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2011-2012 Civil Legal Aid Fund figures released

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The Division of State Court Administration has released figures for 2011-2012, showing how the $1.5 million Civil Legal Aid Fund has been distributed among 11 qualifying agencies.

For the first time, data is available per-county, per-provider, reflecting what services are most common among the agencies receiving civil legal aid funds and how many cases each agency processed. Funding is based on the civil caseload per county, in relation to the overall state civil caseload for the previous calendar year.

The 11 agencies began 2010 with 5,903 pending cases, taking on 22,074 new matters, and closing 22,629 cases by year-end. By far, the largest area of need was counsel and advice, accounting for 14,077 cases processed in 2010.

Of the 27,977 cases processed last year, 12,796 were classified as family law, followed by consumer law (3,903 cases), and housing (3,386 cases). Among family law cases, 36 percent were divorce/separation matters.

While most funding levels saw little change from the previous year, two agencies received significant increases. Legal Aid Corp. of Tippecanoe County received $10,142.34, an increase of 13.5 percent from 2010-2011. Legal Aid Society of Evansville received $31,056.18, an increase of 16.8 percent from 2010-2011.

Despite the relatively steady civil legal aid funding levels over time, some pro bono groups have already seen a decrease in grants and other funding and will face shortfalls next year. LAS Evansville reports it received reduced United Way funding this year, and no increase is planned for next year. It also relies on funding from the city-county budget, which will not be determined until early September.•

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