Frequently Asked Questions

February 8, 2022 - 4:34pm

Q. Can I be evicted for withholding information from my landlord regarding having an animal? Please follow the link to view full answer: https://www.stimmel-law.com/en/articles/landlords-right-prohibit-pets-an...

Q. Should I be able to receive my security deposit back upon completing my rental lease contract (at a home/apartment/sublet residence)? Refund of security deposits: common problems and how to avoid them Please follow the link to view full answer: http://www.hcd.ca.gov/manufactured-mobile-home/mobile-home-ombudsman/doc...

Q. How do I write a formal complaint? Please follow the link to view full answer:https://docs.google.com/document/d1OLqWw7rQxSnNo13itVeSCNzPngMEbK3Yi2P2l...

Q. How do I know if my rental residence is unacceptable? Please follow the link to view full answer: https://www.caltenantlaw.com/HabitabilityChecklist2013.pdf

Q. What can I do if I find that my rental residence is uninhabitable? Check the CA Tenant Handbook to determine if residence is uninhabitable, if your residence is uninhabitable you may not need to pay rent Please follow the link to view full answer: http://www.hcd.ca.gov/manufactured-mobile-home/mobile-home-ombudsman/doc...

Q. When am I subject to search and seizure? You are subject to search and seizure when you consent (silence indicates your consent) or upon presentation of a warrant for search. Without a warrant police or Gov. may not search your home, or office without consent (Lauren Ragan of the Civil Liberties Defense Center). Police/Highway Patrol may search your vehicle if they believe they have probable cause (if they believe they have a reason to believe there is something illegal in your car).

Q. What happens if a police officer stops me and I say nothing? If approached by a police officer what can I say? “The 5th Amendment Right to the U.S. constitution gives every person the right to not answer questions asked by a police officer.” (Lauren Ragan of the Civil Liberties Defense Center)." The only time you have to answer questions is when you are in court(Lauren Ragan of the Civil Liberties Defense Center)

Q. Is a police officer required to tell the truth? The police are allowed to lie to you or misinform you. In addition they do not have to follow through on any promises (i.e. that you will not be convicted, arrested, etc).

Q. Do you always have to provide your ID card to a police officer upon request? No, you must only provide a driver’s license if you are the driver of a vehicle. If detained, you must provide name, DOB, address.

Q. Do minors have the same rights as adults when interacting with police? Yes, except in order to be released from an arrest, a parent or guardian will need to pick up the minor in person.

Q. What is the process for changing your name? A) The court process of getting a court order after filing a Petition for Change of Name can take up to 3 months. First, you file your petition. Then, you will get a court date between 6 and 12 weeks away. If you follow all the required steps and the court approves your request, you will get a court order called a "decree" changing your name. Please follow the links to view full answer: http://www.courts.ca.gov/22489.htm B) Name change process if you are getting divorced: http://www.courts.ca.gov/22491.htm C) Name change process if you are getting married: “If you recently got married and want to change your last name to your spouse's last name, you may not have to go to court. Contact both your local DMV office and your social security office, and ask them whether you can change the name on your driver's license and social security card simply by showing your marriage license or certificate. Note that it is possible they will tell you to get a court order, so be prepared for that.” Source: courts.ca.gov

Q. What is the process for legally amending my gender? On state level, in order to change your sex you will need to sign an affidavit (VS24) and pay a small fee to receive an amended birth certificate. By bringing your renewed birth certificate to the dmv, you can pay a $23 fee to get an amended state DL/ ID. Starting January 1st, in California, you will be able to simply choose your gender on your DMV Please follow the link to view full answer: [https://transequality.org/documents/state/california]

Q. How do you get a permit to organize/assemble/march? “You have the constitutional right to engage in a peaceful protest in “traditional public forums” such as streets, sidewalks, or parks. The government can restrict this activity by requiring permits. This is constitutional as long as the permit requirements treat all groups the same no matter what the focus of the protest is” The kind of places where you may need a permit to demonstrate: A march or parade that require blocking traffic or street closure, A large rally requiring the use of sound amplifying devices, A rally at certain designated parks or plazas. Please follow the link to view full answer: https://www.aclu.org/sites/default/files/field_pdf_file/shortened_protes...

