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Can I Get a Star Named After Me and Claim Copyright to it?

Can I Get a Star Named After Me and Claim Copyright to it?One radio advertisement I heard over and over again during the holidays was for International Star Registry, a company that offers the ability to “name a star after someone” for a low fee of $54.00.  In addition to having the star’s new name “registered at the US Copyright office,” you get a certificate, a star chart, and a map of your star circled in red.  However, you cannot get a star named after you and claim copyright to it.

Names are not protected by copyright law.  Publishers of publications such as a star registry copyright the text of a book containing the names the registry has assigned to stars but the registration does not extend protection to any of the individual star names appearing therein and does not confer any official or governmental status on any of the star names included.

The International Star Registry admits in its own fine print that “star naming is not recognized by the scientific community” and that “your star’s name is reserved in International Star Registry records only.” So for Valentine’s Day, don’t buy your loved one a star, your hard-earned money is better spent on a nice steak dinner or some flowers.

Founded in 1979, ISR has sold over 1 million of their full-color “Name A Star” parchment certificates.  Since there are nearly one trillion stars in our galaxy alone, selling name is like a license to print money.  For additional reading see http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-protect.html

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Small Business Owners Personal Liability Michigan

Small Business Owners Personal LiabilitySmall Business Owners, Insulate Yourself from Personal Liability!

Being a small business ourselves, our attorneys understand that starting a new business in a poor economy is no small task. Between creating a business plan that generates profit, finding financing, hiring and managing employees, and marketing your business the average small business owner has his or her hands full. But because owning a business is so taxing, so time intensive, many business owners do not consider their own legal relationship to their businesses. Small business owners who fail to insulate themselves from their businesses put themselves and their personal assets, i.e. their homes, their cars, their big screen televisions, at risk, for no reason. The responsibility for paying back debts incurred by your businesses tacked onto you personally.

Learn How to Avoid Being Sued, keep from Losing your Personal Assets, and how to Deal with Creditors and Collection Agencies.

No one wants to think their business will fail. But even Henry Ford, business magnate, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and Detroit’s own, bankrupted two car companies, before starting Ford Motor Company, the first of which never even made a car. Our attorneys hope that each business client we advise not only succeeds but flourishes. But that does not mean we don’t advise our clients to plan for the worst. Having started our legal careers as collections attorneys, it was hard not to notice a constant theme- a business collapse, a failed pizza franchise, a realty company, a certified public accountant, whatever the business, the owner now the target of our collection suit, simply because he or she did not plan for the worst, because he or she did not insulate themselves from their businesses’ debts.

Over the years, as with consumer collection matters, Garmo & Kiste, PLC has developed several low-cost tactics to protect our clients individually. Our tactics are designed to insulate the individual from their business. Whether you are a start-up business or one that has been at operating for years, it’s never too late to give our attorneys a call to see how we can help you plan for the worst.

Small Business Owners, Insulate Yourself from Personal Liability.  For more information about Business Law, or to retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC, call us at (248) 398-7100  for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.

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Ineligible for an Expungement in Michigan, now what?

Ineligible for an Expungement in Michigan

Ineligibility for Expungement: It is likely you are NOT eligible for an expungment if-

  • You have more than one Criminal Conviction. Multiple offenses disqualify you from expungement, whether misdemeanor or felony, or even arising out of the same incident.
  • You have been convicted of a violation or an attempted violation of criminal sexual conduct under MCL 750.520c, MCL 750.520d, or MCL 750.520g.
  • You have been convicted of a Traffic Offense.
  • You have been convicted of a Felony for which the maximum penalty is life in prison.

For more information about cleaning up your criminal record or to retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message. Michigan Expungement Law – Michigan Criminal Attorney

Simply because you are ineligible for an expungement, doesn’t mean something can’t be done to correct or clear your criminal record. Our attorneys have tackled many seemingly impossible problems with creative solutions using various court rules, deferrals programs mandated by Michigan Law, and public policy arguments.

