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Legal Aid Center in the News

The callers tell roughly the same story. A relative has been arrested in Las Vegas, and they have wired money for bail to an attorney working on the case. The problem is, Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada never handles criminal cases that require bail. The callers have wired their money to a fictitious organization.

The scam is not new, the victim generally gets a call from someone either claiming to be a relative or claiming to be an attorney representing a relative. The relative is in jail, and they ask for the victim to wire bail money. In the current scam, the perpetrators are using the name “Nevada Legal Aid” and have a tendency to target out-of-state victims who do not know the area well. Besides phone calls, victims have also received the messages via text and email. Sometimes one person calls claiming to be the relative, followed by another caller playing the role of a lawyer. The sum requested typically ranges from $1,500 to $5,000 but can be much higher. The scammer demands the money in a wire transfer or reloadable debit cards, like Green Dot MoneyPak cards.

Those who believe they've been victimized by scammers can file a complaint with the Nevada Attorney General Click Here and Federal Trade Commission Click Here

Tovin Lapan
Las Vegas Sun

For the past few months, Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada has received regular calls from frustrated people asking for their money back.

The callers tell roughly the same story. A relative has been arrested in Las Vegas, and they have wired money for bail to an attorney working on the case. The problem is, Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada never handles criminal cases that require bail. The callers have wired their money to a fictitious organization.

“People realize they have been scammed, and they call us to get their money back,” said Lynn Etkins, associate executive director of the legal aid organization. “We explain that it’s not us and we don’t even work on criminal cases. It’s never a great conversation to have.”

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September 24, 2014
By Michael Corkey and Jessica Silver-Greenberg
The New York Times

The thermometer showed a 103.5-degree fever, and her 10-year-old’s asthma was flaring up. Mary Bolender, who lives in Las Vegas, needed to get her daughter to an emergency room, but her 2005 Chrysler van would not start.

The cause was not a mechanical problem — it was her lender.

Ms. Bolender was three days behind on her monthly car payment. Her lender, C.A.G. Acceptance of Mesa, Ariz., remotely activated a device in her car’s dashboard that prevented her car from starting. Before she could get back on the road, she had to pay more than $389, money she did not have that morning in March.

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September 16, 2014
By David Ferrara
Las Vegas Review Journal

A financing company uses global positioning software to remotely shut down vehicles well before customers legally default on payments, according to a class action lawsuit filed by the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada.

The lawsuit filed last week in Clark County District Court against C.A.G. Acceptance LLC alleges that the company’s use of Passtime Elite GPS system violates Nevada law. The lawsuit argues that the device should be used the same as if the vehicles were being repossessed.

But an executive with the Arizona-based defendant said the GPS system it uses complies with Nevada law.

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September 16, 2014
Channel 8 News

LAS VEGAS -- They are calling it a "dangerous and unlawful" practice of vehicle repossession. In this case, cars are not being towed, they're being disabled electronically.

The I-Team has details of a class-action lawsuit filed against a finance company by a local mom.

A Las Vegas mother of three says her car was electronically disabled on several occasions, sometimes when she needed to take a child to the doctor. She did get behind on her payments but never more than 30 days.

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September 5, 2014
by Yesenia Amaro
Las Vegas Review Journal

Help is on the way for autistic children in Nevada who have been desperately waiting for treatment and therapy.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has informed states that Medicaid will now cover autism services under Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment coverage, expanding access to programs for families in need.

The covered therapy, known as applied behavior analysis, is currently provided under the state’s Autism Treatment Assistance Program, and addresses communication and behavior, said Julie Kotchevar, deputy administrator with the Nevada Division of Aging and Disability Services.

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August 8, 2014
News 3

LAS VEGAS – Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada has launched a new, user-friendly website for the Civil Law Self-Help Center.

The new website can be accessed at www.civillawselfhelpcenter.org.

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July 21, 2014
Public News Service

CARSON CITY, Nev. – The Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada is questioning a prepayment plan for electricity bills being considered by Nevada's Public Utilities Commission.

 Sophia Medina, a consumer rights attorney with the Legal Aid Center, says NV Energy's proposed Flexible Payment program would operate in a similar way to prepaid cell phones. 

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June 14, 2013
Channel 3 News

The Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada started out as three attorneys and a passion to help people in need. Now, it has turned into a large non-profit helping thousands of people to get through the court system.

The Legal Aid Center has just tripled in size, opening up more office space and taking on more staff attorneys. It also has an estimated 1,000 volunteer attorneys to help people in desperate need of legal services who cannot afford it. 

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February 12, 2014
by John L. Smith
Las Vegas Review Journal

And you thought reading, writing and arithmetic were the hard parts.

Faced with a variety of societal stresses, the Clark County School District is tasked with putting its arms around students from all walks of life. Some of those kids enter school under circumstances that are difficult for many of us to imagine.

In public school, the doors are open to all.

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January 31, 2014
By Daniel Gutierrez
13 Action News

Las Vegas is a hot rental market right now, and countless online listings make finding a place easy. But when you're surfing the web, beware of who you're doing business with.

"It's a three bedroom, two bath. It's really big," said Nayeli Nevarez.

She was thrilled to find a spacious Henderson home for rent last October. The craigslist ad she came across, was asking for $1,200 a month.

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December 17, 2013
by Michelle Mortensen
8 News Now

With the holiday season in full swing, some people may turn to payday loans to make ends meet. 8 on Your Side offers a warning to those who choose this option.

According to new research, people who take out payday loans are more likely to borrow more money every two weeks. That gives them approximately five additional months of debt.

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September 16, 2013

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Domestic violence victims gained a new legal right this year - to be able to break a rental lease in order to get away from their abuser. By the end of this week, they should also be able to access free help on the Internet.

In five out of the last six years, the Silver State has topped the national list for a particular type of domestic violence fatality. It's an alarming statistic, said April Green, who directs the Domestic Violence Project at the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada.

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June 20, 2013
By Jane ann Morrison
Las Vegas Review Journal

Executive Director Barbara Buckley beamed like a proud mother as she showed me around the new Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada building, obviously proud of this baby.

The $16 million project, including the land, the building and the unfinished garage, now houses 100 staff members. It’s filled with light and hope.

I remember the nonprofit’s previous building in 2000 with 18 people squeezed into one floor.

After Buckley became Assembly speaker in 2007, I would wait for her in the overcrowded waiting room, wondering what kinds of problems the people sitting around me had to face, grateful they weren’t my problems.

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-- Orientation/training on February 20, 2013 --

LAS VEGAS, January 8, 2013 – Some of the most vulnerable children – children in the foster care system with disabilities – need someone to make sure they get necessary services to excel in school. A six-year-old program is providing that support but needs more volunteers to meet the growing demand for children who have no one else to help them in local schools. Sponsored by the non¬profit Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, the Educational Surrogate Parent Program trains volunteers to serve as student advocates during school meetings and for special education issues.

May 22, 2013
By Colleen McCarty
8 News Now

Foreclosures by homeowner's associations have increased dramatically in the last year. What used to be a last resort for HOAs is becoming a regular practice, often to the surprise of homeowners. An HOA is in the legal right to take a house. HOAs have the power to foreclose, even if the homeowner owes just a small amount of money.

It happened to Venise Abelard and hundreds of others who once thought the only thing they had to fear was their bank.

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