July 30, 2019
PRACTICE AREAS





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Greetings,

Unbelievably, we are headed into August. If you have children in school, this is your official reminder to check for back-to-school shopping lists - they are no joke!
 
Typically, we do not place a lot of cases in August, and I would like that to change this year. We have a number of new cases on the case list, including housing, immigration, benefits and non-profits. These clients are anxiously awaiting pro bono legal help so they can continue moving forward in their lives.
 
The difference that we can make in these clients' lives when we find pro bono counsel for them is difficult to describe in words, but is often expressed with homemade food, hand-painted cards, or just genuine expressions of thanks. Take a look at the case list below and see if there is a case you can get involved with today! 




Sincerely, 


Leigh Ferrin
Directing Attorney, 
Pro Bono Programs





 

We Make Pro Bono Easy!
 
PLC is here to support you
in your pro bono representation.
 
Did you know that PLC staff can:
  • Answer questions you may have
    related to your case;
  • Provide a mentor to help you;
  • Supply you with samples and manuals
    in many areas of the law;
  • Review documents and pleadings;
  • Provide interpretation support in
    Spanish and Vietnamese;
  • Arrange office space for you to meet
    with your client at PLC; and
  • Provide malpractice coverage for your
    PLC pro bono case 

Please contact
Leigh Ferrin with any questions.
 
ADOPTIONS

No cases at this time.
APPEALS
 
Appeal of Limited Civil Judgment (Debt Collection Defense), PLC 19-1047133
Client is in his 40s and cares for both of his elderly, ailing parents. A judgment was recently entered against Client after a trial. Client believes the trial court erred and has filed a Notice of Appeal and the designation of the record. Client seeks representation for the remainder of the appeal, including preparation of briefs and oral argument. 
BANKRUPTCY

No cases at this time.
BENEFITSBenefits

Social Security Disability Administrative Hearing, PLC 19-1047131
Client is a Spanish-speaking male in his 50s. The District Court reversed and remanded the Social Security Administration's denial of Client's social security disability application. The Social Security Administration recently informed Client he would be receiving a notice of a hearing before a new Administrative Law Judge shortly. Client is seeking representation for the administrative hearing.

Social Security Disability Insurance Appeal Hearing, PLC 19E-1047063
Client suffers from a number of disabilities including asthma, bipolar disorder, Crohn's disease, fibromyalgia, and neuropathy. Client was also recently diagnosed with a carcinoid tumor, which has returned for the fourth time, and Client will need to begin undergoing treatment soon. Social Security Administration wants to terminate Client's Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), claiming her disability is not severe enough to prevent her from working. Client depends on SSDI for income and to qualify for Medicare coverage. Client has requested an Administrative Law Judge hearing to appeal the termination of SSDI and needs representation.

Social Security Disability Insurance Appeal, PLC 18E-1044793
Client is 53 years old and filed for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) in 2010 when he could no longer work as a commercial plumber. He has a history of degenerative disc disease, PTSD, depression, carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome, and impingement of shoulder nerves. Client has also been fighting stage 3 prostate cancer, and is currently undergoing chemotherapy and radiation. Client was denied SSDI in August 2016 after an administrative appeal hearing. Client is being supported by his children, but no longer wants to be a burden on them. Client is seeking to reopen his SSDI case.
CONSERVATORSHIP

Limited Conservatorship, PLC 19-1045192
Clients are the parents and older brother of the proposed conservatee. The proposed conservatee has Autism and will turn 18-years-old in February 2019. The clients each closely care for the proposed conservatee and want to assist him with making informed medical decisions (among other important decisions) once he becomes an adult. All 2nd degree relatives are known and located.

Conservatorship, PLC TBD
Client is seeks to obtain a conservatorship over her teenage son, who has autism spectrum disorder and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Child is not currently in Client's custody, and Client seeks assistance so that she can ensure her son receives the proper treatment. Client seeks to dispute an investigative report and communicate with the Public Defender in the pending conservatorship case. Hearings are on calendar, although Client has been able to get continuances.

