Summer Associate Program: Court Debt Collection Project

Position Description:

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

 

Activities:

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.