Legal Assistance

There are 33 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

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services (OVSRS) gives crime victims and their families a voice. The information in the office has laid the groundwork for enforcing victims’ rights and providing services.California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services (OVSRS) maintains a comprehensive victim services program and establishes justice practices to ensure crime vic...

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, and education suspension and expulsions. This agency does not include assistance nor services related to family law (i.e. divorce or child support), probate, 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 or free depending on grant availability

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 representatives who are authorized to practice immigration...

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 including 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) (Parent Training and Information Center (PTI))
Eligibility: Parents of children with disabilitiesIndividuals 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 30 Northern California 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 with dis...

Dispute Resolution Services of the San Joaquin County Bar Association (Mediation & Small Claims Advising Services)
Eligibility: None
Fees: Small claims advising: none; In-court mediation: none; Out-of-court mediation: first hour is free and each subsequent hour is $20 per hour per side.

Dispute Resolution Services of San Joaquin County Bar Association provides mediation and small claims advisory services. Mediation services are provided at the courthouse and covers: small claims, unlawful detainer (eviction) and civil harassment. For cases already filed, the court has mediators available to assist with a possible settlement agreement before presenting the case to the judge. In-court mediation is voluntary and free to the parties involved. For Community Mediation (out-of-court ...

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Eligibility: None
Fees: Vary

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40-years old or older), disability, or genetic information. It is also illegal to discriminate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or part...

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: None

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: Have a legal issue, question or case.
Fees: Please see below.

Lawyer Referral Service of the San Joaquin County Bar Association offers the public referrals to experienced attorneys who are interested in handling their particular type of 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, medical malpractice, SSI, Workers Compensation, wrongful termination, and workplace discrimination, which are arranged at no cost) for a 1...

Legal Aid Association of California (LawHelpCA)
Eligibility: Vary, please visit website to learn more about eligibility requirements and services offered
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 (LSNC)
Eligibility: Please see below.
Fees: None

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 EmploymentConsumer/financeSenior abuse DisabilityCivil rightsBenefit supportYouth education and health. The website contains vast CalWORKs, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) and Food Stamp resources as well as advocacy tools. Students ...

Legal Services of Northern California (LSNC) (Health)
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.

Legal Services of Northern California (LSNC) (Western States Pension Assistance Project (WSPAP))
Eligibility: Western States Pension Assistance Project (WSPAP) is a pension counseling project within Legal Services of North California (LSNC) that provides services free of charge. WSPAP serves callers of all ag...
Fees: None

Western States Pension Assistance Project offers a knowledgeable pension team that can help you understand your retirement plan rights and claim the benefits you have earned, regardless of the type of company or retirement benefit involved. Messages are returned within one to two weeks. They also assist with:Claim retirement benefits that have been deniedPension overpayment and recoupment questions Tracking down retirement benefits from past employers Understanding and correcting pension benefi...

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

OneJustice has been working to expand legal help for Californians in need for more than thirty years. 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 support t...

San Joaquin County (Public Guardian/Conservator’s Office)
Eligibility: Individuals with psychiatric or cognitive impairments such as Dementia/Alzheimer's. 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: locating parentsestablishing paternityrequesting child support and/or medical support orders from the courtenforcing child and spousal support ordersmodifying child support orderscollecting and disbursing child support payments

San Joaquin County District Attorney
Eligibility: None
Fees: None

San Joaquin County District Attorney 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-located ...

San Joaquin County District Attorney (Victim Witness)
Eligibility: Victim of a crime.
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
Fees: None. Students only pay to receive transferable credits.

Youth Leadership Academy (YLA) provide services to high school students 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 professional and academic networks. Gradu...

San Joaquin County Public Defender
Eligibility: Persons without the financial ability will be appointed an attorney in all criminal matters (adult and juvenile), dependency matters, conservatorship/guardianship cases, and in psychiatric hospital in...
Fees: None

San Joaquin County Public Defender is dedicated to serving the diverse needs of the community and its justice system by furnishing clients with competent, effective, loyal, zealous and compassionate advocacy in all criminal matters (felony and misdemeanor) both to juveniles and adults.

San Joaquin County Public Defender (Clean Slate Program)
Eligibility: Must be offense free; no longer serving a sentence including any supervision (probation/parole), not facing any new charges.
Fees: None

San Joaquin County Public Defender offers full service past criminal conviction clearing assistance to promote improved quality of life by better opportunities in employment, housing, and access to public benefits. ***Only for San Joaquin County cases.

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.

San Joaquin County 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, ...

San Joaquin County Superior Court
Eligibility: None
Fees: Varies based on filing

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: San Joaquin County Superior Court Family Law Facilitator/Pro Per Clinic provides assistance with cases such as dissolution of marriage, uniform parentage, governmental child support, medical support, ...
Fees: None

San Joaquin County Superior Court Family Law Facilitator/Pro Per Clinic provides a variety of services for parties without legal representation. Three attorneys, a paralegal and four legal process clerks 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...

San Joaquin Fair Housing Foundation, Inc. (San Joaquin Fair Housing)
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 services 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...

Social Justice Collaborative
Eligibility: Anyone in need of immigration or immigration criminal defense representation.
Fees: None

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 in the following:All immigrants should h...

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

Labor Commissioner's Office provides enforcement of and information on 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 (California Victims Resource Center )
Eligibility: None
Fees: None

The California Victims Resource Center operates a confidential, toll free statewide hotline (1-800-VICTIMS). Through the hotline victims learn about their rights in the criminal justice system and receive a tailored list of resources based on the needs of the victim.