Limited Conservatorship, PLC 19-1045693
Clients' 18-year-old son has Autism and developmental delay. Their son's medical providers are requesting that Clients provide proof of authority to make medical decisions on his behalf. Clients are seeking pro bono representation in obtaining a limited conservatorship over their son's person. 
*Clients are monolingual Spanish speakers*

Limited Conservatorship, PLC 19E-1045421
Client's son will turn 18-years-old in November 2019. He has developmental disabilities and requires daily supervision and assistance with completing basic tasks. He is verbal but his speech is limited. Client seeks a volunteer attorney to help obtain a limited conservatorship over his person. Client is a monolingual Spanish speaker.
CONSUMER 

Motion to Vacate Default Judgment (Debt Collection Defense), PLC 19E-1045659
Client is a Spanish-speaking female in her 40s. Client recently discovered a default judgment was entered in against her several years ago. Client believes service of the summons and complaint were not proper, and there appear to be additional procedural deficiencies with the case. Client seeks assistance setting aside the default judgment because she disputes the debt and believes procedural deficiencies provide a basis to dismiss the case.

Motion to Vacate Default Judgment (Debt Collection Defense), PLC 19E-1047000
Client is a single mother in her 50s. She recently received notice of a wage garnishment for a case she did not realize had been filed against her. Client's claim of exemption was partially granted. Client cannot afford any money being garnished from her wages and disputes the validity of the debt that formed the basis of the default judgment against her. Client believes service of the summons and complaint were not proper. Client seeks assistance vacating the default judgment so that she can end the wage garnishment and defend herself on the merits.

Debt Collection Defense, PLC 19E-1046667
Clients are elderly family members, one of whom is a veteran. They have recently been sued for over $50,000 for an alleged breach of contract. Clients are seeking assistance defending this lawsuit and protecting their sole asset - their home.
CONTRACTS 

No cases at this time.
CUSTODY

Custody
Client is a survivor of domestic violence who is receiving government benefits and seeks representation at her custody hearing in September. There is a concurrent criminal domestic violence case and a Criminal Protective Order ("CPO") protecting the minor child, but the Adverse Party seeks to have charges dropped and the CPO terminated prior to the September custody hearing. The court ordered a Child Custody Investigation ("CCI"), and the September hearing will be the return on the CCI.

Dissolution/Custody/Support, PLC 19-1046173
Client is a survivor of domestic violence who is currently unemployed and receiving government benefits. She has two children under the age of two. She seeks assistance with her divorce, including a request for an interstate move-away, child support, and spousal support. Preliminary disclosures have not yet been exchanged.
DISABILITY

Social Security Disability Administrative Hearing, PLC 19-1047131
Client is a Spanish-speaking male in his 50s. The District Court reversed and remanded the Social Security Administration's denial of Client's social security disability application. The Social Security Administration recently informed Client he would be receiving a notice of a hearing before a new Administrative Law Judge shortly. Client is seeking representation for the administrative hearing.

Social Security Disability Insurance Appeal Hearing, PLC 19E-1047063
Client suffers from a number of disabilities including asthma, bipolar disorder, Crohn's disease, fibromyalgia, and neuropathy. Client was also recently diagnosed with a carcinoid tumor, which has returned for the fourth time, and Client will need to begin undergoing treatment soon. Social Security Administration wants to terminate Client's Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), claiming her disability is not severe enough to prevent her from working. Client depends on SSDI for income and to qualify for Medicare coverage. Client has requested an Administrative Law Judge hearing to appeal the termination of SSDI and needs representation.

Social Security Disability Insurance Appeal, PLC 18E-1044793
Client is 53 years old and filed for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) in 2010 when he could no longer work as a commercial plumber. He has a history of degenerative disc disease, PTSD, depression, carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome, and impingement of shoulder nerves. Client has also been fighting stage 3 prostate cancer, and is currently undergoing chemotherapy and radiation. Client was denied SSDI in August 2016 after an administrative appeal hearing. Client is being supported by his children, but no longer wants to be a burden on them. Client is seeking to reopen his SSDI case.
DISSOLUTION 

Dissolution, PLC 19-1046494
Client was served with a dissolution by his ex-partner, but was overwhelmed with the paperwork and did not file a timely response. A default judgment was entered in the case, and custody determinations were made without him having any say in the matter. Client seeks assistance with a Motion to Vacate and Set Aside Judgment, so that he can fully litigate the custody matters.

