Frequently Asked Questions.

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For questions or further information, you may also contact Tiffany Graves, Executive Director/General Counsel at tgraves@mvlp.net or 601-960-9577
MVLP accepts cases as follows:

Divorce:  MVLP will only accept divorce matters which are based on the following grounds: irreconcilable differences; sentenced to penitentiary; and desertion.  Parties with irreconcilable differences divorces will be required to execute a document which confirms their consent to the divorce and provisions related to property, child support and custody.  Parties with divorces based on desertion will be required to provide the last known address of the spouse and, where the spouse is unknown, execute an affidavit which confirms that they have conducted a diligent search and reasonable inquiry into the whereabouts of the spouse for the purposes of service to the spouse by publication. MVLP will only assist parties with divorces based on a spouse being sentenced to the penitentiary if the spouse is currently incarcerated and his/her release is not expected for at least one year after the party becomes a client of MVLP.

Removal of Minority/Emancipation:  MVLP will only accept emancipation matters with the consent of the party’s biological parents and if the party requesting assistance is seeking independent housing or employment and is currently employed and/or enrolled in a GED program or post-secondary education.  In some instances, parties requesting assistance with emancipation matters may be required to provide proof of employment.

Wills:  MVLP will accept simple will matters only where the party does not own significant property or expect to owe estate taxes at his/her death and where the party does not anticipate that anyone will contest his/her will.

Adoption:  MVLP will accept uncontested adoption matters only.  In all instances, the parties will be required to provide MVLP with executed consent to adoption and parental termination documents from both of the child’s biological parents.  In the case of unknown fathers, the person seeking MVLP’s assistance must execute an affidavit which confirms that s/he has conducted a diligent search and reasonable inquiry into the whereabouts of the father for the purposes of service to the unknown father by publication.

Guardianship:  MVLP will accept uncontested guardianship matters only.  In all instances, the parties will be required to provide MVLP with executed consent to guardianship documents from both of the child’s biological parents.  In the case of unknown fathers, the person seeking MVLP’s assistance must execute an affidavit which confirms that s/he has conducted a diligent search and reasonable inquiry into the whereabouts of the father for the purposes of service to the unknown father by publication.

Name Change:  MVLP will accept name change matters for the purpose of obtaining employment, public benefits, retirement and identification.  Due to MVLP’s limited resources, MVLP will not provide services to individuals who are requesting assistance with a name change matter for vanity purposes only.

Birth Certificate Correction:  MVLP will accept birth certificate correction matters for the purpose of obtaining employment, public benefits, retirement and identification.  In the case of birth certificate corrections due to changes in paternity, MVLP will handle changes to the minor’s last name only.

Child Support Contempt:  MVLP will accept child support contempt matters only if the party in contempt has not paid child support for a minimum of three months and is in arrears of at least $1,000 but not more than $10,000.  MVLP will not assist with these matters where the party requesting assistance has a contempt matter pending with the Mississippi Department of Human Services.

Child Support Modification:  MVLP will accept child support modification matters if the responsible party is deemed disabled by the Social Security Administration and/or has experienced a significant loss or increase in income since the most recent child support order was entered.

Conservatorship:  MVLP will accept conservatorship matters with the consent of the ward and other interested parties (spouses, siblings, etc.) and with the written and executed support of two of the ward’s treating physicians.

Visitation:  MVLP will accept visitation matters when (a) a child support order exists, but is silent as to visitation or (b) paternity has been established and the non-custodial parent is willing to pay child support and obtain visitation.  In cases where a child support order exists, the party requesting assistance must be current on his/her child support obligation.  MVLP will does not assist with grandparent or other third-party visitation matters

MVLP provides services throughout the State of Mississippi.
No, in addition to direct representation cases, MVLP offers a variety of clinics to offer clients brief service and advice.
Through MVLP, you can donate a few hours at a clinic or represent a client from beginning to end. You choose the time commitment that best meets your preferences and schedule.
Yes. Any case handled through MVLP is covered under MVLP’s malpractice insurance, which is a policy through the National Legal Aid and Defender’s Association (NLADA). The policy provides $1 million in coverage per case with an aggregate of $2 million.  Please contact MVLP’s Executive Director/General Counsel, Tiffany M. Graves, with further questions at tgraves@mvlp.net or 601-960-9577. 
Clients pay court fees directly to volunteer attorneys. MVLP will advise the client of the amount of his/her filing if/when s/he is accepted as an MVLP client.
Many legal professionals such as court reporters, translators, accountants and process servers donate their time to assist MVLP clients. If you discover that you require such services in a MVLP case that you are working on, you should contact the MVLP office immediately. MVLP may be able to obtain the services you need on a pro bono basis.
Yes, MVLP offers Continuing Legal Education (CLE) seminars. Seminars are generally offered at no or low cost to volunteer attorneys or those attorneys willing to sign up to participate in MVLP prior to the seminar. Seminars are held several times a year throughout the State of Mississippi. See the CLE page for more information on upcoming CLEs.
MVLP is headquartered in Jackson, MS. However, MVLP coordinates clinics, attends local bar meetings, and organizes recognition functions and Continuing Legal Education seminars throughout the State of Mississippi.
MVLP regularly recognizes the work of its volunteers. The staff nominates volunteers for local, state and national awards. In addition, MVLP recognizes one or more attorneys each year for their extraordinary efforts in providing pro bono legal services. The program sponsors an annual awards ceremony to recognize and thank all of the volunteers that participate in the program. MVLP recognizes that its volunteers are among the most talented and generous people in our community. We make every effort to ensure that the legal community and the general public know about their good works. See the awards page for descriptions of MVLP’s awards and lists of previous award recipients.
Funding for the program is provided by a variety of sources, including grants and private donations.

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