Legal

Legal Voice

Phone Number: 
+1 (206) 682-9552
Resource Address: 
Legal Voice
907 Pine St #500
Seattle, WA 98101

Every day we take action that directly contributes to lasting, systemic changes in society. In 1978, our founders envisioned a world in which women's legal rights were assured. Our first case, Blair v. Washington State University, guaranteed equal access to sports facilities and programs for the women of Washington State—and set a national precedent. Since then, we have made progress in every area of the law that affects women and their families by:
 

We invite you to explore our work using the links to the left. You can then use the orange navigation arrows at the top of each page to jump to our current work, victories, and relevant tools and resources.

Resource Type: 

Dispute Resolution Center

Phone Number: 
+1 (425) 339-1335
Resource Address: 
Dispute Resolution Center
2802 Broadway
Everett, WA 98201

Dispute Resolution Services

The Volunteers of America Dispute Resolution Center (DRC) is an alternative justice center with extensive experience as a mediation and training program. The DRC was founded by the Volunteers of America in 1982 as the Rental Housing Mediation Service and serves as the Fair Housing Counselor for Snohomish County. In 1986 it became the first dispute resolution center in the State of Washington pursuant to state legislation RCW 7.75.

SERVICES: 
The DRC provides a wide range of professional and affordable conflict resolution services that include: Fair Housing and Landlord/Tenant Services, Mediation, Small Claims Court Mediation, Workplace Consultation, and a variety of training programs. Please browse our service offerings which are in the black box above. To shop our DRC Training Tools, please click below.

Resource Type: 

Protection Orders

Phone Number: 
+1 (425) 388-3411
Resource Address: 
Protection Orders
3000 Rockefeller Ave
Everett, WA 98201

Who Can Be Protected
If you or your children are the victims of physical or sexual abuse, or threatened abuse, you can be protected under the Domestic Violence Protection Order Act. This applies if you are related to the abuser as a family member, were married, have ever lived together, have a child together, or have an established dating relationship and are 16 years of age or older.

Where You Can Go for Help
Go to the nearest district court or to the Snohomish County Superior Court webpage for application forms. If you choose to go to the superior court, go directly to the Protection Order Assistance Program Office, Room C-125, in the Snohomish County Courthouse.

Filing an Order for Protection
You will fill out forms that ask (petition) the court for a Temporary Order for Protection. In the forms the victim is called the petitioner, and the alleged abuser is called the respondent. The forms ask for such information as a description of the abuse, the respondent's date of birth, and a place to serve the respondent with the legal papers. The judge / commissioner will review your completed forms, may ask you some questions, and will make a decision based on the information provided.

The Protection Order Assistant staff will file the approved papers, give you a copy, and arrange to have the respondent served his/her copy. As this process may take from two to six hours, it is in the bet interest of small children to arrange for childcare during this time. The forms are free and there are no filing or service fees for domestic violence protection orders within the State of Washington.

What the Order Can & Cannot Do
An Order for Protection can restrain the respondent from:

  • Causing you or your minor children physical or sexual harm
  • Molesting, harassing, threatening, or stalking you or your children
  • Interfering with your custody / care of minor children
  • Removing your children from the State of Washington
  • Provide protection for your pet(s)

An Order for Protection may also remove the respondent from the family home and order him/her to pay the fees for obtaining the order.

An Order for Protection cannot:

  • Establish or order payment of child support
  • Legally assign property to either party
  • Establish permanent child custody
  • Grant permanent use of the family home

These issues must be decided in separate court actions.

Importance of the Protection Order
The importance of the Order for Protection is that it lets the respondent and the police know that you are serious in your determination to be safe. Violation of an order is a crime. If the respondent threatens or harms you, or comes to a place the court has ordered him or her to stay away from, call the police at 911.

Issuance of the Order
A Temporary Order for Protection can be issued immediately and give you protection until a Full Order hearing, approximately two weeks later. Under certain conditions your Temporary Protection Order may be transferred from district court to superior court for the Protection Order hearing. You may change or end a Temporary or Permanent Protection if you go back to court.