Q. I am allowed to cultivate marijuana in my residence? As of Nov. 9th, 2016 it became legal for any adult 21 years or older to: Possess, transport, obtain or give away to other adults 21 or older no more than one ounce of marijuana or 8 grams of concentrated cannabis. Cultivate up to six plants per residence and possess the marijuana produced by these plants. All plants and harvest in excess of one ounce must be kept in a locked space not in public view at one’s residence. Local governments may still forbid cultivation outdoors, but must allow it inside a private residence or accessory structure that is “fully enclosed and secure.” Homeowners may forbid tenants from cultivating on their properties, so ask your landlord! Coming soon: local marijuana ordinances… (Eureka, Arcata, Fortuna, Mckinleyville) Please follow the link to view full answer:(http://humboldtnorml.org/2016/11/09/prop-64-passes-in-california-now-what/)

Q. What services are available to me if I am in a domestic violence situation? If you are in immediate danger, please call 911! Humboldt Domestic Violence Services (HDVS) is an independent, non-profit agency; local support line (707)443-6042, toll-free (866)668-6543 ~~available 24 hours a day (offering one of the only women’s shelters in Humboldt county) Please follow the links for additional assistance: http://hdvs.org/ National Domestic Violence Hotline; 1(800)799-7233 https://www.thehotline.org/

Q. What resources are available to me if I am accused of a crime? If you have been falsely accused or charged with a crime, you should retain an attorney as soon as possible. You should also: Gather any physical evidence relating to the incident or events that is available to you, such as clothing, photos, videos, and other objects, any documents or records that could relate to the case, such as letters, emails, financial or legal records if the crime is financial or business related, phone and GPS records, records that might show where you were at the time of an incident, and computer records. Make a list of any evidence from the crime scene (objects, documents, blood, bullet casings) that you know exists but were not able to take from the scene, and make a list of possible witnesses – any person you think has information about the incident, the accusations, or the alleged victim – and obtain the witnesses’ contact information.**Be prepared to share all of this information and material with an attorney. If someone has wrongly accused you of committing a crime but you have not been charged, it is a good idea to talk with an attorney about the situation and get more advice than the basic suggestions above about what to do and not do. Please follow the link to view full answer: https://www.criminaldefenselawyer.com/resources/criminal-defense/defenda...

Q. What should I do if I am the victim of identity fraud? It depends on how the fraud takes place- if someone has stolen your identity financially, you will want to call your bank/institutions that you hold accounts with and let them know what’s going on. If someone has pretended to be you when they are arrested for a crime, you will want to visit the courthouse where you have a warrant for your arrest and let them know that your identity has been stolen, ask for a public defender. If your identity has been stolen in that someone has opened an account under your name, call the company and let them know this account was created fraudulently. The main way to know that someone has opened an account under your name is if it goes to collections and you see the fraudulent account on your credit report. If someone has fraudulently used your identity for over $1000 worth of damages, it will be considered a felony if you press charges. Please follow the link to view full answer: https://www.identitytheft.gov/know-your-rights

Q. What should I do if my car is broken into or vandalized? Don’t get in the car touch or move it--look for any missing items & take an inventory check. File a police report if need be (you will need one to file an insurance claim through your insurance for any missing items) Decide whether to file an insurance claim with your insurance company or not Re-park the car in a different location until you fix the damaged property (windows, tires, etc.) Please follow the link to view full answer: https://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2016-06-08/4-st...

Q. What should I do if my car has been towed? **Get your car as fast as possible, you may be charged according to the time it is stored.** If your car was towed from municipal property, it’ll likely be in a city or town run impound lot, and if your car was towed from private property, it’ll likely be with a private towing company. If your car was towed because you parked in the wrong place on private property, there will likely be signs posted listing the contact info for the towing company. If not, go into the nearest establishment and ask them for the information. If your car was towed while on public property, you can call 411 and ask for the number to the local police department. The plus side here is that when you call the police, you can find out if your car has really been towed, or worse, if its been stolen. Without proof of insurance and registration, you won’t be able to get your car out of impound. Please follow the link to view full answer: https://www.thezebra.com/insurance-news/1983/im-getting-towed-now-what/

