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 [at] bals.org.

Pro Bono Case Summaries – December 2020

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

Bankruptcy

Case #20-xxx3544 (Chapter 7 Bankruptcy)
Our client is a service-connected, disabled Veteran who served in the Middle East. Over time, she has been able to work less and less and her financial issues spiraled. She has a number of debts, including a foreclosure, a repossessed vehicle, credit cards, medical debts, and student loans. Client seeks assistance in filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Case #19-xxx7992 (Chapter 7 Bankruptcy)
Client seeks assistance in filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. He accumulated debt related to his driver’s license being suspended several times in the state of Ohio. Client moved to Florida and has not been able to obtain a driver’s license here as a result of such fees. Client often works in mechanic shops doing odd jobs but cannot secure employment because he cannot test-drive cars. This is causing a barrier to employment. Client is essentially homeless living on and off with friends as a result.

Case #20-xxx8068 (Chapter 7 Bankruptcy)
Our Spanish-speaking only client has consumer debt that she cannot afford to pay.  She got behind financially when her son was born with health issues and her husband's income has decreased due to COVID. In 2019, she entered into a contract with a debt consolidation program and was making monthly payments to pay off the debt. However, she can no longer afford such payments on their limited income. Client would either like to negotiate with debtors/debt consolidation company to lower monthly payments or file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. This is likely the better option for client than debt consolidation as their income is so limited at this time.

Case #20-xxx8860 (Chapter 7 Bankruptcy)
Client and her husband seek assistance in jointly filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Client was involved in an accident in 2012 and sued by the insurer of the other driver. A Final Judgment was entered against client and her husband and their driver’s licenses were suspended as a result of their failure to satisfy the judgment. They also have a number of other debts, including consumer debt, medical bills and student loans. Client and her husband are both disabled and they are co-guardians for their 2 adult disabled sons. They cannot afford to make any payments towards the judgment and will never be able to pay off the judgment or their other debts.

Family Law

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-xxx6430 (Divorce)
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.

Guardianship

Case #20-xxx2106 (Guardianship)
Our, Spanish speaking only, client seeks assistance with filing Guardianship of her ailing husband. Due to dementia he can no longer make decisions on his own and the client has not been able to do so without the proper paperwork. Volunteer attorney is needed to represent the client in the court proceedings in Pasco County.

Miscellaneous

Case #20-xxx4611(Contracts)
Our client needs assistance with a contracts matter. She purchased a car from the OP and put down part of the money and they agreed she could make payments on the balance. After her first payment she notice a discrepancy on the receipt regarding the balance. The OP advised it was an error and gave her a handwritten corrected receipt. Thereafter she made another payment but noticed the error was still showing. Before client could make another payment the car was repossessed without any notice. The OP is refusing to tell the client where the car is and is demanding she pay the incorrect balance. Client would like the car back or the money paid. Volunteer attorney needed to consult with client regarding her rights and remedies and represent her in the proceedings.

Probate

Case #20-xxx0896 (Probate)
Client’s husband passed away intestate this year, leaving behind homestead property, property out of state and several vehicles. Client and her husband have adult children and husband has an adult son from a prior relationship. Title to their home passed to client as a tenant by the entirety; however, the mortgage is in husband’s name alone and the mortgage company will not communicate with client. The mortgage payments were already behind as the husband was out of work prior to his death due to COVID. The bank has granted a forbearance for now but client ultimately needs to assume/negotiate the mortgage. She has been told that she needs to probate her husband’s estate in order for her to do so. Client needs assistance in determining if a Summary Administration is necessary in this situation. She also needs advice regarding the out of state property, which is in her husband’s name alone, since the court does not have jurisdiction over this property.

Disaster Relief

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.


Up-to-Date Cases

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