COVID-19 Minnesota Q&A by Practice Area

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COVID-19 Minnesota Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury for Minnesota on
Q: Is a college liable for putting my daughter, alone, in an off campus house with a gas leak and no sense of smell?

She was put in a house alone, with no supervision when tested positive for covid. She could not smell anything, but heard a sound emitting for the stove. She called security and they came and supposedly turned off the gas and told her she was safe now. I got there an hour later and was amazed at... Read more »

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Apr 25, 2021

A Minnesota attorney could advise best, but your post remains open for two weeks. I'm sorry for your daughter's and your family's ordeal. They could be liable - it depends on the level of responsibility they assume for off-campus housing (or the level of responsibility they disclaim... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Minnesota on
Q: Is it proper for prosecutor to enter NG plea when not in open court and where all talks were off the record?

Petty traffic case. Remote hearing (arraignment) takes place. Pros offers a plea and I decline. Pros then instructs clerk to schedule for trial. I never said that I would plead NG, nor did I refuse to enter a plea. I presumed I would have a hearing before a judge to do this, but it has been entered... Read more »

Jonathan Matthew Holson
Jonathan Matthew Holson answered on Apr 24, 2021

Nothing here was improper. It would be typical, particularly in a petty misdemeanor, that you wouldn’t necessarily enter a not guilty plea in front of a judge. It is a procedural step and the failure to do so isn’t a significant error.

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Minnesota on
Q: My best friend got a dog 6 yrs ago. She travels for work, knowing I was already helping take care of her cat, I begged

Her not to get one. The 1st 2yrs I had the dog every other week plus any personal holidays she took. The next 3 yrs I had him from Sat mid=afternoon until Friday morning. (Yes 5=6 days per week) Occasionally Thurs pm if I brought him to her. Then covid. No Travel. We shared for almost a year, but... Read more »

William Bailey
William Bailey answered on Feb 11, 2021

If you take something that isn't yours you have committed a theft. You could face both criminal and civil consequences.

3 Answers | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Minnesota on
Q: Is there a consequence to waiting until Monday to contest a ticket when today is the 30th day
William Bailey
William Bailey answered on Dec 27, 2020

Unlikely. Courts are generally extending the 30 day deadline due to covid. A lawyer can give you more assistance as it is clear you are unfamiliar with how this works.

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3 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law, Traffic Tickets and Car Accidents for Minnesota on
Q: Why is my appearance in court mandatory?

I was in an accident due to a failure to yield left and they found me at fault for the accident. I was told by the officer in charge that I would be able to pay my citation and plead guilty for the charge, but now it says I have a mandatory court appearance. It is a misdemeanor for crim/traffic and... Read more »

Thomas C Gallagher
Thomas C Gallagher answered on Nov 30, 2020

If the officer checks the "property damage or injury" box on the citation, the court appearance becomes mandatory. That means failure to appear will result in an arrest warrant. A misdemeanor is a crime punishable by a maximum of 90 days jail, though jail is rare in cases like this.... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law, DUI / DWI and Arbitration / Mediation Law for Minnesota on
Q: Hi, I am having issues with fulfilling my community service hours due to COVID

I am wondering about how courts are dealing with this COVID mess and the required hours for community service. Instead of doing Sentence-to-serve, I have been approved to do community service but have been having a difficult time fulfilling my hours. My deadline has already been pushed back twice... Read more »

Thomas C Gallagher
Thomas C Gallagher answered on Nov 24, 2020

I would expect that a probation and a judge would give extensions for this reason, but in the end would require the time to be served in jail. After all, community service is considered a jail substitute by the courts. Therefore, if it were me, I'd simply find a way to get the hours done.... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Minnesota on
Q: what kind off effect is covid 19 having on hearings for violation of probation in mn
William Bailey
William Bailey answered on Nov 16, 2020

Some of the hearings are being held remotely via zoom. Otherwise they are proceeding pretty normally in most counties. You should have an attorney assist you with this situation so you don't get revoked.