Recently one of our attorneys was able to bring a Motion for Relief from Judgment & to Correct a Mistake in Macomb Circuit Court, concerning a ten (10) year old attempted B & E of a Motor Vehicle Felony conviction, where an expungement was not possible due to a misdemeanor conviction arising out of the same occurrence. The Judge granting our client’s request to be resentenced pursuant/under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA), a conviction deferral program which acts like an expungement, the Judge ruling “nunc pro tunc” meaning to retroactively correct an earlier ruling made concerning our client, effectively clearing his criminal record.

Ineligible for an Expungement in Michigan? In need of a creative solution and/or to retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message. Michigan Expungement Law – Michigan Criminal Attorney


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Cash for Clunkers – Legislation Pitfalls

Cash for Clunkers - Legislation PitfallsCertainly the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS) and the Cash for Clunkers program has not only increased automobile sales, created great dealership and automaker profits, stimulated the stagnant economy, and provided monetary relief too many consumers such as you and me. It is becoming increasingly apparent that the CARS and the Cash for Clunkers law was written without comprehensive vision and contains several pitfalls, the losses of which dealerships are trying to force on us the consumers. Our law firm now is receiving calls daily concerning the application of the CARS and the Cash for Clunkers program, and as of today we have already been retained by two clients with regard to the application of the law.

The main problem with CARS and the Cash for Clunkers program is when you purchase a new vehicle from a local dealership with the understanding that you will receive either the $3,500.00 credit or $4,500.00 credit from the federal government’s CARS program for the destruction of your “clunker” and then you enter into a contract with a 3rd party financier for the balance (or pay the balance in cash), drive off the lot in your new car, your “clunker” is then crushed, and then the federal government denies credit because the vehicle is in some way ineligible. CARS and the Cash for Clunkers programs do not consider this scenario. The legislature’s comments concerning the law seem to indicate that the loss would fall upon the dealership. However, this has not stopped dealers running promotions they should have known were not going to receive the credit from bullying consumers, wrongfully holding up transfer of title on your new vehicle, leaving harassing messages on your phone, and threatening lawsuits when the $3,500.00 credit or $4,500.00 credit from the federal government’s CARS program even though your “clunker” has already been destroyed.

Don’t let your automobile dealership bully you into reimbursing them $3,500.00 or $4,500.00 for a mistake they made regarding the eligibility of your clunker. Get the facts and know your rights. To discuss your situation or for more information about CARS and Cash for Clunkers Program and to retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation.

Some dealerships burned by CARS and the Cash for Clunkers program now require individuals to sign a contingency agreement concerning the reimbursement of the credit should your clunker be rejected by government under the program. One thing is certain- a consumer does not have to sign the contingency arrangement in order to participate in the CARS program. If your dealer requires you to sign such a contingency arrangement in order CARS program, you need to find another dealer to purchase your car from, don’t let a dealership take advantage of you.

For questions concerning the Cash for Clunker Program, CARS, and your new car’s contract and to retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Traffic Charges Require Strong Defense

Michigan Traffic Attorney | 248-398-7100 | Free ConsultationMichigan traffic charges require strong and knowledgeable attorneys. Since its inception Garmo & Kiste, PLC, located in Troy, Michigan, has provided a strong defense to all traffic related charges. We have represented individuals in Oakland, Macomb, Wayne, and Lapeer Counties, and take an aggressive, intelligent approach to these matters. If you choose us, we promise we will work to see your rights are protection and your driving privileges remain intact.

For more information about traffic law or to retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC, call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation.

What Impact do Traffic Points have on my Driving Record?

We live in a state with a points system where every point matters and they can add up to license suspensions, revocations, all in addition to state imposed Driver’s Responsibility fees (Drivers with seven points or more on their driving record will receive yearly fee assessments). In Michigan, once points have been added to your record after a conviction, they cannot be removed for 2 years. That is precisely why you need to take every speeding ticket very seriously.

There is a direct correlation between automobile insurance rates and traffic tickets. Drivers who speed, disobey red lights, or fail to heed other signals or signs on the roadway are statistically more likely to cause damage to people and/or property. Such drivers are the ones most likely to experience automobile insurance increases.

Additionally, according to Michigan law some traffic violations are civil infractions while others are misdemeanors or felonies. Depending on the violation and how it is resolved, you may be fined, referred to a special program or, in the most serious situations, sent to jail. In most cases, if you do not take care of a traffic ticket, your driver’s license will be suspended.


