- Attorneys for the Child: Susan
“Susan” is the grandmother of two little girls. Their father murdered their mother in their presence, and then threatened to kill the girls if they told anyone. The girls did tell their grandmother what they witnessed and she contacted the authorities. She also brought the girls to the United States to protect them from their father and his gang. In order to gain legal guardianship of the girls, Susan had Legal Aid represent the children in court proceedings where she was awarded guardianship of them, and in which Orders of Protection against their father were entered.
The attorney for the girls then filed a Petition for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status on their behalf. The petition was granted, and the children became eligible for normalization of their immigration status. Their father is now serving a lengthy sentence in a foreign prison.
- Public Benefits: Charlene
“Charlene” was supporting her two children by working as a telemarketer. One day without advance notice, her boss told her that the company was closing and she would be out of a job. Charlene packed up her belongings and left. She applied for unemployment benefits and was shocked to learn that her boss had claimed that she quit. Her case manager encouraged her to call Legal Aid.
Charlene was grateful that an advocate from Legal Aid was able to represent her at the hearing. The advocate successful in securing Charlene the unemployment benefits she deserved. She is working again, however, without the unemployment benefits her advocate helped her win, Charlene and her children would not have been able to remain in their home while she searched for work.
- Foreclosure Defense: Della
“Della” is 80 years old and has lived in her home for 40 years. It’s the same home that she raised her children in and where she planned to live the rest of her life. In recent years, Della began having a hard time making ends meet on her fixed income. When she was contacted by a mortgage broker who said that she could get more money to live on by refinancing her home, it seemed like a great solution to her money problems. Since English is Della’s second language, she did not fully understand all of the terms of the refinance and no one from the mortgage company explained them to her. Sadly, Della ended up with a mortgage she could not afford, and she used all of the available refinance proceeds to make the monthly payments.
Once that money ran out, she could no longer make her payments and is now facing foreclosure. A nurse at her doctor’s office told her about Legal Aid. She made an appointment and is now being represented by an attorney who is working to help her keep her home.
- Tenant Advocacy: Tabitha
“Tabitha” is serving her country in the United States Army. When not away on duty, she lives with her disabled mother and young son. She had been paying her rent every month but her landlord had not cashed the checks. Tabitha’s mother told her she received eviction papers while she was away. Tabitha contacted her landlord’s lawyer and the case was postponed, but no one told her when a court date was scheduled, so she missed it while away on duty. When Tabitha arrived home on leave, the Sheriff served her with a 72-hour-notice to vacate.
Unsure of what to do next, a friend suggested Tabitha contact Legal Aid. Immediately after seeing an attorney, emergency papers to stop the eviction were filed on her behalf, allowing Tabitha time to prove that she had paid her rent. The case went to court and her landlord was re-issued the checks he didn’t receive. Tabitha is back on active duty, secure in the knowledge that her mother and son will not be evicted while she is gone.
- Tenant Advocacy: Janet
“Janet” is a single Mom with five children, one of whom is disabled. She was working two jobs when it was decided that her daughter needed surgery. Unable to keep her second job while caring for her during her recovery, Janet missed several rent payments and was facing eviction. Janet’s brother told her about Legal Aid. She made an appointment and an attorney represented her in the eviction, successfully negotiating time for her to transition to new housing. When she applied for subsidized housing at a new complex for families with a disabled household member, however, she was denied based on the eviction. Janet and her family were facing homelessness, having nowhere affordable to go with her family.
She went back to her Legal Aid attorney who worked with the housing complex on her behalf. Janet and her children were admitted to the housing complex and are now living in an apartment that is both new and affordable.
- Domestic Violence and Divorce: Miranda
“Miranda” was abandoned in a foreclosed home by her husband, who left and never looked back. She was mentally, emotionally, and physically abused, to the point where she was hospitalized on three separate occasions. She was fighting with her creditors, her mortgage company, filling out forms for assistance from the Department of Social Services, standing in line at food pantries and contacting private attorneys for help, but always got turned down because she was unable to pay for an attorney.
Miranda came across our number one day and gave us a call, and from that point on, her life changed. Her attorney worked with her and helped her with resolving her issues, and gave her encouragement and peace of mind. A divorce was obtained for Miranda, and she is now living in Rockland County, and helping other victims of domestic violence.
- Domestic Violence and Divorce: Eugenia
“Eugenia” was in a very abusive marriage. Her husband beat her so severely that she had to be rushed to the emergency room because she was stabbed with a knife, punched, kicked, and thrown. Her face was unrecognizable. Her husband of the time also molested her children, who are still suffering from psychological trauma and are in treatment.
Luckily, Eugenia managed to run away with her children and moved to Rockland County from Kentucky, and received help from our attorneys at LASRC. From the beginning, her attorney told her not to worry and handled all her legal matters relating to divorce. Her attorney worked hard to locate her now ex-husband as he went into hiding as the authorities were after him, and she was successful. Her attorney conducted research on how to change the children’s last names and contacted sex abuse organizations on Eugenia’s behalf and worked with local agencies to ensure Eugenia was receiving all the help she was entitled to.
Our attorneys got Eugenia out of a dangerous marriage with a child support award, who is now living with her children in Rockland County, free from the monster who tormented her and her children for so many years.