Make sure to bookmark this page for California and Arizona Covid Legal Updates. Mask Orders, Lockdowns, Shutdowns, Loss of Business Insurance, Protests, Constitutional Rights. It's a jungle out there and we are here to help interpret the new laws, orders, rules, regulations, and solve associated legal problems due to Covid-19 virus (aka "Wuhan Virus" aka "China Virus").
There is a lot of panic and uncertainty (fear) at this time in the United States and across the world. For one, we think we know about this virus, but it is not clear that we do. Some say it is a strain of 3 viruses and that you can test NEGATIVE for the virus, but still be a CARRIER (and infect other people). This is causing the United States government, and many individual states to start taking precautions to protect the life of its citizens. Here are some questions from what I call "The Legal Side of the Corona Virus." Make sure to SUBSCRIBE to our popular YouTube channel (nearly 20 subscribers and over 2 million video views) to receive important legal-related updates that have to do with the Coronavirus (Covid 19).
1. Is the virus a "pandemic" that will grow larger in time and impact more people (with governmental "stay in place" or "lockdown orders?"
2. Could this lead to marshall law in the United States with curfews?
3. Can the government legally force your bar, restaurant or nightclub (or other small business establishments) to shut down, at risk of defaulting on loans, contracts, and forcing massive layoffs?
4. Can you use the "Force Majuere" clause to get out of your contracts (acts of god make the performance of a contract impracticable, illegal, etc.)?
5. Will employers be held liable for wrongful death, or serious injuries caused if an employee contracts the Covid-19 virus (by being forced to come to work)?
6. Can you be prosecuted criminally for failure to adhere to "social distancing" laws?
7. Can you be forced to send your kids to school? Arizona closes schools for 2020
8. How will the homeless be handled, should the government be forced to house them in safe and sanitary conditions (even if perhaps this is against their will)?
9. Can employers monitor remote employees? What about software compliance with remote employees? Can they install company software and use at home?
10. How will wage and hour, breaks, vacations, and family paid leave be affected with work-from-home-employees?
11. Will there be bans on residential evictions in your city or county like there is in Los Angeles, Culver City and San Francisco?
12. Can you be put in jail (misdemeanor) for violating the 6 foot social distancing rule now in place in many areas?
13. Can the local, state and federal government impair the "obligation of contracts."
14. If there is a "main street bailout" ($1,000 dollar checks) and you do not "qualify" for one (i.e. you make too much money) will this create a class action lawsuit for violation of equal protection of the law?
15. In Orange County, California, they are prohibiting "public gatherings" - does this violate your constitutional right to "association" and "peaceful assembly."
17. Does banning admission to bars, restaurants, taverns, nightclubs (places that sell liquor), violate the constitution? Remember, it was once illegal to sell liquor (prohibition) but a constitutional amendment changed that. Now, it appears these establishments are being temporarily banned from selling their products.
18. Do local, county, state and federal laws, rules, regulations and executive orders that essentially ban a person from operating their business at their location, does this constitute a "taking" (regulatory taking) pursuant to eminent domain laws, requiring the government to pay "just compensation?"
19. If you are forced to "home school" your college or university classes (I know one person who is in Ivy league law school and now forced to take classes from home), which to me sucks because being there and interacting with others is part of what you are paying for, do you deserve a tuition credit of some sort? I think they should as you are not getting everything you bargained for.
20. Can the government tell you that you cannot meet (and if so be) die in your churches? Does church closure and social distancing violate the first amendment (can a church be considered "non-essential")?
21. What about "business interruption insurance" to cover your losses due to the virus or protest, shutdowns, lockdowns, civil authority orders. See video below.
22. Can you be forced to pay a fine or get a misdemeanor and serve jail time for NOT WEARING A MASK? For example, the Arizona mask order states kids under 6 need not wear a mask (that is an exemption) there is also one for religious believes that prevent wearing a mask. There is a reason this is included in the executive order - and the PRIVATE BUSINESSES (like Costco) are commanded "shall enforce." I talked about this on a facebook post.
23. Is "NOT" WEARING A MASK a form of protest protected by the First Amendment? Freedom of speech or religion? There is often times an "exemption" from mask order for ADA (Americans with disabilities) and Religious grounds (but what exactly does that mean)? Is that an "empty suit?"
24. Can you sue your state or local government for NOT PROVIDING law enforcement services (something you pay taxes for)? Should there be a tax deduction for this?
