Blog

RECOVERING ATTORNEY’S FEES

As a general rule in California, whether you prevail at trial or otherwise, all parties to litigation are responsible for their own attorneys’ fees. Considering that ultimate financial sum at stake, whether you are the plaintiff or defending yourself against a frivolous lawsuit, the costs of attorney’s fees must be taken into consideration as they are often the driving force in making litigation decisions. Statute:In a traditional civil suit, attorney’s fees are not recoverable against the opposing party unless they are provided for by statute or by contract. Often, the […]

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STATUTE OF FRAUDS

Dating back to 17th century England, the Statute of Frauds was enacted to fraud between parties wherein one had an obligation to the other. In short, it required certain obligations be in writing and signed by the person for whom enforcement of the contract will be sought. Now enacted by statute in all fifty states, the Statute of Frauds minimally applies to the sale of goods worth at least $500, marriage, repaying the debts of others, any agreement that takes more than a year to complete, real estate. For our […]

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Unincorporated Associations

Although many religious organizations elect to formally create a legal entity such as a corporation. For one reason or another, this is not always the case. As a general rule of thumb, an association is formed once two or more individuals mutually agree to act for a common lawful purpose, whether for profit-making or otherwise. In General:Much like other entities, an unincorporated association may adopt rules similar to the bylaws of a corporation. Additionally, the same tax-exemptions available to other entities by the Internal Revenue Codes are usually available to […]

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Property Tax Assessment Appeals

As per the California State Board of Equalization, “The property taxes you pay are based on your property’s assessed value, as determined by your County Assessor. If you disagree with the Assessor’s value, you can usually appeal that value to your local Assessment Appeals Board or County Board of Equalization. Assessment Appeals Board:Local appeals boards are independent agencies, separate from the Assessor’s office, established to decide disputes between County Assessors and property owners. You are not required to have an attorney or an agent represent you. However, as the applicant, […]

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LOT LINE ADJUSTMENTS/SPLITS

Lot line adjustments and lot line splits are two distinct legal applications that involve a City and/or County for various reasons, and one should not be confused or conducted without first understanding the implications of each. This article is not intended to be an in-depth discussion of the Subdivision Map Act or the Subdivided Lands Law. Lot Line Adjustments:A lot line adjustment applies to four or fewer existing adjoining (abutting) parcels of land. The land is taken from one parcel and is legally added to an adjoining parcel. This procedure […]

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Public Hearings

Whether there is a change in the use of the property regarding zoning or code variance, a redevelopment of the structures such as the construction of residential units such as a Planned Development, the need to apply for a Conditional Use Permit and/or meeting other governmental land use requirements, it often becomes necessary for a governmental public hearing to be held. In its most simplistic terms, a public hearing is an open gathering of officials and citizens, wherein citizens are permitted to offer testimony or comment before significant decisions are […]

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Legal Parcels of Land

Many property owners, or others, can determine the boundaries of a property with somewhat relative certainly based on the fences and streets around a property. Excluding easements, encroachments, and other encumbrances’ which affect the use of a property, how can one determine the true boundaries of a subject property with certainty? What follows does not look at the ownership of land or the use thereof, but rather the creation of the lot or parcel you determine is your subject property. First and foremost, a “legal parcel” of land is one […]

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COPYRIGHT LAWS

It is probably fair to say they nearly every religious service plays music or sings songs that they did not write. In today’s digital world, information can be obtained from the internet such as music, lyrics, graphics, and pictures with ease. In doing so, few if any think of the possible ramifications of infringing upon the copyrights of another. What follows is a brief synopsis of the rules of law which pertain to the use of copyrighted materials during church services and may not apply to Sunday School or other […]

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COVID-19: Places of Worship and Providers of Religious Services and Cultural Ceremonies

The following was obtained from and provided by the State of California, the California Department of Public Health and the California Department of Industrial Relations.   Purpose: This document provides guidance for places of worship and providers of religious services and cultural ceremonies (referred to collectively as “places of worship”) to support a safe, clean environment for employees, interns and trainees, volunteers, scholars, and all other types of workers (referred to collectively as “staff”) as well as congregants, worshipers, visitors, etc. (referred to collectively as “visitors” or “congregants”). This guidance […]

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600MHz Wireless Microphone Band

The FCC has issued new rules which take effect on July 13, 2020, that will require you to cease the use of wireless microphones that operate in the 600 MHz service band. This may result in some equipment changes for churches, schools, and other users of such devices. Background: To meet the increasing demand for wireless broadband services nationwide, the FCC recently auctioned spectrum that had been licensed to broadcast television stations. As a result,  the availability of spectrum for wireless microphone operation on the 600 MHz frequencies, specifically the […]

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