Many of the families who come to Mahoning County Juvenile Court cannot afford an attorney and may not qualify for a court-appointed attorney. Attempting to begin the legal process by filing the appropriate forms without legal assistance can be very difficult, confusing and complex. In order to help these families, Judge Dellick founded the Attorney Help Desk.
Established in March of 2016, The Attorney Help Desk provides unrepresented individuals the opportunity to meet with an attorney who will determine the proper course of action. Appointments are scheduled on Wednesdays from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. It is staffed by one private practice attorney per week who has experience in such areas as custody, support, visitation and paternity. There are approximately twelve attorneys who provide this service and they are compensated through funding obtained by Mahoning County Juvenile Court.
At a Help Desk appointment, an unrepresented individual meets with the attorney to discuss the involved legal issues. The proper forms needed for filing are provided along with instructions to properly complete them with the necessary information such as addresses and dates of birth. The attorney then advises the individual that the forms can be immediately filed if all information is available or they can return to the Clerk’s Office the following week.
The Attorney Help Desk has provided services to hundreds of individuals since opening over eight years ago. Approximately 10 to 12 individuals are served each week and the service has greatly helped unrepresented individuals begin the legal process. It has also assisted to prevent dismissals and continuances which in the past has delayed proceedings.
The Help Desk is approved by the Ohio Board of Professional Conduct.