December 2019 Newsletter

COMMUNITY LEGAL SERVICES OF PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, INC.

By Nora C. Eidelman, Deputy Director

NBC4 Food 4 Families Partnership

CLS was proud to partner for a second year with NBC4’s Food 4 Families to help local families in need this past Thanksgiving. CLS distributed 100 turkeys and sides to 100 families in need in Prince George’s County. This helped put food on the table for hundreds of parents, caretakers, children and extended families. The recipients expressed immense gratitude. As participants in the NBC4 Food 4 Families Campaign, representatives from partner organizations, including CLS Deputy Director, Nora Eidelman were featured in an interview with Pat Muse of NBC4 to discuss our services and the impact of our Food 4 Families Thanksgiving Turkey partnerships.

Domestic Violence Grant Program Award

We are pleased to announce that the Prince George’s County Domestic Violence Grant Program has awarded CLS $45,000 for our Domestic Violence Legal Wellness Program (DVLWP). This is the third year the County has funded this program. Our DVLWP provides holistic legal services to victims of domestic violence including safety planning, legal advice, and representation in protective and peace orders, divorce, custody and other family law matters, advice and referrals for housing, guardianship, bankruptcy and foreclosure support. Potential clients who may need our services may call 240-391-6532, ext. 3.

Expungement Clinic Events

CLS continues to partner with our local Bar Associations, churches, elected officials and other community stakeholders to hold expungement clinic events throughout Prince George’s County. At the Veterans Stand Down and Homeless Resource Day held at the Prince George’s County Sports and Learning Complex on November 2, 2019, we served 23 clients and prepared expungement forms for 66 charges. On November 9, we held an expungement event at Shiloh Baptist Church of Landover, co-sponsored by Maryland State Delegate Erek Barron (Dist. 24) and the Prince George’s County Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), serving 29 clients with 87 charges. This service helps reduce barriers to employment and housing that some of our county residents face. Persons needing assistance with expungements do not need to wait until the next clinic event is held; they can visit one of our law clinics to receive assistance with expunging and shielding eligible cases. For a list of all CLS clinics, please visit https://www.clspgc.org/what-we-do/clinics/

Our Failure to Pay Rent Tenant Representation Program

Attorneys can sign up to help families avoid wrongful evictions in our Failure to Pay Rent Program. Training & Stipend is Available. Attorneys will provide same day representation to tenants in Prince George’s County Rent Court, located at Hyattsville District Court. CLS provides training, malpractice insurance coverage, mentoring, and support to our volunteers. Out-of-state attorneys are welcomed. Representing Tenants in Prince George’s County Rent Court training, in partnership with the Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland, is available on line at www.pbrc.org. The training includes Landlord/Tenant rules and perspectives, issue spotting in Failure to Pay Rent complaints, and practical advice for handling cases. If you wish to take this training or have questions about the program, please contact Kayla Williams, Esq. at williams@clspgc.org. Participating attorneys must commit to

volunteer to staff two clinics or take two landlord/tenant cases within one year of completing the training. Beyond this volunteer commitment, a stipend of $100* will be provided to attorneys in exchange for their representation. *per docket. Funding for this program is provided by Maryland Legal Services Corporation (MLSC).

Our Monthly Foreclosure Prevention Training on the last Monday of the month, will be held on November 25, 2019, at 2:00 PM. The training will focus on foreclosure and bankruptcy. Please RSVP to Nora Eidelman at 240-391-6532, ext. 5 or eidelman@clspgc.org. Trainings will be held at 6301 Ivy Lane, Suite 720, Greenbelt, MD 20770.

Funding Available for Representation in Foreclosure Prevention

CLS has funding for attorneys representing clients in Prince George’s County through our Foreclosure Prevention Program. CLS has expanded our Foreclosure Prevention project to provide paid hours to attorneys accepting cases for representation in foreclosure defense cases, post-foreclosure Motions for Surplus, tenants in foreclosures, as well foreclosure mediation. In foreclosure prevention cases, the funding provides attorneys $80.00 an hour and up to thirty hours of representation. Funds include representation at judicial proceedings, mediation preparation, representation at mediation, and negotiations. Additionally, funding is available for bankruptcy chapter 7, and other legal actions that may help the client save his home. If you are interested in being added to our foreclosure volunteer attorney pool, or require additional information, please contact Michael Udejiofor at 240-391-6532, ext. 1 or udejiofor@clspgc.org. Training, mentoring and malpractice insurance is provided. Funding is available from a generous grant provided by MLSC.

Civil Cases Available for Attorneys and Other Volunteer Opportunities

Through our Lawyer Referral Program, we refer income eligible clients to attorneys for representation in their domestic cases. Judicare funding pays the attorneys’ fees. Attorneys receive $100.00 per hour with a cap of $3,000 per case. The billing process with CLS allows you to bill twice during the life of the case. MLSC reimburses CLS for your billed time. As a result, a slight delay in Judicare payments should be anticipated. This funding program is administered by MLSC with funds from the Administrative Office of the Courts. For more information about MSLC and the Judicare program, please visit https://www.mlsc.org/.

CLS also has volunteer opportunities at our Brief Advice clinics. Expand and grow your practice by volunteering around your schedule.

CLS clients have limited means but have real legal issues that require representation. Help CLS bridge the Access to Justice Gap by taking Judicare or Pro bono cases. CLS provides our volunteer attorneys training, mentoring, access to a litigation fund, monthly practitioner’s clinics, and malpractice insurance. To learn more about our opportunities, please contact Nora Eidelman, at 240-391-6532, ext. 5.

Are you interested in building your practice by adding Protective and Peace Orders?

Training is available. CLS’s domestic violence program places protective order and peace order petitioners and respondents with attorneys. CLS will provide mentoring to help you prepare

your case. You will also be able to shadow one of staff attorneys during Protective and Peace Order hearings. If you are interested or have any questions, please email Catrina Aquilino, Esq. at aquilino@clspgc.org

Free Estate Planning Services for Income-Eligible Adults of Any Age

CLS now provides free estate planning services for income-eligible county residents. Our staff attorney is available to prepare wills, advanced medical directives and power of attorney documents. To schedule an appointment, please call 240-391-6532, ext. 8.

Community Legal Services of Prince George’s County, Inc. (CLS) is a non-profit organization established to provide quality civil legal services to low-income residents of Prince George’s County. CLS provides direct legal services through the generous contributions by members of the private bar. Additionally, CLS operates free Brief Advice Clinics throughout the County, including in the Prince George’s County Circuit Court, Room 2435 M, the Prince George’s County Multi-Services Center in Langley Park, and in Suitland’s Windsor Crossings Apartments. For referrals of low-income residents of Prince George’s County to CLS programs, our hotline is 240-391-6370. Intake is Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm., online applications are available at www.clspgc.org. For more information about our services, please contact Nora C. Eidelman, at 240-391-6532, ext. 5.

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