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How is My Case Affected by COVID-19?

Helping you with your legal matter is one of the most important tasks for Mann Law. Through the current COVID-19 pandemic, our office remains capable and committed to helping you with your personal injury and family law legal matters.

If you were and remain in the middle of a legal case, or you were facing an impending case or have recently been injured, are approaching a divorce, or child custody matter among other legal or personal injury law matters, you’re likely left wondering how court closures have and will continue to affect your case.

Please know, Mann Law is equipped to remotely handle the needs of our clients. You can contact us today for a secure, confidential teleconference at any time. We are and will remain here to help.

1. Will coronavirus hold up my personal injury case?

Maybe. But we at Mann Law will do everything we can to prevent that from happening. For example, some medical provider’s offices are still open and some medical provider’s offices are not. Chiropractors and physical therapists’ offices are generally not open for example, which can affect your treatment in a personal injury case because lawyers need the medical records and bills from providers like chiropractors and physical therapists in order to prove the injuries for a case. If the administration of these offices isn’t in the office the process of acquiring documents like those stated above could be slowed down.

2. Can I still treat for my injuries at home?

Possibly. Depending on your injuries there are a lot of providers who are providing online tools. Contact your medical provider to learn what they are offering to provide teletherapy options from the comfort of your home.

3. I’m having a lot of emotional issues, what do I do?

A lot of therapists are offering teletherapy so you can have an online session at home. Co-pays still apply, health insurance is still accepted. Find and contact a therapist in your area and inquire about in-home sessions. Sessions are secure and private. Psychology Today is a trusted resource for finding an available therapist in your area.

4. I just want my personal injury case settled now. What do I do?

While we always strongly advise not settling your case before you’ve completed any medical treatment, these are extraordinary times during the coronavirus pandemic. As such, the circumstances are different and we will help you and/or your family navigate this new terrain based on what you want. Please contact us to discuss.

5. Are insurance companies still open?

Yes, they are and remain available to discuss your case. However, they like many are working remotely so keep in mind the process may take a little longer than usual. Mann Law remains available to communicate with the insurance companies on your behalf.

6. Where should I go to read updates on the courts’ availability?

You can find more information about court closures and court schedule updates via the Maine State Judicial Branch.

Family Law

This information has been taken from the Pine Tree Legal Services website.

If you are a parent who shares custody of your children, you may be wondering what social distancing and sheltering in place means for family law orders. Below, from our friends at Pine Tree Legal, we offer some frequently asked questions and answers about co-parenting during this time of the pandemic.

1. What will happen with my pending family court case?

All family court cases are currently suspended until at least May 1st. That means any existing interim or final order stays in place until you can return to court. If you have a court date scheduled before May 1st, it will be rescheduled to a later time. You should get a new scheduling notice at some point after May 1st rescheduling your court date. The court is providing regular updates on court closings and hours.

2. I have a court order that says my kids spend time with me and the other parent. Should we follow it?

People with orders from a divorce or parental rights case should do their best to follow those orders so long as it is safe and possible to do so. Talk to your children’s doctor about your situation if you have health concerns. Communicate with the other parent about your concerns. If visits can’t happen, try to find other ways for kids to stay in touch with the other parent, like video chats. Make sure you keep a record of what happened and when in case you need to prove what was happening later in court.

Here is a good resource from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts for parents trying to figure out how to manage existing parental rights orders during the pandemic.

3. Can I file a motion to change or enforce my court order?

The Maine courts are only accepting emergency filings in family law cases. If there is an urgent and compelling reason that you need to have a hearing, you can file a written motion to explain those reasons. You have to give the other party a copy of the motion, and they have three days to file a response. The court might have everyone participate by phone or video if they do agree to have a hearing in your case.

4. Can I still bring my children to and from visits with the other parent, even though there is a Stay Healthy at Home Executive Order?

Yes. On March 31, 2020, Governor Mills issued a series of mandates, including a “Stay Healthy at Home” directive. This requires people in Maine to stay in their homes at all times, unless for an essential job or for an essential personal reason. Some of the essential personal reasons include buying food and medication. You can find the full list of these essential personal activities here. Under this directive you could transport your children to visits with their other parent under two of the listed essential personal activities.

  • You are allowed to provide care, including transportation, of yourself or a family member for essential health and safety activities.

  • You are also allowed to leave your home for travel required by a law enforcement officer or court order.

If you are seeking a family law attorney for immediate or foreseeable needs, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation. While we’ve implemented a social distancing policy to help slow the spread of COVID-19, we will arrange a phone and/or videoconference to hear your needs. This strategy comes as a result of the recommendations of our public health authorities.

Thank you to everyone for your understanding. We are all working together to keep you, our staff, and our communities positive and healthy.

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Christiana E. Mann Christiana “Chrissy” Mann has specialized in civil litigation for 21+ years as a savvy and creative litigator, and she’s regarded as a fair, compassionate, and zealous advocate on behalf of her clients.