How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask melissamesq Your Own Question
melissamesq, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 157
Experience:  Represent clients to maximum recovery in employment cases.
Type Your California Employment Law Question Here...
melissamesq is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I need to file a Writ of Mandate. I was awarded $6,000 in unemployment

Customer Question

I need to file a Writ of Mandate. I was awarded $6,000 in unemployment benefits and the employer appealed the decision. I had to appear via phone since I now live in NC. During the 2nd appeal the employer lied despite my pages and pages of proof and the judge awarded them. I did not fight that because I was simply worn out and scared, but when I received a letter I now owe back the $6,000 I wrote to appeal that decision. I used all I had to live on while moving back and job hunting and I am not in the wrong. I did receive a letter about a date to appear but the letter came after the date to appear. I wrote to reopen and please allow more time however the 2nd letter again came after the date to call in to appear. They are now denying to hear the case saying I "failed to appear", which I would have if I knew of the date prior. I am unsure what to do at this point and really need legal help. Please advise.
Troubled and scared
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Fran-mod replied 4 years ago.
Hi, I'm a moderator for this topic. I've been working hard to find a professional to assist you right away, but sometimes finding the right professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you. Thank you!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hello. I can wait, I have a little time, thank you. Also since I am in NC and this is in Cali I would like to find an attorney (if possible) to represent me, however I can only pay if we win so not sure it works like that as it does for PI. Either way I truly appreciate any guidance you can provide. This entire situation is something I want behind me.


Amanda Hagood

Expert:  Fran-mod replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your continued patience. We will continue the search for a professional for you.
Expert:  melissamesq replied 4 years ago.

Welcome! I am here to educate and help you. Please positively rate my answers, including follow ups, so that I may get credit for my work. Thank you!

Hello and thank you for contacting JA. I see that your question has not been answered, so I would like to try to help you. I am a practicing CA employment law attorney, but the site rules prevent us experts from giving customers our contact information, or referring other attorneys. I am sorry about that, but it is JA policy and no expert can circumvent it without violating the terms of service! With that said, I want to give you some links that are helpful in your situation. Since this matter was already heard by the CA Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, and a decision rendered in your absence, the next step will be to take this to the superior court for a ruling. In order to do so, you must draft a Writ of Mandamus (Mandate), a copy of which is accessible at the following link:

This is another link to helpful information, specifically details on the writ, and links to copies and case law: ?session=133339N36KE60.183&profile=scl&source=~!horizon&view=subscriptionsummary&uri=full=3100001~!16964~!2&ri=14&aspect=subtab13&menu=search&ipp=20&spp=20&staffonly=&term=California+Administrative+Mandamus&index=.TW&uindex=&aspect=subtab13&menu=search&ri=14#focus

Unfortunately, your question is very fact intensive, and I am limited in my ability to help you online, other than to direct you to resources that will guide you in the preparation of the writ and the steps to take to argue your case. The other advice would be to retain an attorney in CA, but I understand that you need a contingency fee plan. Not alot of attorneys will handle this sort of case on contingency, because drafting a writ can take hours, and appearing will take more hours, and you see the point. However, you can look into county Legal Aid, or contact the State Bar of CA. Either entity can guide/refer you to attorneys who may be able to help you in full or limited capacity.

In the meantime, I want to offer the following information: a writ of mandate is a court order telling someone to someone to do something; in your case, you'd be asking the court to tell Employment Development Department to give you unemployment benefits. (Mandamus is Latin for mandate.) You would have to file a petition for a Writ of Mandate, asking the court to issue a writ. The writ petition must include a sworn statement of facts and a legal argument explaining why EDD made the wrong decision. There are also specific requirements for the way a writ petition is formatted.
Because a writ is complicated and not something that anyone can explain sufficiently only, I would suggest a trip to the local law library. Every court must have one, and law schools and universities often have law libraries that are open to the public. There will be many books and volumes explaining the issue in greater detail.
Unfortunately, it would probably cost more to hire a lawyer for the writ than you would get in unemployment benefits if you won.

As a brief primer, "either the employer or claimant can appeal an EDD decision. This "first level" appeal is heard by an administrative law judge (ALJ) in the California Office of Appeals, who will issue a written decision.
After this first level appeal, any dissatisfied party (or the EDD itself) can make a "second level" appeal to the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board (CUIAB). After hearing, the CUIAB will issue a written decision.

At that point, any dissatisfied party can file a Petition for Writ of Mandate with the Superior Court. For information on the writ process, see our Legal Resource Guide on Writs of Administrative Mandate."

I sure hope this information gives you some guidance on your situation. My goal is to help customers, and I sincerely wish you the best in this regard and beyond. If I can help you in any other way, please click reply to expert and I will respond again.

I only ask that you kindly rate me positively, otherwise I will not receive any credit for my work. Thanks and take care.


Related California Employment Law Questions