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Resources for Coronavirus

Last Modified: 05/15/2020

Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida, Inc. is closely monitoring the latest updates on the COVID-19 Coronavirus and how it is affecting the state of Florida.  We are taking necessary precautions to ensure the health and well-being of our clients, staff, and communities. At this time all our office locations are closed to the public. We do remain available to our clients via the HELPline1-800-405-1417 and our website chat and intake forms available on this website. Our goal is to not disrupt services to our clients, and we are prepared to meet that challenge. 

If you have any questions or concerns about your pending litigation, please reach out to your legal representative for further updates. Access to our phones and emails will not be disrupted. You can also find updates on our Social Media pages. 

Here’s the link to the new CLSMF Facebook page. 

Here’s the link to our Twitter feed. 

PHASE 1 OF REOPENING FLORIDA

Home Order until Monday, May 4. At that point, the new Executive Order will maintain limitations on the movements of persons except for those business and services that are currently open and those business that reopen at 25% building occupancy.

FAQs for Executive Order 20-112

Highlights:

  • Takes effect Monday, May 4, 2020 at 12:01 a.m
  • Executive Order 20-91 (Stay at Home) is extended until 12:01 a.m. Monday, May 4
  • In effect statewide except for Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach
  • Do not contain a preemption on local rules where those rules restrict or close businesses or buildings
  • all medical services may fully re-open even if unrelated to COVID-19
  • Senior citizens and individuals with significant medical conditions may leave their homes to obtain open services or conduct open activities
  • Visits to nursing homes and long-term care facilities remain in place
  • Airport screening and isolation for visitors from highly affected COVID-19 areas is still in effect
  • Executive Order 20-112 still requires appropriate social distancing and limits groups to 10 people or fewer. Regulated businesses should adhere to agency guidance. Additionally, businesses should consult with the most up-to-date Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance.
  • Restaurants can reopen with 25% capacity indoors with full outdoor seating.
  • On-site sale and retail businesses will be allowed to operate at 25 percent occupancy
  • Bars, nightclubs and gyms will remain closed
  • Personal care services such as barbershops and salons with close contact should remain closed except for with on-site retail sales portion
  • Does not mandate the use of masks but directs employees and employers should consult CDC guidance
  • Schools will continue to use “distance learning” from home.

*If you have questions about the meaning of these orders, please contact the CLSMF HELPline or apply for services online.*

COURTS AND GOVERNMENT OFFICE INFORMATION

Courthouses and government offices across the state are minimizing operations to reduce the impact and spread of COVID-19. Public access is very limited and some non-essential court proceedings may have been suspended or postponed.

Due to the fast-changing situation, we encourage you to access updated information about available services, administrative and court proceedings by contacting or visiting the websites for your local Clerk of Court or other offices.

During the emergency, the Florida Supreme Court will be issuing statewide emergency orders setting the larger framework for the statewide emergency response.

*As of 4/22/20, the most recent order by the Supreme Court was issued on 4/6/20 and will be in effect through 5/29/20. See AOSC20-23 – Order extending COVID emergency procedures through May

Keep in mind that these statewide orders will be supplemented by local orders issued by authorities in each of the counties and in each of the appeals courts. For information on these more specific local orders, please check the links listed on the tabs below for each circuit and county.

Clerk of Court Offices: Check for available services (filing documents, payments, etc.) and updates from your local Clerk of Courts Office by calling or checking their website before showing up in person.

If you have questions about the meaning of these orders, please contact the CLSMF HELPline or apply for services online.

    • Evictions and Foreclosures (see tabs below for more info)
    • Parenting during COVID-19 (see tabs below for more info)

If you have questions about the meaning of these orders, please contact the CLSMF HELPline or apply for services online.

COVID-19 Admin Orders *Check Seventh Circuit website for updated orders

    • Evictions and Foreclosures (see tabs below for more info)
    • Parenting during COVID-19 (see tabs below for more info)

If you have questions about the meaning of these orders, please contact the CLSMF HELPline or apply for services online.

If you have questions about the meaning of these orders, please contact the CLSMF HELPline or apply for services online.

If you have questions about the meaning of these orders, please contact the CLSMF HELPline or apply for services online.

Social Security Offices are closed to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can still get help by using online services or calling them.

You can do most of your business with SSA online. Before calling them, please visit their website to see a list of self-service options.

If you cannot use their online services, they may be able to help with certain critical issues by phone and mail. Please see “How will SSA help me by phone?”.

See  Social Security Administration COVID-19 page for the most updated information.

Federal courts are working with state and local health officials to gather local information about the coronavirus (COVID-19), and some have issued orders relating to court business, operating status, and public and employee safety.

View a list of links to all federal court websites and links to court orders, court operations, and other information.

See Florida Middle District website for the most updated information.

If you have questions about the meaning of these orders, please contact the CLSMF HELPline or apply for services online.

To get answers to questions about coronavirus and how VA is responding, visit their Coronavirus FAQs page or read VA’s public health response.

Informational links:

According to the FDOR website:

“To minimize exposure to COVID-19 and help protect visitors and employees, all Department of Revenue offices in Florida are temporarily closed to the public at this time. The Department offers alternative options for Child Support customers. Taxpayers should visit the General Tax Administration Program COVID-19 webpage for more information. Property taxpayers should contact their county property appraisers and tax collectors for information.”

