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Real Estate Law Question & Answer

Outlaw Lawyer / Josh Whitaker & Joe Hamer
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January 6, 2024 2:00 pm

Real Estate Law Question & Answer

Outlaw Lawyer / Josh Whitaker & Joe Hamer

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January 6, 2024 2:00 pm

On this episode of Judica County Radio our hosts tackle real estate law Questions. Managing Partners at Whitaker & Hamer Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer will handle Real Estate questions today. Grant of Rights also making the show along with their normal high-jinks. 

If you have a legal question and you need answers

call Whitaker & Hamer 800-659-1186.

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Coming up on this edition of Judica County, we're going to get into real estate questions and also the grant of rights.

It's all coming up on Judica County radio and it's coming up next. Remember, Whitaker & Hamer, your law firm for life. They have offices in Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay-Varina, Gastonia, and in Moore City. I'm Morgan Patrick, consumer advocate, and if you're facing a legal situation, you need answers to your questions, you can always call Whitaker & Hamer, 800-659-1186. That's 800-659-1186. Leave your contact information briefly what that call is about and an attorney with Whitaker & Hamer will be in touch. You can email your questions to the show info at

That's info at Well, gentlemen, Josh and Joe, welcome in and we are going to get into some more questions, but I know we go back and forth before we do that. That's right. We can never get right into the legal questions, but we're, me and Joseph are here at Shadys and we changed our, we always record at Shadys, but we changed our setup this week. And, uh, so now we're both looking out onto Main Street here in Garner.

There's like a train side by side here, side by side to get the best possible lighting for the, for the video recording. But this is a different, this is a different feel. It is, man. I feel like we're like on Good Morning America now. And like, we're just looking out the windows. We're going to have an audience of local townies from Garner just coming up to the windows and pressing their faces up to see the world famous Shadys, where some of the best radio podcasts are filmed.

I, uh, anyway, it's, it's, it's different. I'm usually looking at a wall or I'm looking at everybody that walks by. I'm looking right at, right at Joseph. So there's a, there's a guy who just walked by. Yeah. I'm hitting everybody with the friendly wave. But, uh, but no, no. Uh, so, uh, Morgan, uh, we're in the studio, we're always in the studio on Thursday, so you might be listening to us on Saturday.

You might download the podcast. So who knows when you're actually listening to us, but we sit down Thursday afternoons and we just got through Christmas. So how was Christmas? It was good. Did you guys celebrate that this year?

Yeah. Yeah, it was good. We, um, we stayed local, uh, through Christmas, right around lunch.

And then I, I jumped in the car and ran up to Boone and, uh, saw the folks and spent a couple of days with them and, uh, always a lot of fun. I hope you guys had a good holiday. Yeah, it was great, man. No complaints. Fantastic time. I love Christmas, man.

Yeah. I'm always kind of sad. I, I get, I get into like a really regimented, uh, you know, my business day is really regimented and I do certain things at certain times. And so when we have any kind of vacation and like for Christmas, you have to, you know, at a law firm, the courthouse is closed.

Banks are closed. It's like the perfect storm. And so you actually do get to sit down for a couple of days and, and decompress. And, uh, that's hard for me. I'm one of those people that's hard.

That's hard to do. Like, I need to What do attorneys, what do attorneys do to decompress? I know that I'm going to get two different answers here and, uh, I'm sure it's unique to each attorney, but, uh, what do you, what do you guys do to decompress?

Cause I would imagine, uh, Monday through Friday, your normal, your normal, you know, workday is it's kind of grueling. What do you do to decompress when you don't have to do the daily grind? Well, you know, I get up every day at the same time. And so the first thing that I do is not, I just stay in the bed. Like I can't really sleep much longer than that. You know, I get up, I don't get up. That's called depression. I just, I kind of stay in bed for a little longer than normal.

And then, and then I just see where it goes. I played a lot of video games with the kids. Yeah. Uh, played a lot of Grand Theft Auto.

I hadn't done that in a long time. That's relatable, man. Nothing like a really violent game to play with the kids. The older, the older of the kids.

They're all old now, man. But, uh, but that, that's what I did. And then we had a, you know, we had a lot of family stuff and that was good. It was busy though. Busy once you have to see all the, all the family. Joseph, I know you, you had a, you had a lot of family stops. Yeah, man.

It's always, we, we stay super busy. You know, my mom and dad stopped loving each other and they got a divorce way back when. So, uh, that's the thing that happens. Um, so we do, uh, we do dad, you know, I got, I got both of them.

I got my wife's parents. Um, and we got, we squeeze that into like a two day period and it's like nonstop, man. But I wouldn't have it any other way. Fantastic time, man. Very good time. The kids love it. I love it.

I like Christmas a lot, man. I'm very sad. I think I did a ID. I very much decompressed. I have no compression left in me.

I have not been able to recompress and defined. I haven't been able to find that. Like, I'm not, I don't know if I'll find it before. Like, you know, I know that the new year I think is really when I'm going to kick into gear, but like right now, I kind of just want to sit here and let you do all the talks, man. You know, I'm not really in it.

Well, that's a shame. I'm not really in it mentally, man. I'm a little checked out. I'm gonna be honest with you. Way to sell it, Joe. Way to sell it.

I'm all about honesty. And, uh, but you know, the, you know, the, the courthouse open, right? So we're, we were off, uh, let's see, Christmas was a Monday, which really threw me off.

I don't know why that threw me off so bad, but it did. And the courthouse was closed Tuesday and Wednesday and then open. So you got, it opened back up on Thursday, right?

