Legal Assistance

There are 36 programs in the Legal Assistance Category.

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
Eligibility: None
Fees: None

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is a non-profit and non-partisan organization which provides legal services and advocacy for those who feel their rights have been infringed upon. The ACLU's mission is to fight civil liberties violations. Issues can vary from violation of civil rights to issues related to sexual and/or employee harassment on the basis of race. Walk-ins are not available at this time. Please call to schedule an appointment.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services )
Eligibility: Crime victims and their families.
Fees: None

Formed in 1988, the mission of CDCR’s Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services (OVSRS) is to give crime victims and their families a voice. The formation of the office has laid the groundwork for enforcing victims’ rights and providing services.OVSRS maintains a comprehensive victim services program and establishes justice practices to ensure crime victims and survivors are afforded the utmost respect in exercising their legal rights. To this end, OVSRS is responsible for providing info...

California Rural Legal Assistance (Public Interest Law)
Eligibility: Low-income residents of San Joaquin County.
Fees: None

California Rural Legal Assistance offers advocacy in civil and administrative law issues including: housing rights and remedies, wage claims, agricultural workers’ rights, public benefits (unemployment, food stamps, SSI and CalWORKs), bilingual and migrant education rights and civil rights. This agency does not include assistance nor services related to family law (i.e. divorce or child support) or criminal law.

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Stockton (Immigration Legal Services (CCILS))
Eligibility: Low-income individuals in the counties of San Joaquin, Calaveras, Tuolumne, Alpine, Mono and Stanislaus who are in need of immigration and naturalization assistance.
Fees: Consultation $50.

Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services (CCILS) serves those who are disadvantaged and low-income by providing low-cost professional services related to Immigration and Naturalization. CCILS also engages in community outreach and advocacy for the immigrant community within several counties. CCILS provides case management, updated information on immigration policies and procedures and supportive counseling. In addition, case managers are accredited by the Board of Immigration Appeals. Th...

City of Ripon Police Department
Eligibility: None
Fees: None

City of Ripon Police Department is responsible for enforcing state and federal laws and ordinances to include criminal investigations, apprehension, arrests and traffic regulation.

Disability Rights California (Legal Services)
Eligibility: Californians with disability related issues.
Fees: None

Disability Rights California is a non-profit organization which advances human and legal rights for persons with disabilities, providing legal assistance to protect those rights. Services and issues dealing with special education, Lanterman Act, benefits (i.e. Social Security, Medi-Cal, In-Home Supportive Services), housing rights, employment rights, access to services and more.

Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF)
Eligibility: Parents of children with disabilities. Individuals with disabilities.
Fees: None

Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF) provides referrals, technical assistance, advocacy and legal support services to parents and other interested parties in the area of disability rights. DREDF is the parent training center and information center for parents of children with disabilities in Alameda, Contra Costa and Yolo counties. Those in other counties may call to inquire about services in their area.They train and educate people with disabilities and parents of children w...

Dispute Resolution Services of the San Joaquin County Bar Foundation
Eligibility: None
Fees: Small claims advising is free; In-court mediation is free; Out-of-court mediation: first hour is free and each subsequent hour is $20 per hour per side.

Dispute Resolution Services consists of two programs. The Small Claims Advisor Service can help answer basic questions about the small claims process in San Joaquin County and direct you to appropriate forms or other resources. To access free small claims advising services, call (209) 473-6463, email at smallclaims@sjcbar.org, or attend one of the free in-person clinics that are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 5:00 p.m. (for advice on collecting on a small claims judgment) or at 7:0...

Equal Employment Opportunity
Eligibility: None
Fees: Vary

Equal Employment Opportunity provides assistance in filing complaints against employers on the basis of employment discrimination. It also provides legal advice on employee rights and the process to file a grievance or complaint.

Family Law Service Center
Eligibility: Low-income families residing in San Joaquin County. There is a qualifying interview.
Fees: Qualifying interview $40 by appointment.

Family Law Service Center offers low-cost direct legal representation to qualified indigent families in the area of family law. Guardianship, step adoption, child custody and support, dissolutions and restraining orders to families who would otherwise be unrepresented in the court system. Family Law Service Center also offers document preparation assistance in family law cases. Documents are fully prepared with an attorney’s assistance for qualified self-represented litigants.

