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).

For additional up-to-date cases, please visit our Florida Pro Bono Matters catalog.

Cases Available as of January 2020

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. Additionally, the opposing party has only seen the children twice within that timeframe. In order to terminate her child support obligation, the OP is seeking custody of three of the four children. Client is concerned because the youngest two children are too young to remember her. The opposing party has filed a petition to modify the current custody order. Volunteer attorney needed to represent the client in the pending custody matter.

Case #18-xxx7489 (Pending Dissolution of Marriage)
Our elderly client seeks representation in her pending dissolution of marriage case. The opposing party is represented. The parties have been married for 43 years but separated since 2012. Client is requesting alimony as well as an equitable distribution of all marital property and non-marital property purchased with marital funds. The opposing party assured our client that non-marital property was being held in trust for her benefit although it was titled solely in his name. Client’s husband has always been the primary breadwinner and has maintained income significantly higher than hers.

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-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 #19-xxx2680 (Paternity)
Client and opposing party never married but have a 2-year-old child together. Opposing party filed a paternity action and is represented by an attorney. The parties signed a Parenting Plan agreeing to 50/50 custody; however, opposing party moved out of state just weeks later. Opposing party is living and working out of state and keeps telling client that he will be coming back. Client is concerned that opposing party may only come back so Final Judgment can be entered based upon signed Parenting Plan but then move out of state again. Child is in therapy for some speech and behavioral issues and really needs consistency in his life. There is a Case Management Conference scheduled for the end of January and a Mediation scheduled for the end of February. Client seeks representation in the ongoing paternity case.

Miscellaneous

Case #19-xxx9814 (Contracts)
Our client entered into a contract with Opposing Party (OP) for over $25,000 to have solar panels installed. OP also contracted with client to provide duct work, as well as some “extras”, such as a Google Nest and a free water heater timer. Client financed the cost with a company recommended by OP. Client was given a small amount of cash by OP as some type of rebate but then client wrote checks out individually to two men with the company in the same amount of the rebate for the duct work, etc. The solar panels were installed but never actually hooked up to the grid as promised by OP and the duct work was never performed. Client was in text communication with OP initially but now he will not return her calls or messages. Client had to hire another company to do the duct work. She is in need of a consultation and an assessment will need to be made as to whether or not client’s case is fee-generating.

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.

Probate

Case #19-xxx3136 (Formal Administration) (No Place Like Home) (Experienced volunteer attorney needed)
Client seeks to probate grandmother’s estate to obtain title to home. Grandmother deeded the home to self and son (client’s uncle) as joint tenants with rights of survivorship. The uncle died a few years ago, leaving no children. Client’s grandmother died intestate last year, leaving 8 children, 3 of whom are adopted minor children and 2 who predeceased the grandmother. One of the predeceased children was separated from her husband at time of death. She had 5 children, including the client. The client has court-ordered temporary custody of her grandmother’s 3 minor children, who are her nieces and nephew by birth.

Case #19-xxx2663 (Probate – No Place Like Home Case)
Client’s boyfriend owned the home in which client resides with their minor child. Boyfriend died intestate in 2015. His only heirs were client’s child and another minor child. He was not married. Client wants to continue to reside in the home and protect her child’s interest in the home. She has continued to make the mortgage payments. Client’s earlier petition for formal administration without a will was dismissed.

Case #19-3006 (Probate – No Place Like Home Case)
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-xxx0956 (Probate)
Our client needs assistance probating her deceased father’s estate. The decedent passed away in 2013 and left behind a home. His spouse predeceased him and the surviving heirs are his seven living children. The client has been living in the home and paying the yearly taxes. She believes the other heirs would be willing to sign over their interest in the estate. Volunteer attorney needed to consult with the client to determine if both the father and the mother’s estate needs to be probated and representation in the court process.

Case #19-xxx9318 (Probate – No Place Like Home Case)
Client has resided in home at issue since 1964. Home was purchased and owned by client’s mother and father. Client’s father passed away in 1991 and her mother passed away in 1999. Both died intestate. Home is still deeded in deceased mother’s name. There is no mortgage on the home. Client has two siblings, both of whom live out of state and have no interest in the property. Client needs assistance in filing a Petition for Summary Administration so she may secure her interest in the home.


The following cases are from our Disaster Relief Team. If you are interested, please contact Jason Susalla (jsusalla@bals.org).

Disaster Relief

Case #19-xxx4536 (Trust – Hillsborough)
Client, a disabled, low-income victim of hurricane Irma, wants to get affairs in order. Client originally sought last will, but after consultation determined that she seeks a trust to ensure that her disabled son will have a home to remain in. Client cannot afford a private attorney to provide this service.

Case #19-xxx2465 (SSI Consultation – Hillsborough)
Our client, a disabled survivor of domestic violence, is without income and in need of consultation and application assistance for SSI. Client needs instruction on her eligibility and assistance with the process.

Case #19-xxx6956 (Chapter 7 Bankruptcy – Hillsborough)
Client's home has significant damage for which she cannot afford repairs. Client is saddled with credit debts from various creditors and seeks relief from debt through bankruptcy, hoping that she can eventually repair her credit and later seek a loan for home repairs.

Case #19-xxx5302 (Homeowner’s Insurance Issue – Hillsborough)
The client was wrongly denied a claim and dropped by her insurance company in 2017 and had to secure another policy in 2018. The current insurance company agreed to extend a policy excluding damaged area of home, and has now recently sent non-renewal notice citing excluded damaged areas as reason for non-renewal. Client will lose her insurance coverage on Feb 1, 2020, and expose her to potential forced-place policy or foreclosure.

Still have questions?

If you live or have a case in Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas or Sarasota counties, we may be able to help.

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