June 2021 CLS Article

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

By Catrina Aquilino, Supervising Attorney

Summer is here, vaccinations are available to all adults, and many are cautiously reuniting with family members and friends in person. CLS is ensuring that we are as prepared as possible for when the rent and foreclosure moratoria end. Many in our community will be facing evictions, foreclosure, collections cases, and bankruptcies. Our volunteer attorneys and staff are integral to providing advice and representation to many families who will continue to suffer the effects of the pandemic for months and years to come. We continue to meet clients where most convenient for them, either by phone, video, or in person. Like many, we will continue a hybrid approach as it offers flexibility for both clients and attorneys.

We continue to work with non-profits, faith based organizations, civic organizations, and more throughout the County in order to bring about access to justice for all. We are always in need of volunteer attorneys to take on a variety of cases, with training and mentorship available. If you are interested in learning more about our opportunities, please review the various programs listed below and send me an email at aquilino@clspgc.org if you have any questions. CLS will need the help of the members of the Prince George’s County Bar Association to serve those most in need of our assistance. Please contact us today to find out how you can help our community.

Failure to Pay Rent Tenant Representation Program

Sign up to help in our Prince George’s County Failure to Pay Rent Tenant Representation Program and help families avoid wrongful evictions during Covid-19. Training & Stipend are available. As Maryland courts have resumed in-person hearings for Failure to Pay Rent cases, CLS will need attorneys to provide same day representation to tenants in Rent Court. CLS provides training, malpractice insurance coverage, mentoring, and support to our volunteers. Out-of-state attorneys are welcomed. CLS and Pro Bono Resource of Maryland have put together a training on Tenants in Prince George’s County Rent Court. 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, have questions about the program, or want to sign up to help in either county, 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 half day in court (AM or PM sessions) in Prince George’s County.

Success Stories from our Failure to Pay Rent Tenant Representation Program

On April 23rd, a CLS volunteer attorney helped a client and a landlord reach a settlement agreement where the landlord agreed to dismiss his Tenant Holding Over case and to instead apply for rental assistance thus preventing an eviction and allowing the landlord to obtain funds for back rent.

Additionally, on April 30th, CLS represented a tenant in a Tenant Holding Over case which was dismissed based on the complaint being filed prematurely. CLS informed the court that the Tenant Holding Over case had been filed before the tenant’s lease expired and requested a dismissal. The court agreed and the case was dismissed.

Project Bounce Back

CLS and the Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) are partnering on Project Bounce Back. Project Bounce Back, which focuses on Prince George’s County residents who are facing or have recently filed a Chapter seven or thirteen bankruptcy for financial relief. This is a six-month financial and legal education course, where participants receive practical tips and advice on understanding their finances. Program benefits include: One-on-one credit counseling

Free legal advice & referrals, Budgeting tips & tools. The program is offered virtually, free of charge, on the fourth Tuesday evening of each month from March 23, 2021, to September 28, 2021. Even though the trainings have already begun, if you know of someone that would be interested in participating, please reach out to see how we could accommodate them, as clients are encouraged to contact us even if they have missed one training. Please contact our staff attorney, John Gabel, at gabel@clspgc.org for more information on this program. We may be able to provide assistance with equipment to access the course.

Interpreters Needed

CLS is in need of interpreters to assist attorneys representing Limited English proficient clients. Training is available and no prior experience is required. We paid $30 per hour up to 30 hours per case. For more information, please contact Catrina C. Aquilino, at aquilino@clspgc.org

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 provides funding to pay attorneys $100.00 per hour with a cap of $3,000 per case. CLS allows you to bill twice during the case. CLS invoices Maryland Legal Services Corporation for your billed time. As a result, Judicare payments are usually paid a month after an invoice is submitted but CLS is now using bill.com, which allows for electronic payment for invoices. This funding program is administered by MLSC with funds from the Administrative Office of the Courts.

Foreclosure Prevention Program

CLS has funding for attorneys representing clients in Prince George’s County through our Foreclosure Prevention Program. In foreclosure prevention cases, the funding provides attorneys $80.00 an hour and up to thirty (30) hours of representation. Cases 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 email us at info@clspgc.org. Training, mentoring

and malpractice insurance is provided. Funding is available from a generous grant provided by MLSC.

