LANDLORD RELIEF: Evictions Finally Starting Back Up

LANDLORD RELIEF- Now not until June 2!

Residential evictions have been stalled since the governor’s order on April 2.  The original order expired after 45 days, which meant May 18th.  But yesterday, the Governor extended the date so that June 2 will be the first opportunity to file evictions against non-paying residential tenants.

The Supreme Court took an additional step after the original governor’s order and ordered that writs of possession remain suspended.  The jury is still out on if the Supreme Court will be issuing a new order after May 18th so that its order is consistent with the governor’s extension.  As it stands right now, an eviction could be filed on June 2, but the sheriff won’t be assisting with the move-outs of the tenants.

Landlords are likely wise to get the ball rolling, because it’s only a matter of time before the process is up and running at full speed.  Tenants should be aggressively working on reaching agreements for a payment plan or make arraignments to move out.

There are still a few questions regarding if the local administrative order for Miami courts will toll response deadlines for tenants until July.  Like the everything pandemic, don’t be shocked if you are told to keep waiting.

Attorney Matthew Ladd is a criminal and civil litigation attorney who offers landlords assistance with eviction matters.  Call us today for your free phone consultation or send us a message.

Is Your Kid a Criminal?

Would you know if your kid was sexting child porn?

Sexting (by kids and between kids) is illegal in Florida.  If your son or daughter is under 18, add child pornography to the list of things they could be doing that you have no idea about.

A minor commits sexting if “he or she knowingly, uses a computer, or any other device capable of electronic data transmission or distribution, to transmit or distribute to another minor any photograph or video of any person which depicts nudity, as defined in s. 847.001(9), and is harmful to minors, as defined in s. 847.001(6).”

What does the statute mean by “nudity” that is “harmful to minors”?  The short answer is pretty much any picture involving underage nudity other than breastfeeding. Stated differently, pretty much any sext between minors is illegal.

For example, if two kids (under 18 years-old) engaged in a high school romance exchange explicit pictures of each other, they shouldn’t be charged as felons, at least not right away if they are caught.  The first “sext” is a noncriminal violation (like a speeding ticket).  The second one is a misdemeanor that could involve jail (or secured detention in juvenile court).  If they are found to have committed the same offense for a third time, they could be looking at a third-degree felony (up to five years of prison).  It is really easy to get hit with multiple charges because the pictures aren’t likely discovered or brought to the attention of police right away.  That means three separate instances over the course of three separate days could wind up as a felony.

Here’s where the law gets tricky.  It’s a defense to possession of a nude child photograph if the recipient child 1) did not solicit the photograph or video, 2) took “reasonable steps” to report the photograph or video to the minor’s legal guardian or to a school or law enforcement official, and 3) the minor did not transmit or distribute the photograph or video to a third party.

It makes sense that the law has an “out” for people that unwittingly receive something they never asked for, but the law places the additional burden of involving other people to “report” the receipt of the contraband.

Reports to police can come from anywhere, often the other kid’s parents, teachers, or other students.  As always, when the police come knocking, remember anyone (even kids) that are accused of a crime have the right to remain silent.   Confessing is usually the worst thing anyone can do.  Police can even question your kid without a parent present.  It’s best to get legal advice to assess the strength of the government’s case and determine the next step before waiving any rights or admitting to what could be a felony.

An ounce of prevention can help you avoid the whole ordeal.  There are a variety of companies that offer services to monitor your kids’ cyber-activity. Every service has its limitations.  I recommend that you do a little research and find the one that is right for you.  Keeping your children out of juvenile court and off the sex offender registry is worth every cent.

Here’s a link that I found that compares the different services.

Matthew E. Ladd, Esq. is a criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor licensed in Florida.  Nothing contained in this post should be considered formal legal advice or the formation of an attorney-client relationship.  Call Attorney Matthew Ladd for more information on how you can protect your children accused of any crime at 305-665-3978.

Evicting tenants is harder during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Landlords have been calling in at a pretty steady rate asking what can be done about tenants who aren’t paying their rent during the state of emergency caused by the coronavirus.

