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Easter Egg Hunt Injury Lawsuit: Mom Sues for $112K

The Clakamas County annual Easter Eggstravaganza egg hunt is scheduled to proceed this year with 20,000 eggs, and the Easter bunny being flown in by Helicopter, just like tradition dictates. However, a recent lawsuit for $112,000 filed against the Eggstravaganza venue and organizer as a result of an injury that occurred last year is attracting attention in the lead up to this year’s event. Although the event is geared towards participants under 12, last year, an adult who was accompanying their child was injured when the crowd rushed in, knocking her over, causing her a severe knee injury. The injury required surgery and a protracted recovery. The lawsuit alleges that the venue and organizer were negligent in not providing sufficient staff, security, and/or crowd control to ensure the safety of attendees. Event Organizer and Venue Liability The organizers of an event, as well as the venue where an event takes place, can both be held liable if an event attendee is injured as a result of negligence, such as poor property conditions, or allowing overcrowding to occur. Generally, organizers and venues are responsible for ensuring the safety of their guests, and must take reasonable steps to do so. When reasonable steps are not taken, organizers and venue owners can be sued under a legal theory of negligence or premises liability. In the Eggstravaganza case, for instance, the plaintiff is alleging that the organizers and venue allowed overcrowding to occur, and did not have effective crowd control. The complaint explains that this was case, particularly, when people who were not supposed to be on the Easter egg field, ran onto the field and knocked the plaintiff over, causing her injury. Eggshell Plaintiffs An injury victim can sometimes seem to have a disproportionately large injury given the circumstances surrounding an accident or event. However, under the law, a person with a pre-existing condition, or a high-susceptibility to injury, is entitled to recover for the full extent of their injuries. In lawyer-talk, these types of individuals are often referred to as eggshell plaintiffs, and can include the elderly, disabled, or those with medical conditions. Related Resources: Injured in an accident? Get matched with a local attorney. (Consumer Injury) 3 Easter Injuries to Avoid (FindLaw’s Injured) Is It Legal to Dye Baby Chickens? (FindLaw’s Law and Daily Life) First Grader Handcuffed After Easter Egg Tantrum (FindLaw Blotter)
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Can You Sue Your Parents for Child Abuse?

Technically, the law permits a child to sue their parents as a result of child abuse. There are no special rules preventing this type of lawsuit. However, what a child considers to be abuse may not actually be legally considered abuse. Parents are generally permitted to punish their children, which can include depriving children of luxuries such as video games, computers, internet access, a car, dating, seeing friends, or even dessert. A parent can make a child sit in the corner, go to their room, do chores, or worse, babysit their siblings. Depending on the manner in which it is done, even corporal punishment or spankings can be okay in the eyes of the law (so long as they are not excessive) . Why Children Sue Parents Even though it seems rather out of character for a child to sue their parents, it happens. Most frequently, like all lawsuits, it’s about money. Recently, the Canning family’s case in New Jersey made national headlines.The 18-year-old daughter, still in high school, was suing her parents after moving out over disagreements over the house rules. However, the legal complaint that was filed alleged all sorts of objectionable, questionable, and downright deplorable parenting, ranging from crude comments to irresponsible boozing. The matter did not make it very far, particularly after the judge denied the child’s request for an emergency child support order of $650 per week. When to Sue? In every state, the statute of limitations for a minor’s legal claims do not begin to run until the minor reaches the age of majority. That means that if a state provides a two year statute of limitations on a particular claim, and a child is injured at age 12, they will have 2 years to file their claim after they turn 18 years old. Even if an adult child is suing a parent as a result of sexual abuse, or rape, there will likely be a short statute of limitations of no more than a few years after the child turns 18. Worthwhile to Sue? Regardless of whether the law supports an abused child’s case for damages against their parents, a prospective plaintiff may want to think twice before filing suit. Even assuming that the case is winnable, whether or not a judgment can be collected from a defendant is a wholly different issue. If a parent was convicted of a criminal act related to the abuse, or is presently incarcerated, there is a strong likelihood that any judgment a plaintiff secures won’t be worth the paper it’s printed on.To find out if it’s worth your time to pursue a legal claim, speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer. Related Resources: Injured in an accident? Get matched with a local attorney. (Consumer Injury) Student Suing Parents Loses 1st Round, but Case Isn’t Over (FindLaw’s Legally Weird) Son Sues Mom, Pop for Overtime at Family Biz (FindLaw’s Free Enterprise) Homeless Man Sues Parents for Not Loving Him Enough (FindLaw’s Legally Weird)
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Top 5 Child Abuse and Reporting Questions