Our Monthly Foreclosure Prevention Trainings for volunteer attorneys will be held via ZOOM on Monday, June 28, 2021 at 2:00 PM. Please contact John Gabel, Esq., at gabel@clspgc.org to register to attend the training.

Domestic Violence Wellness Program

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 the staff attorneys during Protective and Peace Order hearings. CLS’s Domestic Violence Legal Wellness Program places protective order and petitioners and respondents with attorneys. Attorneys receive $80 per hour with a cap of $500 per case. We ask that for each case that an attorney takes paid, that the attorney also take one pro bono. Please contact Marcie Mininberg, Esq., at mininberg@clspgc.org for more information.

Success Stories from our Domestic Violence Wellness Program

1. Client obtained a temporary protective order against his landlord. Client was fearful of his landlord due to repeated assault, breaking into his room, and denying him access to common areas. CLS placed the protective order case with our staff attorney, Ms. Mininberg. Client obtained a final protective order allowing client to no longer live in fear of abuse by his landlord. Ms. Mininberg further assisted client with securing alternate housing in an assisted living facility and arranging for payment of a mover to transport client’s belongings to his new home.

2. Client was referred by a social worker at the hospital. Due to her injuries sustained as a result of an assault, client was unable to travel to the courthouse to obtain a temporary protective order. Her case was placed with our staff attorney, Ms. Mininberg. Ms. Mininberg assisted client in completing the petition for protection and filed it on client’s behalf. Ms. Mininberg assisted client in reaching out to law enforcement in order to have detectives come to the hospital to take her statement. As a result, criminal charges for assault were filed against the abuser. Client obtained a final protective order requiring the abuser to vacate client’s home. Ms. Mininberg further assisted client with arranging for financial assistance with getting client’s locks changed.

3. Follow-up: Client was represented by our staff attorney in a prior protective order hearing. Unfortunately, when that order recently expired, there was another incident and cross-petitions were filed once again. On very short notice, our staff attorney, Ms. Mininberg represented client in both hearings. Ms. Mininberg successfully defended client against an order being placed against him and succeeded in obtaining an order against the opposing party providing client with custody of the minor children and an order for the opposing party to vacate the residence. Client was also placed with a volunteer attorney to assist in filing for divorce and custody.

Concluding Thoughts

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, and malpractice insurance. To join our volunteer pool, please apply on our website at www.clspgc.org or contact info@clspgc.org.

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, MD. CLS provides direct legal services through the generous contributions by members of the private bar. For more information about MSLC and the Judicare program, please visit https://www.mlsc.org

Please Note: During Covid-19, many of our services are remote including our clinics, clients may call our hotline, email info@clspgc.org, or apply online to speak with an attorney. CLS operates free Legal Advice Clinics throughout the County, including in the Prince George’s County Circuit Court, Room M2435, 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. Our temporary intake-hours are Monday-Friday, 8:00 am-6:00pm; online applications are available at www.clspgc.org.

December 2020 Newsletter

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

By Catrina Aquilino, Supervising Attorney

As the holidays near, CLS is gearing up for the new year and the end of the eviction and foreclosure moratoriums. While many will be toasting in a new year with hopes of healing and better days to come, thousands of those in our community will be facing the very real threat of homelessness. Not only does the coronavirus continue to spread throughout our communities, but our clients continue to face widespread unemployment and underemployment. CLS attorneys are working tirelessly to help clients navigate through the many changes to the court system during the past several months.

CLS has adapted, as we all have, to working remotely. Recently CLS has begun to host virtual expungement clinics. CLS hosted our first two virtual clinics on October 31 and November 14. We want to thank all of the volunteers and partner organizations that worked with us to ensure successful and safe events for all the clients. CLS continues to offer a number of ways in which attorneys can volunteer with our various programs, both pro bono and for paid opportunities as detailed below. Please contact us today to find out how you can help our community to enter into the new year with greater certainty so that they too will be able to begin 2021 with hope for healing and better days to come.

Expungement Clinic (Virtual)

CLS and the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System will host an expungement clinic on Saturday, December 12, 2020, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The clinic will address criminal records that may keep residents from obtaining work and housing. Attorneys will be available to provide advice on expungement and other civil legal matters. Potential participants seeking advice need to register at bit.ly/libraryexpungement. For more information or to register to volunteer, please contact Supervising Attorney Catrina Aquilino, Esq., at aquilino@clspgc.org.

