New laws get written constantly, and very few old laws go away. This is because we have an entire branch of government at both the state and federal levels, known as the legislative branch, which is dedicated to writing bills. Thanks to the abundance of legislation out there, it can be pretty easy to forget about or overlook certain laws. There are also quite a few different types of legal claims that exist to help protect citizens and give them the shelter afforded by this legislation. These claims cover a wide variety of situations, ranging from harassment by coworkers or other citizens, to tax adjustments and more. Just like laws themselves, it can be easy to forget or overlook the potential benefits of filing a legal claim. Here are four types of legal claim you definitely don’t want to overlook.
Legal Claim to Deny Entry of Law Enforcement into Your Home without a Warrant or Owner’s Permission
You have the right as a citizen of the United States to deny entry into your property to anyone without a warrant. If there is an ongoing criminal investigation, the police or another legal organization might try to enter your home just to talk, but they may also try to take the opportunity to look around. Warrants are not as easy to get as people think, and a hunch and some circumstantial evidence is not enough for a judge to allow a person’s home to be searched, so sometimes law enforcement may try other tactics to get you to allow them into your home. Remember that you have the right to be left in peace unless a valid warrant is presented to you.
Legal Claim to Intellectual Property
The claim to intellectual property is actually one of the most important in term of progress. The laws in our country offer certain protections and rights to an owner or group of owners for intellectual property. Intellectual property can include many things, and often this property is manifested in the ideas and blueprints that can lead to a comfortable life, vast wealth or a major social change. Remember that in this day and age, your ideas are considered your property. Taking the time to work with a patent attorney to ensure they are recognized as such is never a bad idea.
Legal Claim of Self-Defense
In most states, if your life is in danger due to the threat of deadly force then you have the right to respond with deadly force. If this situation ever occurs you will most likely need to explain your course of action to a judge and jury, thereby making the claim of self-defense. Remember, however, that if you are ever in a violent situation where deadly force is not being used, like a scuffle at recess or a high-school fight, then you will never have the right to use it yourself. Self-defense claims don’t only involve deadly force though. Using any type of force or violence towards another citizen can result in legal action, but in most cases this action can be avoided as long as you were acting in self-defense. Catching someone trespassing on your property or inside your home is good example of this. Maybe they had no intention of hurting you or your family, but there is no way for a homeowner to know that which is why there are many states that usually side with the homeowner if force is used to remove the invader.
Legal Claim to an Estate
If someone you know dies and you have a written or oral contract that can be proven, then you have a legal claim to their estate as one of their creditors. Whoever inherited the estate has the right to affirm or deny your claim. If they deny it, you then have the right to go your local county courthouse and demand a hearing. The process is very similar for probate claims. Sometimes filing this type of claim can be uncomfortable, especially if the deceased was someone close to you or your family. Social discomfort, however, should not be a reason for you to be denied that which is legally yours.
Working with an attorney can make it much easier for you to file this, or any type of claim. Do your research and be sure to choose a lawyer who has experience in the type of claim you plan to file. Most lawyers have a website, like this one for Hart Law Offices, PC, that you can browse to get some information about them, but you should always take some time to get references from past clients as well before making a decision.
Author information: Kare Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max. You can find Kara on Facebook and Twitter.