COVID-19 California Q&A by Practice Area

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COVID-19 California Questions & Answers
4 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law, Communications Law and Legal Malpractice for California on
Q: I need help ! I don't know how to go about this and if it's even worth it ..

I have a public defender . She calls me the day of my court date and tells me that the court is closed due to covid so no one is allowed in the court house . She left me a voice mail stating this loud and clear and repeated her self twice . she would notify me when the court re opened ,in the mean... Read more »

David Michael Lehr
David Michael Lehr answered on Feb 24, 2021

Sorry about what happened. I would make sure that her office knows what happened to you and see if there is any way to help get your $2000 back. Unlikely, but worth a try.

Keep those VMs!

Good luck!

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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Constitutional Law and Employment Law for California on
Q: Is there any legal standing for harassment protection from being forced to wear a face mask as condition of employment?

I am being forced to wear a mask at my desk. I already got covid and recovered in a couple of days.

Louis George Fazzi
Louis George Fazzi answered on Feb 23, 2021

The short answer is no. Even though you were fortunate to recover from Covid-19, you can still spread the virus to others. Your employer is most likely required by your county health department to continue requiring all employees to wearing a mask if you are otherwise in an indoor, office setting... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Family Law, Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: In CA. My husband/his ex never filed a QDRO. He died. What do I need to do to get CalPERS to pay me his pension?

He caught Covid in the line of duty. I had POA for CalPERS. I'm his beneficiary. I got the QDRO drafted but it wasn't ready until a month after he died so he couldn't sign it. How do I get an order from court that doesn't require his signature so CalPERS will release the lien on... Read more »

Tobie Brina Waxman
Tobie Brina Waxman answered on Feb 23, 2021

You probably don't have standing to act on his behalf in family court. That being said, there's definitely something that can be done. When someone dies, the successor in interest (probably you) can be joined into the divorce case to sign documents, including a QDRO. That's what... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Divorce for California on
Q: Can I continue with my divorce proceedings in Northern California if the divorce was filed in Southern California?

My ex filed for divorce in Southern Cali a few years back. We have yet to finalize it. I would like to hire an attorney in Northern California since this is now where I live (We both have since left S. California). My ex's attorney is based out of Southern California. Is it possible to... Read more »

Tobie Brina Waxman
Tobie Brina Waxman answered on Feb 23, 2021

Under certain limited circumstances you may be able to file a motion to change venue. If there are minor children involved and they have moved to No. Cal. and have lived there for more than 3 consecutive months, it may make sense to move the venue to a court closer to where the minor children... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Medical Malpractice for California on
Q: Can I sue my orthodontist for not properly doing their job?

I have been paying for my sons braces now for quite some time, he was only suppose to have the braces for 18 months. He’s had them on for about 4 years now. My contract includes them fixing broken brackets and fixing anything else that might happen which I pay for. My son hasn’t been to that... Read more »

Robert Dourian
Robert Dourian answered on Feb 11, 2021

If you can get another orthodontist to say your son's orthodontist acted below the standard of care and negligently harmed your son, then unless your son is over 18 years of age, you can file a lawsuit for malpractice on behalf of your son, as his Guardian ad litem. California has a 1 year... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: I was locked out of my warehouses with no eviction notice or court order how can I get my machines back

I was given the company to see if I could build it and none of these people honored the covid rules

Octavio Velarde
Octavio Velarde answered on Feb 11, 2021

Depending on what your lease agreement says and damages are, I would file a suit in court and ask for immediate injunctive relief. I would probably also seek punitive damages. California has strict prohibitions on landlord self-help remedies. I would contact a landlord–tenant lawyer immediately.

3 Answers | Asked in Employment Law and Workers' Compensation for California on
Q: My friend's boss was covid positive last week Thursday, but he showed up to work today on Monday. He won't leave too.

How can she protect herself and her co-workers and does she have a legal case?

Ina Shtukar
Ina Shtukar answered on Feb 9, 2021

Interesting scenario! If your fried becomes sick (only if she becomes sick), she would probably have a cause of action under the workers' comp act. Many states now have a presumption for COVID, which makes it work related and compensable. However, based on the fact that the boss was aware of... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: My tenant has taken in two adults during COVID without notice or authorization from me.

The rental agreement was for her and her two young children. She is also only paying 25% of rent. What can l do?

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Feb 6, 2021

It would seem that she is in breach of the lease re: occupancy. You can give her a 3 day notice to correct or quit, and a 60 day notice to quit, depending on the Covid restrictions in your area. You need to discuss with a local tenant rights attorney.

Justia disclaimers below, incorporated herein.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: May I serve a tenant with a 90 day vacate notification during COVID-19? He has paid his rent timely.

Is a notice to vacate the same as eviction?

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Feb 6, 2021

A notice to vacate is an eviction. There are limits as to evicting tenants during Covid, these vary by city/county. You should discuss this with a Real Property or an Eviction specialist in your local area.

Justia disclaimers below, incorporated herein.

5 Answers | Asked in DUI / DWI for California on
Q: Did I get screwed with my plea bargain deal?

First DUI with BAC .09%. Due to COVID, i never saw my attorney or got the opportunity to appear in court. Questions and concerns often went unanswered and I was often told "don't worry about that right now". I knew I was being offered a plea deal of wet reckless, but wasn't... Read more »

David Michael Lehr
David Michael Lehr answered on Feb 3, 2021

There is only a small difference between a dui and a "wet reckless." Some Counties don't give out what you got. You didn't get a horrible deal, nor a great one.

