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Boxing Piracy Lawsuits – Does Thomas P. Riley Receive Pennies on the Dollar in Court Awards?

Many business pay the "nuisance value" of defensible cases may be unaware of how little money has been awarded in favor of Thomas P. Riley, his streaming app, and pay per view boxing clients. The post Boxing Piracy Lawsuits – Does Thomas P. Riley Receive Pennies on the Dollar in Court Awards? appeared first on Talkov...

Thomas P. Riley Boxing Piracy

Average Award in Favor of Thomas P. Riley is a Tiny Fraction of Amount Demanded from Restaurants With Alleged Piracy of of Per View Boxing Events

Cases Filed on Behalf of J & J Sports Prods., G & G Closed Circuit Events, Innovative Sports Mgmt., Joe Hand Promotions, Inc. Appear Less Productive Than Business Owners Are Led to Believe

Small businesses have been hit hard by the pandemic. With bankruptcies and shut downs occurring at an unprecedented rate, many business owners are seeing their blood, sweat, and tears result in the unfortunate demise of their ventures. As if this wasn’t enough, they are often the targets of a legal model that demands money to avoid paying attorneys to present seemingly meritorious defenses in small legal cases. However, many business pay the “nuisance value” of defensible cases may be unaware of how little money has been awarded in favor of Thomas P. Riley, his streaming app, and pay per view boxing clients.

Specifically, this attorney was featured in an article by the ABA Journal as the king of cases involving boxing event piracy, usually involving cases filed against restaurants, particularly family-owned Mexican restaurants. In a recent case litigated by this office, Mr. Riley demanded $37,500 in exchange for a waiver of rights over a perceived (but non-existent) violation of these laws. However, a closer look at Mr. Riley’s past cases show that he receives very little in the way of court awards- even in default cases where the owners do not present any defense.

David Beats Goliath- Court Awards Fees Against Thomas P. Riley

Before we look at how little Thomas P. Riley has been awarded by courts in certain cases, one of the most illustrative cases was litigated by Attorney Matthew Allen Pare where the defendants (not Mr. Riley’s clients) were awarded over $24,000 from the Plaintiff for attorney’s fees. J & J Sports Prods. v. Flores, No. 1:10-CV-02087-AWI-JLT, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97752 (E.D. Cal. July 12, 2013). In this case, Riley postured as having a strong, meritorious claim against the defendants for a number of violations relating to the unlawful display of a boxing match. Id. at 2-3. Pare helped beat this unscrupulous claim, winning on summary judgment. Id. at 3. With his bluffed-hand risking exposure, Riley naturally appealed, but was denied. Id. Following the loss, the court awarded the defendants $24,499.40 in attorneys fees and costs. Id. at 13. Riley contested this award, and even filed an appeal to the Ninth Circuit, but inevitably settled, apparently paying the defendants’ attorney’s fees as reflected by Pare’s signature on the satisfaction of judgment.

This case is not alone. Rather, numerous defendants have defeated Mr. Riley in litigation by prevailing on summary judgment See, e.g., Joe Hand Promotions v. Alvarado, No. CV F 10-0907 LJO JLT, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47662 (E.D. Cal. May 3, 2011); Joe Hand Promotions, Inc. v. Cusi, No. 3:13-cv-935-MMA-BLM, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66474 (S.D. Cal. May 14, 2014).

Cases such as these serve as reminders that defendants should not be afraid to defense such cases when they are brought without legal or factual merit.

Frightening Demand Letters Prove to be Exaggerations of the Likely Award

But what about the successful cases? Are these law firms really receiving anything near what they demand when they go to trial and “win”? Our research has proven they are not receiving anything close to these numbers in the numerous cases we located.

Seen here is a table of recent cases all litigated by attorney Thomas P. Riley, who is the preeminent face of these aggressive bluffs: Thomas P. Riley, Esq.

