COVID-19 Massachusetts Q&A by Practice Area

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COVID-19 Massachusetts Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Q: I am in a custody battle, with potential trial in August. My fiance and I are getting married

I left my ex when he was cheating again and he then moved in, knocked up and married the other woman. 50/50 verbal agreement was working the best possible. 1 year later I took my ex to court because he began withholding our children from me when I told him I was in a serious relationship. We have a... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jul 9, 2021

So, domestic abuse is a serious allegation and you have not stated the outcome of the charge(s) either. The Court would need to find that there is no risk to the children from being around this individual despite your romantic attachment and the Court could potentially grant father custody. Having... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Massachusetts on
Q: If someone's been watching my dog while I look for a new place, old one sold. Can they try and keep my dog

Long story short my apt building sold and with pandemic now and everything it's been hard finding a place. One that expects pets and I can afford. But now the person who has been watching my dog is trying to steal them from me because they have grown attached and wanted their own dog now. Can... Read more »

Kim Carnevale
Kim Carnevale answered on Mar 5, 2021

You should ask for your dog back and find someone else if you still do not have a place. If this person refuses, you should not wait to take legal action. Dogs and other companion animals are still considered property in Massachusetts, so the person will have to return your dog to you unless the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Q: Can a joint custodial parent veto a particular child therapist?

I share joint 50/50 legal custody of my 5 yr old child w my ex. Our agreement was filed w the court in 2017. My ex would like a therapist (who has not yet met our child but has shown bias against me as a non-birth mom) to start seeing our child every other week for therapy. Our current child... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Feb 24, 2021

You should request a therapist referral from the provider who is leaving for a successor therapist. Both parents should have input for the new provider. If the other parent refuses and there is a proceeding pending or if there is not a proceeding one would need to be brought- for Modification... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in DUI / DWI for Massachusetts on
Q: Does taking a breathalyzer create a legal 90-day suspension contract for first offenders? (Massachusetts)

I was suspected of an OUI (first offense) and took a breathalyzer because I was under the impression that my license would be taken for an automatic 90-day suspension. After the 90 days, I was told by the Registry of Motor Vehicle Appeal Board that they wanted to hold my license until my case was... Read more »

Frederick Lewis Stoker III
Frederick Lewis Stoker III answered on Feb 12, 2021

There is no contract here. Driving is a "privilege" and not a right and therefore it is easier for the government to suspend or revoke your driving privileges. You should use the Find a Lawyer tab at the top of the page and consult with an attorney about the next steps, if not in the very... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I had to file contempt for my ex to provide his financial statement. He has yet to do so. What’s the next step for me?

A week has past since the contempt hearing where the judge verbally told him to provide this info to me.

Brian Waller
Brian Waller answered on Feb 10, 2021

In my experience, judges don't have a lot of patience for things that aren't a good use of their time, like having a hearing that doesn't accomplish anything because one party hasn't provided info they were supposed to provide. Judges have a lot of discretion in how they handle... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Massachusetts on
Q: Traffic Reciprocity

I pled not guiilty to a speeding ticket in NY 12 years ago. Not NYC.

On the date i was assigned for court, a snow storm occurred. They never rescheduled my court date to my knowledge. I moved out of NY a few years after.

I reside in MA now. TWELVE YEARS later, they sent a court date... Read more »

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Dec 28, 2020

DEAL WITH THE TICKET. No good will come of anything else. MA has reciprocity so the outcome there will impact you here. MOST of the NY courts are closed due to covid depending on the Court or the hearing date. You want a NY lawyer in that county jurisdiction or to use google and find the path.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Massachusetts on
Q: Are speeding violations now mailed home rather then given at the spot of violation?

Was pulled over by state police and the office

told me that i will get a ticket via mail. Is that normal

now due to the covid-19?

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Oct 31, 2020

That is not at all normal, and may work to help you. SAVE the envelope it coms in, as MA statue ch. 90c sec 2 requires them to issue it in hand at the time and place of violation and if not it can be dismissed. There are few exceptions and you don't say what you were stopped for. Save a copy... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Consumer Law, Contracts and Entertainment / Sports for Massachusetts on
Q: Fitness training company charging me for services that were not provided. What are my options?

I signed up for personal fitness training with a company for 6 months from Dec-2019 to May-2020 ($600 for each month & 10 sessions each month). No services were provided between Mar 2020 to May 2020 due to COVID. The company was not reachable on phone during that time for cancellation enquiry.... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Oct 9, 2020

Most lawyers' rates would make legal representation impractical. Look carefully at your contract and see what your options are. Contact your credit card company and have them stop the automatic payments. I suggest you consider filing a small claims suit yourself. If nothing else, it will get... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for Massachusetts on
Q: My father passed away & left properties - if he for some reason still owes a mortgage - am I as a heir responsible?

I never co-signed for any loans! The properties are in Puerto Rico!

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Oct 6, 2020

If you did not sign for the loans, you cannot be held personally responsible. I assume the Puerto Rico mortgages, if any, are like Massachusetts mortgages, that empower the lender to sell the property to satisfy the debt, and in most cases if you wanted to stop the foreclosure sales payment... Read more »

Q: What is CDC eviction meant for MA state ? Can someone explain to me ?
Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Oct 5, 2020

The CDC moratorium forbids landlords from attempting to evict tenants for non-payment of rent if the tenants meet certain financial hardship guidelines:

- Make less than $99,000 (or $198,000 if they file a joint tax return)

- Be unable to make full rent “due to substantial loss of...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Massachusetts on
Q: I’m waiting on a court hearing for a speeding ticket. Will I be able to renew my car registration before the hearing?

