Block on Trump's Asylum Ban Upheld by Supreme Court
Here are the answers to questions you may not have thought about during this pandemic, like when you can tell someone to stay away from you, what happens if you don't walk your pet, whether you can press charges against someone who got you sick, and more.
Yes, you can ask. But you cannot legally stop anyone from taking the elevator in a public place, such as your workplace or apartment building.
Yes, you can ask. But you cannot legally stop them from being close to you in a public place. In your own home or private property, you can ask them anything you want.
Yes, you can ask for one of their toilet paper packs. But there is no law that they need to give you anything.
If you take the item, it may not be stealing because neither of you has purchased it yet. This is a gray area that depends on your state's definition of theft. Regardless, most stores and social norms would frown on this, and you could get kicked out.
Some stores have item limits that you need to follow (see Target's item limit policy as an example), or the store can discipline or ban you. If you take a paid item from someone's cart, car, or home, it is stealing.
Yes. Some vets may reserve the right to deny routine pet services and only stay open for emergency care. Pets do not have the right to care because they are seen as property under many state laws. A vet caring for them is always optional.
If they are under 18 years old, you can keep them at home. If they are over 18, you cannot stop them from leaving. You do have the option to refuse entry back into your house if you own it.
Yes, someone could call the police or an animal abuse center and try to report you. Whoever called it in would need to collect strong evidence against you to show neglect, a hard case to prove.
Under normal circumstances, not giving your pet standard care and exercise could be cause for concern. During a pandemic, actions like walking your dog could be allowed or banned.
Follow the CDC's suggestions for COVID-19 and pets.
Yes, because there is no legal quarantine as of the time this article was written, they still have visitation or custody rights. In places with shelter-in-place orders, parents are encouraged to find arrangements that minimize contact, but travel is allowed to comply with child custody and visitation orders.
If this concerns you, then a polite conversation with the other parent may help, or you can speak with an attorney for temporary relief from the visitation arrangement. Virtual visitation is also a useful tool.
Anyone else has free will and cannot be forced to go to the hospital or get testing done.
Someone might fake sneeze near you, film a video telling someone they (falsely) have been infected, or other such viral pranks. While you may be able to sue someone for causing emotional distress or suffering, these cases are challenging to win.
Most stores and theaters have their own policies on concealing your identity with a mask. You can call ahead and ask if you are concerned about wearing a medical mask.
Most of these masks still show enough of the face to identify individuals, so they may be allowed. Many theaters are closed in general, so their policies are null for the time being.
This term may refer to someone close to an infected person, such as their spouse. It is not a legal or medical term, but it usually means:
This is similar to criminal law when someone says a case is "being treated as a homicide." It simply means that until further notice, officials are handling something in a certain way.
In the case of COVID-19 and most other illnesses, no.
There are criminal statutes for the intentional spread of some sexually transmitted diseases. These are called wrongful infection cases. But, there must be a string of evidence showing malicious intent and premeditation. Bioterrorism is a whole different issue altogether, but COVID-19 is not the result of a bioterrorist attack.
This depends. In some instances, there could be cases of child abuse during the COVID-19 spread.
However, hand sanitizer and masks are not "basic needs" at this time, so parents and guardians don't legally need to provide them.
A parent of a minor can make their child leave the house. If you believe your safety or a minor's safety is a concern, then you should reach out to the police or an advocate. UNICEF warns that child abuse cases can increase during a pandemic.
Yes, you can sue any company for a faulty product. This falls under consumer laws, but they can be difficult cases to prove.
Read the disclaimers for the product and speak to an attorney about the situation.
It depends. Check the company's policy or contract first. They may have policies in place to protect themselves from emergency situations and cancellations.
The contract you signed when you booked likely has language protecting the company from being sued. Learn more in our article about postponed or canceled concerts.
It is not illegal at this time, and your medical information is private. A hospital may use this information for care and reporting, but keep your name private.
The police and local community support are available for any unsafe situation. You have a right to safety at home, so the police will respond to violence and abuse situations even in pandemic situations. Contact a friend you can stay with, or talk to the police right away.
You should not avoid the hospital because you are afraid they will "keep you" or "lock you up" there. You will be able to discuss your care plan and recovery with your doctor. At this time, hospitals in the U.S. cannot keep a patient against their will. They can ask you to stay there in quarantine, but you have the right to leave.
If you leave, it will be considered against medical advice (AMA). In some cases, they may ask you to wait at the hospital while the test results come back.
You do not need to answer anything.
It is helpful for doctors and medical staff to know where you live, where you have been, who you have been in contact with, and your daily health habits or symptoms. But you do not need to answer personal questions (unless you are under oath in a court case), such as:
A pandemic can create new areas for concern. You have the same rights as before until local or federal governments explain different rules in place. Attorneys are available to discuss unique situations if you think your rights were violated. Many offer virtual and phone consultations.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.