So if you're an attorney, you got to get back in the office Thursday, Friday. You don't have to. Some didn't.

Yes, we chose to. But, and I came in for a little on, on a Wednesday just to get ready for Thursday and I didn't snap back like I wanted to. No, man, I still haven't. I still haven't. If I'm a rubber band, I'm saggy and I'm not, I've got no bounce back yet, but I think I'm going to find it.

I think this coming weekend, I'm going to find it. If I don't, I mean, what do you do, man? You do some soul searching and bring it all in. It was just so nice, man. Like you said, that, that whole laying in bed and continuing to do it, man. Well, one of the things I did while I was laying in bed is, uh, you know, we're, we're not, we're sports radio. Me and Joe are here to answer legal questions and hopefully give you some insight. Uh, but one of the big things that dropped right as we were closing down last week was, um, what was Florida State suing the ACC? Florida State suing the ACC? It was like 168 page complaint. And so I gave, I gave that a read one morning. That was interesting. Gave it a brisk read, but then, then to come find out the ACC had filed a suit earlier and then just seeing all the details.

Cause that's the thing. You don't, you don't get a lot of the details in the, in just the media when the media reports on certain, and that goes for anything legal. You're really only getting, I mean, their job is to summarize. They're, they're not usually attorneys, but when you actually get legal documents in your hand and you can, you can read them and, and the facts are laid out, it was, it was a little surprising. Like I was a little surprised. Did you read how secretive the ACC is with the grant of rights? Well, we knew it.

We talked about it. Cause you didn't know, like, no, you know, we've speculated on what the new grant of rights looks like. But we hadn't seen it. And we haven't seen it. We saw the original grant of rights. I can't remember how that came out, how that got public, but the original one from like, I don't know when it was 2015.

I don't know when the original one was, but you can see that one. And the, uh, the new one is guarded. It's in the ACC headquarters in the vault. They won't make a copy of it. This is a contract everybody signed and no one else has a copy of it. It just lives in the ACC headquarters and there's people you can come view it and read it, but you can't take pictures of it.

You can't make a copy of it. And the ACC has officials who watch you while you're, while you're doing it. So you got Vinnie and the sunglasses over there in the corner and a black suit what's going on there, but that just makes it seem like it's like, you know, we've talked about how enforceable we think it is. And, uh, having not seen it, just relying on the old one, uh, but when you treat a contract like that, it seems like that's like de facto unenforceable. If you have to guard it like that. I don't know, man. I kind of liked that idea of having bodyguards and, uh, treating it like the declaration of independence and, you know, under lock and key, you need Nicholas Cage to come, come run a heist and break it.

I saw when that came out on Twitter, somebody tweeted out like a picture of Nicholas Cage and was like, Hey, let's go, let's go, let's go get it, man. But, but, uh, so that was interesting to read, uh, Florida State. So if you follow ACC sports at all, Florida State is not happy for a lot of probably legitimate, some illegitimate reasons and some legitimate reasons. Uh, but anyway, they're suing the ACC to break the grant of rights. The grant of rights is the only thing holding the ACC together. Once that gets broken, teams can go anywhere they want.

The ACC won't really exist anymore. Like we, like we've known it. Not like we know it. Yeah. So, so with the grant of rights guys in the exit fee for Florida State, it's like, it's like half a billion dollars. It's a lot of money, man. Yeah.

Yeah. Florida State and their complaint, they estimated what their damages were going to be, and they came up with $582 million. If they, if they said we're leaving today, it would be $582 million penalty. And, um, no one ever pays those full penalties, right? Those always get negotiated. So that's what everybody assumes this is.

The FSU probably won't win on the merits, but this starts a conversation and probably a settlement process. And it sounds like everybody knows this was coming and, uh, but it'd be interesting to see how that plays out. Yeah. This has been, I mean, we knew it was coming out of the pipeline, right? Like there's been speculation.

I guess it's just that this was an accelerating factor. You know, the whole, not making the playoffs. The big thing for me, the big thing for me is I want to know where it gets heard. I want to know jurisdiction. So the ACC filed in North Carolina for an interpretation of the grant of rights, which they argue should be interpreted under North Carolina law. Florida State filed suit in Florida.

And I imagine a bunch of jurors and they're just doing the Gator chomp. And I imagine that at the very least gets removed to federal court, right? We talk about that all the time, but we talk about state court, the state court system versus the federal court system. And if you and a party that you're suing reside in different states, one of the things one of the parties can do is remove it to federal court where it gets looked at a little different, uh, by judges who, um, don't run or judge the federal judges don't run for election. State judges run for election.

Federal judges are appointed for life and federal law is a little different. It's like the NWO. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And, uh, so anyway, there's a lot of things that'll be interesting to see how this plays out.

Cause obviously, you know, if this was a divorce, this is the, this is the first stone throne and there's no really going back. So it'll be interested to see how it proceeds through the system. Well, the Atlantic coast conference and the future of the conference, uh, kind of in the balance and we'll see how that's going to play out. You're listening to Judica County radio, your hosts are Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer. They're the managing partners at Whitaker and Hamer law firm.

They're the power behind this program. Your law firm for life office is located in Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Farina, Gastonia, and in Moorhead city. If you have a legal situation that you're facing, uh, if you, uh, again, have any questions at all, you can always contact Whitaker and Hamer 800-659-1186. That's 800-659-1186.

Leave your contact information briefly what the call's about. An attorney with Whitaker and Hamer will be in touch and you can email your questions to the show. We'll answer them on a future broadcast. Info at That's info at When we come back, we'll talk more about real estate and again, it's question and answer today on Judica County radio.

