Category: Florida Law Blog

Florida Baker Act Statute

Florida Baker Act Statute

Florida Baker Act Statute, Florida Baker Act

The two primary statutes within the Mental Health laws of Florida, which govern what we call the Florida Baker Act, are 394.463, and 394.467. These are the Florida Baker Act Statutes. As is often the case, I enjoy delving into the statutes to provide insight into the purpose and meaning behind statutory construction and the practical aspects of how the laws work in real life terms.

F.S. 394.463 is about involuntary examination. This sort of involuntary exam occurs with minors (children under 18) and with adults (people of eighteen years of age and older). A law enforcement officer, or a qualified physician also have the right to bring a person to a treatment facility for diagnosis and possible treatment. The person is brought to a medical facility such as Lifestream, which is open 24-7 to accommodate situations where suicidal thoughts or actions, or substance abuse have overwhelmed a person to the point where their friends, teachers, loved ones, coworkers, etc., believe that the person needs professional psychiatric attention imminently.

Pursuant to the Statute, involuntary examination occurs only after the person/patient has refused to undergo voluntary evaluation and has been informed of the purpose of such an exam. This is done as a sort of informed consent, even though no consent is actually provided. Facilities such as Lifestream, team with a multitude of community organizations to provide the greatest outreach possibly to those affected.

A circuit or a county court may enter an ex parte order granting the psychological evaluation of a person who exhibits suicidal tendencies. Perhaps the most critical phrase within the Statute is that a person will be evaluated if he or she “present threat of substantial harm to his or her well-being.”

Florida Baker Act

The standard for the court to find a person should receive involuntary “inpatient” treatment is clear and convincing evidence. This standard more often than not, allows for the court to place a person in desperate need of help into a treatment facility. The court must find by clear and convincing evidence, that the person to be admitted cannot survive on their own, even with the help of friends and family. therefore, unless the person receives treatment, he/she will harm him or herself or others. Any less restrictive treatment option must be deemed unhelpful or unwise when taking into consideration the level of physycal harm that the person is capable of. As with the Florida Marchman Act petition, if an administrator of an inpatient facility files with the court to have the patient committed, after the investigation reveals a true risk of harm, they may petition the court. The alleged suicidal defendant is entitled to legal representation from the public defender’s office, or to private counsel. Moreover, a judicial officer must be present at the Bar Act hearing because of the potentially massive curtailment of the defendant’s rights. Doe v. State, 217 So. 3d 1020 (Fla. 2017). Doe is a 2017 Florida Supreme Court case that takes a n in depth look at the Florida Baker Act Statute. A hearing is held in which ONLY the doctors or administrators that petitioned for the defendant’s inpatient treatment may testify. To preserve the defendant’s constitutional rights, he/she may ask the court for an independent medical examination.

In Doe, the Florida Supreme Court further stated that “individuals subject to the Baker Act are among the most vulnerable in our society. [therefore] The Baker Act has built-in constitutional safeguards, including the requirement that hearings be conducted at the institution where the patient is placed and in a manner not likely to be injurious to the patient’s condition. Id. at 1025.

Florida Baker Act Statute Resources

The Florida Department of Children and Families offers a great deal of helpful information regarding the Florida Baker Act. The process is a challenging for all parties involved because of the severity of the charges, and the potential consequences of both allowing the potential problem to continue, or involuntarily committing a person unwilling to accept treatment. Not all defendants require Baker Acting, and many that should be treated for 90 or more days will not go voluntarily. To be Baker Acted is a serious curtailment of a person’s liberty. Those petitioning for another person to be committed should have a strong belief in the danger to that person and to those around them. This is not to be used simply to remove a person from their environment. The threat and the danger should be real. The Florida Baker Act Statute exists to help those in greatest need.

A recent statistical report released per the Florida Department of Children and Families via the Baker Act Reporting Center has revealed a sharp increase in Baker Acting in the past few years. The number of people getting help is trending upward. For help with your civil litigation needs, call the Jacobs Law Firm today at (407) 310-5636.

Florida Timeshare Cancellation

Florida Timeshare Cancellation

Florida Timeshare Cancellation Attorney: How Does Florida Timeshare Cancellation Work?