Fathers & Families of San Joaquin (Stockton Trauma Recovery Center)
Eligibility: Must be a victim or family member of a victim of a crime.
Fees: None

Stockton Trauma Recovery Center provides evidence-based trauma treatment and mental health services for victims and their families in both individual and group therapy settings. The TRC will also conduct extensive outreach directly to multi-ethnic, highly diverse populations with high rates of victimization in FFSJ's primary target area and in other high-risk communities. The Case Manager assigned to clients will assist, compile, and submit the client's victim claim application to the California...

Federal Bonding Program
Eligibility: Any at-risk job applicant is eligible for bonding services, including: ex-offenders, recovering substance abusers (alcohol or drugs), welfare recipients and other persons having poor financial credit,...
Fees: No fees to the job seeker or the employer.

In 1966 the U.S. Department of Labor established The Federal Bonding Program to provide Fidelity Bonds that guarantee honesty for “at-risk”, hard-to-place job seekers. The bonds cover the first six months of employment. There is no cost to the job applicant or the employer. In most states the bonds are made available through the state agency responsible for workforce matters. The Federal Bonding Program is a partnership between the U.S. Department of Labor and The McLaughlin Company, an insuran...

Lawyer Referral Service of the San Joaquin County Bar Association (Lawyer Referral Service)
Eligibility: A qualifying legal need.
Fees: Please see below.

Lawyer Referral Service of the San Joaquin County Bar Association offers numerous services including Lawyer Referral Service, Legal Resource Service and the Court Assigned Counsel Program.Lawyer Referral Service refers the public to attorneys experienced and who are interested in handling their particular legal problem. Staff work from a rotating list of attorneys who specialize in certain aspects of law and refer accordingly. The initial referral fee is $30 (except for personal injury, medica...

Legal Aid Association of California (LawHelpCA)
Eligibility: None
Fees: None

LawHelpCA is a statewide, online resource for legal information and referrals. The following rights, laws and services are addressed on the site:Families and KidsHousingConsumer and Small ClaimsProtection from AbusePublic BenefitsSeniorsWorkImmigration DisabilityHealthIndividual and CivilProbate and Estate PlanningVeterans and MilitaryNative American IssuesHIV/AIDSExpungement and Record ClearingDisaster Assistance...

Legal Services for Prisoners with Children (All of Us or None)
Eligibility: Currently or formerly incarcerated people and their families.
Fees: None

All of Us or None is a grassroots civil and human rights organization fighting for the rights of formerly- and currently- incarcerated people and their families. They are fighting against the discrimination that people face every day because of arrest or conviction history. The goal of All of Us or None is to strengthen the voices of people most affected by mass incarceration and the growth of the prison-industrial complex. Through their grassroots organizing, they are building a powerful politi...

Legal Services of Northern California
Eligibility: Please see below.
Fees: None for qualified individuals.

Legal Services of Northern California (LSNC) is a collaborative of eight different field offices serving 23 Northern California counties. LSNC provides legal services to economically disadvantaged persons and focuses on the following issues: housing, employment, consumer/finance, senior abuse, disability, civil rights, benefit support, youth education and health. The website contains vast CalWORKs, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) and Food Stamp resources as well as advocacy tools...

Legal Services of Northern California (Health Unit)
Eligibility: Reside in LSNC Health Unit's service area (includes San Joaquin County), and be a U.S. citizen or eligible immigrant.
Fees: None

Health Unit offers free legal advice for health care consumers regardless of age or income. Assistance ranges from information and advice to representation at hearings and appeals. Advice is provided on all forms of coverage including through Covered California, Medi-Cal, Medicare, county programs, COBRA, employer group health plans, and others.

One Justice
Eligibility: Open to low-income individuals facing legal concerns.
Fees: None

For more than thirty years, OneJustice has been working to expand legal help for Californians in need. Millions of low-income Californians face pressing legal problems without access to legal help. OneJustice brings life-changing legal help to those in need by transforming the legal aid system. They offer the following programs: Pro Bono Justice innovates the pro bono system and ensures greater access to high-quality legal help for people in need. The Pro Bono Justice teams develop and suppor...