Welcome back into Judica County radio, your hosts are Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer. They're the managing partners, practicing attorneys here in North Carolina. Whitaker and Hamer law firm is where you can find them. Your law firm for life office is located Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Farina, Gastonia, and in Moorhead city. I'm Morgan Patrick, consumer advocate. If you've got any questions you're facing legally and you need some answers, you can always call Whitaker and Hamer 800-659-1186.

That's 800-659-1186 or email your questions to the show info at Question and answer program. Josh, where are we going? All right. Well, we warmed up, so we got some questions here is the first question I have today. It comes from, uh, this is a Reddit form that I pulled this.

I pulled these from today. This is a Reddit form where people go in to ask for legal advice. And I like these questions cause these are again, you know, just everyday regular people just posing these questions, trying to get, uh, trying to get some answers. All these people should probably call an attorney if we're, you know, but the, but anyway, this is the first question I have. It goes, uh, do LLCs provide any real protections?

This guy goes on to say, seems like a waste of time. So it's do LLCs provide any real protections? And so I don't know where this guy lives. I'm going to assume the question asker resides in North Carolina.

And Joseph, what would you say to that question? Do LLCs provide any real protection? Yeah, man. Yes. Yes. Period. Yeah. That's what I'd say.

Yeah, man. They generally speaking. Yes, they do. Um, that being said, there are, you know, you've got to, you've got to do certain things the right way. You have to structure your LLC appropriately. Um, and in the event that you don't do that, yes, there are, there are means by which any entity, any business entity, uh, can be sued. And, you know, assuming you don't do things the right way, then there's a legal mechanism, which we call piercing the corporate veil, by which someone can come at someone individually, basically strip away all the protection that that LLC would provide and go after the individual as opposed to the LLC.

Yeah. And there's, there's a lot of reasons. Uh, this, this guy goes on to say, basically, it seems like there's a lot of rules and restrictions. And aren't they just going to sue you anyway?

And, uh, and, and Joe's answer was a good one. You know, an LLC is, so you're a transacting business and you want to do it in a business's name to limit your liability. And so your liability, as long as you're doing everything that you're supposed to do will be limited. So what the law school, the law school example is always selling widgets. You're making widgets, selling widgets. Uh, I don't know how widgets became the fictional product. That's what y'all did in law school. Widgets like the Jetsons. Yeah, we did too, man. Actually, I was like, what else did you, I went to the same law school.

I don't think they had a lot of, I don't think they made a lot of updates to their hypotheticals in the times between us. So you've decided you want to sell these widgets. There's nothing stopping you from selling widgets in your personal name, but you may have decided that, Hey, I've got some risk here.

I'm going to form an LLC and I'm going to sell these widgets as widgets for all LLC. And in that way, as long as you've got insurance properly and you've set up your LLC as a, as being separate from you, meaning it has its own bank accounts that pays its own bills. Um, you know, and you've got proper, proper insurance in place, then you're protected if someone, if one of your widgets explodes and someone sues you under product liability. And as long as you've done everything right, you've got insurance in place. Uh, you're going to, you're going to be fine, but you know, if you commit fraud or you do something like that, an LLC is not going to protect you.

You can't form an LLC, go out and commit fraud, um, and get LLC protections. Um, so it doesn't shield you from bad activity, but used correctly. It will shield you from liability. And that way, if someone sues you, they can get to the assets of the LLC, the insurance of the LLC, but they're not getting to your house. They're not getting to your personal bank account. They're not getting your car. Uh, you're going to be protected depending on what the lawsuit is.

You know, your LLC could file bankruptcy, you know, it's, it's a lot of protection and, and maybe not everybody needs it, but if you have risk, you very well may need it. But that's, so we disagree with that guy. Yeah.

If you do it the right way, you're good man. And just to elaborate further on what you're saying, you know, the corporate veil can be pierced, but the courts are reluctant to do that. Like that's not something that they're coming out and they're just doing it willy nilly, right? Like, I mean, there is an interest, the public has an interest in, in a sham LLC. That's basically just an individual who's not doing things the right way.

And like you said, if they're trying to do it for a fraudulent purpose, you know, there, there are circumstances where that veil will be pierced, but they're reluctant to do it. So you do things the right way. You set up your company correctly. You keep books and records correctly.

You do things appropriately and you're going to get a remarkable degree of protection. So yeah, I disagree with that guy. Yes.

LLCs are definitely worth it. If you're, if you're, yeah. Okay. We disagree with that guy. I'm going to move on from his question to our next question. What kind of question was that?

All right. This next question, they're basically, uh, they're saying here, they pulled up their deeds. So this is a, this is a real property owner. This is someone that bought a house. They have a deed, uh, where they got titled to real property. They're looking at it, trying to figure out if they have an easement to access a public road. So I'm going to assume they live off a private roadway out in the country. They don't, uh, they're not right there on the highway. So they're looking at their deed and they're saying, we have no easement language in our deed. Do we have access?

That's their question. And obviously we can't figure that out without a title search, which we're not going to do on this property that we don't know if it exists or not, but you can still have an easement, even if the language is not in your deed, technically. That is correct.

That is correct. So if you live like off a private road that has four or five folks on it, in theory, you guys would all have an easement in theory that would be shown on the plat somewhere, um, which your deed would, would reference. Um, and that's a way to get access on that easement. Um, you know, you can have a separate document so you could get your deed and you could get your easement later. Uh, you know, you could buy some property with the hopes that I had a client do that not too long ago. He got a good deal on some landlocked property, landlocked, meaning it didn't have access. Um, you need to cross over private, someone else's private property to get there. Some hot deals on those properties. Yeah. So landlocked property, unless you're, unless you already own property that abuts it, landlocked property is, is hard to move in the real estate world.

