What We Do
We are required by funders to ask you about the below to figure out whether you're eligible for services.
- Assets (including bank accounts and more)
- Legal Problem
In most cases, CLS is required to follow the Federal Poverty Guidelines (find them here) in order to determine financial eligibility, but, in some instances eligibility requirements may differ, for example if you are 60 or older, or depending on the legal issue (for example if you are a victim of domestic violence). It would be helpful for you to contact CLS so CLS can accurately determine your eligibility for services.
If you meet certain income limits and are eligible, you won’t pay for help. Some CLS offices help seniors 60 and over regardless of income, but only if your legal problem falls within CLS priorities and if financial and staffing resources are available.
If you become a client, CLS doesn’t talk about your case to anyone who doesn’t work for us unless permission is provided. If you threaten to commit a crime, including hurting yourself or another person, we are required to report you.
What kinds of cases can CLS help with?
- Family law: domestic violence, divorce, custody, guardianship and others;
- Consumer/debt problems, including bankruptcy, garnishment, collection, repossession and others;
- Housing law, including foreclosures in some but not all CLS offices, evictions, landlord/tenant issues and others;
- Issues for seniors, including living wills, medical durable powers of attorney, and more;
- Problems with programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, SSI, and other government benefits;
- Tax controversies with the IRS, including Tax Court litigation, IRS exams and audits, IRS appeals, identity theft/tax preparer fraud, liens and levies, collection alternatives (installment agreements, offers in compromise, economic hardship issues), earned
- income tax credit denials, innocent spouse relief, underreported/disputed income, and cancellation of debt income;
- Other civil (not criminal or traffic) problems; and
- Immigration: we can help citizens and those who are (1) present in the U.S. and (2) have an acceptable “category” of immigration. These categories are complicated and assessed on a case-by-case basis, but include Lawful Permanent Residents and Asylees, among other categories
Some offices do not handle all types of cases because of limited resources. Contact your local office for details about types of cases currently being accepted
In order to help we may...
- Offer you advice from an attorney about your problem;
- Help you file your own case in court;
- Refer you to a legal aid clinic, or to another program or agency that may be able to help
A paralegal or staff attorney in one of our offices may help you, and/or an attorney who takes cases from us and works for free may help you.
What if we can’t help you?
- If your problem involves a criminal charge or traffic ticket, contact the Public Defender’s office
- Check out the other resources on our website here, or at the Colorado Judical Branch self-help website (which also has court forms and instructions for free) here
- If you need to find an attorney, go to the Colorado Bar Association Find-a-Lawyer webpage here - make sure to go through to all the steps including where you select what type of payment options the attorneys have available