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Understanding How Florida Tax Certificates and Tax Deeds Work

By Julia Kefalinos |

If you own your home or other real estate in Florida, you know that you are required to property taxes each year. Property taxes are normally due on November 1. If they go unpaid, they are considered delinquent on April 1 of the following year. At that point, local tax collectors will conduct what… Read More »

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Can I Get Rid of a Tax Debt in Bankruptcy If I’m Unable to Negotiate a Settlement with the IRS?

By Julia Kefalinos |

A common question many Florida debtors have is, “Can I eliminate income tax debt by filing for bankruptcy?” In some cases, it is in fact possible to obtain a bankruptcy discharge for such debt. But there are a number of conditions imposed by the federal Bankruptcy Code. For instance, the tax debt in question… Read More »

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The Importance of Asserting Your Legal Rights in a Domestic Violence Injunction Proceeding

By Julia Kefalinos |

In Florida, a court may issue a domestic violence injunction upon the petition of a “family or household member” of the subject. Of course, the subject still has certain due process rights that must be observed. For instance, the subject is entitled to a hearing before the court issues any permanent injunction. Appeals Court… Read More »

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Federal Appeals Court Ruling May Allow for Discharge of Some Types of Private Student Loans in Bankruptcy

By Julia Kefalinos |

Student loan debt presents a unique challenge if you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy. Most student loans are considered non-dischargeable in a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case. In other words, even if you successfully complete the bankruptcy process, you still have to pay back the student loans. The bankruptcy court can make… Read More »

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Can a Judge Force You to Wear Restraints During Your Criminal Trial?

By Julia Kefalinos |

When facing criminal charges, you have a constitutional right to be present at your own trial. This right generally includes freedom from physical restraint during any trial proceedings before the jury. In other words, you cannot be handcuffed or shackled in the jury’s presence. The reason for this is obvious: Such an appearance would… Read More »

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How Much Discretion Does a Police Officer Have When Executing a Search Warrant?

By Julia Kefalinos |

The Constitution protects your right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. Among other things, this means that the police cannot take a sample of your blood without either your consent or obtaining a search warrant. The warrant itself can only be issued if a judge finds there is “probable cause” to believe… Read More »

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The Impact of Florida’s Statute of Limitations on Your Creditors

By Julia Kefalinos |

If you have a stack of unpaid bills, you may think that bankruptcy is your only legal option for getting out of debt. This is not always the case. Depending on how old your debts are, they may actually no longer be enforceable under Florida law. Like all states, Florida imposes a statute of… Read More »

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Is Repeatedly “Re-Tagging” Someone on Facebook Considered Cyberstalking?

By Julia Kefalinos |

Cyberstalking is often a component of domestic violence cases. Individuals can use the Internet to harass, threaten, or even terrorize their victims. In many cases, these victims can seek an injunction against cyberstalking under Florida law. At the same time, conduct that is merely annoying or offensive remains constitutionally protected speech under the First… Read More »

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Can My Accuser Raise New Domestic Violence Allegations Against Me in Court?

By Julia Kefalinos |

Domestic violence cases are often emotionally charged affairs. But as with any legal matter, the actual process of requesting a domestic violence injunction requires all parties to observe certain formalities. One of them is the petitioner’s duty to inform the respondent of the charges against them prior to any judicial hearing. Put another way,… Read More »

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Will an Automatic Stay in Bankruptcy Stop the Sale of My House?

By Julia Kefalinos |

One of the key benefits of filing for bankruptcy is the automatic stay. This puts an immediate halt to any debt collection activity on the part of your creditors until the bankruptcy court has a chance to review your petition. This includes any foreclosure proceedings on your home or other real property. A stay… Read More »

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