SELF HELP - WHEN YOU CAN'T AFFORD A LAWYER 

Moderators: Sarah Frush and Katherine J. Jones

Look for help with your District Court case at http://mdcourts.gov/district/selfhelpcenter/home.html.

The Maryland Legal Aid Bureau posted an online tool for filing for custody, visitation and child support in Circuit Court. The tool will walk you through a series of questions about your case. At the end of the process, you will be provided with a PDF of a Maryland Domestic Relations form filled out and ready for your review.  Find the tool, which is a website, at: https://lawhelpinteractive.org/login_form?template_id=template.2010-06-02.8915381402

Self Help - When you can't afford a lawyer

This section is specifically for development of materials for the staff providing self help services to litigants at the Glen Burnie Self Help Center, with the goal of developing material for expansion to litigants across the state. 

 

Maryland Legal Aid self help brochures

Maryland Legal Aid has published a number of brochures and guides for clients.  You can find copies here:

Brochures for clients about various topics from Maryland Legal Aid:

General Information Brochure 
Human Needs & Human Rights
Welcome to Legal Aid English
Welcome to Legal Aid Spanish
If I'm Sued 
Debt Collection Know Your Rights 
Debt Collection Harassment 
Bankruptcy:What You Need to Know in Maryland
Security Deposits 
Rent Escrow 
Evictions
HUD Subsidized Housing
Food Stamps
Protections for Direct Deposit of Federal Benefits
The Basics of Child Custody & Visitation
Divorce Basics
Access to Child Records 
Medical Assistance
Social Services Appeal Rights
Long Term Care Assistance Project
What Is Elder Abuse? 
Nursing Home Rights
Nursing Homes - Avoiding Discharge
Nursing Homes - Involuntary Discharge
Nursing Homes - Medical Rights
Maryland Senior Legal Helpline
Planning for Incapacity
  Forms
  Instructions and Wallet Cards
Fair Pay Booklet English
Fair Pay Booklet Spanish
Farmworkers Know Your Rights! English
Farmworkers Know Your Rights! Spanish
Farmworkers Know Your Rights! Creole
Ryan White Project Supportive Services Legal Assistance

AttachmentSize
MLAGeneralBrochure.pdf211.24 KB
MLA-HumanRights.pdf243.13 KB
MLA-Welcome.pdf231.61 KB
Spanish MLA welcome.pdf218.05 KB
MLAIfI'mSued.pdf310.3 KB
MLA-DebtClctKnowYourRights.pdf253.03 KB
MLA-DebtClctHarassment.pdf346.66 KB
MLABankruptcy.pdf256.69 KB
MLASecurityDeposit.pdf216.94 KB
MLARentEscrow.pdf218.71 KB
MLATenantRightsEvictions.pdf265.95 KB
MLATenantsRightsHUD.pdf232.3 KB
MLA-FoodStamps.pdf238.16 KB
Protections for Direct Deposit Federal Benefits.pdf393.41 KB
MLAChildCustody.pdf252.77 KB
MLADivorce.pdf258.42 KB
Access to Child Records flyer.pdf306.48 KB
MLAMedAssistance.pdf206.4 KB
MLASocServAppeal.pdf341.06 KB
LTCAPbrochure.pdf36.02 KB
MLANursingHomeRights.pdf332.27 KB
MLA-NursingHomeAvoiding Discharge.pdf318.04 KB
MLANursing HomeInvoluntaryDischarge.pdf250.16 KB
SeniorHelplineFlyer.pdf1.41 MB
MLA-FairPayBooklet.pdf529.26 KB
MLA-FairPaySpanish.pdf512.34 KB
MLA-FarmworkersEng.pdf587.73 KB
MLA-FarmworkersSpan.pdf595.39 KB
MLA-FarmworkersCreole.pdf551.95 KB
MLA-RyanWhite.pdf262.2 KB
MLA-NursingHomeMedRts.pdf277.58 KB

New Criminal Records Expungement resource!

I hope I am not spoiling anyone's pending announcement too badly ...

There's a new web-based resource for clienbts for clearing their criminal record. Find it at

http://expunge-md.herokuapp.com/questions

The website has 3 buttons that explain what expungement is (What Is Expungement?), explain how to clear a user's criminal record (How Can I Expunge My Record?), and helps a user figure out whether their criminal record can be expunged (Can I Expunge My Record?).

