Archives

Written by Adam Jacobs

Mar 24

2020

COVID-19 Measures Increase Risk for Domestic Violence Survivors

In the past week, governments, organizations such as Legal Aid, and individual members of the community have taken significant measures to curb exposure to, and the spread of, the COVID-19 virus. As steps are taken to stem the spread of disease, however, domestic violence survivors may face increased risk of violence at this time. Read more →

Mar 20

2020

Process to Obtain a Civil Protection Order Temporarily Modified; Legal Aid Remains Available to Assist Clients

On March 15, 2020, the DC Superior Court limited its operations in light of COVID-19. After many revisions to its plan, due to the ever-evolving updates to COVID-19, on March 19, 2020, the Court issued an Order clarifying the process for filing for Civil Protection Orders and obtaining Temporary Protection Orders during this public health crisis. Read more →

Nov 19

2019

Legal Aid Obtains Relief for Tenants at a Former Sanford Capital Property

As reported in several news outlets last week (including the Washington Post, the City Paper, and DCist), the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Columbia recently approved a significant settlement for tenants at a property that was formerly owned by Sanford Capital. Legal Aid represented thirty-two tenants who will receive substantial compensation, totaling over $407,000, for having to endure severe housing code violations and security risks when Sanford Capital owned the property. Read more →

Oct 31

2019

Coercive Control: An Insidious and Often Hidden Form of Domestic Violence

As Domestic Violence Awareness Month comes to a close, Legal Aid continues our discussion of “coercive control” – an often unseen, but critical, aspect in many domestic violence cases. Specifically, abusers may exploit external forms of oppression – such as racism, homophobia, patriarchal norms, and xenophobia – to assert and maintain control over victims. These forces contribute to the vast under-reporting of domestic violence in the LGBT community, communities of color, and immigrant communities. Read more →

Oct 09

2019

Legal Aid Observes Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Last week marked the beginning of this year’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which has been observed every October for over thirty years. Legal Aid is proud to stand by domestic violence survivors and bring attention to this very important issue.

Legal Aid’s Domestic Violence/Family Law Unit represents domestic violence and sexual assault survivors in civil protection order cases and various family law matters. However, in order to get a civil protection order here in DC, a domestic violence survivor must show that their abuser committed a crime – usually an assault, a threat to do bodily harm, or a sexual assault. Read more →

Sep 27

2019

Legal Aid Celebrates National Expungement Week: Part Two

It is National Expungement Week. In honor of this week, Legal Aid wants to celebrate the power that criminal record sealing has to expand economic opportunities for DC residents. Criminal records place obstacles in the way of DC residents who are searching for work and homes. Fortunately, DC’s criminal record sealing laws are an invaluable tool to allow some individuals with criminal records to move forward with their lives. In the future, Legal Aid encourages the DC Council to continue to look for ways to responsibly expand access to criminal record sealing. Read more →

Sep 26

2019

Legal Aid Celebrates National Expungement Week: Part One

For many, September 21 is a memorable day because it marks the beginning of fall, but here at Legal Aid, this date marked the beginning of National Expungement Week!

As part of the efforts to raise awareness about expungement and other remedies available to the roughly one in eight DC residents with a criminal conviction, Legal Aid has planned a two part blog series. Part one will highlight the services provided by Legal Aid’s Reentry Justice Project, on an individual and systemic level, and part two will focus on the remedy of record sealing. Read more →

Jul 30

2019

Custodial Power of Attorney and Standby Guardianship–Powerful Tools for Undocumented Immigrants with Children

The D.C. Council recently passed the “Standby Guardian Emergency Amendment Act of 2019,” which amends D.C. Code § 16-4801 to add adverse immigration action as a triggering event. We support any tool that will enhance the stability and dignity of our neighbors who hail from other countries and look forward to working with the Council on making this emergency amendment permanent. Read more →

Jul 12

2019

Legal Aid Honors Gilbert Associate Daniel Wolf for Outstanding Pro Bono Service

This week, Legal Aid honored Daniel Wolf, an associate with Gilbert LLP, with our Making Justice Real Pro Bono Award in recognition of Dan’s outstanding pro bono service to his clients and exemplary pro bono leadership at his firm. Legal Aid’s Executive Director Eric Angel and Jodi Feldman, who manages Legal Aid’s Pro Bono Program, presented the award at a reception with many of Dan’s colleagues in attendance. Read more →

Jul 03

2019

Legal Aid Stands With Immigrant Survivors of Domestic Violence Who Fear That Asking For Help Will Lead To Dire Consequences

It takes tremendous courage for any domestic violence survivor to make the daunting decision to seek legal recourse against their abuser. Pursuing a domestic violence Civil Protection Order (CPO) case means rearranging your personal, work, and childcare schedule to spend hours in court waiting to see a judge; it means summoning the emotional strength to testify against your abuser at trial; it means revealing, recounting, and reliving the worst moments of your life in a public courtroom, at the risk of not being believed. These reasons alone dissuade many survivors of violence from seeking justice, safety, and independence through the court system.

However, for undocumented immigrant survivors of abuse, a unique set of fears compounds the many reasons why victims of violence choose not to pursue legal protection from abuse. As the Washington Post recently reported, immigrant victims of violence are increasingly concerned that reporting their abuse to the police or the courts will expose their immigration status, lead to their arrest, and result in deportation. Such fears are understandable in the context of the nation’s current political climate, which is overtly hostile towards immigrants who lack legal status. According to U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), in 2018, the rate of immigration-related arrests grew by 11%, while the rate of deportation increased by 13%. Read more →