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Services Offered/Cases Handled

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The program offers a broad range of civil legal services to low income individuals and families. Our goal is to respond to the growing legal needs and concerns of low-income people and senior citizens throughout southern and central Michigan.

In some situations, a client might only require information or advice. In other cases, a legal problem may require extensive research and consultation or may need formal in-court representation. Our staff can offer advice, answer questions, prepare documents, negotiate settlements, and provide court representation.

Our staff can meet with client groups to give talks and discuss legal matters of interest to clients. Our staff can also work with and provide legal advice to community organizations.

We are unable to accept criminal cases or civil cases that generate fees. The problems listed below are intended to give you a general outline of the kinds of cases we may be able to help with. Because of local funding opportunities, some of our offices have more resources to handle certain types of cases. Unfortunately, due to limited resources we are not able to assist everyone that applies. If you have a critical civil legal need, you should contact the local offices to see what services are available.

Family Law - domestic violence prevention and maintaining stable homes

Helping persons in immediate peril of injury due to domestic violence or cases meant to stabilize living environments for children. Examples of cases include:

  • Securing Personal Protection Orders,
  • Divorce and Custody cases for domestic violence survivors,
  • Custody actions when children are at risk, and
  • Cases preventing the transfer of custody from an established custodial environment

Housing - homelessness prevention

Helping individuals and families facing an imminent loss of shelter. In addition advocating to increase the supply, availability, eligibility, safety, security or repair of low income housing. Examples of cases include:

  • Evictions,
  • mortgage foreclosure,
  • land contract forfeitures, and
  • property tax foreclosures.

Public Benefits - to provide income for basic needs

Helping families obtain and maintain basic income and other necessities for household stability. Examples of cases:

  • Protecting a household from the loss of essential income or possessions due to garnishment or attachment,
  • Preventing the termination of need utilities,
  • Obtaining income or benefits or defending the termination/reduction of income or benefits such as cash assistance programs, emergency relief programs, unemployment and disability programs, and food programs.
  • Obtaining or maintaining employment, including employment licensing cases and drivers license restoration cases.
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Consumer Matters – to protect economic stability

Protecting families from unfair trade practices, credit reporting, contracts and warranties, debt collection, and bankruptcy.

Health Care- helping clients secure needed health care

Seeking to secure medical services or coverage for low income persons such as Medicaid, Medicare, State Disability Assistance, and county-based health plans, and private insurance.

Special legal needs and Seniors

Some populations face unique legal problems. We provide specialized services in many of our communities and have expanded priorities for seniors, immigrants, homeless individuals, and others. We receive grants to help seniors in Branch, Hillsdale, Jackson, Lenawee, Livingston, St. Joseph, and Washtenaw Counties. We prioritize services to low income seniors.

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