Other Legal Issues

General Other Legal Issues Articles

An apostille is a way to authenticate documents for use outside the country where they were created. This article deals primarily with obtaining an apostille for documents issued by federal agencies for use elsewhere.
Artisans' and Mechanics' Liens are a way for workers to make sure they get paid for their work.
This article introduces government seizure and forfeiture of personal property, explains the procedure, and provides information on how a property owner can respond when the government takes property.
A brief summary of Maryland Law on Defamation for Private Persons
Each year, the US Department of Health and Human Services updates the federal poverty guidelines. These are a list of annual income amounts, based on the number of people in a household. Different programs use the guidelines in different ways.
An apostille is a way to authenticate documents for use outside the country where they were created. This article deals primarily with obtaining an apostille from Maryland for use elsewhere.
Maryland law does not distinguish between different breeds of dogs or single out pit bulls for special treatment. All dog owners have a common set of responsibilities. Some Maryland counties have breed-specific laws, so make sure to check with your county.
In Maryland, possession or use of less than 10 grams of marijuana is not a criminal offense. Possession or use of up to 10 grams of marijuana is still illegal, however, and carries civil penalties.
Replevin and detinue are two kinds of court cases that allow a plaintiff to seek to get personal property back from a defendant. In a replevin action, a judge may grant temporary possession of the property to the plaintiff. In a detinue action, a judge decides who will have permanent legal possession of the property.
To sue the government or a government employee for an injury, you must follow all the normal rules for lawsuits, as well as some additional rules.

Civil Rights

Civil rights generally refers to the rights that individuals living in the United States have under the United States Constitution, certain federal laws, the Maryland constitution and certain state laws.
There are a number of federal and state laws that prohibit discrimination because of age, race, color, gender, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, and pregnancy.
Several federal statutes (laws) allow people whose civil rights have been violated to sue the violator(s).
Maryland law requires many of the Maryland state government agencies and programs to help you if you have trouble with English.
Several Maryland laws prohibit retaliation against an employee who has disclosed wrongdoing by an employer.
In addition to the general requirements you must meet in order to vote in Maryland, there are special rules if you have been convicted of certain crimes and/or are currently under certain restrictions within the criminal justice system.
The Fifteenth Amendment (Amendment XV) to the United States Constitution prohibits each government in the United States from denying a citizen the right to vote based on that citizen's "race, color, or previous condition of servitude" (i.e., slavery). It was ratified on February 3, 1870.

Immigration

Asylum is a way to apply for refugee protections from within the United States, including protection from deportation.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a form of immigration relief for certain qualified young people who came to the United States as children. Eligibly individuals may request consideration of deferred action of removal for a period of two years, subject to renewal.
This article describes what a Family Safety Plan is and important terms to know.
This article describes documents that are part of the safety plan and things to consider with each.
If you are in the U.S. on a visa that was granted based on your spouse’s application, a divorce or separation may affect your lawful status and ability to stay in the U.S. You must be careful in choosing whether and when to separate or get a divorce. This article will help you weigh your options.
American immigration law is federal law, so many aspects are the same in all states of the United States.
This article provides information on Immigration Court (also called deportation or removal proceedings) and links to helpful resources for more information.
The U-Visa is a form of immigration relief for victims of certain criminal activities and is implemented as a tool to aid law enforcement in identifying perpetrators and aiding victims. The U-Visa grants a temporary 4 year stay for holders with some holders eventually qualifying for lawful permanent residency.
This article contains helpful tips for immigrants and new Americans
This article describes notario fraud, or immigration legal services fraud, and what to do if you are a victim of notario fraud.
This article explains the various individuals who can represent you in immigration proceedings.
Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) is a form of immigration relief available to undocumented children living in the U.S. who have been abandoned, abused, or neglected by at least one parent and meet several other eligibility requirements.
A standby guardian is a person appointed by a parent (or parents) of a child to take care of the child in the event that the parent is mentally or physically incapable of doing so, or subject to an adverse immigration action.