On April 2, 2020, Florida’s governor issued an order (20-94) to: “[S]uspend and toll any statute providing for an eviction cause of action under Florida law solely as it relates to non-payment of rent by residential tenants due to the COVID-19 emergency for 45 days from the date of this Executive Order, including any extensions.”

That was great news for tenants, but very bad news for landlords.  Tenants should beware that the governor didn’t state that rent was waived.  Landlords are just stopped from filing the eviction lawsuit until the order expires.

The 45 days expire on May 17 assuming it isn’t extended by another order.  In Miami-Dade, we can expect the delay to cause a greater backlog to the already slow process.  However, tenants know that they still owe the rent due for every day they live or otherwise possess the rented property or as set forth in the lease.

It’s a good idea to work with the tenants to accept partial payments and spread any deficiencies out over the balance of the lease or next lease term.  It’s also a good idea to accept the deposit in lieu of further payments if the tenants agree to move-out.  (Remember to always give a receipt with the balance reflected when partial payments are made).  Tenants aren’t going to want to have an eviction on their records when they go to rent elsewhere, and landlords are likely going to have a tough time finding tenants with steady jobs for the rest of the year.

Tenants should be advised to move out before they incur more debt that they can’t afford and to move in with family or friends where possible.  Landlords should also consider allowing additional income earners to move-in and share the bill as co-tenants (and make them sign leases).

I generally advise that as soon as a tenant is late, send a three-day notice.  I still recommend sending the 3-day notice that rent is late, but the three days probably won’t start until May 17 or whenever the executive order expires.  Once the period set forth in the executive order expires and assuming it isn’t extended, the court is likely to accept new eviction cases absent some other order that specifies our courts remain closed.

We have a great track record on handling evictions and charge an initial fee of $300 (flat-fee plus costs) for the 3-day notice of late rent for residential evictions handled by myself, Matthew Ladd, a Florida Bar Licensed Attorney.  We need to review the lease if you have one, the payment history, confirm the amount due, and then we can send the notice. If the tenant doesn’t pay you after the notice is served, the amount paid will be applied to the future attorney services related to filing the eviction lawsuit (generally another $300 plus costs).  Our client meetings are being handled remotely via Facetime, Skype, WhatsApp, or just over the phone.  Documents can be emailed to MattLadd@MLLawMiami.com.

Call Matthew E. Ladd today, 305-665-3978 to get started or to set up an appointment.

This blog is provided for informational purposes and should not be considered legal advice or the formation of the attorney/ client relationship.        

Uber & Lyft Rideshare Accidents in Miami

Rideshare Accidents

Miami’s streets are some of the most hazardous in the United States and several automobile collisions happen every day.  Many of these car crashes involve rideshare applications like Lyft or Uber, their chauffeurs, and the commuters on their journey.  Not only do accidents cause bodily damage and psychological torment, but the anxiety of dealing with the individuals in a rideshare accident also adds a new layer of burden to already upsetting circumstances. Under these conditions, it’s imperative to know what to do if you or a loved one is hurt due to someone else’s negligence.  An experienced personal injury attorney can ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for your damages if your Lyft or Uber driver gets into an auto accident while you are a passenger on its way to your destination.

The Law Offices of Matthew Ladd, Coral Gables, handles personal injury cases involving rideshare accidents.

Uber and Lyft rideshare collisions can cause a variety of complications, from bodily pain to debt, regardless of the intensity of the impact.  You need to be certain that those responsible will be held accountable for any difficulties you face. Some injuries and other consequences may not be seen or felt instantly, so it’s important to make sure you get proper medical care and personal injury legal representation to circumvent any delays when pursuing your claim.

Florida law obligates rideshare companies to have insurance covering their drivers for up to $50,000 in injury liability, $100,000 for total liability, and $25,000 for property damage before they are even matched with a passenger.  Once paired, there is up to $1,000,000 in coverage per accident. This makes certain that anybody under- or uninsured is covered and the financial needs of those not at fault after the incident can be met.

