This is intended to be an educational and informational guide. It is not intended to be or to substitute for legal advice and representation. Law, legal requirements, and procedures vary from place to place. It is advisable to consult an attorney.
What is the Legal Aid Society?
A not-for-profit corporation founded in 1958 by the Evansville Bar Association to provide, at no cost to the client, legal advice and representation to qualifying low income residents of Vanderburgh County in select civil matters. LAS is funded by the City of Evansville, County of Vanderburgh, United Way of Southwestern Indiana Inc., and the Indiana Civil Legal Aid Fund. LAS is governed by a Board of Directors. Six board members are attorneys appointed by the Evansville Bar Association, three members are non-attorneys appointed by the Mayor, and three members are non-attorneys appointed by the County Commissioners.
Who may be eligible for services?
- Applicants living in Vanderburgh County,
- with cases in Vanderburgh County,
- whose households meet the required financial guidelines,
- whose representation does not cause a conflict of interest,
- whose cases are of a type handled by the office, and
- who meet the legal, technical, and residency requirements.
How does an applicant contact the Legal Aid Society?
LAS is located in room 105 of the Administration Building in the Civic Center. The telephone number is 812-435-5173. Office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Messages can be left on the answering machine at all times. LAS's fax number is 435-5220. LAS's e-mail address is email@example.com. The County holiday schedule is observed.
How does an applicant ask the Legal Aid Society for help?
Call between 8:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday or come in person between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. any work day and fill out an application for services describing the legal problem. Have all court papers and court dates available. An applicant must fully and honestly state the total income of every person in the household. An applicant should call as soon as the problem arises. If an applicant waits too long to contact LAS, the attorneys may not be able to schedule an appointment or represent the person in Court, and important legal time limits may expire. Once an application is completed, an applicant may call back the following work day after between 8:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. to see if the application was accepted. If the application has been accepted, an appointment will be made for the client to see a licensed attorney. Bring all court papers, court dates, receipts, pictures, documents, contracts, complete names and addresses of witnesses, and all related information to the appointment. Applications are not taken by email.
What kind of cases may the Legal Aid Society accept?
Appeals of benefit termination
Disputes regarding custody
Disputes regarding parenting time
Dissolution of marriage
Evictions, landlord/tenant and housing matters
Informations for contempt
Petitions to modify
Other cases at the discretion of the Director
What kind of cases does the Legal Aid Society reject?
Annulments and legal separations
Cases a lawyer will take without prepayment, such as personal injury
cases, Social Security cases and worker compensation cases
Children in Need of Services cases
Collection of support and establishment of paternity (except for divorces)
Matters in which the Court will appoint an attorney (including nonsupport)
Name changes (other than in paternity or divorce)
Real estate matters
Suits against the City of Evansville, County of Vanderburgh, or
United Way and its agencies
Termination of parental rights
Wills or estates
Other cases at the discretion of the Director
Who pays for the service?
There is no charge to the client for the legal advice and representation given by LAS. Sometimes a fee must be paid to other sources, such as to file a lawsuit, to serve papers on another party or to obtain reports and records. Often the client has to pay these fees. However, an applicant should not fail to ask for help for this reason.
What responsibilities does the Legal Aid Society client have?
The client must be on time for office appointments and Court appearances and fully cooperate with the attorney handling the case. The client must assist in the preparation of the case and must be truthful and honest at all times. LAS must be notified of the client's address, telephone number, place of employment, and any other relevant information. The client must disclose all facts to the attorney and let the attorney decide which are pertinent to the case. What is told to LAS by a client is confidential and cannot be told to other persons without the client's permission. LAS reserves the right to refuse to represent or advise clients who do not follow these rules, and to withdraw from representing clients who do not follow the rules.