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Georgia Law Blog

Quiet title action falls flat due to no-show in court

A lawsuit over the rightful ownership of a piece of property in Arkansas has made national headlines because it involves Josh Duggar, the well-known former star of the reality TV show "19 Kids and Counting." It's a spectacular example of how not to handle a quiet title action.

When there are questions about who actually owns a piece of real estate, quiet title actions essentially ask the court to resolve any conflicts. They're commonly used in cases where a deed wasn't recorded properly way in the past, so they're often not particularly adversarial. This case, however, involved an actual dispute between two people: Duggar, and the man who had been living on the property since 2006 and claimed to be its rightful owner.

How do you prepare for a deposition?

Nobody wants to end up in litigation over a dispute -- but it happens. If you're in that situation, you're probably going to end up having to give a deposition to the opposing party.

Depositions are formal, recorded hearings where a party to a lawsuit or a witness gives oral testimony in response to questions asked by the opposing counsel. Your success or failure at a deposition can dramatically affect the trajectory of your case, so it's wise to be prepared.

Crossing the guard line in Georgia: What you need to know

Georgia has a rather unique law on its books that imposes criminal penalties for people who "cross the guard line" in a correctional facility with certain kinds of contraband on their person. Any attempt to sneak illicit items like weapons or drugs into a jail can be charged as a felony and land you behind bars for up to four years.

Why does this matter? After all, you don't have any intention of trying to sneak something illegal into a jail anytime soon, right?

Alternative dispute resolution for business disputes

When you have a business dispute, the priority is often getting it resolved so that the business can move on normally. There are several ways that this might happen. In some cases, you might be able to work something out with the other party without any assistance. You may have to turn to other options if you can't work things out.

Some business owners don't want to have to go to court to resolve these types of issues. There are instances in which mediation or arbitration might be appropriate. These options are known as alternative dispute resolution methods, and they are often faster and more cost-effective than going through a trial.

Understand how easements affect property usage

Some properties have easements attached to them. This means that there is another entity or person who can use specific bits of the land for certain purposes. These are commonly associated with utility companies, but there are other uses for them as well. Checking for an easement on a property you're considering purchasing is one of the due diligence steps you should always complete.

The easements that are provided for utility companies usually allow workers to access critical components of the utility system. For example, workers may need to access an electrical pole that can only be reached by walking on your property. In this case, the easement would allow them to do so.

Estate planning can protect blended families

A blended family is a common structure these days, but that doesn't mean that you don't have to think about some specific points and how things will differ because you're in a blended family. One thing that you need to think about is what you're going to do about your estate plan. You can't set things up like you would for a family in which both parents are still living together.

Even if you think that your current spouse will care for the children you had prior to getting married, there is a chance that it won't happen that way. Because of this, it's best to have a solid estate plan as soon as possible so you know that your children will get what you intend.

What will happen to my business in divorce?

If you run your own business, you’ve likely spent a lot of hours to build it and ensure it succeeds. You could have seen it grow over the years, adding more employees and greater operations. However, now you are facing a divorce and don’t know how that will impact your business. Will your spouse automatically get half your business’ worth?

How are marital assets divided in Georgia?

When a couple seeks a divorce, their marital assets are divided according to their state's law. Therefore the state that you file in is very important when it comes to asset division. So much so, that those who have the possibility to file in more than one state should carefully consider the pros and cons of each system.

If you intend to file for divorce in Georgia, you should first make sure that you are eligible to do so. Then, look carefully at how the laws could dictate the outcome of your case.

If you end up with a real estate dispute, be prepared to fight

Real estate can be a complex industry. If you own property, there could be a chance that you'll end up in a dispute with someone over any number of reasons.

Some of the most common causes of real estate disputes include:

  • Real estate fraud, where one party misrepresents information that hurts you financially
  • Boundary disputes, where it's not clear which boundaries apply to your property
  • Title issues, such as having a cloudy title
  • Specific performance disputes, where one party fails to follow through with the requirements of an agreement
  • Breach of contract, where one of the parties does not hold up their end of a contract

What exactly is 'kidnapping' in Georgia?

You were desperate for cash, so you robbed a corner store. Things got heated, and you grabbed another customer's arm and pulled them in front of you to block the store owner's path as you made you way out the door.

You got caught and, in addition to robbery charges, you're also facing kidnapping charges. What just happened?

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