Cause how are you going to get to it? Yeah. You just, yeah. Right. And so he doesn't want to own some dirt that's just isolated that you can never touch.

Yeah. So he, he, he got a good deal. Then he, uh, brokered, uh, a purchase where he purchased, you know, an easement and, and got access.

And, uh, you know, he did really, he did really good for himself. So here they're afraid they're landlocked because they don't see easement language on their deed and easement language would be, what's, what's a good example of easement language. Um, the, the, this, that, uh, the, the conveying all of that 30 foot access easement, uh, that shall be a pertinent to and run with the property in perpetuity. So they're saying they don't have anything like that.

That's fine. If the plat, you know, maybe they reference a plat, you know, being all of what to on a plat, you know, 1989 at page 70. And if you go to that plat, it shows this, this easement that can show access and you can get insurable access that way.

And so there is, uh, it doesn't look good for this guy. This certainly is a bad sign that your deed doesn't have that, but he may not be out of the woods. That's what I was going to say. Ideally, you've got access language explicitly stated in your deed. That's what we'd be looking for.

If we're preparing a new deed to this person, we're, we're plugging that that access language is going to be there. But that doesn't necessarily, that's not the end of the conversation. If it's not there, that doesn't mean that you're out of luck. You know, there's, there's other things that could save you, but yeah, be concerned. That's like a, that's like a, that's probably like a six and a half out of 10 on the be concerned scale.

Maybe a seven. Yeah. Yeah. You're getting up there, but he needs to pay this person in theory, an attorney did a title search when he bought the property, right?

That's the, that's the theory. That's the hope is an attorney review. But hopefully this guy had a title searching, you go back to his closing attorney and be like, Hey, this has come up. What's the deal?

Did you see this? What's the, you know, but, but so far not, not too good for this guy. Judica County radio, Josh Whitaker, Joe Hamer, managing partners, Whitaker and Hamer law firm. They're practicing attorneys here in North Carolina. We get into legal conversations each and every week here on the program.

You're going to have questions possibly about something that you're going through and you need some answers. You can always call Whitaker and Hamer 800-659-1186. That's 800-659-1186.

Leave your contact information, briefly what the call is about and an attorney with Whitaker and Hamer will be in touch. And you can email your questions to the show. We'll answer them on a future broadcast info at That's info at

We're going to be right back right after this. And we're going to talk more about real estate question and answer. It's all coming up on Judica County radio. Welcome back into Judica County radio, your host, Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer. They're attorneys. They're the managing partners at Whitaker and Hamer law firm. And again, practicing attorneys here in North Carolina.

Office is located conveniently for you in Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay-Varina, Gastonia, and in Morehead City. I'm Morgan Patrick, consumer advocate each and every week. The attorneys go back and forth on legal topics.

So we are hitting question and answer on real estate today. If you've got a legal situation you're facing, you can always call Whitaker and Hamer. 800-659-1186. Leave your contact information, briefly what the call is about. An attorney will be in touch with you. 800-659-1186.

Or email your questions to the show. We'll answer it on a future broadcast. It's info at

That's info at Again, Q&A, real estate, the focus. Josh? Yeah. Yeah. We had some, we had a, we had a real estate question before the break, but we're going to, we're going to move into something else. We might come back to real estate, but, uh, this next one, this guy, this guy asking this question, I'm trying to boil it down because it's like a paragraph, but basically this guy was in a car accident.

Right. He was in a car accident. Uh, the parties couldn't settle. He was not at fault.

He was injured significantly or severely. And they ended up going to trial, right? Cause that's what happens.

You're, you're in an accident. Sometimes you try to meet, you know, there's a mediation and there's a whole process to try to settle a personal injury claim. A lot, a lot of times they won't settle until you have to prepare for it and go to trial. So this one went to trial. Uh, our guy won a judgment. It doesn't have an amount here. I'm gonna say it was a million bucks.

And he's basically asking now what? So he won, he won the trial. The insurance company was on the hook for a small amount. Let's say really small, let's say $30,000. So he gets a judgment against the driver that hit him for a million dollars. That driver has insurance, but not enough to cover it. So that insurance company just turns over what they owe.

And, and his question is, is now what? And so basically this could be any situation where you have a judgment against somebody. Um, it's nice when there's insurance there to cover it. A lot of times that's what, uh, personal injury attorneys are looking for.

They're looking for insurance coverage. So sometimes you sue people and they're, they're what we call judgment proof. Meaning you can get a $50 million judgment against a defendant, but that defendant may be judgment proof.

What does that mean, Joe? What does it mean when somebody is judgment proof? So yeah, basically if you're judgment proof, it just means that there's nothing for, you own nothing that a judgment could attach to, right? So you don't have real property that a lien could be placed on. You don't have, there's just no way for you to realize any value from this judgment. So you could have an infinite, a $10 billion judgment against somebody, but it's only as good and as valuable as the person that the judgment is against.

Yeah. This, you know, when we have folks who move, you know, me and Joe, it's good time to remind you that we're only licensed to practice in North Carolina. So we're always talking about North Carolina law. But when people move here from other States like Florida and Texas and New York, they ask me questions at closing about what do they need, what do they need to do to set this up as a homestead? They ask about homestead exceptions. And in some States you can exempt your residence from a judgment.

