Divorce 101 for Filipinos

Here’s a situation: A and B, both Filipinos, went to the United States to get married. After several years, marital troubles started to occur between the couple and after efforts at reconciliation failed, the two started to part ways. They figured that since they were married in abroad, they decided to get a divorce in the US.

Upon return to the Philippines, after obtaining a decree of divorce, A and B mutually divided their properties between them and went their separate ways. Now, here’s where it gets tricky: Apparently, A incurred debts after their ‘divorce’. And now creditors are after not just A’s properties but also that B’s, which left the latter distraught. Is this even possible? Yes.

First things first: Divorce is NOT applicable to Filipinos. Even if the couple successfully obtains a decree of divorce, the same is VOID in the Philippines. In effect, in the eyes of the law, the couple is still legally bound as husband and wife.

Art. 15, otherwise known as the Nationality Principle, of the New Civil Code provides:

Laws relating to family rights and duties, or to the status, condition and legal capacity of persons are binding upon citizens of the Philippines, even though living abroad.

Given this, the creditors may go after the property of B as the same forms part of the community property of with A. After all, they are still a married couple.

However, Divorce obtained outside the country, may, in certain instances, be recognized in the Philippines. How?

Article 26 of the Family Code, reads:

All marriages solemnized outside the Philippines in accordance with the laws in force in the country where they were solemnized, and valid there as such, shall also be valid in this country, except those prohibited under Articles 35(1), (4), (5) and (6), 36, 37 and 38.

Where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry, the Filipino spouse shall have capacity to remarry under Philippine law.

What makes this provision applicable to Filipinos are the presence of the following elements:

  1. That the there is a valid marriage between a Filipino and a foreigner.
  2. That the alien spouse obtains the divorce abroad and such decree capacitates him/her to remarry.

What if the Filipino later on became a naturalized foreign citizen, is this now applicable to him? It depends. In Republic vs. Orbecido III, the Supreme Court ruled that: “The reckoning point is not the citizenship of the parties at the time of marriage, but their citizenship at the time a valid divorce is obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating the latter to remarry.”

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Is the Cost of Bail Higher for Felony Charges?

Discovering that your loved one has been arrested is not an enjoyable experience. No one wants to get this phone call; especially because your first thought is likely about the expense it will cost you. Finding out that your loved one was arrested on serious felony charges is even more disturbing, and can cause your mind to go into a whirlwind of questions and concerns. As history shows, many people want to know if a felony charge will increase the cost of a bail bond. The answer to this question, however, is not cut and dry. Continue reading to learn how the cost of bail is calculated, and whether or not the severity of the crime affects the total price of bail.

Cost of Bail

Bonds are set by judges who consider various factors before deciding on an amount. These factors include, but are not limited to, the defendant’s criminal history, the severity of their crime, and whether or not they are a flight risk. So in short, “yes”; the cost of bail is absolutely affected by the severity of criminal charges. This is for many reasons.

Bail Schedules

Most states have bail schedules with predetermined bond amounts for certain categories of crimes. For instance, shoplifting might come with an automatic bail schedule of $1000, while domestic violence might have a $10,000 bond or more. The more serious the crime, the higher the bond amount set by the judge. If a charge is a violent one, such as assault, battery, domestic disturbances, and child abuse, you can guarantee that the bond will be set high. Furthermore, all preset bond amounts, however, can be increased upon the judge’s discretion depending on the previously discussed factors. But not to worry, our U.S. Constitution protects us from excessive bond amounts. So they will be fair.

Bail Bondsmen

Unless you want to pay the jail or courts the full bond amount in cash or property, you will need to hire a bail bondsman. They charge a nonrefundable fee that is a set percentage of the total bond amount. For felony charges, bond amounts will be higher, which means the cost of a bail bond will be too. The premium a bail bondsman is allowed to charge is controlled and regulated by the State’s Insurance Department. Currently, this rates are set between 10 and 15 percent. This means that the total allowable premium that bail bond companies are allowed to charge can be anywhere between these percentages. They get to choose how much they charge within this range. If a person is facing a felony charge and they have a history for fleeing, a bail bondsman will charge on the higher end, closer to the 15% marker. For first time or minor offenses, most stick with the 10% charge.

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Tips For Selecting a Defense Attorney

In this country, if you are arrested as a suspect in a crime, you need the help of a defense/criminal defense attorney. Even if you are guilty of the crime of which you are accused, a good defense attorney can negotiate a reduced sentence in exchange for an admission of guilt. If you are not guilty, you have little or no chance of proving this on your own. Therefore, if you are arrested in the San Diego area, you will want to choose a San Diego defense attorney.

