Have you Received an Eviction Notice? Here’s What To Do

If you have received an eviction notice, do not panic. Notice evictions are just the first step a landlord must take in a tumultuous process that requires numerous steps. Thus, you don’t have to immediately move out, and in some cases, you may never have to move out. So, take a second to relax and review what our real estate attorneys say are the most important steps to take after receiving an eviction notice.

But before we dive into that, it may be helpful to understand what an eviction exactly is. An eviction is the process by which tenants are legally removed from the property they reside in. Evictions are court enforced and thus no eviction can ever take place without a court order telling you to do so. Evictions can occur for a number of reasons including but not limited to, not paying rent, causing damage to the property, having unauthorized guests or pets on the property, criminal activity, violence, and even too much noise. Occasionally, tenants are even evicted because they were unaware or failed to realize that their lease was up, and they have overstayed their welcome on the property.

Now that you are an eviction expert, follow these steps to best combat the eviction notice you just received:

Step #1: Learn and understand the reason you were served with the eviction notice.

This may seem as an obvious step, but it cannot be ignored. Reading eviction notices can be disheartening, however you must understand the reason you are receiving the notice. Perhaps, you can remedy the reason. If it is for not paying rent or causing damage to the apartment, the landlord may provide you with an option to avoid the eviction by paying your missed rent or fixing the damage to the property.

Step #2: Check your state and local laws.

Regardless of the eviction notice, you should ensure that the eviction notice is a proper legality under your state and local laws. While you certainly can peruse state laws in your areas on whether the eviction is proper, an attorney can be especially helpful for this step.

You should also check your state’s moratorium on evictions. For example, New York’s moratorium is scheduled to end January 15, 2022. For more information on moratoriums, check out this post recently crafted by JUSTLAW.

Step #3: Check your lease.

State and local laws aren’t the only bodies of law that control your apartment. Your lease does as well! Check it over and view whether the activity the eviction notice has accused you of is explicitly stated in the lease.

Step #4: Respond to the notice.

At this point, if you have exhausted steps 1 though 3, it’s time to engage with your landlord. Landlords are humans too and they may be empathetic to your situation.

Therefore, either write back to the landlord or schedule a face to face, or of course a video call, with your landlord to straighten out the situation. Offer your missed rent payments, tell them you’ll remove your pet, or ensure they know that the damage to the property will be fixed momentarily. But also do not be afraid to put your negotiation hat on. If you missed a few rent payments and the landlord asks for rent and interest, counter the landlord with just rent and not interest. Remember, there are always other places to live, so be a negotiator! 

If you need a real estate attorney to help you fight your eviction notice, look no further than Justlaw. Free consultations are available across all 50 states with an attorney right in your area who is highly qualified in evictions.


                                                ABOUT THE AUTHORS

                  Alex Safarian CDC EVICTION MORATORIUM

Alex Safarian is an attorney who litigates a wide range of claims, including Personal Injury, Unlawful Detainer, Fair Housing, Discrimination, Wrongful and Retaliatory Eviction, and Breach of Lease, and is well respected by defense attorneys, judges, and insurance companies in Los Angeles and neighboring counties for his integrity and compassionate representation of his clients.
Safarian is a member of Los Angeles Bar Association, Armenian Bar Association and the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles and keeps close relationships with other Attorneys in his field.

                Ryan G. BlockCDC EVICTION MORATORIUM

Ryan Block is a seasoned trial attorney who has represented thousands of clients as the lead trial attorney and has appeared in front of over 50 judges in the Los Angeles County and surrounding areas.
Mr. Block’s reputation has allowed him to have tremendous success early in his career as the founding partner at Block LLP.  Mr. Block ensures his firm has excellence in service and consistency of results for each of his clients. After earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, Ryan earned his law degree from Southwestern Law School. Ryan began his legal career with the office of Dennis P. Block and associates, working on real estate litigation.

Click here to get to know him more

                              Learn more about BLOCK LLP

This Article has 3 parts. Stay Tuned for the continuation..


