Available Cases

The available cases are pending referral to a pro bono attorney for a consultation.

The assigned pro bono attorney determines if representation is needed once the consultation is complete.

To accept a pro bono case, you must first register with the Volunteer Lawyers Program. If you have already registered and are interested in a case below, please contact Elva Kennis (ekennis@bals.org).

Pro Bono Case Summaries – April 2020

NOTE: All cases below can be handled remotely. Additional up-to-date pro bono cases are listed at the bottom.

Family Law

Case #19-xxx2120 (Custody)
Our, disabled, client seeks assistance with a custody matter. The client has been raising his four children for the past five years without the opposing party’s involvement. The mother, the opposing party, has only seen the children twice within that timeframe and is now seeking full custody of the children. Volunteer attorney needed to represent the client in the court process.

Case #19-xxx-5376 (Custody)
Our client needs assistance with a Custody matter. The opposing party has been harassing her and using the judicial system in attempt to intimidate her. Because of the Op’s egregious behavior, he and the child at issue no longer have a good relationship. He was arrested for trespassing after showing up to her team practice and yelling obscenities and later refused to leave when instructed. As a result, the child suffers from anxiety and no longer feels comfortable being alone with him. The OP has filed a petition to modify timesharing in attempt to gain full custody. The parties were unable to reach an agreement at mediation and have a hearing set for February. Client is in need of an attorney to represent her in the court process.

Case #19-xxx7021 (Custody)
Client is seeking custody of her disabled 11-year-old son. The OP has filed a custody action against our client and has not allowed her any time-sharing/visitation with the child for several months. The OP has since removed the child from the school and Client is worried the child is not receiving his proper medication. There has been a history of verbal abuse from the OP, and Client is afraid to meet with the OP in person. Client is seeking representation from a volunteer attorney to assist her in the pending custody action.

Case #19-xxx8759 (Adoption)
Our Spanish speaking only, elderly client needs assistance with adopting her granddaughter. She has been raising the child since she was a baby and has previously obtained a Temporary Custody Order. The child’s mother consented to the previous court action and the father didn’t participate or show up for the hearing. Client would like to move forward with adopting the child and has the full support of the mother. She is unsure of the father’s whereabouts as he has not been involved in the child’s life in almost two years. Volunteer attorney needed to represent the client in the court process.

Case #19-xxxx0172 (Grandparent Adoption)
Client has been caring for her 10-year-old granddaughter since birth. Client’s daughter is the child’s mother. She lives in a shelter. No father is listed on child’s birth certificate but client presumes she knows who biological father is. According to client, both parents will likely consent to the adoption.

Case #20-xxx0433 (Divorce)
Our disabled client seeks a divorce from her husband of 19 years. They have been separated for 18 years and have no minor children in common but client did conceive two children outside the marriage. The client does not have any contact with the OP and is unsure of his whereabouts. She does not think they have any assets/liabilities but cannot confirm this because she believes when she last saw him that he had bills with her name on it. Client would like assistance with obtaining a Divorce and disestablishing paternity. Volunteer attorney needed to represent the client in the court process.

Case #19-xxx7356 (Paternity)
Our client came in for assistance with establishing paternity of her son. The OP passed away and was never listed on the birth certificate. Client would like to establish death benefits and amend the child’s birth certificate. The decedent has a brother living in the Tampa Bay Area but client does not have a good relationship with him or any other family members. Volunteer attorney needed to represent the client in the court process.

Case #20-xxxx0700 (Paternity)
Client came in for assistance with establishing paternity of her two minor children. The father is deceased and is not listed on either of their birth certificate. He was murdered in November of last year and client needs to establish paternity so that she can obtain survivors benefits for the children. Vital Statistics advised that she needs to obtain a court order to amend their birth certificate. The decedent has family members in Tampa that can be tested in order to establish his paternity. Volunteer attorney needed to represent the client in the court process.

Guardianship

Case #19-xxx8133 (Guardian Advocacy)
Our client seeks assistance in being appointed Guardian of her developmentally disabled adult son. The intended ward suffers from autism and developmental delay. The parties moved to Florida from Tennessee where the client was previously serving as the ward’s court appointed guardian. Client needs assistance with being reappointed as his Guardian Advocate. Volunteer attorney needed to assist with the court process.

Case #19-xxx6025 (Guardian Advocacy)
Our Spanish-speaking only client seeks assistance in becoming guardian advocate for her developmentally disabled 18-year-old daughter. Client’s daughter suffers from Cerebral Palsy and seizures. She does not walk or talk and completely relies upon client for her care. Daughter’s father is not involved but client could locate him if necessary. Volunteer attorney needed to represent client in this proceeding.

Case #19-xxx5292 (Guardian Advocacy)
Client seeks assistance in becoming guardian advocate for her developmentally disabled 18-year-old son. Client’s son suffers from Autism and functions on the level of a 4-5 year old. The child’s father is not involved in his life. Volunteer attorney needed to consult with client and determine if representation will be provided.

Case #19-xxx5298 (Guardian Advocacy)
Our Spanish-speaking only client seeks assistance in becoming guardian advocate for her developmentally disabled 18-year-old son. Client’s son suffers from Autism. Son’s father is deceased. Volunteer attorney needed to represent client in this proceeding.