Piracy Awards in Cases Litigated by Thomas P. Riley, Esq. Award Damages Requested Repeat Offender? Judgment Type Opposing Counsel
J & J Sports Prods. v. Flores, No. 1:10-CV-02087-AWI-JLT, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97752 (E.D. Cal. July 12, 2013) -$24,490 First time offender Matthew A Pare
Joe Hand Promotions v. Alvarado, No. CV F 10-0907 LJO JLT, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47662 (E.D. Cal. May 3, 2011) $0 Matthew A Pare
Joe Hand Promotions, Inc. v. Cusi, No. 3:13-cv-935-MMA-BLM, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66474 $0 $170,000 Matthew A Pare
J & J Sports Prods. v Martinez, 2010 WL 1038317 (N.D. Cal. March 19, 2010) $800 Default Judgment No Opposing Counsel
Innovative Sports Mgmt. v. Singh, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76022 (D. Ariz. Apr. 29, 2020) $2,500
G & G Closed Circuit Events v Ruiz, 3:18CV00464, 2019 WL 4695088 (S.D. Cal. Aug. 2019) $2,750 $170,000 Jury Trial Matthew Pare
J & J Sports Prods. v. Garcia, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163586 (C.D. Cal. Sep. 23, 2019) $5,500 $33,800.00 Kourosh M Pourmorady
G&G Closed Circuit Events LLC v. Ortiz, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44896 (D. Ariz. Mar. 16, 2020) $5,600 First time offender Default Judgment No Opposing Counsel
Joe Hand Promotions, Inc. v. Mohammad Ahmadi, 2016 WL 6868032 (E.D. Cal. Nov. 21, 2016) $6,000 $110,850.00 Default Judgment No Opposing Counsel
J&J Sports Prods. v. Usman, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 214294 (E.D.N.Y. Dec. 11, 2019) $6,600 First time offender
G&G Closed Circuit Events LLC v. Espinoza, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11135 (D. Ariz. Jan. 23, 2020) $8,500 $32,500 First time offender Default Judgment No Opposing Counsel
J&J Sports Prod. v. Alvarez, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83732 (E.D. Cal. May 12, 2020) $8,800 $170,000 First time offender No Opposing Counsel
J & J Sports Prods. v. Wood, 2012 WL 33258 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 6, 2012) $9,000 $112,000 First time offender Default Judgment No Opposing Counsel

In many instances, Riley has demanded upwards of $170,000 in his legal complaints, only to receive amounts as low as $2,750 from the jury at the end of a fully litigated case—less than 2% of his initial demand. G & G Closed Circuit Events v Ruiz, 2019 WL 4695088 (S.D.  Cal. Aug. 2019). Another case opened with a daunting $110,850 demand, but ended up with $6,000 to the plaintiff in a default judgment. G&G Closed Circuit Events LLC v. Espinoza, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11135 (D. Ariz. Jan. 23, 2020).

To better understand the true nature of these egregious demands, one may do quick arithmetic to contextualize them. The offer for settlement that our client received was for $37,500, which appears to be quite conservative by Riley’s standards. Thomas P. Riley has over 4,000 cases listed on WestLaw, meaning if he truly received $37,500 per case, he would have grossed over $150,000,000.00 just on these filed cases available in WestLaw. Supposing Mr. Riley keeps, for example, one-third of this sum, he would have grossed a stunning $50,000,0000. This is quite the revenue implication for what appears to be a solo law firm with paralegals running out of South Pasadena. Admitted, Riley does appear to live in a lavish South Pasadena home.

Quite simply, this figure is grossly unrealistic and the truth is that Mr. Riley’s efforts result in considerably smaller amounts than the numbers his scary letters flippantly toss around.

Courts Have Instructed Mr. Riley that His Damage Requests Are Grossly Exaggerated

G & G Closed Circuit Events v Ruiz represents a hard earned $2,750 for Mr. Riley. Most business owners, however, dedicate their entire lives to their small business and understandably lack the experience to look into proper representation. Indeed, many, if not most, of Riley’s targeted owners are also Hispanic, speak English as a second language, and are hardworking full-time restaurant owners. In the cases where these demands are ignored, but fully litigated by Thomas P. Riley, the award is most often much lower than Mr. Riley demands in his letters. However, this still needlessly risks thousands of dollars that could be saved by hiring an attorney experienced in the actual damages that could be awarded. We recommend that you select good representation to avoid the hassle of a default judgment, but ultimately it is most important that you do not settle anywhere near the amounts demanded by these daunting letters with no legal citations or calculation of damages that could be awarded.

