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 [at] bals.org).
Pro Bono Case Summaries – September 2020
NOTE: All cases below can be handled remotely. Additional up-to-date pro bono cases are listed at the bottom.
Case #20-xxx9191 (Support)
Our client seeks assistance with a post judgment support matter. She was divorced in 2009 and awarded a portion of the OP’s pension. However, a QDRO was never completed so she has not received her portion as ordered. Client needs assistance with having the requisite document completed so she can receive her share of the marital asset. Volunteer attorney needed to represent the client in this matter.
Case #19-xxx7356 (Paternity)
Our Spanish speaking 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-xx0700 (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.
Case #19-xxx6993 (Divorce)
Client seeks a divorce from her husband of 12 years. The parties have been separated since 2011 because of husband’s abuse towards client and minor children. Client and her husband have 3 children together and client has 3 other children that were born while the parties were separated. Client’s husband is currently in prison in Oklahoma for child abuse against his children from a subsequent relationship. Client would like to pursue a divorce and sole parental responsibility of the minor children they have in common. A disestablishment of husband’s paternity will need to be addressed in the divorce, as there are two biological fathers for client’s three other children. A child support case is already pending against one of the other fathers so paternity should be addressed in that case.
Case #19-xxx7639 (Parental Responsibility/Timesharing)
Client seeks assistance in establishing parental responsibility of his 2 children. The children have been in client’s primary care since June 2019. Prior to that, children were living in the maternal grandmother’s care as mother has not lived with children since the parties separated a couple of months after birth of second child. Mother only chooses to see the children every 3-4 months and is not involved in their care. Paternity has already been established pursuant to a prior Child Support Enforcement case and client was actually ordered to pay child support to Mother as she falsely reported that children were living with her, rather than with grandmother (and then client). She also receives food stamps for the children despite not having them in her care. Client seeks assistance in filing a Petition to Determine Parental Responsibility/Timesharing and modifying the child support order to seek child support against Mother and establish a credit for the time children have been in his care.
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-xxx8259 (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 Autism, as well as other developmental delays and cognitive defects. She functions as a child younger than her age and will not likely be able to perform skilled work. Volunteer attorney needed to represent client in this proceeding.
Case #19-xxx4546 (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 a chromosomal abnormality, which has resulted in Mental Retardation. Son has had behavioral issues at school, including displays of aggression. He is currently in his last year of high school with an IEP plan. Volunteer attorney needed to represent client in this proceeding.
For disaster relief cases, please contact Jason Susalla directly – jsusalla [at] bals.org.
Case #19-xxx4132 (Insurance Policy Review – Hillsborough County – Spanish-speaking Only)
Our client's home sustained significant roof damage during Irma. Client has not had resources to fix, and home remains damaged. The roof leaks, mold has grown inside of home, and minor children living with client are getting sick. Client, a Spanish-speaking individual, has homeowner's insurance but does not understand policy nor has attempted to file claim. Though it is likely beyond deadline for filing, client would benefit from review of policy and advice on her rights to file insurance claims in the future.
Case #19-xxx6753 (Contractor and Lien Issue – Hillsborough County)
Our client's home sustained significant damage following hurricane Irma. After working with a public adjuster, client secured insurance claim and contractor to repair. Contractor made initial repairs but failed to complete job. Contractor also filed a lien on client's property for failure to pay, client disputes that she paid the money shortly after the filing - the lien remains. The contractor has ceased work on client's home for months while her home remains in a tattered state.
Case #19-xxx2111 (Mobile Home Law – Pinellas County)
Our client sustained damage to her mobile home during hurricane Irma, partially caused by falling tree limbs. The home is now fixed, but the client fears that neighboring tree limbs are dangerous and could cause damage if another storm impacted the area. The trees are located on neighboring property owned by another mobile home park, and client has sought cooperation in tree trimming without success.
Case #19-xxx7754 (Insurance Policy and Claim/Denial Review – Pinellas County)
The prospective client participated in a home ownership program through HUD in Pinellas County. The home, which had numerous issues, sustained hurricane damage during Irma. The client alleges that she filed a claim with her insurance and was wrongfully denied coverage. The client no longer owns the home in Pinellas, but seeks to recoup damages she had to pay out-of-pocket. Client initially needs review of her previous insurance policy to determine possible remedy.