UPCOMING CLINIC OPPORTUNITIES

Note, if this will be your first time volunteering at a limited-scope legal clinic, we ask that you review the substantive training materials on VLJ's Volunteer Resources site, prior to the clinic date. 

You MUST email if you are interested in attending, so we can confirm with you that there are still in fact volunteer spots open. PLEASE DO NOT JUST SHOW UP. Thank you! 

Divorce Program 

All clinics take place in downtown Newark, NJ from 2 - 5pm

  • 4 spot(s) Pro Se Litigant - Filing Clinic - September 19

Email jchavez@vljnj.org, with interest. 

Consumer Law Program 

All clinics take place in downtown Newark, NJ from 9:30am - 12:30pm

  • 2 spot(s) Consumer Clinic - September 3

Email anolan@vljnj.org, with interest. 

OA19E-1001056

ESSEX COUNTY - BANKRUPTCY

Filing bankruptcy petition

OA is an employed father of two who is experiencing financial crisis with consumer debt of approximately $40,000 and a pending lawsuit. OA needs assistance with filing a bankruptcy petition to enable him to have a fresh start with his finances.

To review, email msmith@vljnj.org

GC19E-1000996

HUDSON COUNTY - DIVORCE

August 30 court appearance with reply brief due August 22

Client GC and her husband obtained a divorce from bed and board in 2015, which divided the assets, gave GC alimony for a limited term, and importantly, enabled the husband to continue health insurance coverage for GC through his employer. GC learned in May 2019 that her health insurance was terminated, causing her to incur more medical bills. She moved to increase her alimony and her spouse filed a cross motion seeking to obtain an absolute divorce, vacate the limited divorce order on the basis of “mistake,” and to modify the terms of the marital settlement agreement, alleging that the court mistakenly believed that he could continue to provide health insurance coverage by obtaining a divorce from bed and board. GC’s spouse is represented by counsel and the hearing for both motions is scheduled for August 30.

To review, email jchavez@vljnj.org

GT19E-1000958

ESSEX COUNTY - CHILD SUPPORT/SPOUSAL SUPPORT

September court date

GT divorced her ex-spouse in 2017 and the court entered a child/spousal support order. The ex-spouse retired earlier this year and has now filed a motion seeking a downward modification of that order based on his retirement and other changes. Ex-spouse is represented by counsel and GT would greatly benefit from also having counsel in order to level the playing field. GT does communicate in English but prefers French Creole, if possible.

To review, email jchavez@vljnj.org

LM19E-1000975

WARREN COUNTY - SPECIAL EDUCATION

Negotiation with district to obtain OOD placement and possibly comp. ed. and IEEs

IM is a 13-year-old who just completed 8th grade and who has been diagnosed with major depressive disorder and anxiety. He has experienced school refusal, due in part to bullying that was not properly addressed. In March, IM began to refuse to attend school again; his treating psychiatrist wrote that it was medically necessary for him to be placed in a therapeutic school, and returning to the public school would exacerbate his psychiatric condition. However, the district refused to consider a change of placement. In addition, the district's recent evaluations are flawed in that portions of the WISC-V were omitted and IM was not screened for a possible specific learning disability in math. LM is seeking an out-of-district therapeutic placement, compensatory education if warranted, and possible independent evaluations.

To review, email jmoore@vljnj.org

UNDER REVIEW

MH19E-1000957

ESSEX COUNTY - DIVORCE

Pro se assistance or representation

MH recently obtained a divorce from her husband in June 2019. Already, her ex-husband has failed to comply with the final judgment of divorce and MH needs assistance in filing a motion to enforce the judgment as quickly as possible. Although MH would benefit from having a family law attorney review her pro se motion packet, ideally, MH would like representation since her ex-spouse has considerably more resources and will likely hire legal counsel.

To review, email jchavez@vljnj.org

DH19E-1000892

BERGEN COUNTY - SPECIAL EDUCATION/BULLYING

Negotiation with district to address HIB, obtain transportation and ESY, and amend IEP

JJ is a 12-year-old 6th-grader who has been diagnosed with ADHD. Since October 2018, he has been bullied because of his race and his disability by one particular student in the class. JJ’s mother, DH, has reported three incidents to the principal, but nothing has been done. In addition, the district has refused to provide transportation to JJ, despite the fact that DH provided a doctor’s note indicating that JJ’s asthma is exacerbated by having to walk to school in temperatures below 40 and above 80 degrees. The district also refused to provide JJ with ESY, instead recommending that DH send him to an expensive recreation camp. DH is seeking representation to address the bullying issues, obtain transportation and ESY for her son, and amend his IEP as appropriate.

To review, email jmoore@vljnj.org

JJ19E-1000814

PASSAIC COUNTY - DIVORCE

Full representation of Divorce matter

JJ needs assistance in filing for divorce from his wife who currently resides in Passaic County. JJ is a disabled twenty-four year old who was placed in the custody of New Jersey's Juvenile Justice Commission from 2013 to 2018. He got married during his commitment at the Training School for Boys which is located in Middlesex County. When he was released in 2018, he moved to another state through the interstate compact. He does not have any reason why the divorce would be contested, as they have no children or property together. He is willing to come to NJ for the proceedings.