Dissolution, PLC 19E-1046022
Client is a domestic violence survivor and a single mother of three. Her only income is benefits and food stamps. She is seeking representation at the trial in her dissolution case against her abuser, which is scheduled for December 2019. 

Dissolution/Custody, PLC 19E-1046640
Client is in her 30s and is a survivor of domestic violence. She has a hearing for a domestic violence restraining order in July, but is also seeking representation for the underlying dissolution case, including custody and support orders. 
*Client is a monolingual Spanish speaker*

Dissolution with Prenuptial Agreement, PLC 19E-1045496
Client is a 40 year-old survivor of domestic violence. Client is in the process of petitioning for her divorce in pro per. Client will need assistance with discovery: the parties signed a prenuptial agreement, but the opposing party will not provide her with a copy. Client will potentially need assistance with either enforcing or contesting it, depending on its terms.  Client speaks English and is very responsive.

Dissolution/Custody/Support, PLC 19-1046173
Client is a survivor of domestic violence who is currently unemployed and receiving government benefits. She has two children under the age of two. She seeks assistance with her divorce, including a request for an interstate move-away, child support, and spousal support. Preliminary disclosures have not yet been exchanged.
EMPLOYMENT
 
Non-Profit (Personal Safety) - Employment Policies, PLC 19-1046931
Client is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower people through self-defense training. Client seeks legal guidance with recovering equipment owned by the organization that had been issued to employees.
GUARDIANSHIP

No cases at this time.
HOMEOWNERSHIP 

Mobilehome Residency Law Violation, PLC 19-1046444
Client is a group of senior residents, most on fixed-incomes, living in a senior mobilehome park. Under residents' rental agreements, the mobilehome park was responsible for certain utility charges. Mobilehome park has began to transfer utility charges to residents, but has not simultaneously reduced residents' rent by the average cost of the utility for the previous year, as required by the Mobilehome Residency Law. Residents would like for the rent to be properly reduced, as required by law, and to be reimbursed for the over-payments made since the transfer of utility charges to the residents.

Breach of Rental Agreements, PLC 19E-1046609
Client is a group of senior residents, most on fixed incomes, living in a senior mobilehome park. Residents received a rent increase they believe to be a violation of their rental agreements and would like to bring an action to enforce their rental agreements and hopefully negotiate a long-term resolution that will provide financial security and peace of mind for the senior residents. 
IMMIGRATION Immigration

Immigration/Asylum, PLC 19E-1047435
Client is 37 years old and married with two U.S. citizen children. After the police in China attempted to forcibly sterilize client's wife, Client immediately fled to the U.S. with his family earlier this year. Client stopped the police from sterilizing his wife and was put in jail for a day. During this time, he was physically beaten and since his release he has received threats from the police in China. Client is currently in removal proceedings and is looking for assistance in filing his asylum application. He would like to include his wife as a derivative on the application.

Immigration/U-Visa, PLC 19E-1046835 
Client is a single father of 2 minor USC children. One of his children is a victim of child abduction by their mother. Due to client's cooperation in the investigation, his child was returned to him. Client would like assistance in filing a U-Visa petition as a direct or indirect victim of the crime committed against his child. Client speaks some English, but if necessary he has a case manager who can serve as Spanish interpreter as well. 

