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COVID-19 Consumer Law Questions & Answers
3 Answers | Asked in Civil Rights, Constitutional Law and Consumer Law for California on
Q: Can I sue a grocery store for harassment and discrimination for not wearing a mask?

I, and a friend, were harassed and discriminated against by two employees for not wearing a mask while shopping at a local grocery store. I can't afford to hire an attorney, so I'll have to go pro per. Are there any cases for a similar lawsuit? Thanks.

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Jul 30, 2020

The law, in the form of Executive Orders by the California Governor, makes it UNLAWFUL for you to refuse to wear a mask when going in public or into grocery stores. So you want to sue the store because they did not want you to break the law in the store.

Well, Sorry to tell you, they...
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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for California on
Q: if I havent paid my rent for 3 months and I still havent been able to pay will that be marked on my credit?

Hi I’ am a resident in San Ramon California leasing an apartment. Me and my roommates were hit really hard by the pandemic. We have been laid off by our jobs and we havent been able to pay the partial amount of are rent for 3 months and my question was will this go on my credit if I was not able... Read more »

Scott Richard Kaufman
Scott Richard Kaufman answered on Jul 27, 2020

IF whoever you pay rent to is a "credit reporter" then yes.

IF you end up getting evicted in a court of law, then yes.

IF you can work it out with your LL, then no.

Good luck with it.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Education Law for California on
Q: Can I request a refund from a school that closed since March due to pandemic?

Private school won't give me refund for my child's language class due to closure since March. They switched to online class, but the teacher didn't contact us prior so we couldn't attend online class, even if we can I don't feel as if the teacher was capable of teaching... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Jul 23, 2020

Make sure you have put your request for a refund in writing, which will be evidence. File in Small Claims (up to $10,000) and take your case before a judge. There are a lot of posts on this question, and no sure answer. Be sure to review your contract with the school.

Justia disclaimers...
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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for California on
Q: Should colleges rewrite student loans because of covid 19?

I'm in nursing school and our classes have been moved to on line with virtual clinicals. The education is at a completely different level than what I signed on for

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Jun 16, 2020

Your question asks a philosophical question, not a legal question. What the LENDERS should do on student loans is a moral question since CV has changed the educational system. What Colleges SHOULD do about tuition when they are not offering the product that you contracted for is also a moral... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Divorce, Employment Law and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: What can I do to recover damages? Anything?

My now ex wife worked with me in my business. She ended up having an affair with one of our employees. During her deposition she did not admit to a relationship with the employee but as soon as our divorce was final he moved in and made it public through social media. She has posted damaging... Read more »

Tanesha R Wright
Tanesha R Wright answered on Jun 14, 2020

As counsel has already stated if she's making defamatory statements about your business that is an issue outside your divorce. However, I do think there are issues you could address in your divorce on other matters. First, would be a potential modification if you are unable to make payments... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts and Business Law for California on
Q: Does Seller of Travel have deceptive business practice in my case? Should I take a legal action? What do I do?

I booked a full tour package for my family of 4 members in Jan 2020 for Jun 2020 (to 3 countries in Europe). I paid ~5700$ (50% of total cost) as deposit. The flights got cancelled in Apr 2020 due to COVID 19 by the airline. The Travel Agent withheld that info, didn't notified us about the... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Jun 11, 2020

Very sorry to hear your travel plans went poorly. No one can give you a definitive answer on how the case will be decided. Typical Attorney Answer: It depends.

First of all you have special protections and rights under the SELLER OF TRAVEL STATUTE, CALIFORNIA BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONS...
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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for California on
Q: Is an action made by a seller allowed? Should I take legal action? What do I do?

I scheduled an event with a banquet hall in March of 2019 for May 30 2020 but it was cancelled due to the coronavirus. I payed $3000 deposit, the rest was supposed to be payed on April 30th but it got cancelled two weeks before. They want me to reschedule in December but I work in healthcare and... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Jun 9, 2020

You are entitled to a full refund of your money. They cancelled and now they cannot reschedule to suit your schedule. You need to send them a letter "rescinding" the contract based on their cancellation and demand your money back within 10 days. If they don't do it, don't... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for Ohio on
Q: I gave landlord 30 days notice per our lease. He wants to show the house while I still live here dewpite pandemic. Help?
Taylor P Waters
Taylor P Waters answered on Jun 9, 2020

He may be permitted, as long as he gives proper notice beforehand. Discuss the matter with him and ask that any prospective lessors use hand sanitizer, not touch anything, and wear masks or gloves while in your apartment. It's also okay to leave out hand sanitizer for their use.

2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law for California on
Q: Online purchase

I bought a bike online and i returned it after 10 days because the bike had problem in their policy was 10% to 30% penalty of bike’s costs now my question is could they get this penalty?

