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18-0042720 Urgent Needs

Submitted on January 23, 2019 in Custody

Client/mother seeks assistance with an urgent custody matter involving her four children. Client/mother was incarcerated in March 2017 and father and the kids moved in with OP/aunt at that time. Father and OP/aunt subsequently got into a fight and father took the kids and moved out. OP/aunt petitioned for custody, claiming that father moved into a “drug house” with the kids. He did not attend the custody hearings, and a temporary order was issued giving full custody of the kids to OP/aunt. In May 2017, client’s oldest son was involuntarily hospitalized for mental health issues and the court granted father custody of him after he was released. In September 2017, father, who is now represented, filed for sole physical and legal custody of the other three kids. A temporary order was issued on September 7, 2018, granting both client and father supervised physical custody of the three kids every other Saturday for 2 hours, while they continued to live with OP/aunt. Client and father were both ordered to complete drug testing, mental health evaluations, and a home investigation. Client then subsequently filed for sole legal and physical custody. A hearing is now scheduled for February 11, 2019, at 9:00 am before Judge Viktoria Kristiansson. Client and father are currently living together and are willing to share custody.

Core Competencies: Client Interviewing, Courtroom Experience

19-0042947 Urgent Needs

Submitted on February 19, 2019 in Collections

Client, a homeowner, seeks assistance with a debt collection matter. Capital One Bank filed a complaint in Philadelphia Municipal Court against someone sharing client’s name. A default judgment was entered in November 2013 against that other individual, who lives at a Philadelphia address. Client has never had a Capital One credit card and has lived in his home in Camden, New Jersey, since 2002. In November 2018, Capital One garnished about $5,000 from client’s bank accounts, which are now frozen and contain a little less than $10,000. Client is no longer able to work due to an injury sustained in 2017, and he relies on the funds in his bank accounts. A volunteer attorney is needed to help client regain his funds that were improperly taken and unfreeze his bank accounts. Client is Vietnamese-speaking; interpretation services are available upon request.

Core Competencies: Draft Pleadings, Negotiation Skills

19-0042927 Urgent Needs

Submitted on February 20, 2019 in Mortgage Foreclosure

Client seeks assistance with an urgent mortgage foreclosure matter. Record owner was client’s uncle, who died intestate in November 2017, leaving client’s other uncle as his only heir. The surviving uncle is willing to transfer title to client, who is the administrator of the estate, and VIP can find a separate volunteer for the deed transfer. However, client was not aware of the foreclosure action until December 17, 2018. He now seeks advice regarding assumption of the mortgage and representation in the diversion program. Client’s second conciliation conference is scheduled for April 11, 2019, at 9:00 am.

Core Competencies: Client Interviewing, Negotiation Skills

19-0042853 Urgent Needs

Submitted on February 13, 2019 in Nonprofit, Zoning

Client is an established nonprofit organization in Philadelphia. Client’s mission is to connect the neighborhood with the land, community members, resources and opportunities. Client is the Neighborhood Advisory Committee and Registered Community Organization for its neighborhood. A developer requested a zoning variance for a proposed project of a multi-family housing unit in a single-family district, claiming the denial of the variance would create an “unnecessary hardship”. The Zoning Board of Adjustments (ZBA) directed the developer to continue negotiating with client. Client did not believe the developer adequately proved a viable hardship that justified the multi-family unit in the specified location. The developer did not negotiate with client beyond a perfunctory meeting. The ZBA granted the developer’s variance request. Client seeks assistance appealing the decision.

Core Competencies: Administrative Agency Practice, Drafting

18-0041589 Urgent Needs

Submitted on February 1, 2019 in Real Property

Client, who is very responsive, seeks assistance in a quiet title action. Client’s unmarried grandparents owned the property as joint tenants with right of survivorship. Grandfather predeceased grandmother, and grandmother died intestate in 2009, with client, who lived at the property with the grandmother, as her only heir. Client was incarcerated from February 2017 to March 2018, and property accrued delinquent real estate taxes during this time. Nephew of grandfather and the administrator of grandfather’s estate paid the delinquent real estate taxes, stopping a sheriff’s sale on the property. Nephew then fraudulently conveyed grandfather’s interest in the property, which had already passed by operation of law to grandmother and therefore should properly be in grandmother’s estate, to a neighbor who is now the alleged record owner. A volunteer is needed to file a quiet title action to get the property back into the grandmother’s estate. Once that is complete, VIP will open a probate case to find a volunteer to help probate grandmother’s estate and transfer the property to client. Client is not currently living in the property and was arrested for trespassing on the property when he picked up the mail; however, police released client, acknowledging the alleged record owner’s claim is suspicious.

