California Legal Document Assistant LDA Bond

Magna_charta_cum_statutis_angliae_p1

Did you know that there is an industry in california where non-lawyers can be paid for providing assistance in legal matters?  Its true.  These professionals are called Legal Document Assistants (LDA) and, after they obtain a LDA Bond, are free to offer their services across the state.

California is a vast and complex place.  With a legal code that reflects its complexity and enormity.   Furthermore, California is a highly litigious state.  A recent article by the Bay Area NBC affiliate’s investigative team indicates that California has far more lawsuits regarding the enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) than any other state.  (see:http://www.nbcbayarea.com/investigations/California-Outpaces-Other-States-in-ADA-Lawsuits-disability-act-246193931.html for the full story) And not everyone elects to pay for represetation and choose to represent themselves.  Luckily for them LDA’s are available to help conduct research or otherwise assist in the trial preparation.

Defined by CA Business and Professions code 6400(c) a LDA as:Any person who is not exempted under Section 6401 and who provides, or assists in providing, or offers to provide, or offers to assist in providing, for compensation, any self-help service to a member of the public who is representing himself or herself in a legal matter, or who holds himself or herself out as someone who offers that service or has that authority. This paragraph does not
apply to any individual whose assistance consists merely of secretarial or receptionist services.

The secretary of state requires all Legal Document Assistants to procure the above-mentioned LDA bond so that prospective clients have feel confident that they are working with trustworthy professionals.

For helpful information on LDA’s see the California Association of Legal Document Assistance website: http://calda.org/.  And for more information about the LDA Bond process please contact the Surety Bond experts at Jurisco and one of their helpful staff will answer any questions about rates, applications and more.

 

Colorado Personal Representative Bond

Colorado Personal Representative Bond Who needs estate planning in Colorado?  This questions was posed by Wayne Farlow in ColoradoBiz.com (see full article here: http://www.cobizmag.com/articles/who-needs-estate-planning).  The answer is pretty straight forward:  Anyone who is going to die.  Not to be morbid, but that is the simple truth.  No matter the size of your estate, a little planning can save your beneficiaries a lot of hassle after your passing (at a ripe old age, surrounded by your loved ones).  Without planning your estate will have to go through probate court which will cost your estate money and may even result in the judge requiring a probate bond  (or personal representative bond) for the individual selected to manage the distribution of your estate. Now, in case that last sentence piqued your interest.  Let me further explain the Probate Bond: A personal representative bond is required by the state of Colorado to protect the interest of the deceased’s estate, its heirs and those parties who are owed money. The responsibility of a personal representative (formally referred to as an executor  in Colorado) is taken seriously by the courts. Courts mandate the surety bond as a form of protection for all parties. While the surety bond protects the heirs and creditors of the estate, it is also a protection for the personal representative to ensure she/he fulfills their duties responsibly. Being Appointed As A Personal Representative On average, the deceased will name the personal representative in their will. However, if this does not occur the responsibility could be entrusted to the closest living relative or even to a financial institution (like a bank) that will oversee the account. A Colorado judge may appoint a person to the position after a probate examiner reviews the petition and estate information. Being named as a personal representative of an estate is a big deal. The court holds the overseer to all his or her actions in order to protect heirs and creditors of the estate. The duties of a personal representative, executor or administrator in Colorado include the following:

  • Notifying Inheritors
  • File Will in Probate Court
  • Pay Taxes
  • Distribute Property
  • Open Bank Accounts for Estate
  • Settle Debts

All of these tasks and more, including the day-to-day details, rest on the shoulders of an executor. Given the amount of responsibility an administrator holds it is necessary for the personal representative bond to fully cover these actions. Surety Bonds exist to make the probate and estate planning process more secure; though they can be complicated.  If you have any questions regarding personal representative bonds please dont hesitate to contact the surety bond experts at Jurisco.  A member of their friendly staff will be happy to answer any query that may arise.