Child Support Offsets:

The CARES Act includes direct payments to qualifying individuals. Federal law requires the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to offset these payments when past-due child support is owed. The earliest DOR will receive and process the amounts offset by the IRS is May 1, 2020. Learn more by visiting DOR’s Economic Impact Payment Offsets page.

Property and Sales Taxes:

The Department of Revenue has issued emergency orders pertaining to property tax and sales tax due dates. Please visit the Media page for more information. For more information regarding sales tax due dates, visit the General Tax Administration Program COVID-19 webpage.

COMMON LEGAL ISSUES RELATED TO COVID-19

During this time, some parents may find it challenging to continue to perform their duties and responsibilities of co-parenting in compliance with court orders. Parents are expected to follow and honor the time-sharing schedule in place and are prohibited from unreasonably restricting the other parent from access to a child. The courts may order sanctions against a non-compliant party but immediate relief from the courts will only be available under circumstances where there could be harm to the child.

(As of 4/24/20)

*If you have questions about the meaning of these orders, please contact the CLSMF HELPline or apply for services online.*

 

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, states and federal government have expanded protections to tenants facing eviction and homeowners facing foreclosure.

Tenants who are facing evictions based on non-payment of rent are currently being afforded additional protections than tenants that are facing evictions for reasons unrelated to payment of rent.

Some local Circuits and Counties are offering broader protections to all tenants and occupants regardless of the grounds for removal. See sections below for more details.

PDF Version of COVID-19 Eviction Brochure with flowchart

Local Orders with additional protections:

Suspension of Foreclosures and Residential Evictions (non-payment) 

On 4/2/20, Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-94 suspending mortgage foreclosures and evictions related to non-payment of rent for 45 days (through 5/17/20).  

*If you have questions about the meaning of these orders, please contact the CLSMF HELPline or apply for services online.* 

Suspension of Writs of Possession until 5/29/20: 

If a Plaintiff (landlord or mortgage holder) wins the case and gets a judgment for possession, the court will issue a final 24-hour notice called a “writ of possession” which is given to the sheriff to post on the defendant’s home and if necessary, forcibly evict the tenants. The Florida Supreme Court entered an order suspending issuance of Writs of Possession until 5/29/20.  

Mortgage Payments?  

The order doesn’t excuse or relieve an individual’s obligation to make mortgage payments and rent payments. Falling behind on payments can still lead to losing ownership or possession of your home once the moratorium is lifted. See our COVID-19 Related Resources section for more information related to protecting your finances and supplementing loss of income.  

A new NCLC Digital Library article explains new protections for homeowners having difficulty making mortgage payments—both those covered by the CARES Act and the millions who are not. The article includes:

 *If you have questions about the meaning of these orders, please contact the CLSMF HELPline or apply for services online.* 

COVID-19 RELATED RESOURCES

You may be eligible to receive economic impact payment from the IRS. For more information and the latest updates, visit IRS.gov

See CPFB’s A guide to COVID-19 economic stimulus relief.

If you have lost your job due to layoff caused by Coronavirus, visit the Healthcare Marketplace to figure out if you might be eligible to enroll in a new health insurance plan. 

Benefits.gov is an online resource to help you find federal benefits you may be eligible for in the United States. 

*Additional local resources may be available. Please check with your local government websites.*

FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH COVID-19 INFORMATION 

For the most up-to-date information, go to:  www.FloridaHealth.gov/COVID-19. 

The Florida Dept. of Health’s COVID-19 Call Center is 1 (866) 779-6121 and is open 24/7 or you can email [email protected]  with your questions. 

  • Florida Department of Health Orange County COVID-19 Information 
  • In support of the state’s efforts, the Florida Department of Health in Orange County (DOH-Orange) has established a Coronavirus Call Center phone number for Orange County, Florida residents. The phone number is 407-723-5004. 
  • The DOH-Orange Call Center is available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Centers for Disease Control:  https://bit.ly/2W4YLEt
World Health Organization:  https://bit.ly/2WfdCMq
City of Orlando: Orlando.gov/covid19
Florida Bar https://www.floridabar.org/news/releases/covid19/  

Visit the Food and Drug Administration website for the most up to date details about COVID-19 in the U.S. 

Federal, state, and local governments are working to respond to the growing public health threat of coronavirus, or COVID-19. The CFPB and other financial regulators have encouraged financial institutions to work with their customers to meet their community needs.

Additionally, the CFPB is providing consumers with up-to-date information and resources to protect and manage their finances during this difficult time as the situation evolves.

 

 

FOR ADVOCATES AND ATTORNEYS

Our volunteer attorneys are a valuable resource to help us meet our clients’ needs especially during these difficult times. We ask for your continued assistance to our community. There are several ways to participate and give of your time. Please contact a member of our Pro Bono team for more details or visit our Pro Bono informational page to sign up to serve.

Contact email: [email protected] 

Statewide Admin Orders from the Florida Supreme Court with highlights: 

  • Suspended Issuance of writs of possession through 4/20/20 
  • Suspended requirement that some Florida Family Law Forms be notarized  
  • Extended prior Order suspending other procedural requirements through 4/17/20  

Circuit and County Admin Orders with highlights 

  • Foreclosure Sales scheduled to occur through 3/27/20 have been cancelled. 
  • Suspended most civil proceedings until April 15, 2020 except for injunctions which will proceed via video-conferencing or telephonic calls.  
  • Suspended all eviction, ejectment or writs of possession, unlawful detainers proceedings including the initial paperwork until April 15, 2020. 
  • Suspended all foreclosure sales, hearings and nonjury trials have been suspended until April 15, 2020.  

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