Riders, as well as drivers of rideshare apps involved in car accidents, need solid and knowledgeable representation when in search of a personal injury claim.  A lawyer skilled with this procedure can ease the inquiry into liability, acquire the correct documentation to pursue a lawsuit, negotiate a settlement, all while dealing with insurance companies.  Chasing an adjuster without an attorney is a critical error that can affect you on various levels. Insurance and rideshare businesses are crafty, looking only after their best interests, not yours. Instead, they will try to lessen your claim and pay as little as possible for your injuries and losses.

Therefore, it is critical to have an experienced personal injury advocate who can pursue your claim, negotiate a settlement, file a lawsuit and go to trial.  The insurance companies know that The Law Offices of Matthew Ladd, Coral Gables, is a firm that loves to litigate and always seeks full recompense for their client’s claims.

Locating the correct attorney to take an Uber or Lyft personal injury case is critical to the process.  Confirm that your lawyer takes cases to court and ask how they settle claims prior to trial. All big insurance companies are aware of which advocates file proceedings, and which merely seek payments.  Those firms that don’t regularly file personal injury lawsuits receive lower offers for their clientele because the insurance companies know they don’t have to pay their claim’s full value.

For more information regarding Lyft or Uber accidents, The Law Offices of Matt E. Ladd, Coral Gables, is a full-service law firm assisting those in need of criminal or civil representation in both State and Federal Courts throughout Florida.

Call us at (305) 665-3978 or click here to send us a message and a delegate will be in contact for your free consultation.

Traffic And DUI

Aggressive defense. Fight back against illegal arrests, unlawful pull-overs, and false breath readings.
Administrative reviews must be requested within 10 days of the arrest.

A conviction for drinking and driving beyond the legal limit can result in jail time, but the courts will most often allow you to plea to the mandatory minimum sentence and walk away with little more than probation, community service, and fines. Navigating your way to avoid jail time and to save on fines and penalties can be confusing. Not to mention, you may have defenses available that could keep you from being convicted altogether. Aggressive representation can improve your chances of getting the charges dropped completely or reduced to a lesser charge like reckless driving. Don’t take a plea without understanding the strength of your case and knowing your options. Call today for a complimentary consultation.

Finding a lawyer can be a really difficult experience and making sure that the rates you pay are fair can be even harder. I am a former Miami-Dade Assistant State Attorney. After retiring from the prosecutor’s office I accepted a position in the Florida House of Representatives where I worked on the creation of various laws related to criminal justice. You can rest assured that the advice I give and the rates I charge are intended to help you and not exploit your situation.

We have an attorney on-call 24/7 to answer your phone calls and assess your situation. Obtaining legal counsel at the earliest possible opportunity allows you to protect your rights and begin building your defense with all the available options. Call today or submit your information below and one or out attorneys will contact you.

Flat-Rate Evictions

Flat-Rate Civil Litigation

Sometimes victims are entitled to compensation even if no crime was committed.  Accidents occur all the time, usually without malicious intent, but that doesn’t mean you’re not suffering because of someone else’s negligence.  

It’s difficult to fully grasp your rights when falling into these circumstances, but Matt Ladd and associates are proficient civil litigators, putting the odds of recompense in your favor.  

Serious Injuries & Maximum Compensation

We work to get maximum compensation for serious injuries. Our case selection process allows us to sift through the crowd and only focus on getting our selected clients the maximum recovery when they or their loved ones are severely injured, disabled, assaulted, or killed.

Has your injury left you in pain and prolonged suffering? Does the injury prevent you from returning to work right away or prevent you from picking up your kids or grandchildren like you could before?

When you can’t do the things you did before, without the pain and suffering caused from someone else’s disregard, you need an attorney by your side. Our practice is not a factory or a volume practice. We do not settle cases for peanuts. We work for the maximum compensation.

If you or a loved one has suffered:

 

  • Medical Malpractice
  • Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse
  • Serious Auto Accidents
  • Workplace Injuries
  • Wrongful Death
  • Slip and Fall
  • Malicious Prosecution
  • False Accusations
  • Assault
  • Sexual Assault
  • Injury due to someone’s failure to provide security

 

Call us today for a consultation. Our case review is free. Our consultation is free. Having us on your side is PRICELESS. Call us today 305-665-3978.