Construction Injunction Bonds in California

Injunction Bond California

Have you ever heard the acronym “NIMBY” before?  In case not, it stands for “Not in My Backyard”, and is a pejorative term for activist neighbors or communities that staunchly oppose some new development on often spurious grounds.  “Want to build a park? Well, not in my backyard.  It will attract too many teens and they will do serious harm to my quality of life”  And so forth.  Not all claims are spurious, of course, and sometimes lawsuits are necessary stop construction before claimants suffer greater harm.  In California courts, the only effective way to get immediate relief before the suit goes to court is to file a Preliminary Injunction.  And to do so, a claimant in California must post an Injunction Bond.

An example of this scenario, where NIMBY-ism was taken to the extreme, is found in a New York Times article written by Allison Arieff.  (See LINK for full article).  In the article Ms. Arieff describes how a small group of concerned residents halted construction of a house because they didn’t like the look of it (this is a simplified summary).

So construction was halted, what’s the big deal?  Why the need for an injunction bond?  Well, the fact is that once construction is halted due to a pre-judgement injunction, it is the defendants who are at risk of being harmed.  Construction delays are expensive and there is an emotional distress resulting from being prevented from living in your home.  So,  in this case, the injunction bond is necessary as it protects the defendant from being wrongfully enjoined; the bond bond covers any damages the defendant may sustain should the court rule the plaintiff’s suit is wrongful (we know this definition is correct, because it comes from the Jurisco website!)

There are many scenarios where construction may pose material harm to a neighbor and not just pique their ire over modernist architecture.  For instance,  the excavating of a property causes damage to a neighbor’s foundation and halting construction is the only way to prevent serious more  foundation damage from occurring.   If you find yourself in this situation and you wish to learn more about California Injunction Bonds and injunctive relief, please contact the surety bond experts at Jurisco and one of their knowledgeable staff will be happy to answer all your queries.

License Bond California

License Bond California

Loyal followers of the Jurisco Surety Blog will know that, to operate certain businesses in the State of California, business owners must acquire a license bond to qualify for a license.  An article by Matthew Yglesias on Slate.com brought the onus the various licensing boards put on business owners brought the subject of license bonds in to some relief.  (See link:  for the full article).Though it can seem like acquiring a bond to gain a business license is an undue burden, the requirements are actually in place to protect consumers and employees.

Take for example California Senate Bill 662, which amended provisions (and repealed others) to the Business and Professions Code, relating to structural pest control operators.  (See link for more info:  http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140SB662) The bond text outlines the changes in regards to the surety bond requirements:

Existing law requires structural pest control operators to maintain a surety bond in the amount of $4,000 in order to maintain its license or company registration. If a structural pest control operator’s license or company registration is suspended or revoked, on specified grounds, the registrar of the board shall require the applicant, licensee, or registered company, as a condition of the issuance, reissuance, or restoration of the license or company registration, to file a surety bond in a sum to be determined by the registrar based upon the seriousness of the violation, but not less than $1,000 nor more than $8,000.This bill would raise the amount of the surety bond, needed to maintain the license or company registration, from $4,000 to $12,500, and would raise the upper limits of the amount of the surety bond required for an issuance, reissuance, or restoration of the license or company registration, after a suspension or revocation, from $8,000 to $25,000.

 

The bond in this case is there to protect consumers from harmful activity by the pest control operators.  Those being forced to obtain the bond may gripe about the extra hoops they must jump through, but those being protected by the extra layer of insurance and security should feel good that there are protections in place with their interest in mind. Many other businesses in California also require a surety bond to obtain a license.  These include:

  • Travel Agents,
  • Gyms/Health Clubs/Fitness Studios
  • Yacht Brokers
  • Auto Dealers
  • Mobile Home Dealers

If you ever learn that you must obtain a surety license bond to operate a business in the State of California, or elsewhere across America; don’t be overwhelmed.  The experts at Jurisco are available to answer your questions and to help you along the path to operating your successful business.

