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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Frequently Asked Questions for Pro Bono

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Frequently Asked Questions for Pro Bono

 

QHow does the program work? 
A
At put something back intake centers (123 Northwest First Avenue) experienced staff screen for income eligibility and initially determine if your case qualifies for the program's free services. A limited number of persons are seen on a first come, first served basis and as most legal problems have time limits, you should act quickly. The project does not accept emergencies.  
QWho can receive free legal assistance through Put Something Back?
A
You may be eligible for free legal assistance through Put Something Back if: 1) Your household income is not greater than 125% of the federal poverty guidelines, and 2) You have a civil legal matter that is handled by Put Something Back's volunteer attorneys. To find out if you qualify or free legal assistance through this program, you must be screened by program staff at (123 Northwest First Avenue between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.) Tuesday and Thursday. 
QWhat type of legal matters are and are not handled by this program? 
A
In general, the following civil court matters are handled by Put Something Back's volunteer attorneys: family cases; children's matters requiring the appointment of Guardians Ad Litem in juvenile, probate and civil court; consumer and housing concerns; domestic violence matters for persons seeking permanent injunctions for protection; employment matters; the preparation and processing of Wills; and, civil lawsuits greater than $5,000 where you are the party being sued. Although the program generally does not handle small claims cases (lawsuits up to $5,000), several Small Claims Clinics are presented throughout the year in which the public can learn how to proceed through court without an attorney, in minor civil matters. Put Something Back also coordinates a "Wills on Wheels" Program, which assists the incapacitated elderly of our community who need help in the preparation of their Wills, but are unable to travel. Cases that are not handled by the program include: Criminal, juvenile delinquency and traffic cases; civil cases where you are suing for money; small claims court cases (lawsuits up to $5,000), unless unusual circumstances exist; cases that can be settled by existing court mediation programs, such as landlord/tenant mediation; child support enforcement cases processed by the State Attorney's Office; any case, except a domestic violence permanent injunction matter, for which you need emergency legal attention within 21 days of your applying for the program's services; and, cases that can be handled by the Legal Aid Society or Legal Services of Greater Miami. To find out if your particular case qualifies, you must be screened by program staff. Click here
QWhere do I apply for the program's services?
A

A limited number of persons will be seen on a first come, first serve basis at the following intake center locations:

Day Intake Center Location Time
Tuesday & Thursday Legal Aid Society 123 N.W. 1st Avenue Miami, Florida 8:30 am to 11:00 am
QWhat should I bring with me to the intake center to apply for the program's services?
A
Please bring the following to verify your total household income and qualify your case for the program:
 
1) A picture ID, such as a driver's license, passport or resident card;
 
2) If you or other members of your household are employed, bring copies of pay stubs or letters from employers stating incomes. If you or other members of your household are self-employed, bring notarized affidavits explaining the nature of the work and income;
 
3) If you or other members of your household receive any public assistance, bring social security or other documents to verify the amount of benefits;
 
4) All persons should bring any legal papers and other documents which will assist program staff in determining the type of legal assistance needed.
 
If you misrepresent your income or the nature of your case, you may be rejected by the referral attorney. If your economic circumstances change at any time, you must notify the program's staff immediately.
QIf I qualify for the program's free legal services, will I be responsible for paying any costs?
A
Although your attorney's services will be free, you may have to pay for depositions, expert witnesses and other costs, depending on the type and complexity of your case.
QIf a person does not speak English, when is an interpreter needed?
A
Put Something Back staff who screen clients at the intake centers can assist Spanish and Creole- speaking persons. However, when meeting with an attorney assigned to the case, persons who do not speak English may be asked to bring someone to translate for them. Although program staff try to match non-English speaking clients with attorneys who speak their language, this is not always possible.
QIf I don't qualify for the program's free legal services, who may I contact for legal assistance?
A
If you do not qualify under Put Something Back's low income guidelines, or you have a case that is not handled by the program, intake staff will direct you to another program which may be able to assist you. One such program is the Dade County Bar Association Lawyer referral service which provides referrals to private attorneys. For further information, please call 305-371-2646. You may also visit the Florida Bar's website at http://www.flabar.org.
Information for Public Defender clients and their families can be found on the Public Defender's web site at http://www.pdmiami.com.
QFor further information about Put Something Back, who do I call?
A
To reach Put Something Back, contact the Legal Aid Society at (305)579-5733 ext. 2252.  
 
NOTE: If you are a person with a disability and need assistance in contacting the Put Something Back office, please call the ADA Coordinator at Florida Relay Services by dialing 1-800-955-8771 (TDD). Ask to be connected to the Put Something Back project at telephone number (305) 579-5733 ext. 2240 or you may email ecoto@dadelegalaid.org.
QIf I am a person with a disability and need assistance, who do I call?
A
If you are a person with a disability and need assistance in appearing in court or participating in a court program or service, please contact: Please contact ADA Coordinator, at:
 
Voice Mail: (305) 349-7175
TDD:         (305) 349-7174
Fax No:         (305) 349-7355
 
If you are a person with a disability and need assistance in contacting the Put Something Back office, please call the ADA Coordinator at Florida Relay Services by dialing 1-800-955-8771 (TDD).  Ask to be connected to the Put Something Back project at telephone number (305) 579-5733 ext. 2240
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