Child abuse can manifest in physical, sexual, emotional, or psychological cruelty, or a combination of these. States define abuse in statutes, and there may be some variation in the wording of the law from place to place, but all states prohibit cruelty to kids. Children are especially vulnerable to abuse and less able than adults to articulate complaints, which means that adults in certain professions have an obligation to look out for and report suspected mistreatment. But we should all be aware of child abuse and do what we can to stop it. Let's consider the top five child abuse and reporting questions. 1. Mandatory Reporting Laws: Report Child Abuse ImmediatelyNo one wants to be a busybody but you can't just let child abuse go unreported. In some states and some professions it is more than a moral imperative -- it's a legal one. Depending on your state laws and your particular profession, you may be required to report any suspected abuse and subject to punishment for failure to do so. 2. Legal Responsibility of Teachers to Report Abuse States all have different statutes that define abuse and outline who is under obligation to report it. Teachers very often fall into the mandatory reporting category because they have extensive daily contact with kids. In addition to the state statute that dictates who must report abuse, the time frame for reporting, and who to tell, individual school districts may also have obligatory internal reporting procedures. 3. What Should You Do If You Suspect Child Abuse Abuse can be difficult to spot but not always. If you have encounters with a child who is continually injured or marked, that may be the result of a rough and tumble approach to play or it may be a sign that someone in the child's life is being physically abusive. When you have real reason to suspect abuse, call the authorities. Many states do have toll-free hotlines that take these kinds of calls and you will not be liable if, happily, it turns out you were wrong about the abuse. 4. What to Do If You Suspect Your Ex of Child Abuse Accusing someone of child abuse is a big deal. But if you are a divorced parent and think you see signs of abuse when your child comes home from visits with their other parent, you must protect your family's most vulnerable members. Don't be rash in your accusations but do not let abuse go unremarked upon just because it's a difficult topic. 5. Emotional Abuse Laws: When to Seek Legal HelpJust because an abuser doesn't leave bruising on a kid's skin does not mean that there is no serious harm resulting from their emotional cruelty. When an adult manipulates a child through intimidation or otherwise terrorizes the kid, that can qualify as a crime. Talk to a Lawyer If you're concerned about your obligation to report suspected child abuse or have any other legal concerns, talk to a lawyer. Many attorneys consult for free or a minimal fee and will be happy to talk to you. Related Resources: Find a Lawyer Near You (FindLaw's Lawyer Directory) Child Abuse Overview (FindLaw's Learn About the Law) Child Abuse Laws State-by-State (FindLaw's Learn About the Law) Child Abuse Cases (FindLaw's Learn About the Law)
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Preparing to Meet a Real Estate Attorney

When you are meeting a lawyer for the first time on a real estate matter of any kind, it's a good idea to make a list. Before your appointment, know your concerns and questions. That's the first step. But it is a big one and will help with what's next, which is meeting your lawyer. So let's break down this list. Don't worry, it's not complicated. Making a List Why are you meeting with the lawyer? Are you seeking a specific service with respect to a particular place or general guidance? Whatever the issue is, try to boil that down to a few sentences. Write them down. Once you know your general goal for consulting with a real estate attorney, you'll have a better sense of what to ask. If you are buying a home, say, and want a lawyer to review the documents -- of which there are many -- consider all your concerns and gather all the paperwork. As you put your file together, questions will arise. Jot them down. Now you have a list. It is natural to have many questions when buying a home. There is a lot to the process apart from finding the right place -- securing financing, passing inspections, filling out endless forms with terms that are confusing and contain new vocabulary. If you're involved in a dispute, that too will involve paperwork, complaints, letters, evidence. Getting help is a good idea and getting organized in advance ensures you get the best guidance. Whatever the reason for your meeting, the key to preparation is gathering your thoughts and relevant documents. When you talk to the lawyer you'll be able to convey your concerns and needs clearly and provide context. Those are the most important steps. Next, you need to meet with the attorney. Consult With Counsel If you are dealing with a real estate matter, or just contemplating one, it's important to get good information and independent guidance. If you are buying a home, for example, the agent won't be your representative. Similarly, if you're dealing with a dispute, having wise and reliable counsel is critical. Get help. Related Resources: Find Real Estate Lawyers Near You (FindLaw's Lawyer Directory) Checklist: Are You Ready to Buy a Home? (FindLaw's Learn About the Law) Types of Legal Fees (FindLaw's Learn About the Law) Getting Legal Help With a Tenants' Rights Issue (FindLaw's Learn About the Law)
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5 Best Cities for Working After Retirement

