New helpline offers civil legal assistance to new Mexicans of modest means – Los Alamos Reporter


Newly Launched Hotline Offers Free Civil Legal Assistance to Moderate-Income New Mexicans

The Modest Means Helpline is the collaborative effort of the New Mexico Access to Justice Commission, the New Mexico State Bar and Courts Administrative Office, and the Law Society Foundation. of State. It operates from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The helpline can be reached at 505-797-6013 or 888-856-9935.

Two staff attorneys provide legal advice over the phone, and when more in-depth legal assistance is needed, the helpline can refer people to private attorneys across the state who have volunteered to provide free legal services. to people in need.

“This program fills a critical justice gap, providing assistance to those ineligible for other services such as New Mexico Legal Aid,” said Second District Court Judge Erin O’Connell. judiciary, co-chair of the Access to Justice Commission.

New Mexicans with incomes between 200 and 500 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible for legal assistance through the helpline. The program is also for people who cannot be assisted by the New Mexico Legal Aid Pro bono attorney program due to a conflict of interest. The legal aid program, for example, cannot represent both parties involved in a lawsuit.

“This hotline provides many New Mexicans with a convenient way to access legal services when they cannot afford an attorney,” said Supreme Court Chief Justice C Shannon Bacon. “Help is literally a phone call away for a range of civil legal issues, whether it’s kinship guardianship for grandparents raising grandchildren or someone facing foreclosure or to debt collection.”

Seniors 55 and older in need of legal assistance should call the State Bar Foundation’s Senior Legal Resource Program (505-707-6005 or 800-876-6657) rather than the helpline. Modest Means support. The decades-old program has no income restrictions and is a joint project of the Law Society Foundation and the New Mexico Department of Aging and Long-Term Services.

“Expanding access to free and low-cost legal resources is essential for New Mexicans to meet essential civil legal needs, including assistance with family issues such as child support and child custody. children, as well as safe housing and protections against financial abuse,” said Richard Spinello. , Executive Director of the State Bar.

Click here for a list of legal resources available online.

Julio V. Miller