Until a judge or commissioner modifies (changes) or terminates (ends) your order, it will be enforced by the police as it is. An Order for Protection may be issued (for up to one year or longer) at a court hearing, after the respondent has been served legal papers. This allows him/her to be present at the hearing.

Resource Type: 

Tenants Union

Phone Number: 
+1 (425) 339-1335
Resource Address: 
Tenants Union
5425 Rainier Ave S
Seattle, WA 98118

The Tenants Union builds power in the movement for tenants’ rights and housing justice.

Become a member of the Tenants Union

Membership dues at the Tenants Union are on a sliding scale based on income, but we encourage you to give the amount that is meaningful to you and to give generously to keep the TU going strong! The general guideline for membership dues is $1 for every $1,000 of annual household income. For example, if your household makes $20,000 a year, the annual membership dues would be $20.

Access to housing, affordability, safe and healthy living conditions, eviction prevention and the power to assert our rights are only the beginning. Tenants need information about their rights and how to use them, stronger protections, and meaningful ways to enforce the law. With a proud 35-year history of work for housing justice through education and organizing, the TU is uniquely well-suited to respond to the challenges renters face in Washington State. Members are the heart and strength of the TU’s work. Join today!

Tenants Union Members:

  • Build power in numbers and a movement for tenants’ rights across the state
  • Grow the organization and our collective ability to do effective work
  • Secure the TU’s long-term stability
  • Strengthen TU’s influence with policy makers
  • Shape the direction of the work based on the most emergent issues impacting Washington State renters

 

Join the TU online or by calling the Membership & Development Coordinator at (206) 722-6848 × 102.

All donations to the Tenants Union are tax deductible. The Tenants Union of Washington State is a 501c(3) non-profit organization, Tax ID # 91-0967863.

Resource Type: 

Snohomish County Legal Services

Phone Number: 
+1 (425) 258-9283
Resource Address: 
Snohomish County Legal Services
2731 Wetmore Ave # 410
Everett, WA 98201

Snohomish County Legal Services provides free legal aid programs that serve the most vulnerable and powerless members of our community to ensure access to civil justice regardless of individual barriers and needs. SCLS uses a hybrid model of service delivery that allows us to best serve clients’ needs, including staff attorneys for immediate emergency assistance and highly complex cases, volunteer attorneys and paralegals for advice and legal representation, and a robust series of clinics and workshops to offer assistance and information with efficiency.

SCLS was started in the early 1980s as a program of the Snohomish Bar Association to address the growing need for civil legal aid in the community. SCLS has been an independent nonprofit organization since 1985. Contributions to SCLS may be tax deductible under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code. Our Federal EIN number is 91-1215739.

Full Legal Representation

Volunteer attorneys work with SCLS to represent those most in need of full representation. Our family law staff attorney sometimes provides full legal representation to victims of domestic violence or sexual assault in protection order and family law cases (dissolution, legal separation, and paternity). Many cases include special circumstances, such as a client is who has limited English proficiency, has physical or mental disabilities, where the opposing party is represented by counsel, and/or where there is risk to the children involved.

A lawyer and client look at a computer.We have seen a significant increase in the number of non-English speaking clients in the last two years and anticipate that this trend will continue. Because of the increased time involved in assisting these clients, our practice is to have staff represent them rather than a volunteer attorney. However, some of our volunteers do accept non-English speaking clients, and we assist with the cost of interpretation. Volunteers taking family law cases have the opportunity to be matched with an experienced family law attorney for mentoring. In addition to family law referrals, there are volunteer opportunities to represent clients bankruptcy, contract disputes, housing disputes other than eviction, guardianships, license revocations, and consumer problems.

Volunteers who represent clients through SCLS help meet the client’s legal needs and gain self-sufficiency and stability through assistance with family law actions to dissolve dysfunctional marriages, establish child support and obtain spousal maintenance for education and training, through bankruptcy actions to obtain debtor-creditor relief, and through assistance with landlord-tenant problems or other actions such as preparation of wills and durable powers of attorney.

