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Lawyers to Assist Residents Facing Eviction

Currently, across the state of Vermont, 90 percent of residents who are being evicted have no attorney. Over and over again, tenants who are being evicted show up to court unprepared, with no sense of what to do or how to defend themselves. However, in order to assist those in danger of being evicted and make the courtroom more equitable, Judge Helen Toor has teamed up with Law Line. The goal of the partnership is to provide free legal assistance to those facing complicated eviction cases. Further, Vermont counties have begun to receive grants from federal organizations, such as Legal Services Corporation, in order to help aid those at risk of being evicted.

In Spring 2014,  Toor proposed a clinic where tenants could receive free one-time representation by volunteer attorneys. After that one time, tenants would be required to pay rent to the court while the process continues. Additionally, Toor changed the court scheduling system so lawyers who wanted to volunteer for tenants could do so without exceeding their maximum number of cases in a single day.

According to Angele Court, the director of Law Line’s clinic in Chittenden County, about 125 clients received representation in 2016.

Read more here.

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