Immigration/T-Visa, PLC 19E-1046970
Client is a 41-year-old victim of labor trafficking, and mother to three U.S. citizen children. Her youngest daughter suffers from depression and is currently in therapy. In approximately 1995, when client was about 17 years old, her traffickers recruited her for a childcare position but falsely represented several terms of the employment, failed to compensate her, held her against her will under the threat of debt bondage, verbally abused her, and facilitated several incidents of sexual abuse by a family member of client. Client is looking for assistance on filing a T-Visa application (visa for human trafficking survivors). Client would like to include her husband as a derivative. 
*Client is a monolingual Spanish speaker*

Non-Detained Removal Defense, PLC 19E-1045885/19-1045895
Clients are a couple that fled Mexico with their young daughter after armed men threatened them with harm because they failed to vote for a certain political candidate. The family was paroled into the U.S. in late 2018. Clients are seeking assistance with their defensive asylum case, and each would like to include their daughter on their asylum applications. Clients have their first Master Calendar Hearing scheduled in August.
*Clients are monolingual Spanish speakers*
U-Visa, PLC 19E-1047494
Client is a single gay man, who was the victim of domestic violence by his long time partner. His partner abused him verbally and physically, often using racial slurs. He also harrassed him by phone and by showing up at his workplace. Client reported the abuse to the police; he also sought and received a Domestic Violence Restraining Order. Client would like assistance in preparing and filing a U-Visa petition.

U-Visa, PLC 19E-1046371 & PLC 19-1046393
Clients are a married couple in their 40s and 50s. Their child, who is a U.S. Citizen, was a victim of attempted sexual assault when the child was a minor. Clients have no health issues or disabilities, but do not have much education. Neither client has a criminal record. Clients are seeking assistance filing a U-Visa petition as indirect victims of the crime committed against their child. 
*Clients are monolingual Spanish speakers*

Petition to Remove Conditional Permanent Residence, PLC 19-1045566
Client is in his late 30s early-40s and is currently employed. Client's prior partner filed a family based petition on the client's behalf and he was granted Conditional Permanent Residence for a 2 year period. During their marriage, client suffered physical and emotional abuse at the hands of his husband. He is now seeking assistance in filing a petition to remove the condition based on being "battered or abused" by his partner. Successfully removing this condition will prevent the client from losing his permanent resident status.
*Client primarily speaks Vietnamese*
Email Staff Attorney Diana Spix

VAWA, PLC 19-1046677
Client is in her early 50's. She is the victim of verbal and mental abuse by her US Citizen Spouse, who often calls her names and uses her immigration status as a threat. Her previous application for adjustment was denied because he would not go to the interview. Client has not reported him to the police in fear of her immigration status and is in the process of seperating. Client would like assistance in preparing and filing a VAWA self-petition and Adjustment of Status.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY   
 
Non-Profit/Intellectual Property (Veterans) - Trademark, PLC 19-1046934
Client is a new nonprofit organization whose mission is to help improve the lives of veterans through deep sea fishing. Client seeks legal assistance registering a trademark for the nonprofit name and logo.
Email Directing Attorney Sarah Efthymiou

Small Business/Intellectual Property - Trademark, PLC 19-1046816
Client is a low-income entrepreneur who is starting a business selling low-cost medical clothing. Client seeks legal assistance registering a trademark for the business name and logo. 
LANDLORD / TENANTHousing

Landlord-Tenant Discrimination, PLC 19E-1046925
Client is a woman with long-term illness who receives Section 8 housing. Her landlord is seeking to evict her, stating that the client is "diseased" and "dirty." The landlord has also disclosed the client's illness to the other roommates, attempted to lock her out of the property, and is currently preventing her from using amenities. Client would like to file an affirmative discrimination case which will likely include related causes of action. She may also need representation with defending an eviction case in the near future.

Landlord-Tenant Discrimination, PLC 19-1046717
Client is a Section 8 tenant whose property management representative told her that the property manager does not want her living there because of her race. Client has made multiple habitability reports to City Code Enforcement, and the owner has retaliated by filing two eviction cases against her, which she won based on technical defenses. The owner has recently served her with another 90-day notice to vacate and she seeks representation in this "third round" eviction action. She also seeks representation in an affirmative action case against her landlord for racial discrimination, retaliation, and habitability violations.

