NEWSLETTER / January – February 2018

South Carolina Legal Services (SCLS) is a non-profit law firm.  We provide free legal services in a wide variety of civil (non-criminal) legal matters to eligible low income residents of South Carolina.  Our mission is to provide legal services to protect the rights and represent the interests of low income South Carolinians.

HOME FOR ALL

Vanessa Johnson is a single working mother of 4 young children.  When she came to South Carolina Legal Services (SCLS), she had been living in Aiken and receiving housing assistance through Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program.  One of the kids had been having some difficulty in Aiken schools.  Through her sister who lived in Fort Mill, Ms. Johnson heard about programs in the Fort Mill school system that might help.  She found a job there and started the process of moving her family – and her voucher – to Fort Mill.  Based on her landlord’s unsubstantiated allegations, and without affording her an opportunity to be heard, the housing authority refused Ms. Johnson’s request to move her voucher.  This resulted in serious hardship for her and her children.  SCLS’s advocacy not only helped get new housing for the Johnsons, it broke new ground for Section 8 recipients nationwide.

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Federal Tax Return 2018 Filing Season

It is that time of year again, Tax Filing Season!  The IRS has announced that they will be accepting tax returns beginning on January 29, 2018.  The tax deadline has been extended from its normal April 15th deadline until Tuesday, April 17, 2018.  Here are some helpful tips for some of the most relevant tax issues of the season.

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Assisting Human Trafficking Survivors

Human trafficking is certainly not new to South Carolina, however, more individuals and organizations have decided to join together in ending trafficking, thereby bringing more awareness to the issue.  SCLS has been at the forefront, assisting survivors and helping them rebuild their lives free of coercion and abuse.

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Brief History of South Carolina Legal Services

As we are celebrating 50 years of free civil legal aid in South Carolina, we’d like to take this opportunity to share with you a brief history of our law firm. 

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Avoid Mortgage Relief Scams

Are you behind on your mortgage and looking for help?  Before hiring a company to stop foreclosure or reduce your mortgage payments, check out these tips from the Federal Trade Commission.

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Voices for Civil Justice conducted a study into the public opinion on the state of legal aid and access to the civil legal justice system.  We are sharing with you some of these findings.

Building a Civil Justice System that Delivers Justice for All (Voices for Civil Justice, Public Welfare Foundation, Summer 2017)

81%

Favor providing self-help services with online tools and personnel to help people analyze their situations and needs and provide referrals.

82%

Favor training judges to ask questions in plain and understandable language so people without lawyers can have their cases heard.

..

Our Executive Director, Andrea Loney, and Deputy Director of Litigation and Training, Eddie McDonnell, recruiting private attorneys for our PAI Program at the 2018 SC Bar Convention.  PAI is a great way for attorneys to get involved to help low-income South Carolinians.  If you’re interested in learning more, contact Andrea Loney at andrealoney@sclegal.org.

Our Consumer Law Unit Head, Susan Ingles, and General Counsel, Rusty Infinger, with the SC Treasurer, Curtis M. Loftis Jr. at SC Free Medical Clinic Conference.

 

SOUTH CAROLINA LEGAL SERVICES

2109 Bull Street

Columbia, SC 29201

888.799.9668

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Andrea Loney, Executive Director

andrealoney@sclegal.org

803.744.4179

 

 

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