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Questions answered by Mr Craig Brownell    (Expert Rank: 8713) Member has an expert rating of 100+
 

The gold fringe you see on what you think is the American flag in our American courtrooms today indicates that the court is practicing military jurisdiction because that flag is the admiralty flag, not the American flag. How do you challenge the jurisdiction or get them to take the flag down?

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Question found in Legal In General
You would be well-advised not to raise the issue if you are a participant in an action before that court.

It has been my experience that challenging the authority of the court on moot issues is not conducive to continued freedom. Contempt is an ugly word. Jail is uglier.

You are, of course, ABSOLUTELY correct, but only as an extreme technicality. The fringe issue is archaic. Most likely, the flag is displayed simply because it was deemed ornamental.

If you SIMPLY MUST speak, I would suggest a GRACIOUS ex parte letter to the jurist.

Personally, I would ignore it as if it were a zit on the end of hizzoner's ugly nose and simply bid him/her "Good day."

If you must bring it up on appeal, go ahead. Be prepared to have your issue totally ignored. This is not the 19th Century.

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Since the IRS's own code defines "individual income" as income from individuals who work or live on government land, work for the government, or legalized aliens only, then why are the rest of us paying individual income tax?

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Question found in Taxes
This is due to a "small inconvenience" ratified back around 1913:

Amendment XVI

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several states, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

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Discussion:

It wasn't ratified by enough states. It's not legal.

I live in Portland Oregon in Multnomah County. What are my options if a Statute gives me a right and the judge fails to enforce it? Specifically, in family law, there is a statute that states that the noncustodial parent may have the court set aside their child support if the custodial parent refuses to allow court ordered visitation. Everyone says that visitation and support are not tied together but the statute says differently.

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Question found in Family Law
The statute says that the non-custodial parent MAY request the court set aside support. This does not obligate the court to comply with your request.

In most cases, courts will not set aside or reserve child support unless there is a clear case of the custodial parent not providing for the best interests of the child. Courts have VERY WIDE latitude on this issue. If there is a serious problem, custody will be reopened.

If you are being denied visitation, document the facts and bring a complaint. It is a separate matter. Do not stop writing checks on account of visitation problems.

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Why do people who sell things on eBay not get taxed?

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Question found in Accountancy/Accounting
I sell on eBay. I collect/pay Sales Taxes on some of the transactions and pay income taxes on the profits that are not used for deductible expenses.

My business is located in Minnesota. If the purchaser is a Minnesota resident, I charge MN Sales & Use Tax on the transaction and pay that amount to the state.

If my customer is not in Minnesota and I do not have a "substantial business presence" (building, office, etc.) in their state, I am not required to charge or pay taxes on the transaction. Some states are developing Sales Tax reciprocity agreements so interstate transactions become taxable. That is, if Minnesota and Wisconsin had such an agreement, I will collect and pay Wisconsin Sales Taxes for transactions with customers in Wisconsin. Minnesota has no such agreements at this time.

This is a knotty problem because many states have enough trouble enforcing collection/payment of these taxes in their state. Attempting to enforce their tax laws out of state is very difficult. Minnesota gets around this by taxing the purchaser.

Most folks don't know about this and it is rarely enforced, but if you live in Minnesota and buy from a business located in another state, you are supposed to file a Sales & Use Tax return and pay the Sales Taxes yourself. While this law is on the books, enforcement is extraordinarily difficult, explaining why few even know about it.

A private seller (non-business) selling personal property is not generally required to collect/pay Sales Taxes or pay income taxes on the transaction.

Many eBay business sellers attempt to appear as private parties to avoid taxes. If caught, the penalties can be quite severe and their business is likely to fold. If a seller is evading (not avoiding) taxes, they are unethical and their other business practices should be suspect as well. When they spot trouble, they will fold up their tent, move over a few feet and reappear as if someone else.

Some people work very hard to avoid work.

Ethical business practices are work, but you don't have to remember any lies or keep moving to avoid "the man".

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Is it illegal to order medications online?

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Question found in Legal Other
It depends on what you are ordering, where the supplier is located relative to you and whether or not a doctor's prescription is required.

I would be careful of the source. Some scam artists are counterfeiting medications (including OTC) and you have little or no legal recourse.

I order all of my family's prescription medications online, but it is from our own HMO's web site and they are located in our state.

