Providing information and resources for self-representation

Requesting a fee waiver

Posted by Sherlyn Selassie at 11:22 am on August 15, 2019

If you are unable to afford the filing fee to start your case, you may seek permission from the court to proceed without the filing fee. This is called “indigent,” or “pauper’s” status. Generally, permission to file as an indigent person will be based on the Federal Poverty Guidelines. This form must be signed before a notary, indicating you are submitting the information under oath.

Indigent status will cover the following costs:
Costs not covered by indigent status:
  • Court reporter
  • Discovery/subpoena copy costs
  • Private process service
  • Witness fees
  • Any other litigation cost not controlled by the court

Affidavit of Indigence and Eligibility to Proceed In Forma Pauperis


Parenting Resources

Posted by Roshonda Davis-Baugh at 4:24 pm on April 10, 2019

Choices for Growth (Supervised Visitation)

770-985-9848

 

Families First (Counseling)

404-541-3040

 

Navigating Family Change Parenting Seminar

770-822-8195

 

Welcome Home Family Services (Supervised Visitation)

678-313-4944

Gwinnett Legal Aid projects

Posted by Sherlyn Selassie at 3:59 pm on September 4, 2018

Gwinnett Family Violence Project

(678) 376-9844

FREE legal advice and/or representation for Petitioners obtaining temporary protection, modifying protective orders, and enforcing protective orders. No assistance provided for filing the petition for temporary protective order. For help or more information, call the number above and leave a message.  Someone from Gwinnett Family Violence Project will return your call and assess your eligibility for services under our income and citizenship guidelines.


Gwinnett Public Benefits Project

(678) 407-6469

FREE legal advice and/or representation to people appealing a decision by the Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) that affects TANF, SNAP/Food Stamp, Medicaid or Childcare Assistance benefits.  For help or more information, call the number above and leave a message.  Someone from Gwinnett Legal Aid will return your call.


Hispanic Outreach Law Project

(678) 407-6462

FREE legal advice and/or representation for Spanish-speakers with civil legal problems. For help or more information, call the number above and leave a message in Spanish or English.  Someone from the Hispanic Outreach Project will return your call and assess your eligibility for services under our income and citizenship guidelines.

Asesoramiento legal y/o representación GRATIS para personas que hablan español con problemas legales civiles. Para obtener ayuda o más información, llame al número indicado arriba y deje un mensaje en español o inglés. Alguien del proyecto hispano le devolverá la llamada y evaluará su elegibilidad para los servicios según nuestras pautas de ingresos y ciudadanía.


Legal Aid in the Law Library

FREE weekly general information sessions and individual legal consultations by Legal Aid attorneys and volunteers. Registration is required. Click here for more details.


On-site clinics

Consumer Law Clinic

Are you being sued for a debt?  Are your wages being garnished? Do you have problems with a landlord?  Do you need to file a small claims suit? Do you have a court date coming up?

2nd Thursday of each month

1:00 – 4:00 pm

Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center

Breezeway

75 Langley Drive, Lawrenceville, GA

No appointment necessary.

First come, first served.

Last client accepted at 4:00 pm

 


Probate Clinic

Free consultations with local probate attorneys to answer questions regarding wills, estates, probates, administrations, guardianships, conservatorship, and more….

3rd Thursday of each month

1:30 – 4:00 pm

Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center

Breezeway

75 Langley Drive, Lawrenceville, GA

No appointment necessary.

First come, first served.

Last client accepted at 4:00 pm

LEGAL AID OFFICES AND HOTLINES

Gwinnett County

324 W. Pike St., Suite 200, Lawrenceville, GA 30046

(678) 376-4545

Cobb County

30 S. Park Square, Marietta, GA 30090

(770) 528-2565

DeKalb County

246 Sycamore St., Suite 120, Decatur, GA 30030

(404) 377-0701

Clayton and South Fulton Counties

777 Cleveland Ave., Suite 410, Atlanta, GA 30315

(404) 669-0233

Fulton County

54 Ellis St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30303

(404) 524-5811

TTD/TTY Users

Georgia Relay Center

1-800-255-0135

Georgia Senior Legal Hotline

Statewide assistance for Georgia residents age 60 and older. 

1-888-257-9519

Home Defense Project

Home equity scams, home purchase scams, predatory mortgage lending, wrongful denial of mortgage refinancing

(404) 377-0701


Legal Aid in the Law Library Sessions

Posted by Sherlyn Selassie at 4:09 pm on June 11, 2018

 

Learn more about Gwinnett Legal Aid and all of the legal resources available at the Homer M. Stark Law Library located on the lower level in the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center, and get general legal advice, information, resources and referrals from an attorney.