On September 4, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued the “Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID–19”. This Order would be more colloquially described as the “CDC’s Eviction Moratorium.” This Moratorium was passed in an effort to address concerns that the economic effects of the pandemic on renters would lead to a glut of evictions and, by proxy, increased spread of COVID-19 among the newly unhoused. Specifically, the Moratorium’s statement of intent was:

“This Order shall be interpreted and implemented in a manner as to achieve the following objectives:

  • Mitigating the spread of COVID-19 within congregate or shared living settings, or through unsheltered homelessness;
  • Mitigating the further spread of COVID-19 from one U.S. State or U.S. territory into any other U.S. State or U.S. territory; 
  • And supporting response efforts to COVID-19 at the Federal, State, local, territorial, and tribal levels”

In support of this ideal, the CDC Moratorium was designed broadly. Functionally, if any rent-paying tenant, in any state, signed a declaration stating that they were suffering from COVID-19-related financial distress, and provided a copy to their landlord, then they could not be physically evicted until the expiration of the Moratorium, for non-payment of rent related reasons. On paper, the Moratorium threatened potential criminal penalties for any landlord who violated this order.

In practice, the Moratorium did not prevent any Landlord from filing an unlawful detainer action against their tenant. Presenting the declaration to a Court, in effect, stopped the clock until the order expired. However, there cannot be any doubt that the Moratorium was broad in scope. Provided the requisite declaration has been signed, any tenant, of any type, would be covered.

It was an order unconcerned with individual considerations. It was, as designed, an attempt to provide all tenants a back door when facing imminent eviction. While other statewide,

county, and city eviction moratoria provided similar protections to tenants in their relevant communities, the CDC Moratorium’s protections covered all tenants in all 50 states.



As originally designed, the order was to expire on December 31, 2020. The idea was that the Moratorium was a temporary stop-gap to help with the fears of the wildfire spread of COVID-19 during the winter of 2020 due to the imminent risks posed by evicting people.

When the spread of COVID-19 did not show signs of improvement by late December 2020, Congress extended the Moratorium for one month.  After this, Congress did not provide for any other extensions of the Moratorium. 

However, where Congress was silent, the CDC stepped in. Each time a new deadline approached, the CDC would extend the order unilaterally. 

Predictably, this did not go unnoticed by Landlords and their associated groups. Many challenges were brought against the CDC’s Eviction Moratorium in the Courts.

Eventually, one of these challenges wound its way to the Supreme Court in Alabama Association of Realtors, et al. V. Department of Health and Human Services, et al., 2021 WL 1946376 (May 14, 2021)


As summarized by the Supreme Court, Alabama Ass’n of Realtors v. Dep’t of Health & Human Servs. arose whe

“Realtor associations and rental property managers in Alabama and Georgia sued to enjoin the CDC’s moratorium. The U. S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted the plaintiffs motion for summary judgment, holding that the CDC lacked statutory authority to impose the moratorium.”

While a significant number of courts throughout the nation had previously found that the CDC overstepped its bounds with the Eviction Moratorium, the District Court’s order went further. The Court summarized its ruling as follows, 


“the question for the Court is a narrow one: Does the Public Health Service Act grant the CDC the legal authority to impose a nationwide eviction moratorium?  It does not.  Because the plain language of the Public Health Service Act, 42 U.S.C. § 264(a), unambiguously forecloses the nationwide eviction moratorium, the Court must set aside the CDC Order, consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act, see 5 U.S.C. § 706(2)(C), and D.C. Circuit precedent, see National Mining Ass’n, 145 F.3d at 1409.” 


Through this order, the District Court nullified the CDC’s Eviction Moratorium at a nationwide level.  Unsurprisingly, the above ruling was appealed, and the Court stayed its order pending the appeal of the Dept. of Health and Human Servs. When the D.C. Circuit Court did not vacate the stay, the dispute was brought before the Supreme Court.

On June 29, 2021, the Supreme Court denied the application to vacate the stay imposed on the District Court’s order on a 5-4 vote, with Justice Kavanaugh casting the deciding vote.

