That’s the question I asked in my Real Estate Law Update for the month of November. In the Update I discuss what I see as possible trends in the way residential real estate transactions are put together.
If you are selling or buying property without (or with) the services of a real estate broker, I can prepare the contract, or help with the contract, the title report, and any or all other aspects of the transaction.
Please go to the link above to read all about it. As always, your comments are welcome.
I came across this item about a celestial phenomenon and just had to share it. The phenomenon is described as a blob of dust orbiting a black hole. The blob is going really, really fast, due to the gravitational pull of the black hole. How fast? According to the author of the linked item, fast enough to travel from Earth to the Moon in a few seconds, or the equivalent of Venus orbiting the Sun in one hour (Venus actually takes about 224 days to orbit the Sun)..
The pictures aren’t actual photos, of course, but the phenomenon has been directly observed. That means that, according to the observers, it’s real.
By Coyote, here.
I’m not sure what to make of this story, but it points out something that has given me some pause recently. With the ubiquity of credit card and debit card use, even for small transactions at remote terminals, like parking meters, how easy is it for thieves to compromise those terminals and obtain the information necessary to fraudulently use the information on your card?
I was surprised to see recently at a football game that they now take credit and debit cards at the concession stand. When did that happen?
The story at the link highlights the problem. You can pay for just about anything, just about anywhere, with a card. There are now many people using mobile card machines. How do you know they are not going to steal your card information?
I don’t claim any particular expertise, but one thought that occurs to me is that with a credit card, you have some protection in that you won’t be held liable for fraudulent charges. With a debit card, on the other hand, the thieves can empty the bank account that is connected to that card. I don’t know if it’s even possible, or how hard it is, for the account holder to get reimbursed when that happens.
My way to minimize this risk, which I have been doing for a long time, is this: I have a credit card with a relatively low limit that I use only at places like gas stations and parking kiosks. I also still pay cash for small transactions wherever possible, like at the concession stand at the football game. They do still take cash there.
Wesley Snipes isn’t done with the IRS yet, or I guess it would be more accurate to say that the IRS isn’t done with Wesley Snipes yet. Snipes asked the IRS to compromise on his tax debt of $23.5 million. I wonder how much of that is penalties and interest. Snipes offered to pay about $840,000. The IRS refused the offer, saying it could reasonably expect to collect about $9.5 million. Snipes took the dispute to the Tax Court, which sided with the IRS.
According to an item in Forbes about Snipes and the Tax Court case, Snipes has been working as an actor since his release from prison. I guess he’s just going to have to keep working until he can make a better offer to the IRS.
I read the Tax Court’s decision. If you want to read it, it’s linked in the item I linked to above. I find it interesting that the Tax Court’s decision makes no mention of the fact that Snipes did prison time for not filing tax returns – the same tax returns that would have reported the income that resulted in the tax he hasn’t paid. I suppose that fact wasn’t mentioned because it wasn’t relevant to the question that the court was asked to decide.
SOME PUNDIT SAID SOMETHING ABOUT HOW DRIVERLESS CARS WON’T SOLVE ALL OF OUR PROBLEMS; I DON’T CARE, HURRY UP ALREADY
I saw the headline that said according to some pundit, driverless cars won’t reduce traffic congestion, but I didn’t bother to read it. I don’t think driverless cars will succeed because they will reduce congestion. I think driverless cars will succeed because of the increased autonomy they will provide. As long as they don’t make congestion worse, that aspect is irrelevant to me.
I have the feeling that most people aren’t interested in urban planning. For some reason I have always thought it is interesting, probably because in general, I am interested in how things work. If my feeling that most people aren’t interested in urban planning is accurate, then most of you probably won’t bother to read this post at The Antiplanner blog about an “urban planning guru” (I didn’t know there was such a person). He’s the pundit that I mentioned at the beginning of this post. I have no idea whether he’s right or not, or whether or not he really qualifies as a guru. I do think that people who advocate solutions to “first world problems,” like “urban sprawl,” are tilting at windmills.
IF YOU HAVE EVER HEARD ABOUT THE HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION (OR NOT) BUT DON’T KNOW WHAT IT IS OR WHAT IT DOES, READ MY REAL ESTATE LAW UPDATE
I have found that many people I talk to don’t know what the homestead exemption is, and don’t know what it does. People are frequently surprised when I tell them that the first $150,000 of equity in their home is exempt from the claims of creditors.
If you are an Arizona homeowner and don’t know what any of this is about, you need to read my Real Estate Law Update for October. It’s posted in the publications section of deconcinimcdonald.com.
If you are an Arizona property owner, don’t forget that your property tax payment for the first half of 2018 must be postmarked no later than November 1, or delivered to the County Treasurer’s office by 5 p.m. that day. Here’s the law on it:
42-18052. Due dates and times; delinquency
That’s pretty clear, isn’t it? The first half of your property taxes must be paid by November 1 of the tax year, and the second half must be paid by May 1 of the following year, unless the taxes for your property are $100 or less, in which case you have to pay the whole amount by November 1 of the tax year.
If you don’t pay by November 1, you will have to pay interest:
42-18053. Interest on delinquent taxes; exceptions
So if you don’t pay the first half amount by November 1, there’s an exception that allows you to avoid paying interest on the unpaid amount, if you pay the full year amount by December 31
You’ll find more information, including a link to a page for making your payment online (if your property is in Pima County) at the Pima County Treasurer’s web site.
