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Bay Area Volunteer Lawyers Program

Pro Bono Cases Available for Volunteers

Thank you for your interest in providing pro bono services. This page contains case summaries for clients whose cases are pending referral to a pro bono attorney for a consultation. The pro bono attorney determines whether representation will be provided once the consultation is completed.  If you are interested in accepting a pro bono case, please contact our Case Referral Manager, Elva N. Kennis, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

When you accept a pro bono case, Stetson Law School or Cooley Law School students are willing and ready to assist you, whether it be with research, writing, drafting or other legal work under your supervision. If you are interested in having a Stetson law student assist you with your pro bono case, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and if you are interested in having a Cooley law student assist you with your pro bono case, please email Laura Bare at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The following is a list of summaries of cases pending placement with a pro bono attorney. To accept a pro bono case for consultation and possible representation, you must be 1) an attorney in good standing with The Florida Bar and 2) you must complete and submit the BAVLP online registration form if you have not already done so. Please select “Case Referral” when indicating your preference for pro bono service.

For additional up-to-date cases, please visit our Florida Pro Bono Matters catalog.

PRO BONO CASE SUMMARIES – AUGUST 2019

FAMILY LAW

Case # 19-xxx2806 (Paternity - To be Established by Grandmother)
Client’s 2-year-old grandson has been living with client since birth. She was awarded temporary custody in 2018 with her daughter’s consent. The child’s father passed away in 2017. Paternity had not been established and his name is not on the child’s birth certificate. Client wants to obtain a DNA test for her grandson so she may establish paternity. The police station has DNA for the father that can be accessed; however, they need a court order to do so. A DNA test was taken in 2018 for grandson and tested against paternal grandmother. There is a 73.3 % probability of relatedness but this is not enough to demonstrate paternity. The court order for temporary custody is general enough in the acts that client is authorized to perform that it should allow her to proceed with the necessary steps.

Case # 19-xxx1445 (Paternity)
Client and her husband were married 26 years ago. He was deported 23 years ago and they have been separated since then. Client never filed a dissolution of marriage. Client has two children with another man. The oldest child is almost an adult but the minor child is only 10. The child’s birth certificate has no father's name listed and child carries biological father's last name. Client tried to add him to son's birth certificate so that son may receive his father's SS benefits but client received a letter stating that since she was legally married at time of birth and refused information on husband, she cannot add another man's name to birth certificate. Biological father lives in Florida and is willing to cooperate with client to prove that he is the father. Client will need assistance in establishing paternity.

Case # 19-xxx5368 (Divorce)
Our client is seeking assistance with a pending divorce from her husband. The parties are in agreement regarding the Dissolution and have completed all the necessary paperwork required. Client has been unable to obtain a Final Judgment due to not having obtained an Affidavit of Paternity for one of the children not common to the marriage. She is unsure of the bio dad’s whereabouts and does not wish to involve him due to previous domestic violence. Volunteer attorney needed to consult with the client to determine her rights and remedies and represent the client in the divorce proceedings.

Case # 19-xxx7096 (Paternity) ***Pending conflict check by volunteer***
Client has a 12-year-old daughter. Child’s father was murdered in 2010. Paternity had not been established prior to his passing and his name is not on the child’s birth certificate. DNA test taken by medical examiner at time of his passing proves he is child's father. Client would like to establish paternity of child and amend child’s birth certificate to reflect that he is the father.

Case # 19-xxx7646 (Adoption)
Our elderly clients need assistance with adopting their six year old grandson whom they having been raising for the past 6 years. The child’s mother wanted to give the child up for adoption at birth but the clients were able to convince her to let them raise the child. The father (clients’ son) does not contribute any support for the child and only visits a few times a month. Volunteer attorney needed to represent them in the court process.

Case # 19-xxx7262 (Timesharing)
Client and opposing party were never married and have a 2-year-old child together. Paternity has already been established through a Child Support Enforcement case. Father seeks 50/50 timesharing but client has concerns with this much timesharing due to stability of the child’s father. A timesharing action has been filed by father and he is represented. Client will need further assistance in the ongoing case.

GUARDIANSHIP

Case # 19-xxx6385 (Guardian Advocacy)
Our client seeks assistance in becoming guardian advocate for her developmentally disabled 28-year-old brother. Client’s brother suffers from Autism. He is non-verbal and functions on the level of a 4-year-old child. Their mother used to care for brother but she recently passed away and client has taken on this role since her passing. Volunteer attorney needed to represent client in this proceeding.

MISCELLANEOUS

Case #19-xxx4944(Collection)
Our client, a homeless and disabled combat veteran, needs assistance with a Collections matter. In October 2018 the client’s car was illegally towed while parked in a visitor spot at an apartment complex. At some point, client offered to pay $900 to retrieve the car but was unsuccessful. Thereafter the OP sold client’s car along with the personal contents that were inside the car. Client has filed a Replevin case but has not been able to serve the opposing party. Volunteer attorney needed to determine his rights and remedies and represent the client in the court process.