Not all San Diego lawyers are created equal. Some specialize in corporate law, others in tax law, and still others in criminal law. Even among the latter, some attorneys focus on ways to prosecute a suspect while others focus on ways to get a suspect acquitted through introducing proof that a person could not have committed the crime, introducing enough possibility of innocence to create a “reasonable doubt”, or getting a person off because of a technicality.

You may find that many attorneys specialize in a particular area of expertise. For instance, one attorney may specialize in executive clients accused of a crime such as embezzlement, while another lawyer may specialize in robbery, man-slaughter/murder, etc. When searching for a San Diego criminal defense attorney, you will want to make sure that you hire a person who is experienced in whichever area of the law your case falls into. The more specific you are when you choose your attorney the better your chances are for your case. You can easily do an Internet search on Google or a similar site and typing in the exact sort of lawyer you want.

While you do have the option to use a lawyer that is appointed by the court, you might be better off selecting your own lawyer, as it is important to feel comfortable with your lawyer and trust his/her abilities.

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Will The End Of DACA Burst Our Academic Bubble?

Maybe it is okay that the academic bubble is about to burst. After all, our colleges and Universities seem to have lost their way, teaching gender studies, minority (majority) studies, leftist viewpoints and the never ending politically correct mission creep of sustainability, equality, and socialism. Is the removal of DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals going to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back in academia? It very well might be. Let’s talk.

There was an interesting piece on NPR worth listening to titled: “California State University Chancellor Raises Concerns About End Of DACA,” part of the ‘All Things Considered’ venue (4 minutes, 14 seconds long). The piece was on the air on September 6, 2017. During the interview the California State University system Chancellor Timothy White, he stated:

“Well, it would make it so several thousand of our students and several hundred of our employees would lose the status that DACA has provided. And for some, that would mean they would drop out of school out of fear. For others, it would mean that they would not be able to get a job or have the sort of ability to function in society once they earn their college degree. So we’re actually deeply disappointed in the president’s action and are working strongly with, now, our congressional members to create legislation to reverse this.”

Personally, I bet it is much higher than that, I bet it’s at least 5,000 students at 500 University employees. First, why is the University hiring Illegal Aliens ahead of US Citizens? Second, are these 5,000 students borrowing monies (student loans) for their over-priced tuition? You know, college is FREE in Mexico, but I guess if they don’t pay back the student loans its FREE here too, for them only as all the citizen college students can’t get out of their student loans ever, or those on Student VISAs have to pay in exorbitant college tuition fees in advance often 3-times the normal rates. Next is this issue with Cal Grant program – who do you think pays for that?

Meanwhile, most of the University professor pension funds around the country are in trouble (underfunded) and their pay keeps increasing, and the Universities continue to hire more administrators to their already bureaucratic and top-heavy brain-washing institutions.

Now you might ask, why on Earth does this author (me) care? Well, I am a taxpayer. And, I understand the issues of social safety nets, but our taxes are paid by US citizens for our benefits, not to redistribute to folks who are in our country illegally. Yes, I understand the debate; “it’s not their fault, their parents brought them here at a young age, and this is the only country they know.” Understood, but that is not my fault, nor should it be my problem just because I am a white male.

It seems now we are in a Catch-22. You see, if we send all the DACA students back, they will not pay their student loans, and will finish their education in Mexico, where it is free, which might be enough to trigger a bubble burst in the student loan market causing severely decreased enrollment as no one will be able to get a student loan in the future; citizen or not. Fewer students means tuition revenues will decrease, layoffs of staff and professors will cause poor education, larger classrooms, and bankruptcy to many University systems nationwide. And, mind you, the academic bubble will eventually burst as it is “unsustainable” anyway, but this may accelerate the time to drive off that cliff.

It’s too bad academia got hijacked by leftist political forces, now it’s time that the pendulum swings back to some sense of normalcy. Maybe it’s going to take a big hit to the system to force a little common sense back into the University system, maybe this DACA reversal might be that event that pivots to a more reality based place of higher learning?

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Vehicle Tracking Laws

Real-time vehicle GPS Trackers have different laws that vary from state to state. Each state has a different law, so it is important to check with a lawyer to make sure that placement of the GPS won’t have any legal issues.

