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Contrary to a popular myth among renters, a landlord can attempt to evict a tenant during any time of the year, even the dead of winter. Despite the seemingly cruel notion of kicking a person out of their home when the weather outside is frightful, for a landlord, business pressures often require goodwill towards mankind to take a backseat. Sadly, winter time evictions can have fatal results for the elderly and impoverished.

For landlords, business usually dictates evictions. If a tenant is causing a nuisance, or committing waste, it is bad for business. If a tenant is not paying rent, that's definitely bad for business. The only remedy a landlord has, apart from bringing a different type of legal action solely for the recovery of back rent or property damage, is seeking to evict and re-rent the property to a new tenant that will be better for their business.

The California Court of Appeals recently rejected a challenge to one part of California's mandatory reporting laws for therapists. This case came about because the law in California was changed a few years ago to include a ban on the viewing of child pornography online.

Criminalizing the viewing of child pornography online seems perfectly rational. But what about in the context of reporting laws for therapists? According to the appeals court, mental health professional in California are now required to disclose to authorities when a client has viewed child pornography online.

California's new law that decriminalizes minors engaged in crimes associated with prostitution took effect January 1st, and is expected to make a big impact. The big thing that this new law does is allow minors who are forced into the sex trade and industry to be able to come to police without fearing arrest and prosecution. While many of the vocal opponents of the new law believe that minors will now run rampant through the streets prostituting themselves with legal impunity, this type of view shows a lack of a deeper understanding of the problem.

Although the law removes criminal penalties for minors suspected of solicitation and loitering with the intent to solicit, officers will still be able to take the minors into custody if they are suspected to be engaging in prostitution. The primary difference is what happens from the point of being taken into custody.

A New Jersey bill, passed in 2014, took effect this year to unseal over seventy years worth of adoption records. This enables adopted children to look up their biological parents. Since 1940, in the state of New Jersey, unless parents who were giving their child up for adoption agreed to an open adoption, they were guaranteed confidentiality by the court. The confidentiality that was promised no longer exists today, unless the parent filed the appropriate paperwork before December 31, 2016 to have their child’s birth certificate redacted.

When an adopted child reaches adulthood, they will now be able to request a copy of their birth certificate, which would contain the names of their birth parent(s). Additionally, the new law requires that all adoptions after August 1, 2015 be open adoptions.

After the Ebola outbreak in 2014 and Zika virus in 2015, the fear that a deadly, communicable disease will find its way from foreign countries into America is very real. In response, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) proposed a new rule giving it more authority to detain, test, and quarantine travelers entering or moving through the United States.

This might seem like a good idea on its face -- after all, we don't want people dying from preventable diseases. But many are worried about the potential impact that forced detention and medical testing could have on civil liberties and informed consent.

Can I Legally Live in a Garage?

A garage is a wonderful addition to any home. Even for people who don't drive or have cars, a garage can provide useful space for storage, creative pursuits, or even a home gym. In dense, urban environments, garages are often converted into separate apartment units, commonly referred to as "in-law" units. However, the many uses for garages can be limited by state and local laws, as well as home owners' association bylaws.

Recently, a family in a Michigan neighborhood sparked some local controversy after turning their garage into an indoor/outdoor living room. In some cities, it may be illegal or a violation of building codes to use or to rent out a garage space as a living space if it does not meet code. In these situations, a renter can be evicted if they are living in an illegal in-law unit, even in places with very strong protections for renters, like San Francisco.

The holidays are a wonderful time of year, filled with plenty of cheer. Gift givers and receivers delight in the surprises that those brightly wrapped and decorated boxes contain. However, there are some gifts that you might want to be extra careful about giving.

Below you'll find a list of 7 types of gifts that might have some unexpected legal consequences.

Getting older is a good thing, but as people advance in age, the holidays (and life in general) can become more complicated. Whether the family is coming to celebrate with you, or you're traveling to visit family, getting ready and being prepared for the holidays is never easy.

The following legal tips are geared toward making sure you have a safe, crime-free, scam-free, and maybe even productive, holiday season.

Whether it's for Christmas, a birthday, or just because, gifting a dog, cat or other animal doesn't always end up like you see on TV. In fact, animal rights groups routinely explain that pets are not good gifts because they are living beings, not toys. Young children may not understand this, and can easily injure young animals like puppies and kittens, by being too rough with them.

Apart from the practical considerations for the gift's recipient, such as the expense and time required to take care of a pet, there are a few legal considerations. Purchasing pets can be risky and confusing, and might just involve more paperwork and legal risks than you expect.

Hosting a party has its ups and downs. While gathering your friends and family together to celebrate any occasion is bound to be fun, if you're hosting and serving alcohol, you may have to be the "fun police." Social hosts have to walk a fine line between encouraging guests to have fun and making sure everyone stays safe.

Although a party host isn't going to be able to prevent every sort of alcohol related problem, exercising caution may save a host from facing legal liability if something does go wrong. Below, you'll find some tips on how to minimize legal liability when serving alcohol to party guests.