Muscatine Legal Services (MLS) is a private, not-for-profit corporation founded in 1971. The main objective of the MLS is to provide cost-effective legal advice or representation to individuals who would not otherwise be able to afford legal assistance. MLS is governed by a Board of Directors. There are currently seven volunteers from different professions and backgrounds on the Board of Directors. Sometimes a case will be accepted when the client does not reside in the country, but the promotion takes place in Muscatine and the person is otherwise qualified for MLS services. Of course, MLS has good relationships with other legal departments or legal aid organizations, but it is completely independent. MLS receives funding from: MLS`s mission is to provide quality legal aid to low-income residents of Muscatine County. MLS charges civilian clients a minimum attorney`s fee. These fees range from $20 per hour to $100 per hour, depending on the clients` income level. Clients are also responsible for court fees and service charges. Contrary to popular belief, MLS is not affiliated with the more well-known legal aid and does not receive federal or state funding. Services are available to Muscatine County residents whose income is less than 200% of federal poverty guidelines. In addition to these civil cases, MLS handles court-appointed cases.
MLS assists defendants in criminal offenses. These cases include people who have been charged with crimes such as driving under the influence of alcohol or shoplifting and who are authorized to represent but cannot afford to hire a private lawyer. Traffic, Prosecution & Litigation, Immigration, Wrongful Dismissal, Criminal Law The following types of civil cases handled by MLS are not limited to: Muscatine Legal Services is proud to be a United Way Gold Award-winning agency. MLS also has a program to support victims of domestic violence. MLS works with Family Resources to provide free representation in obtaining injunctions. In addition, MLS provides free assistance to victims in divorce and custody proceedings, provided that they are separated from the offender for a period of six months. Also after the hearing, MLS handles cases of children in need of help (CINA) or children accused of delinquent behavior. or both types of cases in a juvenile court.