Core Competencies: Courtroom Experience, Draft Pleadings

19-0042977 Urgent Needs

Submitted on February 14, 2019 in Collections

Client needs assistance with an urgent debt collection matter. Client purchased a car at a car dealership through an installment sales contract with Ally Financial on February 6, 2017. Two days later, client called Ally Financial to try to return the car and was told that she could do so within thirty days of the purchase. Client left the car at the dealership on March 6, 2017, without alerting the lender or the dealership that she was doing so. The car was then repossessed. Ally Financial is now suing client in the Court of Common Pleas for $23,665.08. Client was served with the complaint on January 14, 2019, and arbitration is scheduled for October 3, 2019 at 9:15 am. A volunteer is needed to assist client with responding to the complaint and to represent her in this matter.

Core Competencies: Courtroom Experience, Draft Pleadings

18-0041967 Urgent Needs

Submitted on February 21, 2019 in Probate

Client seeks assistance with an urgent probate matter as her water is currently shut off. Client lives in a home titled in her deceased mother’s name and her minor son’s name together. Client’s mother, who died in 2008, left a will naming client as the Executrix of her Estate and the sole beneficiary of her real property. Client seeks to probate her mother’s estate in order to assume title to the half interest devised to her in the will, with the goal of sharing title with her minor son. Client seeks title in order to apply for systems repair assistance, and to enter into payment agreements for delinquent real estate tax and water bills. Currently, client’s water is off due to non-payment and that can only be tuned back on if she obtains an account in her name. An attorney is needed to help client probate her mother’s estate and assume title with her minor son.

Core Competencies: Administrative Agency Practice, Drafting

19-0043054 Urgent Needs

Submitted on February 15, 2019 in Landlord/Tenant

Client seeks assistance in landlord/tenant matter. The eviction complaint seeks ongoing rent from the day of filing on January 25, 2019. The landlord only has a commercial activity license for the property and no Certificate of Rental Suitability or “City of Philadelphia Partners for Good Housing” Handbook was ever given to the client. Client lives in the basement of the apartment, which isn’t zoned as a rental property and the upstairs areas were damaged by a fire in late January just prior to the eviction complaint being filed. Defenses include lack of a proper license, no Certificate of Rental Suitability and no heat or hot water in the property .The client would like more time in the property to find another place to live. Landlord is unrepresented. The hearing is scheduled for February 22, 2019, at 8:45 am in Courtroom 3.

Core Competencies: Courtroom Experience, Negotiation Skills

19-0043059 Urgent Needs

Submitted on February 21, 2019 in Landlord/Tenant

Client seeks assistance with an urgent landlord tenant matter. The eviction complaint seeks unpaid rent for January and February 2019, unpaid water, and attorney’s fees. Landlord alleges that client prevented him from entering the property by changing the locks, had an unauthorized occupant, and verbally threatened him. Client reports that the landlord has failed to make any of the requested repairs to the property since the inception of the tenancy in March 2018. Client has been unable to use her heater this winter and landlord has failed to fix it. On January 30, 2019, client contacted L&I regarding the inadequate heating system and the landlord filed for eviction on February 7, 2019. There are now four open L&I violations on the property, three of which are pending a status update. Client has escrowed the amount of money that the landlord requests in the complaint and would like to use it towards saving to move to another property. Possible defenses include unfair retaliation against filing an L&I claim and breach of the implied warrant of habitability. Client would like to negotiate time to stay in the property until she can move out in April or May. Landlord is unrepresented by counsel. An eviction hearing is scheduled for March 1, 2019, at 8:45am in Room 3.

Core Competencies: Courtroom Experience, Negotiation Skills

19-0042998 Urgent Needs

Submitted on February 13, 2019 in Landlord/Tenant

Client seeks assistance with an urgent landlord/tenant matter. The eviction complaint seeks unpaid rent for the months of August 2018 through December 2018, and unpaid water for that time as well. Client began withholding rent in September 2018 because he never received a rental license, certificate of rental suitability, nor lead safe certificate. Additionally, client believed he owed $800/month in rent per the initial lease that he and his wife signed with the landlord but the landlord demanded $950/month per a later lease that only client’s wife signed. Client also reports that the landlord failed to make repairs to the dangerous electrical heating system in the home despite his numerous requests, prompting client to file a complaint with L&I in January for “no heat.” Landlord obtained a rental license in December 2018 and has since obtained a certificate of rental suitability. Landlord filed the eviction complaint on January 4, 2018. Defenses include lack of valid Rental License and Certificate of Rental Suitability for some of the months the Landlord is claiming, and breach of the implied warrant of habitability. Client would like to remain in the property and pay the landlord $800/month in rent starting from when the landlord obtained a rental license. Landlord is unrepresented. An eviction hearing is scheduled for Friday, February 22, 2019, at 12:45 pm in Room 3.

Core Competencies: Courtroom Experience, Negotiation Skills

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