Business owners faced with such a predicament would be wise to hire a skilled business attorney who understands the law.

The post Boxing Piracy Lawsuits – Does Thomas P. Riley Receive Pennies on the Dollar in Court Awards? appeared first on Talkov Law.


Government Code Section 6000 – Newspaper of General Circulation Law California

California Government Code sections 6000 is one of the two statutes, the second one being Government Code Section 6008,  that allow a publication to become adjudicated through a newspaper of general circulation attorney in California. This entitles the newspaper to publish legal advertising in its particular jurisdiction of adjudication. This article outlines the general parameters […] The post Government Code Section 6000 – Newspaper of General Circulation Law California appeared...

government code section 6000 Riverside

California Government Code sections 6000 is one of the two statutes, the second one being Government Code Section 6008,  that allow a publication to become adjudicated through a newspaper of general circulation attorney in California. This entitles the newspaper to publish legal advertising in its particular jurisdiction of adjudication. This article outlines the general parameters of the statute.

California Government Code Section 6000

Government Code Section 6000 provides:

A “newspaper of general circulation” is a newspaper published for the dissemination of local or telegraphic news and intelligence of a general character, which has a bona fide subscription list of paying subscribers, and has been established, printed and published at regular intervals in the State, county, or city where publication, notice by publication, or official advertising is to be given or made for at least one year preceding the date of the publication, notice or advertisement.

To expand, the requirements of Government Code Section 6000 are:

  1. “Published for the dissemination of local or telegraphic news and intelligence of a general character”
    • Government Code section 6001 explains that a newspaper of general circulation (NGC) cannot be “devoted to the interests, or published for the entertainment or instruction of a particular class, profession, trade, calling, race, or denomination, or for any number thereof, when the avowed purpose is to entertain or instruct such classes . . . .”
  2. “Bona fide subscription list of paying subscribers”
    • A list is “bona fide” if it is a “real, actual, genuine subscription list.” In re Herman (1920) 183 Cal. 153, 164. There is no statute specifying the number of paying subscribers that must be on this list.
  3. “Established” in the county, city or other political jurisdiction where where adjudication is sought for at least one year preceding the petition.
    • Government Code section 6002 explains that a newspaper is “established” if it has “been in existence under a specified name during the whole of the one-year period . . . .”
  4. “Printed” at least weekly in the county, city or other political jurisdiction where adjudication is sought for at least one year preceding the petition.
    • Government Code section 6003 explains that a newspaper is “printed” as required by law if “the mechanical work of producing it, that is the work of typesetting and impressing type on paper” is completed in the city or county where adjudication is sought.
  5. “Published” at least weekly in county or city where adjudication is sought for at least one year preceding the petition for adjudication.

The outline, above, provides only the broad requirements for adjudication under Government Code Section 6000. If you have specific questions about the statutory scheme governing newspapers of general circulation in California, contact a California media lawyer with experience counseling publications large and small with concerns related to newspaper legal advertising.

Attorney Scott Talkov has represented petitioners and contestants of national, regional and local prominence in newspaper of general circulation litigation in Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Ventura, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Scott may be contacted at scott (at) talkovlaw.com.

The post Government Code Section 6000 – Newspaper of General Circulation Law California appeared first on Talkov Law.


Government Code Section 6008 – Newspaper of General Circulation Law California

California Government Code sections 6008 is one of the two statutes, the second one being Government Code Section 6000,  that allow a publication to become adjudicated through a newspaper of general circulation attorney in California. This entitles the newspaper to publish legal advertising in its particular jurisdiction of adjudication. This article outlines the general parameters […] The post Government Code Section 6008 – Newspaper of General Circulation Law California appeared...

california government code 6008 riverside

California Government Code sections 6008 is one of the two statutes, the second one being Government Code Section 6000,  that allow a publication to become adjudicated through a newspaper of general circulation attorney in California. This entitles the newspaper to publish legal advertising in its particular jurisdiction of adjudication. This article outlines the general parameters of these this statute.

