Pro Bono News

Kentucky Could Become Third State Not to Fund Legal Aid

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Kentucky Could Become Third State Not to Fund Legal Aid 

"Edna Bland had just adopted a child, her father was dying and her husband was having risky heart surgery when a mortgage company tried to take her house in 2009.

Because Bland had not been charged with a crime, she was not guaranteed the right to an attorney. A judge ruled against her, and the mortgage company tried to put a lock on her house.

"I called everything and everybody," Bland said. "I felt like no one would fight for me."

Eventually, Bland got help from AppalReD Legal Aid, a nonprofit that gives free legal services to the poor in civil court. An attorney filed for bankruptcy on her behalf and stopped the foreclosure proceedings. A year later, with the help of her children, Bland paid off her house. She still lives there.

Bland is one of tens of thousands of people every year who rely on one of four nonprofits in Kentucky that offer legal aid in non-criminal cases to people who can't afford an attorney. But Kentucky could become the third state not to fund legal aid programs, joining Delaware and Idaho, according to the Legal Services Corporation. State lawmakers are considering cutting the program to save money in a budget crunch caused by massive pension liabilities and stagnant revenues..."

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