Q. What are the Dean of Students code of conduct at Cal Poly Humboldt? (I) Dishonesty, including: (a) Cheating. Plagiarism or other forms of academic dishonesty that are intended to gain unfair academic advantage. (b) Furnishing false information to a University official, faculty member, or campus office. (c) Forgery, Alteration or misuse of a University document, key, or identification instrument. (d) Misrepresenting one's self to be an authorized agent of the University or one of its auxiliaries. (II) Unauthorized entry into, presence in, use of, or misuse of University property. (III) Willful, material and substantial disruption or obstruction of a University-related activity, or any on-campus activity. (IV) Participating in an activity that substantially and materially disrupts the normal operations of the University, or infringes on the rights of members of the University community. (V) Willful, material and substantial obstruction of the free flow of pedestrian or other traffic, on or leading to campus property or an off-campus University related activity. (VI) Disorderly, lewd, indecent, or obscene behavior at a University related activity, or directed toward a member of the University community. (VII) Conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person within or related to the University community, including physical abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, or sexual misconduct. (VIII) Hazing, or conspiracy to haze. Hazing is defined as any method of initiation or pre- initiation into a student organization or student body, whether or not the organization or body is officially recognized by an educational institution, which is likely to cause serious bodily injury to any former, current, or prospective student of any school, community college, college, university or other educational institution in this state (Penal Code 245.6), and in addition, any act likely to cause physical harm, personal degradation or disgrace resulting in physical or mental harm, to any former, current, or prospective student of any school, community college, college, university or other educational institution. The term "hazing" does not include customary athletic events or school sanctioned events. Neither the express or implied consent of a victim of hazing, nor the lack of active participation in a particular hazing incident is a defense. Apathy or acquiescence in the presence of hazing is not a neutral act, and is also a violation of this section. (IX) a. Use, possession, manufacture, or distribution of illegal drugs or drug-related paraphernalia, (except as expressly permitted by law and University regulations) or the misuse of legal pharmaceutical drugs. b. Use, possession, manufacture, or distribution of alcoholic beverages (except as expressly permitted by law and University regulations), or public intoxication while on campus or at a University related activity. (X) Theft of property or services from the University community, or misappropriation of University resources. (XI) Unauthorized destruction, or damage to University property or other property in the University community. (XII) Possession or misuse of firearms or guns, replicas, ammunition, explosives, fireworks, knives, other weapons, or dangerous chemicals (without the prior authorization of the campus president) on campus or at a University related activity. (XIV) Unauthorized recording, dissemination, or publication of academic presentations (including handwritten notes) for a commercial purpose. (XV) Misuse of computer facilities or resources, including: a. Unauthorized entry into a file, for any purpose. b. Unauthorized transfer of a file. c. Use of another's identification or password. d. Use of computing facilities, campus network, or other resources to interfere with the work of another member of the University community. e. Use of computing facilities and resources to send obscene or intimidating and abusive messages. f. Use of computing facilities and resources to interfere with normal University operations. g. Use of computing facilities and resources in violation of copyright laws. h. Violation of a campus computer use policy. i. Violation of any published University policy, rule, regulation or presidential order. j. Failure to comply with directions or, or interference with, any University official or any public safety officer while acting in the performance of his/her duties. k. Any act chargeable as a violation of a federal, state, or local law that poses a substantial threat to the safety or well being of members of the University community, to property within the University community or poses a significant threat of disruption or interference with University operations. (XIX) Violation of the Student Conduct Procedures, including: a. Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information related to a student discipline matter. b. Disruption or interference with the orderly progress of a student discipline proceeding. c. Initiation of a student discipline proceeding in bad faith. d. Attempting to discourage another from participating in the student discipline matter. e. Attempting to influence the impartiality of any participant in a student discipline matter. f. Verbal or physical harassment or intimidation of any participant in' a student discipline matter. g. Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed under a student discipline proceeding. (XX) Encouraging, permitting, or assisting another to do any act that could subject him or her to discipline.

