January Newsletter

We hope you had a joyous holiday season and wish you a prosperous 2019. We concluded the year with the soft-opening of our Failure to Pay Rent Tenant Representation Program with great success. On that first day, our staff attorney Latavia Alexander, Esq., represented a client in a failure to pay rent case. As a preliminary motion, Ms. Alexander raised the defense of a lack of lead certificate license number on the Failure to Pay Rent form. The Landlord’s attorney did not have proof of the license information and as the property was required to have a lead certificate the case was dismissed. Additionally, the landlord’s other failure to pay rent cases were also dismissed for lack of lead certification. Our representation provided results for numerous tenants because it lead to the dismissal of over 10 cases. The dismissals protected tenants from possible evictions.  Evictions affect our families and communities.  Our program will provide representation to tenants and hopefully minimize unlawful evictions and keep residents in their homes. A reduction in evictions will lead to more stability and less homelessness in our community. We are proud of our staff attorney and look forward to many more successes for our community.

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

CLS is seeking attorneys to provide same day representation to tenants in Rent Court at the District Court in Hyattsville. 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).


A Loan Modification Approved and Default Judgment Case Dismissed

Client came in for brief advice regarding a lien declaratory action brought by her mortgage company in Circuit Court.  The lien was granted because of a default judgment in the District Court entered in 2006.  The client told us that the judgment was incorrect, it was not her in the District Court, and that she knew nothing about the lien.  Our staff attorney worked with the client and after some research was able to verify that the 2006 judgment was against another woman with the same name.  After securing documentation to support this finding, our staff attorney contacted opposing counsel to inform them of the error and mix-up regarding the client.  The lien was not attached to the client’s property, and thus posed no threat to the mortgage company’s interest.  After some negotiation, opposing counsel agreed to vacate and dismiss the Circuit Court case against the client.


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 the foreclosure related cases with opportunity to speak with an experienced foreclosure attorney.  Please RSVP to Nora Eidelman at 240-391-6532, ext. 5 or eidelman@clspgc.org. Trainings to 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, wills as well as other 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 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).