Project Bounce Back

CLS and the Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) are partnering on Project Bounce Back. Project Bounce Back, which focuses on Prince George’s County residents who are facing or have recently filed a Chapter seven or thirteen bankruptcy for financial relief. This is a six-month financial and legal education course, where participants receive practical tips and advice on understanding their finances. Program benefits include: One-on-one credit counseling

Free legal advice & referrals, Budgeting tips & tools. The program is offered virtually, free of charge, on the third Thursday evening of each month from September 17, 2020, to February 18, 2021. We intend on offering another session to begin around March 2021. We may be able to provide assistance with equipment to access the course.

Failure to Pay Rent Tenant Representation Program

Sign up to help in our Prince George’s County or Anne Arundel County’s Failure to Pay Rent Tenant Representation Program and help families avoid wrongful evictions during Covid-19. Training & Stipend are available. Maryland courts have resumed in-person hearings, CLS needs attorneys to provide same day representation to tenants in Rent Court. CLS provides training, malpractice insurance coverage, mentoring, and support to our volunteers. Out-of-state attorneys are welcomed. CLS and Pro Bono Resource of Maryland have put together a training on Tenants in Prince George’s County Rent Court. 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, have questions about the program, or want to sign up to help in either county, 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 half day in court (AM or PM sessions) in Prince George’s County, and $100 per case in Anne Arundel County.

A Success Story from our Rent Court Program

On October 29th, CLS represented a tenant at her rent escrow hearing where the tenant had complained about an insect infestation, holes in her ceiling and floor, and mold. Although the tenant had withheld $3,347 in rent, by establishing a rent escrow case, the tenant was allowed to pay the back due rent to the court. The issues were eventually resolved after the rent escrow case concluded, and a trial was held which resulted in the tenant receiving $1,347 that was returned back to her based on the length of time that the issues existed, and the severity.

We have also helped many tenants raise the CDC and Governor Hogan’s eviction moratoriums delaying evictions and helping them get caught up on their rent.

Interpreters Needed

CLS is in need of interpreters to assist attorneys representing Limited English proficient clients. Training is available and no prior experience is required. We paid $30 per hour up to 30 hours per case. For more information, please contact Nora Eidelman at eidelman@clspgc.org

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 provides funding to pay attorneys $100.00 per hour with a cap of $3,000 per case. CLS allows you to bill twice during the case. CLS invoices Maryland Legal Services Corporation for your billed time. As a result, Judicare payments are usually paid a month after an invoice is submitted but CLS is now using bill.com, which allows for electronic payment for invoices. This funding program is administered by MLSC with funds from the Administrative Office of the Courts.

Foreclosure Prevention Program

CLS has funding for attorneys representing clients in Prince George’s County through our Foreclosure Prevention Program. In foreclosure prevention cases, the funding provides attorneys $80.00 an hour and up to thirty (30) hours of representation. Cases 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 email us at info@clspgc.org. Training, mentoring and malpractice insurance is provided. Funding is available from a generous grant provided by MLSC.

Our Monthly Foreclosure Prevention Trainings for volunteer attorneys will be held via ZOOM on Monday, November 30, 2020 at 2:00 PM. Please contact John Gabel, Esq., at gabel@clspgc.org to register to attend the training.

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 the staff attorneys during Protective and Peace Order hearings. CLS’s Domestic Violence Legal Wellness Program places protective order and petitioners and respondents with attorneys. Attorneys receive $80 per hour with a cap of $500 per case. Please contact Marcie Mininberg, Esq., at mininberg@clspgc.org for more information.

Success Stories from our Domestic Violence Wellness Program

Success Story #1

As a follow up to the Client whose story we shared last month, Ms. Mininberg was able to assist the client in obtaining an entire apartment worth of furniture.

Success Story #2

Client was referred by the Family Justice Center regarding domestic violence incidents between her and her husband. Client was fearful of her husband having suffered horrific abuse by him and thus opted not to return to the marital home. CLS placed the protective order case with Ms. Mininberg and took the client’s application for a divorce attorney. Ms. Mininberg successfully obtained a final protective order allowing the client to no longer live in fear of abuse by her husband. Ms. Mininberg also advised the client of the possibility of filing multiple criminal charges against her husband. Client did so and her husband was arrested and is awaiting trial. In addition, Ms. Mininberg contacted an organization to assist the client with obtaining an apartment by providing financial assistance with a security deposit and first month’s rent as well as furniture for her new apartment.