California Immigration Consultant Bond

Immigration Consultant Bond

Immigration is one of the biggest issues facing California and the nation right now.    Turn on the television or open up any  newspaper (online in this case) and you will find a story on immigration.  A recent article on WashingtonPost.com by William Harless is just one of hundreds of examples.  (see full article here).  What is rarely reported, however, are the growing number of professions that serve the immigrant community.  One of these professions, The California Immigration Consultant, offers a valuable service by, among other things, helping immigrant families obtain and file necessary forms, and notifying them when they are in need of legal assistance.   To ensure that only strong applicants enter this profession, the California secretary of state requires that applications obtain a California Immigration Consultant Bond before they are issued a license.

According to Immigration Nation US,  Immigration Consultants, “have the knowledge of process and procedures for filing certain immigration documents and is also knowing of available resources for cases that are beyond the capabilities of an immigration consultant. The bulk of work lies in preparing documents, document packages and filings for clients with various and specific immigration needs”      More information can also be found at their website.

Pursuant to the new provisions of California Business and Professions Code section 22443.1, however, the bond requirement has doubled and all applicants and renewal’s will have to obtain an $100,000 Immigration Consultant Bond.  For more information on the requirements see the California’s Secretary of State website:  http://www.sos.ca.gov/business/sf/imm-consultant-qualifications.htm

Despite the increase in bond amount,  the profession remains in high demand.  California has an immigrant population (naturalized and other) of over 10 million and many of these people need expert help so they legally proceed with the immigration process.

If you wish to receive more information on the California Immigration Consultant Bond or have general questions about the bonding process, please contact one of the Surety Bond Experts at Jurisco.  A friendly member of their staff will be there to answer all of your queries.

Writ of Possession Bond in California

Writ of Possession Bond California

Two recent trends in California have dramatically altered the landscape of “Landlord/Tenant Relationship”; specifically evictions.  The first is the skyrocketing real estate market.  The second is the rise of ‘room share’ applications like AirBnB and VRBO.  What this means is that there is money to be made and both sides, and owners and renters are out to make it.  The unfortunate result of this situation is that more and more tenants are being evicted. (See SFGate.com Article by Carolyn Said for more information: Evictions SF)  And the already stressed court system is struggling to make sure the rights of both parties are being recognized.  A legal surety safeguard called a Writ of Possession Bond is being required by the courts more and more to ensure that the eviction process goes as smoothly and fairly as possible.

The macro situation is this:  some people in California are making piles of money in the real estate market right now.  Either through selling property at these historic high prices or from acting as landlords and renting their units at previously unseen levels.  Compounding this craze is the emergence of short term rental applications like AirBnB and VRBO which create a new and mostly unregulated market.   The conflicts arise when tenants, seeking to make money off of their extra rooms or when they are on vacation, violate lease agreements prohibiting short term rentals.  In increasing numbers, landlords then take steps to evict tenants and/or take possession of tenants property to satisfy claims.  This is where the aforementioned Writ of Possession and Writ of Possession Bond comes in to play.

As defined by ExpertEvictions.com, a Writ of Possession is, “A document issued by the court after the landlord wins an unlawful detainer.  The writ of possession is served on the tenant by the sheriff.  The writ informs the tenant that the tenant must leave the rental unit by the end of five days, or the sheriff will forcibly remove the tenant.”   A Writ of Possession Bond is used if the plaintiff seeks to take possession of property before a judgment is made. In this case, if the landlord wishes to take possession of the real property before the eviction judgment has been finalized. The bond guarantees that if the Writ of Possession is deemed wrongful and that the tenant’s property has suffered undue harm, the defendant be able to collect damages.

