Volunteer Lawyers Project
The Docket
Newsletter, Issue 2
August Virtual CLE Series

Mark your calendars for the Volunteer Lawyers Project CLE Series this August, every Tuesday, 1:30 – 3:00 p.m., hosted by the Cincinnati Bar Association. Stay tuned for registration information to watch these free CLE Webinars. The topics include:

  • Collateral Issues in Divorce: Intersection with Bankruptcy, Immigration & Tax: Tuesday, August 4, 1:30 – 3:00 pm

  • Evictions Part I: Filings & Procedure, plus 2020 Changes to Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure: Tuesday, August 11, 1:30 – 3:00 pm

  • Wage & Hour Claims: Tuesday, August 18, 1:30 – 3:00 pm

  • Evictions Part II: Defenses, Counterclaims & Common Fact Patterns: Tuesday, August 25, 1:30 – 3:00 pm
Paige Berry pictured helping her two daughter's with their homework in the apartment where they face eviction. Photo taken by Meg Vogel, Cincinnati Enquirer.
Eviction Crisis: You Can Make a Difference

THANK YOU to the individual attorneys and firm coordinators who contacted the VLP offering to represent low-income tenant families amidst this eviction crisis.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented unemployment, causing tenants to fall behind on rent through no fault of their own. Current unemployment rates are disproportionately higher among people of color.
Resulting evictions, therefore, are another extension of the gross racial inequities that have been exacerbated by the economic fallout of COVID-19. Property owners and tenant advocates agree the tenants at the lowest end of the economic spectrum, especially people of color, will be the hardest hit.

Attorneys can volunteer to represent tenants in evictions:
  1. where the tenant has applied for, and is waiting on rent assistance, from a local agency, and
  2. where the tenant is current in their rent and has a valid defense.

If you are an active VLP volunteer, please email Tonya Young ( tyoung@lascinti.org ) telling her you can take a case.

If you are not yet a VLP volunteer, please register here .

If you’d like eviction training materials, or if you have any questions, please email Elizabeth Zak ( ezak@lascinti.org ). 
Ohio Supreme Court Issues Uniform
'Fee Waiver Affidavit'

In April 2020 , the Ohio Supreme Court issued a uniform Affidavit of Indigency.  R.C. 2323.311 instructs all state courts to approve a fee waiver for a litigant whose income is at/below 187.5% of the Federal Poverty Level and whose expenses are at/above their income . All Municipal Courts and Common Pleas Divisions, including Juvenile and Probate, are subject to R.C. 2323.311. See R.C. 2746.10 .

Ohio’s mandatory waiver of court costs for low-income civil litigants echoes the conversations of courts, nationwide, on how their fines, fees, and bail practices may have a disparate impact on the poor and on racial minorities. The VLP created a fillable version of Form 20: Civil Fee Waiver Affidavit and Order for our volunteer attorneys.
UC Law students learn more about the VLP at
UC First Look.
Research & Writing Help for VLP Volunteer Attorneys

Virtual summer law clerks are here!  This summer, in collaboration with the University of Cincinnati College of Law, VLP volunteer attorneys will have access to a law student volunteer panel comprised of rising 3L students . This collaboration is a win-win for the VLP and Cincinnati Law.

No assignment is too big or too small. The students want to utilize what they have learned and to build on their prior experience. They are another tool to help you help our clients. To request a law student help you with an assignment, contact Jim Tomaszewski at UC College of Law, tomaszja@uc.edu .  
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