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, and malpractice insurance. To join our volunteer pool, please apply on our website at www.clspgc.org or contact info@clspgc.org.

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, MD. CLS provides direct legal services through the generous contributions by members of the private bar. For more information about MSLC and the Judicare program, please visit https://www.mlsc.org

Please Note: During Covid-19, all of our services are remote including our clinics, clients may call our hotline, email info@clspgc.org , or apply online to speak with an attorney. CLS operates free Legal Advice Clinics throughout the County, including in the Prince George’s County Circuit Court, Room M2435, 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. Our temporary intake-hours are Monday-Friday, 8:00 am-6:00pm; online applications are available at www.clspgc.org.

Project Bounce Back Press Release

Project Bounce Back
Financial & Legal Educational Course

 

Community Legal Services of Prince George’s County, Inc. (CLS) and the Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) are proud to announce the launch of Project Bounce Back. Project
Bounce back will focus on Prince George’s county residents who are facing or have recently filed
a Chapter seven or thirteen bankruptcy for financial relief. During the six-month financial and
legal education course, participants will receive practical tips and advice on understanding their
finances. Program benefits include:
  • One-on-one credit counseling
  • Free legal advice & referrals
  • Budgeting tips & tools
CLS’s Mission is to provide education, advice, and/or representation to low-income litigants in
civil legal matters in Prince George’s County, MD. Our goal is to promote equal access to justice
by providing access to free legal services through our legal advice clinics, mobile legal services
and pro bono referral program to meet our Mission. LEDC’s goal is to drive the economic and
social advancement of low to moderate income Latinos and other underserved DC, MD, and
Northern Virginia area residents by equipping them with the skills and tools to achieve financial
independence and become leaders in their communities. CLS will coordinate the project and
provide legal advice, and LEDC will serve as consultants for the project providing financial
coaching personnel and education for participants.
Funds for this inaugural program were generously provided by the American College of
Bankruptcy Foundation (“the Foundation”). The Foundation promotes the ends of justice through
educational and charitable activities, and focuses on bankruptcy and insolvency. They award
grants to legal services organizations whose mission and activities are consistent with their mission
of fostering the institution and maintenance of legal aid facilities for the indigent.
Project Bounce Back will launch on February 26, 2020, and the application is available here.
Contact Information:
Latavia Alexander
alexander@clspgc.org
(240) 391-6532 ext 8

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. 

January 2020 Newsletter

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

By Nora C. Eidelman, Deputy Director

We hope you a wonderful holiday season! This month we want to share with you a brief history of CLS for those who are new to it. Founded in 1985 as The Law Foundation of Prince George’s County, Inc., we began solely as a lawyer-referral organization searching for and referring lawyers who would provide free advice. A few years later, one of our board members, Judge Steven I. Platt, of the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County in Upper Marlboro wanted to address the large number of litigants flooding the courthouse seeking legal advice. Judge Platt helped identify funding from Prince George’s County and office space to open a law clinic inside the courthouse to provide legal advice to these litigants. To date we are located in Room M2435. Feel free to stop by to meet our staff.

In 2006, we renamed ourselves Community Legal Services of Prince George’s County, Inc. (CLS). Since our founding, we identified other funding that allowed us to develop new programs and open our various clinics: Our Lawyer Referral Program, Foreclosure Prevention Program, Bankruptcy Program, our Family Law Clinics in Upper Marlboro, Langley Park and Suitland, our Foreclosure Prevention Clinics in Greenbelt and Upper Marlboro, our Workers’ Rights Clinic in Langley Park, and our Failure to Pay Rent Tenant Representation Clinic in the District Court in Hyattsville.

CLS has grown from serving 132 clients in 1989 to serving over 12,000 in FY2019. Throughout our thirty-four year history, CLS has been funded by Maryland Legal Services Corporation. CLS is financially supported in all of our efforts through grants from the Prince George’s County Circuit Court, the Prince George’s County Council, the County Executive’s Partnership Grant, the Maryland Administrative Office of the Courts, The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, and many small private donations.

