Stephen K. Underwood is a Buffalo New York lawyer that practices in the New York State and Federal Court systems. Mr. Underwood is a graduate of the Binghamton University School of Management with a concentration in Finance (B.S. 1992) and obtained his Juris Doctorate from OCU School of Law in 1997. Mr. Underwood was duly licensed and admitted to practice law in the State of New York in 1998.
Although Mr. Underwood is a General Practitioner, he accepts cases primarily in the areas of Personal Injury, Divorce, Family Law, Bankruptcy, Criminal Law, DWI, Vehicle & Traffic, Adoption, Name Changes, Evictions, Small Business Law, Mechanics Liens, and Wills & Estates.
The Law Office of Stephen K. Underwood primarily serves the following areas of New York: Buffalo, West Seneca, Amherst, Depew, Clarence, Cheektowaga, Orchard Park, Angola, Lackawanna, Alden, East Aurora, Boston, Brant, Colden, Collins, Concord, Eden, Grand Island, Hamburg, Holland, Lancaster, Marilla, Newstead, North Collins, Sardina, Tonawanda, North Tonawanda, Blasdell, Kenmore, and Williamsville. Uncontested Divorce cases, however, are accepted from any County in the State of New York
Clients receive exceptional customer service and can rely on responsive, efficient, and effective representation at reasonable fees and your phone calls will be returned promptly. Success is measured by results, and results are sought at every level of litigation. The law office of Stephen K. Underwood offers complete legal services so that clients feel secure and informed about their decisions.
Fees are dependent upon the complexity of the case. Input from the client is needed to determine the requirements of a particular representation. Fees will be tailored to an amount necessary to accommoplish the stated goals of the litigation.
If you are seeking an experienced Attorney, look no further and contact me above by getting your FREE phone or email consultation.
In a private independent adoption, the birth parent(s) and the adoptive parents, agree to the adoption. If the adoption concerns an unborn child, the adoptive parents often have contact with the birth parents prior to birth. The adoptive parents may also have the opportunity to be involved with the pregnacy, and sometimes be present for the birth. In fact, building a relationship with the birth parents is an important part of the adoption process because it builds trust and confidence in the adoptive parents paving the way for the adoption to occur as planned. Upon birth, the adoptive child is placed in the care of the adoptive parents.
Sometimes when one biological parent gets married (or remarried), it is in the child's best interest for the new spouse to adopt the child. Often times the other biological parent has had little involvement in the child's life, and does not pay child support (or is in arrears). In the typical step-parent adoption case, the step-parent is eager to take responsibility for parenting the child, and the uninvolved biological parent is eager to shed responsibility for the child. Some stepparent adoptions, however, result in contested litigation because the uninvolved biological parent does not wish to relinquish his or her parental rights.
Adult adoptions are when one adult adopts another adult. Usually it is for one of the following reasons: 1) A foster child, or step-child, may wish to be adopted because of a close relationship. 2) An adult adoptee may choose to be adopted by a biological parent after learning their identity. 3) A way to create inheritance rights.
If a child was adopted outside of the United States, it may be necessary to re-adopt the child in your home state, as it may be a requirement of the international adoption agency. Other times certain countries only grant guardianship of the child, so an adoption is required to finalize the adoption. Nonetheless, it should be done to protect your legal rights to the child.If you are seeking an experienced Adoption Attorney, look no further and contact me above by getting your FREE phone or email consultation.
If you are here, then you are probably struggling with debt, and looking for salvation. Bankruptcy could be the answer to your problems, or at least some of them. Don't be afraid to explore your options. You can discharge your debt and stop creditor harassment and be on your way to getting a fresh start.
Over the years, I have helped many Western New Your residents, keep their homes, keep their cars, stop lawsuits, stop garnishments, stop harassment, unfreeze bank accounts, and discharge debt by filing for bankruptcy.
Filing for bankruptcy allows you discharge and get rid of your credit card debt, medical bills, personal loans, payday loans, and sometimes even income tax debt.
There is no easy answer to that question, however it would be in your best interest to call and see if you qualify. You will be asked a series of questions about your financial situation to determine whether bankruptcy could solve your financial problems. If not, perhaps there is another solution that can be explorered.
