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  1. MidPenn Legal Services 2007 Family Law Campaign

  2. Agenda • MidPenn is Legal Aid in York County • Poverty is a Community Issue • Our Campaign

  3. Everyone Deserves Access to Justice Unfortunately, not everyone can afford it. MidPenn helps the very poor and domestic violence victims. They have no place else to turn.

  4. We Serve Our York Community • Our dedicated office in York serves the entire county. • In 2006 we helped 2635 people in York County! • MidPenn represents families at the poverty level, for example, $25,000 a year for a family of four. • Victims of domestic violence are eligible regardless of income.

  5. MidPenn is the emergency room of the legal profession Legal Representation in Civil Cases Consumer, Elderly, Employment, Family, Housing, Public Benefits, Utilities Information and Advice Community Education We are not involved with criminal cases MidPenn’s Work

  6. Tammy’s Story When one parent snatches a child only a lawyer can help the primary parent get the child back. Tammy was recently divorced from her husband. Dad moved to Florida and took the child with him. “I was beside myself,” says Tammy. “I called the police but there was nothing they could do to stop him.” MidPenn Attorney Gerry Studzinski promptly filed a Custody Complaint and obtained a hearing date in York within two weeks. The child was returned to Tammy as ordered by the court. “MidPenn was there for me when I needed them. We’re doing great now,” says Tammy. Alicia will take more trips to Florida to see her Dad but it will be with the protection of a court order.

  7. Kelly’s Story Nothing strikes deeper at a parent’s heart than losing contact with their child. Kelly L. and her husband, Brian, separated but both shared a role in raising their young child. Dad took the child to visit his parents in Massachusetts. He was to return her in one week but he called and said he was not coming back. Because they had no custody order, he was not committing a crime. MidPenn Attorney Susan Emmons filed a custody complaint, but before a hearing was scheduled Dad filed a domestic violence complaint against Kelly in Massachusetts alleging that she had threatened him over the phone. Attorney Emmons contacted the local legal aid office in Massachusetts and an attorney there had Dad’s allegations dismissed. The parties later reached a negotiated settlement before the custody hearing in York. Kelly was reunited with her daughter. Both parents had custody rights and specified times that the child would be with them.

  8. Jamie’s Story Jamie D. works for a local church ministry. After her husband died of cancer she struggled to provide for her three children. When she became seriously ill herself she was out of work for months. She recovered completely but her savings were exhausted and her home went into foreclosure. “I was really scared,” she said. “My kids were doing really well in school and I thought I was going to lose everything.” “I met with MidPenn Attorney John Mitton. He was just incredible throughout the entire process. Within four months my problems were resolved. John filed legal papers on my behalf and then contacted the bank’s attorney and worked out an arrangement.” “My biggest fear was that my children would suffer emotional issues if we had to move. You fight so hard to provide them with a stable and healthy home environment. You can’t bear to see it slip away.”

  9. MidPenn Family Law Campaign • Family law: custody, child support, • Custody cases are devastating and time consuming, • The York MidPenn office logged 1,844 hours on family law in 2006 (38% of all hours). • Unable to provide court representation for everyone • Difficult to find Pro Bono assistance • Prevents the office from addressing additional poverty law issues

  10. MidPenn Family Law Campaign • Chairs: Robert W. Pullo - William C. Gierasch, Jr., Esq. Cost of attorney for 5 years = $ 250,000 • York Bar Foundation has contributed 50% of the total • Remaining Commitments: $125,000 • 13 Sponsors @ $2,000/yr for 5 years • 5 Sponsors @ $5,000/yr for 5 years • All Locally Raised Funds Stay Local

  11. MidPenn helping York families