Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc.

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Civil Legal Assistance Services (CLAS)

Few things are more destructive to a family than the loss of income or the loss of a home. Housed at the Toledo Municipal Court, LAWO's Civil Legal Assistance Services program assigns dedicated legal staff to represent clients in debt and collection cases.

The court refers eligible clients to staff for screening, providing easy access for clients with cases in court. Establishing an office directly in the courthouse helps people avoid the financial consequences of improper debt collection activities, and works to prevent homelessness for low-income members of the Toledo community. The project is supported by funding from a Toledo Municipal Court add-on filing fee. Criminal and small claims cases are not eligible for legal aid assistance.

Legal aid works with Joe*
to keep his family in their home

A single father disabled by cancer, Joe had recently obtained custody of his two children. His landlord, however, didn’t want Joe's twins living in the rental unit. The landlord refused Joe's request to add his children to the lease, and went so far as to begin eviction proceedings.

It is against the law to discriminate on the basis of familial status, but Joe couldn't navigate the legal system himself, and he couldn't afford an attorney. Joe was directed to the Legal Aid office located in the Toledo Municipal Court where he obtained an attorney from the Civil Legal Assistance Services Program (CLAS).

Joe's legal aid attorney successfully negotiated an out-of-court settlement, allowing Joe and his children to stay in their home.

(*not his real name)