Landlord-Tenant Dispute - Affirmative Case, PLC 19-1047021
Clients are a Latino couple whose landlord has unlawfully changed the locks in their home.  Clients are only able to access property by having their co-tenants unlock the door. Also, the landlord has unlawfully reported the clients to the police as lodgers/trespassers, even though they have a lease that specifies they are tenants. Clients seek representation in an affirmative case for the unlawful lockout. PLC is currently planning to represent them in their pending eviction action.

Dispute with Subsidized Housing Provider, PLC 19-10462625
Client is a homeless individual who is a survivor of domestic violence. She received Section 8 assistance, and was terminated from the program after she removed her abusive husband from the household, because they incorrectly determined that the client and her child were "overhoused." As a result, she is now homeless. The subsidized housing provider violated numerous federal regulations, fair housing laws related to sex based discrimination, and the Violence Against Women Act. Client would like to file a federal discrimination suit and writ against the subsidized housing provider to have them re-house her, change their policies, and to obtain damages.  

Mobilehome Residency Law Violation, PLC 19-1046444
Client is a group of senior residents, most on fixed-incomes, living in a senior mobilehome park. Under residents' rental agreements, the mobilehome park was responsible for certain utility charges. Mobilehome park has began to transfer utility charges to residents, but has not simultaneously reduced residents' rent by the average cost of the utility for the previous year, as required by the Mobilehome Residency Law. Residents would like for the rent to be properly reduced, as required by law, and to be reimbursed for the over-payments made since the transfer of utility charges to the residents.

Breach of Rental Agreements, PLC 19E-1046609
Client is a group of senior residents, most on fixed incomes, living in a senior mobilehome park. Residents received a rent increase they believe to be a violation of their rental agreements and would like to bring an action to enforce their rental agreements and hopefully negotiate a long-term resolution that will provide financial security and peace of mind for the senior residents. 
LITIGATION 

Dispute with Subsidized Housing Provider, PLC 19-10462625
Client is a homeless individual who is a survivor of domestic violence. She received Section 8 assistance, and was terminated from the program after she removed her abusive husband from the household, because they incorrectly determined that the client and her child were "overhoused." As a result, she is now homeless. The subsidized housing provider violated numerous federal regulations, fair housing laws related to sex based discrimination, and the Violence Against Women Act. Client would like to file a federal discrimination suit and writ against the subsidized housing provider to have them re-house her, change their policies, and to obtain damages.  

Probate Litigation, PLC 19E-1046296 
Client is an elderly, disabled woman who is involved in a dispute over her father's estate, which consists primarily of the family home. She successfully removed the former administrator of the estate for not acting in the best interest of the estate or the beneficiary. She now seeks assistance with an action to surcharge the former administrator for breach of fiduciary duty, and assistance with being appointed as the new administrator of the estate.

Dissolution with Prenuptial Agreement, PLC 19E-1045496
Client is a 40 year-old survivor of domestic violence. Client is in the process of petitioning for her divorce in pro per. Client will need assistance with discovery: the parties signed a prenuptial agreement, but the  opposing party will not provide her with a copy. Client will potentially need assistance with either  enforcing or contesting it, depending on its terms. Client speaks English and is very responsive.
NAME CHANGE

No cases at this time.
NON-PROFITnonprofit

Non-Profit (Intervention) - Start-Up, PLC 19-1047309 
Client is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide support and training to lives impacted by incarceration, gangs, and violence through hope, healing, and transformation. Client has been operating under fiscal sponsorship and is now ready to form its independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Client seeks legal assistance with forming a California Public Benefit Corporation and obtaining federal and state tax exempt status. 

Non-Profit (Education) - Start-Up, PLC 19-1047301 
Client is a new nonprofit organization whose mission is to support and promote cultural and linguistic opportunities for students. Client seeks legal assistance forming a California Public Benefit Corporation and obtaining federal and state tax exempt status.

Non-Profit (Education) - Start-Up, PLC 19-1047303 
Client is a new nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower and encourage students to find their passion by providing pathways through vocational education. Client seeks legal assistance forming a California Public Benefit Corporation and obtaining federal and state tax exempt status. 

Nonprofit (Housing) - Employment Policies, PLC 19-1047339 
Client is an existing 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase the availability of affordable homes in Orange County. Client seeks legal assistance with reviewing their current employment manual and policies.

