ILNews

Applicants sought for $90,000 in grant funds

Rebecca Berfanger
January 1, 2008
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The Heartland Pro Bono Council, which serves Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Johnson, Marion, Morgan, and Shelby counties in central Indiana, received a cy pres award of more than $65,000 late last year and the organization is looking to distribute the money in the upcoming months.

That amount, along with other funds the HPBC has received in cy pres monies in recent years - totaling $90,000 - will be given in one grant or multiple grants sometime after June 5, 2008.

Heartland is currently seeking applicants from organizations around central Indiana that would help to serve the legal needs of the poor through new or continuing programs. Click here to be redirected to the request for proposals, and the preliminary application form, due March 7.

Heartland Executive Director Laurie Boyd encourages applicants to call her directly if they have questions. She can be reached at (317) 631-9410, ext. 2267, or by e-mail, Laurie.Boyd@ilsi.net.

Once the proposals are reviewed, finalists will be invited to submit a full grant application. These requests will be sent March 31. Applicants who receive invitations to submit full grant applications will have until May 9 to return their full grant application. The board is scheduled to meet June 5 and announce the grantees following that meeting.

"We're looking to find innovative ideas," said Heartland treasurer Sheila Jenkins.

Applicants must also show sustainability of their proposed programs, with the understanding that this is a one-time gift; there is no guarantee Heartland will receive more cy pres awards in the future.

Cy pres, which means "near to" in Latin, is an award that is made up of funds that are not distributed to parties in a class action lawsuit because not all parties in the class can be located. Either both sides agree or a judge decides who will receive the cy pres award.

In this instance, a case in the U.S. District Court for the District of Northern Indiana, Darrell Bruce v. Grieger's Motor Sales, Inc. and Capital One Auto Finance, No. 2:05-CV-230, Bruce and other plaintiffs in the class action had received a notice in the mail about how their credit revealed that they could get auto loans.

In the class settlement agreement, dated Nov. 21, 2006, defendants were to pay the sum of $313,947.50. The cy pres money was granted in an order from the court, signed by Judge Rudy Lozano and dated June 13, 2007.

In the defendants' report on the distribution of settlement funds, dated Sept. 10, 2007, including checks that were uncashed and undeliverable, along with $24.67 in excess funds in the account, the cy pres amount came to a grand total of $65,787.07. The check to the cy pres recipient, HPBC, was received Aug. 24, 2007.

To learn more information, read the story about the grant in Jan. 23-Feb. 5, 2008, edition of the Indiana Lawyer.
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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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