Welcome

The law office of Artz, Dewhirst & Wheeler, LLP is engaged in the general practice of law providing legal representation to individuals, businesses, and other organizations. The law firm offers a wide range of legal services for personal and business matters.

Artz, Dewhirst & Wheeler, LLP is committed to providing personalized attention to all clients, while maintaining high standards of professionalism.  Confidential, effective, and timely legal representation, flexible hours of operation, and open discussion of legal fees are hallmarks of the firm’s attitude toward both its clients and the practice of law.

When you need legal assistance, we are available to provide you legal assistance in a timely, competent and confidential manner. 


Areas of Practice

CIVIL LITIGATION
CRIMINAL / TRAFFIC / OVI-DUI
DISPUTE RESOLUTION SERVICES
EMPLOYMENT
ESTATE PLANNING / PROBATE ADMINISTRATION
FAMILY LAW, DIVORCE, SURROGACY, ADOPTION, AND LGBTQ ISSUES
LANDLORD-TENANT
PERSONAL INJURY
REAL PROPERTY OWNERSHIP
BUSINESS FORMATION AND OPERATIONS


What Are My Rights As A Tenant?

Many renters who have signed a lease with a landlord have not read the entire lease or do not fully understand all the lease terms. Sometimes a lease can include overly legalistic or ambiguous terminology that makes it difficult for a tenant to know what to do when a problem arises. Ohio’s landlord-tenant law can be found in Chapter 5321 of the Ohio Revised Code (http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/5321).

A tenant has a right to be provided a safe and habitable place to live, which is referred to as the Warranty of Habitability.  Landlords are required to keep all common areas of the premises in a safe and sanitary condition and are required to maintain all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, and air conditioning fixtures and appliances in good and safe working order and condition.  If there is a problem with the property, a tenant is required to notify the landlord in writing of the problem and should provide a time frame for repairs.   In emergency situations (such as no heat in the winter), five to seven days is considered reasonable. In non-emergency situations, 30 days is a reasonable time. If the landlord fails to remedy the problem after being given notice, the landlord has breached their duty under the lease and the tenant is entitled to remedies under the law.

A tenant also has the right to quiet enjoyment of the property. Although the landlord owns the property, a tenant has a right to privacy within the rental unit. If a landlord needs to enter the property to make a repair or for any other reason, the landlord must provide the tenant with at least 24-hours’ notice before entering. The only time a landlord is not required to provide a 24-hour notice is for an emergency situation, such as a gas leak at the property.  If a landlord violates this notice requirement, a tenant may be entitled to certain remedies under the law.

Some tenants may be afraid that if they report issues to their landlord, the landlord may retaliate by evicting them. Under Ohio law, a tenant has the right to initiate a complaint to an appropriate governmental agency for violations of building, housing, health, or safety codes.  A landlord cannot retaliate against a tenant by increasing the tenant’s rent, decreasing services due to the tenant, or by bringing or threatening an eviction against the tenant. If a landlord does retaliate against a tenant, the tenant may be entitled to certain remedies under the law.

Tenants also have a right to the return of their security deposit. A landlord is required to provide a written itemization of all damages they are withholding from the security deposit within 30 days of a tenant moving out. A tenant has the duty to provide the landlord with a forwarding address to which the written itemization and/or security deposit refund should be sent. If a landlord fails to comply, a tenant may be entitled to certain remedies under the law.

Draheim_ChadAll tenant and landlord rights and obligations have not been included in this article and as with most areas of the law, landlord/tenant law is complex.  As a result, it can be best to consult with an attorney when problems arise to make sure you understand your rights. If you are having a dispute with your landlord and you want to review your rights and your options, please contact our office for a consultation today.

Chad Draheim, Esq.

DISCLAIMER: Artz, Dewhirst & Wheeler, LLP presents the information on this web site as a service to Internet users, including members of the public. While the information on this site is about legal issues, it is not intended as legal advice or as a substitute for the particularized advice of an attorney. People seeking specific legal advice or assistance should contact an attorney.

 

DO I NEED A PRE-NUPTIAL AGREEMENT?