That's what a homestead exception here in North Carolina, you don't really have a homestead exception. You have statutes that reserve a certain amount of equity in your home, a certain amount of equity in a vehicle, certain personal effects. So the statutes automatically protect some of your more basic, um, property from the execution of a judgment protected in a bankruptcy, that kind of thing. And so when we go out to serve our million dollar judgment on this defendant, he's got to have something in, he's got to own something in excess of what's protected by statute. And a lot of people don't own anything in excess of what's protected by statute. You know, if you have an extra, if you have a super fancy car, a lot of that equity in that car, if you have any is not going to be protected. If you have a big house, you know, only a certain amount of equity is protected. And so this lien, this judgment lien can attach to everything you own that's not protected by the North Carolina.

Exemptions, exemption statute. So that's what judgment proof means. Like I can try to collect on this judgment and the sheriff will go out there, not be able to find anything to sell.

Not, you know, you can use a judgment to foreclose on, on real property, but there has to be real property that's not exempt for you to be able to do that. And so there's a lot of protections against a debtor, uh, to a certain extent. And so a lot of times personal injury attorneys will look at that.

They'll say, okay, this is all the insurance that's available, but we know these folks own this or they own that. Um, but that is, uh, that's what's next. And then the other thing that could be next is it could be appealed, right? You know, if you, if you go to Superior Court in Wake County and you lose, um, you might have an appealable issue and you can go to the North Carolina Court of Appeals if you have an appealable issue. So that's the other thing that could happen.

You either have to go ahead and start collecting this judgment or in a certain amount of time, the defendant can appeal it to the Court of Appeals. I think that answers this guy's question. What happens now? Yeah. You're welcome guy. That's a good answer, man. Well, I gotta, I gotta, I lost my, my next question.

But you were in the zone on that one, man. Like if you never answered another question, like that's your, I feel like slam dunk. I feel like it's a walk off. It's a walk off question. Yeah.

It's a walk off. We should do, I mean, we should do that more, man. Get better and better at answering the same question every week, man. All right. About, I'm about to my next question here. All right.

Well, I'll do this. Uh, you're listening to Judica County Radio, your hosts are Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer. They're the managing partners at Whitaker and Hamer. And again, office is conveniently located for you.

Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay-Varina, Gastonia, and Moorhead City. And their, their motto, your law firm for life, Whitaker and Hamer. If you've got a legal situation that you're facing, look, we get it.

It can be frustrating. You can get answers to your questions by calling Whitaker and Hamer, 800-659-1186. That's 800-659-1186.

Leave your contact info briefly what the call's about and an attorney with Whitaker and Hamer will be in touch. We are in the middle of question and answer, doing some real estate, uh, doing a car accident question there. What's up next, Josh? I got a, the next question I have, I'm going to bounce back to, to real estate because the next question is a private road question. And we just talked about an easement. Usually easements, another word for those in the, in the vernacular is a private road, right? An access easement.

And so here we've got someone who, who has access. That's not the issue. So they've gotten over that issue. They have access to a main road versus a private road. Uh, but their question is maintenance. And so they're basically asking, Hey, we purchased a home, several homes in the cul-de-sac share a private road.

Uh, there is no maintenance agreement. How do we go about maintaining the private road? And so that actually comes up quite a bit. Joe, you, you probably see that a lot.

Yeah, I see it a good amount, man, a good amount. And, um, it's, uh, it's one of those things and, and, you know, kind of to piggyback on that private road maintenance agreement issue. You, you've also got a lot of people don't understand that when, when a new subdivision is developed around these parts, the roads aren't automatically made public, right? Like you're, you're, you're going to the plat of the subdivision is going to be the dedication of those roads to become public, but for them to be accepted, there's various things that have to happen. And there are standards that must be met for the NCDOT or whatever municipality is going to be maintaining these roads to accept them. So there's also going to be a, a component in those situations where a road is going to ultimately be public, but it's the same concept. You need an agreement in place dictating how the maintenance of that, that road is going to take place. So you're going to set forth who's responsible for it, whether it's an individual, whether it's a developer, whether it's a group of people. And the more firmly and the more, you know, the more well spelled out, you can talk about the obligations of each person and what they're going to do and what they're going to owe and what the maintenance obligation is going to be the better.

Yeah. A lot of these, when I think about private maintenance, a private road, in my mind, I'm thinking about a country road. You know, it comes off like a, you know, a highway, like off highway 401 and not a, not a planned subdivision, kind of like family land.

It's been sold over the years. And, and so it wasn't created with a purpose of other people coming in. And so you end up with a situation where you might have access, which is what a closing attorney is concerned about.

They want to make sure you have access if you go buy this property, but the closing attorney is not very concerned about maintenance. But when that comes up, uh, you know, everybody does have an obligation for, for maintenance. Uh, but how are you going to enforce it?

How are you going to get everybody to chip in? And this is a big problem. You know, we have some clients up in the mountains and this is always a big problem in the mountains because a lot of those mountain roads see some pretty bad weather and they have to be, some of those mountain roads are scary. Those gravel mountain roads. Yeah, man, they're scary, dude. They're scared to drive on.

There's bears. And they have to be maintained. And they have to be maintained. And that, that can be kind of costly. And so most, most homeowners get together and figure it out.

There's always one homeowner who doesn't want to, doesn't want to, or isn't able to contribute. And you kind of have to figure that out. But, but hopefully there's a recorded maintenance agreement, you know, and that's something you can ask about.

If you're buying a home on a private road, your closing attorney is going to make sure you have good access. That's something you should ask about. Watch out for bears. Watch out for bears.

Watch out for bears, man. You know. But, but maintenance is sometimes a good question to ask. Cause that's, that's, that's a, that's a question that can kind of dangle. Yeah. Yeah. You don't want to have those questions dangling.