25. What constitutes "unlawful protest" such that you can be arrested and charged with a crime? Can you use mace? Pepper-spray? Acid attacks? Bleach shakes?
26. Does closing BARS (but not restaurants or supermarkets) violate the equal protection clause of the United States Constitution?
27. Can you be forced into a quarantine? If so, do you have a right to appeal?
28. DEFECTIVE MASK LITIGATION (FALSE ADVERTISING | PRODUCTS LIABILITY) - Were you sold a defective Covid-19 fask mask? Many startup companies are rushing to grab cash and try to capitalize on the disease, fear, and panic of others. They are selling decorative or political face masks (literally a bandana or cloth with no research or science to back their sale). They are selling a false sense of security to some of the most vulnerable people in the world. All for profit. Let's face the facts, "all masks are not created equal." If you were sold a mask, trying to follow the rules, and then was infected with a cough, respiratory illness, or god forbid put on a respirator (many times leading to death), call us for a FREE analysis of your case. Non-medical pirates are jumping in and selling face mask protection under false pretenses and with NO SCIENTIFIC basis for what they are doing. We will file suit in appropriate cases that meet our criteria. Call or leave us an email through our contact form.
MASK STANDARDS? Seems everyone is selling masks nowadays. Will they protect you? Do they give you a false sense of security? Are there any product warnings? Labels? Description? Limitations?
29. Can you petition your local city, town, state to write, draw or paint your own political message on streets, roads, highways, buildings? What are the standards? What if you are denied your application or permit?
30. If you PAINT OVER a black lives matter road art or skid over a rainbow painting on a street can you be held guilty of a "hate crime?"
31. Can you REVERSE DOMAIN NAME HIJACK to try to get yourself a great legal domain?
32. Is it a violation of the equal protection clause of the United States constitution for a mayor, city council or governor to allow one type of protest, but deny another opposing viewpoint? What is the standard of review?
33. Can you be guilty of a criminal offense if you are NOT a small business and yet raid the coffers of the SBA (Small Business Loans) getting loans or paycheck money?
34. Can you sue your City, town, state or county for personal or property damages when local police (funded by taxpayers) "stand down" and do nothing to help you?
These are just some of the top legal issues that come to my mind. There are many more issues arising and we will continue to track them. We also have a case of REVERSE DOMAIN NAME HIJACKING (against a law firm) that you will NOT want to miss. Legal pirates that are trying to steal one of my great legal domains from me. They will have a BIG SURPRISE coming shortly, and I think you will all enjoy watching attorneys fight each other, where some legal punks want to try to intimidate our law firm. Make sure to SUBSCRIBE to our popular Legal YouTube channel to watch the action as it unfolds. We are closing in on 25k subscribers and 3 mil vid views.
GRUBHUB driver insults restaurant customer. Is it intentional infliction of emotional distress? If so, who would you sue?
Here is an incident I recently saw on my facebook page (I have deleted the poster for privacy purposes). It really disturbed me and got me thinking.....can a GrubHub (or Uber Eats, Door Dash,Drizzly or Postmates for that matter) come into a restaurant, or liquor establishment for a pickup and insult a customer of the restaurant/establishment for NOT WEARING A MASK? Here was the post and my response:
Here was my response.
People should not have to raise kids where strangers come up to their tables while eating and start yelling at them. Can the restaurant or establishment be sued? Can GrubHub be sued? Is their driver really an "independent contractor?" These are new age litigation issues. It concerns me that these drivers are delivering food to people. Some people wonder "will they spit in the food if they think I am republican?" This is beyond what I think people should be forced to tolerate in a civilized society. Will this type of sick and depraved heart be actionable in a court of law? We will probable soon find out. #MaskHysteria
The role of "Business Interruption" Insurance Policies
VIDEO: Watch Attorney Steve® explain this important legal concept. Make sure to SUBSCRIBE to join over 20,000 fans of our legal videos!
Public Laws and Announcements
San Francisco "Stay Put" Order NOW IN EFFECT 3/17/20. Misdemeanor to violate law.
VIDEO: Watch Attorney Steve® explain an overview of the new San Francisco County order to "stay put." Make sure to SUBSCRIBE to our legal channel and join nearly 20,000 people across the world who love our legal videos.
California Issues Statewide "Stay in Place Order" - This is UNPRECEDENTED!