San Joaquin County (Public Guardian/Conservator’s Office)
Eligibility: Individuals with psychiatric or cognitive impairments such as dementia/alzheimers. Only clients of Behavioral Health may utilize the Payee services.
Fees: As court ordered for conservatorships or $40 per month for payees. Fees subject to change.

Public Guardian/Conservator’s Office assists people who need protection of their personal needs and/or estate due to their psychiatric or cognitive impairments. They also do payeeships for people who have mental health diagnoses and are receiving Social Security and/or Veterans' benefits.

San Joaquin County Department of Child Support Services
Eligibility: None
Fees: None

San Joaquin County Department of Child Support Services provides the following services: paternity testing, establishment of child support orders, child support modifications and the collection and distribution of child support payments. Child support payments can be intercepted from wages, IRS tax returns, franchise tax, disability and lottery winnings. Additionally, unpaid child support payments may result in liens on real and personal property and Worker's Compensation.

San Joaquin County District Attorney
Eligibility: None
Fees: None

San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office provides protection for those who are witnesses and/or victims of crime or consumer fraud by prosecuting criminal acts aggressively and fairly. They seek to protect the law-abiding and create a safer environment in which the population may live and prosper. The office has a staff of 192 employees including 78 attorneys, 32 investigators, and additional support personnel located in downtown Stockton, the Juvenile Justice Center in French Camp, and co...

San Joaquin County District Attorney (Victim Witness)
Eligibility: Victim of a crime, with a police report.
Fees: None

Victim Witness provides counseling and crisis intervention services to victims. Services are provided to victims of crimes through a mobile crisis unit, responding to calls referred by law enforcement agencies. Services are also provided during office hours at the courthouse. They assist victims with emergency support services and act as a liaison between law enforcement agencies, attorneys and victims. They also provide court orientation to victims and their families in regard to court proce...

San Joaquin County District Attorney (Youth Leadership Academy (YLA))
Eligibility: High school students with a nomination by a teacher or counselor. Applications available for download in the spring at this link https://www.sjgov.org/da/dynamic?id=26298...
Fees: None. Students only pay to receive transferable credits.

For nearly 20 years, high school students from around San Joaquin County have had the excellent opportunity to learn about the Criminal Justice System through a program operated by the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office and the Superior Court of California, County of San Joaquin.Open to all high school students, this program provides students with a unique summer learning experience — direct exposure to the justice system in operation. Students also have the opportunity to build profe...

San Joaquin County Public Defender
Eligibility: Persons without the present ability to employ counsel will receive court appointed counsel in a broad range of matters.
Fees: Dependent on ability to pay $175 (felony) or $125 (misdemeanor).

San Joaquin County’s Public Defender’s Office can assist persons with pending court cases and can offer assistance to members of the public with questions about the operations of our criminal and juvenile courts. Fee waivers are available to those that qualify.

San Joaquin County Public Defender (Juvenile Division)
Eligibility: Juveniles accused of law violations with petitions (changes) filed with the court. Adults and children with petitions in dependency court where government seeks to modify or terminate parental rights...
Fees: Decided by the court, mostly without substantial loss to indigents.

San Joaquin County Public Defender, Juvenile Division provides zealous legal representation in both dependency and delinquency cases by appointment, from the courts.

San Joaquin County Recorder - County Clerk
Eligibility: None
Fees: Please see website for a current fee schedule.

The Recorder - County Clerk serves as custodian of public records, recorder of real property documents, and notary public bonds. The office also issues and registers marriage licenses, vital statistics and other public documents.The enactment of Senate Bill 1342 requires more documents be subject to the fee for the Real Estate Fraud Prosecution Trust Fund. The $8.00 Real Estate Fraud Prosecution Trust Fund fee will be applied to the documents listed below effective August 1, 2013. If any o...

San Joaquin County Superior Court
Eligibility: None
Fees: None

San Joaquin County Superior Court website features the following:Legal self-help informationJury service informationFrequently asked questionsTentative rulingsSmall Claims and traffic informationFamily Law informationGrand JuryLocal rules of courtCommunity outreach programsLinks to other courts

San Joaquin County Superior Court (Family Law Facilitator/Pro Per Clinic)
Eligibility: Family law cases such as dissolution of marriage, uniform parentage and governmental child support, medical support and cases involving children.
Fees: None

San Joaquin County Family Law Facilitator/Pro Per Clinic provides a variety of services for parties without legal representation. One attorney and a team of paralegals answer general legal questions, explain basic court procedures and help parties fill out family court papers. No legal advice is given and they do not go to court with either party. Both parties may receive assistance from the clinic. Do not bring children to the clinic. Bilingual assistance (Spanish and Japanese) is availabl...