At the very least, this is a traumatic and stressful time for you, and surely you have many questions. You may be wondering if unpaid credit card bills are ruining your credit? Perhaps you are afraid that your medical bills, will cause you to lose your home? The solution is probably not as bad as you fear, so get your free consultation today, or CLICK HERE to read more about Bankruptcy on my website dedicated to bankruptcy.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a liquidation proceeding designed for those experiencing financial difficulty that do not have the ability to pay their existing debts. The debtor turns over all non-exempt property to the bankruptcy trustee who then converts it to cash for distribution to the creditors. In the vast majority of cases the debtor keeps all of his property because the debtor has no non-exempt assets for the trustee to distribute. This is called a "no asset case". In about four months the debtor receives a "discharge" of all dischargeable debts, providing the debtor with a "fresh start". Although there have been predictions of gloom and doom regarding the new law, Chapter 7 remains a viable option for most individuals that seek it.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a wage earner's plan. Chapter 13 allows individuals with regular income to propose a plan to repay all or part of their debts. The plan sets forth an agreement to make installment payments to creditors over a three to five year period. After the plan is confirmed by the Court, the law forbids creditors from starting or continuing collection efforts. After the plan is paid in full the debtor(s) will be granted a "discharge" from all dischargeble debts.
Chapter 11 is a reorganization proceeding usually for Businesses. Individuals generally do not file Chapter 11 unless their debts exceed the limits of Chapter 13. In Chapter 11, the debtor usually remains in possession of the assets and continues to operate any business, subject to the oversight of the court and the creditors committee. The debtor proposes a plan of reorganization, that upon acceptance by a majority of the creditors, is confirmed by the Bankruptcy Court and binds both the debtor and the creditors.
If you are seeking an experienced Bankruptcy Attorney, look no further and contact me above by getting your FREE phone or email consultation.
Getting arrested is a public disgrace and is usually a bad experience. An arrest may impact your job or destroy your relationship with your family. It is important that you take the steps necessary to hire an experienced defense attorney to protect your rights and get the best possible outcome with your case. Criminal Charges always carry the possiblity of incarceration so it is best to hire an attorney early in the process.
Although ultimately your case may be resolved by a plea to a lower charge, an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal (ACD), or by trial, it is important to hire an attorney familiar with Motion Practice. Sometimes your attorney can file a motion with the Court to dismiss your case outright because of a constitutional violation to avoid a conviction. Be sure to hire a lawyer that is equipped to file the appropriate motions and recognize when your rights have been violated.
Driving While Intoxicated - (see dwi Link on the left)
Grand Larceny (theft)
Possession of Stolen Property
Endangering the Welfare of a Child
Obstruction of Governmental Administration
Violations of Probation
If you are seeking an experienced Criminal Attorney, look no further and contact me above by getting your FREE phone or email consultation.
If you want a divorce and are searching for an experienced Divorce Attorney, near Buffalo, New York, look no further.
The decision to file for divorce is one that should be made with great care. If you have found your way here it is likely that you have already decided that divorce is your only course of action. If this is the case, the next question that arises is what is the best way to go about it. The best way to go about is dependent on the current state of your relationship with your spouse. If the state of the relationship is amicable, then you may be able to file an Uncontested Divorce. If the state of the relationship is uncivil, a Contested divorce is the only possibility.
Procedurally speaking there are two(2) tpes of Divorces. Your case could be an Uncontested Divorce or a Contested Divorce.
An Uncontested divorce is where the parties agree that a divorce should take place and the terms of the divorce have been discussed in enough detail to allow an agreement to be drafted that resolves all of the issues of the marriage. This means that the parties have come to an agreement on maintenance (formerly called alimony), and the division of marital assets and marrital debts, in a manner that is mutually satisfactory to both parties. If there were children born of the marriage, it also means that the parties have reached an agreement on custody, visitation and child support.
A Contested Divorce is where the parties do not agree on the terms, or one party does not want a divorce, and it is necessary to seek court intervention to obtain the divorce. This is often the case when a divorce is sought because of domestic violence, or because one party is too difficult to deal with in the context of an Uncontested Divorce.
If you need an Uncontested Divorce you should give me a call when you and your spouse have worked out the terms of the Divorce. If you need a Contested Divorce contact me now so we can get the Divorce started.
If you are seeking an experienced Divorce Attorney, look no further and contact me above by getting your FREE phone or email consultation.
If you have been been arrested for DWI you are going to need an experienced criminal lawyer to represent you. This is important because rhe list of penalties associated with a DWI conviction has continued to grow. Most recently, new DMV Regulations have been instituted for multiple DWI offenders that for some will result in a Lifetime Revocation of their driver's license. Any Revocation triggers a "Lifetime Review" of your driving record upon re-aplication to restore your driving privileges. Other changes in penalties have occurred, including the requirement of first time DWI offenders to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) at their own expense.
1) ADWI - Aggregated Driving While Intoxicated - Arrest for DWI with a BAC of .18% or Higher.