If you aren’t suffering from an injury that has severely altered your life, then we’re not the attorneys for you. We pride ourselves in offering excellent service to a limited number of clients that are in genuine need of our clients-are-like-family treatment. However, we are happy to offer you a free consultation and possibly help you find an attorney that is right for your case.

The Law Offices of Matt E. Ladd, Coral Gables, is a full-service boutique law firm assisting those in need of criminal or civil representation in both State and Federal Courts throughout Florida.

Call us at (305) 665-3978 or click here to send us a message and a delegate will be in contact for your free consultation.

Flat Rate Civil Litigation

Flat-Rate Civil Litigation

Sometimes victims are entitled to compensation even if no crime was committed.  Accidents occur all the time, usually without malicious intent, but that doesn’t mean you’re not suffering because of someone else’s negligence.  

It’s difficult to fully grasp your rights when falling into these circumstances, but Matt Ladd and associates are proficient civil litigators, putting the odds of recompense in your favor.  

Serious Injuries & Maximum Compensation

We work to get maximum compensation for serious injuries. Our case selection process allows us to sift through the crowd and only focus on getting our selected clients the maximum recovery when they or their loved ones are severely injured, disabled, assaulted, or killed.

Has your injury left you in pain and prolonged suffering? Does the injury prevent you from returning to work right away or prevent you from picking up your kids or grandchildren like you could before?

When you can’t do the things you did before, without the pain and suffering caused from someone else’s disregard, you need an attorney by your side. Our practice is not a factory or a volume practice. We do not settle cases for peanuts. We work for the maximum compensation.

If you or a loved one has suffered:

 

  • Medical Malpractice
  • Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse
  • Serious Auto Accidents
  • Workplace Injuries
  • Wrongful Death
  • Slip and Fall
  • Malicious Prosecution
  • False Accusations
  • Assault
  • Sexual Assault
  • Injury due to someone’s failure to provide security

 

Call us today for a consultation. Our case review is free. Our consultation is free. Having us on your side is PRICELESS. Call us today 305-665-3978.

If you aren’t suffering from an injury that has severely altered your life, then we’re not the attorneys for you. We pride ourselves in offering excellent service to a limited number of clients that are in genuine need of our clients-are-like-family treatment. However, we are happy to offer you a free consultation and possibly help you find an attorney that is right for your case.

The Law Offices of Matt E. Ladd, Coral Gables, is a full-service law firm assisting those in need of criminal or civil representation in both State and Federal Courts throughout Florida.

Call us at (305) 665-3978 or click here to send us a message and a delegate will be in contact for your free consultation.

 

 

Hate Crimes are Criminal Actions Intended to Harm or Intimidate People

Hate crimes are criminal actions intended to harm or intimidate people because of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, or other minority group status. They are also referred to as bias crimes. Last October, a gay couple went to Burger King located in South Beach, Fl. Raymond Ortega, a gay bartender, and Toni Llerena, a transgender woman, were eating when an employee ordered them to leave and called them “f—ing faggots.” When they protested, a security guard repeated the slur, sprayed Ortega with mace and beat him, busting his jaw and seriously injuring his knee, they say.

The two have now filed a lawsuit against Burger King over the October incident, which left Ortega walking with a limp and with more than $10,000 in dental bills. Their lawyers, Matthew Ladd and Robert Pelier, say once Burger King reveals the names of the employee and the security guard, they plan to report the attack to Miami-Dade prosecutors. Authorities do file charges under Florida’s hate-crime law. Ladd said the Miami-based restaurant chain has surveillance video of the attack. “These two are going to get justice,” Ladd said of his clients. “We are going to hold everyone accountable.”

SANTA NEEDS A LAWYER AND SHOULD TAKE THE FIFTH

According to the next of kin, “Grandma” was “found at the scene of the attack on Christmas morning. She had hoof-prints on her forehead, and incriminating Claus marks on her back”.

They seem certain that she was run over by a reindeer.  It is only a matter of time before detectives will want to speak to the only person who owns reindeer and uses them as his primary means of transportation.  “The Claus marks on her back” could well be something that is unique only to Mr. Kringle.

