All posts by Borrus Law

Housing Discrimination: Know Your Rights

Although civil rights laws passed in the 1960’s prohibit housing discrimination, it is still a pernicious practice nationwide. Under the Federal Housing Act (FHA) and The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD), it is illegal to discriminate in the selling, renting, financing of houses, or any other housing-related transaction. The LAD applies to owners, real estate agents, brokers, and employees.

Regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disabilities, nationality, family status, pregnancy, source of income, or marital status, residents have a right to obtain fair housing. Included in the list of persons protected are those with physical or mental disabilities, such as HIV or AIDS. Antidiscrimination legislation also prohibits landlords, sellers, and realtors from claiming a property is unavailable, whether for purchase, rent, or show when it is actually available.

New Jersey State Law also makes it illegal for landlords to refuse to rent to someone based on their source of lawful income, which includes alimony and child support, earned income, social security, and family gifts. Tenants that rely on financial assistance from federal programs are entitled to equal rent. Both federal and state laws outline specific circumstances that constitute as discriminatory behavior. For example, it is illegal for landlords to charge more rent or additional fees for a tenant with a registered guide dog. Landlords cannot refuse rent to families with children, except under certain circumstances.

If you have been a victim of housing discrimination, you can rely on our attorneys to protect your rights. Call Steven Fox today at (732) 422-1000.

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Domestic Violence Can Happen To Anyone

Domestic violence affects individuals in every community, regardless of gender, age, race, nationality, or sexual orientation. Officially speaking, the definition for such is a way for one partner to gain power and control over another through actual or threatened sexual, emotional, physical, or economic abuse. Domestic violence does not have to manifest as physical abuse; psychological abuse can be just as extreme and just as damaging.

If you feel afraid or are being hurt by someone you are close to, you may be a victim of domestic violence. While every situation is different, there are some common warning signs that tend to manifest in most situations where this act has occurred.

Does your partner:

  • Tell you that you can never do anything right?
  • Discourage you from seeing friends and family?
  • Control every penny?
  • Threaten to hurt you?
  • Embarrass you in front of others?
  • Prevent you from working?
  • Destroy your property?
  • Control who you see, what you do, and where you go?

Far too often, domestic violence victims are reluctant to seek assistance. Although you may be afraid or unsure of the legal process, New Jersey law affords you significant protections against the abuse of a household member or other party. If you are the victim of this crime, it’s important to consult an experienced attorney as soon as possible.  Physical or psychological violence is not okay and you should not have to live with it.

Our attorneys can guide you through the court system and help your fears subside. Borrus, Goldin, Foley, Vignuolo, Hyman & Stahl, P.C. is committed to aiding victims of domestic violence and understands the sensitivity needed to handle such matters. Contact attorneys, head of the Family Law Department, to find out more: (732) 422-1000.

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How to Fight to Beat a DWI in New Jersey

Being hit with a DWI charge can be shocking and frustrating. It’s a serious matter that has the potential to negatively affect your life if you are convicted. There are a few things you need to think about once you are charged to help you fight against it.

The first and most important of the elements is time. Taking into consideration how quickly you can be charged and expected in court, it is necessary to take action as soon as possible before you miss out on any potential way to fight it. There is a lot of work required in a short amount of time, which is why you need to seek out an experienced DWI attorney to assist you with your case.

The second most important thing to do is to get the details of your arrest. The papers describing your arrest, the procedures, and the tests done to determine you committed a DWI can contain pertinent information that could help your case. The common tests administered to determine your blood alcohol content are blood, urine, and breathalyzer. An experienced DWI attorney can go through the comprehensive details of your arrest and strategize with you to determine which arguments would be strongest.

Vital mistakes can be made by even the most experienced police officer when conducting a test to determine your blood alcohol content. These errors would likely be found within the report containing the details of your arrest. Even without a mistake made, the prosecution faces evidence hurdles when using those assessments, results make it difficult to even secure the data being admitted. No two cases are ever the same and the personal details of your arrest are important in creating strategies that are not generic, but rather specific to your individual situation.

These two tasks may seem easy, but it’s surprising to see how many people fail to seek the details of their arrest or don’t obtain adequate representation in time. It can be the little things that leave you with fees, fines, jail time, rehab, higher insurance rates, and a record. Do not delay, if you have been charged with a DWI. Attorney Jay Holub has the experience to work with you to find the best course of action in addressing your DWI charge. Call today for a consultation at (732) 422-1000.

