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Maryland Law Self Represented

Learn About Trusts

Our FAQs page now links to our new resources page on trusts. There, you will find a bibliography of manuals and treatises on the topic, as well as links to relevant statutes, forms, and articles.

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lawlibrary Maryland Law Self Represented

Landlord/Tenant and Eviction Prevention Resources for Anne Arundel County

Information is collected on the on the Self Help and Pro Bono Wiki FAQ page. FAQs on Landlord and Tenant include links to articles, videos and Maryland law.

ASSISTANCE

Eviction Protection Program Tenants in crisis can contact Arundel Community Development Services (ACDS) to access emergency grants to pay past due rent and utility payments. Certain conditions apply. You can find out more at the Arundel Community Development Services (410-222-7600)

CLS Anne Arundel County Eviction Prevention Legal Program  Community Legal Services counsels tenants on what to do if they are behind in their rent due to Covid and provide representation in Failure to Pay Rent (FTPR) cases. (brochure)

 Renter Eviction Avoidance Program (REAP) for Annapolis Housing Authority (HACA) tenants.

Ask A Lawyer in the Library –Talk in-person with a volunteer lawyer for up to 20 minutes about your civil legal problem for free!

Maryland Court Help Center

Phone (410-260-1392) and online chat. Monday through Friday:  8:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. 

District Court Help Center – in-person assistance for District Court matters, Monday through Friday:  8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. 

District Court Self-Help Resource Center
George M. Taylor Multi-Service Center
7500 Gov. Ritchie Highway
Glen Burnie, Maryland 21061-3756

Get Free Legal Answers — American Bar Association program for email-based assistance (must income qualify)

Legal Services Directory – free and low-cost assistance includes:

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lawlibrary Libraries Pro Bono Self Represented

Lawyer in the Library: Wrap-Up for December 2021

Steve Migdal, Jack Paltell and Leonard Englander were the Lawyers in the Library for December. They assisted 11 people with issues such as unemployment, breach of contract, wills and estates, deed change, neighbor issues and personal injury. The program is not held the last two weeks in December so the Lawyer in the Library is done for 2021.

The law library provides information to those that sign-up to speak to the attorney so that are better prepared for their session. Examples of FAQs that can be sent include the Wills and Estates FAQ and the Deeds FAQ. The People’s Law Library of Maryland is another good source of information for those seeking help with a legal problem. This month we sent links to Unemployment Benefits – Appealing a Denial, Problems with Neighbors FAQ and Solving Disputes with Neighbors. This information sent is also shared with the attorney so that they are aware of resources and referrals.

The Lawyer in the Library will return on January 5, 2022. “Ask a
Lawyer in the Library
” is held every Wednesday of the month from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. and on the third Wednesday from 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. (except for the last two weeks in December). You can talk with a volunteer
lawyer for at least 20 minutes about your civil, non-family legal problem for free. All sessions are now conducted over Zoom or by phone.

This program is sponsored by Anne Arundel County Local Pro Bono Committee,Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service, and the Anne Arundel Bar Association. It is hosted by the Anne Arundel County Public Library.

Register online here orcall the law library for help. Once you have registered, you will be sent a link to an intake sheet. Instructions for meeting with the attorney will be sent once the intake is competed. 

Contact the library if you have questions: (phone) 410-222-1387 or
(email) AALawLibrarian@mdcourts.gov

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lawlibrary Legal Technology Self Represented

Getting Organized for Court: The Maryland Justice Passport is Here

Woman looking down at her phone and grinning

It is tough navigating the court system. There are fees, deadlines, jargon, forms, paperwork, hearings, and many other details to remember. What is a lawyer-less litigant to do? 

To help SRLs (self-represented litigants) keep themselves organized and get help navigating the legal process, Civil Justice and the Maryland Judiciary, with A2J Tech, have partnered to create the Maryland Justice Passport, a free online tool that allows participants to scan and upload their documents, share those documents with legal service providers, set up timelines and reminders, learn about legal topics, and connect with legal aid organizations. Litigants can use the Passport as an app on their smartphone or at the website. 

Interested litigants can sign-up online, and can receive help with the process here at the Anne Arundel County Public Law Library.

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lawlibrary Self Represented

Where to Find Legal Information on Neighbor Law (and Related Topics)

Patrons who attend our Lawyer in the Library program frequently ask how to handle conflicts with their neighbors. This is such a common concern that there are countless sources on relevant law, or lack thereof, governing overhanging tree branches, fence placement, etc. For example, look at the number of search hits on Westlaw after entering some relevant keywords in Figure 1.

Westlaw search results for query "adv: (fence! boundar! tree harass! noise) & dispute!" filtered to "Secondary Sources," showing more than 10,000 results.
Figure 1: Westlaw search results showing sources on neighbor law

Below, I have collected print and electronic secondary sources available through the library that cover neighbor law for attorneys and laypersons. We also have a page on mediation resources, which may be a preferable first step in resolving many of these conflicts.

On the shelf and online through the Maryland Judiciary network:

On Lexis Advance:

On Westlaw:

Possible further reading:

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lawlibrary Pro Bono Self Represented

Lawyer in the (virtual) Library

After a break of more than two months, the law library was able to again offer the opportunity to the public to speak to an attorney about their civil legal issues. This is normally an-in person program, but with the courts having to close to the public due to the pandemic – not to mention that face-to-face meetings are not a good idea no matter what at this time – the law library had to find another way to provide the service. Many thanks to attorney, Joe Gormley of Gormley Jarashow Bowman for volunteering to be the first online “lawyer in the library.”

