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Author: Tessa Hetherington

The Crews Law Firm > Articles posted by Tessa Hetherington

What Does the New Landlord/Tenant Attorney Fee Law Mean for North Carolinians?

A small white house with red door surrounded by fall trees. Photo credit: Scott Webb on Unsplash.com

A new law, known as Session Law 2018-50, Senate Bill 224, has just passed in North Carolina in June of 2018. This law adds provisions to N.C. General Statute § 42-46, which governs the legal fees landlords can collect from tenants. The bill was originally proposed by an NC Democrat for a completely different purpose - NC Republicans gutted the original bill and replaced it with this. What do the changes mean for landlords? The new law is good news for landlords. It allows landlords to collect court fees and attorney fees from tenants if the tenants breach their lease. The filing fees charged...

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Does the Lawsuit Against “S-Town” Have Merit?

S-Town, a deeply personal podcast about Alabama man John B. Macklemore, was produced by the creators of "Serial" and "This American Life."

"S-Town," a podcast created and narrated by "This American Life" producer Brian Reed, came out in March of 2017. The show, a miniseries about the life and death of an enigmatic Alabama man named John B. Macklemore, immediately became a hit with listeners and critics. The show is incredibly personal and raw. It delves deeply into the life of John B. and the other residents of the small Alabama town of Woodstock - not-so-affectionately nicknamed "s**t-town" by John B. himself, which is where the show gets its name. I've listened to it twice, loved it both times, and plan on a...

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Independence Day Safety!

Fireworks in a dark sky with people standing nearby watching. Photo by Jordan Steranka on Unsplash

Have fun and stay safe on Independence Day! Even though the 4th of July is very fun, it's also a dangerous holiday. I know, I sound full-on paranoid. It's because I've read too many legal cases about horrific injuries and accidents to be calm anymore. 4th of July may involve such hazards as drunk drivers, 'sploding fireworks in your own backyard, and eating BBQ that may or may not have been prepared with food safety in mind. I'm not saying you should stay in your house for America's birthday...

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Landlords Misusing Tenant’s Security Deposit Money

Benjamin Franklin looks up from a crisp $100 bill. Maybe this is part of a security deposit.

Security Deposits: An Overview Most people are familiar with the concept of a security deposit. Landlords typically request these deposits as collateral against the risk that tenants will cause damage. This makes a lot of sense. If a tenant moves in and trashes the property, the landlord can lawfully withhold their security deposit to make repairs. What if the tenant skips town without paying their last month's rent? The landlord can withhold the deposit for that as well. But what if the landlord is withholding the entire deposit and charging more on top of that for no reason? What if, once the...

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Who Gets the Pets?

We don't have to say it. We already know that your pets are important to you. Dogs and cats are sometimes our most loyal companions. They can be a huge source of comfort during a difficult break-up. Unfortunately, when a separating couple owns pets, they do have to decide who keeps them. Needless to say, this can be extremely difficult. What Does the Law Say? Some states treat animals almost like children. They will create a custody and visitation schedule for pets as if they were children. According to this article from The Bark, a dog magazine, Alaska is becoming one of those...

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Child Custody Overview

The Best Interest of the Child Our clients all have one thing in common: they want the best for their children. The State of North Carolina does too. That's why the standard for establishing custody is the best interest of the child. It all goes back to what's best for the kids. But life is messy and sometimes adults cannot cooperate. Sometimes one parent loses his or her way and forgets what is best for their children. And sometimes, a parent is able to turn his or her life around and resume an active role in a child's life. We are here...

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Free or Inexpensive Legal Options in NC

If your piggy bank is running low, we understand that legal fees are the last thing you want to pay. But, resolving a dispute, a speeding ticket, or a family law case may be worth the cost. It may lead to greater peace of mind, a point-free license, a custody schedule that works for your family. In some cases you may even get a settlement or verdict in your favor, and attorney's fees paid by the other side to boot! Read on to learn more about our options and some local free or low-cost legal resources. Free Personal Injury Consultations We offer free...

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Help! My landlord is awful!

The fungus we don't want among us! Fungi: they're pretty when they're out in the woods, delicious if you know what you're doing with them in the kitchen, and deadly if you don't. And, most importantly, you DO NOT want them growing in your house! Mold and mildew are close relatives of mushrooms, and they are one of the things we get the most calls about from unhappy tenants. But what are a tenant's options when their landlord won't fix the mold--or the rat infestation, the broken steps, the heater, or the air conditioner? It turns out that North Carolina is...

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Heartbalm Torts in North Carolina

What Is a "Heart Balm" Action? Heart balm actions (or heart balm torts) are a little old-fashioned. In fact, North Carolina is one of the few states that still recognizes them. They exist in order to right certain wrongs that can happen in a marriage. As their name implies, they are meant to provide a balm to a person's broken heart. On one hand, these actions are archaic. They place a very high value on monogamy and marriage. They seem to uphold old-fashioned ideas. They are, after all, based on very old laws meant to punish people for "debauching" another man's wife....

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