 

Wednesdays, 9 AM – 12 PM or 1 PM – 4 PM

Space is limited. Online registration is required
Please indicate your questions in the comments section of the registration page.
Please arrive at least fifteen minutes prior to the beginning of the session to reserve a consultation with the attorney.
Please do not bring children with you to the session. Legal Aid in the Law Library does not provide childcare and children cannot be left without adult supervision.

Register here


Requesting a fee waiver from the court

Posted by Sherlyn Selassie at 4:10 pm on May 23, 2018

Complete all of your financial information on this form if you are asking to have the filing and service/publication costs waived in your case. A judge will make a decision concerning your application and inform you whether or not you have been granted indigent status.

Affidavit of Indigence and Eligibility to Proceed In Forma Pauperis

 


Passports for Children

Posted by Sherlyn Selassie at 4:02 pm on August 16, 2017

Image result for image us passport

If your child will need to travel internationally, you should make sure the child has a valid passport, if possible. If the child is under 16, then generally both parents must go with the child to apply for the passport.

Applying and you have parental consent for a passport

Applying without parental consent

Parents can apply for a passport for their child without the other parent’s consent if you can demonstrate there is an emergency or special circumstances why the other parent cannot sign the consent form, or where you as the applying parent can prove you have sole custody of the child.

Emergencies
Sole Custody
Tips for applying for a child’s passport without consent

Make and keep copies

Make a copy of everything you plan to submit to the Department of State and keep all of those documents together for your records.

Denials

If the application is denied, please contact a lawyer immediately. You can apply for an appeal and try again, but you must do so right away. The attorney could also advise you about applying for sole custody if necessary.

Children born outside of the United States

If your child was born in another country, check with that country’s embassy or consulate to find out what you will need to obtain a passport from that country. The embassy may advise you of other considerations as well, including the possibility of obtaining dual citizenship for your child, if eligible. You can find the closest embassy to you at https://www.visahq.com/embassies.

For more information

We recommend you visit https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/under-16.html for additional information and requirements to apply for a passport on behalf of a minor child.


School Enrollment

Posted by Sherlyn Selassie at 4:00 pm on August 16, 2017

back to school

Under O.C.G.A. 20-2-690.1, a person who is caring for a child in their home is required to enroll that child in school.  Under Georgia State Department of Education Rule 160-5-1-.28(b)any person who is caring for a child in their home is allowed to enroll the child in school, even if the caregiver does not have any formal custody or guardianship order.

Non-Parental Affidavit

The school district may require the caregiver to complete a Non-Parental Affidavit, but the school district cannot require custody or guardianship papers.

Kinship Caregiver Affidavit

Additionally, the school district may ask a caregiver to sign a Kinship Caregiver Affidavit.  The Kinship Care Affidavit  is not required to enroll a child in school, but it will allow a caregiver to consent to services which usually require parental consent.  Those services are:

  1. Educational services;
  2. Medical services directly related to academic enrollment; and
  3. Curricular or extracurricular activities.

Provisional Enrollment

If the school district has any questions about the child’s eligibility to enroll, the school district is required to provisionally enroll the child for 30 days, pursuant to Rule 160-5-1-.28(c), to allow the caregiver time to resolve the problem without having the child miss school.


Información en español

Posted by Sherlyn Selassie at 11:45 am on November 14, 2016

La oficina de Ayuda Legal de Gwinnett provee asesoría y representación legal gratuita a personas elegibles.

No recomendamos que usted se represente a si mismo si no habla y/o entiende el inglés con fluidez.  Le recomendamos enfáticamente que obtenga un abogado que le ayude.  Sin embargo, si ya tiene un caso pendiente, le recomendamos lo siguiente:

1. Llame a la oficina de Ayuda Legal de Gwinnett en el (678) 376-4545 para más asistencia.  Puede ser que podamos ofrecerle asesoramiento o representación ante un tribunal.

2. Si ya tiene un caso, y aún no ha presentado una Moción para Nombrar un Intérprete, debe hacerlo inmediatamente.  Esta es una solicitud para que el juez  tenga un intérprete disponible traduciendo para usted durante la fecha de su corte. La forma necesita es:

Motion to Appoint an Interpreter

Debe notificar al tribunal al menos 5 días antes de la fecha de la corte. La corte puede cobrarle por cualquier retraso causado si usted no avisa con anticipación que necesita un intérprete.

Si cancela o reprograma su fecha de corte, debe notificar al tribunal al menos 24 horas de antelación para que el tribunal pueda notificar al intérprete del cambio. Si usted no notifica a la corte el cambio, cualquier costo de intérprete puede ser cargado en su contra.


¿En que difiere un notario público en los E.E.U.U. de un Notario Público de un país latino?

