Riverside Legal Aid

Frequently Asked Questions

1. 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.

2. 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 or the Public Defender’s Fresh Start program.

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

Yes. Our Intake Specialist makes every effort to answer every call, but if they cannot, please leave a message with your name, contact information, and a brief description of your matter. Riverside Legal Aid has a same day/next day call return policy.

4. 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.

5. Do you do evictions for landlords?

No. We only provide eviction defense to low income tenants.

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

Yes, we prepare paperwork for you or assist in preparing documents.

7. Do you prepare bankruptcy documents?

No. Our staff at Riverside Legal Aid Bankruptcy clinics will assist you in preparing the documents, as well as review the documents you prepare.

8. 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.

9. 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. In some cases other financial standards are used as well.

10. 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.