3 Answers | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Minnesota on
Q: Earlier this year I received a ticket claiming I passed a bus with its red lights blinking. Is there a way to fight this

I was behind the bus but passed it before it started to slow down or put on it’s lights. I received a call for cop who told me the bus driver gave them my plates but I could fight the ticket in court. I have no witnesses as I was alone in my car. Is it possible to fight and win this? I was... Read more »

Jonathan Matthew Holson
Jonathan Matthew Holson answered on Nov 15, 2020

Paying the fine is a guilty plea and it will go on your record. It will also likely affect your insurance rates. You should consider challenging the ticket. An attorney can help make success more likely.

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Minnesota on
Q: I was hired by a company a couple months ago, can they fire me due to COVID?

I was hired by a company and I’ve been working for a couple months, I started experiencing Covid symptoms, I had to get tested because a person in my household works at a nursing home and if anyone she’s around experiences symptoms they must be tested before she can return to work, this company... Read more »

Claudia A. Reis
Claudia A. Reis answered on Oct 20, 2020

No, your employer cannot fire you. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) provides employees, who work for employers with less than 500 employees, up to two weeks (or 80 hours) of sick leave paid at employees' regular pay rate if those employees are unable to work because they... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Products Liability for Minnesota on
Q: I found a hair in my banquet spaghetti and meatballs microwave meal made by ConAgra foods. Can I sue them?

I am 52-year-old male with COPD who has spent thousands of dollars to self quarantine during this time of COVID-19. Now I feel violated after finding a hair from who knows what person that has who knows what. It was in my mouth. And I did save it, and also took pictures

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Sep 10, 2020

A Minnesota attorney could advise best, but you await a response for a week. I'm sorry for your ordeal, but I believe your case could be a difficult one. Without tangible damages of permanence or a significant duration that are clear-cut to a jury, law firms could be reluctant to contemplate... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Contracts for Minnesota on
Q: I paid $11,000 for a 12 month coaching program, I can’t do, I’m 45 days in, I learn no refunds allowed.

Do I have any rights? I live in Minnesota and the coaching program is located in California. I am 62 years old.

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Aug 31, 2020

A Minnesota attorney (and possibly a California attorney, depending on how the agreement is drafted) could advise best, but your post remains open for two weeks.

Do you have rights? It could depend on how the contract was written. COVID has introduced some new territory in terms of how...
Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Minnesota on
Q: Could a prosecutor amend a speeding ticket that was reduced, if I contest it?

I was stopped by a state trooper for speeding and was issued a ticket for 9 mile over the limit, noting that the trooper claimed I was going faster.. I have a clean driving record and do not want a conviction. I am unemployed due to COVID and cannot afford a lawyer. If I contest this hoping to get... Read more »

Jonathan Matthew Holson
Jonathan Matthew Holson answered on Aug 10, 2020

It is unlikely that the prosecutor would amend the ticket simply because you set the matter on for a court hearing to try and keep the matter off of your record. However, I would expect that if you were unable to resolve the matter and it was set for trial that the ticket could be amended.

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3 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law, DUI / DWI and Domestic Violence for Minnesota on
Q: If you where ror and your conditions of release was 2 years probation. you miss your sentencing court what will happen

What will happen when you missed your sentencing court date and have failure to appear warrants but you where originally ror with conditions of release being 2 years probation. What will happen when you turn yourself in on the warrants and to what your conditions of release change for having the... Read more »

Jonathan Matthew Holson
Jonathan Matthew Holson answered on Aug 3, 2020

You don't provide nearly enough information to intelligently answer what you might be facing when you are sentenced. There is no information here about what the charge was or what your criminal history is relative to your potential sentence. Courts have certainly been processing in custody... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law, DUI / DWI and Domestic Violence for Minnesota on
Q: What would be the out come when my boyfriend goes and turns his self in for 3 warrants that are for failure to appear

They are for a DUI and a domestic and for violating a danco. He had missed his sentencing court date on 1/29/20 and the domestic and the violation would have been dropped that day as I had to talk to people because the judge was the one who was pressing the charges for the domestic as I did not... Read more »

Jonathan Matthew Holson
Jonathan Matthew Holson answered on Aug 3, 2020

It's been six months since he missed court. The likelihood that the warrants would be dismissed under the circumstances without him at least having to turn himself in is non-existent. He would need to be held for an appearance before a judge so that conditions of release could be set. He... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law for Minnesota on
Q: Hi. I have a question about changing my status and applying for green card based on marriage.

