The MSCFV Legal Program is designed to provide victims of domestic violence assistance through the judicial system. The program consists of two components:
Advocacy & Accompaniment: MSCFV’s Legal Advocates provide information and explain options available to victims of domestic violence. If a victim decides to pursue any of their legal options, an advocate can assist with completing applications, court preparation, and support throughout the proceedings.
Direct Representation: Advocates make referrals for Direct Representation on behalf of their clients. A panel Attorney provides representation in Protective Order hearings and divorce and custody cases.
The majority of victims coming to MSCFV receive some form of legal assistance. A total of 337 clients received at least one legal service during fiscal year 2018.
In addition to the legal services reported in the previous section, MSCFV also provided attorney representation for 133 clients at final protective order hearings. The agency also provides attorney representation for other types of cases including divorce, custody, landlord/tenant, and debtor/creditor cases. In the most recent fiscal year, 443 cases were opened including 49 custody/child support, 38 divorce, 51 debtor/creditor and 30 landlord/tenant.
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