You have heard the sales pitch, you have seen the wonderful photographs of resorts, and you want to be a timeshare owner. A few days later, for one reason or another, you have changed your mind. This happens with buyers more often than you would think. What can you do to get out of your timeshare contract? Florida provides a reasonable and lawful rescission process based on statutory law. Buyer’s remorse occurs in many cases. This is why built into each valid timeshare contract is a notice of your right to rescission of the timeshare contract/agreement. A statutory right of rescission is a legal guarantee, that if you follow the law completely, and do not cause a breach of contract, you may have a right to cancel your contract within the time provided for by statute and/or contract.Jonathan Jacobs is a Florida Timeshare Cancellation Attorney ready to help you with your timeshare cancellation. We hope this blog article provides you with some clarity by answering a frequently asked question, “how does Florida timeshare cancellation work?”

Florida timeshare cancellation is becoming a massive business. This is because the sales tactics utilized during timeshare presentations are often quite convincing and attractive to timeshare buyers, but in the aftermath, it is not uncommon for timeshare buyers to quickly feel regret for having entered into a timeshare agreement. Maybe it is the terms of the agreement that buyers find to be unappealing, or perhaps it is the overall purchase price and terms that convince them to choose to rescind their contract. Most often, as a Florida Timeshare Cancellation Attorney , my clients inform me that they might not have obtained all of the benefits and resort availability they had anticipated they would in light of the amount of money they have paid, and/or are scheduled to pay the timeshare company or developer. As a consequence, they want to void the timeshare contract. Florida Timeshare Cancellation works based on the relevant Florida Statute as written by the Florida Legislature to offer consumers a measure of protection. Jonathan Jacobs is a Florida Timeshare Cancellation Attorney.

 Timeshare Cancellation Attorney in Florida

How Long do I have to Cancel My Timeshare Contract in Florida?

To answer the question of “how long do I have to cancel my timeshare contract in Florida,” I refer you to Florida Timeshare Cancellation Statute 721.06(g)(3), which offers a statutory method purchasers may use for Florida timeshare cancellation. Although not every attempt at cancellation runs smoothly, and many are contested, the Florida Timeshare Cancellation Statute clearly provides that buyers the opportunity to cancel their timeshare contract(s) within ten (10) days. This ten day window for cancellation begins either when the purchaser signs the timeshare agreement, or when all statutorily required documents are given to the purchaser in accordance with Florida Statute 721.07(6). The clock on cancellation begins ticking after the signature is made or the mandatory documents are provided to the purchaser, whichever event comes later. This is one reason for which timeshare contracts often allow for notice of rescission, or Florida timeshare cancellation to be effective when sent, not when received. If this policy were reversed, there could be enough ambiguity to lead to unnecessary litigation. To cancel, the seller and developer (often the same party or organization) must be notified in writing within the ten day window of the purchaser’s intent to cancel. The Jacobs Law Firm does this for clients. If you would like our legal advice, for us to prepare and send a notice of timeshare cancellation on your behalf, we will be available for you ASAP. Remember that in this circumstance, time is of the essence. It is important to send out notice of cancellation prior to the expiration of your ten day statutory grace period. The manner in which you send out notice is an issue we will discuss as well.

 Florida Timeshare Cancellation Statute

There are many expert law firms in Florida that handle Florida timeshare cancellation for their clients. The Jacobs Law Firm generally handles rescission for its clients within the time allowed for by Statute. Jonathan Jacobs is a Florida Timeshare Cancellation Attorney that works tirelessly on behalf of his clients. We encourage you to call or e-mail us with any questions you may have. Your initial consultation is absolutely free. Speaking with a lawyer will allow you to decide if you need a timeshare cancellation attorney. Remember, that the answer to the all-important question of “How Long do I have to Cancel My Timeshare Contract in Florida?” is generally ten days as provided for by Statute, but you should read the terms of your timeshare contract before relying exclusively on the Statute. Welcome to our Law Firm!

Florida Timeshare Cancellation Statute

The Jacobs Law Firm offers a wide variety of legal services for our clients throughout the State of Florida. For example, many of our clients have family law legal issues. Family law legal issues include asset distribution, alimony, child custody, child support, and domestic violence. Other clients need to have a will and/or trusts created to protect their assets. Some of our clients are involved in litigation for issues such as commercial or residential lease problems, small claims issues, eviction, Marchman and Baker Act petitions, and more. Similar to Florida Timeshare cancellation, many of these issues are best resolved with the help of an attorney. Reading, analyzing, and evaluating contracts is a skill that the Jacobs Law Firm provides for you. Call us any time for a free consultation.