Whether you “need” a Pre-Nuptial Agreement really does depend on your goals.  The basic purpose of a Pre-Nuptial Agreement is to decide in advance what will happen with your assets and debts after you get married.  These Agreements can be tailored to your specific needs and goals.  Do you want the normal provisions of marital law to apply if your marriage ends through legal separation, divorce, or dissolution of marriage?  Do you want laws regarding spousal rights in the event of death to control what happens to your property if you are married at the time of your death?

One of the first things to consider is what will happen if your marriage ends by divorce and you do not have a Pre-Nuptial Agreement.  As a general rule, the property and debts that you had before you got married will remain your separate property and debt when you get divorced.  All assets that you acquire during your marriage are considered marital property, unless you received them as a gift or an inheritance.  The same is true with debts – liabilities that you incur after your marriage that are incurred for a “marital purpose” will also be considered debts of the marriage that both spouses will have to share in the divorce.  With a Pre-Nuptial Agreement, you can agree that any asset or debt that you acquire after you get married will remain your separate asset and your separate debt.

You can also make agreements about what will happen to your property if you are married at the time of your death.  In Ohio, spouses can make a claim to a portion of their deceased spouse’s probate assets, even if the deceased spouse had a Will that left nothing to their surviving spouse.  Surviving spouses also have rights related to the marital residence, the right to administer the estate, and other rights.  You can negate the effects of those legal provisions by agreeing to something different in a Pre-Nuptial Agreement.

If you’re thinking of marriage but you’d like to iron out what will happen if the marriage ends in divorce or death, you should consider speaking to an attorney about whether a Pre-Nuptial Agreement is right for you.  But, don’t wait too long.  Some of the basic requirements for a valid Agreement include that it must be in writing, that it is signed prior to the marriage, and that both parties have sufficient time to review the Agreement and get advice from an Attorney.

Thomas Addessa

DISCLAIMER: Artz, Dewhirst & Wheeler, LLP presents the information on this web site as a service to Internet users, including members of the public. While the information on this site is about legal issues, it is not intended as legal advice or as a substitute for the particularized advice of an attorney. People seeking specific legal advice or assistance should contact an attorney.

POST-ACCIDENT CHECKLIST

Being in a car accident can be a stressful experience for anyone.  The results of an accident can range from life-changing injuries with high medical bills to property damage.  Following a few of the steps below can alleviate some of the stress and put any victim into the right position to relieve some of the issues that can follow a car accident.

Call the Police:  After an accident, it is important to immediately call the police.  In doing this, a police officer will write up an official incident report if the accident occurred on public property.  If the accident occurred on private property, you can file an accident report with the appropriate local law enforcement unit. Accident reports can be filed online in many jurisdictions.  An accident report can be important in proving to the court and insurance companies who was at fault in causing the accident.  Without the accident report, obtaining a settlement for your injuries and property damage may prove difficult.

Document Information:  Write down the other driver’s license plate number, make and model of the car, name, contact information and insurance of the other driver.  Take pictures and videos of the scene.  This can all be used as evidence at a later time in the case if necessary.  If the opposing driver makes any concession as to guilt such as “I’m sorry” or “I should have been looking before I backed out” take a mental note and write it down.

Get Medical Care:  Take care of yourself.  Some people do not notice pain after an accident because they are in shock while other people think they can just work through the pain.  A sore back can lead to a multitude of problems that show up later in life, so it is important to seek medical care to check for injuries.  Medical records will document actual injuries, diagnoses and treatments that result from an accident.  Waiting to seek medical attention can raise questions about whether the injuries were related to the accident.

Call Your Insurance Provider:  A victim of a car accident should call their insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident.

Ciszewski-ScottContact An Attorney:  People often have questions after an accident and attorneys can answers those questions.  Know your rights before speaking with the other driver’s insurance company.  If you have questions or want to learn more about post-accident relief, contact the law firm of Artz, Dewhirst & Wheeler, LLP.

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Artz, Dewhirst & Wheeler, LLP presents the information on this web site as a service to Internet users, including members of the public. While the information on this site is about legal issues, it is not intended as legal advice or as a substitute for the particularized advice of an attorney. People seeking specific legal advice or assistance should contact an attorney.

What’s the Difference Between a Last Will and Testament and a Living Will?

