The People's Lawyer Consumer News Alert
Center for Consumer Law
  Volume 97 Number 6

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The People’s Lawyer’s Tip of the Day

A landlord has an obligation to change the locks on your doors whenever you request it. You may be charged the cost of making the change, but no additional fees.
 Click here for more.

Google Patents Contact Lens Camera

In the movies, James Bond has a lot a cool gadgets. Most of them are so ridiculous that they couldn't possibly be real or even producible. However, with every passing day, the world's scientists make unbelievable strides, bridging the gap between fantasy and reality.

Earlier this year, Google released Google Glass to consumers. The wearable computer glasses take video and pictures, respond to voice commands, and much more. Recently, Google patented a contact lens system similar to Google Glass that would contain microcomputers and respond to unique blinking patterns.

According to reports, the technology is so advanced that it may allow the blind to see certain things.

Could contact lens cameras be a part of the near future?
 Click here for more.

A Big Tax Return May Not Be a Good Thing

Are you expecting a big tax refund? As exciting as it may be to get a nice check in the mail or a direct deposit to your checking account, it may not be a good thing.

If you plan to receive a big tax refund, it could be a sign that you're simply overpaying your taxes. For many Americans, that money could be the difference between making a car payment on time, or even putting food on the table. In essence, Americans who overpay their taxes are giving the government an interest-free loan.

Although it is too late to make a difference for 2013, it is pretty simple to adjust your tax withholding. By minimizing your tax withholding, you can ramp up your savings or simply make your monthly obligations more manageable.

Find out how to effectively minimize your tax withholding.
 Click here for more.

Your Money

Planning to buy a vehicle but still owe money on your current vehicle?

Try this negative equity calculator!
 Click here for more.

For the Lawyers

Companies unable to remove state-brought consumer protection cases to federal court.

In a unanimous decision, the United States Supreme Court held that a Mississippi parens patriae action, where the state was the sole plaintiff, did not constitute a removable CAFA mass action. The action was not removable, even if more than 100 unnamed persons were the real parties in interest who would benefit from the state's successful prosecution.

The court refused to engage in the threshold question of piercing the pleadings to determine who the real parties in interest were. Instead, the court simply held that the parens patriae action was not a CAFA mass action, defined as any action "in which the monetary relief claims of 100 or more persons are proposed to be tried jointly on the ground that the plaintiffs' claims involve common question of law and fact."

In a highly technical parsing of CAFA's statutory language, the court declared that CAFA used the term "persons" and not "100 or more named or unnamed real parties in interest."
Click here for more.

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