Marchman Act Attorney Orlando

Marchman Act Attorney Orlando

Florida Marchman Act Admissions | Marchman Act Attorney Orlando

Florida Marchman Act Admissions into treatment can be both voluntary or involuntary. This means that a person who recognizes their abuse problems can agree to be admitted to a substance abuse program with a qualified/authorized substance abuse rehabilitation service provider (best case scenario). An involuntary Marchman Act admission occurs when the court has a good faith (common and highly meaningful legal language) belief that the person to be committed/Marchman acted, is no longer able to control him/herself, and poses a danger to him/herself or others as a likely result of said substance abuse. An involuntary Marchman act admission does not provide substantial guarantees of success. This is because, depending on the County, the defendant being committed might not be treated by detoxification for more than 5-7 days at most. Involuntary commitment under Marchman is a temporary situation, and is intended primarily to provide detox. Once the involuntary commitment is done, it is then up to the person receiving treatment to decide to volunarily enter into a rehabilitation program, or to further regress into addiction or abuse. Jonathan Jacobs is a Marchman Act Attorney Orlando. If you read further, we will discuss the Florida Marchman Act Statute, and answer “what is the difference between the Marchman Act and the Baker Act?”

What is the difference between the Marchman Act and the Baker Act

What is the difference between the Marchman Act and the Baker Act?

What is the difference between the Marchman Act and the Baker Act? Asking the court to Marchman Act an individual is a serious issue, but one of a different categorization and perhaps a different purpose. If you have never heard of the Florida Marchman Act before, or if you are hearing about it for the first time, it is likely you are being Marchman Acted or are looking to Marchman Act someone you care about because of their alleged substance abuse issues. This brings us to a massive question that people ask frequently of lawyers: What is the difference between the Marchman Act and the Baker Act? The Baker act is designed to treat people that pose a threat to themselves by way of self-harm or suicide, and/or to other people because of a mental illness that is NOT as a result of substance addiction or abuse. The Florida Marchman Act is narrowly focused on substance abuse issues. This is the way it is legally distinguished from the Baker Act.

Florida Marchman Act Case Law

Critical to our legal understanding of the Florida Marchman Act is a review of some pertinent legal case law precedent. Recent Florida Marchman Act case law focuses on law enforcement searches of defendants accused of having substance abuse issues and who are in need of temporary commitment. In the Second District Court of Appeals case of White v. State, 170 So. 3d 77 (Fla. 2d 2015), a seminal case for the potential intersection of civil and criminal law, the Court ruled that if an individual is committed/detained under the Florida Marchman Act, and there is no criminal arrest, there may be no SILA (criminal law abbreviation for search incident to lawful arrest). This is a legal protection afforded to non-criminal defendants whereby law enforcement may not utilize their detention for intoxication as a pretext for a search. Nevertheless, in White, the defendant exhibited the inability to properly reply to the officer’s questions, admitted to heavy drinking, could not identify his residence, and smelled of intoxication. Therefore, the Court ruled, the officer was within his right under the Florida Marchman Act, to take the man into protective custody to not only protect the man from being a danger to himself, but also to ensure the safety of the general public. Contact the Jacobs Law Firm for your civil litigation legal needs.

Florida Marchman Act Statute

Florida Marchman Act Statute

The general Florida Marchman Act Statute is F.S.§ 397.301 and is often cited/referred to as the “Hal S. Marchman Alcohol and Other Drug Services Act,” meaning it is essentially eponymously named. The Florida Marchman Act Statute for involuntary admissions is F.S. 397.681. This Statute provides that there is no filing fee for this sort of court petition because of the magnitude and urgency of such a filing. In many Counties, the clerk with whom you file will present your petition and affidavit directly to the Judge. If the person being committed is summoned to court, all respondents in Marchman act proceedings have a right to counsel at every stage of the proceeding. Call the Jacobs Law Firm, Marchman Act Attorney Orlando, to learn more about the Florida Marchman Act Statute and about how to begin the process of Marchman Acting.

Orlando Small Claims Attorney

Orlando Small Claims Attorney

Orlando Small Claims Attorney

Did you know, that pursuant the Florida Small Claims Rules, a small claims court lawsuit may be started simply by providing the Clerk of Court with a statement of your claim? Sounds simple right? Even so, the two most frequent reasons clients hire me as their Orlando small claims attorney are: 1. people are unable to navigate the court system on their own (it can be a maze without proper guidance), and 2. collecting and putting together their evidence in a convincing and meaningful way to conform with the rules and restraints of the Florida Small Claims Rules is best done by a skilled attorney. Lawsuits generally are best left to the legal professionals that are trained to litigate small claims legal matters. There are many times when your case may be better settled before or during mediation, or even up until the time of trial. An Orlando small claims attorney can help position you to receive the best deal possible whether you are the plaintiff or the defendant.

