Legal Aid Success Stories

Getting to Know People Legal Aid Society Helps

Below are stories about people in the community that we have helped 
(All names have been changed)

Jake signed a service contract with a local vendor only to discover that extra charges the vendor hadn’t mentioned made the cost of his services unaffordable. Jake’s account quickly fell into arrears. Jake came to Legal Aid fearing that his only option was bankruptcy. Instead, Legal Aid negotiated a compromise settlement that terminated Jake’s contract with the vendor and saved Jake the hardship of filing bankruptcy.

Sally’s lease expired, so she moved in with a friend temporarily. Sally’s friend Mary owned a home, but needed help meeting expenses. Sally agreed to pay rent equal to one-half of Mary’s household bills. After several months, Sally found her own place and told Mary she intended to move out. The next day, Mary changed all the locks, locking Sally out and separating Sally from her furniture and other possessions. Mary demanded that Sally help pay for bills incurred before Sally even moved in. Sally came to Legal Aid for help recovering her property. Legal Aid sued Mary and won the immediate recovery of Sally’s property. Sally did not have to pay the bills that Mary incurred before Sally moved in.

Joan is a 36-year-old divorced, working mother of three girls, ages 16, 14, and 11.  After Joan's 62-year-old father, Otis, suffered his second stroke, he requested medical care at a rehab facility near Joan's family.  The facility had successfully treated Otis after his first stroke, but this time his condition worsened, and a family feud erupted.  Joan's stepmother, Teresa, began battling with Joan to remove Otis from the rehabilitation center he had chosen and also tried to win control of Otis' monthly Social Security benefits.  Otis and Teresa had separated after his first stroke and lived apart for over two years, but never divorced.  Legal Aid Society helped Joan establish legal guardianship over Otis and honor the treatment decisions he made prior to his incapacity.  Joan later discovered that Otis and Teresa had been sued by Teresa's mortgage lender to recover a defaulted loan she had borrowed prior to their marriage.  As guardian, Joan won Otis' dismissal from the lawsuit.

Valeda asked the Legal Aid Society to help her adopt her two granddaughters years ago.  More recently Valeda learned that she had a third grandchild in need of adoptive placement. The Office of Family and Children wanted Valeda to adopt the child and keep the family intact. Legal Aid helped Valeda adopt her grandson and keep the siblings together.  So now, at age 47, Valeda is raising three children, a boy - age four, and two girls - ages ten and twelve.

India, a 25-year-old student and mother of two, ages 5 and 1, waited over two years for her ex-husband, Percival, to pay the phone bill that the divorce court had ordered him to pay.  The unpaid bill, in excess of $1000.00, had resulted from Percival's charges to "adults only" toll numbers, but prevented India from obtaining telephone services in her own name.  The Legal Aid Society helped India recover payment from her ex-husband, satisfy the unpaid bill and restore her telephone services.

Myra is 45 years old.  Myra contacted our office several years ago for help establishing legal guardianship over her two grandchildren, Angela, age 13, and Janice, age 11, whose parents were unable to care for them. Myra has been the children's legal guardian for five years now.  Both children are excelling in school and have won several awards.

Shirley, age 31, needed help in a paternity case.  Sally had already filed a restraining order against Scott, the father of her two year old, Amber, and pressed charges against him for violating it.  Scott almost cost Sally her job because of his frequent, unwelcome calls and visits. One day, Scott caught Amber and Sally leaving their house and took Amber. Scott was later arrested for neglect of a dependent, DUI, reckless driving, and invasion of privacy.  With the help of Legal Aid, Sally was able to limit Scott's visitation and thereby protect Amber's safety.

Paula, age 37, lost custody of Bill, now age fourteen, and Nicole, now age fifteen, years ago.  Paula left Indiana for ten years.  After returning, Paula sought visitation with her kids for a few hours each week.  Paula's ex-husband, Darrin, refused to permit her any visitation and demanded that she to pay him child support. Paula is disabled from work. Her monthly disability  income exceeds her monthly rent by only $34.  The Legal Aid Society is helping Paula win visitation even though she cannot pay support.

Mark is a 40-year-old.  Mark had a child, Jason, 19 years ago.  Mark was paying child support as ordered by the court even though he had never visited Jason.  Theresa, Jason's mother, moved from Indiana to Kentucky but failed to tell Mark where she and Jason were living.  Mark contacted Legal Aid to terminate his duty to pay child support after Jason was no longer a minor.  Once Legal Aid filed the lawsuit, word reached Jason who contacted Mark on his own.  Mark discovered that Jason hadn't lived with Theresa for over two years.  Mark and Jason are excited about re-building their relationship.

Callie, a 27-year-old working mother of three, ages 7, 5, and 4, lived in the same rent-subsidized apartment for over five years.  One day, Callie was notified that her much-needed housing subsidy was being terminated and that she and her children would have to move.  Callie had permitted her sister, Jackie, to stay with her temporarily to protect Jackie from an abusive boyfriend, Ed, charged with battering Jackie but just-released from jail.  Callie protected Jackie by refusing to admit  Ed into her home.  Enraged and wanting revenge, Ed alleged that Callie was breaking the housing rules.  Legal Aid Society helped Callie prove the allegations wrong and keep her housing subsidy.  Callie's family did not have to move.  

Suzette suffered a sudden stroke that left her hospitalized in a coma for six months.  Her husband, Cole, age 37, did not visit, sold almost everything she owned, and moved away.  After Suzette left the hospital, she came to Legal Aid Society, still using a wheelchair, and determined to divorce her uncaring husband.  Legal Aid Society helped Suzette divorce Cole and recover her remaining property from him.  Suzette, newly divorced, is walking again.

Bessie, age 53 and single, had worked all her life in the food service industry but had no health insurance.  One day Bessie became so sick that she had to be taken to the hospital emergency room in an ambulance.  At the hospital, Bessie's doctors discovered that an undiagnosed infection had destroyed her liver.  Bessie couldn't work and needed a costly liver transplant.  To pay for the transplant, Bessie applied to the county welfare office for disability medicaid benefits.  When Bessie's application for medicaid benefits was denied, Legal Aid Society helped Bessie appeal the denial and won.  Now, Bessie can have the liver transplant she needs to get well.

Deonte, age 32, had  alternating weekend visitation privileges with his daughter, Brandi, age 10.  But each time Deonte called his ex-wife, Bernadette, and tried to arrange visitation, she refused him.  Legal Aid Society took Deonte's case back to court to enforce the visitation order. Deonte got to spend more time with Brandi.

Tammy is a 28-year-old single mother.  Tammy's landlord sued to evict Tammy from her apartment alleging nonpayment of rent.  Complications in Tammy's pregnancy caused her to be hospitalized nine times and take an unpaid medical leave from her job.  Tammy had fallen two months behind in her rent payments.  Tammy's landlord wanted her evicted immediately, but Legal Aid persuaded the Court to allow Tammy some more time to find another home.  Tammy is doing well now with her new baby and is back to work.