All right. Judica County Radio, Josh Whitaker, Joe Hamer, they're your hosts. They're also the managing partners at Whitaker and Hamer law firm. They have offices almost in every corner. They're kind of like Starbucks or McDonald's.

Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay-Verina, Gastonia, and Morehead City. Again, Whitaker and Hamer, the motto, your law firm for life. If you've got a legal question you're facing, you need some answers. You can always call the firm, 800-659-1186. Leave your contact info briefly what the call's about. And an attorney with Whitaker and Hamer will be in touch. Again, the number 800-659-1186. And you can always email your questions to the radio show. We'll answer them on a future broadcast, info at When we return, we've got more question and answer with Josh and Joe. Welcome back in to Judica County Radio. Your hosts are Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer, managing partners Whitaker and Hamer law firm. Of course Whitaker and Hamer, the power behind this program. They have offices located conveniently for you.

Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay-Verina, Gastonia, and in Morehead City. I'm Morgan Patrick, consumer advocate. If you've got a legal situation you're facing, you can always call the firm and get some answers to those questions. 800-659-1186. 800-659-1186.

Leave your contact information briefly what the call's about. And an attorney with Whitaker and Hamer will be in touch. And you can email your questions to the show. We'll answer them on a future broadcast, info at

Josh, take it away. You know, when we do this, when we sit around and answer these questions, we hope it's useful. I think the hope is it's entertaining and useful.

But at least, at the very least, useful. And we take these questions as they come and some of them are more interesting than others. Anyway, with that said, here's the first question I got out of our pile here is, how do you get your court case continued? All right, that's the question. How do you get your court case continued? Now, they're not telling us what kind of case it is. So we're going to have to go through a couple of cases here. But how do you get your court case continued? You walk in, front kick to the door, bam, smack it open, storm in. No, it's a, you know, you go and you ask for a continuance, man.

That's really it. And like you said, there, the court is going to have leniency in some situations, and they're going to be less lenient than others. And they're going to look at a variety of factors. And, you know, if this is your, if this is the first time you've come to court, it's a minor infraction or offense, assuming this is some kind of a criminal matter. You're likely to get a continuance fairly easily, right? Yeah, I think in traffic, I think in traffic court, you know, small claims court, maybe some district court, you know, it's easier to get a continuance. And like you said, at least once, at least when maybe several times, right? Like there's traffic tickets that you may be able to get several continuances on.

Now, you might have to be, you might have to give a reason, you know, and an attorney would, you know, if you're, if you've got an attorney and you're going to let the attorney know ahead of time, the attorney can probably do more than you can walking in the day of. But there's the court understands and there's some things built in. Now, it's hard to do without actually being there. Yeah. Right.

So you've already made the trip down. And, but that being said, but once you move up to like Superior Court, Court of Appeals, continuances aren't doled out easily. No, you're going to, you're going to need a fairly compelling reason, especially after that initial continuance, if you get that.

Yeah. So, you know, when you're, when they're setting stuff, Superior Court is very regimented. Things get set for mediation. They get set for trial.

And, you know, the courts just aren't going to move that because that inconveniences, you know, once you get to the Superior Court level, you've got witnesses, you've got jurors, you've got, you know, attorneys, you've got parties and usually a lot's riding on it and it's not as, as easy to move. And so you should always be ready to deal with a case when it's scheduled because it's, you know, things happen. People go, you know, have to go to the hospital.

You have health, you have, you have things. But, you know, the dog eating your homework kind of stuff is not going to go over very well. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

That's true. And has it ever worked for anything in the history of things? I think I knew somebody.

I think I knew somebody whose dog actually did chew up their homework. Yeah. I don't know if it worked. Even if they did. Like, did it work? I mean, that's I feel like that's the most tragic thing that can happen to you.

Like if that genuinely happens to you and you have to give that as a legitimate reason, you're gonna have a tough time. Yeah. I don't know. I don't know. Anyways.

All right. So that question was easy enough. That's a good question. But I remember, you know, I've seen people in traffic court, you know, which is designed, you know, for folks without attorneys and you get to talk to the judge, get to talk to the ADA. But I've seen people, you know, yeah, like on their eighth continuance, you know, or whatever.

And sometimes you're waiting for something else to happen. But that's that's definitely not the rule. That's the that's the exception, I would think. Yeah.

Anything over those very like the super lowly infractions in traffic court. And yeah, you're going to need a fairly compelling reason, most likely. All right. Next question I got here is, can you sue a veterinarian for malpractice? That's the next question I got.

Yeah, brother. You can you can sue a veterinarian for negligence. You can technically sue anyone for anything.

I mean, you may not win, but that didn't stop you from suing them, man. So you can you can sue a veterinarian or a lot of different people for for negligence. Right. That's not performing their duties up to the normal standard of care. And so if they do something wrong, you know, I've seen where some veterinarians have you sign some waivers. Right.

Where, you know, kind of like a kind of like a doctor, you go in for surgery, you're going to sign a waiver where there's risk attendant with any creature surgery, just like there are for any human surgery. And, you know, the the law looks at dogs and cats. I mean, their personal property. Right. They're the same as a car. Are they the same as the car? Yeah, I guess they would be the same as any personal property. So it's it's not a it's not a human. So it's not like a medical malpractice, but it's you know, they screw up your dog.

Now, what's the value of a dog? Mm hmm. I think we've talked about that before, too. Yeah, we talked.

Yes. Have we? Are you doing another radio show? Do we get into the conversation about if another person's dog bites you like they're like it's. Yeah, we talked about dog bites for sure. We talked. Yeah, we talked about dog bites and the statute.

