• Long Beach Breeze

Free guardianship clinic offered July 19 in Gulfport


MS Judiciary

Qualifying residents of Harrison, Hancock and Stone counties may seek legal help to obtain guardianships of children during a free Guardianship Clinic scheduled for 1 p.m. July 19 at the Harrison County Courthouse, 1801 23rd Avenue in Gulfport. The clinic will be held in Chancery Courtroom 2.


The free legal clinic is intended to help grandparents or other family members who need a special general guardianship or uncontested custody agreement. The Guardianship Clinic is scheduled before the start of the fall school term to help relatives obtain guardianships so that they can enroll children in school. The clinic is not intended for parents seeking custody of their own children. The guardianship must be uncontested, and income limits apply.


Prospective participants must be screened in advance for eligibility. Call the Kinship Navigator Program at 769-218-8436 to complete an eligibility assessment before the clinic date. If the call goes to voice mail, leave a message so that the screening office can call back.


Mississippi Access to Justice Commission Co-Chairman Rodger Wilder of Gulfport said, “The Eighth Chancery Court District, like several other state chancery districts, has identified a real need for non-parental guardians or legal custodies. These are generally family members who are caring for a related child or children because the parents are unable or unwilling to assume that responsibility. These family members have assumed this role out of love but frequently do not have the ability to hire a lawyer.”


Volunteer lawyers will provide legal assistance at the clinic.


The clinic was organized by Chancellor Margaret Alfonso, the Mississippi Access to Justice Commission, the Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project and the Kinship Navigator Program of Catholic Charities.


The Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project and the Access to Justice Commission have scheduled free civil legal assistance clinics throughout the state. A list of free civil legal clinics is at this link: https://courts.ms.gov/Legal/CivilLegal.php.


Additional legal resources for self-represented litigants may be found on the website of the Access to Justice Commission at http://www.msatjc.org/.




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