California Government Code Section 6008

Government Code Section 6008 provides:

Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, a newspaper is a “newspaper of general circulation” if it meets the following criteria:

(a) It is a newspaper published for the dissemination of local or telegraphic news and intelligence of a general character, which has a bona fide subscription list of paying subscribers and has been established and published at regular intervals of not less than weekly in the city, district, or judicial district for which it is seeking adjudication for at least three years preceding the date of adjudication.

(b) It has a substantial distribution to paid subscribers in the city, district, or judicial district in which it is seeking adjudication.

(c) It has maintained a minimum coverage of local or telegraphic news and intelligence of a general character of not less than 25 percent of its total inches during each year of the three-year period.

(d) It has only one principal office of publication and that office is in the city, district, or judicial district for which it is seeking adjudication.

For the purposes of Section 6020, a newspaper meeting the criteria of this section which desires to have its standing as a newspaper of general circulation ascertained and established, may, by its publisher, manager, editor, or attorney, file a verified petition in the superior court of the county in which it is established and published.

As used in this section:

(1) “Established” means in existence under a specified name during the whole of the three-year period, except that a modification of name in accordance with Section 6024, where the modification of name does not substantially change the identity of the newspaper, shall not affect the status of the newspaper for the purposes of this definition.

(2) “Published” means issued from the place where the newspaper is sold to or circulated among the people and its subscribers during the whole of the three-year period.

To expand, the requirements of Section 6008 are:

  1. “Dissemination of local or telegraphic news and intelligence of a general character”
    • Government Code section 6001 explains that a newspaper of general circulation cannot be “devoted to the interests, or published for the entertainment or instruction of a particular class, profession, trade, calling, race, or denomination, or for any number thereof, when the avowed purpose is to entertain or instruct such classes . . . .”
  2. “It has maintained a minimum coverage of local or telegraphic news and intelligence of a general character of not less than 25 percent of its total inches during each year of the three-year period.”
    • In other words, 25% of the content in the publication must be the local or telegraphic news and intelligence of a general character. The use of the term “inches” suggests that in a close case, a court could compare the number of square inches in a publication used for the content as compared to the total number of square inches in the publication.
  3. “[H]as a bona fide subscription list of paying subscribers” and “has a substantial distribution to paid subscribers in the city, district, or judicial district in which it is seeking adjudication.”
    • A list of paying subscribers is “bona fide” if it is a “real, actual, genuine subscription list.” In re Herman (1920) 183 Cal. 153, 164. Although there is no statute specifying the number of subscribers that must be on this list, Section 6008 requires a “substantial” distribution to paying subscribers. In contrast, Section 6000 provides no “substantial” requirement.
  4. “[H]as been established . . . for at least three years preceding the date of adjudication.”
    • “‘Established’ means in existence under a specified name during the whole of the three-year period . . . .” Gov. Code section 6008(1).
  5. “[H]as been . . . published [at least] weekly in the city, district, or judicial district for which it is seeking adjudication”
    • “‘Published’ means issued from the place where the newspaper is sold to or circulated among the people and its subscribers during the whole of the three-year period.” Gov. Code section 6008(2).
  6. “It has only one principal office of publication and that office is in the city, district, or judicial district for which it is seeking adjudication.”
    • In other words, the publication’s “principal” office of publication must be in the city, county, district or judicial district for which adjudication is sought. See In re Tri-Valley Herald (1985) 169 Cal.App.3d 865 for a more expansive discussion of this requirement.
  7. “[A] newspaper meeting the criteria of this section which desires to have its standing as a newspaper of general circulation ascertained and established, may, by its publisher, manager, editor, or attorney, file a verified petition in the superior court of the county in which it is established and published.”
    • A petition for adjudication must be verified by the publication’s publisher, manager, editor, or attorney.