When you're 30, you can't wait until the day you can retire and spend your days sipping Pina Coladas on a white sand beach. When you finally retire at 65 or 67, suddenly you miss going to work every day. Either you're restless or didn't save up enough for retirement, and now you want to return to work in retirement. Here are the best cities, according to US News, for working after retirement: Best Cities for Working After Retirement Some cities are filled with youngsters and start-ups. Other cities are more senior friendly: Washington D.C. -- More than one-third of the over 60 population in Washington, D.C. Most people find jobs with the federal government and contractors. Salt Lake City, Utah -- If you like education jobs or government positions, Salt Lake City is great place to work after retirement. Over 33 percent of the senior citizen population in Salt Lake City are still employed. Bridgeport, Connecticut -- Bridgeport is a great city for older workers in the health care industry. Omaha, Nebraska -- A little less than 33 percent of seniors work in Omaha. Austin, Texas -- The economy is strong in Austin with big tech companies offering plenty of jobs. A little over 32 percent of seniors continue working after age 60. Obstacles to Working After Retirement As you continue working during your retirement, you may encounter a few obstacles such as age discrimination or reduced social security payments. Age Discrimination Sadly, many senior workers have had to deal with age discrimination in the workplace. However, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits discrimination against employees or potential employees older than 40 years of age. Refusing to hire an applicant or firing an employee solely because of age is age discrimination. Making harassing comments about someone's age can also be age discrimination. If you are being discriminated against because of your age, you can file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Social Security Retirement Benefits If you are able to continue working or get a new job after retirement, just be aware that you may be giving up money to make money. You can still work and collect Social Security retirement benefits. However, if you retired before full retirement age off 65-67, the Social Security Administration may reduce your retirement benefits by about one-third to one-half of your outside earnings. If you are being discriminated against at work because of your age, consult with an experienced employment attorney for help. Related Resources: Browse Employment Lawyers by Location (FindLaw's Lawyer Directory) After an Age-Discrimination Claim, What Happens? (FindLaw's Free Enterprise) When Can I Retire? (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life) 5 Tips for Older 'Encore Entrepreneurs' (FindLaw's Free Enterprise)
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If I Get Sick in Prison, Can I Sue?

Let’s face it, prisons aren’t exactly sterile environments. And some states (e.g. California) are just regaining control of health care in correctional facilities after federal authorities had to take over because of allegations of substandard care. Therefore, getting sick in prison is a distinct possibility, especially if you have a previous condition like diabetes or heart disease. So if you get sick in prison, or if your condition worsens due to prison conditions, can you sue for damages? Finding the Right Claim Filing a lawsuit for injuries in jail or prison can be tricky. There are several options, depending on the circumstances, and each has its own legal hurdles and pitfalls: Cruel and Unusual Punishment: A suit for violating the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment is possible, and the inmate would need to prove (1) prison employees knew about the dangerous or risky condition, (2) failed to remedy the condition, and (3) the inmate’s fundamental rights were therefore violated. (These are generally made under Section 1983 of the U.S. Code and the Prison Litigation Reform Act.) CRIPA Complaint: the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA) provides a way for federal inmates to reports complaints of rights violations or abuse directly to the Department of Justice, however CRIPA complaints are limited to prison-wide or systemic issues rather than individual issues. Bivens Actions: Like Section 1983 claims, so-called Bivens actions are based on a violation of constitutional rights or of federal law. State Tort Claims: If all of the above are unavailable, an inmate may be able to sue under standard theories of negligence; however, many public officials have qualified immunity, which shields them from civil liability. Finding the Right Defendant As all of the above claims are particular to certain scenarios, they are also limited to specific defendants. For example, Bivens actions can only be brought against federal prisons and employees, while CRIPA complaints only apply to state-run institutions. And Section 1983 lawsuits can only be filed against state and local governments, not against the federal government or private prison companies. As you can see, suing for getting sick in prison can be incredibly complicated. If you’ve gotten sick in prison, you may want to contact an experienced injury attorney to discuss whether you have a claim. Related Resources: Have an injury claim? Get your claim reviewed for free. (Consumer Injury) Abused Behind Bars? What Can You Do? (FindLaw’s Injured) Arnold Schwarzenegger Sued by Calif. Inmates Over Valley Fever (FindLaw’s Celebrity Justice) Rights of Inmates (FindLaw)
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Do I Have to Disclose My Criminal Record on Housing Applications?