General laws

  • It is generally legal to use a GPS Tracker if you or the organization own the vehicle that is being tracked, or if you are the owner of the asset.
  • It is also usually legal if you are tracking your child that is under the age of 18.
  • Usually, it is legal to track a car or asset for legal repossession in the event of a loan or default.
  • It is usually illegal to use a tracking device if you are not the owner of the vehicle or if you are tracking a boyfriend or girlfriend in their own car.

Laws in the state of Florida

The state of Florida has tracking laws that can be different from other states.

Florida established a new statute that makes it illegal for somebody to place a tracking device unless you are the owner of the vehicle.

The exception to this law is a parent who is the sole guardian of a child, or if both parents consent to place a tracking device to monitor their child.

Another exception to this law is a person with a disability. This can include an Alzheimer’s patient or somebody suffering from dementia.

Using a GPS Tracker illegally in Florida is a second-degree misdemeanor. This can lead to an excessive fine or up to six months of jail time.

It is very important to verify your state laws prior to placing the tracking device. Each state has unique laws so even though it may be completely legal in one state, it can potentially lead to jail time in another state.

The general rule of thumb is that if the vehicle is in completely in your name, you should be permitted to place a GPS Tracking device to monitor the vehicle. However, if you are placing the GPS Tracker on somebody else vehicle, it is most likely illegal and can result in a fine or possibly even jail time.

Again, these laws are state specific so it is very important to consult a lawyer prior to purchasing a tracking device. The laws are also constantly changing in every specific state in the U.S., and it is important to check your state laws before purchasing and activating any GPS Tracker.

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Basics of Navigating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”)

Due to the proliferation of the Internet, social media platforms, and hosting websites, online service providers have often become unwitting hosts to materials that may potentially infringe on the copyrights of another. Likewise, original content creators have also increasingly found themselves to be targets of unjustified DMCA takedown requests. Sometimes these takedown requests are made for anti-competitive or harassing purposes by competitors of the website operator.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) provides a safe harbor in certain circumstances for website operators, who host materials submitted by third parties that may infringe the copyrights of others. If the copyright owner provides a take down notice in compliance with the requirements of the DMCA and the website operator timely complies with its obligations under the DMCA, it may be shielded from liability for copyright infringement. The website operator can adopt and post a copyright policy to facilitate DMCA compliance. A sample copyright policy is below, which requests that a takedown notice including at least the following information:

  • A detailed description of the copyrighted work you believe is being infringed upon description of the location of where the alleged infringing content appears;
  • Your contact information (including name, address, telephone number, and email address);
  • A statement that you have a good faith belief that the alleged infringing use is not authorized by you as the copyright owner, your agent, or by law;
  • A statement affirming that, under penalty of perjury, the information in the notice is accurate and that you are indeed authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner; and
  • An original signature of the copyright owner or someone authorized on the owner’s behalf to assert infringement of the copyright as well as to submit the claim.

In addition to the policy, the website operator should register an agent with the United States Copyright Office.

While the above identifies a number of eCommerce and internet law issues affecting compliance with the DMCA, an in-depth analysis may be required. For example, the timeliness requirement for the take down has been a hot litigation topic lately. Additionally, the DMCA applies to copyrights only, and does not currently provide a safe harbor for trademark infringement or patent infringement claims. These type of claims stemming from users of the website can be addressed in the Terms of Use or other website agreement between the website operator and its users.

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Ensuring That You Own Your Content’s Copyright

You have been a prolific writer for your business for a long time and, of course, just like all other writers, you use sources to back up the facts that you write in your content. Of course, there is no reason for you to assume anything other than the fact that you own the copyright of all of the content that you are writing.

Sometimes the line is obscured

If you own the copyright on specific content (including graphics, videos, etc), that means that you can do anything that you wish with that content. After all, it belongs to you. On the other hand, if someone else owns the copyright on the content, you are severely limited from doing what you want with that content. That means that you can’t recycle the content and use it over and over again, you can allow other people to post the content on their websites (for increased exposure and a wider reach), and you can’t touch the images (making them smaller, larger, wider, narrower). Your hands are tied in that case. However, you may not always understand when it is appropriate (legally and ethically) to alter the content in any way and when you really need to be hands off.

You probably have an accurate sense that you can’t just find a graphic image online, copy it, and embed it in your content. That is just common sense. If you use any portion of someone else’s content (words), you probably realize that you must give the author credit for what he or she has written. However, the copyright goes far beyond that. It is extremely important for you to understand the basics of copyright and how that applies to you and to your business. If you don’t pay attention to what you are allowed and not allowed to do, you may get yourself into trouble (legally and financially speaking). There are some concepts that will benefit you if you at least have a working knowledge of them. Hopefully, they will not actually apply to you at any time but being aware is very important for you.

