Indianapolis Legal Aid Society has received a $250,000 COVID-19 relief grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc., providing much-needed support for legal assistance to low-income Hoosiers in central Indiana who have been acutely affected by the ongoing pandemic.
Although the Indiana General Assembly has unanimously supported a $1 pro bono surcharge tacked onto the state’s filing fee for civil cases since 2012, a bill that would have increased the amount to $3 did not get a committee hearing this session, raising alarm that the key funding stream for legal aid could run dry just as the need is growing.
A federal judge in Ohio has ruled that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lacked the authority to issue a nationwide moratorium on rental evictions, the second such ruling issued by a federal judge in two weeks.
Legal aid providers are uncertain what will happen now that the Indiana General Assembly has enacted a law that is seen as giving more favor to landlords, but they fear it will exacerbate the growing problem of evictions in Indiana and lead to more families being put on the street.
The GOP-controlled Indiana House has voted to override Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb’s veto of a controversial landlord-tenant bill, allowing the measure to become law. The measure could eliminate local regulation of rental properties, most notably in Indianapolis. Both Holcomb and Democratic Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett expressed disappointment in the Legislature.
Nearing the mid-point of the 2021 legislative session, the Indiana Senate overrode Gov. Eric Holcomb’s veto of a bill that housing advocates claimed would put more Hoosier tenants at risk of eviction. Democrats harshly criticized the override as the work of a Republican supermajority “drunk on power.”
A bill has been introduced in the Indiana House that resurrects language Gov. Eric Holcomb vetoed last legislative session and housing rights group say would put more Hoosiers at risk of eviction.
A new code in Indiana’s case numbering system is enabling the courts, state agencies and other entities to track and tally the petitions filed for evictions. But fresh data tracking trends nationwide shows evictions in Indiana are far surpassing numbers of other states being studied.
Looming evictions with so many Americans unable to pay their rent have been at the forefront of concerns, but legal aid offices and pro bono attorneys see other issues on the horizon. They expect more filings for bankruptcy and guardianships, and they believe more people will reach out for legal assistance with problems connected with consumer debt and domestic violence. Underpinning their ability to help is the need for money.
Fears of an attempt to override Gov. Eric Holcomb’s March 2020 veto of a housing bill is spurring housing advocates to publicly call on the Indiana Legislature to not resurrect SEA 148, particularly when many Hoosiers are continuing to struggle under economic stress brought by the COVID-19 public health crisis.
With the president’s signature on the $2.3 trillion spending bill, the Legal Services Corporation is set to receive $465 million, the largest appropriation in actual dollars for the organization in its history.
President Donald Trump has signed a $900 billion pandemic relief package, ending days of drama over his refusal to accept the bipartisan deal that will deliver long-sought cash to businesses and individuals and avert a federal government shutdown.
Speaking with reporters via Zoom on Thursday, Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush acknowledged that despite efforts to keep courts operating remotely as much as possible, judges will face the difficult task in 2021 of working through COVID-created backlogs and getting their dockets back on schedule.
An Indianapolis landlord has agreed to pay nearly $46,000 to settle a lawsuit that alleged he proposed exchanging sex for rent from a female tenant who lost her job during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the first time in its history, the Indianapolis Legal Aid Society’s holiday dollar campaign is going virtual. The fundraiser has become a tradition since it was started in the mid-1990s but will be critical this season to meet the needs created by the pandemic.
A U.S. Senate subcommittee has proposed a $6 million increase in funding for the Legal Services Corporation, potentially providing additional support as more legal aid offices are bracing for higher demand caused by the worsening COVID-19 crisis.
Indiana’s Rental Assistance Portal is accepting applications for a program that provides eligible renters with up to six months in rental assistance to help cover past due and ongoing monthly payments.
As the uncertainty continues over how many struggling Hoosiers could be evicted in the coming months, the Indiana Supreme Court is trying through the new Landlord and Tenant Settlement Conference Program to prevent housing loss and all the bad ramifications that can ensue by inviting landlords and tenants to first have a conversation.