Riverside Legal Aid
Riverside Legal Aid Riverside Legal Aid

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you handle criminal matters?

No. We assist with family law (divorce, custody, support, restraining orders, paternity), conservatorships, guardianships, civil (evictions for tenants, debtor-creditor & debt collection, civil restraining orders, suits on contracts, etc.), bankruptcy and federal court civil matters.

Do you help with expunging (cleaning up) criminal records?

No. However, you can find information about expungements and the forms you need on the Court’s self-help website; on the Public Defender’s “Relief” website; or at Inland Empire Latino Lawyers.

When I call you I get voicemail. Will you call me back if I leave a message?

Unfortunately, we don’t have enough staff to answer most phone calls. However, all calls are returned if you leave a message. For faster service, you can walk into our office during our business hours to see if you qualify and to schedule an appointment.

Do you represent people in court?

Most of our legal services are provided in clinics in which you can meet with an attorney, paralegals prepare your paperwork under the supervision of an attorney, and we advise you how to file and serve the documents and appear in court. On rare occasions, we are able to negotiate a settlement with the other party or provide volunteer attorneys to represent you in court.

Do you do evictions for landlords?

Because you must qualify under our income and asset guidelines, we generally assist only tenants. However, under extenuating circumstances (for example, where there is abuse or elder abuse) we may assist with an eviction.

Do you prepare the paperwork I will need to file in court?

Yes, we prepare paperwork for you in all but our Federal Civil and Bankruptcy clinics.

Do you prepare bankruptcy documents?

No. We offer assistance with how to prepare the documents and we can review documents you prepare. We also offer quarterly workshops to the public which guide you through the forms and procedure line by line. Call for information on the next scheduled workshop.

Come in and let us review your forms before you file to reduce the risk of having the court reject them.

In a Guardianship, who do I have to serve the guardianship petition on?

You must serve a guardianship petition on the child’s biological or adoptive parents, all grandparents and all siblings (even minors).

Do I have to serve all of those relatives even though I don’t know who they are or how to contact them?

You have to use due diligence to learn their identities and whereabouts, including asking anyone who may know them & looking on the Internet. You have to be able to prove to the court that you have exhausted all reasonable means to find them and were unsuccessful. You should be prepared to give us that information when you come in to have us prepare your guardianship petition.

Can you help me if I don’t live in Riverside County?

Except for bankruptcy and federal court cases, you must live in Riverside County or you must have an existing case in a Riverside County Court for us to be able to assist you. Our Bankruptcy and Federal District Court Clinic serves anyone representing themselves whose case is or may be filed in the Bankruptcy or District Court for the Central District of California.

Do I have to be low-income to receive your services?

Except for our Bankruptcy and Federal District Court Self-Help Clinic, you must qualify under the Federal Legal Services Corporation or State of California income guidelines. You can call or come in to see if you qualify. The only requirement for the Bankruptcy and Federal District Court Clinic is that you must be representing yourself.

Can you help me if you have assisted the other party?

Generally, if we have assisted the other party in the same matter, we cannot assist you unless the other party consents in writing.

Riverside County Courthouse
GuideStar Exchange
Legal Services Corporation Logo
RLA is a recipient of federal funds awarded by Inland Counties Legal Services with the approval of the Legal Services Corporation. 

IOLTA and Equal Access Funds provided by California State Bar Legal Services Trust Fund
Bankruptcy & District Court Pro Se clinics funded by U.S. District Court, Central District of California, and the Attorney Admissions Fund
American College of Bankruptcy Logo
Coachella Valley bankruptcy services funded by American College of Bankruptcy & American College of Bankruptcy Foundation.
RLA is a recipient of grant funds awarded by the Weingart Foundation.
Riverside Office: (951) 682-7968
Indio Office: (760) 347-9456
© Copyright 2013
Public Service Law Corporation