Home » Columnists » It is legal for a dog to ride in the back of a pickup

It is legal for a dog to ride in the back of a pickup


Richard M. Alderman Interim Dean of the Law Center

Q. Is it legal for someone to allow a dog to ride in the back of an open pickup? It seems so dangerous.
A. Although many people would agree with you that it is dangerous for a dog to ride in the back of a pickup, it is not illegal. There are, however, laws regarding when children may ride in the bed of a pickup. Under Texas law, children under the age of 18 may not ride in the back of a pickup truck, except under certain circumstances. For example, children may ride in the back of the pickup if the truck is the only family vehicle available, or if the truck is being used in parades, hay rides or on beaches. It is also permissible for anyone to be a passenger in the cargo area of a pickup truck when the vehicle is being used in the case of an emergency or is used in farm operations.
Q. I bought a motorcycle that keeps breaking down. I know there is a “lemon law” for cars, but what about a motorcycle?
A. The Texas Lemon Law applies to new “vehicles,” including cars, trucks, vans, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles motor homes and towable recreational vehicles that develop problems covered by a written factory warranty.
For more information about the lemon law or to file a complaint, contact the Department of Motor Vehicles at:
(888) DMV-GOTX or
(888) 368-4689
Q. The other day I bought something at a store for $20. I paid for it with a check. Unfortunately, I don’t balance my checkbook as well as I should, and the check bounced. The store contacted me and told me I owed $20 for the check and $35 for a bounced check fee. When I went to pay, the clerk showed me a sign over the cash register that said “All Returned Checks Will Be Charged $35.” Is this legal?
A.A store does have the legal right to charge a fee when a check you gave it bounces. But the law limits the amount of that fee. Based on what you say, the store acted unlawfully. Under the law, a store may charge you a bounced check fee, but only up to $30. The store properly posted the required notice that it would charge a fee for returned checks. Because the amount is more than $30, however, the store acted unlawfully. You should let the store know you know the law, and you may want to file a complaint with the Texas Department of banking, http://www.dob.texas.gov/.
Q. I have a common law marriage. Does a common law wife have the same rights to her husband’s property as a wife by a formal church wedding?
A. As I have said many times before, a common law marriage basically is no different in legal effect than any other form of marriage. Whether you are married in a church, by a Justice of the Peace, or through a common law agreement, you are married. The parties to a common law marriage have the same legal rights and responsibilities as any other married couple. If your spouse dies or you are divorced, the property you acquired during the marriage will be considered “community property,” and will be divided, as it would be in any other marriage.
Q. If you loan someone money and they don’t pay you back, what type of action can be taken to retrieve funds? Can I just take some of his property?
A. You cannot just take property from someone who owes you money. The only way to legally enforce any loan is through a lawsuit. Without a separate agreement, such as a mortgage on a house or a security agreement for a car, you have no legal right to take any property. If the amount is $10,000 or less, you can file a claim in justice court to collect. Check out the material on small claims in justice court on my website, below.

More news

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *