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Month: May 2015

Will Johnny Depp Face Prison for Bringing His Dogs Into Australia?

Will Johnny Depp Face Prison for Bringing His Dogs Into Australia?

I have no idea, not being an Australian lawyer, whether actor Johnny Depp will really be locked up and away from his screaming fans for smuggling his two Yorkshire terriers into the country on his private jet. (But at least I didn’t put any bad puns into the headline, like the Guardian’s caption about the “Ruff time” he may be facing.) No, the reason I clicked on the related headlines (the only reason, honest) is that it serves as a…

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DON’T FORGET THE TAXPAYER ADVOCATE

DON’T FORGET THE TAXPAYER ADVOCATE

The Taxpayer Advocate Service is an independent organization within IRS, whose role is to protect taxpayers’ rights and ensure that all taxpayers are treated fairly. Among other things, the Advocate: ~Helps individuals, businesses and exempt organizations in a myriad of ways ~Helps in cases where the taxpayer’s IRS problem is causing a financial difficulty or, most commonly, in cases where IRS procedure has simply bogged down and the taxpayer is trapped in a morass of red tape with no resolution…

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Can the Bankruptcy Court Take Away Your Social Media Accounts?

Can the Bankruptcy Court Take Away Your Social Media Accounts?

If they are business accounts, then yes. A Texas bankruptcy court recently ruled that social media accounts (like Twitter and Facebook) used to promote a business are part of that business’s bankruptcy estate, and the bankruptcy court can order the owner to turn over the passwords. Personal social media accounts, on the other hand, are not part of a business’s bankruptcy estate, said the judge. Of course, determining whether a social media account is personal or instead belongs to a…

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SCOTUS Decides What Felons Can Do With Their Surrendered Guns

SCOTUS Decides What Felons Can Do With Their Surrendered Guns

Federal prosecutors charged Tony Henderson with distributing marijuana, a felony. A condition of Henderson’s bail was that he surrender his firearms; the guns went to the FBI. Henderson ended up pleading guilty to the distribution charge. A federal law that prohibits anyone convicted of a felony from possessing a gun—18 U.S.C. § 922(g)—meant that Henderson couldn’t get his weapons back. (States have their own laws on gun possession.) The question was what should happen to the guns. In this kind…

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California Courts Unsympathetic to Association Homeowners Trying to Avoid Fees for Renting Out Property

California Courts Unsympathetic to Association Homeowners Trying to Avoid Fees for Renting Out Property

Any California homeowner living in a community governed by a condo or homeowners association (HOA) and hoping to earn a little extra cash with short-term rentals should pay heed to a recent decision by the state’s Second Appellate District Court of Appeal, called Oak Shores Community Association v. Burlison. (Second Appellate District, March 24, 2015). It concerns two absentee homeowners who regularly rented out their homes in Oak Shores — a private community by the shores of Lake Nacimiento, offering amenities such as boating, golf,…

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