I got pulled over about 5 months ago for speeding and I still havnt received a date for a court hearing. My car registration just expired and I need to renew it. Will I be able to renew it while waiting for the court hearing or will the ticket prevent me from renewing the registration?

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Sep 24, 2020

You can absolutely register the car!! The pending speeding ticket will not prevent this. Many ticket hearings are backed up due to Covid. Be sure you sent it in on time, kept a copy of the ticket, and know what court to call if you dont hear from anyone within the month. You should have heard from... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law for Massachusetts on
Q: My mom has green card(60 Y) . She is stuck outside US due to covid over 180 days. She is high risk. What should she do?

She has heart disease and high blood pressure. Afraid to travel. Do not want to lose her green card. What is the best advise to maintain her green card

Ify Princess Ikeakanam
Ify Princess Ikeakanam answered on Aug 13, 2020

Hi, the pandemic going on right now and all the reasons you stated above(Age, health) should be sufficient reasons to include in her application for re entry into the U.S. Green card holder can stay outside the U.S for longer than the required 6 months so long as there is a supportable valid reason... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Civil Rights for Massachusetts on
Q: Do I need to attend the meeting before the pretrial conference? MA probate.

Custody battle. I am filing on terms of parental alienation, emotional and physiological abuse. There's a pre trial conference but the other parties lawyer emailed me stating the court requires a meeting beforehand. I don't feel comfortable speaking in this meeting with just myself and... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Aug 11, 2020

If there are no abuse protection restraining orders in place pre-pandemic there was a face to face 4 way meeting required for the parties and their counsel to attend in person sufficiently prior to the Pretrial Conference hearing date to attempt resolution or at least discussion to determine... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Banking, Estate Planning and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: Can a housebound bank account holder let me log in on their behalf to initiate transfers?

My father died with a bank account with the name of an ex-fiancee still on it as a joint holder. She hasn't ever used the account as far as I can tell. She (and her current husband) want the money in the account to go to myself and my sister. Unfortunately she doesn't have an online login... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Aug 6, 2020

Assuming your father was a Massachusetts resident for the comments: Are you the Personal Representative of your father's estate? If so, you need to contact the bank involved and provide them with your Letter of Authority and Federal Taxpayer ID for the estate and some form of authorization by... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Q: Can i request That my child’s father gets tested for COVID?

I have Full custody and he was supposed to pick up my daughter today for the weekend. This morning i found Out that he’s been in an Airbnb out of state with 11 other people, no mask no protection. I live With both my parents who are older above 60 with a lot of heath issues. They are both high... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jul 17, 2020

How do you have this information? Is it in written form? A text or email? If so, you should respond in writing to him- text or email about your legitimate concerns for your child and your household's health and that you urge him to reconsider taking the child for the next 2 weeks while he... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Domestic Violence and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: What are my options at virtual mediation? Child wants to stay with me and it is much safer here anyway.

High-conflict divorce and custody dispute, with ex having a lifelong history of mental illness diagnoses and treatments. Divorce and custody arrangement finalized in a previous state of residence where she still resides. Child is currently with me in MA and has been since the start of the pandemic.... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jul 16, 2020

Because the child has not been living in Massachusetts for at least 6 months, our Probate Courts do not yet have jurisdiction over custody and visitation as the former state of residence still is the home state until then. However, if there is a safety concern about the child going to the other... 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 Employment Law and Workers' Compensation for Massachusetts on
Q: Need help with work related injury !!!

i broke my middle toe moving some PT lumber by hand, happened the 26th, nothing was done at work, 27th too much pain, smoked recreational marijuana for pain, 28th woke up with toe black, went to work to show them i was going to ER, now they want statement and drug test, 36 hours after, its now 3rd... Read more »

Jeffrey Young
Jeffrey Young answered on Jun 3, 2020

It is not clear from your question if you have already been to an Emergency Room. If not, then you should go. If you have and they want you to see an orthopedic or podiatrist then you should call one and try to make an appointment. It is very difficult to see anyone now with the virus issues. They... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce for Massachusetts on
Q: I filed for a divorce in February 2020. The other party couldn't be located. Is there something else i should do ?

The party was due in court on 4/3/20. However, due to the virus the court held a phone conference. The party did not phone in. He is due back in court on the 15th of May, providing the courts are in session. Should I attempt to have him served again and do I just have to pay the Sheriff's... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on May 4, 2020

From your comment I am understanding that the Deputy Sheriff or Constable was unable to make in hand service of he Complaint and Summons and returned such on the Summons. The next step is to seek a Motion for Alternate Service by publication based on that fact. This would result in an Order that... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law for Massachusetts on
Q: My wife is currently applying for US Citizenship. Will receiving unemployment benefits affect her application?

She is on furlough.

Adan Vega
Adan Vega answered on Apr 26, 2020

U.S. residents can apply and receive unemployment benefits if all of the state requirements are fulfilled. You must be authorized to work at the time you apply for the benefit and throughout the time you receive the benefit. In certain states you must have completed calendar quarters before you... Read more »

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