Daniel Timothy LeBel
Daniel Timothy LeBel answered on May 31, 2020

Dear cyclist,

Unfortunately, we're missing some relevant information to provide an evaluation. If the bike had a problem that could be fixed under warranty, the business should fix it free of charge. If you simply want to return it, it is reasonable that they have a restocking policy...
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2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Business Law and Education Law for California on
Q: How should I request a university program in California to return my admit deposit since they have deferred starting?

I was selected in a program that has now deferred their start date due to CoVID. They requested a sizable deposit to secure my position in the program for their initial start date. The program no longer fits my timeline and they have refused to refund the deposit. What can I do in this situation?

John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson answered on May 20, 2020

I agree with Mr. Kaufman that you may need an attorney to sort this out. However, your question does not indicate whether you have contacted the university directly to find out what there policy is, and what writing is it based on. Some schools have a refund policy based upon a timeline that... Read more »

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4 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Personal Injury, Civil Rights and Constitutional Law for California on
Q: My sister urinated in store while paying for her groceries. Not allowed to use restroom.

Waited in line to enter store. Shopped. Needed to use restroom, but was denied access. Wrapped up her shopping because she needed to urinate. Begged employees to let her use facilities. Was advised to speak to a manager. No manager made themselves available. At check out, she begged cashier again... Read more »

William John Light
William John Light answered on May 11, 2020

Businesses are allowed to restrict bathroom access to employees, unless there is a local ordinance to the contrary.

There is no suggestion that your sister suffered from some medical condition that made here incontinent. However, even if that was the case, I doubt that she has a valid...
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2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Civil Rights and Constitutional Law for California on
Q: Can a store deny me service for not being able to buy mask

I sent to my local 99 cent store to purchase battery and they had there security gaurd stop me from entering the store without a mask they said I could not enter and they will refuse service and that it was the law

Daniel Timothy LeBel
Daniel Timothy LeBel answered on May 8, 2020

The security guard was correct. It would be a violation of the law for the store to allow you to enter. Under current state and local county orders concerning the COVID-19 pandemic all patrons of grocery or other retail stores are required to wear masks for their own safety, for the safety of other... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law and Contracts for New York on
Q: Can I get a refund from wedding venue for cancelling due to covid19 in spite of force majeure clause?

I would like to cancel my October wedding in New York due to the covid19 pandemic. The contract for our wedding venue includes a force majeure clause mentioning acts of god and governmental actions that says their only obligation is to reschedule within six months of the scheduled date, no refunds.... Read more »

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on May 8, 2020

As Mr. Siegel points out, it depends on the contract. It could depend on how certain terms or elements are defined or how they could be interpreted. One option to consider might be to explore the cost of a brief attorney consult to review the contract in its entirety. Unfortunately, this situation... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for California on
Q: Can a merchant deduct money from bank without authorization?

My mother and I have the same name. Due to COVID-19 my mother fell behind on payments, including to a leasing agency. Today I noticed the same agency took money from my account. I never shared any of my information with this company, I’ve never dealt with this company. What can I do? How did... Read more »

Daniel Timothy LeBel
Daniel Timothy LeBel answered on May 6, 2020

Dear consumer,

I am sorry to hear about your mother's situation, obviously she is one of many in our country who are struggling financially right now due to the wide-ranging effects of the virus.

Unless you were a co-signer on the lease, this company has no right to acquire...
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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for Michigan on
Q: Trying to receive refund from my child's preschool due to school shutdown for covid-19

I know these are unprecedented times we are all going through but long story short my son's baby and me program put on by a local independent preschool has been canceled since mid MarchI've contacted them asking for a refund for the days the school was not open since we paid upfront back... Read more »

Mark Bredow
Mark Bredow answered on May 5, 2020

I think that you would be hard-pressed to get a refund. First, read the agreement carefully. You have to look to see if there are any provisions that assign the risk of missed days? The agreement states that you have to pay for days that your child is not there. Many contracts of this kind have... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Banking, Civil Litigation, Consumer Law and Contracts for Ohio on
Q: how do i get my name off a joint loan with ex husband

my name is on a joint loan with ex husband. how do i get my name off. he's ruining my credit by not paying. divorce decree stated he is solely responsible for repayment.

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap answered on Apr 29, 2020

You can talk to the lender, but lender likely will not agree to take you off. So the loan would have to be refinanced. If ex won't refinance or pay, then file with the court to have ex held in contempt. Talk to your divorce attorney, or use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain a local divorce... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Business Law and Construction Law for California on
Q: Is there a penalty for backing out of an agreement for an HVAC project that has not started?

I signed a "proposal and purchase agreement" for HVAC work for my home. I signed it on March 15, work is originally scheduled for March 30-April 3 but I had to postpone it until end of April. However, with the economic uncertainty due the pandemic, I might back out of this agreement... Read more »

John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson answered on Apr 4, 2020

Apparently you did not cancel the contract within 3 days, which, theoretically, locks you into it.

As you know these COVID-19 times are very uncertain, and we don't know how the courts are going to rule on the multitude of cases affected by the pandemic that are now before the court,...
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