I do not mean to be too colorful with my analogies, but would you rather employ a dentist for your fillings, or read about how to fix your tooth issues online and then give it your best shot? With all the online resources, you might be able to fill those cavities, but wouldn’t you prefer a dentist? This is like reading about how to win a small claims case, but have you ever presented evidence at trial? Do you have significant experience with settling claims for high dollar values? Orlando small claims lawyer Jonathan Jacobs does have this experience and he can both help you win your case and advise you as to your best option(s) every step of the way.

On the other hand, to be as truthful as I can with you, I would likely not recommend you hire me if your claim is for $2,000 or less because the finances do not make sense. If your claim is truthfully (provably) closer to $5,000, the small claims court limit for damages, then hiring me as your Orlando small claims attorney could be quite helpful in recovering your damages. The goal is to minimize your risk and exposure financially to the furthest extent possible.

Consider also hiring me from the opposing perspective. Suppose you are being sued in small claims court by an unscrupulous person or company that does not have a rightful claim to your money. They might expect to steamroll you in court because they do not believe you have an attorney or the means to fight back and protect yourself from their weak ans speculative claim for damages. In that case, as the defendant, you should consider hiring me as your Orlando small claims attorney to help you prove your defenses to the Judge. The earlier in the process you hire me, the better your chances of reducing or eliminating your damages. The Florida Small Claims Rules provide for timelines and deadlines for offering counterclaims and certain defenses. This means that time is of the essence. If you happen to delay until it is close to the date of your trial, you may not be able to put forth legitimate defenses that could have significantly impacted the case in your favor.

Florida Small Claims Rules

Florida Small Claims Rules

Here is another fun fact, pursuant to Florida Small Claims Rule 7.070, the method for service of process in Florida small claims court can be by Certified Mail through the United States Post Office. I still from time to time recommend my plaintiff clients employ a process server to ensure service is made on the defendant(s), but it is not technically necessary.

The Florida Small Claims Rules also provide that the court will provide the parties with a hearing date. The summons/hearing date document will let you know that before the court proceeds to trial on a small claims case, there will be a court-ordered pre-trial conference. In small claims court, a pre-trial conference is more of a mediation where the parties may arrive at an agreement/stipulation on how to resolve their issues on their OWN terms without allowing a judge to decide their case.

Now you know a little something about the Florida Small Claims Rules and you know that Orlando small claims attorney Jonathan Jacobs is available to represent you if your case is brought in good faith, has a reasonable chance of a successful outcome, and if you are willing to put in the work to win your case in small claims court. Contact the Jacobs Law Firm today!

Unlawful detainer and eviction actions are also generally small claims litigation issues. Here are the Orlando small claims court FAQ. Small claims cases are not appropriate for all litigants. If you believe your damages are significantly higher, you may need to bring your case to the county civil division or to the circuit civil division when your civil litigation involves a much higher dollar amount of alleged damages.

As an Orlando small claims attorney I can tell you that small claims trials are not always long. In fact, they can be as short as just thirty minutes, or as long as about two hours depending on the court’s docket for that trial period. Therefore, the best practice for a litigant that wants to work with an attorney, is to hire a small claims lawyer early in the case to account for all legal issues and to employ all legal strategies before they are foreclosed due to the Florida Small Claims Rules and the timing allowed for each procedure. The Jacobs Law Firm also helps clients as a Tavares small claims attorney, and as a small claims attorney all throughout Central Florida. We look forward to hearing from you and will offer our best legal and professional skill in resolving your case.


Does A Florida Will Need to Be Notarized

Does A Florida Will Need to Be Notarized

Does A Florida Will Need to Be Notarized? Statute of Wills Requirements Florida

Although this article will be in the range of 500 words, or thereabouts, I have a one word answer to the question a client recently asked me, “Does a Florida will need to be notarized?” According to the Statute of Wills requirements Florida, a Florida will absolutely needs to be notarized, YES! In fact, even the notarization of a Florida will has certain protocols and requirements that must be observed, or else your will could be invalid. It may seem absurd, on the surface, that a bad job of notarizing (meaning just the absence of notarization, or not following proper notarization requirements under Florida law) might cause a will to be invalid. However, the truth of the matter is the notarization process is actually in place to protect the testator (will-maker) from fraud, fraud in the inducement, undue influence, and theft (among other some such protections). Knowing that Florida law is designed to ensure the accuracy of creation and safeguarding of a will’s provisions should give you confidence going forward with the sometimes challenging process. Jonathan Jacobs is a Lake County Florida probate attorney and Orange County Florida probate attorney.