  • Have a licensing agreement, including an invoice: That is an invoice from the person who owns the copyright. If you plan to use material of which someone else owns the copyright, you will probably need to pay that person (or that entity) some money. There may be rare occasions in which the person or entity will not charge you money but you need to have a written agreement between you so that you don’t get into trouble.
  • Lawsuit as a result of copyright infringement: This is a lawsuit that occurs in a federal court. The person or entity doing the suing is the owner of the copyright. The lawsuit will make demands, such as your eliminating all of the copyrighted material from wherever you have posted it online. You will also (most likely) be expected to pay some amount of money (damages) and there is also the potential that you will be asked to pay the lawyers’ fees.
  • Cease-and-desist communication: This is a communication (usually in the form of a letter) from the person who owns the copyright telling you that you must delete their content from wherever you have posted it.
  • Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown notice: This is a notice that refers to the act on behalf of the copyright owner. It is sent to your web hosting service. It will insist that your web hosting service disables any access to wherever the copyrighted content appears.

The disturbing thing about this situation is that, depending on the whim of the copyright owner, you may end up paying in any number of ways. It might be minor but it might be major as well. You may be notified of the copyright violation in stages. If you respond immediately after you receive the first notice, you may get lucky and after doing whatever is demanded of you, that will be the end of it, as long as you never do it again. However, if you continue, the consequences will probably get more and more severe. You will need to tread lightly in this situation and do whatever you need to do quickly if you want to escape relatively unscathed.

Educate yourself about your rights

When you first write a piece of content, you need to make sure that you take all measures to ensure that you never run into these types of problems that are described above. If you don’t happen to be the one creating the content, you need to make sure that you get the other person to assign copyright ownership to you. It is critical that you have it in writing. The best thing to do is to have a written contract between you and the other person. Hopefully, in that case, there will be no question about anything. If you want the creator to be able to benefit from the content, it is safest to put that into the contract as well. The sorts of things that you will want to put into the contract are: exactly what is being created, how revisions are handled, deadlines and consequences if those deadlines are not met, the payment schedule, who will own the copyright, and who will be responsible for the consequences if the copyright is violated. If you have a long-term relationship with that person, you will probably find that you will need to revise your contract over time.

Conclusion

Copyright ownership may not have been something that you thought about very often (or at all); however, you need to have it in mind all of the time and be cognizant of doing the right thing. If you don’t, the consequences will probably not be pleasant. You need to protect your reputation and your bank account at all times. Copyright laws are very complicated and you may not even realize that you are violating any of those laws. However, you need to be aware of what you are doing and make sure that you don’t continue to violate any copyright laws. Interestingly, there are a few situations in which you don’t need to get permission from the copyright owner of the content. You should do the research and determine when those rules apply, which will ease the burden a little bit. Undoubtedly, you were not aware that you were doing anything wrong. However, once you are aware, you need to make sure that you do everything by the book.

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Choosing an Attorney For Your Liability Case

A great concern among professionals in this day and age is the fact that owning a business means the possibility that a mistake could occur which could ultimately end in a lawsuit against them. The professionals that are at a particular risk are architects and basically any practice in the medical field. However, when it comes down to it, pretty much any business is at risk of liability if they produce a product that could harm someone and doesn’t have proper caution labels, or if their property is neglected to the point that it becomes hazardous to people. That’s why it can be important to take preventative measures with a Los Angeles liability attorney.

Consequently, it is important that as any other respectable and responsible professionals have liability; but sometimes, this works in two different ways, on one hand the professional has to have a good Los Angeles attorney. On the other hand, the professional that has caused a person damage (whether it is to the person or his property) will have a liability lawyer of his own, which could result in issues when attempting a settlement.

A liability lawyer’s job is to help gather evidence in the favor of their client and seek compensation for their party. The initial goal is to try to reach a settlement outside of court, however if this cannot be done, then the lawyer will make preparations for representing their client in court. The first step in hiring a lawyer for your representation is to understand which type of liability the claim is for (product or premises) and proceed to pick a lawyer who specializes in that field.

When you require the best assistance and defense in such cases do turn to the Los Angeles liability attorneys, as they will be able to provide you with proper guidance and defense in such cases. In addition, even if they are not able to directly get involved, surely they will be able to guide you towards the appropriate liability firm in your area, ask around, you will not be sorry.