Each time you are convicted of a traffic violation, you will have to pay certain court fines and costs. In addition, points may be posted to your driver record. Under Michigan’s point system, each traffic violation has a point value, which is set by law in the Michigan Vehicle Code. Points are placed on your driver record only after you have been convicted or found guilty of or responsible for a civil infraction. The Secretary of State cannot set aside a court conviction or the points for it. The following list shows the points for some traffic violations:

Points For Some Traffic Convictions*

Six Points:

  • Manslaughter, negligent homicide, or other felony involving use of a motor vehicle.
  • Operating under the influence of liquor or drugs.
  • Failing to stop and give identification at the scene of a crash.
  • Reckless driving.
  • Unlawful bodily alcohol content of 0.08 or more.
  • Refusal to take a chemical test.
  • Fleeing or eluding a police officer.

Four Points:

  • Drag racing.
  • Operating while visibly impaired.
  • Under age 21 with any bodily alcohol content.
  • 16 mph or more over the legal speed limit.
  • Failure to yield/show due caution for emergency vehicles.

Three Points:

  • Careless driving.
  • Disobeying a traffic signal or stop sign or improper passing.
  • 11 through 15 mph over the legal speed limit.
  • Failure to stop at railroad crossing.
  • Failure to stop for a school bus or for disobeying a school crossing guard.

Two Points:

  • 10 mph or less over the legal speed limit.
  • Open alcohol container in vehicle.
  • All other moving violations of traffic laws.
  • Refusal of Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) by anyone under age 21.

*Please note that snowmobile and off-road vehicle (ORV) alcohol-conviction points are placed on a driver record and may result in licensing action against your driving privileges even though the violation happened while operating a snowmobile or ORV.

For more information about traffic law or to retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC, call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation.

So how much will my insurance go up?

The amount of any increase and for how long you will be paying the increased rates depends on several factors, including:

1. Your driving record.

While a first offense may very well lead to an increase in insurance rates, multiple moving violations are that much more likely to have an adverse affect on the amount you pay for automobile insurance.

2. Your history/relationship with the insurance company.

If you have a long history of excellent driving while with a particular insurance company, it may take a little more to see a rate increase than it would for a driver with a similar driving history who is new to the insurance company.

3. The type of moving violation(s) in question.

Again, insurance companies are trying to determine which drivers are a safety concern and most likely to cause damage to people or property. (i.e. there is a difference, between a careless driving ticket and a traffic ticket issued for say, double parking.) However, even minor traffic tickets can and normally do lead to an increase in insurance rates.

While there are many factors to consider and it is difficult for anyone to say exactly how much a traffic ticket will increase your car insurance, traffic tickets do normally lead to higher automobile insurance rates.

For more information about traffic law or to retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC, call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation.

Our Familiarity with Traffic Court…

One of the greatest advantages of hiring our firm is the connections we bring to the process. Typically we know the prosecutor and the judge and can negotiate a better deal than you could on your own. For this reason, looking for an attorney who practices in the county where you were ticketed is particularly helpful, that said we regularly practice in the counties of Oakland, Macomb, Wayne, and Lapeer. What follows below is a complete list of traffic matters, our firm has recently handled. Our track record speaks for itself.

Detroit, MI: Disobey Traffic Control Device, Speeding 65 in a 50, Reduced to Zero Points and not reported to Secretary of State.

Madison Heights, MI: Fleeing the Scene of an Accident, a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail, Reduced to two Point Civil Infraction, no jail time and client maintains a clean record.

Troy, MI: Speeding 57 in a 40, Reduced to Zero Points and not reported to Secretary of State.

Lapeer, MI: Speeding 65 in a 50, Reduced to Zero Points and not reported to Secretary of State.

Sterling Heights, MI: Speeding 58 in a 40, Reduced to Zero Points and not reported to Secretary of State.

Royal Oak, MI: Speeding 90 in a 70, Reduced to Zero Points and not reported to Secretary of State.

