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19-0043687 Urgent Needs

Submitted on June 14, 2019 in Landlord/Tenant

Landlord/Tenant—19-0043687 (CP)

Client seeks assistance with a landlord/tenant matter. Eviction complaint was filed on the grounds of termination of term, breach of lease (damage), and nonpayment of partial May 2019 rent. The complaint also seeks court costs and ongoing rent. Client has lived in property for 5 years. Last year, landlord gave permission for client’s son to live in the property in exchange for an increase in rent. In April 2019, client wanted to deny entry to her son, and landlord advised client that she was not legally obligated to let her son in because son was not on the lease. Son caused damage to the property while trying to regain entry, and he moved out the day after. As a result of the incident, landlord moved to evict the client in late April. Client withheld May rent in checking account. Client wants to move out as soon as she finds a new home and saves up enough money to move, tentatively 30 days from the trial. She also wants to avoid money judgment. Landlord is represented by Todd L. Baritz, Esq. Eviction hearing is on June 20, 2019, at 8:45 am in Courtroom 3.

Core Competencies: Courtroom Experience, Negotiation Skills

19-0043656 Urgent Needs

Submitted on June 6, 2019 in Domestic Violence

A survivor of domestic violence seeks representation for a hearing on a permanent Protection from Abuse (PFA), which she filed on behalf of her nine-year-old son. Opposing party (OP)/father has partial custody. The child has reported to his school that his father beat him with a hanger. The child has also returned from visits with OP with a scarred upper lip, and he has tried to leave school to avoid his father’s pick-ups. As a result of these problems, the child was admitted to a psychiatric hospital in March of 2019. The hospital informed DHS, but client was told the case did not meet the threshold for abuse. OP/father has previously been convicted of assaulting client. Client obtained a temporary PFA protecting the child and needs representation for a hearing for a permanent PFA on June 26, 2019 at 9:00 am. Client also has a custody hearing before a master on June 26, 2019 at 2:00 pm, but VIP can find another volunteer for that matter; see companion case #19-0043522.

19-0043474 Urgent Needs

Submitted on June 13, 2019 in Landlord/Tenant

Client seeks assistance in landlord/tenant matter. The eviction complaint seeks March and April 2019 rent plus ongoing rent, attorney’s fees, late fees, and court costs. Client gave notice and surrendered keys in November 2018, and ex-husband remained in the house while client continued to pay rent until the end of her lease term in February 2019. Client was then made aware ex-husband had not paid March and April rent. Ex-husband is still in the property. VIP is not representing the ex-husband, and client would like to avoid a money judgment. Landlord is represented by Leonard Mancini, Esq. A Japanese interpreter has been ordered for the hearing, and VIP has one available also, although client is conversational in English. The hearing is scheduled for June 20, 2019, at 8:45 am in Courtroom 3.

Core Competencies: Courtroom Experience, Negotiation Skills

19-0043522 Urgent Needs

Submitted on June 6, 2019 in Custody

A survivor of domestic violence seeks assistance in a custody matter involving her nine-year-old son. The current custody order, issued in 2016, allows client to relocate to Philadelphia with her son, grants her primary custody, and awards partial custody to the opposing party (OP)/father every other weekend. Child has reported to his school that his father beat him with a hanger. The child has also returned from visits with OP with a scarred upper lip, and he has tried to leave school to avoid his father’s pick-ups. As a result of these problems, the child was admitted to a psychiatric hospital in March of 2019. The hospital informed DHS, but client was told the case did not meet the threshold for abuse. OP/father has been convicted of assaulting client. Client filed a petition to modify custody seeking sole physical and legal custody. A volunteer is needed to represent client in the master’s hearing scheduled on June 26, 2019 at 2:00 pm before Master Marthe Mbuy. The client understands that representation may be limited to the scheduled custody hearing, and has agreed to sign a pro se entry of appearance at the conclusion of that hearing. Client obtained a temporary Protection from Abuse (PFA) order protecting the child and has a hearing for a permanent PFA on June 26, 2019 at 9:00 am, but VIP can find another volunteer for that matter; see companion case #19-0043656.

Core Competencies: Client Interviewing, Courtroom Experience

19-0043696 Urgent Needs

Submitted on June 14, 2019 in Landlord/Tenant

Client seeks assistance with a landlord/tenant matter. Client lives in the property with ex-husband and two sons, one was recently adopted and the other one is disabled. Eviction complaint was filed on the grounds of breach of lease (unauthorized occupants). The complaint also seeks May 2019 rent (partial), attorney’s fees, court costs and ongoing rent. Client has lived in property since 2009 and original rental application had four tenants on it including client, ex-husband and two children, however, the lease only listed the adults. All additional family members have vacated the property as of late May and there are four family members total in the property. Client would like time to find another place to live. Client also wants to avoid money judgment. Landlord is represented by Kenneth Baritz, Esq. Eviction hearing is on June 21, 2019, at 8:45 am in Courtroom 3.