Statute of Wills Requirements Florida

The According to the Statute of Wills requirements Florida provides that a Florida notary may lawfully only notarize a Florida will (or other legal documents) if the party signing (the testator) is present, of sound mind, and produces identification. The notary must indicate if the signer is personally known to her, or if the signer has produced sufficient identification. This is really basic notarization 101, but it still applies to Florida wills for the reasons referred to above. The courts take these requirements seriously and they must be sacrosanct. This is yet another reason (among so many other reasons) to hire a Lake County Florida probate attorney or an Orange County Florida probate attorney. Your attorney will ensure that the maker/signer or the Florida will is competent, of sound mind, or even consider sending the testator out for an independent medical assessment to ensure the authenticity and lawfulness of the will. Signs of dementia and symptoms of elderly age need to be evaluated. The purpose of this process is estate planning. In order to plan, careful preparation must be observed. This process is about intent, thoughtfulness and timely preparation.

Lake County Florida Probate Attorney

Lake County Florida Probate Attorney | Orange County Florida Probate Attorney

Pursuant to the Statute of Wills requirements Florida, other protocols must be observed. For instance, according to Florida Statutory law, the testator (again, this is legalese for will maker) must sign at the end of the will document, and there must be two subscribing/attesting witnesses signing not only in each other’s presence, but also in the testator’s presence, and vice versa. Think of this as a team effort to reduce any risk of tampering or inaccuracy. Do not abuse this process because it will cast aspersions on your will. Let’s return to our original question, does a Florida will need to be notarized? If Florida law explicitly indicates that certain formalities must be observed for the process to run as smoothly as possible, follow those instructions to the very last detail. If I have not made the point abundantly clear, this is why you should hire the Jacobs Law Firm, or another Lake County Florida probate attorney or an Orange County Florida probate attorney to assist you in this labyrinthine process.

Do you know what durable power of attorney means and how it affects your estate plan? Read our Florida Law Blog to find out. Civil litigation happens everyday in our Florida courts.

Orange County Florida Probate Attorney







Alimony Pendente Lite Florida

Alimony Pendente Lite Florida

Alimony Pendente Lite Florida: What Is It?

Alimony Pendente Lite sounds like an auto insurance company, or a caricature from some foreign language film up for an Oscar Award. No folks, alimony pendente lite Florida is a form of alimony that is short term, and awarded while the marital dissolution case is pending (hence pendente). Florida divorce courts do not automatically award this type of alimony, rather, your lawyer must specifically petition the court for it to be included in your case. It is rather obvious to lawyers, but generally not to laypersons, that if you want something, in most cases, you must make a request of the court. Jonathan Jacobs is an alimony attorney in Clermont, Minneola, Orlando, Leesburg, Tavares, Osceola, and the surrounding areas of Central Florida.

Alimony pendente lite Florida is otherwise known (this sounds like a pejorative term but it really isn’t) as “suit money.” Essentially, the party that has demonstrated a need for alimony from the party with a demonstrable ability to pay for alimony may be entitled to this short-term suit money. Vickers v. Vickers, 413 So.2d 788 (1982). Moreover, it is a central tenet of dissolution of marriage law that both spouses  (husband and wife) have an equal right to petition for alimony, petition for child support, and have (unless competent and substantial evidence indicate(s) otherwise), an equal right to custody of children. Yohem v. Yohem, 295 So.2d 656 (1974).

The concept behind alimony pendente lite Florida, is that marital dissolution lawsuits may take a number of months (or even years at the extreme) to be resolved. In the meantime, the payee (recipient) may not have any money to support their children, pay for their basic expenses such as rent or groceries, or even to pay their attorney to represent them in the divorce proceeding. Therefore, being mindful of this, and understanding that alimony may be awarded at the outcome stage of the case, Florida courts often award alimony pendente lite to benefit the party in need. Alimony pendente lite in Florida may be awarded based on motion, the petition, or the counterpetition upon request. The foregoing is based on the Florida Alimony Pendente Lite Statute and is explained by your alimony attorney in Clermont and Orlando.

Florida Alimony Pendente Lite Statute

Florida Alimony Pendente Lite Statute: Alimony Attorney in Clermont

The Florida Alimony Pendente Lite Statute is 61.071. Florida Statute 61.071 is one of the many Florida Statutes governing alimony. Case law regarding the Florida Alimony Pendente Lite Statute is mostly older and foundational (as indicated above).  The original case law on alimony pendente lite provides that the court awards this so-called suit money to prevent one party from being a burden to the coffers (pocket-book) of the state/government.

