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Non credit related: Pro bono counsel.


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Trying to find counsel for a friend.

Have a chica friend. Divorced. She and male type have an ankle biter unit to show for the relationship(cute kid...little feminine, though) Male type has been a "full time student" for 6 years now, pays $50 a month in child support (gets paid under the table, therefore has no "real" income). Chica friend has full custody. Male type has blue-moon visitation privileges.

Male type also has aggression issues. Had a thing for beating up chica friend...which eventually prompted a visit from me to male type, and later that night resulted in a visit from a couple of law enforcement types, whom graciously decided I busted him up in "self defense" while at his apartment.

Male type also has this affinity for beating down the ankle biter unit. Guess he's never heard of weight classes and picking on those at least half his size. Which prompted a visit to male type from a whole group of us after we found out (we were gonna draw straws to see who got the honor, but decided it wouldn't be fair to any of us to not be able to go have the little "chat"), and ended up with all of us spending a night in the slammer, and male type in a couple of casts. We all also ended up with pretty little restraining orders that said we couldn't go near male type. I was also the lucky recipient of 100 hours working for the Make-A-Wish Foundation for no pay, as this wasn't my first instance of dealing with my anxieties in an aggressive manner on that particular male type.

Chica friend declined charges on male type over the abusive things, so he's managed to slide on those with nothing more than his nose being a little more crooked. Male type has recently decided he would like full custody of the ankle biter unit so that HE can be on the receiving end of child support. Cites chica friend as "unfit mother", as she works many, many hours for The Man in order to make the ends come together financially.

Obviously, this cannot happen, and chica friend is disinclined to acquiesce to his demand. Problem is, chica friend has no money for lawyers, as The Man pays her just enough for her to be broke at the end of the week. Damn The Man.

SOooooooooooooooooooo, long story longish, chica friend needs pro bono counsel for upcoming legal encounters. My first suggestion to her was Legal-Aid (obviously), but they have stated they don't handle cases such as this, so she's out of luck. I could bankroll her endeavor if needs be. Lord knows my karmic levels of goodness could use a good jolt, but I would obviously rather not have to do so, as chica's not "that" kind of friend...

So basically what I've wasted all this time to ask is do any of you cats know of a fund or legal service or non profit group or...whatever...that handles domestic/custody issues such as this on behalf of broke battered ex-wives who have grown rather fond of having ankle biter units around at all times? Told her I'd help point her in the right direction.

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Well, the beatdowns all happened a few years back when we all lived in Seattle. She later moved to Pennsylvania to get away from it all, Chickie and I took off for less cloudy destinations, etc.

Divorce was finalized...gods, about a year and a half ago, I wanna say...was just after Chickie pulled some strings to get chica friend a job with T-Mobile's center in Salem...this impending legal issue is pretty recent. Chica friend transferred out here to Redmond in February once she found out we were here. Male type's father warned her about a month and a half ago of the impending legal issue. Male type's father likes his grandkid...knows said grandkid is probably not gonna be too well off with Grandpa's kid. Male type is being funded HIS legal fees by his mother, hence why he can afford an attorney, and she can't (chica friend basically supports her mother on top of herself and her two kids).

As for level of horrible...generally not terribly severe, but male type choked chica friend to unconsciousness once...which is what prompted me to break my promise to chica friend that I would never raise a hand to him (he's not really a bad guy, he really loves me, he can't help himself, blah blah blah...frickin' women), and prompted me to KEEP my promise to him that if he ever laid a hand on her again, I'd break the arm it was attached to.

As for the ankle biter unit...any harm qualifies as "horrible" as far as we were concerned. He came back the first time with a black eye, but was told to say he got it from male type's girlfriend's kid. Alright, no problem, kids play rough. Came back with scratch marks on his back and some bruises on his legs(didn't find out about this one till much later), he told chica friend he got scratched by a friend.. flimsy, but I guess she bought it. When she stopped by unannounced while the guys and I were having our weekly poker night to show us the 9 or 10 bruises on the kid's chest and back to go along with a scab over what was a split lip, informing us that he just got back from a visit with dear old dad(ankle biter unit "fell off his bicycle" on this one--kid just has the worst luck at dad's house, eh? Too bad the kid had to stop and think of the reason why he was hurt, as he couldn't remember what dad told him to say)...well, even if we weren't all half-drunk when she came over, we'd have not needed much more reason to pile into a couple of cars and head to his place. I know one shouldn't brag about violence, as it's supposed to be detestable and all...but we really f***ed him up that night...

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I'm disgusted! Simply disgusted!

And in utter awe of you! Too bad you're not single.

Has she taken this child to the ER? It kills me to say this but, the next time that BOZO gets to have his kid she should take him straight to the ER and insist he be checked. The doctors will have to report to the cops and maybe she can get a court date or restraining order or a webcam in the BOZOs dwelling! I knew a woman who got her ex to pick up and drop off their children in front of a police station for each visitation. And he STILL tried to run her and the kids over, in front of the cops!

I'm so pissed I'm going to start searching for an answer to your question and then some.

Oh, and you know what will cure the chica friend? A new boyfriend.

