Against the established parenting plan, Teresa’s ex-husband kidnapped their son from daycare and fled to Florida. After an exhausting 8-month search and legal battle, Teresa’s son was returned to her custody in Snohomish County. Unfortunately, her son’s physical return was just the beginning of Teresa’s long battle to keep her child safe. Her ex-husband began to file motion after motion in court to try to get custody of their son. He even began stalking and harassing Teresa at home and at work. Teresa desperately needed legal help, but as a single mother she could not afford to hire an attorney. It took months of litigation, but an SCLS staff attorney defeated all of the ex-husband’s aggressive attempts to regain control of Teresa and her son’s lives.
Frank was suffering advanced Alzheimer's disease and other medical conditions, and living in an assisted living home. The home was in the process of evicting him for nonpayment of rent, which Frank’s son was supposed to pay. The home failed to get proper documentation from the son when Frank was admitted, so the assisted living home served all legal papers on Frank despite knowing that he was incompetent and unable to handle his own affairs. At the eviction hearing, SCLS attorneys got a continuance and the appointment of a Guardian ad Litem to investigate his needs. With the appointment of a guardian for Frank, payment of the rent would come from his protected assets instead of relying on his son.
Maria was a single mother and a survivor of domestic violence. Her ex-boyfriend was prosecuted and convicted of assault, but because he had been paying the rent, she fell behind. Maria had been served with an un-filed eviction summons and complaint. Not only did SCLS work with her on the legal issues surrounding her living situation, Maria was referred to Domestic Violence Services for immediate assistance as well. SCLS worked together on a plan for Maria and her son, negotiating additional time of one and a half months to vacate without an eviction action being filed by the landlord. Maria secured employment, and DVS assisted her in finding another place to live and helping with initial rent.
Mike suffered from a chronic illness and was facing significant debt and housing issues, including garnishment of his wages, back taxes owed to the IRS, and eviction from his apartment. A SCLS staff attorney assisted him in filing for bankruptcy to recover garnished wages and eliminate his overwhelming debt burden. SCLS helped him avoid the devastating effects of an eviction filing by promptly vacating his apartment and providing a letter for him to present to potential landlords explaining his bankruptcy and financial situation. His outstanding debt to the IRS was discharged and he now receives his annual refund, improving his ability to pay rent. Because he dealt with his debt issues appropriately, landlords are now more open to rent to him.
At age 17, Dionne was sexually assaulted by a man who lived in a neighboring apartment. Police and prosecutors were investigating her case but had not made an arrest or charging decision, and the neighbor was continuing to harass Dionne so much that she was afraid he would assault her again. A SCLS staff attorney helped her get a Sexual Assault Protection Order that required the perpetrator to move out of the building. The attorney also helped facilitate contact with the prosecutor so she could make a proper charging decision. SCLS connected Dionne with support services so she could begin the healing process. Dionne feels much safer now that she no longer sees her attacker near her home.