However, Justice Kavanaugh’s concurrence to the order explained that he was only siding with the majority on this because the CDC’s moratorium was set to end on July 31, 2021 and that a few weeks would “allow for additional and more orderly distribution of the congressionally appropriated rental assistance funds.” On the merits, he stated “I agree with the District Court and the applicants that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention exceeded its existing statutory authority by issuing a nationwide eviction moratorium,” and that in his view, clear and specific congressional authorization would be necessary for any further extensions of the Moratorium.

This concurrence was meant as a signal to the other two branches of government. For the executive, it was a clear warning that if the CDC again unilaterally extended the Eviction Moratorium, the Court would strike it down. For the Legislature, it was a statement that only Congress could extend or continue this nationwide eviction moratorium.

However, Congress failed to pass any laws or orders that would extend the CDC’s Eviction Moratorium or impose a new national Eviction Moratorium. As such, the Order lapsed on July 31, 2021. 

In the absence of any action by the Legislature, the CDC, with full warning of the potential consequences, reinstated the Eviction Moratorium extending its protections until October 3, 2021. 

In response, the Plaintiffs in Alabama Association of Realtors, et al. filed an emergency application with the District Court to vacate the stay currently in place. 

Within the space of a few weeks, Plaintiff’s application of was again in front of the Supreme Court. 

Up next:



5 Personal Finance Lessons Gained from the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic was, or should I say is, one of the most devastating tragedies to strike the world. Fortunately, the world is starting to enter a new realm of “normalcy” that Americans have not quite experienced since 2019. Perhaps, you are starting to feel comfortable not wearing a mask in public or maybe you’re finally going back in the office to work alongside your favorite co-workers. Whatever that “normalcy” for you might be, you should take a second to look back on the pandemic. Remember the loved ones we lost and the loved ones we luckily still have with us. But also reflect on the effects of the pandemic. Did you struggle financially? Did you lose your job? Did you feel prepared for the pandemic? You are not alone. Regardless of your answers to the aforementioned questions, take a second to view what JUSTLAW attorneys have to say are the five biggest lessons they have gathered for themselves as a result of the pandemic.

  1. Set a budget for yourself and your family.

Sit down with your spouse and your family and prepare a weekly budget for everyone to follow. Doing so will help you ensure that any unexpected job loss, stock market decline, or loss of income will not negatively affect your finances. Plus teaching your children some valuable lessons on finances is never a bad thing!

  1. Appropriately manage your investments.

Diversify, diversify, diversify! Invest safely. Do not put all your money in risky investments. Place a significant pool of your money in safe investments and diversify those investments across a wide array of areas such as energy, tech, or any other area you have confidence in moving forward.

One lesson COVID-19 specifically taught us is that bonds are extremely safe and can even survive the worst earthly disasters such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

When the pandemic first started to affect Americans, the S&P 500 sunk by 34%. Despite that, a portfolio that was comprised of bonds aided numerous investors in staying financially sound. Moreover, many bond investors did not feel compelled to sell off their investments based off emotion, nerves, or worries over their new pandemic reality. Such a calmness and confidence provided these particular investors with bonds that outperformed the market during its worst results in years. Therefore, bond investors were able to pull the profits out of their appreciated bonds and invest them in widely undervalued stocks that had largely dipped due to the pandemic. This is a small example of how we can grasp lessons from the pandemic and apply them to our own lives for financial freedom.

However, keep in mind that bonds are meant to keep you safe and rarely should be utilized as a source of quick profits. Bonds should primarily be used to keep your money safe. Thus, if you are looking to build your money, enter the stock market. But remember, to always diversify!

  1. Set aside money for emergency use only.

This is such an important lesson to take away from the pandemic. An emergency fund does not have to be large and can simply be stored in a checking or savings account. The fund should only be used for situations where large cuts to your income would significantly lessen your spending. When emergency strikes, you will not have to worry about a lack of groceries, clothes, or essentials that every human needs for day to day life.