Speaking of which, man, as an aside. Yeah. There's apparently a wild, wild pack of dogs terrorizing Barbour Mill Road area of Clayton. That's always crazy to hear that.

No, I haven't heard that. I heard that they're attacking. They're killing like other people's pets and stuff.

They're at large to this day. Now, are we are we sure they're dogs or could they be coyotes? It's a ragtag group of dogs like whoever seen him has described them. It's like six dogs and they're all different breeds and they're like it's not like just all of one aggressive dog. It's like six random dogs that have just formed a gang and they're terrorizing the community. It seems like that would be an easy enough thing to stop after the first.

You would think so. Tell it to these dogs that are still at large, though. So they might have been hurt, I guess, or they just think they're getting animals to this point. But you don't want to get rolled up on by the the gang, the sixth street posse of dogs. You know, that's kind of crazy.

That's like that should be like a anti Disney movie. Right. These dogs.

Yeah. It's like what was the what was the movie where the dog and the cat and they're all friends. It is an incredible journey or something. Homeward bound. Is that what it is? Well, there's two homeward bounds.

And you've got I could actually tell you a lot about these movies. They run away from home. They actually know they don't run away from home.

They get taken like that anyways. They form a group. They don't form.

They are in a group. They're a part of a family from the jump, Josh. And so they they.

OK, well, I was thinking about that. That may be except they're not good. They're not good dogs. It's the opposite of homeward bound. They run into some rough characters and homeward bound.

The dogs do. You never seen homeward bound man. I think I had to read the book. I'm pretty sure you've got I know the dog.

I know the animals names, but the actors. I think you got Michael J. Fox. That's the first one at both of them. There's two. And maybe there's more. I know of two.

You got Michael J. Fox. And you got I'm pretty sure you have Sally Field as the cat Sassy the flying. I don't know who plays shadow shadows. The old wise golden retriever. Does he die?

There is. I think he's almost I think he's going to die. And then I think he just doesn't.

Anyways, I want to look up who that actor. They usually kill. That's very important. They usually kill off an animal in one of those movies. Yeah. They pretend like they're going to. And then they. Yeah. Disney is usually the mother. The mother usually passes away in some form or fashion. Homeward bound.

The incredible journey is that I didn't know that had a subtitle, but it does. Let's see. Judica County radio. Josh Whitaker, Joe Hamer, managing partners at the firm Whitaker and Hamer. The power behind this program, your law firm for life offices conveniently located for you in Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Verina, Gastonia and in Morehead City. Couple of ways you can get in touch with the firm. If you've got any legal questions, you can certainly email the show info at We'll answer the question on the future broadcast info at If you need something a little bit quicker, you can always call the firm 800-659-1186. That's 800-659-1186.

Leave your contact information briefly what the call is about. And an attorney with Whitaker and Hamer will be in touch. We've got more questions and of course, some antics between Josh and Joe. That's all coming up in our final segment of Judica County radio.

We're back right after this. Judica County radio, your host, Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer, managing partners, Whitaker and Hamer law firm. They're practicing attorneys here in the great state of North Carolina.

And of course, Whitaker and Hamer is the power behind the program. They have offices located in Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Verina, Gastonia, and in Morehead City. And as we say on this program, if you're facing a legal situation, you've got questions, you need some answers to those questions, you can always call Whitaker and Hamer. 800-659-1186. Leave your contact info briefly what the call is about. And an attorney will be in touch with you to answer those questions. 800-659-1186. You can also email your questions to the show. We'll answer them on a future broadcast. Info at

That's info at We're on the home stretch. Josh, what you got? You know, I find these questions and then I scribble them down and then I can't really read. You should let me try to read it. No, no, no, no. Yeah.

It looks like... The first, I distilled this question from a bigger question, but the question was basically, what is a TRO? You literally wrote one word to convey that.

TRO. What is a temporary restraining order? That's what it is. You just answered the question.

Congratulations. Yeah, that's what it is. A temporary restraining order usually comes out of, there's a, you know, it's usually a civil matter. And so a temporary restraining order is the court restraining someone from doing something. You hear about them usually, you know, we've been talking about private driveways, like private roads. We've been talking about easements. And so for our friend here earlier who doesn't think he has the right to use the easement, if his neighbor in front of him agreed that he didn't have the right to use the easement, he could file a lawsuit and ask for a restraining order to keep him from using the easement.

And so that happens sometimes. You could have a restraining order. Let's say his neighbor's wrong. He could get a restraining and his neighbor blocks the easement.

Our guy could get a restraining order to restrain him from blocking the easement. Yeah, that's right. So the restraining order is the court taking a physical action, you know. And it's and it's temporary in nature, too.

That's the other piece. So it's something you need. Litigation can be long and timely and time consuming and it can drag out. And sometimes you'll have such a pressing interest that you need something, some order put in place on a temporary basis before the end of that litigation, before it sees its natural course.

And it's these situations, these pressing situations where something needs to be done immediately that you see these TROs come into place. And depending where you live at, you know, the temporary restraining order, like Joseph said, is temporary. There's going to be a hearing to, you know, to if if you wanted to become permanent, there's going to be a hearing. There's going to be some facts.

But that can be that can be part of the relief. You ask for the court is a is a permanent restraining order. And so if you violate it, you know, there could be criminal charges.

There could be content. There could be financial penalties if you violate or any kind of restraining order. And you hear there's domestic violence protection orders. You know, there's things like that.

