Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Access to Justice Commission?
The Alabama Access to Justice Commission was created by order of the Supreme Court of Alabama in April 2007 to serve as a coordinating entity for the legally underserved, the legal community, social-service providers and the private and public sectors. The Commission is comprised of citizens representing the legal profession, educational administration, religious community, military, business sector, advocacy groups representing low-income Alabamians and volunteers.
Does the Commission provide direct services?
No. The Commission does not provide direct legal services or legal referrals. To find organizations that provide direct services in your area go to Find Help Near You.
Some organizations provide legal services through attorneys on staff in their offices. Some refer you to a private attorney who will take your case for no fee (pro bono). Your may also be able to find an attorney who will charge you a fee for doing a certain portion of the case while you do the rest. This is called limited scope representation and is a good choice for certain specific case types.
What kinds of civil problems do some low-income families face?
The majority of civil legal problems include: consumer issues (creditor harassment, debt collection, utility nonpayment, bankruptcy issues), health issues (Medicaid, governement insurance, nursing home), family law issues (divorce, child support/custody, abuse), employment issues (unemployment benefits, pension, lost job), and housing issues (unsatisfactory repairs, foreclosure, eviction, poor living conditions).
How does improving the quality of civil legal services of low income residents help all Alabamians?
Improving the quality of civil legal services helps all residents of Alabama in a number of ways. First, it allows all the residents to have equal and fair legal representation regardless of race, ethnic origin or income level. By providing civil legal services, thousands of legal matters can be resolved without actually tying up Alabama’s court system. In addition, many civil legal matters involving family matters that go unresolved can actually end up involving criminal issues due to a lack of resolution. By providing better civil legal services, many of these matters can be resolved before they escalate into criminal issues.