As you can see exploding real estate market in California is leading to all sorts of corollary legal issues.  And, like a lot of legal issues, they can be quite confusing.  If you ever require more information on a Writ of Possession Bond in California, please contact the Surety Bond experts at Jurisco and a knowledgeable member of their staff will be able to answer all your questions.

California Labor Law 98.2 Undertaking & Appeal Bond

appeal bond undertaking

A recent article in the New York Times by Jennifer Medina on California labor issues (found here) prompted a question.  Do you know where your state stands in regards to labor laws?  Not all states are equal.  In fact, nationwide, there is significant variation between labor heavy regulations and those that favor the employer.  Laws in California, for those of you who didn’t already guess, favor labor.  And in 2014, the situation can be labeled ‘more so’.  There have been several recent changes to the code  but the one I wanted to discuss today is California Labor Code 98.2 which covers the appeal process.  In order to seek review of a decision, a party has 10 days to file an appeal to the superior court.  To successfully file, the appealing parties must post an appeal bond (also known as a undertaking bond) or cash with the superior court in the amount equal to the judgement.

Have you ever felt pressed for time?  10 days can feel like an eternity or like a slowly tightening girdle; just squeezing the breath out of you. The 10 day limit to file an appeal is the crux of issue here.  Because, no matter what side of the dispute you are on, labor or employer, if you miss the deadline, you have forfeited your opportunity to contest the court’s decision.  (For more info on this see Garret Murai’s helpful article on the appeal process:  Here)

Making the right decisions during the 10 day limit is crucial.  Should you appeal?  Do you feel strongly about the merits of your claim?  How do I procure an Appeal Bond or an Undertaking?  Which surety bond company should I choose?   The former two questions can only be answered by a thorough examination of the case, preferably done with your attorney.  The latter two questions are a little easier to answer.  Any surety bond agent you choose should have the ability to turn around your appeal bond requirements in a matter of hours if necessary.  They should have the experience to offer the time saving advice that could very well save your appeal.

If you have questions about California Labor Code 98.2 or if you want to learn more about the appeal bond or undertaking bond process, please contact the surety bond experts at Jurisco.  A member of their experienced staff is available to answer any queries you may have.

Lost Stock Certificate Bond

Lost Stock Certificate Bond

Legendary College Football coach Bobby Bowden was once asked why his wife wasn’t with him at an awards banquet.  His response (paraphrased response):  “Well, you just can’t remember everything”. How many of you have ever guilty of losing your keys?  The remote?  Or, heaven forbid, your cell phone?  Show of hands . . . .?  By your response it seems universal that things get misplaced.   I was browsing around Investopedia today and I came across an interesting page about what happens when someone loses a stock certificate.  (See full article here: http://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/07/lost_share_certificate.asp)  I was suprised to learn that replacing a lost stock certificate is actually easier (and less emotionally painful) than replacing your cell phone.  The main reason this is so is because of a surety product called the Lost Stock Certificate Bond or the Lost Instrument Bond.  

The Lost Stock Certificate Bond is the linchpin in the stock certificate replacement process.  Basically, the bond certifies that, if the original certificate somehow shows up at a later date, the transfer agent and issuing corporation are protected.  Without the bond, agents and corporations would have too much risk hanging over their heads and wouldn’t want to issue any new certificates without an insurance policy.   The lost stock certificate bond is just this insurance policy.

This is not a process unique to a specific state.  Replacing your lost stock certificate is uniform nationwide.  That’s right:  all 50 states.  And to begin the process, the individual must first contact the issuing corporation’s Transfer agent.  According to SEC.gov, the transfer agents provide three key functions for the issuing corporations:  1. Issue and cancel certificates to reflect changes in ownership. 2. Act as an intermediary for the company.  3. Handle lost, destroyed, or stolen certificates. (See link:  https://www.sec.gov/answers/transferagent.htm for full post and description on each of the three functions.)  The easiest way to find the appropriate transfer agent is to contact the corporation’s investor relations office (often found on their website).  After contacting the agent, the investor must describe the type of certificate and the amount of loss followed by procuring the aforementioned Lost Stock Certificate Bond.  Once this is done, a new certificate will be issued.