2) ADWIC - Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated with a Child - Arested for ADWI, DWI or DWAI with a child 15 years old or younger in the car.
3) BAC - Blood Alcohol Content - 0.10% means that there are 0.10 g of alcohol for every dL of blood.
4) CD - Conditional License - License granted to people who enter the DDP after a Conviction for ADWI, DWI and DWAI.
5) CDL - Commercial Drivers License.
6) DDP - Drinker Driver Program - Enables you to get a Conditional License.
7) DMV - Department of Motor Vehicles.
8) DRA - Driver Responsibility Assessment - Surcharge imposed by the DMV (most commonly for DWI convictions and chemical test refusals).
9) DWAI - Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol and/or Drugs.
10) DWI - Driving While Intoxicated by Alcohol or Drugs.
11) HL - Hardship License - If your are SPP it is a license sometimes awarded at Arraignment so you can drive to and from work.
12) IID - Ignition Interlock Device - Device installed on car to prevent ignition from starting if you blow into it after consuming alcohol.
13) SPP - Suspended Pending Prosecution - License Suspention at Arraighnment because you tested as having a BAC of .08% or more.
14) RO - Repeat Offenders - New Regulations by the DMV effecting repeat DWI offenders.
15) VIP - Victim Impact Panel - When a driver is convicted of DWI the offender's sentence usually includes a requirement that the offender attend a Victim Impact Panel.
If you are seeking an experienced DWI Attorney, look no further and contact me above by getting your FREE phone or email consultation.
Stephen K. Underwood is a New York Eviction attorney serving Buffalo, West Seneca, Amherst, Depew, Clarence, Cheektowaga, Orchard Park, Angola, Lackawanna, East Aurora, Grand Island, Hamburg, Lancaster, Tonawanda, Blasdell, Kenmore, and Williamsville.
Generally you have the right to evict a tenant in NY when one of the following things has occurred:
1) The tenant did not pay the rent (non-payment).
2) The tenant violated the terms of the lease agreement.
3) The tenant's lease has expired and the tenant is a holdover
4) The Month-to-Month was terminated and tenant fails to vacate.
5) The tenant is conducting illegal activites on the premises.
6) The tenant illegaly sublets.
In addition to the terms and conditions below, I charge $650.00 plus costs for an eviction in the City of Buffalo and $550.00 plus costs for an eviction in the service areas set forth above in the County of Erie, City of Lackawanna, and the City of Tonawanda. Costs usually total about $100.00, for process service and filing fees.
Landlords, you agree to the following: If you retain me to do an eviction, and then you change your mind (like if tenant moves out and you no longer need the eviction), you do not get a refund of the attorney fee only the unused portion of the costs are refunded. I do not refund the attorney fee because I have to often drop what I am doing and reserve time in my schedule to do your work, in an expidited manner, at the expense of my other clients. I will however, if no Court appearances have been made on your case, waive my fee on your next eviction, (excepting the court costs) even though I may have done a lot of work on the first eviction case. Period. No exceptions to these rules. If you hire me those are my terms.
If you are seeking an experienced Eviction Attorney, look no further and contact me above by getting your FREE phone or email consultation.
If you have had a child out of wedlock the Family Court is where you litigate issues concerning Paternity, Custody, Visitation, and Child Support. The family Court also handles cases brought by the county for child abuse, child neglect, and adjudications for juvenile delinquency (JD), and person in need of supervision (PINS).
When you have had a child out of wedlock and the father was not present to acknowledge paternity at the hospital, a paternity petition is required to be filed in the Family Court to establish parental rights for the father. If the mother wants child support from the father, paternity needs to be established before a child support order can be issued. Sometimes the County brings a paternity petition on behalf of the mother, when the mother is receiving public assisstance, to obtain child support from the father. The County may also seek money from the father to pay for his share of the bith, if the mothers birth costs were paid by Medicaid.
It is important for parents that have a child out of wedlock to establish Custody. There are three basic types od Custody.
Full Cusdody gives a parent the right to make all decisions regarding the health, education, and welfare, and permits him or her to be the primary residential parent of the child.
Joint Custody with a Primary Residential Dsignation, gives one parent the right to have the child primarily reside with him or her, but the decisions regarding the health, education, and welfare are shared between the parents.
Straight Joint Custody is where the parents share both physical custody and the decisions regarding the health, education, and welfare.
If one parent agrees or the Court awards Full Custody to a parent it does not negate their parental rights (this is one common misconception).
Visitation is an Order granted by the Family Court that descrtibes the schedule that the non-custodial parent sees the child. Typically the schedule will include alternate weekend visits, one day during the week after school, and holidays. The schedule is usually designed around work schedules.