I have attached a pdf of the About Us page so you can find more details about the project.

This is very cool!

AttachmentSize
expungemaryland.pdf252.31 KB

Pro Bono Day - Washington County, Hagerstown

Date: 
Wed, 07/16/2014 - 4:00pm - 7:00pm

The Bar Association of Washington County Pro Bono Committee and the Legal Aid Bureau, Inc. are hosting a free legal clinic at the Washington County Department of Social Services. Have a one on one meeting with a lawyer about:

•Family Law
•Landlord-tenant
•Wills & Advance Directives
•Bankruptcy
•Workers Compensation
•Foreclosures
•Business Law
•Employment
•Real Estate
•Social Security Disability
•Consumer
•Immigration
•Criminal & Expungement
•Government Benefits
•Tax
•Serious Traffic & MVA issues

There is no fee to attend. Registration is not required.
For more information call Michele at (240) 313-2015 or Nina at (240) 575-5769 or email: Nshore@mdlab.org.
Please bring all relevant documents with you.
Se Habla Español.
To sign up to be a pro bono attorney advising clients for the day, please see the form attached below.
Location
Location Name: 
Washington Co. Department of Social Services
Address1: 
122 North Potomac Street
City: 
Hagerstown
State: 
MD
Zip: 
21740
Contact
Name: 
Michele at 240-313-2015, or Nina Shore at 240-575-5769, nshore@mdlab.org
Sponsor: 
The Bar Association of Washington County and Maryland Legal Aid
AttachmentSize
Washinton Co Pro Bono Day.pdf355.13 KB
Washington Co Pro Bono Day Volunteer Form.docx12.42 KB

Maryland Legal Aid Midwestern MD Office at Frederick Pride 2014

Date: 
Sat, 06/28/2014 - 12:00pm - 6:00pm

The Midwestern Maryland office of Maryland Legal Aid will be staffing a table at the 3rd Annual Frederick Pride celebration on Saturday June 28, from noon until 6:00 p.m. The staff will be handing out our substantive law brochures.

The Frederick City Council recently proclaimed June LGBTQ Pride month. In celebration of LGBTQ Pride, The Frederick Center has organized a celebration along Carroll Creek Park, with entertainment, food vendors, and community programs of all sorts celebrating diversity and human rights. For more information about Frederick Pride visit the website about the event at https://www.facebook.com/events/582720451817732/.

Maryland Legal Aid hopes to see you there!

Location
Location Name: 
Carroll Creek Park in downtown Frederick, MD
Address1: 
South Market Street
City: 
Frederick
State: 
MD
Zip: 
21701
Sponsor: 
Maryland Legal Aid and The Frederick Center

The seven reasons you will fall for a scam artist

Excellent analysis, and way overdue.  Share this with your friends and families.  Post it wherever you can post it.

One excerpt just to hook you into reading this:

... before I tell you what’s wrong with the tired old saw, “If it seems too good to be true, it is,” let me get this out of the way: I hate people who blame the victim. Yes, consumers can be dumb, foolish, and even greedy. None of these things should ever be construed as permission to steal from them. These are the kinds of excuses you hear from criminals and corporations all the time, and I hate them.  It’s always clear who the bad guy is: The guy who walks away with the money.  The test is easy: Any time you take someone’s money and that person is confused about why, you are wrong. Give the money back.

https://bobsullivan.net/gotchas/the-seven-reasons-you-will-fall-for-a-scam-artist-from-20-years-experience/

Pro Se Manual for women who have fled domestic violence in their home countries seeking protection in the US

This looks like a very good resource for people we may not otherwise be able to help.

Dear Colleagues & Friends, 

The Center for Gender & Refugee Studies is pleased to announce that we recently published a pro se manual for women who have fled domestic violence in their home countries and are seeking protection in the United States.  We developed this manual in response to a call from advocates after hearing countless stories of women who fled domestic violence but who did not apply for asylum or were denied relief because they were unable to obtain representation while in immigration detention.  Although this manual is geared at women in detention who face imminent removal from the United States, the manual also instructs women on how to file for asylum affirmatively.  We hope it will increase awareness of the availability of asylum based on domestic violence and provide the tools needed for women who have no choice but to represent themselves.      

