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 with Equitable DistributionClient/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. OP's counsel has filed a Motion to withdraw. Client would like assistance at the hearing on that Motion and to protect her rights to the marital estate.Core Competencies: Courtroom Experience, Negotiation Skills
Divorce with Equitable Distribution
Client/Wife and OP/Husband married in March 2012 but separated in January 2015. The parties have two minor children in common. The marital estate may include the marital portion of OP’s retirement benefits, OP’s vehicle, and bank accounts and debts. Client has suffered verbal and emotional abuse from OP. Client currently lives in a safe house in New Jersey but is able to come to Philadelphia for meetings and hearings. OP lives in Philadelphia. Client seeks representation to file for divorce and to protect her interest in the marital estate. There is a possibility that OP may be represented by counsel.
Core Competencies: Drafting Pleadings, Factual Development and Investigation
Divorce with Economic IssuesClient/Wife and OP/husband were married in 1996 and separated in fall or winter 2010. They have two adult children. No divorce action has been filed to date. OP is currently informally paying client $200/month in support. He has agreed to do so until client is 65 and starts receiving income from Social Security. Client seeks a volunteer attorney to prepare documents to formalize this agreement and to obtain a divorce. Client does not wish to pursue equitable distribution.Core Competencies: Interviewing Skills, Draft Pleadings
No Assets Divorce
Client/Wife and OP/Husband married in December 2004, but separated in February 2012. The parties do not have any children together. Client is employed, but still qualifies for our services. OP is not represented by counsel. OP has a history of domestic violence against client. Client seeks representation to file for divorce.
Core Competencies: Drafting Pleadings, Client Interviewing
Client/Wife and OP/Husband married in 2008, separating and reuniting several times over the years. Their final separation was in March 2016. The parties have one daughter together who client supports by herself. OP has a history of domestic violence against client, and client has a PFA against OP. Client says there are no assets to be divided between the parties and that OP is willing to consent to the entry of a divorce decree. Client seeks representation to file for divorce.
Core Competencies: Draft Pleadings, Client Interviewing
Client seeks final PFA against her husband/OP. Parties were married in February 2016 after OP was released from jail. OP was serving a seven year sentence for robbery, arson, gun charges. Client states OP became abusive towards client after they married. OP filed for a PFA June 7th 2016. According to client, OP only filed the PFA after she told him she was going to file for one. Client filed a cross complaint on June 9th 2016. Since filing, OP has not complied with the order and comes around client’s neighborhood and calls her during the night. A hearing was originally schedule for June 14th 2016, but was rescheduled due to client’s medical reasons. A new hearing is scheduled for August 16th, 2016at 9:00 am in front of Judge Mallios at 1501 Arch Street.
Core Competencies: Courtroom Experience, Client Interviewing
Client is interested in becoming the legal guardian of her brother with severe Down syndrome. Client has taken over as caretaker of AIP since their mother passed away in 2015. Client takes AIP to his regular doctor’s appointment but often runs into difficulties because she is not his legal guardian. A physician is willing to provide written testimony. The guardianship is not expected to be contested.
Core Competencies: Courtroom Experience, Draft Pleadings
Client seeks guardianship of her 18-year-old, nonverbal daughter with Down syndrome. Client’s daughter lives with client full-time and requires constant supervision from client when she is not at school. Client is the agent under financial Power of Attorney for her daughter, however, client is not authorized to make health care decisions. Daughter's physician provided a note saying that it is mandatory for her to be appointed a guardian for her medical care and that client is the proper guardian for her daughter. The guardianship is not expected to be contested. Client has a learning disability and struggles with certain vocabulary. It is difficult for client and daughter to travel easily, so adequate notice will be needed for appointments and court dates.Core Competencies: Client Interviewing, Courtroom Experience
Client is interested in becoming the legal guardian of his son 19 year old son with severe autism. Client had full custody of AIP when he was a minor and AIP continues to live with Client today. Client takes AIP to his regular doctor’s appointments but is beginning to run into difficulties because he is no longer his legal guardian. A physician is willing to provide written testimony. The guardianship is not expected to be contested.
Core Competencies: Courtroom Experience, Draft Pleadings
Client seeks assistance in a mortgage foreclosure matter. The mortgage and deed are in the name of client’s deceased mother. Client is the executor and sole heir of his mother’s will. Client is currently living in his mother’s house and is in a payment plan for the back real estate taxes. Client has faithfully been meeting with a Housing Counselor regarding the mortgage. At client’s last conciliation conference, lender informed client that his mother had signed a document rendering the mortgage unassumable. Client needs assistance to communicate about this issue with lender and to represent him at the next conciliation conference on Thursday, August 4, 2016 at 9 AM. VIP will have a companion case for the probate matter, but taking the probate case is not necessary to accepting this mortgage foreclosure case.
Core Competencies: Courtroom Experience, Negotiation Skills
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