Available Cases

VIP offers the unique opportunity to positively affect the lives of low income Philadelphia residents. We provide resources to assist you throughout the case, including mentors, interpreters, law students and training materials. VIP has included potential core competencies that staff anticipate volunteer counsel would achieve by taking the case, but these experiences are not guaranteed. Every VIP case provides an opportunity for direct client contact and case management. Join the VIP team by taking a case!

If you are interested in taking one of the following cases, please click on the case number to send an email to the VIP staff. Thank you!

Guardianship

  • 16-0038252
    Client seeks assistance obtaining guardianship of her elderly mother. AIP suffers from dementia and has lived with client for the past three years. AIP has been the victim of physical and verbal abuse by her husband. Client believes that AIP’s husband may contest the guardianship action. Client seeks guardianship in order to make medical and financial decisions for AIP and to better protect AIP’s assets from misuse by AIP’s husband. 
    Core Competencies: Courtroom Experience, Draft Pleadings
  • 16-0038436

    Client seeks representation to become the legal guardian of her mother. Client’s mother moved in with client once her condition worsened. AIP suffers from Dementia and Alzheimer’s. She also has brain damage arising from brain aneurysms in the past. AIP is unable to care for herself or handle her own affairs due to these conditions. AIP’s physician has encouraged client to seek guardianship of AIP; the physician is available to provide written testimony. Client would like guardianship to make medical and financial decisions on her mother’s behalf. Client is Spanish-speaking; interpretation and translation services are available upon request.

    Core Competencies: Draft Pleadings, Courtroom Experience

Landlord/Tenant

  • 16-0038600
    Client seeks assistance with a landlord/tenant matter, including a hearing on May 27, 2016 at 8:45 AM.  The eviction complaint seeks rent from March to May 2016, plus late fees, and court costs.  Client moved in on Jan. 1, 2016 and has never signed a lease.  Monthly rent is $650 and late fees are being charged at $400 per month.  Client received a notice of eviction on Mar. 21, 2016 for late rent and being a “nuisance” to management and other tenants, including a statement that the police needed to be called.  Client denies any breach and believes the notice was in retaliation for making complaints about lack of water and other conditions in the building.  Defenses may also include lack of rental license, excessive penalties, breach implied warranty of habitability, retaliation, and failure to provide tenant with a Certificate of Rental Suitability and with a “City of Philadelphia Partners for Good Housing” Handbook.  Client’s goal is to remain in the lease until she can find alternative housing without a judgment against her.  
    Core Competencies: Courtroom Experience, Negotiation Skills

Mortgage Foreclosure

  • 16-0038597
    Client seeks representation at her next mortgage foreclosure conciliation conference on June 9, 2016 at 1 PM.  Client lives in a home titled and mortgaged in her name with her four children.  Client got behind on her mortgage payments when she lost income because her children’s father stopped making support payments.  Client has since successfully been making all payments on time for a trial modification since Feb. 2015.  Mortgage company has failed to provide client with a permanent modification after over a year of conciliation conferences. Client’s housing counselor is Darcel McDaniel at West Oak Lane CDC.  An attorney is needed to help client communicate with the lender and to finally receiver her permanent modification.  Client needs deal with two small liens that have come up in recent months; therefore, this case has a companion collections case.  However, taking both cases is not necessary to taking this mortgage foreclosure case.
    Core Competencies: Courtroom Experience, Negotiation Skills

Probate

  • 15-0037983
    Client seeks assistance with a probate matter. The record owner is client’s mother, who passed away in 2014. Client and her five surviving siblings are the only heirs. All five are willing to give their interest in the property to client. Client suffers from depression, and her brother has been handling her affairs, with her permission. He is very responsive and easy to work with. Client speaks English, but her brother speaks only Spanish. Interpretation and translation assistance is available upon request. An attorney is needed to probate client’s mother’s estate in order to transfer title into client’s name. 
    Core Competencies: Administrative Agency Practice, Client Interviewing
  • 13-0033343
    Client lives in a home titled in her deceased parents' names as tenants by the entireties. Her father predeceased her mother; the property is in her mother's estate. Client's mother left a will giving the property to her four children - client and her three brothers. Client's brother opened the estate and was appointed Executor, but he never completed the estate administration. Client’s three brothers are now deceased and are survived by wives and children, most of whom have a legal interest in the property. Two of the three brothers left wills and their estates were administered. Client’s family is willing to give client the property. An attorney is needed to help client complete the administration of her mother’s estate, including filing a petition with the Register of Wills to have client substituted as the Executor. The attorney will need to work with client and her family to review her brothers’ wills and estate files to accurately identify the heirs who have a legal interest in the property. 
    Core Competencies: Draft Pleadings, Project Management
  • 16-0038128
    Client seeks assistance with obtaining title to her home.  Record owner is client’s deceased grandmother who adopted and raised her.  Client has a holographic will naming her as the sole heir to the property.  Other potential heirs would be client’s biological mother and client’s uncle, neither of whom are interested in the property.  Property is in mortgage foreclosure.  Client needs to be personal representative of the estate and to obtain title to save the home.  Therfore, this case has a companion mortgage foreclosure case with which another VIP volunteer is already assisting client.
    Core Competencies: Client Interviewing, Administrative Agency Practice
  • 15-0038042

    Client seeks assistance with a probate matter. The record owner of the client’s house is client’s mother, who passed away in 2013. Client, who is a veteran, is his mother’s only heir. Client was unable to afford the bills for the property, so he has been staying with friends. The Homeless Advocacy Project has helped client apply for benefits, and client plans to move back into the property. The real estate taxes on the property have not been paid since 2011. Client needs assistance to probate his mother’s estate and obtain title so he can enter into a payment agreement.
    Core Competencies: Drafting, Administrative Agency Practice
     

  • 15-0037763

    Client seeks assistance with a probate matter. Client’s grandmother, who passed away in 1998, is the record owner of client’s home. Client’s grandmother had four children including client’s mother. Client’s mother, who had three children including client, predeceased client’s grandmother. The record owner’s heirs are client’s two uncles, client's aunt, client, and client's three siblings. All heirs are willing to give their interest in the property to the client. Client needs title to comply with a payment agreement for back real estate taxes.
    Core Competencies: Drafting, Administrative Agency Practice
     

  • 15-0038015

    Client needs assistance with a probate matter. Client resides in a home jointly titled in his deceased parents’ names. Client’s father died in 1989 and his mother died in 2003. Client and his two living siblings are the only heirs of their mother’s estate. A third sibling predeceased client’s mother. Client’s siblings agree with client serving as the administrator of their mother’s estate. An attorney is needed to probate client’s mother’s estate and to transfer title into client’s name.

    Core Competencies: Administrative Agency Practice, Client Interviewing