Breaking Contracts - "Force Majeure" | Impossibilty of Performance | Commercial Impracticability | Frustration of Purpose or Illegality (ex. a governor makes you bar, restaurant, gym, or salon ILLEGAL top open? See our page on LeaseWorkouts.com
VIDEO: Watch Attorney Steve® explain how to potentially break contracts with a "Force Majeure" contractual clause. Make sure to SUBSCRIBE to our legal channel and join nearly 20,000 people across the world who love our legal videos.
If your landlord is not providing agreed upon services, perhaps THEY ARE IN BREACH of the contract. Notice how services may have been promised when you moved in, now due to China virus they are not providing or cutting back on the services. Is this a breach of the landlord-tenant agreement? Should you be provided rent reduction?
VIDEO: California Mask Order - what if wearing a mask is against your religion? What if the ADA provides that you do not or should not wear a mask? What if it causes a medical condition breathing in your own CO2? What if you are arrested or fined for this?
California Governor Newsome shuts down indoor dining, bars, salons, gyms, malls, etc.
The order further affects wineries, movie theaters, family entertainment venues, zoos, museums and card rooms will shut down all indoor operations. Bars must close down entirely. Some people are making legal challenges that the order is unconstitutional on grounds such as:
- Impacts fundamental right to travel
- Violation of equal protection of the law
- Prohibits first amendment right of association
- Taxpayers pay for some of these things but get no tax break
- Prohibiting the free exercise of religion (first amendment)
- Other grounds
Attorney Steve® Top 10 Tips for beating this Global Pandemic
1. Don't Panic - things can seem really crazy right now as you can see news about the Coronavirus / Covid (aka "China virus") on all news media 24/7. Do not let this panic you. Panic can be seen in your face and it makes other people panic. This is not something that will do any good. Try to relax. Take a deep breath (two full minutes of deep breaths is something I have found that relaxes me when I get a little edgy). In fact, aside from trying to get basic information (see my CDC and WHO links below), I would not spend too much time obsessing as there is not a whole lot you can do.
2. Stay health / boost your immune - right now is a good time to start on new habits that can boost your immune system. This helps your body stay strong so you can fight diseases. While I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice, things that have worked for me include maintaining a good diet (lots of fruits and vegetables, low sugar and alcohol intake, Vitamin C and D, and good exercise. Exercise can release "endorphines" that make your mind and body feel good. Get out once a day and take a walk, work out in your home gym (you can get a low cost exercise bike or lift some light weights). Moving around makes you feel good and works our your heart and diet and exercise together can be helpful to stay strong.
3. Follow the rules - this is no time to try to "out-think the experts" or to try to be a Maverick doing your own thing. A lot of really smart people are working overtime to try to get this situation under control. Listen to them. Follow the rules, ordinances, guidelines, executive orders etc. These are being issued for your own good. If you are not sure of your legal obligations, especially when it comes to running your business, have legal counsel review the laws at issue and get an interpretation. But for the most part, we are in a time of emergency so we have to trust in others (including elected officials) to try to help us.
4. Rely only on GOOD INFORMATION - everyone knows there is a ton of "fake news" out on the internet and unsubstantiated statements, unverified reports, false prophets and the like. In this time, it is more important than ever NOT to share false information. Everyone has an opinion about the Coronavirus and that is fine, some think it is not real (a political interference nearing election time and a move to stop President Trump from being re-elected), while others think "the sky is falling and we are all doing to die." Follow trusted sites like the CDC and WHO. Do not post or share false information, especially if you know it to be false. This could lead to legal problems despite your first amendment protections (remember, you cannot yell "fire in a crowded theater" if there is no fire). So, be careful spreading false information on your twitter, facebook, youtube, or other social media accounts. This is not the time to goof around.
5. Don't obsess with NEWS - again, in line with what I have said above, there is not much you can do other than be vigilant, know what the rules are, listen to the bona fide experts but do not overly obsess with following the news. Virtually all media channels are covering this 24/7 day and night and this can be overload. Many times media just repeats itself over and over. If you watch or listen too much, you may start to feel a pit grow in your stomach, and you may start to feel gloomy, depressed, or become panicked. This is not good, especially if you have kids who are looking at your face trying to decide how to act. Just get a "spoonful of news" each night and let that be sufficient. If something is really important, you will likely hear about it as news travels in a nanosecond these days. Let someone else do the worrying. You live your life.
