Friday, July 26, 2013

Today is the Deadline for an August 1 Wedding; Plan for the Future

Today is the last day you can make application for a marriage license in order to be married on August 1.  This is because there is a 5-day waiting period on all applications for marriage.  As same-sex couples are now legally allowed to tie the knot, they will be able to receive treatment under the law that is equal to different-sex couples.  In all marriages there will be ups and downs and certain life events that should be planned.  Ben Franklin said “Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”  This certainty should be planned for couples that choose to raise children.  The planning for death is never an easy topic to broach, but planning will help your loved ones.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The New Minnesota Marriage Law - "When Can I Get My License?"

******UPDATE****** May 31, 2013******

It appears that the Registrars of Hennepin, Ramsey and Washington counties have exercised their discretion interpreting the marriage law to allow applications for a marriage license between couples of the same sex be made starting June 6, 2013.  This is one of the options available to the local registrars that is discussed in the original post below.  As stated, I believe the statutes provide enough discretion with the local registrar to make this decision.  According to the StarTribune, the Hennepin County Attorney issued an opinion for the local registrar that came to this conclusion.  The process, as of today, is that an application for a license can be made on June 6, 2013 (in specific counties) and, if approved, the license can be obtained on August 1, 2013.  This approach makes sense to prevent the counties from being overwhelmed with applications on August 1.  Also, remember, as discussed below in my earlier post, a license obtained in one county is good throughout the whole State.  One issue is fulfilling the promises of mayors to hold ceremonies on August 1 at 12:01 a.m.  The service centers do not open until 7:30 or 8:00 in the morning, according the StarTribune:

Asked about how the delay in issuance might affect Coleman’s plans for midnight Aug. 1 ceremonies, Burns said the county is “exploring other options for making the licenses available before 8 a.m. August 1st.”
The decision of these county registrars means those that have planned wedding events on August 1, 2013 and that weekend can move ahead with their plans.


As you may know, amendments to the Minnesota Statutes to allow same sex marriage were made into law when signed by Governor Dayton on May 14, 2013.  The law will not take effect until August 1, 2013.  Unless a new law states a different effective date, August 1 is the default for new laws taking effect.  I have received several questions about the timing of applying for a marriage license and when the ceremony can take place.  Can the license be obtained before August 1?  The question is possibly, depending on the local registrar.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

I am presenting at a CLE on May 9, 2013

I am presenting at the Continuing Legal Education seminar in St. Cloud, tomorrow, Thursday, May 9, 2013, entitled Issues Unique to Recreational and Lake Shore Property.  This is a Minnesota CLE seminar.  Minnesota CLE was established by the Minnesota State Bar Association to provide the highest quality educational experience to Minnesota lawyers and judges in an accessible fashion and at a reasonable cost.  My topic, presented between 1:15 and 2:15, is on land use and shore regulation, specifically looking at the DNR regulations and local government control.  I presented this topic 3 years ago.  A lot has happened since then and a lot has stayed the same.  I believe seats are still available.  Register if you would like to find out more about the issues that are unique to shoreland property.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Now Ranked by U.S. News & World Report

Hard work, effective representation and depth of knowledge.  That describes the attorneys at my law firm Hoff, Barry & Kozar, P.A.  I am proud to announce that Hoff, Barry & Kozar, P.A., has been selected among "Best Law Firms" for 2013 by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers as a "First Tier" law firm for municipal law and municipal litigation in the Twin Cities area.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A well written lease makes good landlords and tenants

Did you know that a lease can be either oral or written.  State Statute defines a lease as "an oral or written agreement creating a tenancy in real property".  Minn. Stat. §504B.001
.  Regardless, not only is it best practice to have any lease in writing, if a lease is for a fixed term greater than 1 year it must be in writing.  Minn. Stat. §513.05.  Failure to have such a writing will void the lease.  Id.  This requirement for a writing is called the “Statute of Frauds”.  The purpose of the Statute of Frauds is to provide reasonable safeguards and ensure honest dealing.  Doyle v. Wohlrabe, 243 Minn. 107, 66 N.W.2d 757 (1954)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hoff, Barry & Kozar, P.A., has a new web page

Hoff, Barry & Kozar, P.A., (my law firm) launches its new website today.  Make sure you click here and check it out.  We specialize in local government law, business law, litigation, real estate and development and estate planning.  Contact me at if you would like to discuss our services and how we can help you.  Make sure you also checkout my firm's Facebook page and press "like" and follow my firm on Twitter.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

What does it mean to be joint tenants?

My current focus will be talking about types of interest that people can have in real property.  The next series of blog entries will explore ownership of real property by people at the same time. 

If you purchase a house with two or more persons your ownership is by tenants in common and not joint tenancy, unless expressly declared to be a joint tenancy.  This declaration is usually done in the conveying deed.  This is important because under a joint tenancy, if one of the joint tenants dies that person’s ownership interest in the house passes to the surviving joint tenants.  For example, if John, his wife Sarah, his brother Jim and his wife Rebbecca own a cabin in Brainerd as joint tenants.  Just recently John passed away.  Because the ownership of the cabin is in joint tenancy, John’s ownership passes to the remaining owners.  If the ownership was as tenants in common, John’s ownership would have been as asset that he could bequeath to another under his Will.  It should be noted that a joint tenancy does not exist in Minnesota between a husband and wife solely by virtue of the marital relationship, but it may exist by virtue of express grant or devise.  Wilson v. Wilson, 43 Minn. 398, 45 N.W. 710 (1890).  However, in Minnesota, a surviving spouse does have certain protections in homestead property regardless of joint tenancy.  I will be exploring this issue in later blog entries.