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What Is Tort Law Exactly?

Have you ever done something that was against the rules? Well, torts are something like that; but much more serious. Torts are civil wrong-doings; immoral behaviors and actions against civilians. The law identifies a tort as immoral, and approves it as grounds for a lawsuit. Most often, torts come with severe consequences, like serious injuries and death. These consequences establish a civilian’s right to file a personal injury claim against a wrongful party.

Torts that result in serious injury or death can be punishable by imprisonment; however, the objective of tort law is to acquire compensation for damages incurred by victims and families of victims. In addition, and equally important, intent is to prevent similar wrongdoings from occurring in the future. In fact, victims of tort can take legal action for an injunction in order to inhibit further torturous conduct of the opposing party.

Explaining Torts and Tort Law

Victims of tort can pursue fair compensation for damages incurred as a result of the offence. Exemplary damages include everything from pain and suffering to loss of companionship, and much more; such as lost wages, hospital bills, medical expenses, scarring or disfigurement, funeral expenses, prolonged rehabilitation, permanent disabilities, and much more. Injured victims can also pursue compensation for damages like diminished quality of life and loss of benefits from loved one’s death. Tort law is established to protect injured victims that were wrongfully hurt by a negligent party. Negligent parties can include people, companies, individuals, organizations, products, and much more.

Categories of Tort

There are several individual capacities of tort law that all depend on the type of injury or accident that harms a person. Types of tort include motor vehicle accidents, product liability, assault and battery, sexual harassment, drunk driving accidents, wrongful death, slip and falls, head or brain injuries, dog bites, nursing home neglect, motorcycle accidents, and several other types of deliberate inflictions of emotional or physical trauma.

Every type of tort can be grouped into three separate categories of tort law; these categories are Intentional Torts, Negligent Torts, and Strict Liability Torts. Intentional torts are deliberate, premeditated, and purposeful. Assault and battery, sexual misconducts, and nursing home neglect are some examples of intentional tort. Negligent tort occurs as a result of carelessness and disregard. Disobeying traffic signals and causing an accident that harms another person is an example of negligent tort. Other examples include pedestrian accidents, hit-and-run accidents, medical malpractice, legal malpractice, and slip and fall accidents. Strict liability torts, on the other hand, occur when a particular action causes harm or damage to another person; such as liability for making and selling defective products that are hazardous.

If you are a victim of tort, or was recently injured in an accident caused by the negligence or misconduct of another party, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. Contact a licensed personal injury law firm for professional guidance and counsel. It is important to take immediate action following a serious injury before the State’s statutes of limitation runs out. An experienced tort lawyer will substantially increase your chances and likelihood of winning your personal injury claim recovering compensation for your damages.

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Need A Little Help Finding A Lawyer?

We all know what a lawyer is but most of us hope that we will never need one. Unfortunately, there are many
circumstances in life that may call for you to need a lawyer. For this reason, you should know how to find a lawyer to suit your needs. You may even want to look for a lawyer before the actual need arises since if something happens to make you need a lawyer, you will likely be very stressed out at that point in time.

The chances are that sooner or later, each one of us will need to find a lawyer. Whether it is engaging a divorce
lawyer, a malpractice attorney or any other kind of legal specialist, the need for a lawyer will one day arise for you or someone you know. And when you do need a lawyer, the question you will ask yourself is – what is the best way to find a lawyer?

Of course there are many ways to locate a reliable and reputable lawyer. You might like to ask a friend or family member for a recommendation. They will only suggest someone who they can put their own trust and faith in, so you know you’re getting a quality lawyer with the right kind of experience. But what if you don’t know anyone who can make that kind of recommendation to you? Who do you turn to find a lawyer in that case?

Have you considered using the Internet as a solution to this problem? Over the internet, you will be able to find a wide variety of lawyers, who offer a complete variety of services. And while you’re looking, you can complete some research and discover about the law firm before you even consider hiring them. This means you can, in reality, compare law firm against law firm without even spending a retainer fee.

While you can find all types of lawyers online, it is vital that you pick the right lawyer for your specific needs. After all, even the top personal injury attorney won’t do you any good if you need a divorce lawyer. Choose your lawyer carefully. Ask them to advise you of their experience in their field and to outline in major cases they have successfully tried and won.

You can then make a good, informed decision about who you think will be a good one for your situation. Remember it is important that you are able to trust your lawyer because you will likely have a lot riding on it.

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