I was divorced in March of 2011, in the divorce decree I was to sign my rights to the house away. I forgot to do the quit claim.

Q: I forgot to sign the quit claim deed for the home and received a judgment against me for credit card debt. My ex wants to refinance the house but since I am still on it he can’t due to the judgment against me. What are my options to get me off the house?

A: I agree that you should sign and record a quitclaim deed. However, you might also want to contact your former spouse and see if there are any documents required by the lender. This could lessen the risk that your spouse will come after you for violating the divorce decree.

* This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted in the State of Arizona only. This advice is based on general principles of law that may or may not relate to your specific situation. Facts and laws change and these possible changes will affect the advice provided here. You should not rely on this advice alone, and nothing in these communications creates an attorney-client relationship.

Published By:

Gunderson, Denton & Peterson, P.C.
1930 N. Arboleda, Suite 201
Mesa, Arizona 85213
Office: 480-655-7440
Fax: 480-655-7099

Answered by , Phoenix Litigation Attorney
Re-posted from AVVO Legal Questions & Answers.

How to drop a defendant of my complaint?

I have a law suit against a corporation and two people, Now I see one person in the case is not responsible for the charge, and I want to drop him off the case. Could you please instruct me how to do that.

A: This is probably not a decision that you should make without an attorney. As a practical matter, you would file a notice of dismissal as to the party who is to be dismissed. However, whether to do it–and what rights to preserve against that party in the future if things change–are issues you should discuss with someone who understands legal procedure. You might even be mistaken as to whether a particular party is “responsible” or not. Sometimes there is legal responsibility for reasons that are not clear to a non-lawyer.

* This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted in the State of Arizona only. This advice is based on general principles of law that may or may not relate to your specific situation. Facts and laws change and these possible changes will affect the advice provided here. You should not rely on this advice alone, and nothing in these communications creates an attorney-client relationship.

Published By:

Gunderson, Denton & Peterson, P.C.
1930 N. Arboleda, Suite 201
Mesa, Arizona 85213
Office: 480-655-7440
Fax: 480-655-7099

Answered by , Phoenix Litigation Attorney
Re-posted from AVVO Legal Questions & Answers.

If a check is marked paid in full can I still be sued?

I have a past contract employee that has been paid in full and marked on final check – however he is threatening to sue. He feels he is due more then agreed upon. I want to know if I am still at risk, if taken to court.

A: I have litigated the question of accord and satisfaction, and it can be complicated because it all boils down to what the parties intended. One big factor not mentioned above is whether the “Paid in Full” notation was on the front of the check or the back, where the endorsement goes. It is more likely to be considered an “accord and satisfaction” (meaning you would win the lawsuit) if it it on the back, above the employee’s endorsement. The answer to your question is likely to depend on the specific facts.

* This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted in the State of Arizona only. This advice is based on general principles of law that may or may not relate to your specific situation. Facts and laws change and these possible changes will affect the advice provided here. You should not rely on this advice alone, and nothing in these communications creates an attorney-client relationship.

Published By:

Gunderson, Denton & Peterson, P.C.
1930 N. Arboleda, Suite 201
Mesa, Arizona 85213
Office: 480-655-7440
Fax: 480-655-7099

Answered by , Phoenix Litigation Attorney
Re-posted from AVVO Legal Questions & Answers.

Does an attorney have to file a notice of appearance to file a pleading on behalf of a party?

There are 5 Defendants in a personal injury lawsuit, and an attorney sends Plaintiff a formal introduction letter explicitly stating that he is only representing 1 of the 5 named Defendants. The attorney then subsequently files an Answer and Counterclaim on behalf of the 1 Defendant, but also concurrently files a Motion to Dismiss for the other 4 Defendants (whom he never claimed to be representing in his introduction letter). Would the attorney not have to had have first filed a Notice of Appearance for the other 4 Defendants before filing a Motion on their behalf since he first disassociated himself as their attorney of record based on his formal introduction letter to Plaintiff? If not, in what instances would a Notice of Appearance need to be filed?

A: Usually filing a motion to dismiss on behalf of a party would be an initial pleading that would constitute an appearance on behalf of the defendants for whom the motion was filed. But it will depend somewhat on the wording in the motion. If the attorney has been retained by all the defendants to represent them, then the answer is no–the lawyer does not need to file a notice of appearance in addition to filing a motion to dismiss.