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What You Need To Know Before Making Home Improvements

Adding a deck to liven up your backyard or completely renovating your kitchen can give you more enjoyment of your home as well as raise its overall value.  It’s exciting to plan out you property facelift, but before you ask your contractors to start, you need to be aware of a few things first.  If you are thinking about making improvements to your home, here are some things you should think about first.

Permit Requirements

Depending on what improvements you will be making, you may need a building permit. Requirements for such vary from location to location depending on the township. We help individuals and businesses obtain all appropriate land-use approvals to avoid problems with permits, environmental regulations, local zoning ordinances, and construction plans. If you are using a contractor, the building permit should be issued in their name—that way you won’t be held responsible for any problems.

Tax Breaks

The IRS gives homeowners tax breaks for energy-efficient improvements. You may be able to deduct a substantial part of the cost of a solar energy system, residential wind turbines, geothermal heat pumps, or other environmentally friendly improvements.

Choose a Reliable Contractor

Before hiring a contractor, you should check licensing, get several estimates, and understand the contract before you sign it. An unqualified and dishonest contractor can cost you money and cause problems down the road.

Under state law, home improvement contractors are required to register with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs every year to receive a municipal construction permit. Those without a permit are prohibited from performing home improvement work in New Jersey. Your contractor should be able to provide you with their documentation if asked, and if they can’t, look elsewhere.

Improvements May Help Avoid Foreclosure

If you are struggling to pay your mortgage payments and have made significant improvements to your house, refinancing could help you avoid foreclosure. Refinancing can make your monthly payments will be more affordable, but it will take longer to pay off your mortgage.  Major home improvements can significantly increase the market value of your house. As a result, you may qualify for refinancing.

Before you undertake your home improvement project, give James E. Stahl a call at today: (732) 422-1000. We’ll review your contractor contract to ensure that you are protected in your endeavor. Let our professionalism, knowledge and reputation in the community work for you.

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Filing a Discrimination Claim

Did you know that the state provides a broad range of protection for all employees? In New Jersey, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate because of race, creed, religion, color, national origin, physical or mental disability, age, nationality, ancestry, marital status, affectional or sexual orientation, sex, or liability for military service. It is also illegal for an employer to discriminate against matters surrounding genetics.

If you have experienced employer discrimination in the form of any of the above mentioned areas, filing a discrimination claim is the next step. You can file either with the state administrative agency, which is the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR), or the federal administrative agency known as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). It is not necessary to file separately with both agencies, as long as you indicate on your claim that you would like it also filed with the other. While there is no limitation to filing with the DCR, the EEOC requires that your workplace must have 15 or more employees. The major constraint is that the DCR you have only 180 days from the date you allege your employer discriminated against you. The EEOC gives you 300 days.

Consulting an attorney very important, for an experienced legal professional will be able to assess your claim and determine the best course of action. While filing a claim does not require the retention of an attorney you do want to consider it for the best possible outcome.

If one of the administrative agencies accepts your claim, they may resolve your case without requiring you to seek an attorney. Having someone to help guide you through the process and the paperwork can be beneficial. If the agency does not resolve your case, your attorney can take it to the next step. However, if the DCR finds that your claim has ‘no cause’, you are not allowed to go to court for it. This is an important concept to take into account when deciding when to seek legal help. If the EEOC does not resolve the issue, you have to get them to dismiss your case through exhausting your administrative remedy.

In New Jersey, there is no limit to the compensatory or punitive damages, but under federal law, there is a cap. There are equal benefits and drawbacks to filing with the DCR or the EEOC and they should be taken into account before choosing with which agency to file.

After filing with the EEOC, you wait for a document known as the “Dismissal and Notice of Rights” which then allows you to file a case on your claim. It must be filed within 90 days after your receive that document.  If you have filed with the DCR, you must wait 180 days before requesting a similar certificate. The DCR gives you 2 years in to file a claim after receiving the document.

If you are in this situation and need help, call us today at (732) 422-1000.  Attorney Steven Fox has the experience you need to address your discrimination claim.

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Proper Child Support Calculations

The way the court determines how much you have to pay in child support may seem erratic, as if numbers are placed in a hat and a random figure is pulled out to determine your financial requirement. As much as it might appear to be that way, it’s not the case however; the court uses a specific calculation in order to determine how much child support is to be paid.

