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!

Divorce

  • 15-0036699
    Divorce with Equitable Distribution
    Client/Wife and OP/Husband were married in 1994 and separated in 2009. OP, represented by counsel, has requested a no-fault divorce but client states OP was not faithful (OP has two children born outside the marriage in 2003 and 2009) and was physically abusive. Client assumed all bad debts during the marriage so that OP’s credit would remain clean for obtaining home loans. Client seeks assistance in obtaining a division of the marital estate, which includes disputed proceeds from a refinancing of the marital home, OP’s pension and 401(k), and potentially other properties owned by OP that may have increased in value during the marriage.
    Core Competencies: Draft Pleadings, Negotiation Skills
     
  • 15-0036591
    Divorce with Equitable Distribution
    Client/wife and OP/husband were married in November 2011 and separated in August 2014. Client and OP have one young child. Client has suffered physical and emotional abuse from OP. Client is currently employed. The marital estate includes a jointly-titled home, two vehicles, a bank account, and OP's pension. OP is represented by counsel and has filed a divorce complaint.  Client is seeking an attorney to represent her in the divorce proceedings. Client speaks Polish and interpretation assistance is available upon request. 
    Core Competencies: Discovery Practice, Negotiation Skills

Guardianship

  • 15-0036603

    Client seeks assistance obtaining guardianship of her husband who suffered a severe stroke in 2012. Client's husband was in a nursing home for some time and is now cared for at home by client and rotating doctors, nurses, and speech therapists. Client would like guardianship to make financial and medical decisions on her husband's behalf. A physician is available to provide a written testimony on the husband's incapacity. Client speaks Khmer/Cambodian.

    Core Competencies: Draft Pleadings, Courtroom Experience

  • 14-0036501

    Client seeks representation in a guardianship matter. Client adopted her son when he was 4 years old and he has now reached the age of majority. He is autistic and nonverbal with a very low IQ. Due to his condition, he is unable to care for and make decisions for himself. Client would like guardianship to make financial and medical decisions on her son’s behalf. A physician is available to provide written testimony.

    Core Competencies: Draft Pleadings, Courtroom Experience

  • 15-0036673

    Client seeks assistance in obtaining guardianship of her 82-year-old mother. Client's mother has dementia. Client seeks guardianship so that she can more easily administer medical care and financial matters. Physician at nursing home is available to testify to mother's condition.

    Core Competencies: Courtroom Experience, Draft Pleadings

Mortgage Foreclosure

  • 15-0036723
    Urgent Need

    Client needs assistance with a mortgage foreclosure involving a reverse mortgage. Client resides in the property. The record owner of the property is the client’s deceased mother; she is also listed on the mortgage. The lender refuses to speak with the client because she is not listed on the title or mortgage. The housing counselor is Mary Campbell from Intercultural Family Services. An attorney is needed to help client communicate with lender’s counsel. The second conciliation conference is scheduled for April 2, 2015 at 9:00am. 

    Core Competencies: Courtroom Experience, Negotiation Skills

Real Property

  • 100024

    Client, who is disabled, resides in a home that was formerly two adjacent properties whose physical structures were combined into one many years ago. The house still straddles two different street addresses and tax parcel numbers.  Both parcels were previously owned by the same corporation and encumbered by one mortgage taken out in 1998. In 2007, only one of the properties was technically sold at Sheriff's sale for delinquent real estate taxes.  The successful bidder at the Sheriff's sale sold the first property to our client in 2008, with a title insurance company insuring the transfer and with a mortgage taken out by our client. Seemingly, all parties involved thought that both parcels were being jointly sold, and client has maintained possession of both parcels since 2008. Client has regularly paid the real estate taxes owed on the first parcel, but the taxes on the second parcel remain unpaid.  The corporation that is the record owner of the second parcel is not actively conducting business anymore.  VIP filed a claim against the title company that insured the purchase of the first parcel; however, the title company stated that the second parcel was not covered under the policy. An attorney is needed to assist client in analyzing any equitable or legal avenue he may have to obtain title to the second parcel.  If that is successful, client will also need assistance in dealing with the delinquent real estate taxes on the second parcel and in consolidating the two parcels into one; a City Law Department attorney is familiar with this matter and willing to work with a VIP attorney on the real estate tax issues.
    Core Competencies: Negotiation Skills, Client Interviewing

     

  • 15-0036622
    Quiet Title

    Senior client seeks assistance with a Quiet Title matter. Client and his wife have receipts totaling over $5,000, the asked selling price in a written offer of sale from the record owner. The record owner is client's deceased mother. An attorney is needed to file a Quiet Title action to enforce the lease-purchase agreement.

    Core Competencies: Courtroom Experience, Draft Pleadings

  • 14-0036370
    Quiet Title

    Senior client seeks assistance with a Quiet Title matter. Client entered into a lease-purchase agreement in 1980. Client has a copy of a signed, unrecorded deed giving her and her husband title to the home in 1991. Additionally, client has an offer letter from a realtor, some receipts, and a written lease-purchase agreement. Client does not know the whereabouts of the record owners or the realtor. An attorney is needed to file a Quiet Title action to enforce the lease-purchase agreement.

    Core Competencies: Courtroom Experience, Draft Pleadings 

  • 15-0036703

    Client, who is disabled, needs assistance in gaining title through a quiet title action based on adverse possession. Client originally gained access to the abandoned house through a neighbor, unrelated to the deceased record owners, who unlocked the door for her. Client has continuously lived in the abandoned property for over 21 years, has never paid rent, has made improvements to the property, and has paid property taxes. The record owners are both deceased and are believed to have no heirs. Client wants title so she can apply for a payment plan for financial assistance to pay back property taxes.

    Core Competencies: Courtroom Experience, Draft Pleadings