Legal Aid a Phone Call Away
Mary called Prairie State Legal Services’ Telephone Counseling Service seeking assistance in obtaining guardianship over her disabled husband who had been hospitalized after a sudden onset of a severe mental health condition. She had already obtained self-help guardianship forms from the court, but had questions about the forms and the court process and was reluctant to proceed entirely on her own.
Prairie State’s telephone counseling attorney helped Mary understand how a guardianship could be helpful in her situation and then gave her detailed advice on how to complete the forms and what supporting documents she would need. Mary filed her petition for guardianship the next day. A temporary guardianship was promptly granted, and the permanent guardianship order was entered within 2 months.
Mary’s case is an excellent example of the efficacy of legal assistance hotlines and their important role in providing greater access to justice. In this case, once Mary received individualized legal advice and guidance, she was able to use it to help herself, and in turn, help her husband.
Prairie State Legal Services provides civil legal aid services to low-income families as well as seniors and Veterans in 36 northern and central Illinois counties. PSLS has been a grantee of the IEJF since its inaugural grant cycle in 2001. PSLS is also an inaugural IL-AFLAN grantee.