You are hereHome ›
As the people of New Orleans strive to reestablish their lives and community in the years after Hurricane Katrina, many are facing overwhelming legal obstacles. Contractor fraud is rampant throughout the city of New Orleans; wrongful home demolition in the midst of the rebuilding process can set a returning resident back by years; and complex documentation requirements for succession, mortgage applications, and rebuilding aid present a significant obstacle for many.
To address these needs, Common Ground Relief established a free legal clinic in the Lower 9th Ward, the first and only legal resource available in the neighborhood since the storm.
We employ a part-time paralegal and two part time attorneys as well as work with law students from Loyola and Tulane University.
We work on an income scaled basis and our clients range in annual income from below the poverty level to approximately $35,000 per year. The higher income levels push many residents over the income eligibility cut off of other legal service providers. These residents need legal help but cannot afford to hire a private attorney.
The Common Ground Relief Legal Clinic also handles several types of cases that other legal service providers will not work on such as community property, wills and most other areas of family law. We have funds available to provide filing fees for those who cannot afford them. We have represented clients who have had suits in both state and federal court. Approximately 60% of our clients are women, and our clients range in age from 18 to 80.
We are still dealing with succession issues and Road Home/Hazard Mitigation Grant Program clearances. We have created pamphlets on heirship, clear title and liens. In addition, we continue to advocate for the restoration of certain rights and benefits of the formerly incarcerated. We support efforts to rehabilitate and educate first time criminal offenders rather than sending them to jail or prison.