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Legal Assistance Center going strong for nearly two decades in Kent Co.

Dealing with the legal system in a courtroom can be a stressful time, but you don’t have to go it alone.  The Legal Assistance Center in Grand Rapids has been helping people across West Michigan for nearly two decades and it’s completely free.

“In civil cases, you do not have a constitutional right to a lawyer.  I think people think you do because you hear about it in criminal cases”, says Tom Sinas of Sinas-Dramis Law Firm.  Civil cases involve matters of   married parents filing for divorce, unmarried parents dealing with custody, parenting time, child support, evictions, simple estates, guardianship, conservatorship and similar situations. The Legal Assistance Center averages eighteen thousand visits per year.  “When you take into consideration children and other household members, we’re probably impacting 10% of the people in Kent County in any given year,” said Deborah Hughes, the executive director of the LAC.

The LAC is open four days a week, Tuesdays thru Fridays from 8:30am-5pm and is located on the fifth floor of the Kent County Courthouse in downtown Grand Rapids. It’s staffed with one full-time attorney, at-least one paralegal, and several volunteer undergraduate law students.  However, the LAC does not give legal advice, nor does it provide legal representation.  “We break the process down into steps.  Okay today you will do step one, here’s what will happen next. When you get to step two you can come back and we’ll assist you with that, and on until they get to the conclusion of whatever their matter is”, explains Hughes.

The LAC is funded three ways.  By donors, like Sinas-Dramis Law Firm, also thru an annual grant from Kent County Commissioners.  Lastly, the LAC charges a small fee to people who choose to make extra copies of their documents.  No appointment is necessary and consultations are based on a walk-in basis.

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3 comments

  • Used and Abused Now Loved

    If you are in civil court and have lost custody of your children to your abuser, check out Used and Abused Now Loved. This site educates mothers on how custody is sold to abusive fathers and how children are committing suicide when mothers are concealed from their lives.

    The creator of Used and Abused Now Love had just that happen in her divorce case right here in Grand Rapids, MI 17th Circuit Court. Now she is helping other mothers who have gone through the same situation.

    This mother keeps up on what is happening in Kent County and you can be for sure she is already riding the new 17th Circuit Court Judge elected in 2019 for failing to protect mothers of domestic violence within the first three months of being in office.

    You don’t hear the news media talking about custody being sold or children committing suicide for the failure of the 17th Circuit Court judges, why is that?

  • Family Court Classified Listings

    In January 2019 the Family Court Classified Listings site was launched to help parents in family court and divorce. Based on Craig’s List but just for family court! The site plans on becoming the number one site parents dealing with the family court can go to for help. Mentors, coaches, new holidays, event, Pro Se help, and more. Check it out today!

  • Deanna Kloostra

    Legal Domestic Abuse Coach Deanna Kloostra can help you with your family court or divorce issues. Deanna has represented her self in Kent County’s 17th Circuit Court for over 17 years. She has researched and studies the elected officials and in 2012 ran for Kent County Commissioner. Do you why she chose to run in that position? Because the County Commissioners runs the family court and your judges make about $114,000 a year. Do you know how judges get their 401K? It has to do with Child Support and Title IVD. Don’t get mad when you research and find out the truth, call Deanna and she can lead you to more truth about Kent County and more.

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