Direct Representation

Going to court can be very intimidating, especially when important rights are at risk and the client may have limited understanding of the court process and may face other barriers to access the legal system. Our staff and volunteer attorneys are sensitive to the needs of our clients. We provide interpreters when needed and try to assist the client to help themselves. We represent many of our most vulnerable clients in court so that they can have meaningful access to justice.

Our family law staff attorney provides emergency legal services to victims of domestic violence through entry of protection orders and emergency temporary orders in family law matters. The client is then referred to a volunteer attorney for further representation after entry of temporary orders. In some instances, particularly where significant resources are required such as interpreter fees, our staff attorney continues to represent the client through trial.

Unbundled Legal Services

Our staff attornies also provide unbundled legal services in family law, landlord-tenant, consumer, and administrative cases, representing clients at hearings, negotiating with opposing counsel, or writing letters on behalf of the client. When our volunteer attorneys accept cases for limited legal representation, it has been helpful under those circumstances for our clients to have any urgent issues resolved so that their legal situation is stabilized. Volunteer attorneys may agree to represent the client through a hearing for temporary orders, for instance, and then the client may come back to us for further pro se assistance or referral as appropriate.

Advice and Counsel

Many of our clients are able to proceed on their own (pro se), with the help of an attorney in drafting paperwork, legal advice, and procedural directions. Clients who do proceed pro se are encouraged to return for review of the documents they plan to file and continuing assessment of the case for appropriateness and availability of referral.

We also provide our clients with information about community resources that will help them with problems associated with their presenting legal problem. These referrals include referrals for emergency or shelter housing, mental health services, respite care, volunteer dental services, low or no cost parenting classes, domestic violence support groups, and drug and alcohol evaluation and treatment.

Resource Type: 

Northwest Justice Project

Phone Number: 
+1 (888) 201-1012
Resource Address: 
Northwest Justice Project
2731 Wetmore Avenue, Suite 410
Everett, WA 98201

Our Mission: Combatting Injustice • Strengthening Communities • Protecting Human Dignity

Justice

Welcome to the Northwest Justice Project (NJP), Washington’s publicly funded legal aid program.

Our Vision: "Justice for All Low-Income People in Washington"

Each year NJP provides critical civil legal assistance and representation to thousands of low-income people in cases affecting basic human needs such as family safety and security, housing preservation, protection of income, access to health care, education and other basic needs.  

As a dynamic statewide law firm, we pursue our mission through legal advice and representation, community partnerships, and education to empower clients and combat injustice in all its forms.   

NJP operates a toll-free intake and referral hotline called CLEAR (Coordinated Legal Education Advice and Referral). CLEAR serves as the statewide, centralized point of access for clients seeking free legal help, including advice, education, limited legal services, self-help materials and, where available, referrals for further representation. NJP attorneys in offices around the state provide assistance and direct representation in high priority, complex cases, including cases that address barriers to persons seeking access to our justice system, and also engage in community education efforts.  

NJP also maintains WashingtonLawHelp, a public website containing an extensive library of legal resources, self-help materials, including necessary court forms in areas of law needed most by low income persons, the great majority of whom are forced to appear in court unrepresented. In addition, NJP is an integral member of and provides support for the Alliance for Equal Justice, Washington’s coordinated statewide civil legal aid delivery system, which brings together a network of volunteer attorney programs, specialty legal aid providers, and supporters working to ensure equal justice for all low-income communities in Washington.

Consistent with NJP’s commitment to combat injustice by improving access to our civil justice system, all NJP facilities are accessible, and NJP provides language and sign interpreters for persons needing assistance to access our services. As a statewide organization whose staff, Board and clients are diverse in background, experience, culture and other qualities, NJP is also committed to a policy of equal opportunity and fosters a mutually respectful environment free of barriers and discriminatory practices in all its activities. NJP works to ensure its commitment to basic fairness by adherence to NJP’s Guiding Principles.

