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 Evict a Tenant in Minnesota?

Understanding the legal requirements is key for residential and commercial landlords

Minnesota landlord-tenant law places many requirements on residential and commercial property lessors—requirements that ensure owners remain responsible and treat their tenants fairly. When it comes time to evict a tenant for a lease violation, landlords will find their compliance efforts make the eviction process much simpler. For starters, state law requires landlords follow the Minnesota eviction process and not engage in self-help, which might include cutting off utilities or changing …

How to Respond to a Rent Escrow Action

Minnesota landlords should ensure their properties aren’t at risk

There may be nothing more important for rental property owners who lease to residential tenants than maintaining their property and quickly responding to tenant repair concerns. This is in part because Minnesota landlord-tenant law protects tenants from sub-standard housing by allowing tenants to bring a rent escrow action. A rent escrow is a simple, low-cost court-process for tenants to get needed repairs completed when a landlord refuses. Landlords will want to avoid situations in which a …

How to Exercise Your Right to Vote in Iowa

Even with accommodating voting laws, Iowans should understand their rights

Iowa is one of 16 states (plus Washington, D.C.) that essentially has no voter registration deadline. Iowa law allows residents to register to vote up until, and on, the day of an election. Research demonstrates that Election Day registration increases voter turnout by anywhere between 5 and 10 percent over states without same-day registration. Iowa also allows early voting and absentee voting with an absentee ballot. Who Can Vote in Iowa? To be eligible to vote in Iowa, a person must be 18 …

An Election Law Guide for Colorado Residents

Answering common questions about voter registration in Colorado

Colorado makes voter registration straightforward. By law, the state offers election-day voter registration and sends ballots by mail to registered voters prior to a general election. Residents who register at least eight days prior to an election will receive a ballot by mail. The state offers a variety of locations to drop off the ballot prior to an election. Who Can Vote in Colorado? To vote in Colorado, an individual must be: 18 years of age; A U.S. citizen; and Have resided in Colorado for …

What You Need to Vote in Florida Elections

Early registration, identification and provisional ballots in Florida

Voting in Florida requires planning. The state has a very early voter registration deadline: 29 days prior to an election. For point of reference, there are currently 16 states and the District of Columbia that allow election-day registration. For the Aug. 28, 2018 primary election, the deadline to register to vote in Florida was July 30, 2018; and for the Nov. 6, 2018 general election, registration closed on Oct. 9, 2018. The first step to voting is ensuring you are registered. Early voting is …

How Can I Legally Smoke Marijuana in California?

Residents and tourists must understand the California laws to avoid legal issues

As of January 2018, it’s legal to smoke marijuana or cannabis products for recreational use in the state of California. This is good news for the many residents and potential tourists to the state. However, there are still many cannabis laws in place that restrict the use of THC in California. Residents and tourists must understand the marijuana laws or they put themselves at risk of not only a bad trip, but arrest. Who Can Smoke Recreational Marijuana? Under current California …

Who Does ERISA Apply To?

Anyone who receives employee benefits from a Texas employer should know

What happens if an employer denies benefits to an employee? Or, what if an employee feels their benefits plan is not being managed properly? Often the first line of defense for employees is the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), a 1974 law meant to protect plan participants with benefits. ERISA sets minimum standards for most voluntarily established employee pension, retirement plan and health plans to provide protection for individuals in these plans. ERISA applies to …

Must Investment Brokers Disclose Conflicts of Interest?

New rules proposed by the SEC could assist Illinois investors

In April 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), proposed new rules for securities brokers. Most notable among the new rules is “Regulation Best Interest, which would apply to brokers when giving advice to retail investors. The regulation proposes that broker-dealers “act in the best interest of their retail customers,” and not place the broker’s interests ahead of the retail investor. The new rules have been expected for some time after the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act provided the …

Brokers and Advisors Have Different Standards of Care

Texas investors must understand the difference when weighing investment advice

Individuals and businesses often require advice when they wish to make investments in securities, and finding the right source for that advice is important. Regardless of the source’s job title, it’s important investors understand first and foremost that there are two different levels of care of investment advisers and brokers must provide. These levels are tied to the function of the financial professional—generally, either a broker or advisor. A registered investment advisor (RIA) is an …

Can a PAC Accept Contributions From Foreign Citizens?

Washington, D.C. PACs must be cautious with potential foreign involvement

It’s clear from a quick review of federal election campaign legislation that foreign money is generally prohibited in federal and local elections. The Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) prohibits organizations from knowingly soliciting, accepting, or receiving contributions or donations from foreign nationals for campaign finance. Despite that apparent clarity, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) states that many of the questions it receives involve the rules governing foreign …

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