ADVERTISING MATERIAL

The Last Will and Testament and Living Will are two completely different documents with similar names. Both documents state your intentions, desires and preferences should you become incapacitated or die.  Both documents are recommended as part of a comprehensive estate planning strategy.

 

The Last Will and Testament is a document that takes effect after your death and names who your beneficiaries are, usually family and friends or charities, and who gets your property. Last Will and Testaments can be in the form of a general bequest: “Everything to my spouse, then to my kids equally,” or a specific bequest: “My Warhol painting to my son, James.” Most Wills include a combination of the two.

In a Last Will and Testament, you also appoint an Executor to be in charge and to make sure that all of your wishes are followed. A Last Will and Testament is specific to you and is one of the most important estate planning documents everyone should have. Another option is to invest in a Trust if you have young children who you need to provide for, or if you have substantial assets that you want to keep out of the Probate process. Not sure whether you need just a Last Will and Testament or take the additional step to also create a Trust? Call to set up a consultation at 614-221-0944 and get your individual questions answered.

A Living Will is a health care document. It allows an individual to state their preference about life-sustaining treatment if the situation arose where they were terminally ill or permanently unconscious and can no longer make health care decisions. If the patient has created a Living Will they get to direct whether or not artificially supplied hydration and nutrition and life sustaining treatment is provided.

A Living Will does not affect the right to have pain medicine or comfort care. It simply allows an individual to make the choice now so that their next of kin or the person with power of attorney for health care doesn’t have to guess at what the individual would have wanted want in that situation.

Hannah Botkin-Doty

The Last Will and Testament and Living Will have totally different functions, but they are both essential estate planning documents.  If you have questions or want to learn about the other ways you can make a plan for estate, please do not hesitate to contact me at 614-221-0944 or hlbotkindoty@adwllp.com to get your questions answered.

Hannah Botkin-Doty

 

DISCLAIMER:  Artz, Dewhirst & Wheeler, LLP presents the information on this web site as a service to Internet users, including members of the public. While the information on this site is about legal issues, it is not intended as legal advice or as a substitute for the particularized advice of an attorney.  People seeking specific legal advice or assistance should contact an attorney.

A Person with a Felony Conviction May Petition Court to Restore Right to Own a Firearm

DID YOU KNOW A FELONY CONVICTION MAY NOT END THE RIGHT TO OWN A FIREARM?

Whether it’s for hunting or home protection, many people enjoy their Second Amendment right to own a firearm.  In Ohio, a state felony conviction can affect a person in many ways and one of the consequences for a felony conviction is a prohibition on a person’s right to own a firearm.

Ohio law allows someone who has been convicted of a state felony to petition the Court of Common Pleas in the jurisdiction where the person resides for reinstatement of firearm privileges.  It is within the court’s discretion as to whether to grant the petition and allow the applicant to own a firearm again or to deny the petition.  The court will base its decision on multiple factors, including; (1) if the applicant has been living a “law-abiding” life since the felony incident, (2) the applicant is not prohibited from owning a firearm for any other reason, and (3) whether the applicant has completed jail/probation time.

Although, federal law prohibits anyone who is convicted of a federal felony from possessing a firearm, federal law provides limited options for a person to regain the right to own a firearm. A person convicted of a felony may be able to (1) petition a Court of Common Pleas for reinstatement of firearm privileges or (2) file an application to expunge the felony conviction.

DISCLAIMER

Artz, Dewhirst & Wheeler, LLP presents the information on this web site as a service to Internet users, including members of the public. While the information on this site is about legal issues, it is not intended as legal advice or as a substitute for the particularized advice of an attorney. The blog post does not represent the political views of Artz, Dewhirst & Wheeler, LLP.  People seeking specific legal advice or assistance should contact an attorney.

Hannah Botkin-Doty Is G.O.L.D.

Congratulations to Hannah Botkin-Doty for being awarded the 2018 G.O.L.D. Award by the Capital University Law School Office of Alumni Relations. The G.O.L.D Award is given annually to a Capital University Law School JD “Graduate of the Last Decade” who has made significant achievements in his/her occupation and has made notable contributions to the legal profession and/or the Law School. #WomenofAchievement#GoodAsGOLD #PassionfortheLaw

All 2018 Alumni Award Recipients can be viewed athttp://law.capital.edu/2018AlumniAwardRecipients/