Special Coronavirus/COVID-19 Information:

First, check to see whether the court in which your case is pending is closed for non-emergency cases. At present, this is only Monroe. Please be aware that Monroe Courts are petitioning the Indiana Supreme Court under Administrative Rule 17 to suspend all non-essential hearings, both criminal and civil, now until May 30th. Effective immediately, all non-essential hearings are continued, without any motion by counsel or parties, until that date. “Essential hearings” include criminal initial hearings, bail review hearings, juvenile detention hearings, emergency evictions, protective orders, and the like. This list of what is considered to be an emergency hearing is not exhaustive, and other emergencies may be determined on a case-by-case basis. Please reach out to the assigned court if you feel an emergency designation is necessary, and the Court will rule on them on a case-by-case basis.
The check on the status of your case, go to: MyCase it’s quick and free.
You can also call Court Services at (812) 349-2615 with questions.

Check back to see other court closures or emergency procedures in the counties we serve, which are Clay, Greene, Hendricks, Lawrence, Monroe, Morgan, Owen, Putnam, Sullivan, and Vigo.

Second, please determine which of our programs you would like to access and see if you qualify. 

Third, our Bloomington office at 120 W. 7th Street, Suite 450, Bloomington is closed, as we’re working remotely, so please don’t stop by. Correspondence can be mailed to: PO Box 8382. Bloomington, IN 47407 We want to keep our clients, our volunteers, and our staff safe during the pandemic. Please bear with us during this difficult time. We are processing cases more slowly due to all the precautionary measures, but otherwise our intake is the same. Check back for updates!

To qualify for an attorney, you must meet these requirements:

  • Income
    Your income must be at or less than 125% of the federal poverty level, except for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy which is at or under 150%.
  • Case
    Your case must be in one of the counties we serve.
    Your case must be civil, not criminal.
    Your case’s deadline or hearing must be more than 30 days away.
  • Location
    You do not have to live in a county we serve, but your case must be in one of the counties we serve.

Please be aware that, even when an applicant meets all of the criteria to qualify for assistance, that does not automatically guarantee we will be able to find an attorney who is willing to take the case for free. For a variety of reasons, some cases are more difficult to place than others and attorneys are not obligated to accept cases from us. Also, finding volunteer attorneys takes time, so we cannot handle emergencies or cases with hearings or deadlines in less than thirty days.  You are welcome to attend one of our clinics to get help in the meantime.

Income requirements

We only take clients whose incomes are at or less than 125% of the federal poverty line or less than 150% for our Ch 7 Bankruptcy Clinic.

This also depends on how many people you must support within your household. Per US Dept of Health & Human Service guidelines, the current (2020) federal poverty level in the continental US is as follows:

ANNUAL INCOME POVERTY RATE
Household/   Pro Bono Chapter 7   
Family
Size
100% 125% 150%
1 $12,760      15,950        19,140
2 $17,240      21,550        25,860
3 $21,720      27,150        32,580
4 $26,200      32,750        39,300
5 $30,680      38,350        46,020
6 $35,160      43,950        52,740
7 $39,640      49,550        59,460
8 $44,120      55,150        66,180
Add $4,480 for each
person over 8

If you’re close to this, you may still qualify. We can deduct some expenses you have to keep a job, such as child care, mileage and uniforms, to get you to the 125% level. Also, it may be that not everyone you live with is a member of your household, if you don’t have a legal obligation to support them.

We also ask about other resources you may have, such as bank accounts, trusts, stocks or non-residential real estate.

Case requirements

We only take civil cases. We do not take criminal cases.

We also cannot take cases with hearings or deadlines within less than thirty (30) days. This is because we rely on volunteer attorneys to fit these cases into their schedules. It is unlikely, if not impossible, to find an attorney who can prepare for your case within less than thirty (30) days.

Location requirements

We only take cases in the following counties:

  • Clay
  • Greene
  • Hendricks
  • Lawrence
  • Monroe
  • Morgan
  • Owen
  • Putnam
  • Sullivan
  • Vigo

Counsel in the Court clinics: (For Clay, Greene, Lawrence, Monroe, Morgan, Owen, Putnam, and Vigo counties.)

The Counsel in the Court clinics ordinarily provide in-person advice at courthouses in Clay, Greene, Lawrence, Monroe, Morgan, Owen, Putnam, and Vigo counties. All of these clinics are now providing advice by phone only at the times listed below.

Please note that the advice may be limited to family law advice only, and you should call in only if you don’t already have an attorney, and either live in or have a case in these counties.

Clay County: Every 2nd and 4th Friday, 9am to 11am, call (812) 316-5262

Greene County residents: Every 2nd and 4th Tuesday, 10am to 12:30pm, call (812) 269-6463

Lawrence County: Every 1st and 3rd Thursday, 9am – 11:30am, call (812) 269-6463

Monroe County: Every Friday, 10am -2:30pm, call (812) 269-6463

Morgan County: Every 1st and 3rd Monday, 1pm – 3:30pm, call (812) 269-6463

Owen County: Every 1st and 3rd Friday, 11:30am to 1:30pm, call (812) 269-8277

Putnam County: Every 1st Tuesday, 5-6:30pm, call (812) 269-6463

Vigo County: Every 1st and 3rd Friday, 9am to 11am, call (812) 316-5262

If you call in to get phone advice this way, and don’t immediately have your call answered by the attorney, please wait by your phone/have your phone near you so that we can easily reach you to return the call. If you have a computer with internet and printer, that’s useful for help with forms, but not necessary for help from these clinics.

