PAYNE adv DETR

Amethyst Payne v State of Nevada ex rel Nevada Department of Employment Training and Rehabilitation, Case No. CV20-0075 (filed Second Judicial District Court of the State of Nevada in and for the County of Washoe, May 13, 2020)

Haga clic para leer en español: CARTA A LOS DEMANDANTES DE DETR

Case Update January 5 2020

Thierman Buck does not represent individuals in cases against DETR, Thierman Buck does not represent claimants on appeals, and there are no pending motions awaiting hearing at the Second Judicial District Court level.

Although we continue to receive correspondence from Nevadans who are suffering terribly due to DETR’s practices and policies related to payment of CARES Act benefits, the attorneys at Thierman Buck do not anticipate filing any additional motions until such time that the Supreme Court of the State of Nevada decides whether to hear Plaintiffs’ appeal. Briefing at the Nevada Supreme Court level will not be completed until mid-February and no argument date has been set. We are exclusively working on our papers for the Nevada Supreme Court.

CONTEMPT HEARINGS – Second Judicial District Court

These hearings were specific only to claimants who had been issued at least one payment but payments were stopped.  On December 3, 2020, after an eight-hour evidentiary hearing, the Honorable Judge Breslow held DETR in Contempt of Court and required DETR to start paying about 9,000 persons who had start/stops by December 24, 2020.  The entire December 3, 2020 hearing can be viewed below.

At the follow-up hearing held on December 31, 2020, Judge Breslow found that DETR was no longer in contempt of court after DETR asserted it had paid some 6,000 claimants.  Judge Breslow found that through such payment DETR had “demonstrate[d] substantial compliance with the prior order of mandate.”  The entire December 31, 2020 hearing can be viewed below.

While we are extremely disappointed in Judge Breslow’s determination, the profound suffering claimants continue to suffer due to DETR’s inability to make prompt eligibility determinations (whether UI or PUA), get people paid, pay back pay and federal weekly boost, provide for timely appeals, as well as staff the call centers with people who can actually help claimants, are problems that DETR refuses to rectify.  These issues are addressed in the appeal to the Supreme Court of Nevada and Thierman Buck will continue to utilize the pending appeal in an effort to get DETR to pay all eligible claimants.   

WHERE CLAIMANTS STAND

You must continue to BE YOUR OWN BEST ADVOCATE by: 

  1. Carefully reading all previous updates found at the bottom of this page.  There is a wealth of information, tips, and answers to many questions we continue to receive that are addressed in these Case Updates as well as through media reports found In The News section of this website.
  2. Keeping records of everything on your portal.  Review your portal daily and screen shot or take a photo with your phone any changes for use in appeal or further discussion with DETR.
  3. If you believe DETR has failed to pay you any portion of the benefits you are eligible for (UI, PUA, FPUC ($600), LW ($300)) or is now asking for those payments to be repaid, file an appeal.  Information on how to file an appeal can be found in the October 20, 2020 update, below.
  4. We understand that people who filed their appeals in July have just begun to receive reviews. We are also aware that DETR is dismissing appeals on the grounds that the claimant had or is receiving payment under some other program.  If this is not true, appeal the denial of the appeal.  Court action may be the only recourse. Again, Thierman Buck is not taking these cases at this ti
  5. We encourage you to find other counsel to take your individual case.  You should also tell your story to the media and elected officials.  Thierman Buck has put all DETR briefs online for you and other lawyers to reference.  These are public documents, and we claim no copyright in the text.  We sincerely want to see all eligible claimants paid promptly and properly. 

NEW LEGISLATION AND OVERPAYMENTS

We do not have any additional information specific to when DETR will be accepting claims, or how they will be processed under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, specifically under the “Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act of 2020.”  According to an interview in the Nevada Independent dated December 22, 2020 with Barbara Buckley of the Governor’s Strike Force, there will likely be a gap in coverage.   

The new legislation does provided some key benefits.  First, it provides for an extension of benefits from 39 weeks to 50 weeks.  Second, it provides for the state agency (here, DETR) to waive overpayments if it determines that: (A) the payment of such pandemic unemployment assistance was without fault on the part of any such individual; and (B) such repayment would be contrary to equity and good conscience.  What this means is that DETR can waive repayment for claimants who have (A) made innocent as opposed to willful misrepresentations when filing a claim for benefits, and (B) it should not require repayment due to an underlying reason such as DETR’s own errors.   

Do not pay back overpayments unless you were paid twice or made a willful misrepresentation in your claim  Appeal the overpayment decision.  Again, acting as your own best advocate, keeping track of your portal, and staying engaged with DETR through telephone calls and pending appeals is crucial If your first appeal is denied, appeal to the Board of Review.  If that appeal is denied you can appeal directly to the district court in the county in which you reside.

DON’T BE IGNORED

All of us at Thierman Buck understand that many Nevadans have lost homes, no longer have access to a computer, can’t pay cell phone bills, let alone buy food or care for themselves or family members due to the failure of DETR to get eligible claimants federally mandated benefits in a prompt fashionIf you are one of these people, we suggest reaching out to your local news agency as well as lodging a complaint with your state congressional members, and your federal congressional members.  The Nevada State Legislature will be back in session February 1, 2021.  These people, as well as DETR, serve you! Don’t let them ignore you.  

Governor Steve Sisolak: http://gov.nv.gov/Forms/Share/  (775) 684-5670 or (702) 486-2500 

Nevada State Senate: https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/Legislator/A/Senate 

Nevada States Assemblyhttps://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/Legislator/A/Assembly/  

Nevada Senators: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/NV#senators 

Nevada Representatives: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/NV#representatives 

ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • Thierman Buck does not have contact information for Barbara Buckley and does not have a relationship with her professional or otherwise.
  • Thierman Buck cannot put you in contact with Second Judicial District Judge Barry Breslow and he does not accept correspondence from individuals who are part of cases before him.
  • The Special Master’s job is complete and he is no longer accepting correspondence from individuals related to the DETR case.
  • Thierman Buck is unaware of any other Nevada attorneys, other than legal aid, who are taking unemployment benefit cases and thus cannot refer you to an attorney.  However, if you find an attorney who wants to represent more individuals against DETR, please share their contact information.  You must assume that there will be a fee for this representation, whether directly or by virtue of the civil rights statutes.
  • At the completion of all court hearings and just prior to the close of the case, Thierman Buck will file a request for attorneys’ fees and costs as allowed under the law.  Any award of attorneys’ fees will be at the sole discretion of Judge Breslow.  No portion of any court approved fees will come out of claimants’ unemployment or CARES Act benefits. It will, if granted, be paid by the Defendant, DETR.
  • Thierman Buck does not know of any attorneys who practice in this area in other states to refer you too, but again, if you hear of some, please share.

Attached Files:

Case Updates

Helpful Resources

We want to provide some resources to turn to in these difficult times. If you are feeling there is no where to turn to and/or you feel you cannot keep yourself safe please reach out to:

Crisis Support Services of Nevada

Crisis Support Services of Nevada’s mission is to provide 24/7, free, confidential, and caring support to people in crisis.

Nevada 211 (resource directory)

2-1-1 services include places to find emergency food, housing and emergency shelter locations, children’s services, support for seniors, older persons, and people with disabilities, and mental health and counseling services, among many others.

Food Pantries

Southern Nevada

Emergency Food Distribution
(walk up or drive thru)

Northern Nevada

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