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Do 1099 contractors have rights regarding possible COVID exposure?

I’m a photographer (1099 contractor) for a real estate business in California that makes virtual tours using business owned equipment. I have done nearly 50 listings, mostly residential, spanning the last 7 months.

In many instances, not all, the listing has been vacant and I signed... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jan 30, 2021

An independent contractor's rights and duties are defined by the contract between you and the other party to the contract. For the most part, laws enacted to protect employees will not protect independent contractors, with some exceptions. Whether your contractual partner can force you to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: My employer wants me to come back to work after I have worked at home for over two years. Can I refuse with cause?

I have been working from home for over two years. My employer made it possible by getting me a laptop to use at home. I live 72 miles from my workplace which is one of the key reasons. Now, they want me to come back. The original agreement was verbal and set up by my supervisor, his boss and the... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jan 28, 2021

Unfortunately, prior arrangements, prior agreements and a ten year seniority provide you with legal basis for working from home. Generally, an employer can require employees to work wherever the employer wants them to work. The only real exception to that general rule is if the employee has a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Can I use my security deposit towards my last months rent during the pandemic?

I need to move due to my rent being increased by 53%.

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Jan 28, 2021

First, this could be an unlawful rent increase. Check the civil code, I believe that your LL cannot raise the rent more than 10-15% per year, and they have to give you proper notice. Check Civil Code around section 1941. Next, about your security deposit, no, you cannot legally use this for last... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Divorce for California on
Q: found my husband in our bed with another woman. he has moved out with her and his father has given me 2 weeks to get out

He has been threatening me with ridiculous things like turning me into authority for drug dealing and prostitution and tax evasion and unemployment fraud. Said his father was going to sue me for back rent and put an eviction on my record . I had to give back my wedding ring and not allowed to see... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Jan 25, 2021

So sorry to hear you are being treated this way. Yes, you have rights. Suggest you contact a local Family Law attorney or the Legal Aid society about getting a divorce and seeking a temporary restraining order against your spouse, his girlfriend and his father for the harassment. Meanwhile, you... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce for California on
Q: Hi my name is Lory, I don’t know where to start on how to file a divorce, I want to put an end to my relationship.

We are separated many years already, he moved in with me and my kids from LA, first I agreed to him moving in with us, knowing that he already moved on and accepted that it’s over between me and him, but now i am having trouble living with him, I just want to be free from him legally but I... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Jan 25, 2021

Your county Superior Courthouse will have a family law division where there are judges who specialize in hearing this kind of a case. Before Covid there were offices you could go to for assistance in filing your own documents. The dissolution petition is online and pretty self explanatory. If... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Discrimination, Employment Law and Personal Injury for California on
Q: Can I get fired for contracting Covid -19? Does my employer have the right to refuse me hours since I became ill?

I work for a small business of less than 10 employees. I contracted covid over a month and a half ago. Initially my employer told me to take two weeks off, then told me to take the rest of December off and they would schedule me for more hours in January. Then Jan came and they told me they... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jan 14, 2021

No one here can know if you are going to be fired. As to what your options could be, it would be important to know if you work for an employer that has at least 5 employees. If not, there is little you can do. If yes, then you are protected by the Fair Employment and Housing Act, which may give... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law for California on
Q: USCIS I-751 - pending security checks for months? What could be taking so long? Is it common right now because of covid?

I applied to remove the conditions of my temporary green card early December 2018. (K1 visa in 2016 followed by AOS, both very fast)

On February 20, 2020, it stated my fingerprints were taken (they were taken in April 2019) and a Request for Evidence was sent to us. We replied and it stated... Read more »

Kyndra L Mulder
Kyndra L Mulder answered on Jan 13, 2021

First:Processing was much faster in 2018.

Second: Depending on the documents requested in the RFE you file may not be considered to have begun processing until the service received the documents requested.

Third: When the case is outside theprocessing time due to background check...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Hi my question is my jobs hr department made me take a covid 19 test and would not let me return until I got result do

I get paid for the time off from work ? I missed 3 days of work and results came back negative and they are refusing to pay me for the lost hours

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jan 12, 2021

Prior to January 1, 2021, the federal FFCRA provided for payment when you were required to stay home due to Covid. However that law ended at the end of last year. Absent that law, your employer has no duty to pay you for time you are not working, even if they have refused to allow you to return... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: I was recently hired by a company based in California for remote work. Will I be drug tested on my first day?

I have read california law requires that drug test policies be in writing or on the application. I start tomorrow but haven't heard anything about if or when a pre-employment test may occur. Also, are companies still doing drug testing at labs during the pandemic?

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jan 11, 2021

Drug testing is still being done at labs in most cases. Whether you will be drug tested on the first day or not will depend on the employer. Only some companies are required to blood test at the outset of employment. If you are in one of those companies, you should be notified ahead of time,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: I have a EDD Question regarding unemployment payment after quitting due to the pandemic

Hi, I have a question regarding Unemployement. I was laid off on 07/2019 and received unemployment until January 2020 when I exhausted all the benefits. I found a full time job and worked in March only. I quit on April 1st due to the pandemic reasons where my dad got sick and he isolated himself... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jan 8, 2021

It is not possible to know if you will be subject to a reimbursement action by the EDD without knowing more. If you truthfully reported your status while receiving benefits, then it is unlikely you will be subject to a reimbursement action. If you did not fully disclose information to the EDD... Read more »

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