Joe Gormley, the Lawyer in the Library, with librarian, Joan Bellistri, on Skype.

Skype for Business worked out well. It allowed for easy access via phone or an online link. Today, all chose the phone option. All of the four slots were filled. (We are starting with fewer time slots so that we can get used to the new format. It seems when online, the transition takes a little longer between appointments.)

This remote program is now scheduled through July. The program, as before, will be held every Wednesday from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. The next session will be on June 3, 2020. The monthly programs that were held in-person at the Anne Arundel County North County Regional Library on the third Wednesday and at the Eastport-Annapolis Neck Community Library on the last Tuesday are on the schedule, too, from 3:30 pm until 6:45 pm. (The hours are a little different to accommodate the new format.)

Sessions are now by appointment. Register online here or call the law library at 410-222-1387. Once registered, a link to an online intake and agreement will be sent via email. Meeting information is sent the day of the program. Anyone without computer access, can schedule an appointment as well as fill out the intake with the assistance of library staff by phone.

The Ask a Lawyer In the Library program is a civil, non-family law, self-help program sponsored by The Anne Arundel Local Pro Bono Committee and the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service. Every Wednesday, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., you can talk with a volunteer attorney for up to 20 minutes. In addition to the weekly program, the Ask A Lawyer In The Library program that was held monthly at two Anne Arundel County Public Library branches: Glen Burnie Regional Library on the 3rd Wednesday and Eastport-Annapolis Neck Community Library on the last Tuesday, in the evening, will continue online as well. For more information, please see http://circuitcourt.org/legal-help/lawyer-in-the-library.

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lawlibrary Pro Bono Self Represented

The Lawyer in the Library is back – remotely

The Lawyer in the Library program is now available remotely by phone or video conference. The Lawyer in the Library is a civil legal self-help program where you can speak to an attorney for up to 20 minutes. The program is coordinated by the Anne Arundel County Public Law Library and sponsored by the Local Pro Bono Committee and the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service.

Issues that may be addressed include:

  • Debt and bankruptcy
  • Landlord/Tenant questions
  • Real estate
  • Employment and wage claim issues
  • Contracts, warranties and/or consumer disputes
  • Wills, estate planning, probate, living wills

To prepare for your session:

  • Write a list of specific questions for the attorney.
  • Make sure that you have any paperwork and information related to the case on hand.
  • Organize any paperwork from most recent on the top to oldest at the bottom.
  • Identify all deadlines.
  • Prepare a timeline of the legal issue.

Lawyer in the Library is offered every Wednesday from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm and from 3:30 pm – 6:45 pm on the third Wednesday and last Tuesday of the month. Register here: http://circuitcourt.org/legal-help/lawyer-in-the-library

Categories
lawlibrary Maryland Law Self Represented

Life Planning & Power of Attorney

Information on power of attorney, health care power of attorney (health care directives) and standby guardianship for children (delegation of parental authority) can now be found here, all in one place, on the Maryland Judiciary’s website.

The page states:

This page provides some standard legal forms to help you prepare for death, incapacity, or unavailability. These documents are complicated and can have serious consequences. Consider consulting with a lawyer before you sign any paperwork.

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lawlibrary Legal Technology Maryland Law Self Represented

Maryland Law Help App

With the limited access to the courts now, and the law libraries and walk-in self- help centers housed there, it is the perfect time to download the new and improved Maryland Law Help App.

New features listed on the Maryland Law Help webpage include:

  • An improved user interface including more photos and contrasting colors to improve readability and ease-of-use.
  • New categories to aid in finding what you need quicker, including: Maryland Law, Legal Help, Find Your Court, Language Access, Accessibility, and Mediation.
  • Print or share PDF documents, including Tip Sheets and court forms, directly from your phone.
  • Find the nearest courthouses, law library, or self-help center on the new interactive maps.

This APP is your direct link to the Maryland People’s Law Library and the remote Maryland Courts Self-Help Center.

The app is available for iOS and Android.

Categories
lawlibrary Pro Bono Self Represented

Legal Help during Coronavirus/COVID-19

The Access to Justice Commission has added a number of legal information one-pagers to their COVID-19 Resource Page. Topics include

  • Find free remote legal help
  • Understand changes in court procedure
  • COVID – Landlord/ Tenant & Evictions
  • COVID – Utilities & Other Essential Services
  • COVID – Unemployment
  • COVID – Immigration
  • COVID – Domestic Violence​
  • COVID – Emergency Open Enrollment for Health Insurance and Medical Assistance
  • COVID – Medicaid Renewal Deadlines Extended
  • COVID – Stimulus Checks to Individuals
  • COVID – Unemployment Insurance
  • COVID – SNAP/TCA/TDAP Benefits

The Self Litigation Litigation Network (SRLN) has been hosting problem solving calls for who provide service to the unrepresented or the SRL. One concern is the availability of certain forms such as power of attorney, health care directives and standby guardianship for children. In Maryland these forms can be found online:

Maryland Legal Service providers are continuing to provide services and intake remotely:

Updated 4/28/2020