FAQ & Resources

General Questions About Pro Bono Services (click on question to reveal answer)

At District F we must first determine if you are eligible for our services before we can attempt to place you with a pro bono attorney. District F applicants are screened for financial need, case type, and potential legal merit.

Please note that eligibility with District F does not guarantee that your case will be placed with an attorney. We have limited resources, and we receive several applications each year. We are not obligated to place all cases.

No. This would create a conflict of interest. When someone contacts us we check to see if they, or the other party in a dispute, have provided information to us previously. It would be a conflict of interest, and unethical, for us to provide services to both parties.

While your pro bono attorney is providing his or her services at no cost, there may be expenses that you will be required to pay for your case such as filing fees and court cost. Talk to your attorney about any fees during your initial consultation. It is possible that your attorney may be able to obtain a waiver for these exepenses. However, there are some types of expenses that can't be waived. For example, for Federal Bankruptcy.
It generally takes about 2 weeks to process applications. If you qualify for services, the referral process takes 2-3 months. Therefore, if you have an emergency, a court hearing, or a deadline, you should make every attempt to obtain private counsel of your own choosing.
No. District F employees will not answer legal questions. We make eligibility determinations and attempt to make referrals with local attorneys.
  • Civil matters only. (If you have been charged with a crime - felony or misdemeanor - you may be appointed a public defender by the court.)
  • Some of the cases placed through District F have included guardianship, mortgage foreclosure, divorce, small estates and landlord-tenant law.
  • District F does not place cases where self-help is appropriate.
  • District F rarely places custody matters.
  • District F cannot refer cases requiring immediate assistance. Typically the referral process takes 2-3 months.
  • District F will not refer a case if legal assistance is available from other sources.
  • District F will not refer fee-generating cases.
  • District F seldom places cases involving bankruptcy, employment, discrimination, immigration, worker's compensation, disability, adoption, CHINS, license reinstatement, negligence, or intentional injury.
Applicants must have household income at or below 125% of the federal poverty guidelines. (Guidelines are determined by the Dept. of Health and Human Resources. )
  • To request services with District F Access to Justice, you must complete and submit an application. You may complete an application on-line, or we can mail you an application.
  • Carefully read the application. Complete, sign, and date the application.
  • If you have documents, including court documents, that are relevant to your legal matter, our office will need copies before your case can be referred. (Do not send originals. Paperwork will not be returned.)
  • Applications which are incomplete or lacking relevant court documents will not be referred to attorneys. (However, this does not refer to sections of the application which do not apply to your situation. For example, if no case has been filed yet, you will not have a cause number.)
  • Submit the application to the District F office by mail, fax or electronically.
  • If information you submit to District F changes, especially contact information, it is your duty to call District F with updates.
  • If an attorney agrees to meet with you for an initial interview, you will receive a letter from the District F office. You must contact the volunteer attorney within 10 days of receiving the letter and identify yourself as a District F referral. Failure to do so will result in removal from the program.
  • Referral to an attorney for an initial interview does not mean that you have been accepted as a client. The attorney will counsel you briefly and determine his or her ability to represent you further during this initial interview. The nature of the services to be provided will be determined by the pro bono attorney on an ongoing basis.
District F is funded through the Interest On Lawyer Trust Account (IOLTA) program. In 1997, the Indiana Supreme Court formally approved court rules that allow interest on lawyer trust accounts to be collected by the Indiana Bar Foundation and used to fund programs that encourage pro bono work by Indiana lawyers.
District F Access to Justice, Inc., expanded eligibility guidelines for mortgage foreclosure cases and mediation. The board reserves the right to review factors on a case-by-case basis as needed to fulfill District F's mission of serving low-income individuals. Applicants who meet the following criteria will be considered for pro bono referral through District F Access to Justice:
  • The applicant must be the homeowner
  • The homeowner's household income does not exceed 250% of federal poverty level or the homeowner demonstrates a lack of resources for representation by an attorney in a workout
  • The homeowner must be the borrower
  • The home must be the primary residence of the homeowner and be owner-occupied
  • The home must not be greater than 3 residential units
  • The homeowner must not have refinanced either to purchase additional property or to secure cash for non-essential living expenses.
  • 30 days pay stubs
  • 2 months bank statements
  • Hardship letter (what happened)
  • Latest mortgage statement
  • 2016 tax form and W2's
  • Original loan documents
  • Copy of budget
  • Proof of any other documented income (child support, disability, social security, etc.)