Troy, MI: Failure to Stop Assuring a Clear Distance (Causing an Accident), Reduced to Zero Points and not reported to Secretary of State.

Sterling Heights, MI: Disobey Traffic Control Device, Reduced to Zero Points and not reported to Secretary of State

Novi, MI: Disobey Traffic Control Device, Speeding 65 in a 50, Reduced to Zero Points and not reported to Secretary of State

Berkley, MI: Speeding 64 in a 40, Client had a Blood Alcohol Content of 0.079, Reduced to Zero Points and not reported to Secretary of State.

Sterling Heights, MI: Speeding 63 in a 50, Reduced to Zero Points.

Sterling Heights, MI: Speeding 55 in a 30, Reduced to Zero Points and not reported to Secretary of State.

Lapeer, MI: Speeding 75 in a 55, Reduced to Zero Points and not reported to Secretary of State

Oak Park, MI: Speeding 43 in a 30, Reduced to Zero Points and not reported to Secretary of State

Warren, MI: Speeding 43 in a 30, Case Dismissed.

Detroit, MI: Disobey Traffic Control Device, Speeding 42 in a 35, Obstructed Vision. Case Dismissed.

Rochester Hills, MI: Careless Driving, Reduced to Zero Points and not reported to Secretary of State

Troy, MI: Failure to Stop Assuring a Clear Distance (Causing an Accident), Reduced to Zero Points and not reported to Secretary of State.

Lapeer, MI: Speeding 70 in a 50, Reduced to Zero Points and not reported to Secretary of State

Romulus, MI: Speeding 85 in a 70, Reduced to Zero Points and not reported to Secretary of State.

Southfield, MI: Disobey Traffic Control Device, Reduced to Zero Points.

Rochester Hills, MI: Careless Driving, Reduced to Zero Points and not reported to Secretary of State.

Clawson, MI: Speeding 50 in a 40, Withdrawn Plea, Reduced to Zero Points and not reported to Secretary of State

Berkley, MI: Speeding 46 in a 30, Reduced to Zero Points and not reported to Secretary of State.

Oak Park, MI: No Operator’s License, a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail, Case Dismissed.

West Bloomfield, MI: Careless Driving, Reduced to Zero Points and not reported to Secretary of State

Rochester Hills, MI: Speeding 55 in a 40, Reduced to Zero Points

St. Clair Shores, MI: Speeding 95 in a 70, Reduced to Zero Points

Ferndale, MI: Failure to Stop Assuring a Clear Distance (Causing an Accident w/ a Pedestrian), Reduced to Zero Points and not reported to Secretary of State.

Farmington, MI: Failure to Stop Assuring a Clear Distance (Causing an Accident), Reduced to Zero Points and not reported to Secretary of State.

Livonia, MI: Careless Driving, Reduced to one Point. Client had a horrendous driving record with three prior accidents within the past two years.

Detroit, MI: Speeding 55 in a 40, Driving too fast for conditions, Driving in the incorrect lane. Case Dismissed.

Detroit, MI: Speeding 50 in a 40. Case Dismissed.

Rochester Hills, MI: Speeding 50 in a 40, Reduced to one Point. Client had ten prior points on his record.

Oak Park, MI: Operating While Intoxicated, a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail, mandatory license suspension, and $2,000 + in Driver’s Responsibility fees. Case Dismissed after suppression hearing.

Oak Park, MI: Driving While License Suspended, a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail, reduced plea, $100.00 fine, no jail time and no probation.

Farmington Hills, MI: Disobey Traffic Control Device, Reduced to Zero Points.

West Bloomfield, MI: Two Counts of Driving While License Suspended, two Probation Violations, reduced plea. All Four Counts Dismissed, no jail time.

For more information about traffic law or to retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC, call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation.

Commercial Driver License

Traffic tickets for commercial drivers with commercial driver licenses (CDL) can carry more severe penalties than the same speeding ticket violations for non-commercial drivers because commercial drivers are generally considered to have an extra responsibility to traffic safety.

Commercial Drivers spend more time on the road than the average driver. Where the average person drives to work, a CDL holder drives for work. As such, the State of Michigan does its best to insure that the drivers who spend much of their time on the road are the safest and most responsible of all drivers.