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If you have a loan through a plan b company like VFC for a vehicle and you cant afford it no more and you either have a voluntary repossession or just that they repossess it, can they garnish your wages after the fact in order to retrieve their money or would it just go to collections?

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Question found in Legal Other
Assuming U.S., if there is a balance remaining after the finance company repossesses (voluntarily or not) the vehicle and sells it, you can be held liable for any remaining balance plus the administrative and legal costs of recovery. Your finance contract will spell out the terms.

If the contract confesses judgment, no court order will be required and they can begin the recovery process immediately, including garnishment of wages, seizure of bank accounts, real or personal property, etc. This will usually require a "Writ of Execution" to be served on the assets or a garnishment served upon your employer.

If there is no "confession of judgment" language in your contract, they will have to litigate (sue) to obtain a judgment. If they win, they may then begin the recovery process.

Reasonably, they will probably approach you for payment first. If you do not comply, they may refer it to a collection agency. Failing that, expect a trip to court.

I would suggest that you really try to find a way to get the account back on good terms, even if you have to sacrifice some personal financial comfort. It is much easier and far less stressful than the alternatives.

Good luck.

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What are the responsibilities of an administrator of an estate?

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Question found in Legal Other
Generally, the Administrator (sometimes called the Executor) is required to dispose of the decedent's property (real and personal) in accordance with the specifications in the Will and any codicils (supplements to the Will).

They have a "Fiduciary Responsibility" to the estate and will sometimes be required to post a bond covering their actions.

They generally have the decedent's Power of Attorney to sell, give away and otherwise dispose of the decedent's property as if they were the decedent, in accordance with the terms of the Will.

This is all general. Check the probate laws (assuming U.S.) in your state for particulars.

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Quelle est la qestion qu'on vous a posé dont vous avez mis le plus de temps à répondre?

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Question found in Miscellaneous
Le chauffage global est-il vrai?

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What action should be taken if you are sexually harassed?

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Question found in Human Rights
It depends on the circumstances and the legal jurisdiction.

Reason should prevail. If you simply overheard something not meant for your ears and decided that it's harassment, reconsider. Physical sexual contact is another matter and most likely requires immediate attention.

Even an unwelcome touch on the arm by someone of the opposite gender (or orientation) could be sexual harassment. Again, though, be reasonable. Consider the apparent intentions of the actor. These factors will be important if you wish to pursue this as an official complaint and/or legal action. We are human beings. We make jokes, touch (appropriately), engage in gossip and all manner of activities that could be seen differently by different people.

That said, if it occurred in the workplace and the advance (joke, comment, rumor or physical contact) was plainly "sexual harassment", it should be brought to the attention of your immediate superior. If that results in no action, take it a step higher. To the top, if necessary. Employers (in the U.S., especially) are largely extremely sensitive to this issue and should take immediate steps to INVESTIGATE the allegations. Note, they are required to investigate. This does not presume your claim to be true or false. It should approach the problem with an open mind.

If the situation is ongoing and/or serious in nature and your employer is less than enthusiastic, call the local police if it rises to criminal nature (fondling, etc.). If the activity is criminal and the police become involved, your employer will definitely be more motivated to help resolve it.

This is a serious issue. I do not mean to make light of it. However, you have to be certain that the activity rises to the level of harassment before you begin calling in investigative authorities. You also must have a CLEAR idea of what happened, who(m) was involved and be able to articulate the problem clearly. I have seen many investigations go sour simply because the best the accuser could come up with was, "I knew it was wrong, but I don't recall exactly what happened or who was there."

I know several people who were acquitted and exonerated after lengthy court battles and/or employer investigations. Too late, though. The damage to their reputations was already done. In the eyes of bystanders, to be accused is to be guilty.

Be certain of your facts and make your complaint.

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Every morning I wake up with lower back pain. I carry a heavy back-pack around for work, which I carry in the correct way. The pain lasts all day but generally gets better as the day goes on. Most noticeable first thing in the morning.

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Question found in Chiropractic & Osteopathy
Try sleeping on a firm mattress on your side with your knees drawn up, a semi-fetal position, with a pillow between your knees.

This will align your spine better and hold your pelvis in better alignment with your spine. You are probably stressing ligaments overnight resulting in your pain on awakening. During the day, they limber up from movement.

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