Know your rights

Q. My daughter had a baby and is living with the baby’s father. Are they married? He says they are not. What rights does she have if he leaves? He is taking care of her and the baby but is threatening to leave her.

A. Under the law, if he is the father of the child, she has the right to receive support for the child. She is entitled to child support regardless of whether they are married.

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Q. Does a store have the right to limit who may park in its parking lot? Isn’t this public property? Can I be towed for parking where I shouldn’t?

A. As a general rule, a parking lot is not public property. Nearly all parking lots are private property, and the owner of the lot may limit who may park in the lot. Whether you may be towed, however, is a different question.

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Q. I am set to go to justice court. I think I have a good case and I am very comfortable representing myself. If I win, will he be forced to pay me? Does he have to pay court costs if I win?

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Q. A gravel truck was driving past the entrance to the freeway when I entered. His wheel threw a rock that hit my windshield. I called, and the company said it was not responsible. Who is at fault and how can I get reimbursed for my windshield?

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Q. My family was involved in a car accident. My brother was driving and my 80 year-old grandmother was also in the vehicle, along with my mother. It was the other driver’s fault. We are attempting to settle, but the insurance company only wants to pay for medical bills and damage to our car, even though we went through a lot of stress and other financial loss. What can I do to have them compensate us?

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Q. Three years ago, a credit card company filed a lawsuit against me. I answered the lawsuit. I heard nothing for almost two years, until I received a notice of hearing on a motion for summary judgment. Isn’t there a four-year statute of limitations for lawsuits? Shouldn’t this case now be dismissed?

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Q. I was renting a house with two of my friends. The house burned down because of the electrical fault. We still have six months more to go on lease. We did not have a renter’s insurance. The fire was not our fault. We lost most of our property. We assume the owner has insurance. Can we file to recover for our damages? Can we get compensation toward rent?

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Q. Like many people, I am hosting a holiday party. I am concerned about a guest leaving drunk and driving. I always do all I can to prevent that from happening. In the past, I have even taken keys away from someone who was obviously not in any condition to drive. I was curious, however, could I be liable if one of my guests left drunk and had an accident after my party?

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Q. Can I be arrested for not paying my credit card bill? The debt collector said he is sending the police out to my house if I don’t promptly pay.

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Q. I owe a lot of money and can’t seem to ever catch up with my payments. I am constantly harassed by debt collectors. I have been told that even if I file bankruptcy, I will still owe my student loans. Is this true? They are one of my largest debts.

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