During the pandemic, many of those who lost their jobs had to wait weeks and, in some instances, months, for their unemployment benefits to kick in. Thus, while an emergency fund does not have to last you an entire pandemic, it can most certainly last you enough time to outlast a wait period in between a lost job and unemployment benefits.

  1. Monitor your credit score.

It is equally as important to always monitor your credit score and ensure it accurately reflects your finances. You never want to have a bad credit score. And if you do, it is time to start bulking it up. Credit scores represent your ability to pay and after the COVID-19 pandemic, ability to pay has never been so important.

  1. Create an Estate Plan.

What are you waiting for? Create a will! If you haven’t done so already, then perhaps the pandemic did not scare you enough. Every American, regardless of their age, needs a will. Life strikes fast, and unforeseen global pandemics spark when they are least expected. A lack of a will forces your estate into intestacy. Jump over here for a fantastic dive into intestacy and learn the very many reasons why you never want to hear your name and intestacy mentioned in the same sentence.

Bottom line is every American needs a will and among other documents, including a trust, living will, and a durable power of attorney.

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Do you have any other lessons you would like to share? Call or email us and tell us your story. We want to hear not just from our clients, but any and everyone. After all we are a public benefit corporation and so we want to ensure every American is protected and their personal finances are in order.



Attention Small Business Owners: Is it Time for your Business to Get Back in the Office?

If your business is still working remotely, it could potentially be time to get back to the office. In order to do so, small businesses must put together a robust reopening plan to properly address any and all concerns you or your employees may have. 


Employers who have returned their companies to the office have done so in a variety of ways. Some businesses have mandated their entire workforce to return. Others have asked employees to return, but have not mandated it. Another group of businesses have created flexible schedules where employees rotate on when they come to the office. Choosing which path to take, if any, is unique for each business. Therefore, keep reading to receive more insight on what your company should do. 

employee legal rights
Returning to the office


JUSTLAW has recently surpassed 1,000 small businesses enrolled in their small business legal protection plan. Thus, our small business members have asked two questions that I am sure all other small businesses are wondering as well: (1) Am I able to require all of my employees to return to the office? (2) Can I get in trouble for any employees who are infected with COVID-19 while at the office?


(1) Am I able to require all of my employees to return to the office?


The short and long answer is yes, but it may be dependent on your state’s laws. Generally, it is acceptable for employers to condition employment on a return to the office. Exceptions do apply to employees who have a specific reason as to why they cannot return. Those employees cannot be compelled to return to the office as a condition of employment. 


While it is true that employers generally are permitted to mandate a return to the office, subject to state laws, that does not mean all small businesses should. There are potential issues with returning: 


  1. Will you mandate that everyone has to get the vaccine?
  2. Is the office large enough to follow CDC guidelines and precautions? 
  3. Will your workforce feel safe returning? 
  4. Will your workforce productivity increase or decrease as a result of returning? 


These are all questions worth asking yourself before you mandate a return to the office. 


(2) Can I get in trouble for any employees who are infected with COVID-19 while at the office?


If an employee contracts COVID-19 in the office or an outbreak of COVID-19 occurs in the office, small businesses can be liable for workplace safety laws such as OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970


Are you providing your employees a safe working environment?


In order to protect against your business from liability of such occurrences, employers should have employees sign waivers. The waiver would state that the employee agrees to return to the office, provided that the employer provides employees with a safe work environment. 


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Clearly, the status of returning to the office for all businesses is still a question mark in the minds of most employers. JUSTLAW hopes this article has provided employers with some insight on whether or not your business can open up. 


JUSTLAW also urges small businesses to sign up for its small business legal protection plan. Continue your business with the legal security and comfort you need to be as productive as possible. 


Speak to a JUSTLAW attorney today to initiate your first consultation. 


This post is not legal advice. It is for general informational purposes only. No reader should rely on this information in any way whatsoever without first seeking legal advice. 


