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Can you legally park or store trucks or heavy equipment in a residential area?

Residential neighborhoods often are protected by zoning ordinances and restrictive covenants. Zoning ordinances are created by municipal governments by cities, townships and boroughs. They regulate use of land, declaring certain areas to be…
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Can you be guilty of "driving under the influence" without actually driving?

It is safe to assume that most Pennsylvania drivers realize that it is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol. But some of the details and workings of the Pennsylvania statute may surprise you. For example, while the crime is called…
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Can you be guilty of "driving under the influence" without actually driving?

It is safe to assume that most Pennsylvania drivers realize that it is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol. But some of the details and workings of the Pennsylvania statute may surprise you. For example, while the crime is called…
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Can you be denied unemployment benefits for “willful misconduct”?

Pennsylvania's unemployment statute provides that employees fired for “willful misconduct” are not eligible for unemployment benefits. Recently, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court found that breaking one company rule was enough to constitute…
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Can the failure to wear a seat belt be admissible as evidence in automobile accident lawsuits?

Pennsylvania's current child passenger restraint laws require that any person operating a passenger car, truck, or motor home is obliged to fasten all children under four years of age in an approved child passenger restraint system. Whether…
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Can the creation of guardianship by a parent be challenged?

It is wise for parents to name legal and physical guardians of their minor children to serve in the event of their deaths. But the creation of a guardianship by a parent is not always controlling. Pennsylvania law provides that all custody…
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Can the Amish practice dentistry without a license?

The Pennsylvania State Board of Dentistry recently ordered an Amish man to stop practicing dentistry, and fined him the maximum allowable fine of $1,000 for his former conduct. The Amish man, a farmer with 10 children, regularly performed tooth…
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Can separated or divorced parents be required to contribute to the costs of their children's college or private school?

In the early 1990s, several Pennsylvania courts and the Pennsylvania legislature attempted to require separated or divorced parents to contribute toward their children's college costs. In 1995, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that since…
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Can separated or divorced parents be required to contribute to the costs of their children's college or private school?

In the early 1990s, several Pennsylvania courts and the Pennsylvania legislature attempted to require separated or divorced parents to contribute toward their children's college costs. In 1995, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that since…
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Can receiving a personal injury settlement increase your child support payments?

A Pennsylvania father who worked as a laborer for a paper company was recently required to increase his child support payments when he settled a personal injury claim. The father was initially ordered to pay $200 per month toward the support…
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Can persons sentenced to life imprisonment be eligible for parole?

In Pennsylvania, persons convicted of premeditated murder must be sentenced to life imprisonment or death. Once sentenced to life imprisonment, they are not eligible for parole, but must serve the entire life sentence unless they secure commutation…
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Can I get a refund of a real estate deposit?

The Pennsylvania Superior Court recently required the sellers to refund most of the potential buyers' deposit in an aborted real estate transaction, even though the buyers breached the contract of sale and the contract itself provided for forfeiture…
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Can driving violations from out-of-state be reported to your home state?

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a member of the Driver License Compact. The Compact is an agreement among some of the states of the United States to engage in mutual enforcement of penalties for serious driving violations. Thirty-nine states…

Can a traveling employee who is injured on the road be entitled to workers compensation benefits?

Employees injured within the scope of their employment are entitled to workers' compensation benefits. Recently, a Pennsylvania court found that an electronic technician was still within the scope of his employment when he was injured while…
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Can a Pennsylvania township charge a license fee for billboards?

When townships issue licenses for building, development, and sign-posting activities, they are permitted by Pennsylvania law to charge license fees. Such license fees are considered to be compensation to the township for costs expended in the…
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Are you entitled to unemployment compensation if you quit your job for “necessitous and compelling” reasons?

Where an employee quits his or her job for a "cause of necessitous and compelling nature," the employee may be entitled to unemployment compensation. In a case recently before the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court, a hatchery worker quit his job…
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Are thermal detection devices used by law enforcement an invasion of privacy?

When a confidential informant advised Pennsylvania law enforcers that a suspected drug dealer was growing large quantities of marijuana in his home using artificial lights, a drug task force used a thermal detection device to confirm the report.…
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Are gas station canopies taxed as real estate?

Pennsylvania municipalities and school districts impose local property taxes on real estate owners. The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, in an appeal by a gas station operator, has held that lighted canopies can be taxed as real estate. The…
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Are customer identities a trade secret?

When employees quit, can they take a customer list? Can they open a new business and target their marketing toward the customers of their former employer? What control does a business owner/employer have over records which reveal the identity…