I'm from South Korean and right now I'm in the states with J1 visa participating in Aupair program. I came here in May 2018 and after one year, I extended the program for one more year. So I was going to be done with the program in May 2020 but then Covid19 broke out. So DOS allowed... Read more »

Kyndra L Mulder
Kyndra L Mulder answered on Jul 14, 2020

You may remain in the USA and adjust through your USC spouse. Because your adjustment is through a USC immediate relative you will not be charged with any overstay or out of status time.

Your extension remains a lawful status.

3 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law and Civil Rights for Minnesota on
Q: Can my daughter be held in Nobels county jail for 11 months without a trial because of the virus

My daughter was arrested for transporting meth from SD in December 2019. Her court date was set for March because of the virus the trial was reset for July 28, my daughter just now received a letter moving her trial until November can they do this she will be in Jail for a year before she is... Read more »

Jonathan Matthew Holson
Jonathan Matthew Holson answered on Jul 8, 2020

They certainly can if she has not demanded a speedy trial. If she has made such a demand, there is an analysis that gets done about whether her right to a speedy trial is being violated and if so, what the remedy should be. One such remedy might be release from custody. Another such remedy could... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Minnesota on
Q: My ex has not allowed me to see my kids during the stay at home order in MN

Now she says I can only see them Outdoors and 6' away. I have a court order granting me visitation without stipulation other than date/time arrangement. I work from home and have not ventured out during this time. I think I should be allowed to have my kids in my home. Can she mandate this?

Sonja M. Nyberg
Sonja M. Nyberg answered on Jun 1, 2020

No she cannot and by doing so she is in violation of the court order as it applies to your parenting time. I currently know of no judicial officers who are suspending a parent's time with the children, or putting such drastic restrictions upon how and where it occurs, because of the pandemic.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Minnesota on
Q: Can my ex demand I pay childcare when she is the one providing that childcare? Not child support but childcare.

Since Covid, the local daycare has closed down. But my ex demands that I continue to pay for childcare. My divorce decree includes a monthly childcare payment amount based on an estimate. It says it shall not be adjusted according a cost of living increase but should be based on the actual cost of... Read more »

Sonja M. Nyberg
Sonja M. Nyberg answered on Jun 1, 2020

Without reading your current order for child support, it is difficult to give you the best answer. With that said, in order for you to modify the amount you are paying per month for childcare support you will need to file a motion with the Court. The good news, however, is that child care support... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for Minnesota on
Q: Arrested released moved to florida during virus i was needed at home What happens to case
William Bailey
William Bailey answered on May 8, 2020

That depends on whether there has been a hearing. Many cases have been put on hold so you may not have missed anything. However, if you have missed a hearing, there is likely a warrant out for your arrest. It would be wise to have an attorney in MN retained to assist you with this to ensure you... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Minnesota on
Q: What are the chances I would win if I take it to court, (especially given the covid-19 situation).

Cop was driving in the opposite direction and made a U-turn. By the time he flashed his lights, the speed limit had changed from 35 to 45 after a right turn. He claimed I was going 50 in a 35 (before the right turn), but I'm sure I wasn't going more than 45. He did end up giving me a... Read more »

Jonathan Matthew Holson
Jonathan Matthew Holson answered on May 6, 2020

The CFR would keep it off of your record. That seems like a reasonable disposition. There is no guarantee that taking the matter to court will get you a better result. The COVID-19 issues will not have any effect whatsoever on things. Court dates are simply being delayed because of the... Read more »

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