Core Competencies: Courtroom Experience, Negotiation Skills

19-0043475 Urgent Needs

Submitted on May 3, 2019 in Contracts, Nonprofit

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. There has been an increase in restaurants and bars seeking community support for outdoor seating and acquiring liquor licenses. Client seeks assistance drafting Good Neighbor Agreement and Conditional Licensing Agreement templates to be used when they are approached by these restaurants or bars.

Core Competencies: Client Interviewing, Drafting

19-0043587 Urgent Needs

Submitted on June 11, 2019 in Custody

Client/mother seeks assistance with a custody matter involving her 6-year-old daughter. Client and opposing party (OP)/father have always had an informal custody arrangement, where the child lives with client during the week and OP, who lives in Lancaster, on weekends. However, in March 2019, OP, who has abused client, demanded that child move to Lancaster permanently. Client then petitioned for primary physical custody, and, at the subsequent master’s hearing, client and OP agreed to a temporary custody order that formalized their previous arrangement and gave both parties shared legal custody. At this hearing OP, who is represented, cross-filed and petitioned for primary physical custody. Later that month, OP then petitioned to relocate the child to Lancaster. Client wants the temporary order to become permanent and for the child to continue living in Philadelphia with her. A semi-protracted hearing on both relocation and custody is scheduled for August 13, 2019 at 9:00 am, before Judge Deborah Cianfrani.

Core Competencies: Client Interviewing, Courtroom Experience

19-0043529 Urgent Needs

Submitted on June 11, 2019 in Collections

Client, a homeowner and mother of three, seeks assistance with two debt collection matters against the same creditor. Client and her husband, from whom she is separated, purchased two cars in both of their names through a credit agreement with Citadel Federal Credit Union. Client primarily used and paid off one car, and her husband the other. Client was injured on the job and unable to work and then separated from her husband where she could no longer rely on his income. For these reasons client could not keep up with the car payments. Client’s husband also stopped paying off his car; client does not know why. Citadel Federal Credit Union filed two separate cases in Municipal Court in which both client and her husband are named as codefendants. One case was continued at client’s request. The other case has been continued twice, once at client’s request and once at her husband’s. Both Municipal Court hearings are now scheduled for June 21, 2019, at 1:00 pm. A volunteer is needed to represent client in her cases against Citadel Federal Credit Union. Client is currently working with VIP on a few debt collection cases and potentially bankruptcy as she has experienced such financial hardship.

Core Competencies: Courtroom Experience, Negotiation Skills

19-0043669 Urgent Needs

Submitted on June 13, 2019 in Landlord/Tenant

Client, who lives with her daughter and grandsons, seeks assistance with a landlord/tenant matter. Eviction complaint was filed on the grounds of termination of term; breach of lease (failure to provide proof of insurance); nonpayment of May 2019 rent and late fee; and nonpayment of water bill. Complaint also seeks attorney’s fees, court costs, and ongoing rent. Habitability problems were present when client moved in in April 2018, and landlord has not done any repair work since client moved in. Client told landlord that she would withhold May 2019 rent because of repairs. Client is awaiting L&I inspection. Client regularly paid landlord cash for water, and assumed the bill was being paid. Client called the Water Bureau after receiving the complaint, and learned that landlord fell behind on a payment plan. Defenses include failure to provide tenant with a valid Certificate of Rental Suitability and “City of Philadelphia Partners for Good Housing” Handbook, breach of implied warranty of habitability, and bank statement of escrowed May rent. Client wants to move out by the end of July and avoid money judgment. Landlord is represented by Todd Baritz, Esq. Eviction hearing is on June 19, 2019, at 8:45 am in Courtroom 3.

Core Competencies: Courtroom Experience, Negotiation Skills

19-0043434 Urgent Needs

Submitted on June 5, 2019 in Landlord/Tenant

Client seeks assistance in landlord/tenant appeal. Landlord’s Municipal Court complaint sought possession and rent from February 2019 onward plus court costs. Client was awarded possession but had a money judgment in the amount of $661.75 entered against her after a contested hearing. Client moved into the property in December 2018 and notified the landlord of habitability issues. There are currently multiple L&I violations open on the property. Client has been locked out of the main building door, and landlord refuses to allow tenant into the building. Multiple other tenants live in the building, and landlord claims client has threatened the other tenants, which led to those tenants changing the locks. Client would like to regain entry to her property to get her possessions and receive her security deposit back. While there is an active appeal pending, it might be possible to mediate an agreement between the parties outside the court process. Landlord is currently unrepresented. Trial is set for June 17, 2019, at 9:00 am in City Hall Courtroom 446.

Core Competencies: Courtroom Experience, Negotiation Skills

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