Tag Archives: trends

New Laws in Arizona Summer 2017

The following new laws become effective in Arizona on August 9, 2017:

The Motor Vehicle Division cannot suspend the licenses of those who fail to respond to their citations. 

Dog racing is now illegal across the state. 

For spouses or dependents of military members killed in the line of duty, free car registrations become available.

The minimum wage will be increasing for workers, who can now expect $10 an hour. 

Homeowners with short-term rental homes on sharing websites like Airbnb and Homeaway will now have state taxes collected from the companies. The website companies will then forward the taxes to the Department of Revenue. 

In upcoming elections, pamphlets must be mailed to every household with registered voters showing what will be on the ballots. 

Got one of those plastic covers on your license plate to thwart photo radar?  They are now illegal.

Other laws range from expanding who can teach in Arizona classrooms and when police need warrants to track cell phones to exactly how much of someone’s foot a podiatrist can amputate (it’s a toe — not a foot).

Legislation to bar the state’s newest drivers from using cell phones does not take effect until July 1, 2018.

And a bill to set up procedures for people to argue about what they are charged by out-of-network hospitals does not become law until Jan. 1, 2019.

 

1964 Civil Rights Act Applies to Gays

A U.S. appeals court has ruled that federal civil rights law protects lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees from discrimination in the workplace.

The ruling from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, Illinois represents a major legal victory for the gay rights movement. The name of the case is Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College.

In its 8-3 decision, the court reversed decades of rulings that gay people are not protected by the milestone civil rights law because they are not specifically mentioned in it.

“For many years, the courts of appeals of this country understood the prohibition against sex discrimination to exclude discrimination on the basis of a person’s sexual orientation,” Chief Judge Diane Wood wrote for the majority. “We conclude today that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a form of sex discrimination.”

The ruling also allows a lawsuit to go forward in Indiana where plaintiff Kimberly Hively alleges she lost her community college teaching job because she is a lesbian. I mean seriously what’s next losing your job because you visited a gay porn site like www.fuckedgay.xxx more help is what’s needed so these laws must change.

“I have been saying all this time that what happened to me wasn’t right and was illegal,” Hively said in a statement released by the gay rights legal organization, Lambda Legal, which represents her. In so doing, the full appeals court overruled a decision by a smaller panel of its judges to uphold the district court’s decision in the college’s favor.

To reach its conclusion, the court examined 20 years of rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court on issues related to gay rights, including the high court’s 2015 ruling that same-sex couples have a right to marry, Wood wrote.

 

 

 

 

 

No Discharge in Bankruptcy, Student Loans

Monica Stitt, a 45-year-old woman, is unemployed, disabled, and living far below the poverty line. Still, a federal district judge decided last week that she could not cancel more than $37,000 in student debt in bankruptcy, because she hadn’t made a good-faith attempt at repaying the loans.

Her entire income— about $10,000 per year — consisted of Social Security disability benefits and public assistance. She has been unemployed since 2008.

She had borrowed $13,250, which had increased with interest to $37,400 by the time she filed for bankruptcy. After the bankruptcy judge ruled she couldn’t discharge the debt, Stitt appealed to the U.S. District Court in Maryland without a lawyer, and a district judge upheld the bankruptcy court’s ruling on June 9.
The debtor didn’t meet the “undue hardship” test required by the bankruptcy code. Unlike credit card debt, student loans can almost never be discharged in bankruptcy. The only way people who have filed for bankruptcy can get rid of the debt is by proving that repaying them would impose “undue hardship” on their lives.

That standard is not defined in the law, so it has been left to the courts to decide how bad someone’s circumstances need to be to qualify for relief. U.S. courts use a three-pronged test to decide whether paying back a student loan would be too difficult. First, a borrower must prove that she can’t maintain a “minimal standard of living” while also repaying the debt. Then the debtor must prove that the current destitute circumstances will last for quite a long time. Lastly, the debtor has to show s/he has made “good-faith efforts” to repay the loan in the past.

Stitt met the first two criteria, but she flunked the third part of the test—showing a good-faith effort to repay the loan—in part because she held a government-sponsored job for a few months in 2008, when she earned $11,000. The bankruptcy judge criticized her for not using some of the income to pay her student loans. Stitt said she used the income to pay credit card debt and other expenses.

The judge stated that Stitt was eligible for two federal loan-consolidation programs in which no payments would be required since her income was so low. After 25 years in the program, the debt would be forgiven even if she had made no payments, as long as her income hadn’t risen. In upholding denial of discharge of the loans in bankruptcy, the judge encouraged her to participate in the consolidation program.

If you are looking to file for bankruptcy, you could go ahead and file bankruptcy without a lawyer. However, seeking the guidance of a qualified bankruptcy attorney may be very helpful because of the long-term financial consequences of a bankruptcy filing. If you wish to do so in North Carolina, you may want to speak with Sasser Law Firm.

If you’re concerned about how you’re going to fund your time at college, you might want to look at student loans by Sofi to see how they can help you out.