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Current Pro Bono Cases

Updated 6/11/2015

NEW Housing Court Justice Project!
Assist Pro Se low-income tenants (or low-income landlords if the tenant has an attorney) in Eviction Court.  You will be present at Anchorage District Court one morning per week to provide direct client representation to applicable individuals including: Counsel and advise the tenant regarding the proceedings occurring, negotiate settlements between the landlord and tenant, provide limited representation to tenants scheduled for eviction that day, and drafting any relevant documents, such as pleadings and answers.  Training will be provided prior to this projects implementation in July.

Alaska Legal Services Corporation is looking for volunteer assistance with the following cases:

New pro bono cases:

Anchorage – AN-15-15695
Disabled man experienced employment discrimination.  This case has been vetted by an employment attorney who determined this client has valid ADA and FMLA claims.

Anchorage – AN-15-14335
Client would like to adopt her two grandsons who’ve lived with her for over 10 years.  The boys’ mother died last year and they have no contact with their father.  Much of the legwork has been done by a pro bono attorney who moved out of state.

Anchorage – AN-14-10805
Couple wants to adopt a cousin’s daughter to provide her with a safe, loving home.  The child’s mother died in September 2013.   The child was born in the Dominican Republic, and our clients are struggling with their adoption guidelines.  A Spanish speaking attorney is preferred. 

Salcha – FA-15-15126
71 year old had his home and truck sold by his daughter.  He claims she drugged him so he would sign the contract.  Since the sale almost a year ago, he has only received $500 in payments.  Client would like to move back into his home.  He is still listed as the owner and no deed of trust or mortgage has been recorded.  He cannot read or drive, and must hitchhike into Fairbanks.  Possible Elder Fraud?

Other cases needing assistance:

Anchorage – AN-15-14802
Victim of Domestic Violence needs assistance with a Custody Modification.  An initial custody hearing was initiated in 2010 and settled in 2011, and the father was represented while this client was pro se.  The father has a long history of domestic violence with this client and several past partners, and has begun to use excessive force with their daughter.  At her long-term protective order hearing, the Judge opined that the domestic violence was not adequately addressed in the original custody order, and he would have handled the case differently if it had.  There is also a concurrent CINA case and OCS has given the client custody.  The custody modification will not proceed until the CINA case concludes.  It is anticipated this case will not take many hours to resolve, given the Judge’s remarks and OCS’s position on custody. 

Anchorage – AN-15-14928
Disabled man in his 50s seeks help with CSED garnishments stemming from child support obligations of approximately $125,000.  Client has some major health issues and has been on SSD for many years, but his eligibility ended and he is now working.  However, because of the CSED lein, 40% of his wages are subject to garnishment, which does not leave him enough money to live on.  He would appreciate help in obtaining relief from this obligation so that he can remain a productive member of society.  

Anchorage  – AN-15-15119
60 year old man wants a divorce and his share of retirement.  His wife managed their finances, and in 2007 he learned his home was facing foreclosure.  He believes his wife, who left him after the foreclosure and now lives in South Carolina, has a gambling addiction.  He is on a fixed income and is still paying on debts his wife incurred while they were living together. 

Anchorage – AN-15-14325
Disabled Veteran is seeking some relief from a child support order, which originated in New York.  He owes approximately $30,000 and is only income is SSDI which is being garnished for this child support arrears.

Anchorage - AN-14-12444
Clients need someone to assist them with a small claims action.  They purchased a vehicle from the husband’s co-worker.  They paid cash but were never given the title.  It has now been found that the seller has taken out a loan against the car.  They have had to put the car in storage and they cannot get the registration renewed. 

Anchorage - AN-14-12116
65 year old veteran, who’s been homeless in the past, needs negotiating assistance to enter a more manageable payment plan for back Child Support.  The monthly garnishment does not even cover the interest accruing.  He is very frustrated with the current situation and barely making it financially. 

Canada – AN-15-15042
Client is a Veteran now residing in Canada.  She needs assistance with enforcing some provisions of her divorce decree issued in 2004.  Finding a pro bono attorney she can consult with who possesses experience in Family Law and Military Pensions would be beneficial. 

Fairbanks – FA-15-14748
Client had a custody order issued in 2008 in AK.  Four years ago the father took the child on vacation out of state and has never returned.  This case will need an attorney comfortable with family law and jurisdictional issues under UCCJEA.  Alaska has jurisdiction.  The location of the child has recently been learned.

Minnesota – AN-15-14368
Veteran, age 35, is living in Minnesota.  He is unemployed and currently couch- surfing with a friend.  He supports two children, but has been contacted by Alaska CSSD enforcing an order for his third child (his ex must now live in AK).   He has a pro bono attorney in Minnesota who’s agreed to be a liaison with his pro bono attorney in Alaska.  Client is working hard to get his life in order; however, the back child support owed with the concomitant wage garnishment, prevents him from moving forward.  With advocacy from an Alaskan attorney, his ongoing obligations could be reduced significantly, allowing him to progress and stabilize his life.

Sand Point – AN-15-14968
63 year old woman seeks a divorce.  Case is in Anchorage.  There are no minor children.  There is not a large estate, but there are two pieces of property.  Her husband has counsel and she needs a pro bono attorney to help her receive her fair share in these proceedings.  There is a pre-trial conference July 10 and a trial date for the week of July 20 before Judge Rindner.

Anchorage – Palmer – Kenai – Juneau – Early Resolution Project (ERP)
In one afternoon, you will offer free legal advice to family law pro se litigants referred by the Alaska Court System, who they have deemed as easy to resolve with attorney assistance.  You will meet privately with your client and work out an amicable agreement between both parties that same day.  86% of ERP cases are amicably completed that afternoon.  ERP volunteers are needed in Anchorage, Palmer, Juneau, and now Kenai.  ERP sessions are held once per month in each city.  Contact Laura Goss at ALSC for more information.  907-222-4521 or

Please contact Laura Goss if you are interested in taking a case.  Phone: 907-222-4521

The Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault is seeking volunteers for the following cases:

Anchorage divorce and custody case: volunteer attorney needed to help victim of domestic violence obtain a divorce and custody of one child. Client currently has a long-term protection order which the opposing party has violated. Opposing party has perpetrated domestic violence both to the client and her children from a previous relationship.

Fairbanks: Volunteer attorney needed to help victim of domestic violence obtain custody of her two minor children. Client was recently granted a long-term protective order against the opposing party who has a history of substance abuse and assault charges in multiple states.

Fairbanks custody matter: volunteer attorney needed to help victim of domestic violence obtain custody of two minor children. Client was recently granted a long-term protective order, opposing party is currently in prison for assault against client. He has previously violated protective orders and has a history of substance abuse.

Interested?  Please contact Christine Pate if you are interested in assisting with any of the above cases.

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