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Legal-Aid societies mostly handle landlord-tentant type issues and assist people in appeals with food-stamps and public assistance things. Based on my professional experience, you're fighting a losing battle, which will end when someone dies or is beat into a coma. Still, you should do the right thing and fight the good fight. Chica friend has issues which center around self-esteem and the fact that she is co-dependent. People who are co-dependent are easy to spot. When one "serious" relationship ends, they jump right into another "serious" relationship within a couple of days. She was probably raised in an environment where one or both parents were alcoholics and verbal or physical abuse was prominent. Contact a battered women's shelter or group in your county. While she may not qualify to actually live in the shelter, she can get free counseling and job skill training so that she can improve her self-esteem, find a decent paying job and work on her relationship issues. They can also help get her a restraining order to keep idiot away. They also have pro bono or extremely low cost attorneys that work on easy payment schedules to fight custody battles and collect child support.

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Legal-Aid societies mostly handle landlord-tentant type issues and assist people in appeals with food-stamps and public assistance things. Based on my professional experience, you're fighting a losing battle, which will end when someone dies or is beat into a coma. Still, you should do the right thing and fight the good fight. Chica friend has issues which center around self-esteem and the fact that she is co-dependent. People who are co-dependent are easy to spot. When one "serious" relationship ends, they jump right into another "serious" relationship within a couple of days. She was probably raised in an environment where one or both parents were alcoholics and verbal or physical abuse was prominent. Contact a battered women's shelter or group in your county. While she may not qualify to actually live in the shelter, she can get free counseling and job skill training so that she can improve her self-esteem, find a decent paying job and work on her relationship issues. They can also help get her a restraining order to keep idiot away. They also have pro bono or extremely low cost attorneys that work on easy payment schedules to fight custody battles and collect child support.

Say wha? GDL, I know you're probably trying to be helfpul and all, but you made an awful lot of sweeping assumptions statements of fact that were just completely off the map wrong.

1) Not fighting ANY battle. And her battle is limited to courtrooms. He lives in Seattle. She lives here in Oregon. He's not stupid enough to set foot down here...he's got someone new to screw with, and he's already learned what happens when he gets within reach of me.. twice.

2) Her self esteem is probably fine. Took her a while, but she finally came around and saw the forest from the trees with regards to that guy. they're already divorced, dude.

3) Anyone she dates gets a pre-approval screening from me...it's always been that way. She's like my baby sister (only she's older). She didn't jump into another one right away, and she hasn't been dating anyone in like half a year.

4) Her mother is cool as all get up, not alcoholic or abusive in the slightest.Her father WAS cool, up until the cancer claimed him a few years back.

5) A battered women's shelter..uh...she's got a nice apartment/townhouse (big enough to comfortably house her, her two kids, and her mother that's staying with her at the moment). She doesn't need job training--she's a senior rep with T-Mobile. She makes decent money for the area here, just not "real" money to support 4 people comfortably(she pulls in about 16 an hour). By the end of the year, she'll probably make Coach (roughly 45-50k/per) And again, she's pretty well grounded. Plus, I know she has one kickass benefits package (since I'm self-employed. I domestic partnered onto Chickie's coverage plan via work to get my coverage, so I know what kind of plan chica friend gets). So she doesn't need counselling from some place. She needs an attorney for a custody battle. She doesn't need a restraining order against him...that's what she's got me around for. There isn't a piece of paper on this planet that's more effective than what I bring to the table. Plus, he's finally figured out she's not covering for him any longer.

Legal services offered by em would come in handy, but the closest thing to a shelter we have here is the church that gives out free lunches to the local homeless (both of them...yes, the entire area only has 2 homeless people that I know of, and I think they do it by choice :p ).

Again, sure you're wanting to be helpful, but ya connected a LOT of dots that weren't on the paper there, guy :p. No "Dr. Drew-ing" my friends, aight? :)%

ANYHOW, update: Problem was solved. Talked it over with my professor-to-be since all avenues of non profit group or government legal aid funding turned out to be pointless, and he called in a favor and got her services of a friend of his that does divorce law for her pro bono, so long as I "consider" an internship with his firm at some point. Such a huge request he made of me, lol (*wink wink nudge nudge*...think killed 2 birds with one stone)

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This is actually a good reminder that, while everyone is here to help, sweeping statements of the law do not accomplish this purpose. And, those who ask for help, and dont let us know where they are from or what court they are in, beg for a general response which is also unhelpful.

The law varies greatly from state to state. Even "uniform" laws, such as the UCC get adopted in part by some states and in their entirety by others. This is the reason why most states require a lawyer to be admitted to their own bar. In law school, we are frequently taught the "minority position" and the "majority position" and are required to learn both. If you are in Rhode Island, however, it doesn't matter what the rest of the country does. You need to know what the law is in your state.

This thread is a good example. While it is true that most states do not provide free legal advice for family law matters, I know of at least one state, Montana, that does (http://www.abanet.org/legalservices/probono/directory.html#). It would be a shame if someone from Montana heard about the "majority position" and decided not to investigate the services available in that State.

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You has to get a restraining order on the ex That is the first thing she has to do. then she has to file charges. You need to look at the divorce and see what type of custody she was given. If the ex wants to change the custody he has to take her to court. If he takes her to court and she can show he is aggressive it will be harder for him to change the custody order. Tell her to call her local abuse shelter they can help refer her to a lawyer that can help her.

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