If you are considering getting a divorce in Florida, or if you have been served with a petition for dissolution, please call Jonathan Jacobs, your Alimony Attorney in Clermont Florida, Orlando Florida, and in all of Central Florida.

Other forms of alimony include:

Alimony Attorney in Clermont

Keep in mind that alimony is merely one of many issues that may need to be litigated in the Florida family courts. Other vital issues may include child support, health insurance for the kids, domestic violence, and the equitable distribution of assets. Call us today to learn more.






burglary defense in florida

Unlawful Detainer Attorney Orlando Florida

Unlawful Detainer Attorney Orlando Florida

Of all the unique legal situations I have encountered in my career, a narrow and rarely used form of eviction in Orlando is Unlawful Detainer Orlando Florida. Technically speaking, unlawful detainer is not an eviction, it is a separate action. Nevertheless, it is often confused with an eviction and appears to people renting to those with an unlawful detainer on their record, as though it is a severe form of an eviction. You can get help with your case. Jonathan Jacobs is an unlawful detainer attorney Orlando Florida.

Unlawful detainer actions are narrowly-focused because they apply only to specific factual situations. The facts must be in the favor of the plaintiff seeking to evict the person/defendant staying in or essentially squatting in their home once consent has been revoked.

Unlawful Detainer and Eviction

The criteria for a plaintiff seeking to remove/oust a person from their home are:

1. The plaintiff in an unlawful detainer Orlando Florida action must have a legal right to live in the home. For instance, the plaintiff may be either the true owner, or the lawful tenant by contract/lease agreement. A lease agreement will specify the terms and nature of the tenancy and sub-tenancy (if any).

  1. It follows logically that the person the owner or tenant seeks to have thrown out of the residence, must not have a legal right to live in the house. For example, the person the plaintiff intends to remove must not be a co-tenant or a co-owner of the home. If they are a co-tenant or a co-owner, an eviction action or perhaps an ejectment action (if title needs to be quieted, etc.) is the proper remedy.
  2. If there is evidence of a landlord-tenant agreement, either verbally or by way of a written agreement/contract between the litigants, an unlawful detainer Orlando Florida case will likely fail unless uncontested and a default judgment is granted, albeit potentially erroneously and subject to appeal or vacation of a writ for possession. There is a narrow window of approximately thirty days to appeal an unlawful detainer verdict. Moreover, it is important to note than an unlawful detainer judgment goes on a person’s record and looks an awful lot like a nasty form of an eviction to potential future landlords.

Unlawful Detainer Orlando Florida

Ask an unlawful detainer attorney Orlando Florida for more information on F.S. 82.04, the Florida Unlawful Detainer Statute. An unlawful detainer Orlando Florida pleading should include the dates of possession, the time line of the plaintiff’s revocation of consent for the defendant’s stay at the residence, and the defendant must refuse to leave. Therefore, notice to the defendant is critical. A plaintiff cannot unilaterally throw someone out just because the mood strikes them, unless the other person leaves voluntarily. Jonathan Jacobs helps a great deal of landlord tenant clients that are caught up in eviction and unlawful detainer actions. Call Jonathan, an unlawful detainer Attorney Orlando Florida today to ask about your rights. For more information on eviction and landlord tenant law, check out some of our blog articles: Landlord-tenant disputes, mold in your apartment, commercial leases, commercial real estate, small claims in Orlando. Civil litigation can be time consuming and expensive, but it may be your only option as either a plaintiff or a defendant. You may have confidence the Jacobs Law Firm will help you resolve your case.

Unlawful Detainer Orlando Florida


Totten Trust in Florida

Totten Trust in Florida

Totten Trust in Florida: What is a Florida Totten Trust?

A Totten Trust in Florida, pursuant to Florida Statute § 655.82, is otherwise known as a “Pay on Death” or POD account. It is often utilized as a mechanism for giving a beneficiary the remaining money in the bank account of the decedent. The decedent is the person that has recently died and whose assets are ready to be distributed (pending any contests from heirs and or creditors). According to F.S. § 655.82(b), a “Beneficiary” means a person named as one to whom sums on deposit in an account are payable on request after death of all parties or for whom a party is named as trustee. A so-called pay-on-death beneficiary in a Totten Trust in Florida is a beneficiary status created by the terms specific to the trust. This might seem obvious, but the Florida Totten Trust beneficiary must survive the decedent or else the will might control the distribution of the remaining funds in the account. Moreover, if there are several surviving (and designated beneficiaries), statutorily the survivors will inherit “equal and undivided” shares under a Totten Trust in Florida. After the creator of the Totten Trust has died, the intended beneficiary still needs to undergo an additional step. The beneficiary must present the decedent’s death certificate to to the bank where the money is held in trust. Only then will the bank release the funds to the rightful beneficiary. This is a formal requirement and perhaps a technicality, but think about the bank’s position. If they simply give the decedent’s money to anyone claiming to be the intended beneficiary (without adequate proof) or before the creator of the Totten Trust in Florida has died, there could be severe legal implications for all parties involved.

