About Doug Mentes, Esq.

Doug Mentes, Esq. Articles written 126

Douglas Mentes is an alum of Drake University with a degree in journalism, who has covered news in Washington, D.C., Minneapolis and Salt Lake City. He has a law degree from William Mitchell College of Law and ran his own law firm for more than 10 years in St. Paul, Minnesota, earning designation as a Super Lawyers Rising Star. He practiced in the areas of family law, real estate and probate, handling several successful appeals. He currently covers bankruptcy law for Thomson Reuters.

Articles written by Doug Mentes, Esq.

How Do I Get My Property Listed on the National Register?

It’s a lengthy process for Minnesota property owners

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Getting your property on the local or national registers may qualify it for tax benefit. Data also suggests that historic properties show a faster increase in value over nearby, non-historic, comparable properties. The National Register nomination process begins with getting listed with the state historic preservation office, or the local heritage preservation office. Local …

What Auto Insurance Coverage Should I Purchase in Minnesota?

Minnesotans must protect themselves from underinsured drivers

Minnesota law requires all licensed vehicles to be covered by a certain amount of car insurance coverage, and some insurance company policies may require even more than state minimum. In Minnesota, there are four types of coverage that are mandatory, and drivers must have the following minimum amounts of those coverage types: No-fault or Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage of $40,000 per person per accident Liability coverage for injuries to one person of $30,000 Uninsured motorist …

The Most Important Steps to Take After a Car Accident

Minnesota accident victims should seek help quickly to understand the process

There is a significant amount of free legal advice from personal injury attorneys widely communicated through all forms of media to prospective accident victims. Recalling that information may be difficult for victims at the scene of an accident. This is in part because getting into an auto accident can be a stressful situation. Andrew Rorvig has represented Minnesota motor vehicle accident victims since 2005, and cautions that, “people sometimes overthink the situation.” Instead, Rorvig …

What Are Employees' Rights Under the Family and Medical Leave Act?

Florida workers should know the FMLA's significant benefits

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) guarantees qualified employees a certain minimum level of unpaid leave from work for birth of a child, adoption, and serious family health problems or their own serious health condition. The FMLA requires qualified employees receive leave rights for 12 weeks every calendar year of unpaid leave and continuation of health insurance coverage as if they had not taken leave. Pursuant to federal law, FMLA protection requires employers meet their obligations or …

Does HIPAA Protect My Health Information?

It requires Massachusetts providers have compliance procedures in place

A major reason for the 1996 enactment of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was to protect patient health information (PHI) and medical records from being used or disclosed improperly according to HIPAA privacy rules. Part of federal HIPAA law is something called the Privacy Rule, the purpose of which is to define and limit the circumstances in which an individual’s protected health information may be used or disclosed by health providers and health plans. What Is …

Should I Elect COBRA Coverage?

New York employees should understand the costs and benefits before deciding

COBRA rights can be a confusing law for the public. Its name bears little relation to what it regulates. COBRA stands for the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. But this federal law regulates employee health insurance coverage, essentially requiring that employees be given the opportunity to continue their health coverage when they leave their job. Enacted in 1986, COBRA election was meant to protect workers from doubly suffering a job loss and loss of health benefits for …

Do I Have to Consent to a Police Search of My Car in Louisiana?

No, but state law offers police officers other ways into your vehicle

An officer asking to do a search of your car can be a confusing question, especially if they ask it during what appears to be a routine traffic stop. Many people don’t understand what their rights are in this situation, and whether or not they should cooperate with the officer’s request. “Many honest, hard-working people have this belief that if they comply—and give the officer this and give him that—this officer is going to be my friend. It just doesn’t work out that way,” says …

What Laws Do Minnesota Airbnb Hosts Need to Follow?

Minnesota real property owners must understand several layers of regulation

Short-term vacation rental lodging has gained popularity recently, and laws and regulations are beginning to catch up with this new form of lodging. For property owners considering this revenue stream, they must understand the various layers of rules and regulations involved—from the federal level, down to the local level. Short-term rentals are not subject to state landlord-tenant laws and seem to fall outside traditional hotel and motel lodging regulation. Cities and local municipalities …

Can I Keep a Tenant’s Security Deposit?

Minnesota landlords face steep penalties if not cautious

Minnesota landlords can easily get themselves into trouble with their tenant’s security deposits. Even a simple mistake in management, like missing a deadline, could be costly. If a landlord withholds any of the deposit, Minnesota law puts the burden on them to demonstrate the expenses are legitimate. If not, landlords could be subject to fines, penalties and court costs. When Can Landlords Keep the Security Deposit? Minnesota law allows landlords to keep a tenant’s security deposit in only …

What to Do If You Suspect Housing Discrimination

Federal and state fair housing laws protect Minnesota residents from housing discrimination

Housing discrimination can be very hard to judge, as a landlord might have a valid reason for denying a tenant’s application to rent or enforcing a lease provision. Many times, this conduct is not discrimination. But often, there is no way to be sure. Thus, rental applicants, tenants, and homebuyers are forced to act on their suspicions to enforce the law. If you have a suspicion your application was wrongfully denied or that lease terms are being enforced differently on you compared to other …

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