93.1 KISS FM – Ask A Lawyer, Part 4

Ask A Lawyer - Michael Gopin


Man: And now “Mike and Tricia Mornings” on 93.1 KISS FM.

Tricia: We’re back with “Ask A Lawyer,” our new monthly segment on “Mike and Tricia Mornings” with Michael Gopin. So, so far we’ve covered things like, should you follow school zone signs? Yes, you should is the answer. Does your employer have to provide things for COVID safety? Well, yes to a certain extent, but, you know, it’s probably best if they’re not to go ahead and ask them. We’ve also covered things about hernia mesh cases, and you can find more details about that in an article on kisselpaso.com. So we’ve got a couple of more questions or last couple of questions from our free 93.1 KISS FM mobile app. And Mr. Gopin, Michael in Central asks, how can I file a quick claim against a landscaper who never showed up for the job after I hired and paid him? Oh, so much to unpack here.

Michael: I tell you, sorry about that situation. What I would recommend is that you could file a claim in JP court, your local JP court. You’d have to go down to the court and file an actual lawsuit against the person, the landscaper who never showed up. The issue here is you’re gonna have to serve him with these papers. So you’re gonna have to know where his location is, and you’re gonna have to get him served by a service processor and take your case to court. These cases in JP court go a lot quicker than your typical district court. But again, there’s no guarantee that they’re gonna be able to pay the money after you win your case. And you may have a piece of paper saying that you won and it’s basically worthless. So those are the downsides of filing a case against this person if they don’t have the money or resources to pay you back. Hopefully, you could get an agreement with this guy to actually do the work or refund your money on its own, but that’s what you’d have to do is file a claim in JP court.

Tricia: Well, I think the most important thing is yeah, like, don’t pay everything upfront.

Mike: Oh boy, yes.

Michael: Well, that’s a definite good rule to follow because, you know, there’s no incentive after they’ve been paid in full to get the work done. So, you know, just pay a small deposit down after they start working the first day and let them be paid accordingly.

Mike: But like let’s say that you do get a judgment in your favor, like, there’s nothing, like, mechanic liens to those kinds of things? Like anytime they try to either sell their business or anytime, you know, that they’ve done a few jobs and might have some money, you don’t have any recourse like that?

Michael: No, you wouldn’t have recourse like that. In Texas, your wages are your wages, they can’t garnish your wages. Your home state is protected, your car is protected and there’s things in your house that’s protected. So there’s a lot of rules to protect the person who…the little guy in Texas. So there’s pros and cons about that, but it certainly helps them in these types of cases. So, you know, a lot of people in Texas are what they call judgment proof which means that no matter what kind of judgment you have against them, you’re not gonna be able to collect it. That’s the downside. Other states are different, but that’s how Texas works.

Tricia: Okay. And then the last question we have is from his Jesus in East El Paso, and he wants to know do traffic warrants keep you from getting your car registration renewed?

Michael: No, a traffic ticket do not do that. They don’t permit you from getting registration renewed. However, a police officer can stop you for something else and arrest you on the way to pay your registration, so it’s really a good idea to take care of those warrants before you do get in trouble. But just by the act of going to and paying your registration you’re not gonna have an issue there, but you’re always at risk to be arrested as long as you have that warrant out there. So it’s definitely a good idea to get that taken care of.

Interviewer: Okay. And that’s our last question.

Michael: That’s the questions of the day, huh?

Mike: Okay. Well, you know what? I think we’re gonna have you on twice in January, Mr. Gopin, are you ready for that?

Michael: I’m ready.

Mike: I mean, you know, twice the lovin’.

Michael: Exactly.

Mike: That’s good, right? That’s a good tag.

Michael: It’s very good.

Mike: Okay. All right. Well, if you’d like to ask a question and ask a lawyer, specifically Mr. Gopin, two ways to go about it, you can use the submit audio feature on your free 93.1 KISS FM mobile app, or go to Mike and Tricia Facebook, and you see that little blues thing there that says send message, you can send us a message that way. “Ask A Lawyer” with Michael Gopin. And Mr. Gopin, if somebody has…maybe would like to seek an opinion from you, how can they get ahold of you?

Michael: They can get ahold of us by calling our office at 915-532-1111, or email us at info@michaelgopin.com.

Mike: Thank you, Mr. Gopin, “Ask A Lawyer.”

Michael: Thanks, guys.
Tricia: Thank you, Mr. Gopin.

Mike: “Mike and Tricia Mornings” on 93.1 KISS FM.

Michael J. Gopin

Michael J. Gopin has practiced law in El Paso since 1987. Even after more than 30 years, he still remembers his first jury case. It was two weeks after receiving his license, when he represented a person whose life had been forever changed after being blinded in a work-related incident...


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