Living with a criminal record isn't easy. It's harder to get a job and get into college, and a criminal conviction may even get you kicked off American Idol. All jokes aside, housing is one of our most basic needs, so can landlords refuse to rent to people with a criminal record? And do you have to explain a criminal conviction on a housing application? Public Housing While federal and state public housing authorities may not discriminate based on race, gender, religion, etc., they can absolutely consider criminal records when renting public housing. They can also consider new criminal convictions when deciding whether to evict an existing tenant. The only requirement is that public housing authorities provide a copy of the criminal record to the tenant or subject of the eviction notice. At that point, the tenant can dispute the accuracy of the record at a grievance hearing or a trial. Private Rentals Private landlords generally have more leeway when screening potential tenants, but in this case, state law may limit landlord actions. While landlords can refuse to rent to someone because of a criminal conviction, some states (like New York) prohibit landlords of buildings containing four or more apartments from having a blanket policy against renting to anyone with a criminal record. Make sure you're familiar with your state's laws on leases and rental agreements. Expungement One way of avoiding having to disclose a prior conviction is to get your criminal record expunged. Expungement rules vary from state to state, but generally an expungement will remove your criminal history from public view. If you are able to get your record expunged, a potential landlord won't be able to see your criminal history, and you won't need to disclose prior convictions or the expungement. If you've been denied housing due to your criminal record, you may want to talk to an experienced landlord-tenant attorney in your area. Related Resources: Browse Landlord-Tenant Lawyers by Location (FindLaw Directory) Do I Have to Hire a Felon? (FindLaw's Free Enterprise) Fair Housing Laws, Complaints, and Lawsuits (FindLaw) How to Get an Online Mug Shot Removed (FindLaw Blotter)
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Where to Find Up-To-Date Legal Forms

While we recommend that you have an attorney help you with legal filings, we do recognize that there are times when you may be able to complete some legal forms yourself. For most motions, complaints, and pleadings, you no longer have to write it out on pleading papers. Most courts have created forms that are easy to fill out. The hard part is finding where to get those forms and making sure that they're the most current forms available. Here is a list of resources where you can find the forms you need for your legal case. 1. FindLaw's Legal Forms Do you want to know how to make a will, or incorporate your business, or write a residential lease? FindLaw's Legal Forms not only has the state specific forms that you need but also guidance on how to fill out those forms. 2. Court Self-Help Centers Most courts have self-help legal centers where you can get free help from staff attorneys to fill out legal forms. The center will also be able to guide you to the forms that you'll need your specific issues. However, these attorneys are not going to be able to give you legal advice or represent you in court. 3. State Court Websites The best place to check for local legal forms is your state's court website: California -- California's court website has forms that are current as of July 1, 2015. Under the Forms and Rules tab, you can search for forms by category, name or number. New York -- On New York's court website, you can find free court forms under the Representing Yourself tab. There are also free do-it-yourself forms to guide you through the process of preparing a court form. Utah -- For legal help in Utah, the state's court website has an Online Court Assistance Program that can help you draft documents for divorce, landlord tenant issues, guardianships, and other legal matters. Washington -- In addition to all court forms, Washington's court website also has a selections of forms translated in Spanish. The state is working to translate more forms into more languages such as Vietnamese, Tagalog, Korean, Chinese, Russian, and Cambodian soon. Related Resources: Family Law Forms by State (FindLaw's Learn About The Law) How Do You Find Free Legal Aid? (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life) Free Legal Aid for Undocumented UC Students (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life) Getting a Divorce? 3 Ways to Get Help (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)
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When Can You Serve Someone via Publication in a Newspaper?

Serving the other side with notice of a lawsuit is typically done in person or through the mail. In some cases, however, a person may be served by publication in a newspaper. Following the filing of a complaint -- the document which describes the lawsuit and identifies the parties involved -- the party filing the lawsuit must complete what is known as "service of process." There are typically very specific rules for how service must be completed, depending on the type of case and the jurisdiction in which it is being filed. Generally speaking, however, when can you serve process via publication? When All Else Fails... Typically, a plaintiff is first required to attempt to locate the defendant and serve him or her through personal service -- in which a defendant is personally handed the summons and complaint -- or substitute service in which the papers are left at a defendant's home or business, or delivered via certified mail. Many times, a person who may not know where to find a defendant can hire a professional process server to accomplish service of process. However, when the defendant is unable to be located or avoids being served by other means, a plaintiff may be able to request to serve the defendant via publication, usually in a newspaper or other widely distributed publication. The notice is then posted in a newspaper or publication approved by the court for the required length of time. In California family law cases, for example, the required document must be published once a week for four weeks in a row. How Does Service by Publication Work? Service of process is intended to put the defendant on notice of a lawsuit and give him the opportunity to defend himself should he so choose. In order to proceed with the lawsuit, the plaintiff filing the lawsuit must show that he has put the defendant on notice by showing proof of service. In the event that service by publication is allowed, the defendant is typically considered to have been put on constructive notice. Constructive notice does not require that the defendant ever actually received notice of the lawsuit, only that the means by which process was legally sufficient to fulfill the notice requirement. If you need help with your lawsuit, a lawyer who specializes in civil litigation can explain the legal options available for service of process. You can also find more tips for how to sue at FindLaw's section on Filing a Lawsuit. Related Resources: Find a Lawyer by Practice Area and Location (FindLaw) Legal How-To: Responding to a Lawsuit (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life) Proof of Service Can Often Prove Tricky (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life) Kesha, Dr. Luke's Lawsuit, and the Chicken-Sticker Process Server (FindLaw's Celebrity Justice)
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