The outline, above, provides only the broad requirements for adjudication under Government Code Section 6008. If you have specific questions about the statutory scheme governing newspapers of general circulation in California, contact a California media lawyer with experience counseling publications large and small with concerns related to newspaper legal advertising.

Attorney Scott Talkov has represented petitioners and contestants of national, regional and local prominence in newspaper of general circulation litigation in Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Ventura, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Scott may be contacted at scott (at) talkovlaw.com.

The post Government Code Section 6008 – Newspaper of General Circulation Law California appeared first on Talkov Law.


Nicole G. v. Braithwaite – California Court of Appeal Confirms Domestic Violence Prevention Act and Family Code 6340, 6321, & 6324 Authorize Family Court to Order Restrained Party to Move Out of Property

The California Appellate Court’s 2020 decision in Braithwaite (certified for publication on June 3, 2020, docket number B294228) affirmed a Los Angeles County Superior Court ruling that the Domestic Violence Prevention Act (DVPA) and Family Code § 6340, 6321, and 6324 authorize a court to order the restrained party to move out of property and […] The post Nicole G. v. Braithwaite – California Court of Appeal Confirms Domestic Violence Prevention Act and Family Code 6340,...

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The California Appellate Court’s 2020 decision in Braithwaite (certified for publication on June 3, 2020, docket number B294228) affirmed a Los Angeles County Superior Court ruling that the Domestic Violence Prevention Act (DVPA) and Family Code § 6340, 6321, and 6324 authorize a court to order the restrained party to move out of property and allow the protected party to use and possess the property.

Specifically, the Braithwaite court reasoned that, “While ownership of the property will be determined in the pending civil suit, the trial court had authority to make orders about the use and possession of the property. It properly did so.”

After a trial on both parties’ domestic violence restraining order (DVRO) requests, the trial court denied Braithwaite’s requested DVRO and granted Nicole’s requested DVRO against Braithwaite. Braithwaite appealed, arguing that the trial court erred by ordering him to move out of the property and by awarding use and possession of the property to Nicole.

As part of the DVRO protecting Nicole, the trial court ordered Warren to move out of the property, allowing Nicole to move back in and resume her residence there. Meanwhile, the parties are involved in a civil suit for partition and quiet title in Los Angeles Superior Court regarding the issue of title to the property.

Braithwaite appealed from the DVRO issued against him, arguing that the trial court erred by ordering him to move out of the property and by awarding use and possession of the property to Nicole. He contended the issue of ownership and possession of the property should be handled by the ongoing civil suit, and a DVRO is “not a tool to dispute ownership and control of property.” Braithwaite further contended on appeal that Nicole “left the property long before the matter came to trial” and all “available testimony” demonstrated Braithwaute and his sister were the occupants of the property at the time of the proceedings; based on the foregoing, Braithwaite argued the trial court erred in granting Nicole exclusive use of the property because the “mere fact that [Nicole] resided on the Subject Property at one time in the past does not entitle her to current possession and control.” The denial of Braithwaite’s request for a DVRO against Nicole was not appealed.

California Family Code 6321:

(a) The court may issue an ex parte order excluding a party from the family dwelling, the dwelling of the other party, the common dwelling of both parties, or the dwelling of the person who has care, custody, and control of a child to be protected from domestic violence for the period of time and on the conditions the court determines, regardless of which party holds legal or equitable title or is the lessee of the dwelling.

(b) The court may issue an order under subdivision (a) only on a showing of all of the following:

(1) Facts sufficient for the court to ascertain that the party who will stay in the dwelling has a right under color of law to possession of the premises.

(2) That the party to be excluded has assaulted or threatens to assault the other party or any other person under the care, custody, and control of the other party, or any minor child of the parties or of the other party.

(3) That physical or emotional harm would otherwise result to the other party, to any person under the care, custody, and control of the other party, or to any minor child of the parties or of the other party.

California Family Code 6324:

The court may issue an ex parte order determining the temporary use, possession, and control of real or personal property of the parties and the payment of any liens or encumbrances coming due during the period the order is in effect.

