Summer Associate Program: Court Debt Collection Project
The Court Debt Summer Associate will work directly with housing and consumer attorneys on addressing the systemic issue of equitable treatment of the low-income population within our eight-county region municipal court systems.
Specifically, the associate will seek to identify and compare the experience Legal Aid clients face within the municipal court system with:
- Collection of unpaid fines and fees
- Allocation of court costs and availability of using poverty affidavits permitting access to justice
- Varieties of acceptable methods of service of process, notice, and differing procedures of default judgments
- Procedural differences within eviction courts, including availability of continuances, right to counsel, time allotted before hearings and set outs, procedures for damages hearings and level of proof or verification required
- Implementation of the expungement process, considering what barriers are imposed beyond those statutorily implemented
The summer associate will compile data from online research, direct phone calls and personal meetings with court personnel, in-person audits of hearings, and assistance with staff attorneys conducting hearings within the region. The associate will compile a final report emphasizing best practices for our clients, identifying trends, and highlighting disparities.