6. Have fun - just because we are going through time times as a planet, does not mean the world has to end, or that you have to sulk and worry though this whole journey. You have no choice of what happens in life, but you DO have the power to decide how you want to react. This is the power of choice and the power of self-determination. You can choose to let this eat you up inside, or you can choose to stay positive, make the best of it, and even see the silver linings in this. So continue to enjoy your life. While many sporting events and public events are being canceled, you can spend time with your family. Play games, take a walk, grow a garden, play with your dog, write a book, grow your podcast or start your YouTube channel. There are many things you can do to enjoy life even in the face of something like this.
7. Be nice to people when you are "stocking up" - you hear stories of people turning savage in grocery stores and fighting over toilet paper, water, sanitizers, beans, rice, fruits, vegetables for example. But folks, let's not turn this into the Titanic hear and push people out of boats. This is a time to be civil. Buy what you need to protect yourself, but don't turn into a savage. Be kind, respectful, smile and talk to people.
8. Stay in contact with family / friends (share information) - one thing I have done recently which was really cool was to set up a conference call with family members. We shared information and ideas, tips, and had occasion to laugh and share theories on what's going on, how long this will last, and basically just felt good talking to each-other realizing life is great, and we will all stay positive and get through this, likely better than we all were before. Try to consider setting up a call with loved ones or old friends you haven't talked to in a while. You might be surprised by the therapeutic value this has for all involved.
9. Help others who may be struggling - everyone handles crises differently. Some are leaders, some are followers, some get scared, some get panicked and freak out, some get depressed and want to hide in a hole. Recognize what is going on with other people, and if you see someone down, or struggling, see if you can do something to help them be strong. Make them laugh, tell a joke, ask them a question (talk to them), give then $10 if they need some help. Helping others can be a very great thing as it is good for them, and will make you feel good.
10. See the "silver linings" - folks, we will get through this (unless of course, we don't) and if we don't, then I suppose that is our destiny. But, I feel strongly that we will. We have experts working overtime to strategically tackle this Covid 19 disease. We have to trust them and trust the process right now. If you apply some of the tips above, you may start to see some "silver linings" emerging from all this. You may pickup healthy eating habits, you may start exercising more, you may start being friendlier to people or find yourself contacting friends and family more often (whether by phone, email, text, etc), and you may find yourself through prayer, or mediation, or find yourself growing stronger because you battled this out and beat it. So, see the silver linings in your own life - they are there - you just have to look for them. As they say, "everything happens for a reason" (and we do not always get to know the reasons) but we shall overcome and emerge into a new greater light.
What are your CIVIL or CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS in times of emergency?
VIDEO: Watch this video so you can educate yourself and raise your level of discourse online. Most people talk like fools about constitutional rights violations with the lockdowns, mask orders, curfews, freeway closings (or limiting access like PCH in Orange County), but at least know and understand the legal lingo and landscape of constitutional law and federalism. That's where we are today. Don't forget to SUBSCRIBE so you can stay in tune. The revolution will NOT be televised.
Attorney Steve® discusses the new Phoenix Mask Order and what the exceptions are
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Here are some helpful links to keep you informed of some of the key issues and resources available.
1. Center for Disease Control ("CDC")
2. President Trump's guidelines - 15 Days to Slow the Spread. (has now become 30)
4. World Health Organization ("WHO")
6. Governor Cuomo page (NY updates)
Covid 19 In the News
2. Seattle says to call in "racist" hate comments to 911 (will this clog the emergency system with first amendment protected activity)?
5. McCovid? New case of China virus pops up at McDonalds (can the public trust fast food during these crazy times)?
6. Los Angeles, California orders Mask when going to certain places
Low-Cost Legal Consultations - [CA and AZ]
If you have a legal issue involving county ordinances, state laws, executive orders, mask orders, "essential business" classifications or other laws, rules, regulations from your local Mayor or City Council, the Governor or President of the United States, we can help you interpret and advise on new legislation and legal issues dealing with your constitutional rights, freedoms, interpretation of "stay put" or "lockdown" orders and other legal issues such as business loss insurance claims.
Call us at (877) 276-5084 or fill out our contact form below and we will have a lawyer contact you time permitting (not all emails or phone calls can be returned due to volume). It can often be best to try to call us.