* This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted in the State of Arizona only. This advice is based on general principles of law that may or may not relate to your specific situation. Facts and laws change and these possible changes will affect the advice provided here. You should not rely on this advice alone, and nothing in these communications creates an attorney-client relationship.

Published By:

Gunderson, Denton & Peterson, P.C.
1930 N. Arboleda, Suite 201
Mesa, Arizona 85213
Office: 480-655-7440
Fax: 480-655-7099

By , Arizona Litigation Attorney.
Re-posted from AVVO Legal Questions & Answers.

Do I need to respond or answer if the defendants lawyer is asking the court to dismiss my case with prejudice?

Im claimant. Lawyer of defendnt filed to dismiss w/prejud. I filed a motion of continuance so I could find a lawyer. Could the judge dismiss my case? I received disclosures within 20 calendar days , no copy of venue change was sent. Which filed for default because I didn’t know disclosure was also an answer? Is venue change same as an answer? I thought I had choice. Clerk left it on desk for 3 weeks. You can’t sue the court! Is it ok I responded with continuance motion while I seek help? There is still no decision which court it goes to. Can I keep it in small claims or do I have to agree? If you get disclosure papers is that the same as an answer? Instructions say defendant must change venue before giving answer.

Additional information
Defendant’s attorney was just denied his motion of dismissal and judge sent me papers that say motion to set date for hearing and also said plaintiff can represent herself, yes, I did respond I was looking for a lawyer, now I think I can proceed with these instructions I received.

A: Yes, you need to respond or your case will be dismissed and you will not be able to re-file it. It’s hard to answer your other questions without more information. However, either party can have the case removed from small claims court just by requesting it properly.

* This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted in the State of Arizona only. This advice is based on general principles of law that may or may not relate to your specific situation. Facts and laws change and these possible changes will affect the advice provided here. You should not rely on this advice alone, and nothing in these communications creates an attorney-client relationship.

Published By:

Gunderson, Denton & Peterson, P.C.
1930 N. Arboleda, Suite 201
Mesa, Arizona 85213
Office: 480-655-7440
Fax: 480-655-7099

By , Arizona Litigation Attorney.
Re-posted from AVVO Legal Questions & Answers.

What are the potential consequences for tampering with evidence in a civil case?

I’m involved in a civil case as a plaintiff, and have strong evidence suggesting that the opposing party is retroactively modifying/amending/falsifying the content/text of older documents so as to make portray them in a light more favorable to their defense. I can prove this since I have just discovered the original documents from a few years ago in an old drawer of which shows how the documents originally looked before the modifications Defendants have made in their official disclosures of them to me. What can I do? Are there any motions I can file, or is there a good way to indicate Defendants’ tampering to the judge? Are there any consequences for this given that this isn’t a criminal case, but a civil case?

A: In addition to the remedies referenced in the previous answer, you can also seek a jury instruction in which the judge tells the jury that the other side has engaged in “spoliation of evidence.” This is a damning instruction that can really affect the dynamic of the case. But you have to be able to prove what was changed!

* This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted in the State of Arizona only. This advice is based on general principles of law that may or may not relate to your specific situation. Facts and laws change and these possible changes will affect the advice provided here. You should not rely on this advice alone, and nothing in these communications creates an attorney-client relationship.

Published By:

Gunderson, Denton & Peterson, P.C.
1930 N. Arboleda, Suite 201
Mesa, Arizona 85213
Office: 480-655-7440
Fax: 480-655-7099

By , Arizona Litigation Attorney.
Re-posted from AVVO Legal Questions & Answers.

Dispute With A Contractor

Q: I recently had a fire and picked a contractor that I had used before. My insurance company agreed with him on a price and the details of the work to be done. We side an agreement with the contractor to do the work, not realizing he had omitted the two of the items from the insurance company itemized list. We had asked him on three separate occasions, how did he want to handle the missing items and each time he had a different answer. At the end of the work, we again asked him about the how he wanted to handle the unfinished work. He stated that the agreemnet we signed with him is different from the agreement with the insurance company, so therefore he was not responsible for the work.Do I have a small claim case here, the amount is $1,500?

A: Yes, if the amount is $1,500 then it can (and probably should) be handled in small claims court. Find the Justice Court that is nearest you, and go in. They will give you the forms you need to get started. Good luck!

* This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted in the State of Arizona only. This advice is based on general principles of law that may or may not relate to your specific situation. Facts and laws change and these possible changes will affect the advice provided here. You should not rely on this advice alone, and nothing in these communications creates an attorney-client relationship.