Additionally, I want to share with you that this past December I was honored to receive the Maryland Legal Services Corporation William L. Marbury Outstanding Advocate Award by Maryland Legal Services Corporation (MLSC). This recognition is awarded annually to a non-attorney who has demonstrated outstanding service representing the civil legal needs of low-income Marylanders, or by expanding access to justice. I am proud to work with a very special group of advocates at CLS so this special recognition of my efforts was humbling for me. This honor also came in the good company of the Honorable Cathy Hollenberg Serrette who was awarded the Arthur W. Machen, Jr. Award. This award is presented to an attorney who has demonstrated extraordinary commitment to increasing access to justice and improving the civil legal services delivery system for low-income Marylanders. CLS and other legal services providers addressing the legal needs of economically disadvantaged communities are privileged to have the ability to assume such an important role – and we should do so with a level of care and commitment to excellence to which we ourselves would desire if we were suddenly walking in their shoes. The non-profit practice stands out as a beacon of hope to marginalized citizens, and we could not do this work without the support and commitment of MLSC, and your continued your continued commitment and voluntarism to help hundreds of CLS clients yearly.

We will continue to accept our challenge to answer the legal needs of our target population, and work together to achieve the best outcome in every instance. Additional awardees included Nina Shore who received the Benjamin L. Cardin Distinguished Service Award, Amy Hennen and Ingrid Lofgren who received the Rising Star Award, and Charles W. Gilchrist Immigrant Resource Center who received the Herbert S. Garten Public Citizen Award.

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).

Note: Our Monthly Foreclosure Prevention Training is cancelled for the month of December. We will resume in January 2020.

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. Maryland Legal Services Corporation 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.

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.

November 2019 Newsletter

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

By Jessica A. Quincosa, Esq. Executive Director

Community Legal Services of Prince George’s County, Inc. (CLS) is proud to announce that our Deputy Director, Nora Eidelman, will be honored at the Maryland Legal Services Corporation Annual Dinner with the William L. Marbury award. The William L. Marbury Outstanding Advocate Award is presented to someone who is not an attorney and has demonstrated outstanding service representing the civil legal needs of low-income Marylanders or expanding access to justice. Nora has been at CLS for over 20 years and has been instrumental in the expansion of our services. Nora also serves as the Chair of the Prince George’s county Human Rights Commission. We look forward to celebrating her much deserved award on Monday, December 9, 2019 from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Additionally, CLS would like to congratulate the Hon. Cathy Hollenberg Serrette for being honored with the Arthur W. Machen, Jr. Award, which is presented to an attorney who has demonstrated extraordinary commitment to increasing access to justice and improving the civil legal services delivery system for low-income Marylanders. Judge Serrette has been a longtime supporter and is also a former CLS board member. We are honored to be connected so closely to these two champions of Access to Justice in Prince George’s county.

I sat down and chatted with Nora:

1. Why did you decide to work at CLS?

I was interested in attending law school, but at the time I was working on my bachelor’s degree in Government and Politics, with a minor in paralegal studies at University of Maryland University College (UMUC). I figured a paralegal certificate would give me a good sense of whether I would truly be interested in law. I was. I received a 4.0 GPA in my paralegal studies classes. During that time I also had some inspiring teachers who inspired me to think that law school was something I wanted to pursue in the future, including my Paralegal Intro class, taught by Judge Teresa Nolan whom I looked up to as woman. If my memory doesn’t fail me, she had 14 children but by the age of 46 became a widow, and yet went on to work full time as a legal assistant, went to university at night to get her bachelor’s degree and ultimately her law degree. She was my role model. Another inspiring teacher was the Judge Julia Weatherly. She was in private practice at the time and taught family law. She was an empowering figure who made me believe in myself during a very hard episode in that semester. And finally, there was Judge Albert Northrop. I was taking his estates and probates class. I approached him to ask if he knew of any volunteer opportunities that he could refer me to so I could get some experience. He referred me to CLS, named The Law Foundation at the time, where I started as volunteer and soon after was hired by our first Executive Director, Connie Belfiore, Esq. I have not gone to law school yet, but it is still on my list of things to do. I just need to find the time or make the time.