If the attack happened in Florida, Santa is facing a maximum 30 years in prison!  It seems he left the scene of an accident and will likely be accused of causing her death.

Traffic laws apply to animals being used as transportation just like if they are cars (316.073).  If Santa failed to leave his contact information he’s looking at a four-year minimum mandatory sentence and a three-year license suspension in addition to a maximum 30 years in prison.

Don’t lose the Christmas spirit yet.   The case hinges on the State being able to prove who was actually driving the reindeer that night.  Was it Santa?  Did they just get loose? Was it an elf or anyone else?   It doesn’t seem that anyone actually saw it happen, they just assumed.

If Santa is questioned and admits to driving- or the police think he was the driver- he will be arrested and may not be allowed to bail out since he is a foreign national of the North Pole (a country which the United States does not have any diplomatic relations or the ability to extradite).

Santa has nothing to gain from talking and should definitely take the Fifth.  He has the right to remain silent, let’s just hope he has the ability!

Assuming he was driving and did run over Grandma, there’s still hope with the right defense.  The State has to prove that he actually killed Grandma beyond a reasonable doubt.  With the cold temperature, a medical examiner is going to have a lot of trouble determining the time of death.

It’s not such a stretch to wonder if Grandma staggered outside side (apparently after too much spiked eggnog), collapsed, and froze to death.  If Grandma was already dead, Santa didn’t cause her death.  That reason to wonder is reason to doubt and a jury can’t find him guilty.

The lesson: with the right defense Christmas can be saved!

The Lyrics:

Grandma got run over by a reindeer
Walking home from our house Christmas eve
You can say there’s no such thing as Santa
But as for me and grandpa we believe
She’d been drinking too much eggnog
And we begged her not to go
But she forgot her medication
And she staggered out the door into the snow
When we found her Christmas morning
At the scene of the attack
She had hoof-prints on her forehead
And incriminating Claus marks on her back
Grandma got run over by a reindeer
Walking home from our house Christmas eve
You can say there’s no such thing as Santa
But as for me and grandpa we believe
Now we’re all so proud of grandpa
He’s been taking this so well
See him in there watching football
Drinking beer and playing cards with cousin Mel
It’s not Christmas without Grandma
All the family’s dressed in black
And we just can’t help but wonder
Should we open up her gifts
Or send them back (send them back)
Grandma got run over by a reindeer
Walking home from our house Christmas eve
You can say there’s no such thing as Santa
But as for me and grandpa we believe
Now the goose is on the table
And the pudding made of fig
And the blue and silver candles
That would just have matched the hair on grandma’s wig
I’ve warned all my friends and neighbors
Better watch out for yourselves
They should never give a license
To a man who drives a sleigh
And plays with elves
Grandma got run over by a reindeer
Walking home from our house Christmas eve
You can say there’s no such thing as Santa
But as for me and grandpa we believe
Singin’ grandpa
Grandma got run over by a reindeer
Walking home from our house Christmas eve
You can say there’s no such thing as Santa
But as for me and grandpa we believe
Merry Christmas
Songwriters: Randy Brooks

Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer lyrics © BMG Rights Management

Flat Rate Evictions

Flat Rate Evictions

We offer flat-rate eviction services for landlords that needed to start their evictions yesterday. The process of eviction takes attention to detail and needs to be done right or risk being fined for a wrongful eviction.

For our reasonable flat-rate attorney’s fee of $500 we start the process by sending the required three-day notice. If the tenant isn’t out or doesn’t pay within the three-days we file the complaint and serve it with our private process servers. Generally, our process servers get the complaints served within 24 hours.

From there, the tenants have five days to move, pay, or we get the court order to force them out with the sheriff. Get started now before they owe you another day of unpaid rent!

Call today 305-665-3978.

*Amounts don’t reflect court filing fees, process server fees, and other associated costs. The typical eviction costs between $500-$750 with costs. Amounts discussed herein relate to actions for possession only. Pursuit of unpaid rent, after obtaining possession, is optional and may be performed on an hourly or contingency basis. Nothing contained herein should be considered legal advice and does not form the basis for an attorney-client relationship. Call today to inquire.