Covid-19 Vaccine, the Employers Perspective

It was only about a year ago that our pre-pandemic world changed, and employers everywhere sat up and took notice. Before March of 2020, going to work used to mean having a cup of coffee with a colleague and talking about the day. Good employees made every effort to get to work on time and do their job well. Good employers ensured their employees were safe and treated fairly. This was according to the brick-and-mortar business model we all took for granted. Then, Covid -19 hit the world.

At that point, all the rules seemed to change. A lot of confusion ensued about what was allowed and what was required. Vaccines became available and with them, a myriad of information. What was right to do? What was safe to do? What was legal? One of the biggest questions was about rights surrounding the vaccine. Did an employer have the right to require the vaccine for its workers? If an employer did not require it, could they face legal ramifications?

While this situation seemed uncertain and chaotic, the answer to this question was straightforward. Federal law states that employers do not have to require their workers to receive the Covid-19 vaccine because the vaccines are not licensed by the Food and Drug Administration. This means that employers can encourage employees to get the vaccine, but everyone has the option to accept or decline so they cannot require it.

Although this answer was straightforward, the issue of employer responsibility in the midst of Covid-19 is complex and multi-layered.

For example, while employers do not have to (and are not legally allowed to) require the vaccine, they do have to provide a safe working environment for all their workers. Employers have to show proof of providing reasonable accommodation for their employees such as remote work, protective gear, and social distancing. If these accommodations are not provided when there is a “direct threat”, then there could be legal trouble for the employer.


worker safety
Are you providing a safe working environment for your employees?


Under the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) describes the pandemic as a “direct threat” which is defined as “a significant risk of substantial harm to the health or safety of the individual or others that cannot be eliminated or reduced by reasonable accommodation.”

Evidence of providing reasonable accommodations is required and protects the employer. On the other hand, if reasonable accommodations present an undue hardship on the employer to run the business, then the employer can require the vaccine of its workers instead. This is where things get multi-layered.

This exception to the rule stands unless the employee has a medical reason not to have the vaccine. In this case the employer is required to provide reasonable accommodation for the employee and allow their employment to continue. In addition, religious beliefs preventing an employee from having the vaccine is a valid circumstance to not have it. In this case, the employee is protected by Title VII.

For an employer, liability exposure could come under ADA, Title VII, OSHA, or Tort Liability. With the ever-changing pandemic landscape, employers need to be constantly aware of new and evolving laws. The truth is this is not simple. Everything is still changing. It is also true that despite the world’s current situation, employers are not alone. There is help. For current guidance to employers, please read this CDC page.


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Speak to a JUSTLAW attorney today to initiate your first consultation and receive immediate advice as to whether to hire an employee or an independent contractor.

This post is not legal advice. It is for general informational purposes only. No reader should rely on this information in any way whatsoever without first seeking legal advice. 

COVID-19 Waivers: The Benefits and Drawbacks

COVID-19 has re-shaped the way Americans conduct business. In an age where masks, social distancing, and personal hygiene separate the sick from the healthy, we all have a responsibility to each other to be extremely careful in our daily lives. That same responsibility applies to businesses all over America, as we begin to withdraw from state quarantines. However, businesses have a valid concern of “COVID” liability with every hour of operation they are open to the public. If a customer, vendor, or other constituents contract COVID after visiting a business, they may sue that business or run to social media to damage the business’s reputation. JUSTLAW is deeply concerned about this unfair treatment of businesses. Therefore, we urge all businesses to draft COVID-19 waivers.

What is a contractual waiver?

Before we dive into COVID waivers, we should first introduce the concept of a waiver. Liability waivers are contractual provisions by which one party agrees to surrender their right to sue for particular injuries. Generally, liability waivers are governed by state law. Therefore, a waiver in New York may look entirely different from a waiver in Kentucky.

Ordinarily, businesses use liability waivers to protect themselves against customers, vendors, or other patrons who may come into contact with them for business purposes.

covid and business law

Why should businesses have a COVID-19 waiver?