After signing in by telephone, your place in line will be held, and we will get back with you as soon as possible.

Please do an intake for bankruptcy by calling (812) 855-2390 and leave a voice mail, and an intake worker will call you back at their earliest convenience. It may take more time than normal for someone to get back to you because we are closed at this time due to the Coronavirus. Please note that we only do Chapter 7 bankruptcies.

Income requirements for Bankruptcy help:


ANNUAL INCOME POVERTY LEVEL
Household/   Pro Bono Chapter 7   
Family
Size
100% 125% 150%
1 $12,760      15,950        19,140
2 $17,240      21,550        25,860
3 $21,720      27,150        32,580
4 $26,200      32,750        39,300
5 $30,680      38,350        46,020
6 $35,160      43,950        52,740
7 $39,640      49,550        59,460
8 $44,120      55,150        66,180
Add $4,480 for each
person over 8

Housing and Evictions Resource Table: (For Monroe County only)

Check back for updates soon!

In the meantime, please be aware that the Monroe courts are suspending all non-essential hearings until April 10, 2020. This means that in landlord-tenant cases, only emergency evictions or cases in which “waste” is alleged—usually meaning that the tenant is destroying or severely neglecting property– will be heard by the courts. If your case isn’t an emergency eviction or case involving waste, all hearings are automatically continued until at least May 4th, 2020, and you should be receiving notification about your case in the mail from the Court.

Please call Court Services at (812) 349-2615 with questions.

 

Intake for placement with an attorney (for Clay, Greene, Lawrence, Monroe, Morgan, Owen, Putnam, Sullivan, and Vigo counties):

Counsel in the Court is best suited for if you have an immediate question. We also offer intake services to possibly provide you with a pro bono attorney for your case if you qualify financially, which usually means that you are at or near the 125% of federal poverty guidelines. However, we must prioritize cases for placement with a pro bono attorney because there are so few pro bono attorneys available. We might be able to place you with a pro bono attorney if the case:

  • is not scheduled to be heard less than 30 days from now AND
  • involves abuse or neglect of you or a dependent
  • is a Chapter 7 bankruptcy
  • involves a non-contested guardianship for children or disabled adults (non-contested means all relatives of the kids or adults agree you should be the guardian)
  • is an adoption by a grandparent or step-parent
  • is a power of attorney, do-not-resuscitate directive, living will, or will
  • involves financial loss of more than $6,000

This isn’t a definitive list of cases we can help with, and you may call our Intake Line at (812) 855-2390 if you have questions about whether we can help. It’s also best to call the Intake Line if you think you might be just over the financial qualifications, as some things, such as expenses to keep a job, child support, and insurance, may be subtracted to qualify you.

Important disclaimer for getting help with a pro bono attorney: If your case looks like one that might be eligible for placement with an attorney, and you qualify financially, unfortunately, that still doesn’t mean we can get you a pro bono attorney. Here are other things you should know:

  • We’ll let you know within two weeks by letter or email after your intake whether your case is one that we think we can place with an attorney. We may need to call you for more information before we can let you know.
  • It can take 30 days to 3 months, in some cases even longer, to find an attorney who can help you for free. This is because we have to call around to find an attorney who has the expertise for your case, and who can fit it into their schedule. In some small counties, there may not be an attorney available who can help. Pro bono work isn’t mandatory in Indiana for attorneys, and there are relatively few attorneys who work with us.
  • If we accept your case for placement, you should feel free to email at dist10probono@gmail.com to ask for updates on your case, if your case changes in the meantime, or if you are able to find an attorney elsewhere.

Here are instructions for doing intakes: Please call (812) 855-2390 and leave a voice mail, and an intake worker will call you back at their earliest convenience. It may take three to four days for someone to get back to you because we are closed at this time due to the Coronavirus and do not have law students to help.

For Hendricks County only

Please go to https://www.hendrickscountybar.org/legal-aid/ and follow directions on the website.

Please check back for updates soon!

 

Mission

The Wabash Valley Survivors Legal Assistance program provides legal support to survivors of domestic violence who cannot afford an attorney. We provide legal advice, legal assistance, and in some cases legal representation for people experiencing domestic violence. We partner with the Terre Haute-based Council on Domestic Abuse (CODA), Clay County Family Support Services, and other local domestic violence resources. We also do some direct intake.

Get Help

To be eligible for assistance, your case must be located in Vigo, Clay, or Sullivan County. Currently the best way to get advice and apply for services is to work with CODA or Clay County Family Support Services, or attend the Counsel in the Court family law clinic held every 1st and 3rd Friday outside Superior Court II on the third floor of the Vigo County Courthouse. People with Clay and Sullivan cases are also welcome there.

If you cannot work with CODA or Clay FSS or attend the Counsel in the Court clinic, contact us to schedule an intake at: wbvalsurvivorslegal@gmail.com

Support

Wabash Valley SLA is a project of the District 10 Pro Bono Project, funded through the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute and the federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA). Wabash Valley SLA and District 10 Pro Bono can currently only meet the need of a fraction of the people who qualify for our services. If you would like to support Wabash Valley Survivors Legal Assistance specifically, you can donate to D10 here and write in the “Notes” section that you would like your donation to go to SLA. In many cases, timely legal assistance is a decisive factor in a person suffering domestic abuse with children being able to leave!  You donation will make an actual difference in terms of more hours to help another client!

 

Who We Serve