Resource Type: 

Bright Beginnings

Phone Number: 
+1 (425) 259-6716
Resource Address: 
Bright Beginnings
1906 Pacific Ave
Everett, WA 98201

Guardian ad Litem
GAL
SERVICES

Office Phone: 425-259-6716

Office hours:
Monday through Friday
10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Appointments scheduled 
9:00am - 8:00pm

Office closed Holidays 

E-mail Address:
deborah.riehl@frontier.com

QUALIFICATIONS FOR GAL SERVICE
I Have a BA in Human Services and have Certificates in a number of areas such as Basic and Family Mediation, Early Childhood Education, Adult Education in Anger Management and in Parenting Education (STEP) along with a number of years experience as a Visitation Supervisor.

I am trained as guardian ad litem in titles 11, 13 & 26. I have been on the list of approved title 26 guardian ad litem since 2000 and served as a volunteer guardian ad litem from 1998-2008.
I have an abiding interest in children and their rights and needs; I have sufficient listening, speaking, and writing skills to successfully conduct interviews, and prepare written reports. I have knowledge and an appreciation of the ethnic, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds of the population to be served. I have the ability to relate to a child, family members, and professionals in a careful and confidential manner; exercise sound judgment and use good common sense; and successfully discharge the duties assigned by the court. I have satisfactorily completed the pre-service training requirements set forth, and I have demonstrated a comprehension of the responsibilities of guardians’ ad litem as set forth in the Rules of Guardian Ad Litem Procedure.
I have not have been involved in any conduct or activity that would interfere with my ability to discharge the duties assigned by the court; I am in good standings and I have never been removed from the list of approved guardians ad litem following an unsatisfactory performance evaluation

Prior to performing of my responsibilities of a guardian ad litem, I took an oath and at the time I was placed on a list of approved guardian ad litems. A copy of this signed oath is retained in my guardian ad litem file.

General Responsibilities
As a guardian ad litem I shall advocate for the best interests of the child
I will have sufficient contact with the child to ascertain the best interests of the child. The frequency and duration of contact will vary from child to child depending upon the nature of the case, the age of the child, and the needs of the child as there is no specific benchmark with respect to frequency of contact
As a guardian ad litem I shall exercise independent judgment, gather information, participate as appropriate in negotiations, and monitor the case, which activities must include, unless specifically excluded by the court, reviewing relevant documents; meeting with and observing the child in the home setting and considering the child's wishes, as appropriate; and interviewing parents, caregivers, and others with knowledge relevant to the case.
As a guardian ad litem I shall, as appropriate to the case, and as required by rule or law, make written and/or oral reports to the court regarding the best interests of the child, including conclusions and recommendations and the facts upon which they are based.
As a guardian ad litem I shall complete work in a timely manner, and advocate for timely court reviews and judicial intervention, if necessary.
As a guardian ad litem I shall maintain the confidentiality of information related to a case, with the exception of sharing information as permitted by law to promote cooperative solutions that are in the best interests of the child.
As a guardian ad litem I shall, during service as a guardian ad litem, keep all records, notes, or other information confidential and in safe storage. 

At the conclusion of service, I shall keep or destroy the notes and records in accordance with the requirements of the guardian ad litem program.
As guardian ad litem I shall complete continuing education requirements, and seek advice as necessary from the program coordinator
As a guardian ad litem I shall treat all individuals with dignity and respect while carrying out my responsibilities.
As a guardian ad litem shall use the guardian ad litem appointment and authority appropriately to advocate for the best interests of the child, avoid any impropriety or appearance of impropriety, and not use the position for personal gain.
As a guardian ad litem I shall comply with all state and federal laws regarding the reporting of child abuse and/or neglect.
As a guardian ad litem shall ensure that the appropriate appointment and discharge documents are timely filed with the court.

PAYMENT OF FEES AND COSTS

Retainer for 1st 40 hours $3,000.00 which is to be paid by cashier’s check upon appointment & prior to acceptance of case. Billed at: $75.00 per hour. 

An itemized billing will be provided to the financial responsible party monthly or at close of case if less than 45 days

Resource Type: