Blog at www.calpiblog.com as well as the California Debt Blog at www.californiadebtblog.com. I have written the Consumers Guide to Auto Insurance in California as well as the Small Claims Court E-Book. Questions for my weekly column can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: My ex-boyfriend or girlfriend is constantly harassing me, sending threatening text messages and constantly calling me. What legal action can I take, if any? A: This is an important question. Let me start with something very simple that I was told by a friend of mine who is an attorney and also a personal security consultant: A restraining order can protect you, but will not keep you safe. You need to be smart about keeping yourself safe, like turning off apps like Foursquare or your GPS on your photos on your smart phone. You can, and should, apply for a civil harassment restraining order. This is a court order that can protect you if you are being stalked, threatened, harassed or sex
Q: I received a parking ticket. I want to fight it. How do I do that? A: This is a question that comes up a lot. And fighting a parking ticket can be a valuable lesson in civics and local government. Each jurisdiction has a different procedure, and it depends on where you receive the ticket. So, lesson one is to figure out who issued the ticket. Just because you think you are in the city of Sacramento or Elk Grove doesn’t mean you really are. Boundaries are not straight, and you need to read the ticket to see who issued it. Most jurisdictions require you to dispute the ticket IN WRITING within 21 days. That is a firm deadline. If you wait 30 days, you have lost your opportunity. T
Q: I owe someone some money. They sued me and have a judgment. Now I have been served with a wage garnishment. What do I do? A: Let me start with the basics. Unless someone has a judgment against you, they cannot garnish your wages. Debt collectors will sometimes tell debtors that they will garnish your wages. They cannot unless they have a judgment. Once someone gets a judgment, he or she can serve a wage garnishment order on the Sheriff. The Sheriff will then serve your human resources department with the order. Your employer will provide a copy to you, and the garnishment will appear on your next check. If you receive this and you cannot afford a garnishment, you nee
Q: How much insurance do I need? A: Last week I wrote about being involved in an accident and how the other party’s limits may affect how much you can settle for. But is there a way around this? The short answer is yes. In California, most people are familiar with the basic insurance coverages: collision, comprehensive and liability. But there is a more important coverage: uninsured motorist coverage. Collision and comprehensive pay to fix your car. Liability pays another person whom you injure or whose property you damage. But uninsured motorist coverage protects YOU! Here is how this works: You are driving down the street and get rear-ended by a driver who does not have insurance. E
Q: I was hurt in a car accident. I keep hearing my case is worth three times my medical bills. True? A: This is one of the questions I get a lot and I have heard it since I was an insurance adjuster. Everyone seems to think there is a formula to figuring out the value of a personal injury case. And, unfortunately, the Internet is making this myth more popular. The simple answer is that there is no formula. If there were, insurance companies wouldn’t pay adjusters to handle claims. People wouldn't hire attorneys to represent them. We wouldn't have juries awarding money. A number of factors affect the value of a personal injury claim. The first factor is who is at fault and how much is th