Legal Resources & Links

Hot Lines provided by Indianapolis Bar Association

  • Legal Line Free basic legal advice on the 2nd Tuesday of each month from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. To talk to an attorney Call: 317-269-2222
  • Legal Advice Hotline 20 minute phone consult with an attorney for $35. To make an appointments call: 317-269-2222

Delaware County

Hancock County

Intake 2nd & 4th Wednesday at 3:00-4:30 p.m.
First Floor Courtroom of Courthouse in Greenfield
9 E. Main Street #302
Greenfield, IN 46140-2320
Must complete a Hancock County Legal Aid application prior to meeting, which can be found on the second floor outside the Clerk's office or on the website at: hancockcoingov.org

Henry County

Madison County

News About District F

Free, reduced cost legal aid available to qualifying Henry Co. residents

Service accepting donations, volunteer lawyers

An empty savings account doesn't have to be a barrier that stops people in Henry County from getting professional legal help in court.

Access to Justice, Inc., is a nonprofit organization that provides free legal assistance to people who cannot afford a lawyer because of severely limited resources. Local attorneys volunteer their time and expertise.

The Indiana Bar Foundation created Access to Justice wo years ago as a way to enable low-income residents to have access to the civil justice system. Henry County sits in Distric F, which also includes Blackford, Delaware, Hamilton, Hancock, Jay, Madison, and Roandolph counties.

District F strives to promote equal access to justice for all Indiana residents, regardless of economic status, by creating and promoting opportunities for attorney to provide pro bono civil legal services to prersons of limited means.

"Our mission is to help bridge the gap to justice, by providing free and reduced legal services to the residents within our district," said District F Access to Justice Executive Director Amy Moore.

Moore has served as the district executive director since late July 2016.

According to Access to Justice's website, www.myjustice.org, some of the cases placed through District F have inlcuded guardianship, mortgage foreclosure, divorce, small estates and landlord-tenant law.

The volunteer attorneys of Access to Justice have been able to assist appoximately 100 litigants in Henry County and over 600 litigants in Delaware County since September of last year, Moore said.

"District F appreciates all the attorneys that are assisting in the community. We are always looking for additional volunteer attorneys to help," More said. "We simply could not do what we do without the continued support and services from those attorneys."

Access to Justice has also collaborated with the justice centers and local attorneys to facilitate Self-Help Centers in Henry and Delaware counties.

"These centers allow self-represented litigants access to many of the documents needed in civil matters and an attorney to assist in preparing those documents that are offered at the center," Moore said.

Marilyn J. Smith, director of civil justice programs at the Indiana Bar Foundation, explained that the Indiana Supreme court created the Indiana Pro Bono Comission in 1999 to direct the pro bono (free) efforts of the legal community to meet the civil legal aid needs of the indigent throughout the state.

Each district was guided by a grassroots plan and led by a local trial judge. District F's judicial appointee is Judge Kimberly S. Dowling, Delaware Circuit Court 2.

District F is funded through the Interest On Lawyer Trust Account (IOLTA) program. The Indiana Bar Foundation, with approval of the Indian Supreme Court, collects the interest to fund programs like Access to Justice that encourage pro bono work by Indiana lawyers.

The program can still use help.

"With the obvious need in the counties, we are always looking for financial donations and attorney services to keep the centers running efficient," Moore said.

District F employees do not answer legal questions. Instead they make eligibility determinations and attempt to make referrals with local attorneys.

Eligibility with District F does not guarantee that someone's case will be placed with an attorney. As a non-profit gorup, Access to Justice, Inc. has limited resources. They receive several applications each year and are not obligated to place all cases.

However, poro bono legal services are not always the right choice for everyone.

It generally takes about two weeks to process applications. If the applicant qualifies for pro bono services, the referral process can take another two or three months. Therefore, if it is an emergency, like an immediate upcoming court hearing or an impending deadline, Access to Justice suggests making every attempt to obtain private counsel.

For more information on District F Access to Justice, visit www.myjustice.org or call 765-521-6979 or 1-800-910-4407. Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday and Friday and 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday.

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