Women Children & Family

SR18E-1001199

OCEAN COUNTY - CONSULT

Limited-scope, phone consult

SR and TR, and their two children, suffered significant damage to their primary home in 2012 during Superstorm Sandy. SR and TR were LMI grant recipients and in May 2017, the state issued them a mortgage forbearance certificate, which they submitted to their mortgage company. In February 2018, they received a letter from the DCA claiming their forbearance certificate was revoked. They immediately appealed the decision and the DCA's motion was ultimately denied by the hearing officer, but SR and TR are now scheduled for a pre-hearing conference with the OAL on Tuesday, October 30th. SR and TR are seeking a consultation with an attorney to help prepare for their pre-hearing conference.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org

JR18E-1001189

SOMERSET COUNTY - NAME CHANGE

File urgent name change application. Spanish-speaking client.

JR, a transwoman, is from El Salvador and seeking asylum. Prior to filing the asylum application, it is imperative that JR's legal name affirms her identity. JR seeks an attorney to assist her with a legal name change. JR already has an immigration attorney assisting with her asylum application.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org

NS18E-1001148

SOMERSET COUNTY - HARASSMENT/TORT CLAIM

Consultation to discuss legal rights regarding potential abuse of son.

DD is a 5-year-old Kindergartner who has been diagnosed with ADHD and a speech delay. In September 2018, he came home with a bruise in the shape of a handprint on his arm, as well as some bruises on his legs. Initially, DD refused to tell his parents, NS and BD, what happened, but he ultimately explained that he had hit another child on the playground, and his teacher had grabbed him in a rough manner. NS and BD reported the incident to the police, who are investigating. A few days later, DD reported that his teacher had called him “stupid” and an “asshole” and hit him. DD has been begging not to go to school anymore and having nightmares. NS and BD are seeking a consultation with an attorney about what her legal rights are.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org

SD18E-1001122

PASSAIC county - SPECIAL EDUCATION

Negotiation with district to obtain IEEs, new placement, and comp. ed. IEP meeting scheduled for October 17th.

DG is a 15-year-old who has been diagnosed with ADHD, Conduct Disorder, and Oppositional Defiant Disorder. He has a history of disruptive behavior in school and has been treated by therapists for depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and school refusal. DG moved to a new school district in September 2016. For the 2016-17 school year, he was placed in a self-contained classroom for students with learning and language disabilities, but at the start of the 2017-18 school year, he was transferred to a general education classroom with pull out resource for Language Arts and Math. DG’s mother, SD, believes that her son’s behaviors worsened last year due to his increasing frustrations with the academic requirements of his general education placement. In May 2018, SD submitted a written request for DG to be transferred to a therapeutic school, but the district denied her request. In addition, the district’s triennial reevaluation in 2017 consisted solely of an educational evaluation and SD believes the evaluator only spent 15 minutes with DG.  SD is seeking independent evaluations, including a psychological, educational, psychiatric; placement in a therapeutic out-of-district school, if warranted, or alternatively a small high school in the district; and compensatory behavioral services.

To review, email tbermudez@vljnj.org

TA18E-1000767

SOMERSET COUNTY - SPECIAL EDUCATION/BULLYING

Appeal of district’s HIB findings; negotiation with district to obtain reevaluation, IEP amendments, and comp. ed.

AC is a 13-year-old 7th-grader who has been diagnosed with ADHD, as well as Autism Spectrum Disorder and Tourette’s syndrome (though only the ADHD is documented in her IEP). AC has been bullied for years, particularly by one girl, and repeatedly called names like “ugly” and “retarded.” In January 2018, students on the bus pulled off the wig AC was wearing, video-recorded the incident, and posted the video on social media. In a separate incident, other students told AC to put lotion on her face, and when she did, laughed at her for having “ejaculated semen” on her face. AC’s mother, TA, reported both incidents, but neither was found to be HIB. TA requested a hearing before the BOE, and a date was scheduled in April. When TA arrived, she was unable to get into the building. The district claimed that she failed to appear and affirmed its findings. AC has also not had a reevaluation since 2012. In addition, her IEP does not include counseling or social skills instruction. TA filed a complaint with the Division on Civil Rights and is seeking representation at a Fact Finding Conference scheduled for October 11, 2018. She is also seeking a possible appeal of the district’s HIB findings, a thorough reevaluation of AC, compensatory educational services if warranted, and development of an IEP that addresses all of AC’s unique needs.

To review, email tbermudez@vljnj.org

TW18E-1001098

ESSEX COUNTY - DRIVER LICENSE RESOTRATION

Limited assistance navigating how to lift driver’s license suspension.

TW attended court and understood that Irvington Municipal Court had dismissed her outstanding parking tickets in the amount of $775 (and she believes she has proof to that effect), but the MVC says they will not lift the suspension because the tickets are still outstanding. She believes debt collectors are also seeking payment of $775. VLJ will request the MVC records for volunteer attorney’s review. Volunteer attorney would make phone calls to the MVC and Irvington Municipal Court to reconcile this discrepancy. There may have been a clerical error or the client may have misunderstood the judge’s order. If the latter, volunteer attorney would guide her in appropriate next steps to resolve suspension.

To review, email ebalan@vljnj.org

JH18E-1000957

UNION COUNTY - SPECIAL EDUCATION

Negotiation with district to obtain new placement and counseling

JC is a 10-year-old student who just finished the 4th grade; he has been diagnosed with a learning disability and a speech and language impairment. JC has been bullied by other students (including physical abuse by one particular student) since February. In May, the bus driver informed JC’s mother, JH, that he observed JC kissing another boy on the bus. JC told his mother that he had been bullied into it, and also revealed another incident in which he was harassed into performing oral sex on another student on the school bus. JH immediately reported the incidents; the district filed a HIB report and informed DCPP. In June, the district found that the circumstances of the incident met the definition of HIB. JH is seeking another school for her son (which would not require him to take the bus) as well as counseling.