San Joaquin Fair Housing Association
Eligibility: Serves low income tenants and landlords with mediation in regard to housing issues as well as education and investigation in fair housing issues, to eliminate discrimination in San Joaquin County....
Fees: None

San Joaquin Fair Housing Association ensures equal opportunity in housing, rental, sale or financing without regard to race, creed, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, marital status, physical handicap or any arbitrary basis. This is done by providing educational service to tenants and landlords on their rights and responsibilities, providing counseling and referral services, mediating in landlord-tenant disputes and providing outreach and information to low and moderate income residents ...

San Joaquin Gospel Justice Center
Eligibility: Resident of San Joaquin County.
Fees: $30

San Joaquin Gospel Justice Center is a team of volunteers providing legal assistance for those who need answers and guidance from an attorney. Here is what you can expect from them:An appointment with a lawyer to assess your need and help you put together a plan to move forwardA meeting with a client advocate for referrals and additional support servicesAn inviting atmosphere and friendly support teamActivities for children, while you meet with the lawyer...

San Joaquin Pride Center (SJPC)
Eligibility: Open to all of the LGBTQQIA community.
Fees: None

San Joaquin Pride Center serves the diverse LGBTQQIA community in San Joaquin County and the surrounding areas by creating a safe and welcoming space, by providing resources that enrich body, mind and spirit, and by educating the public in tolerance and respect for all people within the LGBTQQIA community. ProgramsPeer Groups:The San Joaquin Pride Center, located in Stockton, offers peer-led drop-in support groups for the LGBTQQIA communities throughout San Joaquin County. These groups provide o...

Social Justice Collaborative
Eligibility: Anyone in need of immigration or immigration criminal defense representation.
Fees: Free or low-cost services.

Social Justice Collaborative protects and advances the rights of immigrants and their families through legal representation in immigration and criminal court as well as community advocacy. They are one of the first non-profits in the nation to protect the rights of non-citizens through immigration and criminal defense representation.They believe that all non-citizens should be entitled to a free attorney to defend them from deportation. They also believe that:All immigrants should have attorney...

State of California Department of Corrections Deuel Vocational Institution (DVI) (Straight Life Program)
Eligibility: Youth ages 7 to 17 years old.
Fees: None

Straight Life Program was designed for youngsters, ages 7 to 17 years, who are experiencing problems with gang involvement, delinquency, drug use or overall disruptiveness. Services include a tour of the prison and lectures by inmates (three consecutive Saturdays or three consecutive Sundays). Similar programs operate at other state prisons. Application forms must be completed and returned prior to participation in the program.

State of California Department of Industrial Relations (Labor Commissioner's Office)
Eligibility: Please see below.
Fees: None

Labor Commissioner's Office provides enforcement and information of State labor laws regarding minimum wage, hours and days of work, and working conditions for San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Amador, Calaveras, Alpine and Merced Counties. The phone is often busy, so be persistent in trying to reach them. Please visit the website for more information.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (Housing Discrimination Hotline)
Eligibility: None
Fees: None

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Housing Discrimination Hotline provides information regarding individuals fair housing rights and responsibilities. The hotline also assists consumers in filing housing discrimination complaints and gives complaint information.Other HUD hotlines:For questions regarding the Housing Choice Voucher Program and Subsidized Housing, please call the Public & Indian Housing Resource Center at (800) 955-2232.For questions regarding purchasing a ...

University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law (Victims of Crime Resource Center)
Eligibility: None
Fees: None

Victims of Crime Resource Center provides toll-free information and referral service for victims of crime. It provides information about criminal justice and juvenile justice system, sources of financial compensation, victims’ rights to participate in sentencing and parole hearings, and about the possibility of civil suits. Referrals are made to resources in the victim’s area including victim witness, victim advocacy groups, and special programs dealing with sexual assault and domestic violenc...