Case #19-xxx4674 (Guardian Advocacy)
Our Spanish-speaking only client seeks assistance in becoming guardian advocate for her developmentally disabled 21-year-old daughter. Client’s daughter suffers from Autism and Cerebral Palsy as a result of a chromosomal or genetic disorder. She can walk; however, she is non-verbal and functions on the level of a 1-year-old educationally. She can express her likes and dislikes through pointing and making sounds. Daughter’s father has never been involved in child’s life and lives out of state. Volunteer attorney needed to represent client in this proceeding.

Case #19-xxx5004 (Guardianship)
Spanish-speaking only client seeks assistance in becoming guardian for her disabled 31-year-old son. Her son is in a persistent vegetative state after a traumatic brain injury. Son was living in Puerto Rico and transferred here to Tampa General Hospital several months ago. Client is divorced from the child’s father, who will not contest the guardianship. Volunteer attorney needed to consult with client and determine if representation will be provided.

Miscellaneous

Case #16-xxx2319 (Contracts) (Construction Law)
Our Spanish-speaking only client needs assistance with a contracts matter. Client paid a contractor to remodel her home. She made several installment payments towards the balance. The work was completed in a shoddy manner and as a result, she did not pay the final amount owed. Client would like her home to be properly repaired or for the contractor to refund her payments. A volunteer attorney filed a Breach of Contract suit on client’s behalf but case was ultimately voluntarily dismissed because the defendant could not be located for service. Client now has an address for opposing party and would like to refile the case. Statute of limitations does not run until 2021.

Case #19-xxx9857 (Collections)
Our Spanish speaking only client needs assistance with a Collections matter. Client met a man online and began ‘dating’ him soon after. The individual promised to help client and asked for her banking information. Initially he gave the client a couple thousand dollars for herself. A few weeks thereafter, client received notices her account was overdrawn. The first notice indicated the account was 7K negative. Client immediately contacted the bank and let them know it was fraud and the bank agreed to freeze the account so no further activity would transpire. However, client received another notice advising that the account was 19K negative despite her agreement with the bank. The bank has now filed suit against the client for the funds and the client does not have any identifying information for the ’boyfriend’ to file criminal charges. Volunteer attorney needed to represent the client in the court process.

Case# 19-xxx4203 (Unfair and Deceptive Sales and Practices)
Our Spanish speaking only, disabled, elderly client needs assistance with a deceptive sales matter. The client was approached by the opposing party at Home Depot and persuaded to buy a solar water heater for a couple thousand dollars. The individual informed client that he would receive a three thousand dollar government rebate in return. After seven years client never received the rebate and can no longer afford to make the payments due to his fixed income. Client recently learned that the only way he can receive the rebate is if he files a tax return which was never disclosed to him. The OP has now filed suit in Hillsborough County against our client who resides in West Palm Beach. Client is in need of a consultation to determine his rights and remedies and representation in the court process.

Probate

Case #19-3006 (Probate) (No Place Like Home)
Spanish-speaking senior needs help with getting title to home. He and his wife purchased the home over twenty years ago. They both signed the mortgage documents. However, only his wife’s name is on the deed. The house is now free and clear. Client’s wife died earlier this year from cancer. She signed a quitclaim deed one month before her death, conveying her interest in the home to their only daughter and to wife’s sister and nephew. Client questions validity of deed as his wife was very ill at that time. Client’s sister-in-law and his daughter want him out of the home. Client was advised that he has a life estate interest in the home. Matter is compelling as Client states his daughter has been violent towards him. He has called the police several times in the past. Daughter recently moved back in to home, under the guise of helping him with household. Client is taking steps toward seeking an injunction of protection. Volunteer attorney needed to assist with probate of wife’s estate and to determine whether a separate quiet title action needs to be filed.

Case #19-xxx9568 (Probate) (No Place Like Home)
Disabled client with cardiac condition seeks help with obtaining full title to his home. He and his girlfriend resided in rental property in Hillsborough County (HC) until Landlord sold home. They temporarily moved to Pinellas County in 2016 with the intent to return to HC. Within a month or so they purchased property in HC and entered into contract for home construction. His girlfriend died intestate during construction of the home a few months later. Her only heir lives out of state and is not interested in obtaining title to the home. Volunteer attorney needed to provide consult and possibly assist client with probate of girlfriend’s estate and conveyance of heir’s interest to client.

Case #19-xxx4565 (Probate) (No Place Like Home)
Divorced, disabled dad with two minor children seeks help with getting full title to his home. One child has autoimmune health issue. The home is titled in clt’s name and his adoptive mother’s name as is the mortgage on the home. His adoptive mother died intestate several years ago. She had seven children, including client and one son who pre-deceased her with no children/no wife. Adoptive siblings are supportive of client getting full title to the home. With full title, client may claim full homestead exemption and get his property taxes reduced, freeing up much needed monies to meet daily living expenses. Home is now in foreclosure and at mediation stage. Need volunteer attorney to assist w/probate matter. Volunteer attorney to coordinate with other volunteer attorney(s) as we will open separate foreclosure and bankruptcy files for consult and possible rep.


Up-to-Date Cases

For additional pro bono cases throughout Florida, please visit Florida Pro Bono Matters.

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