As you open up for business in light of your local state governments lifting quarantine restrictions, you begin to open your business to liability. Therefore, all businesses should be mindful of the impact the spread of COVID at your business could have on your company. A COVID waiver would protect you from customers or vendors suing you for contracting COVID while they interacted with your business.

As a quick note, notice, we do not mention employees. You generally cannot contractually waive an employees right to sue you for COVID exposure. Employment law will, in most instances, pre-empt such a waiver.

How can you maximize your chances of an enforceable COVID-19 waiver?

  1. Understand your states’ laws on waivers
    States vary on how businesses can draft a valid COVID waiver. Therefore, be aware of the requirements for a valid waiver in your state.
  2. Clearly identify the waived claims
    To have a valid waiver, you should explicitly express the claims that a party is waiving. Therefore a valid COVID waiver should include explicit language on waiving any negligence on behalf of your business relating to COVID. Keep in mind, you customarily cannot waive gross negligence, a higher standard than ordinary negligence.
  3. Be as conspicuous as possible
    This is one of the most important factors in having an enforceable waiver. The more conspicuous a waiver, the more of a chance a party agreeing to a contract will notice the COVID waiver. To make the waiver as conspicuous as possible, try setting it apart from the rest of the contract, bolding the lettering of the waiver, putting the waiver in capital letters, requiring a special separate acknowledgment and signature for the waiver, or drafting the waiver with such a distinct textual effect that the reader cannot miss it. If you include some of the aforementioned tips above, no one can claim that they did not see the waiver.

What drawbacks should I be aware of if I plan to include a contractual provision for a COVID waiver?

While you have solved a major legal issue relating to COVID by drafting a COVID-19 waiver, you may take on a business risk. If you use a COVID waiver, you could potentially damage relationships with vendors or push away customers. Do they begin to lose your trust if you have them sign such a waiver? Something to keep in mind if you begin to consider such.

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COVID waivers are starting to become more and more common for businesses in America, amidst the pandemic. If you want to join those businesses in having COVID waivers, let JUSTLAW help you in effectively drafting such a waiver.

In addition, check out a sample waiver that JUSTLAW attorneys could potentially use for your business:


I acknowledge the contagious and dangerous nature of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 and that the CDC and many other public health authorities still recommend social distancing. I further acknowledge that ________ has put preventative procedures in place to curtail the spread of the Coronavirus/COVID-19. I further acknowledge that ______ can not guarantee that I will not become infected with the Coronavirus/Covid-19. I understand that the risk of becoming exposed to and/or infected by the Coronavirus/COVID-19 may result from the actions, omissions, or negligence of myself and
others, including, but not limited to, employees, other customers, and their families. I voluntarily seek the products and/or services provided by _____ and acknowledge that I am increasing my risk to exposure to the Coronavirus/COVID-19.

I authenticate that:

      • – I am not experiencing any symptoms of illness, not limited to the following, such as


      • cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, repeated shaking with


    • chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell.
    • – I have not traveled internationally within the last 14 days.
    • – I have not traveled to a highly impacted area within the United States of America in the last 14 days.
    • – I do not believe I have been exposed to someone with a suspected and/or confirmed case of the Coronavirus/COVID-19.
    • – I have not been diagnosed with Coronavirus/Covid-19 and not yet cleared as noncontagious by state or local public health authorities.
    • – I am following all CDC recommended guidelines as much as possible and limiting my exposure to the Coronavirus/COVID-19.

I hereby release and agree to hold _____ harmless from, and waive on behalf of myself, my heirs, and any personal representatives any and all causes of action, claims, demands, damages, costs, expenses and compensation for damage or loss to myself and/or property that may be caused by any act, or failure to act of the salon, or that may otherwise arise in any way in connection with any services received from _____. I understand that this release discharges _______ from any liability or claim that I, my heirs, or any personal representatives may have against the salon with respect to any bodily injury, illness, death, medical treatment, or property damage that may arise from, or in connection to, any services received from __________. This liability waiver and release extends to the salon together with all owners, partners, and employees.