To review, email jchavez@vljnj.org

SO19E-1000741

SPECIAL EDUCATION - ATLANTIC COUNTY

Negotiation with school district to obtain appropriate behavioral supports

TG is an 11-year-old 6th-grader who has been diagnosed with ADHD and has behavioral issues. He is placed in an out-of-district placement. There have been two incidents recently in which TG has been improperly restrained, one on the bus with an aide and the other in school in which a security guard grabbed the back of TG’s neck. Both incidents were captured on video but the school denied the request of TG’s mother, SO, to see the videos. SO believes the school does not have a good plan in place to help TG deescalate. She is seeking assistance in ensuring that her son is provided with appropriate behavioral supports.

To review, email jmoore@vljnj.org

PP19E-1000743

ESSEX COUNTY - ID fraud

Addressing fraudulent debt and stopping creditor harassment

PP is a veteran seeking assistance with an ID theft matter. While PP was serving overseas in the Navy, his ID was stolen and purchases were made in his name without his authorization. When he returned home to the US, PP started to receive harassing calls from creditors for thousands of dollars of debt for purchases he did not make. He is seeking assistance in disputing the fraudulent debts and stopping the creditor harassment.

To review, email jchavez@vljnj.org

AA19E-1000733

Bankruptcy Court SDNY

There will be a filing deadline once debtor objects to client's proof of claim.

AA, a resident of New Jersey, was a defendant in a mortgage foreclosure action venued in Ocean County, New Jersey. With the assistance of a pro bono attorney, she had filed an answer and counterclaim but in 2018, the court struck the answer and dismissed the counterclaim, stating on the record that the counterclaim could be filed in the Law Division. Before she could file the claim in the Law Division, the mortgagee filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition in the SDNY Bankruptcy Court in February 2019. Again, with the assistance of pro bono counsel, she filed a proof of claim in March 2019. Her pro bono attorney is unable to continue representation and AA needs an attorney to continue representing her interests if and when the debtor objects to the proof of claim.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org

SB19E-1000724

SPECIAL EDUCATION - MONMOUTH COUNTY

Negotiation with district to obtain out-of-district placement

LB is a 9-year-old 3rd-grader who has a number of diagnoses including autism, anxiety, severe reflux, emotional-behavioral challenges, asthma, severe allergies, cardiac issues, Ehlers Danlos syndrome, dysautonomia, and partial facial paralysis. He is frequently hospitalized for gastrointestinal and other issues. He uses an adaptive stroller and an invasive feeding tube at all times, and his IEP provides for a one-to-one aide and one-to-one nurse at school and on the bus. LB’s mother, SB, does not believe an in-district placement can meet her son’s needs. He has not received any home instruction or services since March 2019, when he was hospitalized for a broken feeding tube. SB is seeking an out-of-district placement which meets LB’s medical, developmental, educational, behavioral, and other needs.

To review, email jmoore@vljnj.org

TH19E-1000317

BULLYING - ESSEX COUNTY

Representation to ensure compliance with Harassment, Intimidation & Bullying (HIB) regulations.

NP is in 4th grade and was video-recorded by another student while using the toilet. That student showed the video recording to several other students during that school day and showed it to NP's sister during an after-school program. NP's mother reported the incident to the assistant principal the following day. While the assistant principal told NP's mother that the student who video-recorded NP had been suspended, the mother has never received any notices that the incident was considered Harassment, Intimidation & Bullying (HIB). The mother is concerned because the district does not seem to have done anything to ensure that the recording was secured. The principal told NP's mother that the district does not secure the recording because that would be promoting child pornography. Instead, the principal said that it was the responsibility of the parents of the student who made the recording to deal with the recording. The parent is seeking representation to ensure that the video-recording of NP has been destroyed and that incidents like this one do not occur again.

To review, email jmoore@vljnj.org

JD 19E-1000492

WITHHOLDING OF BACK PAY - ESSEX COUNTY

Advice and negotiation

JD, a senior veteran, seeks assistance with a withholding issue. JD's wife was a VA Medical Center Employee for many years. She died in 2018, leaving the client with very little income. JD struggles to pay basic expenses and to care for his young grandson, who lives him. JD's wife had significant back pay owed to her from the VA, to which JD is now entitled. After multiple attempts by JD to collect these funds, the VA has been unresponsive. JD seeks assistance in working with the VA to receive these back payments.

To review, email kgarcia@vljnj.org

LG18E-1001457

TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS/ADOPTION - PASSAIC COUNTY

Full representation

LG is a victim of human trafficking seeking assistance with termination of parental rights and adoption. LG was trafficked by her former partner and father of her two children for many years, until he was finally sent to jail for domestic violence. The trafficker was very abusive to LG and their children. LG has since married another man who has helped her raise the children. LG's husband would like to pursue step parent adoption. The trafficker is set to be released from jail this fall and has been threatening to take the children back to his home country. She would like to terminate the trafficker's parental rights prior to his release and have her husband pursue adoption of her two children.

To review, email jchavez@vljnj.org

UNDER REVIEW

DS19E1000191

DRIVERS LICENSE - WARREN COUNTY

Representation to restore license

DS, a veteran, had his license erroneously suspended after he was mistakenly charged with illegally passing a school bus. While the underlying charges have been dismissed by the Municipal Court, DS's license was not restored. DS was then charged with driving on a suspended license and failure to pay fines associated with suspension. He seeks assistance in restoring his license and dismissing the surcharges that have resulted from the suspension and failure to pay fines.

To review, email kgarcia@vljnj.org