California Family Code 6340:

Family Code § 6340 provides in relevant part:

(a) (1) The court may issue any of the orders described in Article 1 (commencing with Section 6320) after notice and a hearing. When determining whether to make any orders under this subdivision, the court shall consider whether failure to make any of these orders may jeopardize the safety of the petitioner and the children for whom the custody or visitation orders are sought. If the court makes any order for custody, visitation, or support, that order shall survive the termination of any protective order. The Judicial Council shall provide notice of this provision on any Judicial Council forms related to this subdivision…

(c) The court may issue an order described in Section 6321 excluding a person from a dwelling if the court finds that physical or emotional harm would otherwise result to the other party, to a person under the care, custody, and control of the other party, or to a minor child of the parties or of the other party.

In its legal discussion, the Braithwaite court reasoned that the Domestic Violence Protection Act (DVPA) “authorizes a court to issue a restraining order excluding a person from the ‘family dwelling’ or ‘common dwelling of both parties’ (§§ 6321, 6218, subd. (b)), ‘on the conditions the court determines.’ (§ 6321, subd. (a).) The court may issue an exclusion order only on a showing that: 1) the party who will stay in the dwelling has a right under color of law to possess the property; 2) the party to be excluded has assaulted or threatens to assault the other party; and 3) physical or emotional harm would otherwise result to the other party. (§ 6321, subd. (b)(1)-(3); § 6340, subd. (a)(1).) And finally, the court also has authority to issue orders determining the temporary use, possession, and control of real or personal property of the parties and the payment of any liens or encumbrances coming due during the period the order is in effect. (§ 6324.)”

Braithwaite explained: “Nicole was paying for the mortgage and property taxes for the Property. Her decision to move-out of the shared Property to escape further abuse and stalking amidst the filing of her DVRO request does not bar a trial court from using its authority to award a protected party with temporary use, control, and possession of a Property as part of a DVRO. We offer no opinion on the parties’ pending civil action over title to and ownership of the Property. But until that case concludes, Nicole has temporary possession and use of the Property pursuant to the terms of the November 27, 2018 DVRO granted by the trial court.”

The takeaway from the Braithwaite case has to do with the crossover of a civil action and a family court action regarding a single piece of real property. The Braithwaite court addressed the crux of this crossover issue as follows: “In satisfaction of Section 6321 (b)(1), there was evidence the ‘party who will stay in the dwelling’ (i.e., Nicole) has a right under color of law to use and possess the property. Here, Nicole stated in her declaration in support of the DVRO request that she purchased the Property as her sole and separate property, and currently owns it in joint tenancy with [Braithwaite]. [Braithwaite] himself testified Nicole had purchased the Property as her sole and separate property and currently co-owned the Property.” Stated simply, the ultimate issue of title to and ownership of the property will be decided in the partition/quiet title civil action, but there was sufficient evidence that Nicole had right under color of law to use and possess the property for the trial court to issue the order for Nicol to resume residence at the property as part of the DVRO.

If you or someone you love is currently engaged in family court proceedings regarding domestic violence, it is strongly advised that you contact a domestic violence attorney to consider all of your options. A Riverside domestic violence lawyer can help you understand the process, so you can temper your anxiety about what’s to come. If you own real property with someone who has committed acts of domestic violence against you, it is important to work with an experienced partition attorney to end the co-ownership relationship.

The post Nicole G. v. Braithwaite – California Court of Appeal Confirms Domestic Violence Prevention Act and Family Code 6340, 6321, & 6324 Authorize Family Court to Order Restrained Party to Move Out of Property appeared first on Talkov Law.


LaMusga Factors California Family Courts Consider in Move-Away Requests [Checklist Test]

Relocation of Minor Child – Test for the LaMusga Factors Weighed by California Courts Imagine this: your family law case is done.  You have your judgment with child custody and visitation provisions that you may or may not particularly like; but you can still sigh in relief, because the custody battle is over and you […] The post LaMusga Factors California Family Courts Consider in Move-Away Requests [Checklist Test] appeared first on Talkov...

