Helping make justice possible for all Montanans, no matter their income, by providing free civil legal aid to low-income Montanans statewide.
MLSA helps ensure access to justice by providing free non-criminal legal aid for people struggling to make ends meet. Donations like yours support MLSA in providing legal information, forms, legal advice and full legal representation throughout our state. In 2021, MLSA helped empower over 12,038 clients and their family members to achieve greater financial stability, and safer, healthier lives.
How we help:
“Jeff” lost his job during the pandemic and found himself struggling to pay rent each month. He tried to work out a repayment plan with his landlord, but his worst fears came true when he was served with an eviction notice. Jeff was worried – he knew he couldn’t pay the back rent payments and that an eviction on his record would make it impossible to find a new place. To make matters more complicated, a poorly insulated water pipe burst and Jeff’s landlord sued him for damages on top of the eviction.
Thankfully, Jeff did not have to face the possibility of eviction alone. Thanks in part to support from contributions through Montana Shares, Jeff was empowered through our new Montana Eviction Intervention Project. An attorney working in collaboration with MLSA challenged the damages and the judge dismissed them. The attorney then helped Jeff negotiate with his landlord, who agreed to drop the eviction case and forgo the back rent in exchange for Jeff’s security deposit. Civil legal aid ended up keeping Jeff out of an unfair debt and kept an eviction off of Jeff’s credit record so he could find a new place to live.