The widening gap in justice is hurting low-income Americans – Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky

Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky 2022-05-20 15:16:15 –

Wage inequality in the United States leads to even wider justice inequality, and those in need of legal assistance in civil issues such as bankruptcy and eviction of peasants cannot afford it. Organizations enthusiastic about providing legal resources are struggling to meet demand.

According to the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), a government non-profit organization founded by Parliament in 1974, 1.9 million civil legal issues were brought to its subsidiary in 2021, of which only 500,000 were legal. I was able to receive support. According to the LSC, the remaining 1.4 million legal issues were addressed with appropriate or without legal assistance.

John Usher, Executive Director of Colorado Legal Services, partially funded by Legal Services Corporation, said: “”[Turning people away] This is the most difficult part of our work. “

According to Usher, only 50% of clients calling his office can get help due to lack of resources such as money and staff.

“”[The people who call] You need a lawyer and we don’t have the resources to serve them. I’m trying to triage the case to pick up the most disastrous case. “

According to the LSC, in Virginia courts, the winning percentage of a representative defendant in a peasant eviction case is 20 times higher than that of a non-represented defendant. In Ohio, if the defendant is represented by a lawyer, the winning percentage is 50 times higher.

According to Legal Services Corporation, 99% of plaintiffs in debt collection cases are represented by lawyers, while only 14% of defendants have lawyers.

For landlords and tenants, 81% of plaintiffs are represented by 21% of defendants, and for small claims, 76% of plaintiffs are represented by lawyers to 13% of defendants.

Misty Davila, Colorado, who found a notice on the door of the apartment in March, said: It said she would be kicked out if she didn’t pay $ 3000 for the apartment.

According to Davira, her apartment house cut rent in half in the first year of the pandemic to help low-income tenants. For Davira, that meant paying $ 600 instead of $ 1,200 a month, but she and other tenants weren’t informed that they needed to repay additional money, she says.

She says the notice she found at the door was an attempt to collect it.

“I was scared,” she said. “As you know, I’m feeling life-changing and very comfortable now. That was a horrifying idea.”

Davila was one of the few who could find legal support through a nonprofit organization. She says the problem was resolved within a few weeks and she didn’t have to pay anything to the apartment or lawyer.

“It was really shocking because I was here and paid the invoice,” she said.

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