Child Support is the amount of money that the custodial parent receives from the non-custodial parent. The amount paid comes from the Child Support Standards Act (CCSA). Additional Support may be paid for healthcare insurance premiums, uninsured medical costs, and daycare costs.
Child Abuse Petitions under Article 10 of the Family Court Act are sometimes brought by the Departement of Social Services against parents that are acused of Child Abuse. The charges may lead to a termination of parental rights, and may cause separate criminal charges to be brought by the District Attorney. A non-abusing parent often faces Neglect, for failing to take the necessary steps to protect the child from the abusing parent.
Neglect Petitions under Article 10 of the Family Court Act are sometimes brought by the Departement of Social Services against parents that are acused of Child Neglect. The charges may lead to a termination of parental rights. Typically neglect petitions stem from poor living conditions, failure to protect the child from abuse, educational neglect, and child obesity.
Petitions against children for Juvenile Delinquency are sometimes brought against children for the crimes they commit by the county. Although it can often be avoided, childlen can sometimes be placed in Juvenile Detention Centers for a period of time up until the age of 18. Sometimes the crime is of a severity necessary to charge them as an adult.
Persons in Need of Supervision (PINS) petitions are often brought by the Department of Social Services that are instituted by a parent claiming that a child is unruly at home and does not respond to discipline. Typically the Court puts services in place to address the root causes of the unruliness, or in some cases places the child in a Juvenile Facility.
If you are seeking an experienced Family Law Attorney, look no further and contact me above by getting your FREE phone or email consultation.
A person’s name is important because it is an integral part of self image and ancestry. Any New Yorker, however, may assume a different name, so long as it is not done to avoid financial obligations or to perpetrate a fraud.
The process to change an adult's name in New York is relatively straightforward. First, a petition is filed with the Supreme Court requesting the name change. Second, if the court approves the change an Order will be issued to effect the change. Third, notice of the name change is published in a newspaper. Fourth, obtain a new birth certificate from vital records. Five, change your name on all official documents.
It is the same procedure, however, when a parent wishes to change the name of a minor child (infant name change), the application for a name change must be brought by one or both of the minor’s parents. If the minor has two living parents and one parent does not join in the application, the non-petitioner parent must be served with reasonable notice of the application. If the non-petitioning parent objects to the child's name change, a hearing will be held to determine whether the change of the child's name is in the best interest of the child.
Attorneys fee: $650.00 (adult) | $850.00 (child - so long as both parents agree)
Estimated Costs: $300.00 (index number, publication, certified copies)
If you are seeking an experienced Name Change Attorney, look no further and contact me above by getting your FREE phone or email consultation.
If you or a family member have been injured or killed because of a construction accident, auto accident, motorcycle accident, boating accident, pedestrian accident, slip and fall, or any other accident, you may be entitled to compensation
As you may already know, construction workers injured on the job in New York State enjoy special protection. The Labor Law of New York places a high degree of responsibility for work site safety on the owner of the construction site and the contractors doing the work.
The Labor Law ensures that workers will be compensated for injuries sustained from accidents involving a fall from an elevated height. Many of these falls are caused by poorly equipped job sites, equipment failure, or a failure to follow state and federal regulations.
If you have been injured on a work site you may be entitled to recover monetary damages for your injuries under labor law and worker’s compensation benefits.
Although an injury from an automobile accident, motorcycle accident, boating accident, or pedestrian accident may not seem serious at first, the injury may get worse if left untreated. If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident you need to obtain prompt medical attention and an attorney.
You need to seek the help of an attorney to secure your rights and to secure benefits under New York's "No-Fault" insurance law. No-Fault entitles you to compensation for the economic losses of a car accident, regardless of fault. No-Fault benefits pay for hospitalization, medical expenses, and lost wages up to fifty-thousand dollars ($50,000). In order to obtain no fault benefits, you must give notice to the insurance company within 30 days of the accident.
Slip and Fall accidents are accidents that occur when someone slips, trips or falls as a result of a dangerous condition on the premises of a property owner.
When a slip and fall injury occurs because of a dangerous condition on the property of another the property owner or business may be legally responsible. Property owners have a duty to keep their property safe and are responsible for injuries that occur because of known dangerous conditions on their property.
Wrongful death is a cause of action brought by family members against a negligent party for causing the death of a loved one. The purpose of a wrongful death case is to compensate the survivors for their loss. Compensation includes sorrow and mental anguish, loss of income, loss of protection, care, and assistance, and the expenses for the care, treatment, and hospitalization of the loved one that died.