Case #19-xxx9207 (Consumer Law/Contracts)
Client entered into a verbal agreement with opposing party (OP) last year for the purchase of an auctioned vehicle. Client paid various sums of cash to OP over time. Client has never seen the actual car as OP has only sent generic pictures of it. Though client does not have a written contract, she does have a few written, receipts signed by OP briefly summarizing the nature of the payments. There is additionally a history of text messages and communications, demonstrating an ongoing business relationship. OP is now ignoring her calls. Volunteer attorney needed to assist client in getting her money back from OP. OP has a history of doing this to other consumers.

Case # 19-xxx8780 (Healthcare Proxy Assistance)
Our client is in need of assistance with consultation and drafting of a healthcare proxy for her disabled son. The client is a victim of hurricane Irma. The client's son suffers from schizophrenia and his conditioned worsened due to the involvement of the hurricane. The client's son likely does not have capacity and needs assistance with medical decisions. The client is concerned for her son's welfare and wants to explore options to advocate on behalf of his medical needs. The client has no income of her own and relies on assistance from her daughter.

PROBATE

Case # 19-xxx3136 (Formal Administration)(No Place Like Home)(Experienced volunteer attorney needed)
Client seeks to probate grandmother’s estate to obtain title to home. Grandmother deeded the home to self and son (client’s uncle) as joint tenants with rights of survivorship. The uncle died a few years ago, leaving no children. Client’s grandmother died intestate last year, leaving 8 children, 3 of whom are adopted minor children and 2 who predeceased the grandmother. One of the predeceased children was separated from her husband at time of death. She had 5 children, including the client. The client has court-ordered temporary custody of her grandmother’s 3 minor children, who are her nieces and nephew by birth.

Case #19-xxx1452 (Probate)
Our client's mother passed away 4/2018. Her husband predeceased her. He had a life insurance policy and designated client's mother as the beneficiary. Therefore, these funds are now due to her mother’s estate. Client has 7 siblings, one of whom is deceased. This sibling was not married and had no children. Client states that her mother had money in her bank account when she passed. Client's mother had dementia and was losing capacity; therefore, client thinks her brother was taking advantage of that situation by using a POA to redistribute her funds. Client is pretty certain her mother had a will but has not been able to locate one and her brother will not cooperate with her. Client needs assistance in filing a Summary Administration to distribute the assets of her mother’s estate.

Case # 19-xxx2991 (Probate)(No Place Like Home)
Single mom with disabled teen son seeks help with probate of her mother’s estate so she may get title and negotiate with City of Tampa to assume the mortgages. Both loans are deferred. Little to no assets. The mother died intestate, leaving client and client’s brother as her only heirs. Client’s brother, who resides out of state, is on good terms with client.

Case # 19-xxx1537 (Probate) (No Place Like Home)
Disabled client seeks title to family home. Client and wife moved in several years ago to take care of brother, who was terminally ill. Client needs help with probate of brother’s intestate estate. Client’s brother had no children; no wife. Parents predeceased him. There are little to no assets aside from the homestead. There are two City of Tampa mortgages on the home in the name of client’s brother’s significant other, who owned the home with the brother as a joint tenant with rights of survivorship. She predeceased the brother. Client needs title to modify the mortgages. In addition to client, there are two other siblings: one predeceased the brother, leaving a wife and an adult child. All consent to client obtaining title to home.

Case # 19-xxx2440 (Probate)(No Place Like Home)
Elderly client seeks help with obtaining title to husband’s home. Client is entitled to a life estate. Title will help her communicate with the mortgage company. Mortgage is current. Husband died intestate over two years ago, leaving an adult child from a former marriage. Husband’s second child predeceased the husband, leaving two children and a wife. Client and husband had no children of their own. She has not communicated with step-son (they did not get along) nor does she recall the names of the pre-deceased son’s family members.

Case # 19-xxx6112 (Summary Administration)(No Place Like Home)
Client needs help with getting title to her deceased father’s home. Father died intestate earlier this year. Client is the only child and resides in the home with her fiancé and two minor children. There are little to no assets aside from the homestead property. Mortgage payments are current.

Case #19-xxx0619 (Probate – No Place Like Home) & #19-xxx0852 (Mortgage Foreclosure)
Our disabled client’s mother passed away in 2018 without a will. Client’s mother was not married at the time of her passing and client has one sister. Client and his minor child have lived in the home for many years prior to and since his mother’s passing. Client was helping with mortgage payments and household expenses. Client does not have a great relationship with his sister at times so he is not sure if she would be willing to deed the home to him. Client’s aunt presented an unsigned will to client alleging that she is the beneficiary. Client’s mother defaulted on a few mortgage payments prior to her passing and since then client has tried to make payments that have not been accepted by the mortgage company. Therefore, a foreclosure was filed. Unfortunately, client did not understand the process and was defaulted, resulting in a Final Judgment being entered. However, since client is trying to save the home, the Judge postponed the sale date until November with possible future extensions if client is successful with probate. Client will need assistance in filing a Petition for Summary Administration, as well as assistance in defending the foreclosure action.

 

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