Why Clients Love Us
Why Clients Love Us
Our client was not a U.S. citizen. Her husband brought her to the territory from another country. The client’s husband verbally and physically abused her. he destroyed her cell phone and threatened to kill her. She filed several police reports against him. One day, he trapped her inside the house where she locked herself in the bathroom until the police arrived. The client was truly the victim of domestic violence in a classic way. She was referred to our office for assistance. We assisted her in obtaining a permanent restraining order against her husband from the Court. Also, we petitioned for her to stay in the Virgin Islands by filing an I-360 Petition for Abused Spouses. We were able to get her I-360 Petition approved and get her a work authorization card. The agency has completed her I-485 Adjustment of Status. it should be noted that Legal Services of the Virgin Islands, Inc. (LSVI) is restricted from providing services to aliens and/or non-residents. We were able to represent this client under an exception found in the federal Violence Against Women Act.
-Cynthia B. Moore, Esq., Senior Staff Attorney
Our client was an 84 year old person with serious health issues which required extensive medical expenses. The client’s mortgage was subsidized and due to the failure to pay homeowner’s insurance and real property taxes in a timely manner, the mortgage holder imposed an escrow to be funded monthly. The client could not pay this amount, thus a foreclosure action was filed against the client. We defended the lawsuit by raising palatable defenses. The case was settled and a consent judgment was entered by the Court. The settlement provided that the client pay a sum that was accumulated in an escrow account during the pendency of the action and that the client would have the right to live in the property during the client’s lifetime without making any further payments!
-Shelby King Gaddy, Esq., Executive Director
Protecting the Rights of the Mentally Ill
A 34-year-old individual with a history of mental health problems was being evicted from his home for conduct related to his disability. Unable to live independently and facing homelessness, he was in desperate need of a residential placement, a resource not available in the Territory. LSVI in conjunction with the client and his mental health providers identified an off-island facility suitable to meet the client’s needs. LSVI represented the client in mandamus action against the VI Government. The parties stipulated to an order requiring the Government to secure and finance a suitable residential placement within seven days. The client now resides on a voluntary basis in an off-island facility suited to his needs.
Securing Benefits for Children
Welfare to work rules generally imposes a five-year limit on a family’s receipt of Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF, formerly AFDC). A mother of four, unable to work due to her disability, contacted LSVI when her TANF case closed under the five-year rule and she was placed on a one-person disability grant. Representing the mother on appeal, LSVI argued the mother should have been granted disability benefits years earlier, thereby enabling her to act as a rep-payee on a “children only” TANF grant exempt from the five-year limit. The hearing officer agreed, reinstated TANF benefits as a “children only” grant, and the family was awarded retroactive benefits.
Achieving Independence for Single Parents
A divorced single parent was subject to continual harassment and emotional abuse from her ex-husband. She desired to turn her life around by relocating to the continental United States. The high cost of living and poor job market across the territory contributed to her desire to leave. She needed the peace of mind that distance could provide to a woman in her situation. She knew her ex-husband would never allow her to leave the island to better herself and her family’s condition. With the help of LSVI, she was able to retain custody of her daughter and relocate to a more secure home in the states.
Improving Living Conditions
A tenant in public housing sought the services of LSVI due to the Landlord’s ongoing failure to correct conditions in her apartment including roach and termite infestation, leaking windows and doors, and a collapsing bathroom ceiling. LSVI demanded immediate action while reserving the Tenant’s right to seek injunctive relief. The Landlord promptly corrected the bad conditions and effected all repairs.