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Joseph D. Allen

Joseph D. Allen

  • Employment Law, Business Law, Landlord Tenant...
  • Arizona, Maryland
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Practice Areas
  • Employment Law
  • Business Law
  • Landlord Tenant
  • Personal Injury
  • White Collar Crime
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    Free 30 minute phone consultation.
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
  • English: Spoken, Written
Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, Arizona State University
J.D. (2006)
Honors: Pedrick Scholar
Activities: Arizona State Law Journal
Professional Associations
Maryland State Bar
- Current
State Bar of Arizona # 026528
- Current
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Legal Answers
49 Questions Answered

Q. How soon can I start eviction process for a storefront that I rent to someone when they fail to pay rent?
A: The answer will depend on the relevant language in the lease. You may want to hire an attorney to review the lease and advise you as to your rights and the process.
Q. My Landlord is not returning my security deposit even after 45 days since I moved out . Please advice.
A: It doesn't sound like, based on what you say, that the landlord is in compliance with MD law with regard to the retention of your security deposit. Also, if your lease term was to end on 10/31, and you gave enough notice according to the lease of your termination (and it didn't automatically renew for another year before you gave notice), the landlord can't hold you responsible for rent until she finds a new tenant. You should discuss with an attorney practicing in landlord/tenant law. There are potentially punitive damages involved in your case, and possibly the right to recover reasonable attorney fees.
Q. Landlord will not provide rent receipts for my cash payments, can he say I’d didn’t pay rent and take me to court ?
A: From what you've said, it does seem that the landlord is violating the lease, and potentially state laws (namely, by taking cash payments without a receipt given and increasing rent without notice). You should probably speak with an attorney- a lot will depend on what your lease says exactly, and other circumstances.
Q. Im in Prince Georges County Maryland. My Landlord refuses to honor 2-year Lease by
A: If the lease requires the landlord to pay utilities, then that is what they have to do. It is unlikely that your lease allows the landlord to unilaterally terminate the lease early- so if you don't want to do that, don't agree to early termination. It might be advisable to send the landlord a certified letter stating your demand that they pay the utilities, and that you don't agree to early termination of the lease. If push comes to shove, speak with a landlord/tenant attorney.
Q. I recently terminated an employee. That employee has filed false BBB claim and libelous posts to FB. Is this criminal
A: It appears at first blush that the only potentially criminal action here would be the "gunning for [you]" comment- but that is susceptible to various interpretations. The rest is potentially a civil claim for defamation, but those cases are difficult and highly fact-specific. Another thing to consider is whether you could collect from the ex-employee on any judgment you might obtain. You may want to consult an attorney. You might also want to contact the BBB and complain to them about the comments, and ask them to be removed (after you save them for a potential civil suit).
Q. Legal options for woman raped and assaulted by former husband
A: The statute of limitations for sexual or other battery (assuming she was 18 or older at the time) is 3 years. There is no criminal statute of limitations for sexual assault. It may be relatively difficult to get a prosecutor to take the case given the passage of time- but depending on the facts, it might be possible. She might be able to get restitution if he is convicted. As for the continuing verbal abuse, it depends on how severe it is- she might have a civil claim. Or she could be entitled to a protective order if there are threats of violence.
Q. My employer in Montgomery County md is refusing to put in my accrued sick pay while Im on maternity leave. What can I do
A: Maryland employers (that have at least 15 employees) are required to offer only unpaid maternity leave, under the Parental Leave Act. However, under the Maryland Flexible Leave Act, those employers must allow employees on unpaid leave to care for a newborn to elect to use their earned/accrued PTO instead of unpaid leave. You could either inform your employer of that law and ask them to reconsider, file a complaint with the DLLR, or hire an attorney (who may or may not take your case on contingency- depending on all the circumstances).
Q. can an employer change & reduce salary to hourly & say it was based on 45 hours per week if the pay stub clearly say 40?
A: As long as the employer gives at least a pay period advance notice to employee of a reduction in pay, they are not violating any laws in MD. However, your question raises the issue of whether you were appropriately classified as exempt in the first place- if your job duties have truly remained the same, and you are now being called non-exempt. A salary can be based on a 45 hour (or longer) workweek. But if you were in fact working more than 40 hours a week, and your job duties (and other factors) did not actually make you fit within an exemption to the overtime laws, it does not matter that they paid a salary. You're either exempt or non-exempt, and if you're non-exempt, you were entitled to be paid overtime. But that question is very fact-intensive.
Q. Per MD, the landlord has 45 days to return the security deposit or itemized list. Is it from end of tenancy or lease?
A: Provided that you gave appropriate notice of moving out, the 45 day limit would apply from the end of the tenancy (in this case, the same day as the move-out). However, the landlord being one day late on the list is going to be a pretty weak technical argument. You can try that argument, but you may be better off also challenging the damage items, or depending on all the facts, countering that the landlord didn't repair the property appropriately during the tenancy.
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Simms Showers LLP
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Hunt Valley, MD 21030
Telephone: (443) 290-8710