legal aid

FILE

New Hampshire residents who fall behind on their gas and electric bills have some protection now that winter weather has set in.

During cold-weather months, disconnecting gas or electric service can be dangerous.

So last week, different rules for doing so kicked in.

Photo by Cheryl Senter, courtesy of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation

In all of Northern New Hampshire, there are two people working on behalf of New Hampshire Legal Assistance to provide legal help to those in need. One of them is retiring this week.

Dona Larsen has served as a paralegal in the Berlin Office for over 35 years. A native Berliner, she’s witnessed changes in the region over the course of her career. Friday is her last day in the office.

This your last week in the office and as you wrap up your work. Are there any cases left on your desk? 

Dan Tuohy for NHPR

Indigent defendants who fail to pay fees assessed for their public defender cannot be jailed without adequate due process, including representation by an attorney. That’s according to an unanimous ruling released on Tuesday by the Supreme Court of New Hampshire in a case involving an indigent defendant who failed to repay approximately $450 owed to the state.

Joe Gratz / Flickr Creative Commons

 

A newly approved $1 million in federal funding is helping three legal organizations provide no-cost services to low-income victims of domestic violence and stalking.

The money, approved last week by the Executive Council, will be shared among New Hampshire Legal Assistance, the New Hampshire Bar Association's Pro Bono Program and the Legal Assistance Resource Center. The three organizations are partnering to reach victims earlier to find them lawyers who can help draft restraining order petitions and represent victims in court.

The most recent State budget slashed funding for legal services for the poor. Last week, the House passed a bill that would put even more aid at risk.

The legislation would change how something called IOLTA works.

IOLTA stands for ‘Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts’.

When a client hands money over to a lawyer for a short period of time, say, while a real estate deal is being closed, the lawyer puts the money into a pooled account. That account earns interest.