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Relocation of Minor Child – Test for the LaMusga Factors Weighed by California Courts

Imagine this: your family law case is done.  You have your judgment with child custody and visitation provisions that you may or may not particularly like; but you can still sigh in relief, because the custody battle is over and you can finally move on from this litigation nightmare.  Just as you start to relax, regroup, and acclimate to your custodial timeshare with your child; a process server shows up at your door and hands you a packet of court documents.  You hold up the packet and immediately recognize your family court case number on the front page just before you read words that will empty your savings account and thrust you back into the throws of litigation for the next year: Request for Order re Move Away.

Move-away requests, or requests to relocate with a minor child, can be highly emotional, contentious, and exhaustively litigated. This is no surprise considering both parents are facing the possibility of a substantially reduced physical presence in their child’s life.

Knowing what factors the family court will consider in deciding whether to modify a custody order based on a custodial parent’s proposal to change the residence of the parties’ minor child can help parents to temper their emotions and perhaps even work towards a compromise with their co-parent.

Among the factors that the court ordinarily should consider when deciding whether to modify a custody order in light of the custodial parent’s proposal to change the residence of the child are the following: the children’s interest in stability and continuity in the custodial arrangement; the distance of the move; the age of the children; the children’s relationship with both parents; the relationship between the parents including, but not limited to, their ability to communicate and cooperate effectively and their willingness to put the interests of the children above their individual interests; the wishes of the children if they are mature enough for such an inquiry to be appropriate; the reasons for the proposed move; and the extent to which the parents currently are sharing custody.  Marriage of LaMusga (2004) 32 Cal. 4th 1072, 1101

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Checklist for Parents Seeking to Relocate with Minor Children or Prevent Relocation of Minor Children

    1. The child’s interest in stability and continuity in the custodial arrangement (i.e. what is the current custodial schedule and how much would the move disrupt it?);
    2. Each parent’s ability to provide and care for the child compared to the other parent (i.e. each parent’s actual ability to physically, emotionally, psychologically, and financially care for the child);
    3. A significant change in of circumstances indicating that a custody change would be in the best interest of the child (i.e. a change that overcomes a custodial parent’s presumptive right to relocate pursuant to Marriage of Burgess (1996) 13 Cal. 4th 25, 37-38 and Family Code 7501);
    4. The distance of the move (how far are we talking? What will the travel time be for visitation? Who will pay for travel costs and how much will they be?);
    5. The age of the child and developmental needs (younger children are still forming bonds with the caregivers, while older children generally have established bonds);
    6. The child’s relationship with both parents (how bonded is the child to each parent? Would extended periods away from one of the parents be detrimental to the child?);
    7. The relationship between the parties, including, but not limited to (a) their ability to communicate and cooperate effectively, and (b) their willingness to put the interests of the child above their individual interests (chances are, if parents can’t co-parent from 2 miles apart, 2,000 more miles won’t solve the problem);
    8. The wishes of the child if he or she is mature enough for such an inquiry to be appropriate;
    9. The reasons for the proposed move (is there a legitimate job offer or is the custodial parent just looking to get away from the non-custodial parent?); and
    10. The extent to which the parents currently are sharing custody (changing a child’s routine from week on/week off to only seeing the non-custodial parent for two weeks over Summer Break is less likely to be in a child’s best interest than going from, for example, alternating weekends to two months during Summer Break, and a couple of weeks over Winter Break).

Courts are given the widest discretion to fashion orders and make determinations under these circumstances because each case is unique and these orders determine where, and with whom, minor children will live.

If you are engaged in a move-away dispute or anticipate a child custody dispute is imminent in your life, it is important to know that a Riverside custody lawyer can help you understand the process, and reach a result that benefits you and your child. Contact a Riverside child custody attorney skilled in obtaining child custody orders, agreements, judgments, and modifications to discuss your options.

The post LaMusga Factors California Family Courts Consider in Move-Away Requests [Checklist Test] appeared first on Talkov Law.


