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 – February 2021
NOTE: All cases below can be handled remotely. Additional up-to-date pro bono cases are listed at the bottom.
Case #20-xxx6430 (Divorce) **pending conflict check status***
Our, Spanish speaking only, client seeks a divorce from her husband of 25 years. The parties have been separated from 1 year, have no children and only the assets are a marital home, checking account and the OP’s pension. The OP has not contributed to the mortgage since moving out. He makes significantly more than the client who is on a fixed income. Client is seeking assistance with a divorce, alimony and other relief as needed. Volunteer attorney needed to represent the client in the court process.
Case #21-xxx5328 (Paternity)
Client is a mother of two girls, ages 6 and 2. Client has primarily cared for the children since her and the opposing party/father (OP) separated in June 2020. Since separation, the OP has sparingly helped the client financially and hasn’t given any support in months. Client is only working part-time and cannot financially care for herself and the children without his support. Client was recently served with a Petition to Establish Paternity, Time-sharing, and Child-Support from the OP’s attorney. OP has called the children’s school and threatened to go pick up the girls as he is now seeking full custody. Client is worried that without representation she will lose custody of her daughters. She is seeking assistance from a pro bono attorney to represent her in this matter.
Case #20-xxx5256 (Support)
Our client’s daughter suffers from Leigh’s Disease (a rare neurometabolic disorder that affects the central nervous system). She is non-verbal, non-ambulatory and requires total care. Her condition is considered medically complex/medically fragile. The child turned 18 on January 1st so client’s child support was scheduled to terminate. Client seeks assistance in continuing child support indefinitely due to the severity of the child’s disability. Client can only work part-time due to the child’s medical condition and she relies on the child support to care for her daughter. Child’s father is not involved in her care. Client was already assisted in filing a pro se Supplemental Petition to Modify the Final Judgment, as well as a Motion for Temporary Relief to preserve her right to extend the support. The child’s father owes a significant amount of child support arrears as well that client would like to enforce payment of. Client recently learned from the Social Security Administration that if the child support continues, her daughter will lose her monthly SSI payments and subsequently her Medicaid because there is a dollar for dollar reduction in SSI for every dollar in child support paid. Therefore, the court order for modification needs to specifically state that the ongoing support/arrearages are to be paid directly to client for her daughter’s care. Volunteer attorney needed to represent client in this proceeding.
Case #20-xxx8087 (Guardian Advocate)
Our, Spanish speaking only, client seeks assistance with a pending Guardian Advocacy matter. The client previously had a case in Hillsborough County and relocated, without notice to the court, to Pasco County. Thereafter the court transferred her case to Pasco County. The client is now back living in Hillsborough County, again without notice to the court, and needs assistance updating her case in Pasco County and filing the requisite documents needed in Pasco and/or Hillsborough County. Volunteer attorney is needed to represent the client in the court proceedings in Pasco County and ongoing in her Guardian Advocacy case in Hillsborough County.
Case #21-xxx5258 (Guardian Advocacy)
Our client seeks assistance in becoming guardian advocate for her developmentally disabled 18-year-old daughter. Client’s daughter suffers from Leigh’s Disease (a rare neurometabolic disorder that affects the central nervous system). She is non-verbal, non-ambulatory and requires total care. Her condition is considered medically complex/medically fragile and her sister died in 2010 as a result of the same disease. Child’s father is not involved in her care and will likely consent to client being appointed as child’s guardian. Volunteer attorney needed to represent client in this proceeding.
Case #20-xxx3517 (Collection)
Our clients’ needs assistance with a collection matter. The OP assisted our clients by towing their food truck to a designated location. Upon arrival, the OP was unable to properly unhook the vehicle thereafter a dispute took place and the police were called. The OP warned the client because of that conflict the price for the tow would increase. The police ended up being called again around right after and the OP, again, increased the price of the tow. Finally, against the clients’ demands the OP towed the vehicle to their lot. Thereafter, the OP refused to turn the vehicle back owner and eventually converted the title so it was no longer in the clients’ name. The clients are in need of consultation to determine their rights and remedies and representation in resolving this matter.
Case #20-xxx9555 (Contracts)
Our disabled client needs assistance with a contracts matter. She recently purchased a newly built home that contained no issues to the naked eye. Soon after the client noticed mold growing in the closet and then the master bathroom. The OP investigated the matter and advised that it was due to a leaky toilet which the client had fixed. However, client says she has discovered mold growing extensively throughout the home. All the flooring contains mold and is affecting the client’s health. Client is need of a consultation to determine her rights and remedies and representation in resolving this matter.
Case #20-xxx8903 (Contracts)
Our disabled client needs assistance with a contracts matter. The client entered into a ‘rent to own’ purchase agreement for a mobile home in 2016. She put down 8K towards the balance and was to make regular payments to pay down the balance. However, the title was still under the seller’s name as he was still paying the mortgage. Thereafter, the client discovered that the OP’s mortgage loan was in default and he had not been using client’s monthly payments towards the loan. She also discovered there were numerous undisclosed defects that had not been disclosed to the client. Client recently moved out of the home due to the toll the defects were taking on her health. She would like assistance with recouping the money put down on the home as well as any payments made after. Client is in need of a consultation to determine her rights and remedies and representation in the court process.
Case #20-xxx4852 (Probate)
Our client needs assistance with a pending probate matter. The client’s brother filed a Petition for Summary Administration in regards to their mother’s estate. He has filed a Will which may give him sole interest to the mother’s estate. The client would like the documents reviewed to see if they are valid and whether or not she has any interest in the estate. Volunteer attorney needed to consult with the client to determine whether she has any interest and representation in the court process if needed.
Case #20-xxx2194 (Wills/Estates)
Our, elderly, client needs assistance with estate planning. He would like a Will drafted so that he can specify how he would like affairs to be handled. Client would benefit from a consultation to determine what exactly needs to be done as well as representing him in the process.
For disaster relief cases, please contact Jason Susalla directly – jsusalla [at] bals.org.
Case #20-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. The client seeks review of her prospectus and a consultation on mobile home law, exploring her rights and obligations as a mobile home owner.
Case #20-xxx2982 (Debt Relief and Chapter 7 Bankruptcy – Hillsborough County)
Our client is a low-income, disabled senior that lost employment shortly prior to Hurricane Irma in 2017. The hurricane impact initiated a series of events that led her debts to spiral out of control. The client is now saddled with numerous debts of which she is unable to pay with her only source of income - social security. Client will need a review of her debts and bankruptcy consultation, in addition to a likelihood of representation in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.
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If you live or have a case in Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas or Sarasota counties, we may be able to help.