Tag Archives: Legal Description

General Plan vs. Zoning

All property has an underlying or specific zone wherein the City or County has outlined in its General Plan for all zones within its jurisdiction. These zones indicate what the general, current, or future use of the land in a particular area will be. The purpose of this is to maintain continuity throughout the city while providing for the health, safety, morals, and general welfare of its residents. In short, it prevents things such as a steel mill from taking place in the middle of a neighborhood. Notwithstanding, the underlying […]

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Endowments

Per Investopedia, “an endowment is a donation of money or property to a nonprofit organization, which uses the resulting investment income for a specific purpose. An endowment can also refer to the total of a nonprofit institution’s investable assets, also known as its “principal” or “corpus,” which is meant to be used for operations or programs that are consistent with the wishes of the donor(s). Most endowments are designed to keep the principal amount intact while using the investment income for charitable efforts. Taxation: When the donated endowment accrues dividends, […]

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ADA Deficiencies in Churches

As per the United State Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, the Americans with Disabilities Act, (“ADA”), was modeled after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin – and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 — the ADA is an “equal opportunity” law for people with disabilities. To be protected by the ADA, one must have a disability, which is defined by the ADA as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or […]

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Clergy-Penitent Privilege

Although informally referred to as the Priest-Penitent Privilege, the following applies to all clergy, i.e. a priest, minister, religious practitioner, or similar functionary of a church or of a religious denomination or religious organization. In general, any conversation had with or amongst religious leaders (assuming that they are acting in their religious capacity) cannot be brought into court. Each religion may have its own internal governance concerning the preservation of confidence which goes beyond that of the California Evidence Code. Confidential Communications: California defines a “penitential communication” as a communication made […]

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CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

Serving as an officer, director, trustee, elder, or pastor of a church comes with certain responsibilities. The most important of which is acting in good faith in the best interest of the church. In short, when servicing is such a position on the church council/board, one must not act in their interest at the expense of the church by usurping a corporate opportunity, having an interest in a particular transaction, or competing with the corporation to advance one’s personal interest. Conflicts of interest often arise when entering into a transaction […]

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HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION

The California Constitution provides for a Homeowners’ Property Tax Exemption which is a $7,000 reduction of the taxable value of your principal residence. Upon qualification, this can amount to a cost saving of approximately $70 each year on your property taxes. In addition to this cost savings, the primary benefit is the protection it provides from a judgment creditor. Timing:To qualify, the property must have been the principal residence of the owner as of January 1 of that particular tax year. Although there is no cost to file for the […]

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WHAT IS PROBATE

In simplified terms, probate is the legal process of settling the financial affairs of a deceased individual after they die via court supervision; i.e. the distribution of their assets and payment of their debts. On average, probate in California takes about twelve to eighteen months. However, if problems arise, the process can much longer. The Will:Often, this entire process pivots on the existence of a Will, if it can be located, its contents, and its validity will dictate the parties and actions to be taken. In short, a Will is […]

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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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