Cost of Partition Action in California

How Much Does a Partition Action Cost in California? The post Cost of Partition Action in California appeared first on Talkov Law.

Partition Attorney Lawyer California Riverside Inland Empire Law

How Much Does a Partition Action Cost in California?

As partition attorneys in California, we are often asked about the cost of a partition action. Since attorneys are the largest cost, the real question is how much are the attorney’s fees for a partition lawsuit in California?
The definition of a partition action (see California Code of Civil Procedure Section 872.210) is a lawsuit to divide real estate fairly among its co-owners. Since these cases usually involve a single family home or other improved properties, the division is of the equity in the property, which means that the property is sold to a third-party or refinanced by one of the co-owners.
In California, the cost of a partition action and attorneys fees can vary depending on the complexity of the dispute. Attorney’s fees can range from $4,000 to $8,000 for the plaintiff or defendant. However, some attorneys, including those at Talkov Law in Riverside, are able to handle certain partition disputes on a contingency basis where there is equity in the property, meaning you do not pay attorney’s fees until you win, which is when the property is sold or refinanced.

This average range of costs for a partition, based on dozens of partition lawsuits handled by the attorneys at Talkov Law, include the drafting of a complaint, a cover letter to be served with the complaint explaining that attorney’s fees can be recovered in a partition for non-cooperation by a co-owner, simple negotiation with the co-owner usually relating to offsets allowed in a partition action, communication with a real estate broker who will list and sell the property, and drafting an agreement to sell the property with certain offsets. This would be a normal case for which the hourly rate multiplied by the hours involved would probably be around $4,000 to $8,000 from the beginning to the end of a partition lawsuit. Sometimes this only involves a threatened partition lawsuit whereby the attorney sends a draft complaint that causes cooperation by the co-owner.

However, supposing the co-owner does not cooperate, but also does not litigate. In such cases, the matter goes to a default because the co-owner does not respond when served with the summons and complaint. In those cases, the attorney would be required to prepare paperwork appointing a referee, who is usually a real estate broker, to list and sell the property. Even though the word “sell” is used, the buyer is often one of the co-owners, even if the property is sold by the court. The drafting of such interlocutory orders to appoint a referee and confirm the sale, in addition to the hearings on such matters, might add another $4,000 or so, bringing the range closer to $8,000 to $12,000 in total for the plaintiff.

However, there are times where a lawsuit is filed, but the defendant resists the partition efforts. These complications would increase the cost of a partition of real property action beyond the estimated range. Examples of such complications increasing the cost of a partition action are follows:

  1. Drafting discovery to the co-owner(s) or third parties;
  2. Responding to discovery from the co-owner(s);
  3. Discovery disputes, including motions to compel discovery responses;
  4. Motions and disputes over the appointment of a referee;
  5. Non-cooperation with the referee and/or real estate broker appointed to list and sell the real property;
  6. Disputed liens on the property that appear on a preliminary title report, including judgments, mechanic’s liens, tax liens, etc.;
  7. Negotiating cash for keys for any occupants of the property;
  8. Disagreements about the list or sale price of the property;
  9. Disagreement, motions and trials relating to offsets claimed by one party against the interest of a co-owner;
  10. Disputes as to ownership, e.g., whether a particular party is only a legal owner on title, but holds no equitable ownership of the property;
  11. Related cases or legal issues, such as a trust and estate dispute or family law litigation, all of which will add complexity; and
  12. Difficulties in locating any defendants in the case, thereby requiring a potential application to serve by publication;

Note that this estimate is only related to the attorney’s fees. Court costs are usually fairly minimal. However, additional costs include the fees for a court-appointed referee, as well as normal costs of sale, such as a broker’s commission.

Keep in mind that the right to partition is absolute for all co-owners in California, so it is important to work with an experienced partition attorney to end a co-ownership relationship that has caused numerous problems. Our attorneys have litigated partition cases throughout the State of California, including Riverside, Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties. Call the experienced real estate attorneys at Talkov Law at (951) 888-3300 or contact us online for a free consultation about your case.

The post Cost of Partition Action in California appeared first on Talkov Law.


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