• The most common civil law issues among low-income households with disabilities are: health (51%), consumers and finance (44%), income support (28%) and disability (23%).b Finally, there is an additional category called « Pending », which includes individuals who are receiving some form of legal aid but for whom program management has not yet made a final decision on the amount of legal aid, which they can provide prior to data collection. for the number of registrations was completed. If data collection had continued for an extended period of time, these individuals would most likely have been coded into one of the following subcategories: This study examines the magnitude of the justice gap in 2017, describes the extent of the civil justice needs of low-income Americans, and assesses the extent to which they seek and receive help. and measure the gap between their civil law needs and the resources available to meet those needs. Throughout my career, I have had to perform a number of non-legal tasks to ensure that a client received the best legal representation. For example, I suffered a bodily injury a few years ago and my client had to undergo an independent medical examination. I gave my client the name and address of the examiner, and I thought my client would be good to get to and from the appointment. After the sections on prevalence and severity of problems, respondents who reported being personally affected by at least one civil law issue were given a section on help-seeking behaviour. The first point in this section was a multi-part question that covered each relevant civil law issue and asked respondents to indicate whether they had told someone about the issue, searched for information online, talked to someone and gone online, or had none of these behaviors.
This question included all personally experienced problems, with the exception of those classified as « not at all affected ». Nearly a million poor people who seek help with civil law problems are turned away for lack of resources. The justice gap represents the difference between the level of civil legal aid available and the level needed to meet the legal needs of low-income individuals and families. According to LSC`s 2017 report, Documenting the Justice Gap in America, of the approximately 1.7 million civil law issues for which low-income Americans seek LSC-funded legal aid, 1.0 million to 1.2 million (62% to 72%) received inadequate or no legal assistance. This means that out of 100 issues for customers served by LSC programs, between 62 and 72 of the issues are unable to get the help they need. The 2017 Justice Sector Gap Measurement Survey assessed the prevalence of different types of issues that typically raise « litigant civil law issues, » that is, issues that could be resolved through civil law actions. This is consistent with the usual practice in the literature to measure the prevalence of civil law issues. While an in-depth interview with a lawyer would show that some of the issues identified by respondents are not truly justiciable, most will be. To facilitate reporting and to be consistent with the general literature, we refer to these issues as « civil law issues » in this and subsequent sections. Other common categories of civil law issues include rental housing, children and custody, and education.
Each of these categories of issues affects more than one in four low-income households when the issue is relevant (e.g., rental housing problems affect 29% of households living in rental housing). Income security and disability issues affect one in five households. In 2017, an estimated one million civil law issues raised by LSC recipients by low-income Americans will not receive the legal aid needed to fully address their needs due to a lack of available resources. A recent New York Times op-ed titled « Everyone Needs Legal Help. That doesn`t mean everyone needs a lawyer, » says Rebecca Sandefur, a sociologist whose career has focused on studying law. The « ingenious » MacArthur Scholarship she received for her work is proof that you don`t need a legal license to make meaningful statements about the legal profession/industry. Jill | Indiana | Living | Jill, an elderly person and legal guardian of two young granddaughters, may have been homeless. Jill`s only income came from Social Security benefits, which allowed her to obtain subsidized housing under section 8. When Jill`s apartment was cited for not meeting section 8 standards, the landlord refused to make the repairs and the housing authority stopped payments. The landlord filed an eviction notice for non-payment of rent, although Jill tried to continue paying her share of the rent. A lawyer represented Jill in Small Claims Court, and Jill and her two granddaughters were allowed to stay in the apartment while she searched for another suitable apartment. Without deportation in her case, Jill maintained her section 8 eligibility and found a new safe home for her granddaughters.
Michaela | New Jersey | Veterans | Michaela has always resided in New Jersey and has always lived there, with the exception of six years in the armed forces in the 1990s. While stationed in Alabama, she divorced, but a name change was not included in the divorce. When she returned to New Jersey after her shift ended, she was forced to get a driver`s license with her married name. Michaela used her maiden name in all other cases and caused problems in various aspects of her life regarding identification (e.g., finances, utilities, leases, etc.).