Baumgarten Law is Available to Help During the COVID-19 Pandemic


We have been closely monitoring the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and we are adjusting the way that we interact with our clients, the community, and the court system as necessary. However, given our investment in state-of-the-art technology, our ability to serve our clients will not change.

Can I still seek legal representation while courts are closed?

Absolutely. Our firm utilizes advanced technologies that allow us to work remotely. Our secure cloud-based case management system allows us to access all of our files and records from anywhere in the world. We already file documents with courts electronically, so our filing and matter management systems will not change.

During this period of social-distancing, we can meet with clients and potential clients by phone or video chat, sign documents securely over cell phones and computers, and continue providing our clients with access to justice from the comfort of their own home.

If you have a pending criminal case in Whitman, Asotin, Latah, or Nez Perce counties, now is a great time to attempt to negotiate a settlement of your case. As prosecutors are faced with a logjam of cases due to court closures, we anticipate that they will offer more lenient settlement offers.

How can I receive a legal consultation by phone or video?

Simply give us a call at (509) 339-7102 or fill out our contact form online and schedule your free case evaluation with one of our attorneys.

Are courts still open?

Our courts are still open, but most hearings will happen only by phone at least until April 24, 2020.

Will I Have to Pay Rent During This Crisis?

Yes and No.  Washington’s Governor Has Declared a Moratorium on residential evictions based on non-payment of rent.

On March 18, 2020 Governor Jay Inslee declared a 30 day moratorium on residential evictions based on non-payment of rent. The moratorium currently extends through April 17, 2020. It is unknown whether the Governor will extend that moratorium further.

The moratorium prohibits landlords from serving eviction notices, filing new court cases for eviction, and even from pursuing existing non-payment eviction cases that have already been filed. Law enforcement is prohibited from serving non-payment eviction notices and related court orders during the moratorium. A copy of Governor Inslee’s Moratorium is here.

Three main points to note:

  1. The moratorium does not forbid evictions based on other violations of a lease or rental agreement. Only evictions based on non-payment of rent are prohibited.
  2. The Governor’s moratorium does not forgive or discharge tenants’ rental payment obligations. Tenants still owe their landlords any and all unpaid rent that accrues during the moratorium.
  3. Once the moratorium is ended, landlords can legitimately pursue eviction actions once more, and any rent payments that were not made during the moratorium will be included.

In summary, the Governor’s order will keep a roof over your head -- for now -- even if you have lost your job and cannot pay your rent on time. But, ultimately, the Governor’s order does not mean you get to live in your home or apartment or condo for free. If you do not pay your rent the debt will still be there, waiting patiently, when this crisis subsides and the Governor’s order expires.

Pay your rent if you can, as always. Stay safe. Care for your family, your friends, and your neighbors.

What Are the Consequences of Violating Governor Inslee's "Stay at Home" Order?

It is a gross misdemeanor criminal offense to willfully violate certain orders made by the Governor during a State of Emergency.  A gross misdemeanor is punishable by up to 364 days in jail and/or a fine of $5,000.  See RCW 43.06.220

In an effort to serve our community during this time of need, Baumgarten Law Offices PLLC is offering free phone consultations to anyone who is impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. If we aren’t able to answer your questions, we will do our best to put you in touch with someone who can.

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