The first thing the court considers is the classification of the parents. There is the Custodial Parent, who has designated custody of the child. Then there is the Non-Custodial Parent, who does not have custody, but who has the responsibility to support the child. The court looks to determine the percentage of parenting time between the parties. If custody is shared, they focus on how much time the child spends with one parent over the other, or which parent’s home is regarded as the child’s primary residence. If the child spends more than 28% of nights in a year with the other parent, this is considered shared-parenting. If it is less than 28% of nights, the parent spending the most time with the child can claim sole parenting. The gross income of both parents is another important factor. With this information, the court calculates a support payment based on the income of each parent and the average amount of funds that an intact family spends on the child. They also factor the amount of time each parent spends with the child, with those spending less time paying more in financial support.

After determining the parents’ classification under the statute and deciding the fair income of both parties, the court also looks at the taxes and deductions on both sides and determines which deductions are permissible while ordered to pay child support. They usually look at the net income of both parties separately in determining the necessity to spilt the cost of the child in ratio to their respective incomes. For instance, if one parent makes $50,000 and the other parent makes $50,000, each parent would be responsible for 50/50. If one parent makes more than the other does, the share for that parent would be bigger resembling a 60/40 or 70/30 split. The court may find it necessary to consider other expenses, such as health insurance and child care, as factors that could also contribute to the child support order. After all these considerations are made and calculations regarding income are finalized, the court determines an amount for child support that is supposed to not leave one parent too poor.

If you are struggling with paying your current child support order, or if you are seeking help in establishing one, contact attorneys today. With over twenty-five years of experience in Family Law, she can provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the process and help you through hearing. Call today at (732) 422-1000.

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The Importance of the Initial Consultation

Would you consider buying a house before you even look at it? It’s not exactly the wisest decision—and the same goes for hiring an attorney. Without knowing anything about the lawyer, it would be unwise to hire one without understanding exactly what type of legal counsel you may receive. A consultation will help you determine whether the attorney has the experience and the time to handle your matters effectively and efficiently. It will also give them time to hear about your issue and make a decision about whether they will be able to provide you with the assistance you need.

The first step to locating a proper assistance for your matter would be to research local attorneys who have experience in the area of law that is relevant to your issue. Hiring a criminal lawyer for a family law situation will leave you with inexperienced help and unsatisfying results.

Once you have found someone who practices in the relevant case area, call or contact the office and make an appointment at a time that works for you. Make sure you inquire about pricing; some attorneys may provide free consultations, but other may require a fixed fee depending on the circumstances.

For the appointment, make sure you bring all documents that you have related to your issue, including any papers you’ve received from the court. If you are not sure about what you should bring, call the office and ask in order to maximize your time with the attorney. The main purpose of this appointment is for you and your legal counsel to assess each other and the matter at hand to determine the best course of action for the situation.

During the appointment, feel free to ask any questions you may have and do not be afraid to discuss any uncertainties or concerns you might have about the overall situation. Asking about the fees and rates for the attorney’s services is also important to determine whether you can afford hiring him or her. After the appointment, you and the lawyer may want to review any notes taken during and make an evaluation whether or not you feel they will be a good fit for your matter, as well as whether the attorney feels he or she can take on your case.

Without the initial consultation, you may find yourself without competent legal expertise, which may put the outcome of your case in jeopardy. For assistance with your legal problems, no matter the issue, call us at (732) 422-1000. Borrus, Goldin, Foley, Vinguolo, Hyman, and Stahl, P.C., has the legal experience you need to handle your most complex issue efficiently and effectively.

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Marriage Equality For All!

The United States Supreme Court finally reached a favorable decision on June 26, 2015 that granted same-sex couples the right to be legally married throughout all fifty states. This ruling also includes providing all legal rights and benefits afforded to heterosexual couples through the institution of wedlock. This is a great achievement; while many states had individually legalized same-sex marriage before this decision, there were 13 remaining states which had previously denied such rights and are now required to not only allow gay and lesbian couples to wed, but to also recognize partnerships from other districts.

Though it came down to a 5-4 vote of the Justices, the decision to legalize same-sex marriage throughout the country was granted because of the significant ideals that flow from not only the relationship between two people, but also the relationship extending between the laws and the people governed by those statutes. This was the opinion handed down by Justice Anthony Kennedy:

“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”

The state of New Jersey officially legalized same-sex marriage in September 2013, but the news that the rest of the nation has finally followed suit comes with an emotional impact. Now that in every state gay and lesbian couples can be married, they can also avail themselves to different legal services that families and married couples could, including having their marriage recognized out of state. As an experienced Family Law attorney, attorneys is happy to assist every couple who may need help with a Family Law matter. The union of marriage is a sacred entity, and with joy comes the reality that marriages can involve legal issues. For your Family Law matters, give a call today at (732) 422-1000.

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