2. What is the most challenging thing about CLS?

The most challenging aspect of my position is the need to focus on day to day administrative activities necessary for the operation of a successful organization, which tends to separate or disconnect us from the people “out there” whom we are trying to serve.

3. What keeps you passionate about this job?

People. People are important. I care about the people that I work with as well as the ‘stranger’ we serve, as I care about my family and my friends. It is perhaps the challenging experiences that I went through as a child at an early age in my native country of Paraguay, experiences which I would not change, that has given me the ability to care about the state of life of others. And this extends to our clients – we may or not always be able to give the answers they are seeking but how we treat them, with dignity, as putting ourselves in their place, deserving of respect, goes a long way. I truly believe that our daily journey is the destination. Every morning when we wake up, we are given yet another chance to choose the type of people we want to be and the impact we want to have on others. One of my all-time favorite quotes is from Martin Luther King, Jr. “an individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” We have to care about people understanding that we are all vulnerable.

4. What is the most rewarding part of this position?

The group-work effort that is involved in bringing resources together to help thousands of clients every year. It involves the dedicated work within our organization by our staff, as well as the work with the larger community composed of public and private funders, government, other non-profit service providers. The relationships with people that are formed along the way, some of which started as professional and are now friends for a lifetime.

5. How can legal services change the lives of our clients?

Legal services is providing housing stability for families and children by representing a grandparent, parent, guardian in court in an eviction or a foreclosure matter to avoid homelessness; it is helping the head of a household collect unpaid wages and child support so they can pay their bills and support their families; it is ending the cycle of violence for many victims of domestic violence; it is helping our immigrant clients no to fear to approach the court to seek protection and the exercise of legal rights because they trust our staff and volunteers. Legal services empower our clients to have access to justice regardless of income and immigration status.

Our Failure to Pay Rent Tenant Representation Program provided direct representation to over 250 clients in the first 6 months of the pilot. We thank our dedicated volunteer attorneys and our staff attorney Kayla Williams, Esq. for their hard work. 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 of the month. Our next monthly training will be held on MONDAY, October 28, 2019, at 2:00 PM. The training will focus on “Foreclosure from beginning to end. Options, points of intervention, and guidance.” 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.

June Newsletter

Dine & Donate Fundraiser

Please support CLS by dinning at PIZZERIA PARADISO on Wednesday June 5, 2019 from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM.  CLS will receive 15% of the proceeds when you mention “CLS.”  Pizzeria Paradiso is located at 4800 Rhode Island Avenue, Hyattsville, MD 20781.  We hope to see you there!

You can also support Community Legal Services when shopping through Amazon Smile! When you shop online using Amazon Smile, Amazon donates 0.5% of your purchase back to our organization. Start now by clicking the button below to designate Community Legal Services of Prince George’s County, Inc. as your chosen charitable organization.  AMAZON SMILE

 

CLS Welcomes Nasheia Conway and Claudia Vanessa Aguirre Ciudad Real

Please help us welcome our new staff members Nasheia Conway and Claudia Vanessa Aguirre Ciudad RealNasheia Conway joined CLS in May 2019.  She staffs our Family Law Clinic for the Self-Represented in the Circuit Courthouse where she provides brief advice in family law matters.  Ms. Conway received her Bachelors in Sociology/Criminal Justice, cum laude in May 2012.  She received her Juris Doctor from the University of Baltimore School of Law in May 2015.  Prior to joining CLS, Ms. Conway’s employment included her Solo Practice, Program Director for Civil Rights at SAVE SERVICES, and Assistant State’s Attorney for the Office of the State’s Attorney in Baltimore.  Ms. Conway served as served as Investigative Intern for the Office of the Public Defender in Upper Marlboro in 2011.

Claudia Aguirre joined CLS in April 2019 and as a Legal Assistant for our Family Referral Program.  Ms. Aguirre received her Associates Degree in Public Relations from Francisco Gavidia University in El Salvador.  Her previous employment positions include Flight Attendant for QATAR AIRWAYS, which allowed her to visit over 70 countries, Public Relations Event Planner for Los Cobanos Village Diving School and Assistant Manager at MM Publicidad in El Salvador.  Ms. Aguirre’s additional trainings include Advanced Open Water Diving and Emergency and First Response Rescue Diver. Her languages include Spanish, English and Portuguese.