What in the World
What in the world- my question following the Kavanaugh hearings, but in an attempt to put a finer point on it, asked otherwise- can I sue for say defamation of character, on behalf of another, as I guess one citizen for another? Thinking, Justice Kavanaugh certainly can’t sue on his own behalf, from the bench.
The answer to my question turns out to be, no, and in very clear terms. As will be evident, I’ve gone so far as to seek this clarification in extant law: 206 Ariz. 520, Arizona Supreme Court. Dec. 4, 2003. “This court has, as a matter of sound judicial policy, required persons seeking redress in the courts first to establish standing, especially in actions in which constitutional relief is sought against the government . . . In Sears [v. Hull], we denied standing to citizens seeking relief against the governor because they failed to plead and prove palpable injury to themselves.” Federal case law in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals takes an almost identical approach. (I had help with this information).
Clear enough? Yes, I think so. What I might extrapolate from it is that mere embarrassment for the actions of our senators in the confirmation hearings, will not qualify any citizen for “standing.” Embarrassment would not be considered palpable, personal injury; which makes a kind of unassailable sense. Embarrassment will not even attract judicial notice. Nor should it, I suppose. The court goes on to say in the above citation, “A contrary approach would inevitably open the door to multiple actions asserting all manner of claims against the government.” I won’t argue with that.
But I remain troubled. Whether any of our sitting senators would willingly subject themselves to an interrogation of the sort Justice Kavanaugh has had to endure, is very much in doubt, reaching as it did into adolescent experience. Would the ranking minority member, for example, want to tell us about her first experience in the back seat of a car? No, at least I hope not, nor would any other members of the senate judiciary committee. Because it’s personal, very old stuff, and while some of our own reflections of this period of our lives may make us wince, we go on, most of us, to lead productive lives. We grow, up.
Some senators will still resist, want to re-explore adolescence as if it were really legitimate investigative ground, at least for senatorial blessing’s sake. Our own senator Flake insisted on one more investigation into the adolescent behavior of our newest justice, which redirected our FBI on yet another panty raid mission.
Most of us have come to understand that American government has become politics, and that politics, particularly in recent years, have gravitated to no holds barred war. Someone in government said as much, not long ago. I forget who. Well even war has a few rules which pertain to decency; a Geneva Convention, other moral considerations regarding civilian populations. Decency, perhaps where decency might be loosely defined as some level of appropriateness supporting at least some consideration for others.
The senate purports to have rules, rules of order certainly, but not so certainly rules of decency. A senator from somewhere might be given five minutes to try to destroy someone’s reputation by reference to vague adolescent incidents beyond clear, complete memory, and by filling in blanks with innuendo. And then that same senator might yield some of his time to someone who’s got some more artfully dirty questions, to which there can be no convincingly clean or dignified answers.
A hearsay rule is a provision of decency for both sides of dispute, but particularly, I think, for people who find themselves in circumstances of their own defense. When hearsay is permitted, and the accuser, absent any factual basis or corroborating evidence, is urged on in her remarks and commended again and again for courage, any prevailing atmosphere of decency evaporates. Hearsay in the Kavanaugh hearings took the form of testimony, testimony so blurred by youthful assessment, alcohol, and by the passage of time that the name ‘testimony’ hardly applies to what amounts to little more than self- assembled hearsay. I’m not sure there are any hard rules for inadmissibility in the senate chambers, but if there were, there would have been no substance or reason for a hearing of this sort. It couldn’t have taken place. No chance for a partisan grilling.
Apparently anything goes in the senate. How is it that our senators are allowed to operate below the law, below the belt, and beyond redress? What in the world? Well, somehow we picked them, oh for their political views yes, but trusting perhaps in an underlying presumption of their judgment, and in this instance their judgment as to what kinds of things are appropriate for their official consideration, especially as a senate judiciary committee. And shame on us I suppose, for supporting their offices in these pursuits.
The camera and the microphone were on, revealing as it was of America’s top tier representative house in action. Maybe the nation needs to call some of these senators home for a little old fashioned upbringing, a little schooling in what many of us would want to call common decency or respect for our fellow man. I don’t want people around the world to think democracy has lost its helm, or that in September we lost our minds, our moral compass, and our dignity in one senatorial swoop.
What can I do? No courtroom remedy, is there, for just a red face. And I’m certainly not going to be invited to testify before the senate. (Maybe I’m not so certain of this). The answer though has been right in front of me all the time, hasn’t it; this next month coming, is November.
It’s the fault of the company’s board of directors, for not having adequate systems in place to prevent inappropriate workplace conduct? That’s what an investor in the Papa John’s pizza enterprise said in a lawsuit claiming that because the value of their investment declined after the CEO said something stupid, the enterprise should pay them damages.
What system would prevent the CEO from saying anything stupid? Have someone follow the CEO around to tell him or her to shut up whenever he or she starts to say something that sounds stupid?
I have a better idea: if the CEO is going around saying stupid stuff, the board of directors should fire that CEO and hire a smarter one. That should improve the share price of the company, shouldn’t it?
The contents of this blog, this web site, and any writings by me that are linked here, are all my personal commentary. None of it is intended to be legal advice for your situation.