Maryland Small Business

A nonprofit is an organization that does not distribute profit among individual people, such as owners or shareholders. Instead, the income of the organization is used to further the organization’s commitment to public service. There are many kinds of nonprofits - some are exempt from paying taxes, some are not.
This article provides an introduction to cooperatives, as well as an overview of the considerations involved in creating a cooperative. A cooperative is a business or nonprofit organization owned and operated by the people who either use or provide its services. Cooperatives exist in nearly every sector of the economy and employ millions of people each year.
This article explains what a Community Development Corporation (CDC) is and sets forth some of the steps to starting one in Maryland.
Learn about available resources to help you face financial difficulties during the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you are a non-profit organization thinking about 501(c)(3) tax exempt status, but are concerned about the costs and paperwork, or if you are not yet in a position to apply (e.g. you have not filed with the state to become a corporation or you do not have a Board of Directors in place), then a fiscal sponsorship is an alternative option for your organization.
One or more people may form an LLC. This article will be most helpful to a single owner, also called a “member,” who wants to form an LLC.
When structuring a business it is important to choose the right entity for your needs because legal responsibilities and protections will differ based on the type of business entity chosen. This article focuses on how to form a stock corporation in Maryland.
501(c)(3) non-profit organizations that have secured tax-exempt status from the IRS often ask for donations from supporters. These organizations must file certain forms with the state of Maryland if they wish to ask people or other organizations to donate money.
Most businesses operating in Maryland must file a report by April 15 each year to maintain "good standing" with SDAT, the State Department of Assessment and Taxation. Without "good standing," a business may lose limited liability or other legal protections associated with being a corporation, limited liability company (LLC), limited partnership (LP), limited liability partnership (LLP), or certain types of trusts or farms.
Benefit corporations are formed to create a public benefit, in addition to creating profit for its shareholders. In Maryland, a company can be recognized by the state as a benefit corporation by stating in its corporate charter that it is a benefit corporation, getting certified as providing a public benefit, taking into consideration more than just profit, and submitting an annual benefit report to each stockholder.
This article explains what sales and use taxes are, who must pay them, and how to file them with the state.
This article describes how to create a nonprofit organization.
Many charitable organizations in Maryland rely heavily on volunteers to carry out their missions to offer much-needed services and resources to communities. Federal and state law encourages people to volunteer by providing some protections from lawsuits, in case of accidents or negligence. This article addresses some of the questions individual volunteers and charitable organizations may have concerning lawsuits.
This article covers what a small family child care provider must include in a contract with parents under the Maryland regulations known as COMAR Title 13A, Subtitle 15.
A tax-exempt organization that receives income from an activity that is unrelated to the exempt purpose of the organization may have to pay Unrelated Business Income Tax or UBIT.
To garnish is to take property, most often a portion of someone's salary, by legal authority. Garnishment is a proceeding by a creditor to collect a debt by taking the property or assets of a debtor.

Motor Vehicles

In the past few sessions of the Maryland General Assembly, several new laws were passed that greatly restrict the way minors can operate their automobiles
What does Maryland require to lawfully drive a car? Registration, title and license plates; an inspection; a valid driver’s license; an emissions test; and insurance.
This article describes Maryland's driving while impaired by alcohol laws.
A public record can be corrected or a vehicle titled by petitioning for a writ of mandamus. Mandamus (Latin for "we command") is a writ issued by a court commanding a public official to perform an action.
Under Maryland law every child under 8 years old must ride in an appropriate child restraint and every child from 8 to 16 years old who is not secured in a child restraint must be secured in a vehicle seat belt.
Driving without a license is a criminal offense. This article describes how to replace a lost license.
Beginning May 3, 2023, a REAL ID compliant identification card will be required to board a plane. Here's how to get one.
Maryland law restricts reading, writing, or sending a text message, or using a handheld telephone, while operating a motor vehicle.
This article describes traffic citation procedure in Maryland.

Personal Injury

You are likely to find a "contingency fee" in personal injury cases, accidental claims, property damage cases, or other cases where a large amount of money is in contention.
For a number of reasons, personal injury is an area of the law that is generally not suited to self-representation. This section will give you an overview of the law, give you some tips on things to look out for and help you to find an attorney.
Generally, recoveries for physical harm are not taxable. Other types of monetary settlements are taxable.

Taxes

If your earned income falls below certain levels, you may qualify for a reduction in taxes and possibly a refund.
Information on ordering or downloading tax forms, filing electronically, and finding a tax preparer.
Divorce can affect your income taxes. Your written settlement agreement should state how you and your spouse will handle the issues in this article.
Generally, recoveries for physical harm are not taxable. Other types of monetary settlements are taxable.

Veterans/Military

Under certain conditions, a state court may award a portion of one spouse's military retired pay to the other, as part of a divorce order.
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) (formerly the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act (SSCRA)) suspends certain civil obligations to enable service members to devote full attention to duty and relieve stress on the family members of the deployed servicemembers.

Voting Rights

In addition to the general requirements you must meet in order to vote in Maryland, there are special rules if you have been convicted of certain crimes and/or are currently under certain restrictions within the criminal justice system.
The Fifteenth Amendment (Amendment XV) to the United States Constitution prohibits each government in the United States from denying a citizen the right to vote based on that citizen's "race, color, or previous condition of servitude" (i.e., slavery). It was ratified on February 3, 1870.