The manual is available on our new website (check us out!) at this link.  Please share widely with your networks, community based organizations, and local detention centers.  Please contact us if you would like a hard copy of the manual mailed to you and/or have suggestions for where we should distribute the manual, as we have a limited number of copies available.   Versions in Spanish and Haitian Creole are forthcoming. 

Sincerely,

The CGRS Team
cgrs@uchastings.edu
(415) 565-4877 

Blaine Bookey
Associate Director/Staff Attorney
Center for Gender & Refugee Studies
200 McAllister Street
San Francisco, CA  94102
Tel: (415) 565-4877
Direct: (415) 703-8202
bookeybl@uchastings.edu

Social Security benefits for same sex couples

From the The Bringing Human Rights Home Lawyers' Network listserv:

For those who have clients that may be eligible, to follow is the link for application information for benefits for same sex couples.

http://www.socialsecurity.gov/same-sexcouples/

MD Legal Aid offices are all closed on New Year's Day

Date: 
Wed, 01/01/2014 (All day)

Happy New Year!  All offices will be open on New Year's Eve, and on the Thursday and Friday after New Year's Day.

Contact
Name: 
Katherine J. Jones
Phone: 
kjones@mdlab.org

MD Legal Aid offices are all closed for Christmas

Date: 
Wed, 12/25/2013 (All day)

Merry Christmas!  All offices will be open Christmas Eve, and the Thursday and Friday after Christmas.

Contact
Name: 
Katherine J. Jones
Phone: 
kjones@mdlab.org

MD Legal Aid offices are all closed for Thanksgiving

Date: 
Thu, 11/28/2013 (All day) - Fri, 11/29/2013 (All day)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Contact
Name: 
Katherine J. Jones
Phone: 
kjones@mdlab.org

Frightening Scam that appears to be from the federal courts

Notice from the US District Court of Maryland:

Warning from the US District Court for Maryland

For those whose computer assistive devices cannot "read" pictures, the above relevant text is:

United States District Court for the District of Maryland

Greetings: 

I am writing to alert you to a new scam potentially involving district courts. In this case, a fictitious arrest warrant on a criminal charge is sent to an individual, offering a chance to avoid arrest through the payment of a specific amount. While these scams are more prevalent in state and county courts, this particular scam has occurred in the Western District of New York in the last two weeks. 

Felicia C. Cannon
Clerk of Court

New videos to help people represent themselves in court

The Maryland Access to Justice Commission released four new videos for the self-represented which can be viewed at the links below.  The videos were produced by the Office of Communications & Public Affairs.

        Tips for Your Day in Court: http://mdcourts.gov/video/selfhelp/atjtipsforyourdayincourt20131016.wmv

        Service of Process: http://mdcourts.gov/video/selfhelp/atjserviceofprocess20131016.wmv

        Finding Legal Help: http://mdcourts.gov/video/selfhelp/atjfindinglegalhelp20131016.wmv

        Defending a Small Claim: http://mdcourts.gov/video/selfhelp/atjdefendingagainstasmallclaim20131016.wmv

Find videos at the court website: http://mdcourts.gov/reference/videolibrary.html.

10 Things Assisted Living Homes Won't Tell You

Good things to know, be sure to ask questions about these topics when searching for a good facility.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/10-things-assistedliving-homes-wont-tell-you-1344980948534

5 Obamacare Scams And How To Avoid Them

Share this wherever you can, you know that when there is an opportunity like this, our clients may suffer.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2013/10/01/5-obamacare-scams-and-how-to-avoid-them/

Redesigned Maryland State Court website

The MD State Courts website has been redesigned recently. It is meant to be more user friendly for those facing any kind of court issue. Check out the new website!

http://www.courts.state.md.us/legalhelp/

Maryland Legal Aid is closed New Year's Day

Date: 
Tue, 01/01/2013 (All day)
Sponsor: 
Maryland Legal Aid

Maryland Legal Aid is closed New Year's Eve

Date: 
Mon, 12/31/2012 (All day)
Sponsor: 
Maryland Legal Aid

Maryland Legal Aid is closed Christmas Day

Date: 
Tue, 12/25/2012 (All day)
Sponsor: 
Maryland Legal Aid
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