If you are seeking an experienced Personal Injury Attorney, look no further and contact me above by getting your FREE phone or email consultation.
1) Sole Proprietorship (d/b/a)
2) General Partnership
3) Busoness Corporation
4) Business Corpration - Chapter S (S-Corp)
5) Limited Liabilty Company (LLC)
6) Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP)
7) Limited Partnerships (LP)
8) Not-For-Profit Corporation
1) Contract Preparation
2) Contract Review
3) Shareholder Agreements
4) Partership Agreements
5) Liquor Licensing
6) Lease Negotations
7) Small Claim Defense
8) Comercial Litigation
9) Mechanics Liens
If you are seeking an experienced Small Business Attorney, look no further and contact me above by getting your FREE phone or email consultation.
Speeding - MPH over speed limit not said - 3
Speeding - 1 - 10 MPH over speed limit - 3
Speeding - 11 - 20 MPH over speed limit - 4
Speeding - 21 - 30 MPH over speed limit - 6
Speeding - 31 - 40 MPH over speed limit - 8
Speeding - 40 or more MPH over limit - 11
Cell Phone use with no hands-free device - 5
Using an electronic Devise or Texting - 5
Reckless driving - 5
Failing to stop for a school bus - 5
Inadequate brakes - 4
Following too closely - 4
Passing improperly- 3
Changing lanes unsafely - 3
Driving to the left of center- 3
Driving in the wrong direction - 3
Failing to obey a traffic signal - 3
Failing to obey a Stop sign, or a Yield sign - 3
Railroad crossing violation - 3
Failing to yield the right-of-way - 3
Passenger safety violation - 3
Left the scene of an accident property - 3
Other moving violations - 2
Inadequate brakes (vehicle of an employer) - 2
If you receive 11 points or more in eighteen (18) months (calculated from date of violation), the DMV will suspend your driver license.
The DMV must revoke your driver license if you are convicted of three speeding violations within an 18-month period no matter how many points you have.
Your insurance rates may increase. For Instance, If you are convicted for a speeding violation, your insurer may tack a temporary charge on your insurance policy for three years. Your rate could increase as much as 25% depending on the circumstances.
New York also added a new surcharge of $100 per year for three years if you get six points, plus $25 per year for each additional point.
Most VTL violations can be handled for a fee of $200.00 - $350.00, excluding fines, without the client's appearance in court.
If you are seeking an experienced Vehicle and Traffic Attorney, look no further and contact me above by getting your FREE phone or email consultation.
If you are ready to do some estate planning so your property can be disposed of according to your plan after death, or want to plan for any physical or mental incapacity that might arise with old age, you are not alone.
Although it is often difficult to contemplate your own death, or incapacity it is important to plan if you want to minimize the stress on family members.
1) Simple Wills
2) Living Wills
3) Healthcare Proxies
4) Powers of Attorney
6) Probate & Estate Administration
7) Will Contests
8) Basic Estate Planning
If you are seeking an experienced Wills & Estates Attorney, look no further and contact me above by getting your FREE phone or email consultation.
1. You are entitled to be treated with courtesy and consideration at all times by your lawyer and the other lawyers and personnel in your lawyers office.
2. You are entitled to an attorney capable of handling your legal matter competently and diligently, in accordance with the highest standards of the profession. If you are not satisfied with how your matter is being handled, you have the right to withdraw from the attorney-client relationship at any time (court approval may be required in some matters and your attorney may have a claim against you for the value of services rendered to you up to the point of discharge).
3. You are entitled to your lawyer’s independent professional judgment and undivided loyalty un-compromised by conflicts of interest.
4. You are entitled to be charged a reasonable fee and to have your lawyer explain at the outset how the fee will be computed and the manner and frequency of billing. You are entitled to request and receive a written itemized bill from your attorney at reasonable intervals. You may refuse to enter into any fee arrangement that you find unsatisfactory.
5. You are entitled to have your questions or concerns addressed in a prompt manner and to have your telephone calls returned promptly.
6. You are entitled to be kept informed as to the status of your matter and to request and receive copies of papers. You are entitled to sufficient information to allow you to participate meaning fully in the development of your matter.
7. You are entitled to have your legitimate objectives respected by your attorney, including whether or not to settle your matter (court approval of a settlement is required in some matters).
8. You have the right to privacy in your dealings with your lawyer and to have your secrets and confidences preserved to the extent permitted by law.
9. You are entitled to have your attorney conduct himself or herself ethically in accordance with the Code of Professional Responsibility.
10. You may not be refused representation on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin or disability.
If you are seeking an experienced Attorney, look no further and contact me above by getting your FREE phone or email consultation.