Legal clinic to help those in need

Published 7:00 am Saturday, May 19, 2018

The Pearl River County Bar Association will host a free legal clinic on June 1 to assist individuals seeking help associated with legal proceedings.

The clinic will be held at the Pearl River County Chancery Court in Poplarville, located at 204 South Julia Street, and in the Chancery Courtroom of the Pearl River County Government Complex in Picayune, located at 917 Goodyear Bouelvard. Both sessions will take place from 9 a.m. until noon that day.

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Scott J. Hillery, acting president of the Pearl River Bar Association and organizer of the event, said the initiative was established by the Mississippi Access to Justice Commission to encourage each county’s bar association and chancery court to host a ‘pro bono’ day during the month of June.

Pro bono is a Latin term used by attorneys to express free work, Hillery said.

According to a release from the association, the legal representatives at the clinic will provide assistance with matters relating to guardianship, name changes, emancipation and divorce.

Hillery said the purpose of the clinic is to teach people to represent themselves, especially those unable to afford an attorney of their own.

“There are people in our county who need things taken care of…but they do not have the funds,” Hillery said.

As such, the clinic is only available to low-income individuals. In order to qualify, the household income of each participant cannot exceed 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines, the release states. Those guidelines state that a family of two can’t make more than $32,920, a family of three cannot exceed $41,560 and a family of four cannot exceed $50,200. Singe person households cannot have an income of more than $24,280 annually, the release states.

While participants will not be required to provide documentation, proof of income will be established via a question and answer session, Hillery said.

Hillery said the session will include one on one conversations with an attorney who will assist them.

Attorneys from Picayune and Poplarville will be present to address legal concerns, he said.

“We do expect a good turnout from the bar association and other attorneys from the county,” Hillery said.