I’m used to seeing deed restrictions (also known as CC&Rs) for residential properties that say any clothesline must be enclosed within a fence so that the clothesline isn’t visible from neighboring properties. I’m not used to seeing restrictions that prohibit clotheslines entirely, although I personally wouldn’t be offended by it.
Apparently there was, a few years ago, a movement to get state legislatures to outlaw restrictions that would ban clotheslines. I must have missed it. The news items about it that I saw recently on Lowering the Bar and in the ABA Journal say that Arizona is one of the states that was caught up in the movement, but I don’t see anything in the relevant title of the Arizona statutes that says so. All I see are the provisions that I already knew about that outlaw or limit restrictions on certain flags, for sale signs, and political signs.
As I said, I’m not sure I could get too worked up over a deed restriction that prohibits clotheslines, anyway. I have said this before: if you don’t like a rule in the CC&Rs, then don’t buy the property.
IT SOUNDS LIKE THIS GUY THINKS THAT OLYMPIC MEDALISTS’ PRIZE MONEY SHOULD BE EXCLUDED FROM TAXABLE INCOME, BUT ONLY IF THE MEDALIST MEETS A MEANS TEST
Why would the author of an article in a scholarly journal portray Olympic medal winners, including Ronda Rousey of all people, as deserving sympathy because of their lack of means, then say that the prize money should be tax-free “[e]xcept, of course, if the medal winner is already rich?” Does he mean that he would take the newly enacted Olympic prize money exclusion, which makes the tax treatment of one type of prize different from all other types of prizes, and impose a means test on it? And not a current income means test, from the sound of it, but a total wealth means test?
You can’t say I didn’t warn you that tax legislation is heading in the wrong direction.
Via TaxProf Blog.
Shortly after I posted about Uber temporarily suspending the operation of its self-driving cars in Tempe after one was involved in a collision, Reuters reported that the operations have been resumed. That article also reported that the police concluded that the collision was caused by a human driver.
MY MARCH ESTATE PLANNING LAW REPORT IS ABOUT HOW TO LEAVE THINGS TO PEOPLE WITHOUT USING A WILL
I'm not saying you shouldn't have a will. Most people should have a will. There are other ways of leaving things to people, however, that can be more effective/efficient than a will. Read all about it in the publications section of my firm's web site.
SELF-DRIVING CAR IS INVOLVED IN A COLLISION, EVERYTHING COMES TO A SCREECHING HALT
As opposed to the thousands of collisions every day between human-driven cars, which attract little attention, as soon as one self-driving car is involved in a collision, even though the collision apparently wasn’t caused by the self-driving car, the idea that self-driving cars could be turned loose on the streets is a threat to humanity. Is that a double standard?
ANOTHER RIVER HAS “PERSONHOOD”
According to an item on Lowering the Bar, another river in India has been granted “personhood,” bringing the total to three: two in India and one in New Zealand. According to the decision of the High Court of Uttarakhand that is quoted at Lowering the Bar, the two rivers in India have been “declared as juristic/legal persons/living entities having the status of a legal person with all corresponding rights, duties and liabilities of a living person.”
As the Lowering the Bar author pointed out, and as should have been apparent from the questions I asked in my recent post on this subject, a river can’t actually exercise the rights and carry out the duties of a living person. A living person has to do those things for the river. So the river can’t actually have the status of a living person, at least not without someone else to actually make decisions for it. Who gets to make those decisions, and who pays whatever costs result from them?
DOES SAYING THAT A RIVER IS A PERSON GIVE THE RIVER THE ABILITY TO MAKE DECISIONS?
In the last few weeks at least two rivers have been granted legal “personhood,” one in New Zealand and one in India. I’m as big on environmental protections as anyone, but I have a few questions:
What, exactly, does it mean when a river is granted personhood? Does the river have the same legal rights as a person? How does that work?
Since a river can’t assert its rights, who gets to do that?
If the river receives compensation for an injury to its rights, who gets to decide what to do with it, and who gets to handle the money?
Of course I’m sure that the people who are given the authority to exercise these rights of personhood on behalf of the river will do it only with the best of intentions, and will never substitute their own interests for those of the river, right?
Which leads to my final question: how do the people exercising the river’s rights on its behalf know what the river wants? Or is it a matter of the people deciding what’s best for the river? Who oversees those decisions?
DON’T RESPOND TO SOLIICITATIONS OFFERING TO GET YOU A COPY OF YOUR DEED FOR $89
I am pretty sure I have written about these solicitations before, and I know they have been around for a long time, so I’m a little surprised that The Arizona Republic would publish an article that makes it sound like they are something that has just appeared in Arizona. It’s an easy problem to solve, in any case: if you want a copy of your deed, you can get it yourself from the office of the county recorder in the county where your property is located.
As scams go, however, this one looks pretty benign. The scammers are using information that is already available to the public from the county recorder’s office (that’s how they knew to send you the solicitation), so it doesn’t look like there is any danger of identity theft. Of course, if you respond any solicitation, never give them any personal information.
If I recorded a deed for you, then I have a copy, so just call me. Even if I didn’t record your deed, if your property is in Pima County, I can get you a copy of the deed, and it won’t cost you $89.
Maybe the Supreme Court confirmation process is something I shouldn’t comment on, because what I say could be taken as political commentary. I don’t think it is political commentary, though, except to the extent that it’s about politicians. Politicians who claim that they can discern a Supreme Court nominee’s bias in favor of one type of litigant over another based on particular opinions the nominee wrote as a judge, or particular clients the nominee represented as a lawyer, are perpetuating the misconception that judges decide cases (or should decide cases) based on which party the judge thinks is more deserving, or that lawyers represent clients because they agree with the clients’ views.
A judge’s job is to decide cases based on the law, not based on whether they think one party is more deserving than the other. If a correct application of the law means that the more sympathetic party loses, then the more sympathetic party should lose. Similarly, a lawyer’s job is to advocate for the client’s interests under the law, regardless of whether or not the lawyer’s personal interests are the same as the client’s. If the client’s legal interests are protected, then the lawyer has done his or her job.
There’s a report today that Uber’s autonomous vehicles can’t go for very long without the need for human intervention to avoid potential mishap. They are learning, however. It’s called artificial intelligence (“AI”).
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.