To review, email: tbermudez@vljnj.org

SR18E-1000996

ESSEX COUNTY - SECTION 8, EVICTION

Assistance in obtaining new Section 8 voucher; possible defense against eviction proceeding (not yet filed)

SR, a single mother of four young children, has lived in an apartment for 2 years that she obtained through a Section 8 voucher, and has always paid her portion of the rent on time. In May, SR got into a fight with another tenant in the building, and the other tenant filed criminal charges. One of SR’s conditions of release was that she would not be able to return to the apartment building pending the outcome of her case. In July, SR was notified that Section 8 had ceased paying the remainder of her rent because she has been out of her apartment for more than 30 days. She was told that she could appeal the determination by requesting a hearing, but has not received any written notification with more information. In August, SR was told by her management company that, as a result of Section 8 having stopped paying the rent, SR will soon be evicted (though an eviction proceeding has not yet been initiated). SR’s goal is to find a new apartment with a new Section 8 voucher, and to avoid having an eviction on her record.

To review, email tbermudez@vljnj.org

GS18E-1000751

PASSAIC COUNTY - SPECIAL EDUCATION

Negotiation with district to obtain IEEs, comp. ed., and possible out-of-district placement

JR is a 13-year-old 7th-grader who has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The district has not implemented his speech and language therapy since January because the therapist retired and has not been replaced. That same month, JR had a meltdown and threatened to hurt himself and another student. JR’s grandmother and guardian, GS, submitted letters from his doctor and then a psychiatrist, but he was still not allowed to return to school until GS complained to the district BOE. He was not provided any services during this time and his attendance records indicate that his absences were unexcused. At the time of the incident, JR’s 1:1 aide was out due to surgery and the district did not replace her. In May, JR was suspended for five days for striking a teacher after she grabbed him. GS is seeking independent evaluations, compensatory services, and either an appropriate out-of-district placement or at least implementation of an appropriate IEP.

UNDER REVIEW

KP17E-1000066

ESSEX COUNTY - ESTATE PLANNING

Drafting estate planning documents

KP is a 43-yr-old, mother of 5, seeking to have a will, POA, and medical directives drafted. KP is been diagnosed with cancer and has begun treatment. At this point, KP would like to be prepared and has discussed her wishes with her older children and wants her decisions documented. KP has a few assets and about $2000 worth of medical and credit card debt.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org

NP18E-1001027

ESSEX COUNTY - BANKRUPTCY

Representation in Chapter 7

NP is a 56 year old woman who stopped working last year due to disability.  She has approximately $20,000 of dischargeable debt and is currently subsisting on public benefits while waiting for an SSA determination. She does not plan on returning to work due to her disability and needs a fresh start in order to make ends meet with her anticipated limited fixed income from Social Security.  She prefers a Spanish speaking attorney, if possible.

To review, email tbermudez@vljnj.org

TC18E-1000889

ESSEX COUNTY - SECTION 8, NAME CHANGE

Assistance in relocating out of state with court’s consent; reinstating Section 8 voucher or securing new one; possible name change for client’s son

TC, a single mother of three young children, is a victim of domestic violence, both from her ex-husband as well as many of his family members. She fears for her safety and is seeking to move out of the state. TC needs help obtaining the court’s consent to relocate. TC managed to get a Section 8 voucher in Pennsylvania, but it expired in April and she was unable to get an extension. She is seeking assistance in getting her Pennsylvania voucher reinstated or else obtaining a voucher in another state. In addition, because TC’s son has her ex-husband’s last name, she is concerned that her ex-husband might be able to find him if she does move out of state. TC is also seeking a name change for her son if possible.

UNDER REVIEW

BS18E-1000711

ESSEX COUNTY - CONSUMER

Negotiation and possible litigation

BS is 19 years old and has been largely independent since her mother suffered a stroke 3-4 years ago. Her mother has been unable to work and lives in a nursing home. BS applied to college and was accepted with a substantial financial aid award. The college later rescinded the award due to an inaccuracy in her FASFA regarding her mother. Once the college rescinded the award, BS could not continue to pay her tuition and she withdrew from the collge. The college is demanding unpaid tuition. Thus far, the college has refused to forgive the debt after several phone calls.

UNDER REVIEW

ME18E-1000606

ESSEX COUNTY - DIVORCE

Client is Spanish-speaking. Case Management Conference to be scheduled for September 4th.

ME is a Spanish-speaking victim of domestic violence. Her wife filed a divorce complaint, which ME answered and counterclaimed on May 22, 2018. The parties have no children together. ME is seeking legal representation in her divorce matter to address alimony and equitable distribution of property.

To review, email jchavez@vljnj.org

MI17E-1001540

ESSEX COUNTY - DIVORCE

Client is seeking full representation in divorce matter. Please note client is Spanish-speaking. 

MI is a Spanish-speaking 58-year-old disabled woman. The parties married in 1997. She has limited English proficiency. Due to her disability, which she sustained during employment, MI has been unemployed for the last 17 years.. The parties jointly own a 3-family home. The parties reside in their marital home and occupy one of the floors, and the other two they rent out to their two tenants. The house was in foreclosure because the former tenant was not paying rent.  Presently, the parties entered into a modification agreement with the bank in order to avoid foreclosure. The husband is employed full-time but has not contributed to any household related expenses and does not provide any financial assistance to MI The husband was in a car accident and has reached a settlement, the amount of which is unknown to MI  MI is seeking divorce, alimony, equitable distribution, and any other relief she is entitled to.

To review, email jchavez@vljnj.org