Florida Totten Trust

Florida Totten Trust and Florida Totten Trust Case Law

Florida Totten Trust Case law precedent in Serpa v. North Ridge Bank, 547 So.2d 199 (1989) provides that for a Totten trust to be revoked in a testator’s final will, the will itself should unequivocally demonstrate an intention to revoke trust. Moreover, the court also ruled that the mere mention of a bank account in a will, without specifying that it is a Totten Trust, is insufficient to overturn the Trust despite what those dosputing the will believe to have been (allegedly) the testator’s intention. This is why in Litsey v. First Federal Sav. & Loan Ass’n of Tampa, So.2d 239 (1971), the Court decided that the burden for a litigant seeking to overturn a Totten Trust is extremely high, and oral statements are presumed, on their own, to be insufficient.

More recent, and perhaps less foundational Florida Totten Trust case law, tells us that Florida recognizes a corporation (politics aside folks) as a person, and therefore a corporation may qualify as a lawful beneficiary of a Florida Totten Trust. Belanger v. Salvation Army, C.A.11 (Fla.) 2009, 556 F.3d 1153.

Florida Totten Trust Case Law

Call the Jacobs Law Firm today to find our more. Often, we find that because wills and trusts are so closely related with family law issues, that you may wish to additionally retain us as your civil litigation attorney, or as your family law attorney.

How Does Domestic Violence Affect Child Custody in Florida

How Does Domestic Violence Affect Child Custody in Florida

How Does Domestic Violence Affect Child Custody in Florida?

This question, how does domestic violence affect child custody in Florida, is asked more often than would make most people feel comfortable. Nevertheless, we must recognize the impact of domestic violence on relationships, both marital and parental. Generally speaking, Florida courts default to the position that every minor child should have continual and recurrent communications with both parents. This is otherwise known as shared parental responsibility. The word shared is included because it is easier to raise a child when there is a mutual support system. Whether we think about it from a biological standpoint, a common-sense standpoint, or a philosophical perspective, raising a child with both parents caring and nurturing can have a wide variety of benefits for the minor child. This is why Florida considers shared parenting to be its public policy. How does domestic violence affect child custody in Florida? By allowing the court to intervene when evidence is presented of a potential detriment to the child. This is another reason why we have child custody laws in Florida, as they govern the conduct of people if there is a serious enough situation requiring the court’s awareness and guidance.

Moreover, in all fairness, the court does not presume that any proportion of time sharing (80-20% or 50-50%) is best for the child. The parents have some latitude to solve their own issues by working together at mediation.

Child Custody Law in Florida

Child Custody Law in Florida

Here is where conflict and acrimony between the parties can impact a court’s award of timesharing between the parents. According to child custody law in Florida, the court may, after the presentation of evidence, find that one or both parents being involved in the child’s life would present a detriment to the child.

For example, if one side can present evidence that the other parent has been convicted of a crime, specifically a first-degree misdemeanor or a felony which involved domestic violence, the evidentiary standards shifts and the burden shifts to the guilty party. The convicted party must rebut the presumption that he/she is a detriment to the child’s well-being. If the convicted parent is unable to successfully rebut the presumption, then he/she will not be allowed shared parental responsibility. Consequently, to protect the minor child, the court may decide to grant sole parental responsibility to the non-guilty parent. I hope this has at least partially answered your question of how does domestic violence affect child custody in Florida. This is yet another reason you should contact an attorney to help you argue your case and present evidence to the court.

Attorney Jonathan Jacobs can answer your questions about alimony.

Learn more about other types of alimony in Florida: Durational alimony, women paying men alimony, alimony factors, short term alimony, permanent alimony, and rehabilitative alimony. In fact, we have a page entirely dedicated to discussing and explaining alimony in Florida. This process can be eye-opening! Keep in mind that to establish jurisdiction in a Florida Court for child custody, you must satisfy the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act.

