February 2020 Newsletter

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

By Nora C. Eidelman, Deputy Director

 

A Custody Success Story

A client called our office distraught seeking legal advice and representation after losing custody of her child through an Emergency Custody hearing. At the Emergency Hearing, the client’s Husband, who was also the child’s Father, alleged that the child, the client, and the client’s boyfriend were all sleeping in the same bed. The client denied these allegations and believed that her small child was at risk of being sexually abused by her Father, who had sexually abused the client’s oldest daughter in the past. CLS assigned a volunteer attorney to represent the client.  After several months of dedicated work by this attorney, the Court denied opposing party’s Emergency Motion for Immediate Relief, and the client was awarded sole legal and physical custody of the minor child, along with child support. The client recently called our office to express her appreciation for our services and all the great work her attorney did.

 

Sign up to help families avoid wrongful evictions in our Failure to Pay Rent Tenant Representation Program. Training & Stipend is Available. 

CLS is seeking attorneys to 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. We held a training this past November, Representing Tenants in Prince George’s County Rent Court, in partnership with the Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland, which is now available on line.  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 Next Estate Planning Clinic for Income Eligible Seniors – Ages 60 and Over

Thursday, March 21, 2019, 10 AM – 3 PM

Greenbelt Municipal Center

25 Crescent Road, Greenbelt, MD 20770

 

Space is limited and reservations are required. To register call 443-703-3052.  Attorneys will be available to prepare wills, advance medical directives, and power of attorney documents for income eligible clients.

 

CLS Monthly Foreclosure Prevention Training – Last Wednesday of Every Month

Our next monthly training will be held on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 at 2:00 pm. Join us for a presentation regarding foreclosure related cases and speak with an experienced foreclosure attorney.  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.

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 the Maryland Legal Services Corporation (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’s domestic violence program places protective order and peace order petitioners and respondents with attorneys. A limited funding of up to $500 per case is available for attorneys providing representation in these cases.

 

CLS encourages attorneys to take pro bono cases. CLS has requests for landlord tenant attorneys, wills attorneys, and attorneys for additional civil legal cases. CLS can place cases with attorneys based on the attorney’s preferred case type.

 

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 C. Eidelman, at 240-391-6532, ext. 5.

 

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 Maryland Legal Services Corporation (MLSC).

 

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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