Richard Alderman

Q. Due to the heavy rain in recent weeks, one of my healthy oak trees fell over onto the driveway of our neighbor, damaging his two vehicles parked in the driveway. Am I liable for the repair costs to his cars?

A. If the trees were healthy and blew over as an act of God, you have no liability. For you to be liable, it is necessary to show that you were “negligent” in caring for your trees, and that negligence is why they fell. You are not legally responsible simply because you are the owner of the property and the trees.

shadow
Richard Alderman

Q. My daughter-in-law received a ticket last year for lack of auto insurance and paid the $250 fine. She thought it was paid in full, but recently she received another bill for $250. When she asked about this bill, she was told that she has to pay the $250 “surcharge” for three years. Is this true? Please explain the lack of insurance fine and its duration.

shadow

Q. I was hired by a small company to perform consulting services. They paid me for several months and then stopped. They kept saying I would be paid “soon,” and I believed them. Now it looks like they are not going to pay me. Have I waited too long to sue in Justice Court? How long do I have to sue for money I am owed for consulting services?

shadow

Q. I purchased a new pedigree puppy. As soon as I got it home, it became very ill. I immediately brought it to the veterinarian, but after two days and $1,000 in expenses, the puppy died. The vet said that the dog was extremely ill the day I bought it. The seller refuses to help pay the vet bills or even give me my money back. What are my legal rights?

shadow

Q. I was sexually assaulted at my apartment. I am very scared to live there and asked the landlord if I could terminate my lease. He said if I left early, I would be breaking the lease and would continue to owe rent. Do I have the right to leave?

shadow
Richard Alderman

Q. A few years ago I remarried. I immediately fell in love with my stepchild and wanted to let him know how much I felt like he was my own. I told him when I bought a new car I would give them my old one. That was almost a year ago and I no longer feel I can afford to give him the car. Am I legally obligated to give him the car as promised?

shadow

Q. I heard that the Massachusetts’s Supreme Court said taking a video under the skirt of a woman is not illegal. I don’t understand how a court can say this is legal. Is it legal in Texas?

shadow

Q. I bought my daughter a truck with the verbal agreement that she would pay me back. The truck cost $9,000. That has not happened. In Texas, what is the rule for verbal agreements? What steps can I take to get my money? She has a good job.

shadow
Door with lock and key

Q. I recently moved into a new apartment, and I am worried the former tenant still has a key. I asked the landlord to change or re-key the locks and he refused. He told me I could do it myself as long as I gave him a key. This doesn’t seem fair. Why should I have to pay for this?

shadow