Florida Rural Legal Services

About Us

We are committed to providing you with the best service possible.

                     Welcome to our Website 

Florida Rural Legal Services, Inc. was founded in 1966 as a private, non-profit corporation. FRLS provides free civil legal assistance to indigent families and low-income elderly people in thirteen counties of South Central Florida. FRLS also provides legal assistance to migrant workers throughout the state of Florida.

 

Currently, FRLS has 7 offices, with a staff of 55, including 23 attorneys.  FRLS helps client with the following types of legal problems: Consumer, Employment, Public Benefits and Economic Stability, Housing, Elder, and Farm-Worker Law. We also provide  services in such areas as Civil Rights and Family Law. Each year FRLS handles thousands of cases. 

 

TYPES OF CASES WE HANDLE

AB is elderly and disabled. She fell behind on her mortgage. To save her home, client spoke with a "foreclosure rescue” company. They promised to save her home but ended up taking her money and the deed to her home. She also lost her tax exemptions. We helped by defending the foreclosure and suing the foreclosure rescue company to restore title to her home. We negotiated a loan modification with the bank. Finally, the judge dismissed the foreclosure action and title to the property was returned to AB. Today she is current on her payments, tax exemptions are in place, and she is living in her home.

 
CD came to us in fear about the safety of her two grandsons. They had lived with her for most of their lives. The boys' mother suffered from a serious mental disability, and did not have any permanent residence. When CD came into our office, she explained that the boys' mother often removed them from her home without warning. CD requested an order of custody to prevent the boys from being uprooted. FRLS filed a custody case and CD received an order of custody. She can take the boys to doctors and register them for school. Their lives are stable.
 

EF
came to us because his wages were being garnished by a creditor. We requested a hearing to contest the garnishment. We were able to show that EF 's adult disabled son was financially dependent on EF for support for his medical and  transportation  expenses.  We were able to prove that EF's wages were exempt from garnishment because he was the head of the household, comprised of himself and his son. The garnishment was lifted and EF could continue to care for his son.

 GH suffered from depression, heart disease, back problems and also had to wear a colostomy bag. She suffered from depression as a result of her medical problems. She was unable to work, but had been denied disability benefits. We gathered her medical records and represented her at her hearing. After a lengthy dispute, GH was finally awarded monthly benefits, a back award of almost $10,000 and medical benefits. She is now able to pay for her apartment and receive medical care.

 

SOME OF OUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS

 

In the past year we were able to obtain many good results for our clients. A partial list of some of the cumulative benefit amounts from 2012 is as follows:

  

  • Social Security Benefits……..…………………………………. $194,776
  • Unemployment Benefits……………………………………… . $491,559
  • Child Support…………………………………………………....... $440,088
  • Alimony…………………………………………………………....... $92,141
  • Food Stamps and other Benefits        …………………..…..$117,265
  • Back Wages and Employment Benefits…………………….$448,215
  • Garnishments Avoided………………………………………..... $103,605

 Our firm closed over 6,000 cases for low-income families in 2012, and provided free legal information and education on a wide range of topics to more than 10,000 people.