Published By:

Gunderson, Denton & Peterson, P.C.
1930 N. Arboleda, Suite 201
Mesa, Arizona 85213
Office: 480-655-7440
Fax: 480-655-7099

By , Arizona Litigation Attorney.
Re-posted from AVVO Legal Questions & Answers.

Can a party request that the Judge hold/store physical evidence during a civil case?

For example, fictitiously speaking, say one of the primary questions of fact in a civil case is whether or not one of the parties to the case still maintains a key to a mailbox. Must the party that is alleging within their Complaint that they still have the key within their possession have to physically disclose the said key to the opposing party in a disclosure, or is simply alleging it until trial simply enough?? Is there any way that a civil judge will hold/store physical evidence such as this until the end of a case–evidence that can’t be replaced or duplicated due to it being physical in nature. Or is the party claiming that they have the key obligated to physically disclose it? Wouldn’t that be a bit risky in the instance that the Defending party lies about receiving it?

A: The party that doesn’t have the key will have to show it to the other party if properly requested under Ariz. R. Civ. P. 34. It is unusual for the court to hold onto a piece of evidence, but if it were introduced as an exhibit, the court would typically keep it as a matter of course.

* This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted in the State of Arizona only. This advice is based on general principles of law that may or may not relate to your specific situation. Facts and laws change and these possible changes will affect the advice provided here. You should not rely on this advice alone, and nothing in these communications creates an attorney-client relationship.

Published By:

Gunderson, Denton & Peterson, P.C.
1930 N. Arboleda, Suite 201
Mesa, Arizona 85213
Office: 480-655-7440
Fax: 480-655-7099

By , Mesa Litigation Attorney.
Re-posted from AVVO Legal Questions & Answers.

Has ADT Breached their Contract With Me?

I am under a 3 yr contract with ADT. The payment amount is stated on the contract and after one year, they have raised my bill. They did not write me and tell me they were increasing it, they just sent me the bill for a higher amount. According to the contract they are allowed to raise my bill after one year (under the Terms and Conditions, under the section ‘Increase in Charges’. If I disagree to the increase, I must respond in writing and only if ADT does not agree to waive the increase can I cancel the contract without penalty. Is the contract still valid with their claim they have the right to raise my bill over what was originally agreed? What is the point of a contract if one party is allowed to change it and the other party can’t change anything?

A: Typically a contract will be enforced according to its terms. In this case, most likely the contract can be increased within reasonable limits. I believe most contract attorneys would agree that it sounds as though you have a right to contest the increase and terminate the contract, so it is unlikely the contract would be held to be unenforceable. It’s also unlikely that ADT would be held in breach. However, for a contract attorney to give you a final opinion on that, he or she would need to see the contract and know all the facts.

* This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted in the State of Arizona only. This advice is based on general principles of law that may or may not relate to your specific situation. Facts and laws change and these possible changes will affect the advice provided here. You should not rely on this advice alone, and nothing in these communications creates an attorney-client relationship.

Published By:

Gunderson, Denton & Peterson, P.C.
1930 N. Arboleda, Suite 201
Mesa, Arizona 85213
Office: 480-655-7440
Fax: 480-655-7099

By , Mesa Litigation Attorney.
Re-posted from AVVO Legal Questions & Answers.

Can I walk away from my loan in Arizona without being chased down to pay back later?

I have had it with my loan. The bank won’t help me, even thou my house payment exceeds 31% of what my income is. I am thinking about stopping payments on the house loan due to the fact that I just keep cutting closer and closer to not being able to make the payments anymore. What is the worst they can do to me?

A: Most of the time in Arizona, if the loan at issue was taken out to purchase your residence, the bank will NOT be able to come after you if you default on the loan. However, the rules on this are complicated. You will want to consult with an Arizona attorney on this before you make a final decision. Our law firm handles this sort of matter.

* This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted in the State of Arizona only. This advice is based on general principles of law that may or may not relate to your specific situation. Facts and laws change and these possible changes will affect the advice provided here. You should not rely on this advice alone, and nothing in these communications creates an attorney-client relationship.

Published By:

Gunderson, Denton & Peterson, P.C.
1930 N. Arboleda, Suite 201
Mesa, Arizona 85213
Office: 480-655-7440
Fax: 480-655-7099

By , Mesa Litigation Attorney.
Re-posted from AVVO Legal Questions & Answers.