Bay Area Volunteer Lawyers Program
Pro Bono Cases Available for Volunteers
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.
PRO BONO CASE SUMMARIES – JUNE 2019
Case # 19-xxx0700 (Adoption)
Our elderly, Spanish speaking only, client needs assistance with adopting her grandson. She was awarded sole legal and physical custody of him in a 2012 court order from Pennsylvania. The parents have not had any communication with the client or the child in the past 6 years. Client is unsure of their whereabouts and alleges they both suffer from drug addiction. Volunteer attorney needed to represent the client in the court process.
Case # 19-xxx 5709 (Custody)
Our client is seeking assistance in obtaining sole parental responsibility/timesharing for her son. The OP has not provided any support for the child and has not seen or made contact with the client in six years. She is unsure of his whereabouts aside from the possibility of him being in South Carolina. Client wants to obtain a passport for the child but has not been able to do so because she cannot obtain the OP’s signature or consent. Volunteer attorney needed to represent the client in the court process.
Case # 18-xxx7686 (Support)
Our, elderly, disabled client seeks assistance with a support matter. Client’s husband left her to live with his girlfriend 1 year ago. The parties have twelve adult children, three of which are disabled and live with the client. Her only income is a meager amount of social security that she and one of the adult children receive. The OP’s girlfriend is trying to force client out of her home by encouraging OP to let the utilities lapse and has also informed the utility company that there are squatters on the property. Client would like alimony and support for the disabled adult children, if possible. Volunteer attorney needed to assist client with obtaining support unconnected with a dissolution of marriage.
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-xxx4548 (Homeownership) ***Pending Placement w/volunteer***
Our elderly and vulnerable disabled client befriended the opposing party whom she met in church five years prior. The parties did not grow closer until recently when the OP began asking the client about the arrangements for her home. The OP was aware that the client had been ill and as a result provided the client with transportation. When client was in the hospital, the OP’s daughter prepared a Lady Bird deed for the client’s home and deeded the interest to the OP and reserved the client a life estate. Client has become weary of her intentions and would like to revoke the prior deed so that it’s solely in client’s name again. Volunteer attorney needed to assist client with this matter.
Case #19-xxx7913 (Name Change)
Client was adopted by her grandparents at around age 9. They changed her birth certificate to reflect their last name but client’s Social Security card was never changed. Client has gone by her birth name her whole life and only when she went to get identification did she realize that her last name on her birth certificate had been changed. Client does not have any of the adoption paperwork in her possession and cannot get access to such. Client seeks a name change so that she can change her name back to her birth name. Client’s petition for name change cannot be notarized since she has no identification so it will need to be argued to the court that petition must be filed without such notarization.
Case # 19-xxx9821 (Mobile Home Title)(No Place Like Home/NPLH)
Our disabled, Spanish-speaking, client lives in a mobile home with her adult daughter and minor grandchild. The mobile home was purchased by her son with client’s monies in 2014 and was titled solely in her son’s name. Client has maintained the mobile home and paid lot rent. Her son died in 2017, within a month of moving in with client. Son’s only heir is his widow, who returned to Puerto Rico shortly after the funeral services under less than amiable circumstances. The widow has no interest in the mobile home and has not communicated with our client. Our client needs help with locating her son’s widow. Client has last known addresses for her. Client needs to obtain latter’s consent to serve as her attorney-in-fact under POA for purposes of transferring mobile home title under Hillsborough County Tax Collector and FL Dept. of Highways and Motor Vehicles administrative process. Otherwise, may need assistance with probate of son’s estate to obtain title to the mobile home.
Case # 17-xxx6818 (No Place Like Home-Mobile Home Title)**Pending Placement w/volunteer**
Spanish-speaking client seeks help with clearing title to mobile home that she purchased in 2017. The seller was not aware that he was not the titled owner to the mobile home. The title to the home was lost years ago. The mobile home is registered to two individuals not known to client. Search for vehicle information indicates 5 outstanding liens that are over 30 years old. Client had hurricane damage and was unable to get FEMA assistance due to lack of title. Volunteer attorney needed to assist with obtaining a declaratory judgment regarding title and removal of the liens.
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-xxx2256 (Probate-Summary Administration)(No Place Like Home)
Legally blind client seeks help with probate of her deceased mother’s estate for purposes of obtaining title to her home of over thirty years. Mother died intestate over two years ago, leaving two heirs: client and her sister. Client’s sister is willing to transfer her interest in the home to client. There are little to no estate assets aside from the home. There is no mortgage.
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.