For more information about traffic law or to retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC, call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation.

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Bankruptcy Lawyers in Michigan

Bankruptcy Lawyers in MichiganDo you have mounting Debt? Have you been sued by a medical provider, a credit card company on a bank loan, or by a former landlord, etc.? Let us help you. The Attorneys of Garmo & Kiste, PLC are experienced Debt Collection Attorneys who now specialize in Debt Collection Defense and Bankruptcy Work. In the past we learned the trade working for Credit Card Companies and Debt Collection Agencies. Yearly we handle hundreds of collections and collections defense cases.

For more information about Bankruptcy Lawyers in Michigan and Bankruptcy Work or to retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC, call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message. We are licensed Michigan attorneys, with offices in Troy, MI. We are not a debt relief agency.

Our Familiarity with Collections Industry…

One of the greatest advantages of hiring our firm is the connections we bring to the process. Because of our past employment, typically we know the Plaintiff, their Attorney, the Court, and the Judge. We can quickly assess the facts of your case, in efforts of determining the best course of action and in turn the best possible result for you, our client. We know more loop holes than most attorneys, and we know when it’s time to fight and when it’s time to settle. For this reason, looking for an attorney who practices in the county where you were ticketed is particularly helpful, that said we regularly practice in Oakland, Macomb, Wayne, and Lapeer Counties. What follows is a list of Collections Defense matters our firm has handled recently.

For more information about Bankruptcy Lawyers in Michigan and Bankruptcy Work or to retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC, call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.

BANKRUPTCY:

During your free consultation, we will go over your personal situation and explain how bankruptcy may affect each of your debts, property and assets. We will never recommend bankruptcy unless we believe you need it. Unfortunately with the economic recession, mounting obligations, and dramatic home devaluation, debt has become a major anchor around the neck of Americans both in Michigan and nationwide. As a consequence, bankruptcy has become a high volume industry in which many attorneys push unnecessary bankruptcies on consumers to turn quick profits for themselves. At Garmo & Kiste, PLC our aim has always been to provide the very best counsel to our clients and to be as objective as possible about your options, not to turn quick profits.

For more information about Debt Collection Defense and Bankruptcy Work or to retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC, call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation. Payment plans are available, and as always you are under no obligation to retain our services and our advice during the consultation is free.

What is a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 is the most common form of bankruptcy in the United States. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is sometimes called “liquidation” bankruptcy it cancels your debts, but you might have to let the bankruptcy court liquidate sell some of your property for the benefit of your creditors. If you are being crippled by high credit card debt or medical bills, Chapter 7 may be a way for you to discharge those debts, once complete you will receive a Bankruptcy Discharge and your obligation to the discharged debts will be over. The whole Chapter 7 bankruptcy process takes about four to six months, and commonly requires at least one trip to the courthouse.

For more information about Debt Collection Defense and Bankruptcy Work or to retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC, call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation.

What is a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 13 bankruptcy, often called “reorganization” or “consolidation” bankruptcy is very different from Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which wipes out most of your debts. When your income is determined to be too high for a Chapter 7, but you are facing foreclosure on your home, auto repossessions or tax debts, Chapter 13 can help give you some breathing room. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy you use your income to pay some or all of what you owe to your creditors over time. 99% of all debtors who file Chapter 13 keep their assets, however not everyone qualifies for Chapter 13, and some debtors would be better off filing for Chapter 7.

For more information about Bankruptcy Lawyers in Michigan and Bankruptcy Work or to retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC, call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.

 

Troy Michigan Attorneys, Garmo and Kiste, PLC

Troy Michigan Attorneys, Garmo and Kiste, PLCAt Garmo and Kiste, your matter is important to us. We are a Troy, Michigan based lawyers who will zealously represent you and work tirelessly to protect your rights. Unlike many other law firms, we will not treat you as merely another case. Rather, we offer the personalized care and attention you deserve. The solutions we offer are personally tailored to resolve your matter. Our legal services include Traffic, Divorce, Criminal Defense, Drunk Driving, Expungement, Personal Injury, Estate Planning, Business, and Collection/Bankruptcy cases.

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