Q. What will happen when accused of a crime on campus? Procedures that govern all student disciplinary matters systemwide (not involving allegations of Discrimination, Harassment, Retaliation, Sexual Misconduct, Dating or Domestic Violence, or Stalking.): 1. Whenever it appears that the Student Conduct Code has been violated, an oral or written complaint should be directed to the Student Conduct Administrator as soon as possible after the event takes place. 2. The Student Conduct Administrator shall promptly: investigate each complaint submitted; determine whether it is appropriate to charge a Student with violation of the Student Conduct Code; and consider whether the University should implement an interim suspension (pursuant to Article VI), withdrawal of consent to remain on Campus,2 or no contact orders concerning one or more members of the University community. 3. Investigations shall be concluded within 40 Working Days after a complaint has been made. 4. Student Conduct Code proceedings are independent from court or other administrative proceedings. Discipline may be instituted against a Student also charged in civil or criminal courts based on the same facts that constitute the alleged violation of the Student Conduct Code. The Campus may proceed before, simultaneously with, or after any judicial or other administrative proceedings, except in cases involving Discrimination, Harassment, Retaliation, Sexual Misconduct, Dating or Domestic Violence, or Stalking. 5. You will have a chance to present witnesses and information to the hearing officer for their consideration. You are able to have a person with you to serve in an advising capacity, but you will be responsible for presenting your own case to the hearing officer. The hearing officer's decision is then sent to the Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs for review. That decision can be upheld, rejected, or modified. You will then get the outcome of the hearing sent to you electronically by the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities. Failure to attend the conduct hearing can result in the hearing proceedings taking place without your input into the matter. 6. Any person who wishes to have an attorney present at the hearing as an Advisor must notify the Student Conduct Administrator in writing of the attorney's name, address and phone number at least 5 Working Days prior to the hearing.

Q. What is workplace harassment and discrimination? How do I file a lawsuit against workplace discrimination? Please follow the link to view full answer: https://www.lawyers.com/legal-info/labor-employment-law/employment-discr...

Q. When do employers have to give meals and breaks? Please follow the link to view full answer: https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/when-must-employers-provide-meal...

Q. Which repairs and maintenances are landlords responsible for? In every state, a landlord is obligated to keep their rental property in a habitable position. This requires properly installing all facilities at the property, as well as maintaining these facilities over time so they continue to meet health and safety standards. In California, a landlord has specific maintenance responsibilities that they must follow, including: a) Waterproofing-The landlord must make sure all areas of the rental are waterproof, including roofing, exterior walls, exterior doors, and windows. b) Plumbing and Gas-Any plumbing or gas must be done to code and be in good working condition. c) Water and Waste-The tenant must have access to a proper water supply and waste disposal system. d) Heating-All heating systems must be done to code and be in good working order. e) Electrical-All electrical work must be done to code and be in good working order. f) Telephone Lines-Each rental unit must have at least one working telephone jack. g) Common Areas-The interior and exterior of the building must be clean and free from dirt, debris, rodents, and vermin. h) Trash Bins-Landlord must supply appropriate number of trash receptacles and receptacles must be in good condition. i) Stairwells and Floors-All stairwells, railings, and floors must be free from hazards and in good condition. j) Entry Doors-Deadbolts must be installed on all entry doors. k) Windows- All windows must have proper safety and locking mechanisms. l) Common Area Doors-All common area doors must have locks that meet local fire code. Furthermore, landlords are responsible for preventing: a) Pests: A tenant may report a landlord if their apartment or rental property has shown signs of a mouse, rat, roach, bed bug, or other pest infestation. b) Mold: Mold in the living space is dangerous as it can cause breathing problems or more severe reactions. c) Lead: Lead paint is common in homes built before 1978. Lead hazards, such as chipping paint, can pose health risks, especially to young children. d) Lack of Running Water, Electricity, or Heat: Tenants need to have access to certain vital services in their apartments. Tenants can report landlords if there is no running water in their apartment, if they do not have heat in the winter or if the landlord is responsible for paying the utility bills and there is no electricity at the property. e) Plumbing Fixtures: Tenants have the right to have working plumbing in their apartment. f) Waste Removal: Tenants can report a landlord if garbage and other waste is not being removed from the property. Structural Issues: If a roof leak is causing a ceiling to collapse or if the tenant has concerns about other structural issues at the property, the tenant can contact the health department. Exceptions A landlord is not responsible for health violations at the property that are caused by the tenant. Tenants are responsible for following certain health and safety codes. Landlords are not responsible for issues caused by a tenant’s abuse, neglect, or dirty living conditions, such as a pest infestation caused by filthy living conditions inside a tenant’s apartment. Please follow the link to view full answer: https://www.thebalancesmb.com/california-tenant-s-right-to-repair-and-de...