 

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

Training is available. 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.

 

Estate Planning Clinic for Income-Eligible Seniors Ages 60 and Over

Our next Estate Planning clinic will be held in Suitland on Saturday, June 1, 2019, 10 AM – 3 PM, at the First New Hope Baptist Church, 4818 Suitland Road, Suitland, MD 20746.  Space is limited and reservations are required. To register please 443-703-3052.  Attorneys will be available to prepare wills, advance medical directives, and power of attorney documents for income eligible clients.

 

Recruiting Out-of-State Volunteer Attorneys

CLS and other nonprofit legal services providers presented at the Department of Commerce, Office of the General Counsel’s Pro Bono Bono Brown Bag lunch on April 4, 2019. The event provided legal services providers volunteer opportunities available to government attorneys to do pro bono work in Maryland. Maryland allows out-of-state attorneys to volunteer for legal services providing assistance to low-income individuals, such as CLS.  The information was well received and many of the attorneys expressed enthusiasm for taking on cases.  We look forward to working with this new pool of volunteer attorneys.

 

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).

 

 CLS Monthly Foreclosure Prevention Training – Last Wednesday of Every Month

Our next monthly training will be held on Wednesday, March 24, 2019.  PLEASE NOTE the CHANGE IN TIME for this training.  It will start at 1:00 PM.  Our guest presenter will be Bud Stephen Tayman, Esq.  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.

 

 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.   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).

 

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.

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.

May Newsletter

Thanking Our Volunteers

CLS’s Board of Directors and staff express our gratitude to everyone who attended our appreciation event for our Volunteer Attorneys at Franklins Restaurant on April 8, 2019.  It is because of our volunteers’ dedication and commitment to equal access to justice for all that CLS is able to deliver quality legal services to so many deserving income-eligible clients in Prince George’s County every year.

We thank our event sponsors Vigilante Coffee Co., Wood’s Flower and Gifts,  and Copper Canyon Grill for their generous support of this event to honor our Volunteers!  We give special thanks to Franklins Restaurant Brewery for donating to 20% of the  those who dinned at Franklins in support of CLS on the day of the event.

Special Thanks

We expressed our sincere gratitude to the Board of Directors of the Maryland Bar Foundation for its generous funding donation. The funding will help us publish our comprehensive Guide to Legal Services brochures, and make them available at our various office locations, to other nonprofit organizations and our county agencies.  The Guide to Legal Services is a popular resource  providing resources of local services.

 

Dine & Donate Fundraiser

Please support CLS by dinning at PIZZERIA PARADISO on Wednesday June 5, 2019 from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM.  CLS will receive 15% of the proceeds when you mention “CLS.”  Pizzeria Paradiso is located at 4800 Rhode Island Avenue, Hyattsville, MD 20781.  We hope to see you there!

You can support Community Legal Services when shopping through Amazon Smile! When you shop online using Amazon Smile, Amazon donates 0.5% of your purchase back to our organization. Start now by clicking the button below to designate Community Legal Services of Prince George’s County, Inc. as your chosen charitable organization.  AMAZON SMILE

 

Recruiting Out-of-State Volunteer Attorneys

CLS and other nonprofit legal services providers presented at the Department of Commerce, Office of the General Counsel’s Pro Bono Bono Brown Bag lunch on April 4, 2019. The event provided legal services providers volunteer opportunities available to government attorneys to do pro bono work in Maryland. Maryland allows out-of-state attorneys to volunteer for legal services providing assistance to low-income individuals, such as CLS.  The information was well received and many of the attorneys expressed enthusiasm for taking on cases.  We look forward to working with this new pool of volunteer attorneys.

 

Success Stories

This quarter our success stories included an approved loan modification for a client and a delayed eviction in a wrongful detainer action. We were able to assist a client in submitting and receiving a loan modification.  The proposed repayment plan was not affordable or sustainable for the client, so she declined it. However, she was able to request a mediation and will be represented by one of our pro bono attorneys. The client is still in her home and working on saving money to pay towards the arrearage amount.

The second success story involved a previous client who came in for brief legal advice the day before her court date. The new owner of the home filed a wrongful detainer action against the client and sought a judgment for possession.  The new homeowner was granted judgment for possession, but our staff attorney was able to get the Judge to stay the eviction proceedings for thirty days to give her additional time to move out.