Un Notario estadounidense no es lo mismo que un notario de un país Latino Americano. En muchos países de habla hispana, un “notario” es un abogado licenciado o una persona con educación formal en la ley. En los EE.UU. un “notario” NO es un abogado licenciado. Es alguien designado por el gobierno para presenciar la firma de documentos importantes y administrar juramentos. Aquí en los EE.UU. notarios estan prohibidos de preparar documentos legales o dar consejería legal, a menos de que el notario sea además un abogado licenciado. “Notarios” a menudo se aprovechan de los inmigrantes que son nuevos en este país y no están familiarizados con nuestro sistema legal. Los notarios pueden cobrar cuotas muy altas por servicios que nunca proporcionan o que no tienen el derecho legal de ofrecer, y pueden causar daños permanentes en su caso. Puede confirmar que usted esta tratando con un abogado y no un “notario” poniéndose en contacto con el Colegio o Barra de Abogados de Georgia.

How does the U.S. Notary differ from a Notario Público from a Latin American Country?

A U.S. Notary is not the same as a “Notario Público” from a Latin American Country. In many Spanish-speaking countries, a “notario” is a licensed attorney or a person with formal education in the law. In the U.S., a notary is NOT a licensed attorney. It is someone appointed by the government to witness the signing of important documents and administer oaths. Here in the U.S., notaries are forbidden from preparing legal documents or giving advice on any legal matters, unless the notary is also a licensed attorney. “Notarios” often take advantage of immigrants who are new to this country and are unfamiliar with our legal system. Notarios may charge high fees for help that they never provide or is illegal for them to provide and can sometimes permanently damage your case. You can confirm that you are dealing with an attorney and not a “notario” by contacting the State Bar of Georgia.


Find a private attorney

Posted by Sherlyn Selassie at 9:30 am on September 26, 2016

The decision to hire an attorney is a very important one. The following attorneys or law firms may offer sliding scale or limited services options. Please note that Gwinnett Legal Aid is providing this information as a courtesy, but is not recommending any specific attorney or organization.


Patricia McKenzie

Law Offices of Patricia A. McKenzie

Phone: (770) 910-7161


Carlton Rouse Esq.

Rouse & Co. LLC

Phone: (678) 383-0403


Dorothy “Dodie” Sachs

Chandler Britt & Jay LLC

Phone: (770) 271-2991


Donald Osborne

Attorney at Law

(4040) 474-1320


Kedra Gotel

Gotel & Associates PC

(404) 399-3463


Anna Pearce

Law Office of Anna W. Pearce

(678) 985-1000


Vanessa Kosky (Spanish)

The Law Office of Vanessa Kosky PC

(678) 694-1540


Steve Shewmaker

Shewmaker & Shewmaker, LLC

(770) 939-1939

sshewmaker@shewmakerandshewmaker.com

ATLANTA BAR MODEST MEANS PROGRAM

Additionally, the Atlanta Bar has a low to moderate income attorney referral program. They can be reached by calling (404) 521-0777 or by visiting their website to complete the online application at: http://atlantabar.site-ym.com/?page=MMonlineapplication



LAWYERS FOR EQUAL JUSTICE

(404) 474-7447

Online assistance request form: https://lawyersforequaljustice.legal.io/intake/new


ACCESS TO LAW FOUNDATION

(770) 685-1499

Online assistance request form: http://accesstolawfoundation.org/contact-us/


 

GWINNETT COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION ATTORNEY REFERRAL

For a list of other private attorneys practicing family law, you may also contact the Gwinnett County Bar Association for an attorney referral.

 

The referral information in this publication is provided as a resource, only, and is not Gwinnett Legal Aid/Gwinnett Family Law Clinic’s endorsement of any individual practitioner, firm, or organization.

 


Parenting Plans

Posted by Roshonda Davis-Baugh at 9:51 am on May 9, 2016

calendar

Parenting Plans must be completed in any action involving child custody (divorce, separate maintenance, legitimation, modification). Below are several forms to assist you in developing the plan that will work best for your family.

Blank parenting plan

Select your own provisions based on your family’s special circumstances.

Standard parenting plan

Includes provisions such as joint legal custody, alternating weekends, alternating holidays and two weeks of summer vacation. You may customize provisions as needed.

Long distance parenting plan

The non-custodial parent lives out of state.

Sole custody to petitioner

This plan is intended for the following situations:

  • The non-custodial parent cannot be located
  • The non-custodial parent is incarcerated

Graduated Visitation

This plan is intended for limited special circumstances to give the child and visiting parent time to adjust to visitation over a 12-month period.

Joint Parenting Plans (50/50)

Attorney consultation is recommended.


When you need two (2) separate Parenting Plans:

If you are filing a divorce or separate maintenance, and you have biological children with the Defendant and children who were not fathered or adopted by the husband, you will need:

  1. One of the blank, standard, or long distance plans listed above; AND
  2. One sole custody plan for the child(ren) who are not the husband’s biological/adopted child(ren).

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