See?  Not so hard.  Way easier than replacing all of those valuable family photos that you have neglected to back up on your phone.

If you have any more questions regarding the Lost Stock Certificate Bond or the process of replacing lost certificates, please contact the friendly and knowledgeable staff at Jurisco.

Guardianship Bonds in California

guardisnship bond California

In California, Professional Guardians play a vital role in the well-being of the state’s elderly and disabled.   Let’s face it:  In today’s society, Guardians are essential.  And with great power comes great responsibility and, also, a greater risk of system abuse.  The and that is why there are checks put in place by the California legal system to those in most need of protecting.  A Guardianship Bond is one of those checks.  Mandatory licensing by the office of the California Consumer Affairs is another (see here for more info:  http://www.fiduciary.ca.gov/).  The Guardianship bond is required when a person may be deemed incapacitated by the court by either infirmity or age. In these cases, the probate court may appoint a guardian to handle the incapacitated person’s (ward) financial and physical affairs. Requiring a guardianship bond ensures the person is not mistreated or taken advantage of financially.

It has been many years since the tradition structure of family living dissipated.  Rarely now do you find three generations of a family living together and  and rarely do parents have the time or resources to care for the permanently disabled.  Things that used to be common are now the exception.  And families must trust strangers to care for grampa.   A story I recently read on SantaCruz.com by author Georgia Perry got me thinking about this. (See story here: http://www.santacruz.com/2012/07/31/guardianship_case_highlights_plight_of_elderly/)

Loved ones shouldn’t be frightened by the occasional bad story.  Rather, they should be careful.  Because, by and large, California’s Professional Guardians are a wonderful and trustworthy group.  And they care they provide can make you life, and the life of a disabled loved one, so much better.

If you are looking for a professional guardian or are already a Fiduciary and are interested in learning more about the requirements for a Guardianship Bond in California, please contact the bond experts at Jurisco and their helpful staff will provide you with all the information you require.

 

Stop Payment Notice Bond California

Stop Payment Notice Bond california

We at Jurisco know that the construction industry in California is humming again.  New projects, both public and private are being executed all over the state.  And so largely gone are the days where shrinking fund availability leads to many unpaid (and unhappy) contractors.  Largely gone but not completely.  Every day in California, aggrieved contractors are using lie remedies to collect on what they are owed.   The two available in this state are the ‘Mechanic’s Lien’ and the lesser used  ‘Stop Payment Notice’.  What many people may not know is that a Stop Payment Notice Bond must be filed along with the Stop Payment Notice.  This Surety Bond protects the lender and the prime contractor from any monies withheld wrongfully.    The bond must be in the amount of 125% of the claim.

For those of you who wish to learn more about the the Mechanic’s Lien and the Stop Payment Notice remedies, please see this wonderful article: http://www.zlien.com/articles/the-differences-between-a-stop-notice-and-a-mechanics-lien/    Mr. Wolfe provides a very clear explanation; and attempting to best his efforts would be a waste of my energy.  I will summarize, though.  A Stop Notice is used when a subcontractor or supplier has not been paid for their goods or services.  The Stop Notice requires the lending authority to withhold future payments to the general contractor in the amount described in the Stop Notice claim.   This is only done, however, if the Claimant has procured a stop payment notice bond to be filed with the claim.   The lender will only withhold money if the notice is bonded.  (More information on the Stop Payment Notice requirements in sections 3083 and 3103 in the California Civil Code)

I could muddy the waters by also describing the other bond that can be used as a remedy to the lender; called the Release of Stop Payment Notice Bond.  But I’ll save that for another post.  In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding Stop Payment Notice Bonds or any other surety bond matter, please contact the bond experts at Jurisco and an actual human being will answer all your queries.