Q. In the event that the premise is uninhabitable, what steps can I take to ensure that the landlord will pay for the cost of repairs? Please follow the link to view full answer: https://caltenantlaw.com/repairs-needed/ https://www.lawdepot.com/blog/who-pays-for-repairs-in-a-rental-property/ https://www.thebalancesmb.com/california-tenant-s-right-to-repair-and-de...

Q. What is the difference between a service animal and an emotional support animal? A "service dog," under California law, is a dog trained to help a specific individual with a disability with services such as fetching dropped items, minimal protection work, rescue work, or pulling a wheelchair. There are two important things to note about the California's definition of service dogs. First, it is limited to dogs. (But because the ADA authorizes the use of miniature horses as service animals in some limited circumstances, California does as well.) Second, it is further limited to dogs that are trained to help individuals with their specific requirements. So, no animal other than a dog can qualify as a service animal, even if that animal is trained to assist a person with a disability. Furthermore, even a dog will not qualify as a service dog if it is not individually trained to help an individual with a disability (in a way that is related to his or her disability). An "emotional support animal" is a dog or other animal that is not trained to perform specific acts directly related to an individual’s disability. Instead, the animal's owner derives a sense of well-being, safety, or calm from the animal’s companionship and presence. An emotional support animal does not need to be a dog, but can be. California law guarantees people who use trained service dogs full and equal access to public places. In California, the service dog guarantees apply to an even broader range of public places than the ADA covers, including: any place to which the general public is invited (including restaurants, hotels, theaters, shops, concert halls, and government buildings) medical facilities, such as hospitals, clinics, and physicians' offices, and any public conveyance or mode of transportation (motor vehicles, trains, buses, streetcars, boats), whether private, public, franchised, licensed, or contracted.

Q. Can the Operator of a Public Place Require Proof That an Animal Is a Service Dog? A public place can ask only two questions to determine if that individual's dog is a service dog: whether the dog is required because of a disability, and what work the dog is trained to perform. The public place cannot require a person to "prove" that their dog is a service dog. A service dog is not required to be registered, certified, or identified as a service dog. However, in California, pretending to be an owner of a service dog is a criminal misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 (and/or up to six months imprisonment). The protections discussed above do not apply to emotional support animals. California law, like federal law, doesn't require that emotional support animals be allowed in public places. Federal law allows people with disabilities to bring their emotional support animal onto an airplane.

Q. What Disabilities Qualify a Person to Use a Service Dog or Support Animal? California law typically offers greater protection than federal law for persons with disabilities. For example, California defines "disability" more broadly than the ADA does. Under the federal ADA, a physical or mental impairment qualifies as a disability only if it "substantially limits" a major life activity. In California, a physical or mental impairment need only limit (not "substantially" limit) a major life activity, which simply means that the impairment must make the achievement of the major life activity difficult. In California, a mental disability includes any mental or psychological disorder or condition--such as intellectual disability, clinical depression, bipolar disorder, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, or specific learning disabilities--that limits a major life activity. A major life activity refers to physical, mental, and social activities and working. California does not, however, consider compulsive gambling, kleptomania, or unlawful substance use disorders to be mental disabilities. Please follow the link to view full answer: https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/california-laws-psychiatric-serv...

Q. What is the Fair Housing Act? The legislation was enacted in 1968 in order to make it illegal for anyone to refuse to rent, sell, or make housing available to another person based on their national origin, race, color, religion, sex, handicap or familial status. The law also protects individuals in mortgage lending circumstances, making it illegal for anyone to discriminate when appraising property or require different fees or contracts of someone just because of their race, religion, etc. The Fair Housing Act extends protection to individuals with a disability like AIDS, hearing or visual impairment, mental retardation, chronic alcoholism and others. These individuals are allowed to make changes to their new home as long as they are necessary for the disabled to live comfortably in the home.

Q. What is the American Disabilities Act? Job seekers afraid of discrimination need to know about the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. This law makes it illegal for employers — including private and government employers — to refuse to hire a qualified individual based on a disability that would not interfere with their job. Employers are not allowed to ask about the person’s disability or give them a special medical examination that isn’t already required of all job candidates. Employers are allowed, however, to ask if the individual is able to perform the duties directly associated with the particular job opening.

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