Legal help in Phoenix
April 21, 2015 10:02 PM   Subscribe

Asking for a deaf friend who needs information about free or low cost legal services in Phoenix in regard to a threat of discontinuation of alimony payments.

I realize you are not my friend’s lawyer, but I’m hoping you can guide her to resources who can help. My friend is a deaf woman who lives in Phoenix. She and her ex-husband divorced in 2008 and she has been receiving alimony since that time. About 10 days ago she received a letter from her ex-husband’s lawyer (or the Phoenix court system, not exactly clear) stating that she needs to appear at a court hearing on May 1 because he is filing a petition to stop paying her alimony. This is the first communication she’s had regarding this and has no idea what has precipitated it. Her ex lives in California and the letter states that he’ll be appearing at the hearing by phone. She has a copy of a legal document she received when they divorced stating that she would be receiving alimony until she either remarried or died. She's not remarried and is clearly still alive.

She has a low paying part-time job, receives SSDI and really depends on his payments to make ends meet so she is understandably in a panic. She went to a deaf advocacy organization in her area and was referred to a lawyer for a free consultation. The lawyer looked at the letter and said she doesn’t need to do anything until she is formally served. The lawyer said she could draft of response but it would cost $600 up front. Because English is not my friend’s first language she feels like she needs someone who is well versed in the law and who can communicate for her to represent her. She also needs an ASL interpreter which requires a fair amount of advanced scheduling, and money. She’s not sure where to turn for help. I’m not in the area and am trying from afar to find local organizations who can help her address the immediate legal, financial, and emotional support she needs. Any suggestions I can pass along?
posted by ms_rasclark to Law & Government (3 answers total)
Best answer: There is information about how to find a lawyer and free or low-cost legal assistance on the MeFi Wiki Get A Lawyer page. Information and links to free legal services in Arizona is available from the American Bar Association here and here.
posted by Little Dawn at 10:27 PM on April 21, 2015

Best answer: Also, your friend may be entitled to an ASL interpreter in court without cost to her:
Qualified individuals with disabilities requiring accommodation to access court services, programs and activities, including, but not limited to, courtroom proceedings, may complete the attached Request for Accommodations Form, and submit it by either (1) mailing it to the ADA Coordinator, or (2) by giving it to courtroom staff or to the Clerk’s Office. If the requesting individual needs help completing the form, please ask the ADA Coordinator for assistance. [...] The ADA Coordinator’s contact information is:

Hugh Gallagher, ADA Coordinator
Maricopa County Superior Court
125 W. Washington 3rd Floor
Fax: 602-506-3134

To the extent possible, please submit the Request for Accommodations Form at least 10 days prior to any scheduled judicial proceeding, service, program or activity. For emergency judicial matters, the ADA Coordinator should be contacted immediately.
Whether there is a court date on May 1 can be confirmed with the court clerk, and the ADA Coordinator may also be able to help with that.
posted by Little Dawn at 10:38 PM on April 21, 2015

An online application for free legal services is available from - this is a project of the AZ Bar Foundation and several legal aid organizations in Arizona.

Also, the Arizona Center for Disability Law may be able to assist your friend:
5025 E. Washington Street, Suite 202
Phoenix, AZ 85034
Phone: 602 274-6287 (voice or TTY)
Toll Free: 800 927-2260 (toll free)
Fax: 602 274-6779
More information about the Arizona Center for Disability Law is here:
Our intake lines are open on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 AM to 1 PM.
Call 602-274-6287 (Voice/TTY) Phoenix Area
or 1-800-927-2260 (Voice/TTY) Toll Free

If you need assistance at any other time, you may fill in the intake worksheet below in either Adobe or Word format, and e-mail or fax your information to us. We will contact you regarding your request, so please provide your current phone number or e-mail address.
posted by Little Dawn at 6:29 AM on April 22, 2015

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