So you were similar in nature. The courts restraining someone's action. You can't be within 25 feet of someone or you can't do this. You can't do that. And if you violate it, there's usually pretty severe consequences. So they're there to be taken very seriously. But that is what a that is what a TRO is. So I can check that one off because we answered that question. Scribble out your chicken scratch.

We did that. I think this one's come up before. But this is a question that comes up a lot in my practice is the difference between a guardian and an attorney. In fact, you know, sometimes you say agent, sometimes you say attorney, in fact, but someone acting under the authority of a power of attorney. So what is the difference between a guardian and an agent or an attorney? In fact, well, in terms, you know, if you're just looking at the authority that they have and what they can do, generally speaking, again, this is kind of a nuanced discussion.

We're going to boil it down to its most simplest form. But if you're just looking at what they can do, there's a lot of similarity. They're very similar, you know, for all intents and purposes. The difference comes in where that attorney, in fact, is someone that you have volunteer like you voluntarily elected to be your attorney. In fact, you've chosen this person. You have executed a power of attorney, granting them the authority that they have. And you've said this is who I want to be my attorney, in fact, to try to do whatever it may be. You know, again, in our hypothetical, we're assuming broad authority to do pretty much anything. The guardian is for the situation where you've got a person that has that currently lacks the capacity to be able to appoint an attorney. In fact, you know, they may be completely incapacitated.

They may be of some diminished mental capacity. But you still need someone who can step up and make decisions and do things on their behalf. And in that scenario, that's when you've got to get the court involved. So as opposed to you as the principal voluntarily stating this is who I want to handle my affairs, the court's going to get involved. You're going to need to do some to do some filings. And you're talking about a situation where the court's going to dictate who's going to be making those decisions for you.

And that's the guardian. Yeah, we have a come up to, you know, that that's that's that's pretty much the story that pretty much answers the question. But just to throw this out there, sometimes a power of attorney is only good for certain things. So when you when you like, if I'm going to fill out my power of attorney, I'm naming Joe as my attorney. In fact, a lot of power of attorneys give you a bunch of different situations where you want your your attorney, in fact, act for you, like real property, stocks and bonds. And you kind of initial all these powers.

And some people don't initial everything. And so we've had it where you have an attorney. In fact, you have somebody who can do a lot of different things for you, but you may not have given them a broad enough power. And let's say they need to do something like change a beneficiary on your 401k. And the power of attorney may not allow them to do it even if they need to. And so they may have to go to court and apply to become your guardian just for that one thing.

And and I would say we safeguard against that situation. And any well-drafted power of attorney is going to do that as well. Because even if you don't delegate all of this authority and you keep some power back, there's still a good power of attorney is still going to state or they're still going to be the option to dictate. I want this person to be appointed as my guardian in the event that a guardian becomes necessary. And so there's ways to get around that. You could still limit authority, but still make this person your preferential choice to be your guardian if it comes to push or shove. But again, that's a well-drafted power. Yeah, because, yeah, because a guardian can be someone you've said you want to be your guardian if that has to happen or in absence of that, they could the judge could appoint a court appointed attorney, someone else to be your guardian that you don't that you don't know to kind of do it on your behalf.

So that is the difference between a guardian, which would be court appointed versus an attorney, in fact, which is someone you appoint to handle your your affairs when you no longer can. So I'm gonna check that off. I'm gonna give that a big checkmark. Morgan, we got time for one more or we we got time for one more. If you guys want to make it quick, do it. Yeah. All right. The next one I've got is and again, we've kind of crossed a bunch of different legal practice areas here today with these questions and how would I go about enforcing a divorce decree?

That's this question. So a divorce decree in North Carolina, that would be a final judgment, which could be something as simple as you're divorced or you can incorporate child support obligations, alimony, you can incorporate you can incorporate all this into your final divorce order decree. And then and then if you do that, it becomes basically a contract and you enforce it just like you didn't force any other contract. That's it. Yeah, that's it. You're gonna if you know, when you hear just how do I enforce my divorce decree in the absence of, you know, some some child support manner matter or some, you know, property distribution?

Like I'm thinking, what is there really to enforce? Like you're divorced. That's what it is. Yeah. Once you get your order, you're you're divorced. That's it.

But if you need to. But but but there could be things in that order, you know, directives to the spouse to provide support, something like that. And and those things may require further enforcement. And you just sue.

That's it. You just sue. You sue for a breach of that. You sue them. Yep.

Yep. Another edition of Judica County Radio in the books. Josh Whitaker, Joe Hamer, your host, managing partners, Whitaker and Hamer law firm. Remember your law firm for life.

They have offices located in Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Verina, Gastonia and in Moorhead City. You've got a legal situation you're facing. You got some questions.

You need some answers. You can always call the firm. Eight hundred six five nine one one eight six.

That's eight hundred six five nine eleven eighty six. You can also just leave your contact information briefly with calls about an attorney with Whitaker and Hamer will be in touch. You can email your questions to the show info at Judica County dot com. That's info at Judica County dot com.

Another edition is in the books for Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer. I'm Morgan Patrick. We'll see on the radio next week. Judica County is hosted by attorneys licensed to practice law in North Carolina. Some of the guests appearing on this podcast may be licensed North Carolina attorneys. Discussion on this podcast is meant to be general in nature and in no way should the discussion be interpreted as legal advice. Legal advice can only be rendered once an attorney licensed in the state in which you live has the opportunity to discuss the facts of your case with you. The attorneys appearing on this podcast are speaking in generalities about the law in North Carolina and how these laws affect the average North Carolinian. If you have any questions about the content of the show, you can direct such inquiry to Joshua Whitaker at J.M.W. at M.W.H. Law Lawyer.
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