Both clients were pleased with the service and advice received from our staff and expressed their gratitude for allowing them to extend their time in their homes.

 

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).

 

CLS Monthly Foreclosure Prevention Training – Last Wednesday of Every Month

Our next monthly training will be held on Wednesday, March 24, 2019.  PLEASE NOTE the CHANGE IN TIME for this training.  It will start at 1:00 PM.  Our guest presenter will be Bud Stephen Tayman, Esq.  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.

 

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.   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).

 

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.

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. 

April Newsletter

March was a busy month for CLS staff.  It is when the vast majority of our grant applications and reports to our major funders are due.  With the support of these funders, the Maryland Legal Services Corporation, Administrative Offices of the Courts, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, Prince George’s County and your dedicated voluntarism, is that CLS is able to deliver services to thousands of income eligible clients every year.

In March, CLS also participated in several events. We held two Estate planning Clinics for income-eligible seniors in collaboration with PBRC at the College Park United Methodist Church and at the Greenbelt Municipal Center.  Volunteer attorneys and CLS staff assisted close to 30 seniors with wills, advanced medical directives and financial powers of attorney documents.  On March 2nd, CLS and the Prince George’s County Bar Association teamed up for the 4th annual expungement event with Reid Temple A.M.E. Church in Glenn Dale. Our staff and volunteer attorneys assisted 68 clients with 245 expungable cases.  On March 9th, CLS participated at the annual “Estudios Universitarios a su Alcance: Un Taller Gratis en Español” (“A College Education is Within Your Reach: A Free Workshop in Spanish”) hosted by the University of Maryland at the Adele H. Stamp Student Union.  The event is a College Preparation workshop given in Spanish to provide information to students in grades 6-12 and their families.

On March 5th, our Deputy Director Nora Eidelman testified before the Maryland House Judiciary Committee in Annapolis in support of House Bill 1273.  The bill requires educational institutions and hospitals to establish policies that limit immigration enforcement from operating on those premises to the extent possible consistent with federal and State laws on certain guidelines established by the Attorney General on or before December 31, 2019.  Ms. Eidelman asked members of the Judiciary Committee to consider expanding the scope of this bill to include courthouses. Around 30% of CLS clients are members of our immigrant communities in the county, with many limited English proficient residents, first generation families, and persons with limited education.  Courthouses are places where victims go to seek protection, justice, recourse for a wrong done, etc.  We are very concerned when clients tell us that they are afraid to participate in any type of case in court including seeking a protective order against an abuser, suing an employer for unpaid wages, afraid to report a crime they witnessed for fear of detention/deportation by immigration enforcement.  We are concerned that communities generally known as vulnerable and marginalized will become even more vulnerable and marginalized. The Marylanders Access to Justice Commission convened a committee to study the reports of ICE arrests in MD state courts, and reported that it “impedes the ability of all Marylanders to access justice on an equal footing, and has an Impact the efficient and fair administration of justice.” https://www.msba.org/blog/access-to-justice-survey-concerning-ice-arrests-in-md-state-courts/

We hope you joining for this event.  We’re Getting Together to Say Thank You to our Volunteers!  Come celebrate with us, enjoy some refreshments at Franklin’s Restaurant and Brewery on April 8, 2019, 6-8 PM.  Please RSVP to Flor Ceron at ceron@clspgc.org or 240-391-6532, ext. 2.  Franklin’s address: 5123 Baltimore Avenue, Hyattsville, MD 20781

Additionally, on April 8, 2019, anytime from 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM, CLS supporters can come, enjoy Franklin’s delicious food, and support CLS.  Please make sure you let the host or server know that you are dining to support CLS.  CLS will receive 20% of the pretax total receipts.

 

Shop Amazon Smile

Support Community Legal Services when shopping! When you shop online using Amazon Smile, Amazon donates 0.5% of your purchase back to our organization. Start now by clicking the button below to designate Community Legal Services of Prince George’s County, Inc. as your chosen charitable organization.  AMAZON SMILE

 

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.   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).

 

CLS Monthly Foreclosure Prevention Training – Last Wednesday of Every Month

Our next monthly training will be held on Wednesday, March 27, 2019 at 2:00 pm. (Note: the April 24th training will start at 1:00 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