Non-Profit (Personal Safety) - Employment Policies, PLC 19-1046931
Client is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower people through self-defense training. Client seeks legal guidance with recovering equipment owned by the organization that had been issued to employees.

Non-Profit/Intellectual Property (Veterans) - Trademark, PLC 19-1046934
Client is a new nonprofit organization whose mission is to help improve the lives of veterans through deep sea fishing. Client seeks legal assistance registering a trademark for the nonprofit name and logo.
RESTRAINING ORDER
 
Domestic Violence Restraining Order/Custody, PLC 19E-1046640
Client is in her 30s and is a survivor of domestic violence. She is seeking representation for a hearing in late July in which the court will decide her request for a restraining order as well as make a determination regarding custody and visitation of the three children.
*Client is a monolingual Spanish speaker*
SMALL BUSINESS 

Small Business - Incorporation, PLC 19-1047540
Client is a low-income entrepreneur starting a consulting business offering marketing and branding services to small business owners. Client requests legal assistance with incorporation.

Small Business (Construction) - Incorporation, PLC 19-1047079
Client is a low-income entrepreneur starting a construction business with his father, who has over 30 years of experience. Client seeks legal guidance with choosing the appropriate business entity and filing the necessary business formation documents.

Small Business (Cleaning) - Contracts, PLC 19-1047318
Client is a low-income entrepreneur starting a laundry and dry cleaning business. Client seeks legal assistance drafting a contract for a potential business partner. 

Small Business (Media) - Contracts, PLC 19-1047324
Client is a low-income entrepreneur who operates an online media outlet that covers news affecting the African-American community. Client seeks legal assistance to draft a contract for businesses who would like to advertise on client's platform. 

Small Business (Education) - Contract, PLC 19-1047321
Client is a low-income entrepreneur starting a business teaching computer literacy, with a focus on the Hispanic community. Client seeks legal assistance drafting a contract for their customers. 

Small Business - Commercial Lease, PLC 19-1046775
Client is a low-income owner of a dry-cleaning business. Client seeks legal assistance reviewing his commercial lease to fully understand his rights as a commercial tenant. 
*Client is a monolingual Spanish speaker* 

Small Business/Intellectual Property - Trademark, PLC 19-1046816
Client is a low-income entrepreneur who is starting a business selling low-cost medical clothing. Client seeks legal assistance registering a trademark for the business name and logo. 
SPECIAL EDUCATION
  
No cases at this time.
SUPPORT
  
Dissolution/Custody/Support, PLC 19-1046173
Client is a survivor of domestic violence who is currently unemployed and receiving government benefits. She has two children under the age of two. She seeks assistance with her divorce, including a request for an interstate move-away, child support, and spousal support. Preliminary disclosures have not yet been exchanged.
UNACCOMPANIED CHILDREN
 
No cases at this time.
VETERANS

No cases at this time.
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WILLS & ESTATES 

Probate Litigation, PLC 19E-1046296 
Client is an elderly, disabled woman who is involved in a dispute over her father's estate, which consists primarily of the family home. She successfully removed the former administrator of the estate for not acting in the best interest of the estate or the beneficiary. She now seeks assistance with an action to surcharge the former administrator for breach of fiduciary duty, and assistance with being appointed as the new administrator of the estate.

Estate Planning Documents, PLC 19E-1047366
Client is an elderly widow who seeks to create a will, durable power of attorney, and advance health care directive. Her main asset is a mobilehome which she would like to leave to her close relative(s).

Special Needs Trust, PLC 19E-1046325
Client is in his late 50s and suffers from multiple physical ailments. He receives SSI and Medi-cal (as well as Social Security and Medicare). Having Medi-Cal is very important to Client, as he must undergo several medical procedures in the near future. Client may soon receive an inheritance from one of his parents who recently passed away. This inheritance will result in termination of Client's Medi-Cal. He seeks assistance with creating a first party Special Needs Trust as soon as possible. Client has a trusted relative in mind who can serve as trustee.

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