News

News

With 50 years of experience providing high quality, free legal services to low-income Chicagoans, CVLS and its volunteers are often recognized for their outstanding work.

Mental Health Pro Bono Pilot Program to Launch

Every year, nearly one in five Americans will experience a mental health crisis or concern, and countless more will watch a loved one struggle with mental illness. Working to ensure access to appropriate care and services for someone with mental illness can be overwhelming. Friends and family often receive conflicting information and struggle to understand the medical, legal, and supportive services that are available, how they intersect, and how they can be accessed by or on behalf of a loved one.

Setting the Record Straight

Don't Mess with This Guardian Angel

Sebastien Angel, Schiff Hardin LLP

Disabled from two massive strokes, Patricia relies on her Section 8 voucher to keep her family safely housed. Last year, police pressured her landlord to evict her because they thought she was harboring criminals. The landlord complied, despite having no evidence of any crime. Then, because an eviction violates Section 8 rules, the Housing Authority of Cook County (HACC) moved to terminate her voucher. Although she did her best to defend herself at the HACC hearing, the Hearing Officer ruled against her.

e-filing Drama continues

Mandatory e-filing pushed to June 30, 2018

The Illinois Supreme Court has approved a six-month extension of mandatory e-filing in response to a petition from Circuit Clerk Dorothy Brown. The petition was made due to information received by the Circuit Clerk’s office that the some central functions of the new Odyssey EFileIL system would not be ready for operation by January 1, the high court’s original deadline.

PUBLICATION UPDATE

Exciting News

There is now only one publication desk on the 8th floor of the Daley Center. The 12th floor desk has been closed. For cases in all division/departments, please use the 8th floor desk to publish.

The law bulletin will now accept clsp’s as payment. You no longer need to file a motion for free publication, and submit an order for free publication. This avoids an irritating step in the previous process.

Just in Time for Valentine’s Day

Juan’s Immigration Story

Laura Bloniarz, Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP

Juan was just a young child when he first arrived in the United States. Although he was from a different country, Juan wound up living the life of a regular American kid, going to a regular American high school and falling in love with the young woman he eventually married. Despite his lack of citizenship, Juan was always proud to be a member of his community.

After the couple married and had their first child, Juan’s wife tried to sponsor him for permanent residence. The application process took years. By the time Juan was legally allowed to remain here, his wife had already given birth to their second child.

TEAM SEYFARTH REPORTING FOR DUTY

Working Together to Ensure Safe Living Environments for Our Elderly Clients

Kevin Fritz, Seyfarth Shaw

When Charlie traveled from Michigan to visit her elderly mother in Chicago, she noticed that her mother, Dorothy, had lost a significant amount of weight. Charlie quickly got Dorothy to the doctor and moved from the home she shared with Charlie’s brother into a more structured living arrangement, while also nursing her back to better health. As Charlie lives in Michigan, she was worried that her mother’s health might decline again once Charlie moved back home. So, Charlie went to court and petitioned for guardianship.

JUSTICE ACCESSED

CVLS Volunteers Help Keep Food on the Table

Kenneth relies heavily upon his food stamps to make ends meet. Two years ago, Illinois’ Department of Human Services (DHS) conducted an over-the-phone re-certification for his benefits and asked him whether he was receiving any income. Kenneth answered, “no” although he was getting unemployment compensation at the time. He didn’t understand that this state benefit was considered income. DHS later learned of the unemployment benefits and informed Kenneth that a small percentage of his food stamps would be deducted every month until he repaid $590. Kenneth understood and did not contest this because he would still have enough to eat. Kenneth felt he was safe.

The Power of Bankruptcy

How Marissa Got Back on Her Feet

Tina Tran, Needle & Thread Law

You may remember the beginning of Marissa’s story from our Facebook page. A homemaker and the mother of a five-year-old son, Marissa was laid off from her job. She decided to go back to school with the support of her husband, the sole provider of the household. Overwhelmed with debt and struggling financially, Marissa and her husband came to CVLS for help.

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