What about child support health insurance? Divorce mediation? We address those topics as well. Family law is in some ways under the vast umbrella of Florida civil litigation. Civil litigation involves non-criminal lawsuits and can involve a great deal of time and money at issue.

Celebrity Bankruptcies Florida

Celebrity Bankruptcies Florida

Celebrity Bankruptcies Florida: Bankruptcy in Florida

The Bankruptcy of Curtis James Jackson, III: How One Celebrity Chapter 11 Filing Has Reduced the Stigma Associated with Bankruptcy Introduction: A New Brand of Celebrity Bankruptcy is BornOn July 13, 2015, a seemingly routine bankruptcy petition was submitted to the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Connecticut, Hartford Division. This petition was made by Curtis James Jackson, III as he filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Most will recognize Jackson by his musician’s name, “50 Cent.” Jackson rose to fame after living a life of squalor that nearly cost the celebrity his life. Jackson’s background featured the sort of impoverishment that millions of people can relate to on a deeply personal level. His music touched and hearts and minds of an incalculable number of people across the world. This is why, when Jackson declared bankruptcy, after showing the world that he had risen to the height of fame and fortune, his filing became one of the most shocking tabloid stories in years. Jackson’s bankruptcy was similar to several other celebrity bankruptcies Florida and to bankruptcy in Florida in general because of the Bankruptcy Code itself. To find th ebest Orlando bankruptcy attorney, call the Jacobs Law Firm.

Few could have predicted that an affluent celebrity musician would file for bankruptcy and use the bankruptcy process to rehabilitate and recover financially. Even fewer would have believed that this financial comeback would cause significant conflict with the bankruptcy court whose purported purpose is to help the honest but unfortunate debtor restore his financial viability. This ostensible paradox will be unraveled throughout the progression of this Article (this is just the first part) and in additional blog posts about bankruptcy in Florida. To speak with an Orlando bankruptcy attorney, call the Jacobs Law Firm today!

Bankruptcy in Florida

Bankruptcy in Florida

This Article contends that the bankruptcy of Curtis James Jackson, III is unique in that it is unlike any bankruptcy proceeding that the public has been exposed to. Consequently, Jackson’s bankruptcy has become a spectacle. The scuttlebutt nature of his bankruptcy is not necessarily detrimental to him as a debtor, but it casts aspersions on the bankruptcy system and its centuries’ old stereotypes and stigmas. As will be discussed later in this Article, the bankrupt debtor has been socially stigmatized and subjected to a multitudinous assault based on ridicule and scorn. The old stigma of financial failure and the perception of a debtor as inept and dispossessed of all power is undergoing a shift and it does not apply to Jackson as a debtor. Jackson’s bankruptcy has been in the public’s purview and it has allowed the spotlight to be squarely placed onto a debtor with a fighting spirit and millions of curious fans and spectators that crave an inside look into the bankruptcy process. Bankruptcy in Florida, like bankruptcy in Connecticut and New York, is largely based on the Federal Rules.

Orlando Bankruptcy Attorney

This Article also considers the impact of social media and the instantaneous nature of the twenty-four hour broadcasting that permeates the consciousness of onlookers through the global internet apparatus. As one author points out, the perception of bankruptcy and the practice of bankruptcy law cannot be viewed as being ensnared in some stigmatic vacuum, rather it is rightly studied in the “context of both the social world and the legal field.” Do you need an Orlando bankruptcy attorney?

Orlando bankruptcy attorney

This Article argues that the controversial nature of Jackson’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy has brought attention to the meaning of bankruptcy, and how it impacts not only the proverbial little guy, but also the celebrity hero that has been financially dethroned and made to be vulnerable. Jackson’s reactions to the Bankruptcy Court’s decisions regarding his formerly enormous portfolio of wealth, have had a visceral effect on millions of people that are gaining a rare and incisive insight into the field of bankruptcy law, many for the first time. It is this sort of shared experience, made possible by the reach of social media, that has shifted or at least has begun to modify the general perception of bankruptcy from being largely negative, to instead being a rehabilitative opportunity for the debtor that is willing to fight for his financial rights. For more information on Bankruptcy in Florida, contact the Jacobs Law Firm. The Jacobs Law Firm can direct you to the best Orlando bankruptcy attorney.

Linda Coco, Stigma, Prestige and the Cultural Context of Debt: A Critical Analysis of the Bankruptcy Judge’s Non-Article III Status, 16 Mich. J. Race & L. 181, 186 (2011).

Bankruptcy is just one of the many types of contentious civil litigation that occur throughout the Florida Courts every day. For more information on civil lawsuits, read throughout our law blogs and civil litigation page.